Re: Darwin in a Fish Decal

Dara Barnett (daraone@CCNET.COM)
Tue, 16 May 1995 06:36:06 -0700

I've been hanging out, lurking here for awhile, and I am an up-and-coming
anthropological undergraduate student, so my comments are based on
heresay, not anthropological data.

Well, seeing no one has explained the meaning of the "Christian fish", yet,
I'll give it a shot.
There are variations of this "Christian bumper fish" that have the
letters I-X-O-Y-E imprinted in the space where the letters D-A-R-W-I-N are.

In Greek, the letters were used in the following way:

I = Jesus
X = Christ
O = God's
Y = Son
E = Savior

It is also pronounced as "icthyus" and the fish was apparently used as a
symbol to designate that one was a follower of Jesus. It was enscribed
as a sort of secret code on abodes where followers lived during the time
that it was unsafe to proclaim belief. The reason they chose the fish as
the symbol was that Jesus was the "fisher of men".

I am not writing this from anthropological knowledge, but from what I was
taught as a teenage christian. Does anyone know if there are
archaeological findings that confirm this?

On Tue, 16 May 1995, Patricia Clay wrote:

> Hmmm...I'm also a Christian, but it never occurred to me that this usage was
> related in any way to the Christian fish symbol. I simply thought it was a
> comment on evolution -- the movement from sea to land.
> Trish Clay
> TOM LOVE wrote:
> > I'd be interested in people's reactions/reflections on the appropriation
> > of this meaningful Christian symbol. No flames, please. As a Christian
> > anthropologist, I'm partly amused by this, partly offended by the
> > misappropriation of a meaningful symbol, and fascinated by the
> > social/cultural/political dynamics involved. Cheers.
> >
> > On Mon, 15 May 1995, ERIC SILVERMAN wrote:
> >
> > > Does anybody know where you can purchase the bomber stickers (and metal
> > > car plates) that depict a fish, with feet, and say Darwin in it?
> > >
> > > When you live where I do, it is the perfect automotive ornament!