“Lincoln and Darwin Cloned,” by Jordan Prager

Feb 24th, 2021 | By | Category: Fake Nonfiction, Prose

Members of the Faith Inspired Cloning Group, (FICG) have long been vexed by the persistent popular belief that Lincoln and Darwin were humanists. FICG leadership is confident that young Lincoln and Darwin clones raised in a sequestered faith-based community will climb to even greater heights than the originals and repudiate their irreligious views. To wit, Lincoln was likely a deist and the adult Darwin gave up Christianity. But for all the care and research FICG has thus far expended on its corrective cloning project, the teenaged versions of Lincoln and Darwin disappoint. They show only above average ability despite being raised by loving foster families and nurtured with conservative Christian values. They exhibit little in the way of positive leadership, and demonstrate mixed results with regard to fundamentalist ideology. We have done extensive research and have examined the diaries of the mothers of Clone Abraham Lincoln and Clone Charles Darwin to report a fascinating story, hidden until now.

The clones are ignorant of their true origin. Fifteen-year old Clone Lincoln is not rail thin like the original, but a muscled two hundred and ten pounds. Unless you look for it, there is little resemblance between the athletic modern teenager and the bearded Abraham Lincoln in history books. Until recently, Clone Darwin was proud of his beautiful straight, white teeth; when photographed he always had a large, toothy smile. Since the original Charles Darwin is depicted with a full beard and closed mouth in books, no one has ever had cause to remark on his resemblance to the teenage clone.

Young Clone Lincoln showed great athletic potential early on with his size, coordination and unusual strength. He was always highly competitive and had a well developed feral sense of sizing up an opponent. He demonstrated excellent ability on the football field as a child and loved the physical contact. But he had doubts about the sport after he observed behavioral changes and mental slowing of his best friend on the freshman team following a vicious collision. He was discouraged and stopped playing when his smiling, applauding coaches described the collision as a great, clean hit. He was an excellent basketball player but calculated that his ceiling on the college level was a division III team, so now he only shoots hoops for fun. His more serious sports endeavor at this time is baseball. Clone Lincoln hits for power and is a gifted third baseman. Regarding scholastic pursuits, he does well across the board but especially enjoys logic, literature, and math. He believes that when he goes to college he will major in engineering, a sound second choice to his preferred career in professional baseball.

As a child Clone Lincoln felt awkward about his unusual height and an uncle raised concerns that he might have a congenital illness. But recently he has come to see advantages. When after extensive testing he was told that his size was not the result of disease he celebrated by cutting his hair in a Mohawk to emphasize his height. Now fifteen years old, he takes his academic and sporting pursuits less seriously than in the past as he prefers to spend more time with girls. Although his conversation with them is laced with an endless monologue of anecdotes and riddles he is rarely without their company.

He will ask, “If you call a dog’s tail a leg, how many legs does the dog have?”

When the girl says 5 he will respond, laughing, “ Four! Just because you call his tail a leg doesn’t mean it is a leg!”

He loves to play basketball with his friends while faith-themed hip-hop plays in the background. Lately, the game is followed by pizza at a local joint with a group of girls. His cheerful disposition and success in athletics and the classroom make him popular with his fellow students. He has many characteristics of a leader but avoids serious activities and leadership opportunities. “I’m having too much fun Bro!” he says.

The one exception to his happy-go-lucky, non-committal attitude occurred when a Korean-American acquaintance ran for class president.  Korean students are a tiny minority locally and though attractive, bright and pleasant Ms. Kwan was a quiet student and relative unknown at school. FICG was amazed when Clone Lincoln managed a grass roots campaign to introduce her to athletes, nerds, cheerleaders, and misfits. When Clone Lincoln spoke at a student assembly, he was unusually eloquent for a teenager, although his speech was brief and his voice thin and reedy. His heartfelt words, interspersed with stirring Biblical phrases, and logic, moved even the administrators. Ms. Kwan came in a respectable second place. She and Clone Lincoln have since become close. Concerned of a physical relationship, Clone Lincoln and Ms. Kwan are carefully watched by teachers and parents.

On the other hand, young Clone Darwin is very fond of scripture and considered closer to a FICG success. Highly social, curious, and generous of spirit as a younger child, with puberty he has become more private and prefers the company of his family.

For the most part, Clone Darwin is an average student grade wise, but he is sensitive and thoughtful. He is inclined to think things through on his own and is not satisfied to merely memorize material for the sake of getting a good grade. He was deeply affected by a social studies assignment on 20th century atrocities in Ukraine. He wrestled for days with the proverb, “when you are in a boat on the lake and you see lightning, you can pray, but you have to row.” During his presentation in class he discussed mass starvation. When a student commented that “things happen for a reason”, he responded with tears, he gnashed his teeth and said, “you are an idiot!” as he stormed out of the room.

