Evolving Thoughts

One of the things I don’t like about the Darwin Awards is that it presumes the only way to gain one is to remove yourself from the gene pool directly by dying. But that would be a Wallace Award. Darwin knew, as do we, that there are many ways one can avoid contributing to the future gene pool, and it doesn’t need to involve not having children. Being totally unfit to walk around without a leash is another, if it’s heritable. Down the track, the “stupid gene” will get eliminated too, eventually.

So it’s nice to see Michelle Bachmann get a prehumous, not a posthumous Darwin Award.


  1. #1 Jesse
    May 3, 2009

    Nah – you can also win the award by accidentally sterilizing yourself. On the other hand, people even dumber than Bachmann manage to reproduce all the time.

  2. #2 MikeMa
    May 3, 2009

    people even dumber than Bachmann manage to reproduce all the time

    …which is why we have people like Michele Bachmann.

  3. #3 Susan Silberstein
    May 3, 2009

    She is almost like Pythonesque parody and one watches or reads her foolishness almost with open-mouthed wonder that someone says these things seriously.

  4. #4 Roadtripper
    May 3, 2009

    People dumber than Bachman?

    Yikes! Where???


  5. #5 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    May 3, 2009

    Rt – I can think of thousands of people dumber than she is. They voted for her, after all.

    (It’s not my district.)

  6. #6 Ian Spedding, FCD
    May 3, 2009

    “Nobody ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence…etc”

    What is frightening is how true that truism continues to be.

  7. #7 Phillip IV
    May 4, 2009

    “Prehumous”? Arrg! “Postumus” is a superlative form of posterus, the ‘post-‘ isn’t just a prefix in this case – the correct antonym would be anterissimus. At most they could call it a ‘premortal’ Darwin Award – and I completely agree Bachmann deserves one…

  8. #8 Jim Thomerson
    May 4, 2009

    I see she has five children. Presuming they all make it to adulthood that gives her a high Simple Darwinian Fitness. She has also had 23 foster children. If there is such a thing as Simple Darwinian Cultural Fitness, she is probably doing pretty well there also.

  9. #9 Raymond Minton
    May 8, 2009

    If Darwin had seen Michelle Bachmann, he might have concluded that the process sometimes works in reverse!

  10. #10 John S. Wilkins
    May 8, 2009

    He did, or rather he noted that evolution has no single direction, and simplification can also be the outcome of selection.

  11. #11 Bob O'H
    May 8, 2009

    She has also had 23 foster children.

    Ha! She’s diluting her own gene pool. Either that or she’s really a Goldeneye (sorry, seemed apposite: I’ve just enjoyed watching the defence of that thesis).

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