A friend recently asked why stupidity wasn't fatal -- he was bemoaning the idiocy of anti-environmental groups at the time. While my friend is well aware of just how dangerous and deadly stupidity could be, I took the opportunity to respond anyway in case the occasional lurker was in the vicinity.
The result was a simply little blurb that I thought I'd post here, too. Enjoy! -- GH
>> Why isn't stupidity fatal? <<
For the most part, the list is kept relatively free of Urban Legends -- winners must be verifiable, capable of making intelligent decisions and no innocent bystanders can be endangered. More available at the Wikipedia page.
From the Wikipedia page,
The Darwin Awards: A Chronicle of Enterprising Demises is a tongue-in-cheek honor named after evolutionary theorist Charles Darwin. Awards have been given for people who "do a service to Humanity by removing themselves from the gene pool" (i.e., lose the ability to reproduce either by death or sterilization in an idiotic fashion). According to Wendy Northcutt, author of the Darwin Award books: "The Awards honor people who ensure the long-term survival of the human race by removing themselves from the gene pool in a sublimely idiotic fashion." The Darwin Award books state that an attempt is made to disallow known urban legends from the awards, but some older "winners" have been 'grandfathered' to keep their awards. The Darwin Awards site does try to verify all submitted stories, but many similar sites, and the vast number of circulating "Darwin awards" emails, are largely fictional.
So, in summation, stupidity can be fatal, and plays a role in the ongoing evolution of the species through contributions to the "survival of the fittest" aspect of evolutionary development. Winners of the Award successfully remove themselves -- one way or another -- from the gene pool, effectively cleansing of it the blatantly stupid.
Unfortunately for us, there's an unforeseen parallel evolutionary track that nobody ever seems to mention: among the stupid, ~the stronger stupid~ survives, and lives to continue to taint the gene pool. That, of course, explains that stubborn, stupid 30% of unevolved cretins who continue to undermine the nation and make a mockery of reality-based thinking. It also appears to explain modern-day Republican leadership's endemic hypocrisy.
Ah, Darwin -- you inglorious bastard. See what you've gotten us into now...?