Darwin Day – Remembering the Man (and the Fish)

In celebration of Darwin Day, I thought it would be fun to revisit a story I originally wrote for Inkling Magazine in 2007 about Darwin fish, “Evolution’s Bumper Sticker War Against Intelligent Design“:

“In a modern world where religion often finds itself at odds with science, it’s worth keeping in mind that Charles Darwin, the father of evolution, was God’s man.  After he returned from his five year voyage aboard the HMS Beagle, the Anglican naturalist struggled to reconcile his faith with his theory of evolution by natural selection. As can be expected in a world where the fittest survive, evolution won out over creationism. Today we remember Darwin’s legacy by way of a small plastic fish. A fish with legs…” [Continue Reading]

This feature article was quick to inspire Inkling Magazine‘s Your Chance to Be an Intelligent Designer contest, where readers submitted ideas for a new fish to join the pantheon of pisces that adorn dusty bumpers around the world. Overseeing the competition were judges Prophet Bobby Henderson of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, Nona Williams, co-owner of Ring of Fire Enterprises, and science blogger PZ Myers.

My own contribution to the contest was The Steve Fish, inspired by the National Center for Science Education’s Project Steve, “a tongue-in-cheek parody of a long-standing creationist tradition of amassing lists of “scientists who doubt evolution” or “scientists who dissent from Darwinism.”

But hands down, the best entry in my esteem was the Teapot Fish contributed by Patrick Quigley, in honor of the late Bertrand Russell and his famous Celestial Teapot metaphor.

I can’t recall who actually won, but in honor of the late Charles Darwin (February 12, 1809 to April 19, 1882), let’s raise a cup of tea to remember the champion of science and reason.


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  1. #1 by Alan Kaplan on February 13, 2014 - 9:10 am

    Hi, Matt!

    The Celestial Teapot came up again this week at The New York Times:
    in one of the columns (The Stone), Alvin Platinga of Notre Dame University was interviewed by Dr. Gutting ( of Notre Dame also) about “Is Atheism Irrational?” and the teapot was invoked. A reader suggested that, in a real sense, all teapots ARE in orbit around the Sun!


  2. #2 by Matthew Bettelheim on February 13, 2014 - 3:33 pm

    Russell’s Celestial Teapot is a metaphor too infrequently invoked – I’m glad to see it get some limelight.

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