Let your freak flag fly!

I wasn’t going to post anything special for Darwin Day, simply because everyone else did, but then I got an awesome email and photo combining Darwin, cats and atheism. . .

I’ve been a longtime reader and admirer of your blog*.  Thanks for doing what you do!  Anyway, I thought you might appreciate this.  When my partner and I moved into our house about 4 years ago, we noticed it had one of those flag mounts attached to the porch.  Since we are not into sports or silly seasonal/holiday flags, it has sat empty.  Well we finally got around to making our own flag.  For around $10 in flag cloth, we created this beauty.  Appropriately enough, we finished it today so it could be flown for the first time on Darwin’s 202nd birthday.  Kitty approves.

And if you’re wondering about the kitteh:

As far as our kitteh, he is one of two orange tabbies that we have, and his name is actually Kitty.  He showed up at our house as a stray about 10 years ago, and we never planned to keep him.  While we were searching for his owners, we just called him Kitty.  He was de-clawed and neutered, so we knew he must have a home.  Well we never found his old home so he chose to adopt us, and the name Kitty just stuck.  He’s a wonderfully lazy cat who has no problem sleeping under the covers to help keep you warm in the winter.  He just loves people, and is probably the friendliest cat I’ve ever met.  We couldn’t have found a better cat, so we are extremely glad that he found us!

h/t: Doug

__________________________

*[JAC note:  We call it a "website" here.]

28 Comments

  1. Patrick
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    I love this flag but I also think it’s evil. Associating Atheism with Darwin? Yes, Darwin showed us how life diversified without the need for a God, but to associate Darwin with Atheism makes the religious shy away and cuddle with their stone age myths…and this is why we still have creationism.

    Science is NOT compatible with religion, but to associate highly “controversial” theories to a lack of belief might make people who are on the fence about these sorts of things, fall on the opposing side.

    • bric
      Posted February 12, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

      Tant pis

    • Diane G.
      Posted February 12, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

      But what about those who would follow Dawkins’s route?:

      I toyed with atheism from the age of about nine, originally because I worked out that, of all the hundreds of religions in the world, it was the sheerest accident that I was brought up Christian. They couldn’t all be right, so maybe none of them was. I later reverted to a kind of pantheism when I realised the shattering complexity and beauty of the living world. Then, around the age of 16, I first understood that Darwinism provides an explanation big enough and elegant enough to replace gods. I have been an atheist ever since.

      You Ask The Questions, Independent, February 20 2003

    • Posted February 12, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

      Umm. . . exactly how many people who see that flag are going to know that it was first displayed on Darwin Day?

      Evil my tuchus!

    • steve oberski
      Posted February 12, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

      Evolution is about as “controversial” as Newton’s laws of motion and gravity or the laws of thermodynamics.

      Have you stepped out of a 10th story window lately or purchased a perpetual motion machine because these these theories are controversial ?

      • Posted February 26, 2011 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

        Here is referring to Religion and Atheism, I think… I hope.

  2. Andy Dufresne
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    It’s only fair that the accommodationists get a flag, too. Maybe their flag could just be a picture of a sanctimonious-looking person throwing the Gnu symbol under a bus.

    • steve oberski
      Posted February 12, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

      Or someone sitting on a fence precariously balanced between science and religion.

      Is there a tasteful way of showing that they suffer from epistemological hemorrhoids ?

    • Posted February 12, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

      Or someone kissing the bum of a naked emperor.

  3. Sili
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    *[JAC note: We call it a "website" here.]

    It’s pronounced ‘Coy-nay.”

    • Jack van Beverningk
      Posted February 12, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      .. besides, this ‘website’ refers to itself as a ‘blog’!
      (See left side bar, under ‘Email Subscriptions’)
      And why wouldn’t it?
      Since this website IS a blog.

