Survival of the fittest: Stupid people honored for removing selves from gene poolMonday, May 14, 2007 By Melissa Dieterle
Not everyone has the talent, courage and ambition to receive a Nobel Peace Prize or a Pulitzer Prize. Thankfully, there is an award to honor the people who aren’t as gifted. In fact, these people do downright stupid things that end up eliminating them from the human gene pool. These admirable rewards are called the Darwin Awards. The Darwin Awards received their name from Charles Darwin, who created the theory Darwinism which focuses on evolution through survival of the fittest. DarwinAwards.com describes these awards as a “salute to the improvement of the human genome by honoring those who accidentally remove themselves from it.” “I find the Darwin Awards to be quite amusing,” said junior Mark Jordan. “Though it’s shallow humor, there is nothing inherently wrong with the Darwin Awards in my opinion.” Darwin Awards search long and hard to find the ironic humor behind every death. In April of 2006, Philip, a 60-year-old man, was hospitalized for a skin disease. His treatment included being smeared in a flammable cream. Against his doctors advice, he went out the fire escape and lit up a cigarette. He then put out his cigarette with his heel. Immediately igniting himself and later dying in intensive care. No need to get his body cremated. “I think it’s sad in a way but it’s very comical because they die in unusual ways,” said junior Justin Clarke. Not just anyone can get a Darwin Award. There are some strict criteria a person must have to receive one. First, a person must be eliminated from the gene pool, which means being either dead or sterile. Second, a person must have an extreme lapse of judgment. Third, the event has to be true. “It (Darwin Awards) is a negative way of viewing life,” said Geometry teacher Robert Pitts, who finds the awards quite disturbing. In August of 2006, a 35-year-old pastor named Gabon received his Darwin Award. Unfortunately, he, like other recipients was not alive to accept it. It was not his life that the Darwin Awards were honoring, it was how he died. The pastor honestly believed that if he had enough faith he could walk on water, like Jesus. Perhaps the pastor forgot that Jesus is supposedly the son of God, which might give him extra powers. Nevertheless, the pastor still pursued his goal of walking on water. He set out across a huge estuary which happens to take 20 minutes by ferry. He was so sure that he would have enough faith to walk on water that he didn’t bother to take swimming lessons. His mistake. Let’s just say this pastor was not the next Jesus Christ and he drowned. “You’re not going to be seeing me trying to walk on water any time soon,” said freshmen Marisela Musgrove, adding she would never want to receive a Darwin Award. “Nominees significantly improve the gene pool by eliminating themselves from the human race in an obviously stupid way,” explained DarwinAwards.com. Since the Darwin Awards success they have put out numerous books documenting the awards.