Personality profiling for job applicants – cartoon from Chemistry World

chemistry cartoon - rorschach test

A cartoon about the use of personality profiling in job interviews.

The use of Rorscharch tests for assessing people’s personalities.

The interviewee is interpreting an X-ray crystallography image that resembles a spider
An example from my cartoon strip published in Chemistry World, the magazine of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Here are more of my chemistry cartoons from Chemistry World magazine.

A cartoon about espionage, spying, subversion, secret police, state repression.

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A quote about science: SCIENCE LIES… at the heart of our search for truth

anti-science quote subverted

A science quote about the truth of the scientific purpose.
A riposte to anti-science

Quote playing with the fact that some people misrepresent science as telling lies about the nature of things

The quote is my own
A typography-based image
This quote is a riposte to the claim by anti-scientific sections of society that science peddles lies and untruths (often at the behest of big business, drug companies, governments and other interested parties). Such critics of science are often unaware of the scientific method.

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Altruism cartoon

altruism cartoon

Altruism cartoon

An illustration depicting altruistic behavior

The cartoon shows a person spanning a chasm or abyss, acting as a bridge with other people walking across.
The benefits of altruism are sometimes debated in evolutionary terms, sometimes arguing that altruism evolved because the good of the group is more important than the good of the individual. Altruism may also be seen as a form of display, where the altruistic individual is displaying his or her positive qualities to others, thus improving social status.
The illustration could also be interpreted as depicting exploitation, depending on context
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Professor Brian Cox cartoon – we are stardust

professor brian cox cartoon we are stardust

Professor Brian Cox cartoon
We are made of stardust

A humorous comment about the fact that all of the elements apart from hydrogen and helium were created inside stars – so everything is made of stardust

The joke here is that when the tv astronomer Professor Brian Cox says that everything is made of stardust he really lays it on thick in a way that many people, especially women, find very attractive. So here the woman is actually saying that she finds Brian Cox attractive, and it even affects her attitude to slugs

See my book on the nature of the universe
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Illustration – do we live inside a hologram?

hologram credit card cartoon

Do we live inside a hologram? Cartoon

A cartoon showing people climbing out of the holgram panel on a credit card.
The caption reads “Bad news. Not only are we living inside a hologram, but we’re nearing our expiry date.”

The illustration is about whether our three dimensional reality is a form of hologram like projection or illusion.
The joke is in comparing a grand theory of a hologramic universe with the mundane hologram on a credit card.
A cartoon about the nature of the universe, virtual reality
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Science cartoons: creating mathematical order out of chaos

mathematical order out of chaos cartoon

Science cartoons – mathematics
Creating mathematical order out of chaos

A cartoon showing mathematicians or scientists writing mathematical equations on a blackboard.
One scientist is saying “At last – we’ve created mathematical order in a chaotic universe!”

Part of the joke is that the maths on the blackboard look totally chaotic and incomprehensible, illustrating the common opinion that maths is a difficult subject
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Evolution of man from a single-celled organism in the primordial soup – cartoon

man evolved from single-celled organism cartoon

Man evolving from a single-celled organism – cartoon

Cartoon of single-celled organisms in the primordial soup – with one that looks like a human being.
This cartoon is about the theory that life on earth started as simple unicellular organisms in chemical rich bodies of water

A cartoon about evolution, Darwin, Darwinism, abiogenesis and the origins of life
This cartoon is in a style similar to Gary Larson Far Side cartoons (A style that I’ve used since before Larson).

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Cave painting of aliens – illustration

was god an astronaut? cartoon

Cartoon of cave painting of a ufo or flying saucer
Was God an astronaut? Cartoon

Did life reach earth from outer space?

The ufo in the cartoon is projecting a dna shaped beam of energy down into the water on earth, creating the first life on the planet.
The concept of Was God an Astronaut? (as written about by Erich von Däniken, amongst others)has been revived recently with the film Prometheus by Ridley Scott, and will no doubt be aired again when the sequel is released. In Prometheus there was a scene depicting prehistoric cave paintings, although not humorously as here.

The theory that life may have been planted on Earth billions of years ago by an advanced alien civilization is sometimes known as directed panspermia. This theory was (mischievously?) proposed by Francis Crick (of dna fame) together with biologist Leslie Orgel in 1971. Directed panspermia is sometimes evoked to solve a particular problem in the science of life – science’s current inability to explain life’s origin. Of course the theory simply puts off the explanation, very much in the way that religions do

This cartoon first appeared in BBC Knowledge magazine

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Philosophy cartoon – why do we like sunsets?

Philosophy cartoons - aesthetic values

Cartoon – why do we like sunsets?

Cartoon about evolutionary psychology

Why do we find sunsets spiritually uplifting?
A cartoon about the fact that sensory stimuli that are of a greater than average intensity often evoke profound emotions. This applies to such things as sunsets and flowers, and is also a factor in our appreciation of the arts, from music to cinema. A comment on spirituality and pseudo-spirituallity (I’m a believer in pseudospirituality myself).
This cartoon first appeared in BBC Knowledge magazine

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Are women more intelligent than men?

Women demonstrate superior intelligence - gag cartoon

Cartoon based on a study showing that women are more intelligent than men

Cartoon about gender differences

Recent scientific studies show that in some ways women may be more intelligent than men
The cartoon shows a man trying to prove that men are more intelligent than women by asking a woman a question that the woman doesn’t know the answer to.
The implication is that the fact that the woman doesn’t know the answer to the question (about football) proves that she is cleverer than the man – yet the man doesn’t realise this.
The F.A. (Football Association) cup is a cup awarded to the winners of a particular football (soccer) championship.
A joke about IQ, intelligence differences, evolutionary psychology and feminism.

Ref: a319

Phone cartoon. Study shows that women are more intelligent than men

Women demonstrate superior intelligence cartoon

Cartoon: are women more intelligent than men?

Recent scientific studies show that in some ways women may be more intelligent than men

Cartoon about gender differences

The comic shows a man using a complicated mobile phone. He is obviously very attracted to the complexity of the technology involved. A woman is saying that she’d rather just use a simpler phone.
The implication is that both approaches are valid, although the superficial interpretation is that the woman’s attitude is the more intelligent. It’s meant to be ambiguous, and for people to fall into accepting the interpretation of the cartoon that they first perceive (for instance, many women will think that the cartoon is a straightforward criticism of the male obsession with technology, and most men will either think that the cartoon is just plain wrong or that it is being ironic in showing a woman thinking that she’s superior to men).

Ref: a318

Child development cartoon – small boys are interested in dinosaurs, older boys are interested in girls

child development cartoon - dinosaurs are for kids

Child development cartoon – a small child looking at a picture of a dinosaur, and an older child looking at a photo of a naked young woman.

Child development cartoon. Cartoon showing how children’s interests change as they get older, especially as they enter puberty and adolescence.
The younger boy in the cartoon is looking at a picture of a dinosaur (as almost all young boys are interested in dinosaurs). The older (adolescent) boy is looking at a photograph of a naked young woman, and is dismissively looking down on the ‘childish’ interest in dinosaurs exhibited by the younger child. The older child is acting ‘grown up’.

A cartoon about child development, adolescence, puberty, emerging sexuality, childhood innocence, testosterone, hormones kicking in.
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