Fruit of Knowledge

Fruit of Knowledge

I had the basic idea for this cartoon quite some time ago, and the nuclear crisis in Japan, following the recent earthquake and tsunami disaster, finally gives me a reason to draw it.

I wanted to do something commenting on the dual nature of nuclear technology, with both its productive and destructive potentials, and thought the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge in the story of Adam and Eve might make a good symbol for this. Since the current crisis originated in Japan, and Japan has certainly experienced more of the destructive side of nuclear technology than any other nation throughout history, I had a few rough designs for this cartoon attempting to use the sumi-e style of ink and wash, with an apple that resembled the red sun from the Japanese flag, but I abandoned this approach after deciding it muffled the cartoon’s message too much.

Coincidentally, the color palette I used in this ended up being very similar to an earlier cartoon I did on a related subject, around the same time last year.

This entry was posted on Sunday, March 20th, 2011 at 8:40 pm and is filed under Cartoons & Commentary. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

11 Responses to “Fruit of Knowledge”


Why do you hate science and change and improvement? Why do you want to go back in time? Do you think a pre-industrial world was Eden? Embrace the future. Don’t be ‘fraid, little guy.

By » workingbrain (March 26th, 2011 at 6:20 pm)

skinny, he’s not a luddite, he’s just pointing out that nuclear power is a double-edged sword and we have to be careful with it. if you bothered reading more than the first sentance, you would understand that.

By » RandomEngy (March 26th, 2011 at 10:23 pm)

Including the incident in Japan, deaths per Terawatt/Hour – Nuclear: 0.04. Coal: 161. Nuclear is the safest energy source we have.

skinny, I thought you were being sincere until I read your comments on “The First Rule of Nuke Club” well trolled, sir.

As usual the comic is great even if it doesn’t advocate a specific policy, thanks for posting them.

This cartoon does not address nuclear technology merely in its practical applications (keep in mind, I don’t consider weapons of mass destruction to be a practical application of such technology).

Furthermore, it wasn’t my intention to argue that the drawbacks necessarily outweigh the strengths.

By » RandomEngy (April 3rd, 2011 at 1:46 pm)

With ANY technology you have to weigh the good against the bad. Compared to other energy sources, nuclear happens to have a lot of good and not much bad. The fact that you bring it out to illustrate power vs consequences is rather unfair.

Coal would be a much better example. It gives us cheap base load power but kills hundreds of times more people and harms the entire planet with carbon emissions.

The initial concept was more about potentials than actualities, and I feel nuclear tech has far greater productive and destructive potential than coal, when you consider its weaponization.

Yeah but how many christmas mornings did nuclear energy every ruin?

I’m a HUGE fan of sumi-e, anyway you could post those drafts (preferably in a new comic update?). That’d be awesome to see!

Also, I’m glad you don’t pull any punches to “controversy”, even refreshing the idea due to current events. Very cool.

By » RandomEngy (April 14th, 2011 at 7:40 pm)

I agree that the danger nuclear weapons are a valid negative to the development of nuclear technology. But you released this comic right after the Japanese nuclear incident… how could you reasonably expect people not to interpret this as about the tradeoffs of nuclear power generation?

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