Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Cracker Debator


Today's Bizarro was brought to you by Godfish Baked Snack Crackers. "Just like those Goldfish crackers, but omnipotent!" (Now in new chocolate flavor!)

This is the infamous Evangelical Goldfish Cracker cartoon that so many people have referenced in the blog comments of the past few days. I love this one, too.

Some have said that this cartoon is backwards, that creationists believe we came from "somewhere" (God) and evolutionists believe we popped up from "nowhere" (spontaneous life). But evolutionists argue that it is creationists who believe we popped up from nowhere (created "as is" by God) and evolutionists who believe we developed slowly from a logical process of chemistry (evolution). Funny how that works either way, depending on your point of view.

Psychology studies have shown that people tend to make facts bend to their belief system, rather than the other way around. Humans do this naturally, it's nothing to be ashamed of, but it is something we should be aware of. Scientists emphatically try to look at facts with an open mind before forming theories, and even they sometimes get it backwards.

A group of Palestinians and Israelis were shown the same TV news report about their endless struggle, then interviewed. Each person thought the news report was unconscionably biased against their own side. We see the same thing in American politics. The Dems think McCain is getting a free pass from the press, the Reps think Obama is getting a free ride.

My belief is that you have to throw out your own opinion about anything from time to time, and look at the facts with new eyes. I like to pretend I'm from another planet and I've just arrived here for the first time. As I study the myriad life forms, would I conclude they were the result of a slow chemical process or a supreme being? If I studied human political history, would I side with conservatives or liberals? Studying mammals, would I think that humans were a benign force or a mutant malignancy? Looking at the Olsen twins, would I imprison or euthanize them?

Use your own filter to decide which cracker has a better grip on reality. But while doing so, try not to think of this.

50 comments:

derekamalo said...

wait a minute in last blog i never specifically said dan lost directly to luann but my guess is when a best comic panel is voted on and won doesnt that mean it goes agaisnt all the other comics...once again explanation...i couild stomach losing a best comic panel to bizarro..id be suicidal if i lost to off the mark,luann,speed dump,family circus and 42 million others ...oh and if i lost to ziggy i would have committed suicide and would not be here to blog....i think i need to remove my direct mail link off the blog..im attacked by people constantly..oh hell i love it write on

melissa said...

Finally, I get to see the famous evangelical fish cartoon. I have to say that it's every bit as good as people said it was. Printing out to affix to cubicle wall.

julie said...

The world has got some bad news for you, Derek...

Jeremy said...

I appreciate you mentioning my argument, Dan. This is all too true and a focal point for the Creationist mind. Do you believe in God and his Word? Most in the US would say they do. I have respect for people who are agnostic or Athiest because I used to be there. But now that God has given me, as you said, New Eyes, I see totally different.

See With new Eyes is a book written by a man named Ty Gibson who speaks a lot at my church and he shows how God designed us for Love, and as it plainly says in the Bible, God is Love. The thing that turned me off from Christianity as a kid was all the bigoted people that were hateful in the name of God.

The "alien from another world" idea might work. But even if you're from another world you still would have have grown up and either received a story on where you came from or perhaps even known your creator. It would still be very hard for you to see us from a different point of view. You would see either us as made by the same creator, or if you were told a story about random biologic processes magically turning into a living organism and slowly changing as fact.

The big difference here that I see is that I have a Book that says exactly how God created man and woman. He formed Adam from chemicals in the ground and breathed life into him. It is not a scientific text that was peer reviewed and verified. It is a text written by a man who received direct narration from the One who claims to have created us. An Evolutionist has many different options for where and how life began. Many have been chosen as likely, but there is no way to witness past events since no scientist can claim to have been there during those they point to.

But keep up the awesome cartoons. One thing I love is that your cartoons are thought-provoking and intelligent.

Joshthecartoonguy said...

The ironic thing about the comic is that both sets of fish were created by a higher being (an intelligent designer).

Tanja said...

