Our Darwin fishes arrived today. The fish has long been a symbol used by Christians many of whom today sport a badge showing a stylized fish outline. If you wish for an explanation, you will find one here here.
I suppose it was only a matter of time before it occurred to a witty atheist that a fish could as easily be a symbol of unbelief. This would of course be no ordinary fish but a fish with legs, a coelacanth, the very archetype of evolution in action. And so it came to pass that the Darwin fish was created, no doubt on the eighth day of creation.
The Darwin fish is no less charming for being slightly obvious. It is a visual pun but also has a character of its own. There are several variants and they come in silver and gold and different colours. One of my favourites is the Evolve fish, who not only has legs but also carries a spanner. You can see one here.
Why would you wear a Darwin fish badge? I don’t know about you and can only speak for myself. I have never been one to join organizations and associations or to sport membership badges and so on but the Darwin fish is a free-floating symbol. It doesn’t belong to any organization, not even an atheist one. In fact, I can even imagine a Christian who believes in evolution wearing this fish as a sort of double pun (Christian fish + evolution). Notwithstanding this, the badge does I think immediately suggest support for Darwinian evolution as opposed to creationism and therefore support for atheism rather than religious belief.
Above all, it’s a bit of fun. Creationists may carp* but I cannot imagine anyone sincerely feeling threatened by people wearing this symbol. Mildly irritated possibly, but not threatened.
*I promise you that this was an accidental pun!