Fixed an Answers in Genesis comic for them

danger-ark-meme

I recently received a scan of one of Answers in Genesis’ newsletters that contained the cartoon above, and I couldn’t resist the urge to fix it for them.

I think my version is much better.

The original comic comes to us via Dan Lietha, AiG’s resident cartoonist, which of course is something that any respectable organization advancing a thoughtful critique of the scientific paradigm would have.

His drawings are exactly like regular cartoons, except that instead of being funny, they aren’t, and are really just intended to reassure closed-minded people about how right they are. They’re like the young-earth creationist equivalent of Fox News, in comic form.

To be honest, though, cartoons like this strike me as maybe the most baffling thing AiG does. (Or maybe not.) But seriously, look at the original, and see if you can tell me how the ultimate takeaway here is anything other than AiG straight-up admitting that they are bad at their jobs.

… Right? I mean, look at the angry mob that is inexplicably cloaked in deep shadow (probably because the darkness is emanating from within). Atheists, liberals, the non-religious … well, maybe not “social media trolls” so much, but all the rest — just throw in Billy Graham and a pope or two, and that pretty much encompasses anyone and everyone who is not already 100 percent in agreement with AiG’s peculiar view of science and scripture.

So … if the only ones supporting AiG are the folks who already agree with them, who exactly are the createvangelists reaching with their life-changing message of incest and genocide?

And, I know that they would just say that they haven’t been able to get through to us because our hearts are hardened or we just love our darn sin too much or whatever, but if that’s the case, then — garsh — the “Great Evangelistic Outreach” that is the Ark Encounter seems kind of like a ludicrous waste of time and money, doesn’t it?

Tyler Francke is founder of God of Evolution and author of Reoriented. He can be reached at tyler@godofevolution.com.

  • “It’s sad when people warn NOT of God’s righteous judgment, but of REMINDERS of God’s judgment and salvation.”

    What does that even mean? I’m having trouble understanding the quote. If people are reminding others of God’s judgment and salvation, isn’t that a good thing?

    Shouldn’t it be “It’s sad when people warn NOT of God’s righteous judgment, but are REMINDERS of God’s judgment and salvation”?

    I have a suspicion the YEC folks don’t really think it is all that “sad”.

    • They’re claiming that the Ark Encounter is a “reminder of God’s judgment and salvation,” and that’s what we’re “warning” people about. Make sense now?

      You’re not the only one who’s been confused, by the way.

      • I’m glad I’m not the only who is confused!

        So, because the Ark Encounter is “only” a REMINDER of God’s judgment and salvation, it seems a bit “sad” (and silly?) to warn people about it? That we really should be warning others about God’s righteous judgment instead? Our anger is misplaced?

        Sorry, I’m a bit thick.

        • Don’t feel bad. Dan Lietha is not exactly H.L. Mencken. The man has spent his life writing comics for audiences who could not care less what he actually says as long as it contains some vague positive mention of the YEC worldview or mocks evolution.

          That said, I think his point is that, instead of in biblical times, when prophets like Jonah would warn people of God’s righteous judgment, now we have people who are warning of warnings of God’s righteous judgment, which is the Ark Encounter, of course.

          I think part of the confusion stems from the non-parallel construction. If Lietha had worded it the way I did above, it probably would have been more clear, but he wanted to pigeonhole in the word “salvation” because of their party line that the Ark is going to be an amazing evangelical outreach.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy

            No, the man has spent his life writing Cheap Propaganda. Cartoons which wouldn’t be out-of-place in Cold War Pravda or whatever North Korea’s Ministry of Truth calls itself.

            …audiences who could not care less what he actually says as long as it
            contains some vague positive mention of the YEC worldview or mocks
            evolution.

            This is a type of fanservice called “masturbating your target audience” and is the secret of success for both Left Behind and Atlas Shrugged (which are actually the same story pitched to different sets of fanboys), repeating over and over “You, Dear Reader, are Right and THEY ARE ALL WRONG!”

          • Headless Unicorn Guy

            …but he wanted to pigeonhole in the word “salvation” because of their
            party line that the Ark is going to be an amazing evangelical outreach.

            Because “pigeonholing in the word ‘salvation'” means Selling that Fire Insurance. And those with the best sales records get brownie points ans special goodies from their Ultimate Upline on J-Day.

            ABC = Always Be Closing.

        • Alan Christensen

          To me Ark Encounter is a reminder of P.T. Barnum’s saying that “There’s a sucker born every minute.” Not to mention a reminder of what screwed-up priorities some Christians have.

      • Professor_Tertius

        It’s bizarre how they so often prooftext scriptures in such bizarre ways, applying them totally out of context. The most groan-worthy is probably the infamous “science falsely so-called” applied to the Theory of Evolution even though it referred to first century Gnosticism. Anachronism fallacies never pose any problems, I guess.

  • I agree with the initial comic. What kind of world do we live in when social media trolls stopped reminding people of God’s judgment?

  • Andrew

    I actually didn’t know AIG owned that comic strip. I just thought they were closely affiliated, and that AIG was working as some kind of promotor. Yeah a serious “evangelical” organization ( if AIG can really be called that) needs to avoid financing cartoons, especially ones that are that poor in quality. By the way nice improvement.

    • Alan Christensen

      But cartoons have been a part of all the great scientific advancements.