Oh, great. I clicked on the Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen link just as a friend of mine walked into the office. Now she thinks I'm celebrity obsessed... this is a small(ish) place... with a tightnit vege community... gossip travels fast... Mind you, it could have been worse. I could have been looking at naked Smurfs. :))

LysergicAsset said...

For the fourth time on this blog: Fantastic cartoon.

Kimberly said...

it could be that you were joking when you said sometimes you pretend you just arrived from another planet. but...

i actually DO do that.

and the best time to do it is on the dance floor. i just stop and take a good look around at the other humans and pretend i've just arrived on earth. it's seriously hilarious.

Mr. Johnson said...

Fish are just like people. They spend lots of time arguing about where they come from when the real issue is: "where are they going?" Isn't that deep??? Yeah, you say, "deep fried" in the case of many fish! And as it turns out... prehaps with people, too!

derekamalo said...

hahahha anybody see todays aug. 7 comic from dan...the dog with the myspace page not needed...getting to know dan i discovered from the beginning he hates myspace and sees its flaws ....so the dog using it for accurate dumps works...HIDDEN JOKE WITHIN JOKE

jdbartlett said...
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Shortcake said...

i feel like i just took an 8th grade science class... thanks, jdbartlett.

i loved this cartoon.. it's so cute and amazing.

@jeremy: i feel bad for crapping on you because you always leave very genuine, nice comments, but i just have to say it.. last time i checked, it was SEVERAL people who contributed to writing the bible, and never once has it been documented that what was written is a "direct narration from the One who claims to have created us." the bible was compiled centuries after the death of jesus, and the the stories were passed down via word of mouth. when the stories were finally documented to form the bible, it then went through SEVERAL translations, which if course we all know how inaccurate simple translations can be. like i said.. sorry to correct you but i feel you might have been misinformed. i'm sure you're an all-around great person, and i respect your faith in a higher power. but learning the truth of where we all came from involves self education, because you can't really rely on words from a soapbox.

xen said...

Even if you try to stay neutral you will still be biased.

As an atheist I try to be respectful towards peoples beliefs, as long they as they respect me. Still I see religion as just made up stories by humans who are very imaginative or high on something.

Fine, if God exist, so does the Spaghetti monster.

Ginger said...

i do believe in god, but i think the bible is just a book written by a lot of different story tellers....some of it good and some of it processed sandwich meat.

i also believe that the people who found this cartoon lacking in humor were the people who tried to take it apart and analyze it because of the religious aspect.

sometimes funny is just funny...let it go.

nick said...

And sometimes it just isn't funny. And sometimes it has nothing to do with religion. And usually the comic is Bizarro.

derekamalo said...

no nick...just this certain week

julie said...

Here Xen, just for the fun of it, let's try a different angle on all the God stuff.

Prove to me THIS reality exists.

fran said...

Julie, you reek of lonely.

julie said...

Fran, I'm trapped on a remote island in the Pacific. Of course I'm lonely. But it doesn't help that I have a stalker posting with my name as well. Most of the "julie" comments are not me.

jdbartlett said...
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xen said...

Hey Julie, I can fly like a bird, can you disprove that?

I really dislike it when people use straw man arguments (search wikipedia for it) in discussions and debates. A better choice would to be say nothing.

pat said...

Xen - So while some believe there is a God who created the universe, you believe the universe just appeared, correct?

julie said...

No Xen, not a strawman argument, and yes, I know exactly what they are.

The problem here is that the more science goes deeper into the workings of everything, the more mysterious it becomes.

It's just like Jeremy's literal interpretation of Jesus and the Bible and what "is" and what "isn't." If you look at it his way, assuming the Bible is the word of God, then what he says makes sense. However, when you look deeper, things aren't as clear cut, as shortcake says.

The same holds true with math - we all know that 1 + 1 = 2, or at least that is what we were taught. When you get into much more complex math, it's possible that 1 + 1 might equal 3 or something entirely else.

See, this is my big problem with some (not all) atheists: they look at God in Santa Claus terms. This black and white view is just as myopic as an evangelical Christian.

