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  Topic: Darwin as a first name, Thougts about naming my baby boy Darwin< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
haceaton



Posts: 14
Joined: Dec. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 06 2005,15:57   

The name "Darwin" has been in the top 1000 male baby names for almost every year that there are statistics for. It reached a whopping 300th most popular in 1935 but has been near 900th more recently.

My baby boy is expected next month and I was hoping to find a name to honor my great uncle: Homer W. Smith. He made quite some contributions in evolution research and understanding renal physiology but the name "Homer" is very unpopular these days for obvious reasons.

But I really like the sound of "Darwin" and so does my wife. Independent of Erasmus and Charles Darwin, it's just a great sounding boy's name. Most of my family and friends think that such a name would constantly lead to controversy and offend too many people. This strikes me as odd since it's just a name of an honorable and accomplished scientist. I certainly don't get offended or pass judgement on anyone for their name, so why should others?

So their must be something like 150,000 or so "Darwins" in the U.S., but I've never met one. Does having that name cause problems? Any Darwins (or others with opinions) out there who could comment?

  
gregonomic



Posts: 44
Joined: Dec. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 06 2005,18:09   

First question: do you live in Kansas?

  
haceaton



Posts: 14
Joined: Dec. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 07 2005,01:52   

No, I live in Maryland but there are Fundamentalist Christians in just about every state.

  
C.J.O'Brien



Posts: 395
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 07 2005,12:24   

A friend of mine (named Kepler btw, sister's name Tesla) kept the family tradition alive and named her two kids Sagan, and Darwin.

We're kind of out of touch, but, at the time, she DID live in Kansas.

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The is the beauty of being me- anything that any man does I can understand.
--Joe G

  
Mantella



Posts: 1
Joined: Dec. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 07 2005,15:32   

There was a kid in my high school (in Kansas no less) named Darwin. He had no problems because of it. I think it probably would depend on the person, and how they carry themselves.

My advice would be different if you wanted to name the kid something sexually ambiguous (Hillary, for example --- I myself thought of Hillary Putnam as a distinguished woman philosopher for the longest time). There I think you would be letting a child in for a world of unfair taunts.

  
keiths



Posts: 2041
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 22 2006,21:25   

My sister dated a guy named Darwin in high school in Indiana (not a particularly evolution-friendly place).  To my knowledge he was never taunted for it, but he was also the starting varsity quarterback which granted him a certain degree of immunity.

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And the set of natural numbers is also the set that starts at 0 and goes to the largest number.  -- Joe G

Please stop putting words into my mouth that don't belong there and thoughts into my mind that don't belong there. -- KF

  
Flint



Posts: 478
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,04:06   

haceaton:

Are you more concerned that the name would trigger fundamentalist zeal, or simply that the name is unusual? If the latter, I can tell you that I have a given name you don't encounter very often (Flint, oddly enough), and it's never been the slightest problem.

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,09:47   

Quote (Flint @ Jan. 23 2006,10:06)
Are you more concerned that the name would trigger fundamentalist zeal, or simply that the name is unusual? If the latter, I can tell you that I have a given name you don't encounter very often (Flint, oddly enough), and it's never been the slightest problem.

Your first name is really 'Flint'? What, was that your mother's maiden name, or something?

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
Flint



Posts: 478
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,09:50   

You first name is really Arden? In my life I have met one other Flint. I've never met an Arden.

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,09:54   

Quote (Flint @ Jan. 23 2006,15:50)
Your first name is really Arden? In my life I have met one other Flint. I've never met an Arden.

No, my first name is NOT really Arden.  ;)

I guess I'd assumed 'Flint' was a pseudonym. You know, like 'Ghost of Paley', or 'Steviepinhead'.  :p

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
Flint



Posts: 478
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,11:17   

I lack the imagination to make up a kewl name like yours, so long ago I resigned myself to the unimaginative use of my own name. Besides, it helps me remember which posts I wrote...

