“Darwinism, I would say, is the equivalent of fundamentalism in religion, a blind faith in a theory, regardless of the facts.” ~ Benjamin Wiker (see here)
Like the word “atheist” itself, the atheist “Darwin fish” symbol posits the concept of “God” – or here: “Christ and Christianity” – in order to define itself; thereby symbolizing what atheists are against rather than symbolizing what atheists are for. The American Atheists‘ symbol, as inaccurate and as misleading as it is, scientifically, at least symbolizes what American Atheists promotes or believes in – scientific progress – as opposed to what they are against.
The words “atheist” and “atheism” are taken from the Greek word: “atheos” (ἄθεος) which, in English, translates as: “God not”, or “without God”. The words “theist” and “theism” come from the Greek word for God: “theos” (θεός), and the “a” (ἄ) which is placed in front of the word (or any word in Greek) simply negates the meaning of the word, in this case “a” “theos” = “no God”. As I said, the concept of God must first be posited and then negated.
In my opinion, this positing of the notion of God and then having to negate it, in order to define one’s belief, is very problematic for atheists. Better, I think, to simply call one’s self a scientist, or a believer in science and scientism. To me, the Darwin fish, which is the Christian fish symbol with feet with the name “Darwin” inside the fish, is both unscientific and foolish. For one thing, again, it’s dependent upon one’s first understanding the meaning of the Christian symbol; and, for another thing, science has never discovered – living or dead – a fish with feet, such as the one represented by the Darwin fish symbol. In fact, every time I see this silly symbol on someone’s vehicle I think to myself: “If that ridiculous symbol symbolized MY beliefs, I certainly would NOT show it to anyone, let alone display the absurdity of my foolish belief – in public – on the back of my vehicle”. (See my book here.)
“Adrian Barnett notes:
“A subject that often crops up on atheist newsgroups is “What is the atheist’s symbol?”
After all, Christians have their cross, Jews have their star, Muslims have their crescent moon and so on. What can Atheists have?”
The Darwin fish is seen fairly often — either as shown here or with the name Darwin in its body. This has the potential disadvantage of being mistaken as a symbol for belief in evolution. Also, it may be regarded as a cynical attack on a common Christian symbol: the Ichthus (fish):
Another potential Atheist symbol would be similar to the logo of the band Bad Religion. It consists of a black cross on a white background inside a red circle with a diagonal red slash. We don’t show it here because it is copyrighted. It can variously be interpreted as “no Christians here” or “Christianity forbidden.” This has the serious disadvantage of being an explicitly anti-Christian symbol instead of a pro-Atheist logo.”
“Why the fish was chosen as a symbol of Christianity is something most non-Christians (and, I would image, atheists as well) are probably not aware of. The symbol is much more than simply a fish, it’s also a very clever acronym and acrostic, with each letter of Greek word ἰχθύς, which means “fish”, representing the first letter of each word in the saying: “Jesus Christ God’s Son Savior” (Koine, or “common”, Greek was used during the time of Christ and is the original language in which the New Testament was written).
The definition and the meaning of Symbols or Icon in early religious art forms. A Catholic sign or icon, such as the Ichthus / Fish Christian Symbol, is an object, character, figure, or color used to represent abstract ideas or concepts – a picture that represents an idea. A religious icon, such as the Ichthus / Fish Christian Symbol, is an image or symbolic representation with sacred significance. The meanings, origins and ancient traditions surrounding Christian symbols date back to early times when the majority of ordinary people were not able to read or write and printing was unknown. Many were ‘borrowed’ or drawn from early pre-Christian traditions. No Fish is mentioned by name either in the Old or in the New Testament. Fish abounded in the Mediterranean and in the lakes of the Jordan, so that the Hebrews were no doubt acquainted with many species. Two of the villages on the shores of the Sea of Galilee derived their names from their Fisheries, Bethsaida (the “house of Fish”) on the east and on the west. There is probably no other sheet of water in the world of equal dimensions that contains such a variety and profusion of Fish. About thirty-seven different kinds have been found.
The Definition and Meaning of the Ichthus / Fish as a Catholic Christian Symbol
Catholic Christian symbolism in art provides a clear graphic illustration which represents people or items of religious significance. What is the definition and the meaning of the Ichthus / Fish symbol? Ichthus is the Greek word for fish (ΙΧΘΥΣ). The initials of the word Ichthus are also used as a Christian acronym of the following Greek words:
Using the Ichthus acronym IChThUS means “Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Savior”.
The Ichthus / Fish was chosen as an early secret Symbol indicating that the person who knew the meaning of the Ichthus was a Christian and safe to associate with. Being a Christian was extremely dangerous for hundreds of years following the life of Jesus due to the persecutions of the pagan Roman Emperors.
The sign of the Ichthus
The sign of the Ichthus was simple to draw consisting basically of two arcs:
It was not necessary to point the fish in any particular direction, the basic symbol was sufficient:
Reference to the Ichthus / Fish Christian Symbol in the Bible
The Easton Bible Dictionary provides the following definition, meaning and emblem for the Fish in the Bible.
Fish are called called ‘dag’ by the Hebrews, a word denoting great fecundity (Gen. 9:2; Num. 11:22; Jonah 2:1, 10).
There was a regular Fish-market apparently in Jerusalem (2 Chr. 33:14; Neh. 3:3; 12:39; Zeph. 1:10), as there was a Fish-gate which was probably contiguous to it.”
“This fish symbol…is a Christian symbol that dates back to the post-apostolic church. The symbol is derived from the Greek word for “fish,” which is “ichthus.” Each letter is representative of words in acrostic form.
The fish symbol became a code word for believers during times of persecution, expressing, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and my Savior.”
I am of the opinion atheists might do better, in their ongoing search for a symbol which represents their beliefs, if they would use, as symbols, both a clock and a pair of dice, which represent time and chance; two important beliefs for atheists and for those who would attempt to remove God, design, purpose, and intelligibility from our world.
However, even these symbols are problematic. A clock is designed, having only twelve numbers on it, and the dice, too, are designed, have only six sides, with one number on each side. In other words: these represent a limited number of moments in time, on the clock, and a limited number of chances, in rolling the dice, which are not at all what atheists believe about time and chance and the role they supposedly in our world. A better symbol might be a blank-faced clock and blank-sided dice. Perhaps the American Atheists symbol is best, especially if the symbol is updated to depict a fuzzy particle cloud.
It’s hard for anyone, even atheists, to deny the obvious: intelligibility, design, and purpose do exist in our world, and it’s simply foolish to believe otherwise. It saddens me that so many people actually espouse the belief that they prefer to be without God. Personally, I don’t know how they can live in this world apart from the knowledge of God’s wonderful, infinite wisdom, and his wonderful infinite love. My prayer for those who proudly declare themselves as intellectually and emotionally satisfied apart from God is that they would humble themselves and see the awesome and wondrous beauty and design that is so evident in our world, because it is our the perception of the created world that gives us the knowledge of our world’s Creator: “God is!” Only a fool says in her heart: “There is no God!”
See my article: Creation, evolution, teleology, and the myths we live by
VIDEO – Scott Hahn and Ben Wiker: Answering the New Atheism, part 2
“For from the greatness and beauty of created things comes a corresponding perception of their Creator” (Wisdom 13:5)
“The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God’ (Psalm 14:1)