My point in saying, prove to me this reality exists, is that that's as elusive as the God question. If you look at us, we're made up of atoms, and there is a whole LOT of nothingness that makes us up. We're not even a solid thing. And there's evidence to suggest electrons are shared, and perhaps communication, too...

Humans have been seeking spirituality since the first man crawled the earth - whether that was Adam or some cave dude. We're universally wired this way. Read up on Joseph Campbell - he's got a lot of good stuff on all of this.

xen said...

@Pat: The theory about the big bang is far more plausible than some almighty being no one has ever seen or met. At least we can explain the big bang. Why?

@Julie: Funny that people deny it's a straw man argument when someone points it out. Very interesting. And still you keep on making straw man arguments.

If you claim there is a god, prove it. It's not up to me to prove it, because I don't believe he exists at all.

People have been searching for simple "answers" because they couldn't accept facts or not able to understand reality.

It just boils down to most people are afraid to die and the clutch on to that they will end up in forever life in heaven.

nick said...

Xen - where then did the big bang come from? You can keep going back further and further and you will not find answers... something does not come from nothing.

Joshthecartoonguy said...

According to Xen:
"It just boils down to most people are afraid to die and the clutch on to that they will end up in forever life in heaven."
It's hard to translate your grammar into English, but you seem to be suggesting that the only reason people believe in God is that they fear death. I humbly submit that the only reason people don’t believe in God is that they fear judgment.

Joshthecartoonguy said...

Charles Darwin conceded that the lack of transitional fossils "is perhaps the most obvious and serious objection" to the theory of macro-evolution. He predicted that, in the future, these "missing links" would be discovered. Well, it has been over a century. Where are the fossils? Evolutionists have to have faith that, eventually, scientists will discover a missing link that doesn't turn out to be a hoax. Xen asks us to prove that God exists. That's impossible. I don't know that God exists. I believe that God exists. It's a matter of faith.
If that is somehow irrational, to have faith in something, every one who believes in macro-evolution is being irrational because that belief requires faith.

Joshthecartoonguy said...

By the way, "Shortcake," I don't know where you get your information but you are just factually wrong. "the bible was compiled centuries after the death of jesus, and the the stories were passed down via word of mouth." Except that there is strong archaeological evidence confirming the historical and geographical details of the Biblical stories.
In the words of Norman L. Geisler, "There have been thousands--not hundreds--of archaeological finds in the Middle East that support the picture presented in the Biblical record. There was a discovery not long ago confirming King David. The patriarchs--the narratives about Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob--were once considered legendary, but as more has become known these stories are increasingly corroborated. The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah was thought to be mythological until evidence was uncovered that all five of the cities mentioned in Genesis were, in fact, situated just as the Old Testament said..."
By the way, I've been getting my quotes from skeptic Lee Strobel's The Case for Faith

Joshthecartoonguy said...

That was all from the Old Testament. Now for the New Testament.
Let's take the book of Acts and the gospel of Luke, for example. These books were not written centuries after the death of Jesus. They were written by the historian Luke before A.D. 62, about thirty years after the death of Christ. Luke is widely respected as a historian, even by prominent skeptics like historian Sir William Ramsay, who admitted that "in various details the narrative [Acts] showed marvelous truth."
According to Geisler, "Even small details have been corroborated, like which way the wind blows, how deep the water is a certain distance from the shore, what kind of disease a particular island had, the names of local officials, and so forth."

julie said...

Gee, Xen... see, this is where we have the fundamental problem: what I might define as God and what you define as God might be two completely different things.

Just as my reality and your reality are most definitely two different things.

Prove to me this reality is "real," and I'll show you God.

xen said...

Nick: Where did God come from, because he couldn't come from nothingness as that is impossible.

Josh: Fearing judgement from whom?

Julie: You claim God exist, you prove he exist.

julie said...

Hey Xen... who said I claimed "God" exists? Wasn't me.

I just told you to prove to me this "reality" is real, and I'll show you God.

Do you believe we exist? Is this real? Can you prove it? Or do you just believe this is real?