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,11:28   

Quote (Flint @ Jan. 23 2006,17:17)
I lack the imagination to make up a kewl name like yours, so long ago I resigned myself to the unimaginative use of my own name. Besides, it helps me remember which posts I wrote...

Hey, I never even said my pseudonym was cool, much less kewl...

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
keiths



Posts: 2041
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,12:44   

haceaton,
Giving your son an unusual first name can lead to later political success.  Check out these names of southern politicians who hold (or held) prominent elected offices:

Lauch Faircloth
Erskine Bowles
Saxby Chambliss
Hale Boggs
Wyche Fowler
Kaneaster Hodges
Lawton Chiles
Strom Thurmond

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And the set of natural numbers is also the set that starts at 0 and goes to the largest number.  -- Joe G

Please stop putting words into my mouth that don't belong there and thoughts into my mind that don't belong there. -- KF

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,13:01   

I've noticed that people often choose names that honor a family member, or someone the parents particularly admired. But of course those names had to come from somewhere, too. Since we don't buy the whole christian thing, we were uncomfortable picking an explicitly christian - or judeo-christian - name for our son. (That rules out quite a few, when you think about it: Christopher, Michael, John, James....)

We went with "Julian" - in honor of a few Julians, but especially the 4th century Roman emperor who set about reversing his uncle, Constantine's, establishment of christianity as the official religion of the empire. Unfortunately, that Julian died after just 2 or 3 years in office, and from then till quite recently (if even now), you couldn't rise to the leadership of any western nation without at least a nominal embrace of christianity.

One of the great "what ifs" of history: what if Julian had reigned as long as Constantine?

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Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
keiths



Posts: 2041
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,13:43   

Russell wrote:
Quote
One of the great "what ifs" of history: what if Julian had reigned as long as Constantine?

Then we'd be having all the same arguments with Jupiterian fundamentalists.

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And the set of natural numbers is also the set that starts at 0 and goes to the largest number.  -- Joe G

Please stop putting words into my mouth that don't belong there and thoughts into my mind that don't belong there. -- KF

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,14:01   

Quote
One of the great "what ifs" of history: what if Julian had reigned as long as Constantine?
Quote
Then we'd be having all the same arguments with Jupiterian fundamentalists.
Maybe. But before Constantine, I think the official religion of Rome, and what Julian wanted to restore, was more "whateverism" than "jupiterism". ("You want to build a temple to Mithras? Sure, whatever. Isis? Sure, whatever"). Julian himself (according to Gibbon, Decline & Fall) undertook to rebuild the jewish temple in Jerusalem, but an earthquake intervened.

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Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
keiths



Posts: 2041
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,14:13   

Russell,
You're probably right.  I have a somewhat pessimistic view of humanity's propensity to produce large numbers of dogmatists, regardless of historical circumstance.  Modern Europe seems to be the exception rather than the rule.

If Julian ever has a sibling, any thoughts on what you'd name him or her?

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And the set of natural numbers is also the set that starts at 0 and goes to the largest number.  -- Joe G

Please stop putting words into my mouth that don't belong there and thoughts into my mind that don't belong there. -- KF

  
haceaton



Posts: 14
Joined: Dec. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,14:57   

For the record we made Darwin his middle name, but we 're calling him by his middle name. :)

I think having an uncommon name is good, but while I'm plenty political I wouldn't want my son to go into politics. Science would be much preferable but it will be up to him.

My fundie friends are fairly aghast at his (middle) name and have chided me that this will guarantee that he becomes a creationist.

Somehow I don't think so...

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 24 2006,02:12   

Quote
If Julian ever has a sibling, any thoughts on what you'd name him or her?
I could never decide, so Julian has remained an only child ;)
I'm partial to Roman/Greek, though. I have a nephew named Adrian, ultimately after another much praised emperor. I might be tempted to go with "Russell", after Bertrand Russell, but I'm not comfortable naming a kid after myself.

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Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
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