The Darwin Fish

This poem grew out of a discussion on of the "Darwin Fish" car decoration, which some people claimed was "mean-spirited." It consists of a fish with legs, with the name "Darwin" inscribed in it. I wrote this to express what the symbol means to me: an evolution of ideas beyond religion, and an act of "walking away" from beliefs which are no longer tenable.

The Darwin Fish is, of course, a parody of the frequently seen fish with the name "Jesus" inscribed in it. Some people seem to think this makes the Darwin Fish an attack on all people who believe in Christianity. But rejection, or even ridicule, of an idea is not the same as ridicule of all the people who hold it.

Many people try to live a rational life in a framework which claims to be based upon revealed, non-rational knowledge. This poem simply offers the suggestion that something more is possible.

Come walk away from the ancestral waters.
Their depths lie in darkness; rise up from the bay.
For faith that surrounds us can now only drown us.
We cannot stay; come walk away.

Come walk away from the tales of our childhood,
From Eden's four rivers and God's seventh day.
A continent rises which we must discover.
Dare feel the clay; come walk away.

Come walk away from the old persecutions,
From cross and from rack and from auto-da-fe.
Come up to the sunlight and air of free reason.
The torrents slay; come walk away.

Come walk away from the pond where we started.
The old bog grows heavy and yields to decay.
It sheltered us once, and we've always remembered
Our yesterday -- but walked away.

Copyright 1999 by Gary McGath
Return to "The Book of M'Gath"
Return to Gary McGath's home page