Why?

Is it FAITH that believe it just is?

Oops. God's looking at you, kid!

nick said...

Xen - you are asking me to scientifically explain the source of God when you apparently cannot tell me where the science of your beliefs originates from. God is not a planet or a cosmic occurrence, and will never be fully understood, just like your science. Just admit that your thinking is just as faith-based as those you disagree with. The source of the big bang and beyond is not explainable, nor will it ever be - you have to accept it on faith.

Jeremy said...

@Shortcake

I appreciate your respect. What Joshthecartoonguy said has also been shown on The Naked Archaeologist, a show on The History Channel.

Its funny, Darwin was hoping archaeologists would find all of the transitional fossils that would complete his theory, but instead they have been finding more evidence of happenings as recorded in the Bible.

And keep in mind, a lot of these are independent records written by non-Hebrew people. There are also Hebrew writings found as well from hundreds of years before Jesus.

Jeremy said...

@Xen-

There is something called Information Theory you should look up in Wikipedia. Information can't come form nowhere. There has to be a logical mind behind it.

God is beyond reality and time. He created reality and time. He is outside the known universe. How could we possibly prove that?

The Big Bang theory still has a lot of unanswered questions such as what caused the explosion, where the matter came from and why the universe is almost the same temperature throughout despite supposed large explosions and massive friction.

nick said...

And when you answer those big bang questions, there's a whole new set of "and where did THAT come from?" questions borne. It never ends, because, as I said before, something does not come from nothing.

xen said...

Believe what you want guys, because it seems like you would twist anything to make your religion "true".

You're aware that your God is not unique. For about over 100 years ago in my home country, Norway, Northern mythology was the religion that spoke the truth. Then in other parts of the world we had the Greek gods. What about you telling me who is the true God? Which I bet you can't do as that has been changing for centuries and dependent on which country you're in.

Again, I'm amazed the length you go to "prove" the existence of your "God".

From my point of view we will just be repeating ourselves, so let's be mature and say we agree to disagree.

I come to this blog to enjoy Dan's comics and rants, not to make enemies because of theology.

This is my last comment to this discussion as I'm again left with having to prove something you claim exist.

Enjoy your weekend people.

xen said...

I meant for about 1000 years ago. Just woke up. :-p

nick said...

By my count, you avoided addressing a good 5-6 legitimate questions and points by running away. Well played, Xen.

julie said...

See what you just said, Xen? Now we're getting somewhere. I think we're probably closer to agreement than you might think. Have a good weekend. :)

jdbartlett said...
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B.A.D. said...

:shudder: Olsen twins.

Joshthecartoonguy said...

Let me step away from the creationist/evolutionist debate for a moment to address an interesting question that was raised earlier. When Julie and Xen were going back and forth about God, Julie asked Xen to prove this reality exists. An intriguing thought, Julie. I don't think I can prove it empirically, but here's a strong moral argument I've heard which inclines me to think this reality isn't "all just a dream": If everything we see around us is a mirage, so are the people. If that is so, there would be nothing ethically wrong with me going on a killing spree then. What's wrong with destroying a human being if their just an illusion? Yet, I have a deep moral conviction that it is wrong to kill senselessly. Christians, atheists, almost everyone, I think, shares this conviction.
By the way, this same argument brings me back to God. First premise: everyone possesses an innate, mysterious, but powerful moral code rooted in their consciousness. Second premise: this universal code must have been authored by a higher moral being (some sort of God). Conclusion: God exists.

xen said...

@nick: Thank you.

B.A.D. said...

Josh: May I ask how you arrived at the conclusion that god exists based on the fact that all people have morals of some form or another?

Would it not be equally possible to attribute morality to social conditioning, evolution or perhaps just giving us the benefit of the doubt to create our own moral parameter?

For example a large portion of the population see nothing wrong with killing and consuming animals, however there is a growing number of individuals who see this as wrong and are opting to abstain for the slaughterfest. Just as there have been select few individuals driven to kill for their beliefs or for their own pleasure who show no remorse for what they've done.

