Re: Darwin in a Fish Decal

Mon, 15 May 1995 21:36:00 CDT

Tom Love raised an important question. It's a discussion I have been involved
in before.

With the appearance of the fish symbol all over bumper stickers, license plates,
window decals, and now car body and refrigerator magnets, one can hardly argue
for the deep reverence and symbolic meaning of this image. On the other hand as
*another* Christian anthropologist, I understand Tom's reaction.

The "Darwin Fish" is both a reaction to these obiquitous Christian fishes and an
important symbol for evolutionary biologists. After all, it is the emergence of
the first fishes onto the land that gave rise to the vertebrate lineages that
include us humans. It is, in a way, a parallel symbol system to the image of
the fish that included Christians as a "corporate body" within a larger context
of all humanity. (I invite such an analysis from the symbolic anthropologists
out there; I, after all, am a biological antro -- tho 4-field trained).

In the end, though, the meaning/use of the Darwin Fish is in how it is used and
perceived by its users and those who see it; No?

Anj Petto
Cntr Bio Ed
voice: 608.265.3497
fax: 608.262.6801

>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.
>Tom Love 45N, 123W
>Dept. Soc/Anth
>Linfield College
>McMinnville, OR 97128