Darwin Fish History


Chris Gilman, a Hollywood prop maker, having never seen Seckel's design, joked of the idea as an "advertising" alternative to the "Jesus fish" in 1983 while working at a prop shop in Hollywood, when the employees' conversation turned to a court case involving teaching evolution versus creationism. He manufactured the first plastic car ornaments in 1988. Gilman's fish faced right, while Seckel and Edwards' design faced left, like the Christian symbol.

A law suit was instigated by Seckel and Edwards who clamied that their design predated Gilman's claimed origin of 1988. The suit was settled when it became apparent that Seckel and Edwards had not copyrighted their design.


The Darwin fish is an ichthys symbol with "evolved" legs and feet attached and containing the word Darwin  (like the ΙΧΘΥΣ or Jesus found in some Christian versions). It is intended to symbolize the theory of evolution as laid down by Charles Darwin as opposed to the pseudo-scientific "theory" of Creationism, which is often associated with certain sects and denominations of Christianity.

Related to the Darwin fish is the Evolve fish which is a fish symbol containing the word 'evolve', and a hand that is holding a wrench.

The Darwin fish has led to a minor arms race in bumper stickers. A design was made with a larger "Jesus fish" eating the Darwin fish.  The Reality Bites variant depicts an "Evolution" or "Darwin" fish swallowing an "ΙΧΘΥΣ", "Jesus" or "Truth" fish.

Another version is the Tyrannosaurus Rex which shows a T-Rex eating a "Jesus Fish" 




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