Like most animals humans (usually) do not kill their own kind and consume their flesh, sure there have been a few individuals who deviate from this norm just as a few animal species partake in cannibalism. But the rest of the animal kingdom, who share this moral code do not partake in any religion. Nor do they praise any gods.

Prof. Rick Duncan said...

b.a.d.

Good points. So, we're examining my first premise: the existence of a universal "Law of Human Nature, Moral Law, or Rule of Decent Behavior." Your questions are very similar to ones posed to C.S. Lewis: "Isn't what you call the Moral Law simply our herd instincts and hasn't it been developed just like all our other herd instincts?" and "Isn't what you call the Moral Law just a social convention, something that is put into us by education." Let me paraphrase Lewis's responses in Mere Christianity chapter 2.
For the first objection, you could insert the word "evolutionary" for "herd." Obviously everyone has instincts: mother love, sexual instincts, the instinct for food. An instinct is a strong desire to act in a certain way. And sometimes, we do feel a strong desire to help another person (the herd instinct). "But feeling a desire to help is quite different feeling that you ought to help whether you want to or not." If you hear a man crying for help, you will probably feel to desires: one to help (because of the herd instinct) and one to keep out of danger (the instinct for self-preservation). However, you will also feel a third impulse, which tells you to follow the instinct to help, and suppress the instinct to run away. This impulse, which judges your instincts, cannot itself be an instinct. In addition, if instinct is all there is, the stronger instinct will always win. You probably would much rather stay alive than help the man in danger, "but the Moral Law tells you to help him all the same."

Now for the second question: could this third impulse be explained by social conditioning rather than a Moral Code? The assumption is that, if we had to be taught something in childhood, it is a mere convention, not a universal truth. "I fully agree that we learn the Rule of Decent Behaviour from parents and teachers, and friends and books, as we learn everything else." But some of the things we learn are conventions, like which side of the road we drive on, which changes depending on the country you are in, and other things we learn, like mathematics, are universal truths. So which category does the Law of Human Nature fit into? You pointed out that there are differences in the Moral Code depending on time and place. Lewis states that "though there are differences between the moral ideas of one time or country and those of another, the differences are not really very great...you can recognize the same law running through them all." Lewis explores this idea in greater detail in The Abolition of Man, but let me try to demonstrate this point using your examples. You and I may disagree on whether eating meat constitutes animal cruelty, but when we may have more in common than you think. I believe we both agree with the general principle that we should be kind to animals. When I was on vacation with my family, we met a man who was walking his dog and stopped to chat with him. Every time the dog made a noise, he slapped it hard across the nose. You and I probably agree that that is not the way he should treat his dog. Now, do you see what we have just done? If we do agree that pets ought not to be beaten, we are comparing our standard with his, and judging ours to be better. The moment we say our moral ideas are better, we are, "in fact, measuring them both by a standard, saying that one of them conforms to that standard more nearly than the other."
As for your example with cannibalism, everyone knows cannibalism is wrong, except, it would appear, actual cannibals, such as you might find on Robinson Crusoe's island. However, when one of the cannibals is about to be devoured by his fellows, he knows that cannibalism is morally wrong, doesn't he? This is an example of people choosing not to do what they know they ought to do.

Joshthecartoonguy said...

Sorry, I accidentally left that comment using my dad's account!

Joshthecartoonguy said...

b.a.d. One more thing. What animal follows a moral code? While it's true that few animal species are cannibals, quite a few animal species are carnivores. A fox has to hunt, kill, and eat rabbits to survive. It can't decide to let the rabbit go because it's so cute and fluffy; the fox has to follow its survival instinct. A rabbit doesn't choose to be a vegetarian because it feels killing other animals is morally wrong. It eats plant life because that's the way nature/God designed it to eat. It can't choose to become a carnivore and hunt foxes.

xen said...

@Josh: Which God are we talking about?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Names_of_God

nick said...

Xen - either get out of the pool or stay in. Let us know.