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05/20/03

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Scientists Seek to Reintroduce Darwin Fish Into Its Historic Range


MOBILE, Ala. (DPI) - Can the Darwin Fish -- strictly speaking, a developing species of scientific thought -- be successfully reintroduced into its historic range? Scientists are meeting here to discuss the ambitious project. "While the Darwin fish has been all but exterminated across much of the South, Southeast and Midwest U.S., we have found vigorous if isolated populations near MIT, Cal Tech and Stanford, and have reason to hope other such populations exist elsewhere throughout the country," said Dr. Charles Dawkins, an iconobiologist. Researchers suspect environmental damage is the chief cause of the decline of the Darwin fish. "To thrive, the Darwin fish needs open mental waters and a realistic chance to mature," said Dawkins. "Plus, it prefers a habitat of small, fuel-efficient foreign cars, which are being increasingly displaced by SUVs and pickup trucks."

While mature Darwin fish are typically vigorously defended, the fry are often confused by distressingly weak arguments or are choked off by insufficient circulation before they can become established. "Competing species can grow in much murkier waters," said Dr. E.O. Sagan. "Weeds like astrology, scientology, religious fundamentalism, occult beliefs and so on create a very hostile environment."

Reintroduction plans include seeding of mature individuals as well as efforts to clear out weed species using industrial-strength evidence and reasoning. Weed-control efforts have proven difficult in the past, however, as many species have developed dazzling resistance to even the simplest, most powerful rational thought. "All we want is to give the Darwin fish a chance," said Dr. Thomas Lewis. "In an unbiased environment, we feel confident it will thrive."


(Reported by Joseph Moore and Slick Sharkey)



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