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I Am A Monkey’s Uncle… And So Are You!

Darwin in a Birthday Hat

Well it’s a big day! Happy birthday Charles Darwin!

Since this is a birthday, I decided to keep the mood of this article on the lighter side. As I see it there is nothing lighter than a good old fashioned Chick Tract publication.

If you’ve never heard of Chick Tracts, allow me to introduce you. Chick Tracts are extravagantly drawn (not so much), ardently researched (yeah…) pamphlets (horribly misleading propaganda) meant to help instruct children (mind screw future customers of God) about the bible and God’s (fictitious super being…but you knew that) laws.

Since it is Darwin’s birthday I have chosen “Apes, Lies and Ms. Henn” for discussion. So as not to violate copyright laws,  I’ve just provided the link where you can go and read this plucky tale of  the spunky little Christian girl and her fight to prove the evil, science-minded teacher wrong.

Go ahead and read it. I’ll wait right here.

…tap… tap… tap…

Okay, finished? Wouldn’t Darwin be proud?

The only “creation” taking place in this publication are it’s “facts.” It would be very easy to go panel by panel disputing content like “But it took millions of years to change from apes into humans.” Anyone who has read Darwin or listened to the likes of Richard Dawkins knows evolutionary biologists believe life did start simply and evolve, but evolution took place  along different paths for different, but similar, species.

Dawkins describes in his Waking Up in The Universe lecture series that life developed like a tree into many different branches but we are all  primordially related to one distinct ancestor. We did not literally come from monkeys. We developed similarly along a different path.

Is Dawkins right? Was our birthday boy right? We don’t know and that’s the point. The existing evidence says yes, but science doesn’t stick with the first idea and stop searching for more answers — like some belief systems (ahem).

When it comes to propaganda like Chick publications prints, I think the best way for me to make my point, is to let the stories speak for themselves.

If you enjoyed your read of “Apes, Lies and Ms. Henn,” might I also suggest “The Little Princess.” It’s the heartwarming tale of a sweet little girl named Heidi… who gets sick and quickly dies. This one is sure to be a crowd pleasing “pick me up” for the little ones at bedtime. Nothing sends a child gently off to the Land of Nod like the thought of an agonizing death for one of their peers. These twisted stories are aimed at children and that is sad. Ugh!

On February 12, 1809 a man was born who would help make superstitious stories and religious fear-mongering a thing of the past for some of our species. Thank “God” for Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution. A theory, that with any luck, will make unfounded beliefs part of our history and not our future. So here’s to you, Charles Darwin. I give you two wonderfully evolved, opposable thumbs up. Happy birthday!

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