The Darwin Awards honor those “who have improved the human gene pool by subtracting themselves from it,” earning the award by choosing unusually foolish ways to die. (One of the 2011 winners was killed when he went over his motorcycle handlebars bare-headed while riding in a protest parade against motorcycle-helmet laws.)
The 2012 awards have not yet been announced, but I hope that the judges will accept a late nominee: Nancy Lanza, killed with one of the guns she was stockpiling to protect herself against a massive breakdown of the social order, by the seriously disturbed son she trained in the use of firearms. And I don’t think her lamentable failure to take herself out of the pool twenty years earlier ought to count against her.
Footnote Yes, yes, this has nothing to do with “fitness” in any true evolutionary sense. In this case, there’s no reason to think that survivalist mishegas has any genetic component.
Second footnote No, what happened to Nancy Lanza wasn’t funny; it was horribly sad. But survivalism is ridiculous – that is, literally, deserving of ridicule – and the Darwin Awards are for those who come by their deaths ridiculously.