Pharyngula

Silly ol’ Jack Chick

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A reader sent me a note about this rather well known and deeply stupid poster from Jack Chick…I’d already seen it and addressed it some time ago, but I thought I’d bring back this old article.


Jack Chick, the author of the infamous Big Daddy anti-evolution tract, has an amusing poster he’s peddling.

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(click to view in a larger size)

It purportedly illustrates a series of frauds in the reported evolutionary history of human beings. The text is too tiny to read at this size, but it’s listed at Chick’s site, and I reproduce it below, along with my response.

Chick’s claims My response
Heidelberg Man
Built from a jaw bone that was conceded by many to be quite human.

Judge for yourself.

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That’s the Heidelberg jaw on the left, modern human on the right.

Nebraska Man
Scientifically built up from one tooth and later found to be the tooth of an extinct pig.
This is false. A tooth from a pig was misidentified as belonging to a primate; the building up of the tooth to a human ancestor was entirely the unjustified and excessively imaginative work of journalists. Scientists were largely skeptical at the time.
Piltdown Man
The jawbone turned out to belong to a modern man.
No, no, no. Chick has it completely backwards. Piltdown Man was an intentional fraud, but it was a modern human skull with an orangutan jaw. A number of prominent members of the scientific community were misled with all the attendant damage to our understanding at that time, but Piltdown was pretty much ignored after the 1930s, and was shown conclusively to be a forgery in the 1950s.
Peking Man
500,000 years old. All evidence has disappeared.
The original Peking Man fossils were lost in World War II, that is true. However, casts remain, and the fossils are classic Homo erectus, of which plenty of fossils still exist. The claim that “all evidence has disappeared” is false.

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Neanderthal Man
At the Int’l Congress of Zoology (1958) Dr AJE Cave said his examination showed that the famous Neanderthal skeleton found in France over 50 years ago is that of an old man who suffered from arthritis.

Yes, some of the Neandertals survived to old age, and suffered from diseases similar to our own. Dr Cave did point out that one of the fossils showed evidence of arthritis, but he also said that they were anatomically distinct from modern humans: ‘This is not to deny that his limbs, as well as his skull, exhibit distinctive features – features which collectively distinguish him from all groups of modern men. In other words, his “total morphological pattern”, in the phraseology of Le Gros Clark (1955) differs from that of “sapiens” man.’

Again, he looks different to me:

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Cro-Magnon Man
One of the earliest and best established fossils is at least equal in physique and brain capacity to modern man…so what’s the difference?
There is no difference. Cro-Magnon is Homo sapiens sapiens; they are named for their locality and time. When we refer to some people as Americans, for instance, we aren’t claiming that they are not humans…same story with the term Cro-Magnon.
Modern Man
This genius thinks we came from a monkey.
No, from an ancient population of monkey-like primates.
Professing themselves to be wise they become fools. Romans 1:22.

Often a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other parts of the world, about the motions and orbits of the stars and even their sizes and distances,… and this knowledge he holds with certainty from reason and experience. It is thus offensive and disgraceful for an unbeliever to hear a Christian talk nonsense about such things, claiming that what he is saying is based in Scripture. We should do all that we can to avoid such an embarrassing situation, which people see as ignorance in the Christian and laugh to scorn.
–St. Augustine

Jack Chick. What a moron.

Addendum: it has been mentioned to me that probably the most glaring flaw in Chick’s poster is the sin of omission — it fails to mention the large number of hominid fossils that have been discovered. See the list of Prominent Hominid Fossils at the Talk.Origins archive to correct that lack.

Comments

  1. #1 EFulwood
    June 14, 2008

    Great post, but you repeated the common error that Nebraska Man was a pig tooth. Pigs are native to the old world; they were narry to be seen in Nebraska during the Pliocene. Nebraska Man was based on a misidentified peccary tooth, a close New World relative of the pig.