Apes, Lies and Ms. Henn (Chick tract)

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Apes, Lies and Ms. Henn is a tract written by the evangelist Jack Chick. It contains a message for children about the supposed falsity of evolution.

Synopsis

(Panel 1)

  • Principal: (holding up a photograph) "I have good news children. Your teacher, Mrs. Tucker, had twins!"
  • Li'l Susy: "Wow!"
  • Principal: "And here is your new teacher, Ms. Henn."

{Panel 2)

  • Class: "GOOD MORNING, MS. HENN!"
  • Ms. Henn: "Thank you, children."

Comment: Notice how the regular teacher was a "Mrs." while the new one is "Ms."? Could this be a subtle foreshadowing of how unpleasant Ms. Henn is going to be? After all, middle-aged women who go by "Ms." obviously have something wrong with them... right?

(Panel 3)

  • Ms. Henn: "We're going to be great friends... and you'll meet many of my close friends, too."

Comment: "You'll meet many of my close friends"? Usually, teachers don't invite their friends to class. But maybe this is supposed to refer to the many great figures of history (a picture of George Washington can be seen hanging on the wall) and, presumably, science that Ms. Henn plans to introduce the children to.

(Panel 4)

  • Ms. Henn: "We're going to have such fun together... As long as you do what I say!"

Comment: Chick portrays the teacher as visually unappealing, in order to help get his message across.

(Panel 5)

LATER
  • Ms. Henn: "Today I want you to know how great you are and how far humans have come... soon we'll live in outer space!"
  • Class: (various kids) "Ooh!" "Wow!" "Awesome!"

(Panel 6)

  • Ms. Henn: "But it took millions of years to change from apes into humans."

Comment: She is gesturing toward a poster showing the classic ape-to-man-walking-upright series of depictions, labeled "Evolution of Man". Of course, the species did not change from ape to human; apes and humans have a relatively recent common ancestor. Evolution is best not thought of as a series of species, one after another. A better metaphor is that of a tree, in which existing species give rise to new species (larger branches sprouting off smaller ones) but are not replaced by them (not necessarily, anyway).

(Panel 7)

  • Kid: "Ms. Henn, did we really come from monkeys?"
  • Ms. Henn: "Yes, scientists have PROVEN it."

Comment: Science has proven no such thing. No teacher who really understands science would use the word "proven" in this context. More importantly, though, the correct answer to the kid's question is, "No." Or more precisely: "No, not monkeys like we see today, but ape-like animals that gave rise to humans, chimpanzees, gorillas, and other modern apes."

(Panel 8)

  • Li'l Susy: (to another student) "Timmy, that's a lie!"
  • Ms. Henn: "WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY!?"

Comment: Ms. Henn is looking particularly scary in this panel. The short-tempered, somewhat irrational, science-worshiping authority figure is a favorite straw man employed in Chick tracts.

(Panel 9)

  • Ms. Henn: "What is your name, little girl?"
  • Li'l Susy: "Susy... Susy Barnes."

Comment: Ms. Henn is now brandishing a large rod, pointed directly at Susy. The threat of physical violence is palpable.

(Panel 10)

  • Ms. Henn: "Well, Miss Barnes, what did you tell that little boy?"
  • Li'l Susy: "Ms. Henn, I told him the truth... We didn't come from monkeys."

Comment: The irony is, Susy is telling the truth — but not in the way Chick (or Susy) thinks.

(Panel 11)

  • Ms. Henn: "Are you calling me a liar?"
  • Li'l Susy: "No, ma'am... You're calling God a liar!"
  • Ms. Henn: "You come with me!"

Comment: Ms. Henn is actually shaking with rage at this point.


This section is not complete.


External link

Jack Chick
General information

Chick tract

Tract list

Apes, Lies and Ms. Henn | Big Daddy? | Dark Dungeons | Gun Slinger | Here, Kitty Kitty! | There Go the Dinosaurs

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