Monday, December 28, 2009

The Darwin Fish

You've seen them, I'm sure. Those 'Jesus Fish' attachments on the backs of people's cars. Perhaps you agree with the Christian point of view, perhaps you don't. Perhaps you think it's silly to attach things to the backs of cars, such as bumper stickers and the like. Or, perhaps you are the kind of person who enjoys sharing sentiments with the world via the back of your car.

There is something I have kept quiet on, but I can't remain silent any longer.

Why do some people feel the need to attach the 'Darwin Fish' to the backs of their cars?

At first glance, one might ascribe to the Darwin Fish the basic purpose of sharing one's thoughts, same as the person who displays the Jesus Fish. But once you begin to think more about it, the Darwin Fish becomes insidious.

Ask yourself this:

If all the person wants to do is state that he or she believes in evolution, then why take a religious image and distort it? Wouldn't some other method, such as a new graphic, or a clever bumper sticker message, better serve that purpose?

The Darwin Fish is nothing more than a sarcastic mockery of what has become recognized as a Christian icon. Is there something wrong with disagreeing with Christian beliefs? Of course not. We should be free enough in this country to believe whatever we wish to believe. If you want to believe that all life on this planet originated via a statistically impossible accident of chemistry, then you should be able to cling to that idea.

However, the Darwin Fish is not just a simple statement of belief; it is an easily recognizable derision of someone else's belief system.

The Darwin Fish is indicative of something that the people who use it would never admit to. Rather than supporting their own beliefs by the simple action of tacit adherence, they feel the need to defend their ideas by attempting to denigrate a belief system that they think represents the opposing view.

Ironically, what the Darwin Fish accomplishes is the exact opposite of what is intended. With the exception of the cynical atheists who find it amusing, most people seeing it can discern the message it sends quite clearly:

"You threaten me, so I'll make myself feel more secure by mocking you."

Perhaps the frightened Darwinists can let go of the idea that the big, bad God-Wolf wants to blow their house down.

Especially since instead of a house built on a firm foundation, it's actually a houseboat without motor or sail, and it impotently shifts with the tide of public opinion.

One day it will sink from all the holes in its hull anyway, so angry gods aren't really necessary.


  1. Freddie, while your articles are very well written, and prove that you're very intelligent, comments such as "If you want to believe that all life on this planet originated via a statistically impossible accident of chemistry, then you should be able to cling to that idea." discredit you completely. The point of that sentence is to make an athiest seem silly and ignorant, while it's you that believes in an invisible man in the sky.

    I used to like the Darwin Fish, but you're right. It's not a fair way to express ones views. I will say, however, that some people, such as myself, feel it's important to speak out against religion, as it causes more harm than good.

    One last thing, because I know what you're thinking. I get that you may not be hanging out in the street with a 'God Hates Fags' sign or maybe you're not Catholic, so it's not your Pope that just told millions of uneducated African people not to use protection when having intercourse, but it all stems from the same core of ignorance. You won't see athiest suicide bombers, or athiest people suppressing women or homosexuals. Someone taught these people to hate, and he did it in the name of a God.

    Sorry my comment is not as eligantly written as your blog.

  2. I had posted this response last year, but recently when I changed my profile photo, the old photo remained the same on this response... so I've reposted it.

    Thank you for taking the time to post your ideas. I would like to take a moment to reply to your thoughtful response.

    You are correct; I do believe in the "invisible man in the sky." However, a vital point that often gets pushed aside during that characterization is that I (and others) don't actually believe this entity is a man, nor do we believe It exists in the sky. These are misleading descriptors that unfortunately trivialize the wondrous nature of Whomever it is that created this universe with all of its amazing technology (laws of physics, Mother Nature, etc.). You are also correct about the sentence I wrote; I used the verb "cling" in a way that was designed to put atheists on equal ground with the believers they sometimes treat in a similar dismissive fashion.

    Out of principle, I would never seek to revoke the right (and human ability) of you or anyone else to express an opinion; I would like to submit for your consideration that the assumption that religion has done more harm than good is more a belief than a fact. It's certainly easy to produce the more glaring historical examples of 'abuse of the system,' such as The Crusades or suicide bombers, or even the transparent greed of televangelists. But like throwing out the baby with the bath water, I think the atheist (or agnostic) who uses these examples as proof that a belief in a god leads mostly to humanity's misery, is being selective and not honestly factoring in the positive effects of a belief in an entity who ultimately holds human beings responsible for their actions.

    Rather than just toss in the commonly used example of atheist dictators in the 20th century and the unprecedented bloodshed and atrocity they unleashed on the world in the name of their own 'godless' philosophies, I will also include the other side:

    Religions (and more importantly, their proponents) have historically committed themselves to the betterment of themselves, their families, their communities, and the world at large, through everything from simple donations to special organizations, and actual missionary (in person) efforts. While these activities are also certainly undertaken by unbelievers as well, one shouldn't assume that all believers' charity is limited to merely building more handsome churches or buying one's own salvation via the donation plate. One should always try to remember that hypocrisy in the individual is not limited only to those who sing hymns on Sundays.

    In the proverbial foxhole, in times of dire need, it isn't atheist ethic that is appealed to. The human endeavor to be grateful and respectful is not fully satisfied by simply looking into a mirror and congratulating oneself on one's own degree of humanity. We are all subject to a set of moral expectations we didn't create, yet somehow mysteriously seem to be aware of. Modern philosophies and psychologies have gone to great lengths to attribute our desire to 'do the right thing' to nothing more than a logical outcome of living in an evolving society. Unfortunately, as proven by the ACLU and Richard Dawkins, you can't legislate, intellectually browbeat, or otherwise wear the instinct out of human beings to look beyond humanity to something greater for inspiration.

    That some individuals with objectionable personal philosophies abuse a belief in the existence of God to support their own sickening agendas, is not proof that a belief in God is erroneous or dangerous; it is merely proof that any knowledge or technology is still at the mercy of the possessor, in terms of how it is used. The misguided religious talking heads of the world do not erase the unsung millions throughout history who have tried to effectively demonstrate their love of their fellow human beings via adherence to a set of rules provided by an Invisible Being.