  4. Lurker111
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    We also had a neutered orange-and-white kitty, also neutered and left behind when his owners moved, come to our house and adopt us. For those of us in the right age-bracket, who went to the proper high school cafeterias, I’ve named him Dreamsicle. ;)

    And he is also the sweetest kitty you’d ever want to meet. (People on a diet walk the other way when he approaches.)

    • Posted February 12, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      Coincidence: I had an orange-and-white tabby named CREAMSICLE. I’m not sure if the name of that quiescently frozen confection changed, or if there were two brands. . .

      • Posted February 12, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

        The ones I knew were called creamsicle. My sister liked those–I preferred chocolate.

        Off topic: Went to a fun Darwin Day event at the NC Museum of Science. Saw some people from the Noor lab. They brought lots of flies. My daughter enjoyed looking at them.

      • Lurker111
        Posted February 12, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

        The Dreamsicle I recall had the orange and vanilla swirled together. The newer versions of this type of Popsicle(R?) have the vanilla on the inside and the orange on the outside, as a shell. I don’t know if the Creamsicle is one of those or not.

        In my cat, the orange-and-white striping is very subtle until you get to the last half of the tail, where it becomes distinct.

        As far as cat names go, the worst one I ever heard was “Mr. Hissy-Fit.” I mean, what cat could possibly have any self-respect with a name like that? Can you imagine the waiting room at the vet’s, and the assistant coming out and saying, “Next, Mr. Hissy-Fit?”

      • Posted February 13, 2011 at 7:50 am | Permalink

        Hmmm–I call those Dreamsicles, too… did the name change at some point?

  5. Posted February 12, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    Happy Darwin Day! Yay cats!

  6. Posted February 12, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    WANT ONE!

  7. Posted February 12, 2011 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    It’s purrrrrty!

  8. MrLokiNight
    Posted February 13, 2011 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    I didn’t know before reading this thread that domestic cats are sometimes de-clawed ~ I’m a little surprised/shocked. I realise Kitty was ‘done’ prior to taking over Doug’s home

    For my information:

    Why de-claw a cat ?
    Does it disable the cat for a time while the wounds heal ?
    I guess you do it when the cat is very young so the cat doesn’t know the difference ?

    Michael

    • cyan
      Posted February 13, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

      Declawing is actually the amputation of the distal phalanges, usually on the two front feet. People most usually choose to have this done to prevent their furniture from being scratched.

      The cat should be on pain medication for several days, and litter made of newspaper, not clay, should be used during the healing period so that infections do not occur.

      Most cats heal well and act as if there is no pain the rest of their lives.

      In some cases, due to either a faulty operation or to an individual cat’s anatomy, they do act as though it pains them the rest of their lives.

      • MrLokiNight
        Posted February 13, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

        Thnx Cyan for the info

        If it’s for furniture reasons I’m not happy it’s done & I’m surprised that it’s done

        I suppose de-clawing is a veterinary procedure – in which case I hope vets will start to say “no”

        Michael

      • Dominic
        Posted February 14, 2011 at 3:39 am | Permalink

        Interesting if barbaric. In my view it is as ridiculous to de-claw as docking tails in dogs & mutilating female anatomy in the muslim world. If people are worried about the furniture they should keep a goldfish.

  9. cyan
    Posted February 13, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    Most veterinarians are not happy to do these surgeries, but they think that a lot of care-givers who demand such a procedure would proceed with an even worse option for the cat if it were not available: the animal pound and thus death.

    Education about the procedure and about how to provide scratching alternatives and deterrents to furniture-scratching would seem to be of more benefit to more cats in the long run.

    • MrLokiNight
      Posted February 13, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

      Education – too right

  10. Jason
    Posted February 14, 2011 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    I say it still looks like an A with a handlebar mustache on top.


2 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. [...] This is a movement that, to be frank, few care about and that few actually purposely join. (hat tip: Jerry Coyne). You can look it up, but the “split” is roughly this: you have one group of atheists [...]

  2. [...] near saint-like status among many atheists. In particular, he uses as a object for his lesson a photo of an atheist flag flown this last weekend in conjunction with Darwin’s [...]

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