      • Yep. I’m pretty sure Watson and Crick got the idea for the helical structure of DNA from an old “Looney Toons” episode.

        • Andrew

          Hey I think I saw that one 😉

      • Andrew

        Oh yeah. Fun fact, when Einstein first published his theory of relativity it in the funny section of the newspaper. Much better than putting in those pesky scientific journals

        • Haha, good one!

        • Headless Unicorn Guy

          Well, if you count “Theory of Relativity” to include “You can choose your friends; you can’t choose your relatives” a la Jimmy & Billy Carter…

        • Professor_Tertius

          Yes, Einstein’s Theory of Relativity first gained wide recognition from the scientific academy as a Ripley’s BELIEVE IT OR NOT cartoon: “As an object approaches the speed of light in relation to some frame of reference, its mass grows and time slows down. Believe it….or not!”

          A previous draft of Einstein’s Theory was published as a Beetle Bailey cartoon—but the theory got completely upstaged when the Sarge ordered Beetle to go peel potatoes on K.P. duty. Go figure.

          Yes, it was a very bad idea. Kind of like the idea of spending $100+ million on a building which looks like an ark but it doesn’t float and the only animals it can manage is a small petting zoo. “In the early 2000’s, an eccentric fellow who hated scientists and empiricism and who claimed the earth is 6,000 years old managed to con an economically disadvantaged community in a remote rural area of Kentucky to fund a bizarre tourist attraction. He thought an ark-shaped building which illustrated the impossibility of his claims would convince millions to turn to Christ. Believe It….Or Not!”

    • Thanks, Andrew! Yeah, Lietha has been working full-time as AiG’s staff cartoonist/illustrator since 1997. Even says so on his website.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy

        Shows how rough the cartoonist market is these days…

  • Professor_Tertius

    I too have long been baffled by AIG’s use of cartoons. The strangest of them seem to try and impose the cliches and caricatures normally applied to fundamentalist Young Earth Creationist onto their opponents instead. (For example, the angry ranter who cites no evidence is applied to the out-of-control, angry atheist.)

    The lack of wit is sad enough. But the junior-high level of “comedy” is embarrassing. Meanwhile, I can’t help but notice that AIG’s Georgia Purdom has had the same “unusual” hairstyle going back nearly all the way to the Diluvian Era—and it strikes me as looking more like an artist’s caricature, never changed from the familiar so that the reader can always recognize a particular comic book character. (Examples: signature hairstyles of cartoon characters like Nancy, Archie, Charlie Brown, Dagwood, Kim Jong-un, et al.) If you don’t understand what I mean, Google George Purdom and go to the IMAGES page.

    I’m not saying there is anything wrong with Georgia’s hairstyle or appearance. I’m just saying that it’s a cartoonist’s dream. (For that matter, she changes her hairstyle just about as often as Kim Jong-un.) Nevertheless, I don’t think she has ever been depicted in an AIG cartoon—but should be. Ken Ham was “cartooned” for their Creation Museum TV promo spots and I think Georgia equally deserves the treatment.

    • “Cartooned” should be the standard verb to describe what AiG does to most everything it comes into contact with.

      • Matthew Funke

        Somewhat disagree. A cartoon is an art form — perhaps not as deep-rooted and refined as some others that have been around for much longer, but still, creativity and insight are required.

        What AiG does is completely artless. There’s no creativity, no insight, no attempt to communicate a shared human experience beyond simple triumphalism.

        The only verbs I can think to apply to what AiG does to things it comes in contact with have to do with excrement. I’ll have to think on this one.

        • Professor_Tertius

          “What AiG does is completely artless.” I don’t know. Conning local officials into financing your Ark Park boondoggle through property tax collateralized government bonds is a kind of art. The “dark arts”, as in the Harry Potter series….but a kind of art just the same.

          • Matthew Funke

            I take your point. Perhaps this is somewhat akin to the way that “Piss Christ” is some kind of art somehow. It draws attention to itself, and manages to generate PR and vocal support from legions in some perplexing way, but the only message it communicates to a thinking person about the faith that is supposedly its object is one of revulsion, disgust, and vague indignation.

        • Fair points. Perhaps we can meet in the middle and call it “craptooning”?

          • Matthew Funke

            Brilliant.

      • Professor_Tertius

        Hmmm. Yes, “cartooned” does aptly capture the idea. Personally, I kind of like to call the tactic just one aspect of being “Ham-scammed”. (I’ve also considered the term “Ham-shammed.” For example, if a Ham fan dismisses the Theory of Evolution because even many millions of years just isn’t enough time for such scales of evolutionary changes to take place—but then accepts Ham’s post-flood, 200 years of hyper-evolution for all animal “baramin-kinds” on the ark—that’s being “Ham-shammed!”)

        I still think the Ark Park is going to eventually be Ham’s “Heritage USA” that brings down his three-ring circus. Yes, there will be initial enthusiasm for a year or two of the most faithful making their pilgrimage to see the great arkish wonder. But it is one of those things where actually SEEING a full-sized building in the shape of an ark—that doesn’t float and doesn’t house animals of every kind—will start to provoke and make more obvious the very questions of basic scientific and engineering realities which have always dogged Ham’s comedy. (I am NOT making fun of what the Bible ACTUALLY STATES about the ark. I’m ridiculing Ham’s tradition-based distortion of what the Bible says about Noah and the Great Deluge.)