The dead end of the Darwin Fish

Jonah Goldberg rightly hammers the symbol of the smug science fetishist:

I find Darwin fish offensive. First, there’s the smugness. The undeniable message: Those Jesus fish people are less evolved, less sophisticated than we Darwin fishers. The hypocrisy is even more glaring. Darwin fish are often stuck next to bumper stickers promoting tolerance or admonishing that “hate is not a family value.” But the whole point of the Darwin fish is intolerance; similar mockery of a cherished symbol would rightly be condemned as bigoted if aimed at blacks or women or, yes, Muslims.

As Christopher Caldwell once observed in the Weekly Standard, Darwin fish flout the agreed-on etiquette of identity politics. “Namely: It’s acceptable to assert identity and abhorrent to attack it. A plaque with ‘Shalom’ written inside a Star of David would hardly attract notice; a plaque with ‘Usury’ written inside the same symbol would be an outrage.”

But it’s the false bravado of the Darwin fish that grates the most. Like so much other Christian-baiting in American popular culture, sporting your Darwin fish is a way to speak truth to power on the cheap, to show courage without consequence.

I personally find the Darwin fish to be more of an amusingly stupid gesture than anything, mostly as a result of having been a resident of post-Christian Europe for a very long time. Unlike the American secularist who fails to understand the vitality fueled by the religious society that surrounds him, I’m fully cognizant of the fact that the secular culture represented by the Darwin Fish is an evolutionary dead end. And on some level, the Darwin crowd must know this, otherwise they wouldn’t be so fearful and constantly worrying about the way a sticker on a school textbook or exposure to an alternative point of view is capable of entirely undermining their entire belief system.

ND-TENS is now little more than a scientific model that is barely related to its Darwinian original; not only does it owe more to Mendel than Darwin, it’s even less precise than its dysfunctional counterpart in the Neo-Keynesian economic model. I’m confident that both Neo-Keynesianism and Neo-Darwinism will eventually be thrown out entirely in favor of superior models that reflect the observable empirical evidence much more accurately. I’m not sure what those models will be, but I think the conceptual blend of Austrian economics, socionomics and econometrics points the way towards one potential replacement, while game theory, AI design and evolutionary stable strategies may provide us with a way towards developing the other.