Clone Darwin is a socially awkward teenager and suffers from reflux dyspepsia. He is flustered when in the presence of girls and finds his physical attraction towards them disturbing. He is uncomfortable with his rather full beard compared with other boys his age.  He shaves closely every morning and later in the day if he is going out. He does not participate in athletics due to an early unfortunate experience and he has a mild stutter when anxious. Clone Darwin tries to mask his anxiety behind familiar quotes from scripture but is perceived as judgmental and critical by his fellow students. He left the general Bible study group because he believed the other members were too fond of modern, liberal interpretations. Now he leads a small group, comprised of himself and his devoted younger brothers.

But he finds great satisfaction in creation sciences, driven by his appreciation and curiosity about the natural world. He has a large beetle collection. He is an avid birder and keeps several bird feeders outside his bedroom window. He takes detailed notes on the bird’s feeding habits and the differences in beak and wing structures. He also has an ant farm, a pet monkey, and several dogs. A member of an online group interested in amateur taxidermy, Clone Darwin enjoys his chemistry set and collects interesting rocks; especially those that tell of changes over geological time. Although he sees his professional future in the clergy, he expects to maintain an active interest in the natural sciences. He hopes to unite his interests someday and publish an epistemology of the creation sciences. In an interesting aside, he respects the idea of evolution and believes it has a small but not insignificant niche in intelligent design.

The teen clones are well acquainted but not friends. They are polite classmates and neighbors who share a birthday and sensitivity to gluten. For a brief period in the sixth grade they were close. The clones are both very fond of music and despite the curious protests of their families enrolled in boys chorus. In the first days of class it became clear that Lincoln was only mouthing the words when he sang and Darwin was horribly off key. The other boys would collapse into laughter. Lincoln refused to sing out loud and Darwin denied that he was off key on purpose. Until they could be transferred to another class they spent five periods together in a side room with video equipment and a single satiric movie DVD set during the French revolution. They saw the movie several times and laughed harder every time. They would always greet each other in school with a personalized line from the movie spoken with a bad English accent, “And what brings you to Gary, business, or pleasure?”

But Darwin, who was at first pleased by brief scenes of partial nudity, became self-conscious and embarrassed. He feared that the film was the work of the Devil. But Lincoln loved the movie. They drifted apart.

An incident in eighth grade football separated them further when Lincoln blocked Darwin in a one-on-one drill. Clone Lincoln was a much larger and experienced football player and whispered to his brother clone to go down after the first hit, promising not to hurt him. But the remark confused young Darwin and before he could decide what to do, he found himself on the ground. He was hurt, confused and subjected to the ridicule of his classmates. He was never sure if Lincoln was trying to be kind or manipulative, but Darwin was embarrassed and never forgot the incident.

Sources who have seen e-mails of FICG leadership suggest serious changes are coming to the program. The FICG brain trust initially relied on positive influences alone to mold their clones. They have since come to realize that the young clones would need considerable solitary time, disappointment and steady discipline to produce strong character. In fact, the original young Lincoln suffered the deaths of his mother, sister, and first love. His frontier life of servitude to his father was often lonely and punctuated with violence. As a young adult Lincoln often competed against and lost to the elfin Stephen Douglas. So there will be major changes. A new boy will move into the neighborhood. He is short in stature but very athletic and has genetically enhanced leaping ability. He is accomplished in school and has a quick wit, which bites when directed at taller classmates. The new boy is attracted to Asian girls. One cannot help but wish Clone Lincoln and the women in his life well in the perilous future.

The original Darwin family was affluent, highly educated and distinguished in the sciences. The family was religious and dedicated to a literal interpretation of the bible. Darwin was 8 years old when his mother died. He was often alone outdoors, consoling himself by collecting odd rocks and dead animals. Sent to boarding school when aged 9, he did not do well. Still, there were great expectations of young Charles. Darwin was twenty-two years old when he was appointed the naturalist on the Beagle. The crew’s mission was to map the coast of South America for 2 years but it lasted five. He was often isolated being the youngest, most educated, and most religious man on board. Working alone, he collected thousands of specimens, the analysis of which led to his first doubts about Genesis.

FICG is planning a work-study gap year for Clone Darwin in Borneo. The trip begins with a 3-week tour of the giant and isolated peat swamp forest region. The small budget level tour is mostly by river and led by a motley group of British expats. That Darwin is comfortable with solitude will no doubt be a blessing going forward for the clone. We also wish his mother well.

Hiram Parsons
Alberta Chestnut
Skye Pendleton


Jordan Prager is a physician and aspiring fiction writer from Illinois. He enjoys writing historical fiction and science fiction. Prior publications are in medical journals, which try to avoid fiction.

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