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The World of Jack Chick Paperback – June 1, 2001
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About the Author
Robert Fowler is Henry Overton Wills Professor of Greek, University of Bristol. He is the author of The Nature of the Early Greek Lyric (1987). He has also edited Early Greek Mythology, Volume 1 (2001).
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The information inside the World of Chick is rich. Plenty of goodies are disclosed, beginning with Chick publication's history, the history of every tract ever produced, the contents of each tract, their themes, characters, publication dates, expiration dates, different versions of those tracts and their variations, the languages each tract was produced, the comic crusaders, the battle cries, the Chick website, and the various back cover for Chick's tracts, to name several.
Fowler himself has the sarcasm of a bully, noted in his love for religious parody.
His dedicatory begins with Jehovah-1, a mockery to the Christian God Jehovah. It goes on to say, "JHC, Satan, the Vatican and JTC (Jack Thomas Chick) for making it all possible." Pg. 1-16 has him saying, "Conversely, I have also given Jack credit where credit is due, for his blunt and embarrassing observations of our unspiritual modern world, and for his unquestionable sincerity, dedication, and integrity. Perhaps some of the more feeble-minded amoug you will even conclude that I'm "on Jack's side". Such people need to read the Book of the SubGenius [R81]; they will never take any religious banter seriously."
One last quote on Fowler's liking to SubGenius is found on pg 6-28, under "R81" [reference noted in above quote];
"The Book of the SubGenius, The SubGenius foundation, McGraw Hill Book Company, 1983. A rampant parody of everything related to the apocalypse and conspiracies in general. Completely irreverent. You must read this"
I would also like to note some of the author's strong remarks against Chick's position on evolution. I will illuminate:
In chapter 6, pg 30, "R88a"; Mr. Fowler argues that Jack Chick in his argument against evolution makes no mention of microbiology, "and with good reason." Fowler then quotes Bernard Davis from Science , 07/04/1980, vol. 209, pg 78:
"Molecular genetics has provided the most direct support for the Darwinian picture. the implication for human origins are inescapable. Except for those who are WILLING TO DISCARD RATIONALITY" [emphasis his]
Before hand, Mr. Fowler cites Robert Lewin, from Science, 06/04/1982, vol. 219, pg. 1091: "The public focuses on the fossil record and it's imperfections. Molecular genetics... gives a much better defense of Darwinism that...paleontology"
Fowler is arguing that Chick's reason for omitting microbiology in his tract "Big Daddy" is because it is the strongest evidence for evolution. His emphasis on the line "WILLING TO DISCARD RATIONALITY", is Fowler's opinion on Chick; He HAS to discard any rationality to believe evolution is not possible. What I find irrational is Fowler's approach and quote of choice. If he were to discredit Chick on his view, he should have dismantled the proofs in Chick's tract, and quote a sufficient explanation on how molecular genetics prove the changing of species.
On "R88b", Fowler further expands his insight towards creation science, as he reflects on the case of McLean versus the Arkansas Board of Education:
"In particular, the decision notes that the scientific method makes minimal initial assumptions. Its ongoing goal is to find answers. It is fascinated by unexpected results. Science studies all available information, and prefers to adopt the SIMPLEST explanation possible. Science continually gathers more information, looks for paradoxes, and revises earlier explanations when necessary. So-called creation science assumes all the "answers" are given. There is no ongoing goal to find more answers. It abhors unexpected answers, and (in earlier centuries) punished those who found them. Creation science studies only the information which supports it, and ignores that which contradicts it. It does not seek the simplest answer, disdains paradoxes, and resists any revision to it's answers, even when these answers become absurdly outdated."
What I find astounding is Fowler's incapacity to see that evolutionary science shares the same flaws as creation science.
Evolutionary science pretends it has all the answers. It is not fascinated with unexpected results; it disdain paradoxes and ignores evidence that contradicts it. It abhors unexpected answers. It resists revision to its answers, even when those answers are "absurdly outdated". It punishes or fires people who find unexpected answers; it has no goal to find more answers to the origin of life, in fear that such answers will dissipate its theory. Evolutionary theory does not study all the available information; it only studies information favorable to it. And lastly, Evolutionary science does NOT adopt the simplest explanation possible. It chooses hardiest explanation, and it goes through great lengths to convince people that it is undisputed fact, to the point of accusing those critical of its science, guilty of discarding rationality. Tell me, if evolution is indeed an accomplished factual phenomenon, why ISN'T there ANY evidence of intermediate creatures evolving in the fossil record, even the slightest of proof? Are evolutionary biologists so CLOSE-MINDED, PROUD, and full of dung, as to believe such a theory is an "inescapable" fact of life, when there exist science in direct contradiction to it?! All that we hear is fancy elaborate explanations, which dance around shreds of factual science, which on their own standing, do poorly to sustain their theories.
Fowler is only a follower of these men, so it makes sense that he shows his support for their version of science in his book. Despite his shallow insight, Fowler's sarcasm is so-so. The most important thing about his book is not his insight, nor his humor, but the information he provides about Jack Chick and his work. And I will applaud Fowler, he certainly delivers!
The only way this book could be improved would be to spruce up the table of contents (page numbers would be helpful), make the section headings more obvious, and provide a key for the code (maybe it's there and I just haven't found it). But those are pretty minor flaws in an overall great work.
With that being said, the book is filled with information. It is, in effect, a catalog of Chick tracts and it is the most thorough one I am aware of as of this writing. It is just rather annoying that you are having the content DESCRIBED to you rather than SHOWN to you. In the back there is a collection of back covers of the tracts, to which I have to say "HUH?!" You can print the backs but not the fronts of leaflets?
As widely-distributed as these things are you would think there would be a better book on them.
For those who collect Chick Tracts and ancillary Chick art works this reference is indispensable.