Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Church of the Flying Spagetti Monster. A Joke? No, Really!

Have you ever heard of Pastafarianism? No? Okay, have you ever heard of The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster? Think I'm joking? Think I might have made it up? The amazing thing is...NO!

"Discovery News reports the finding of a fossil formed around a many-armed creature. Dating shows that this creature was in the area hundreds of millions of years before dinosaurs existed.

The implications for Pastafarians are obvious: this is strong evidence that the FSM has been hanging around since time began, and created us all, including the dinosaurs. -- Official Site of The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster"

What started it all? A letter...

"Open Letter To Kansas School Board
I am writing you with much concern after having read of your hearing to decide whether the alternative theory of Intelligent Design should be taught along with the theory of Evolution. I think we can all agree that it is important for students to hear multiple viewpoints so they can choose for themselves the theory that makes the most sense to them. I am concerned, however, that students will only hear one theory of Intelligent Design.

Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. It was He who created all that we see and all that we feel. We feel strongly that the overwhelming scientific evidence pointing towards evolutionary processes is nothing but a coincidence, put in place by Him.

It is for this reason that I’m writing you today, to formally request that this alternative theory be taught in your schools, along with the other two theories. In fact, I will go so far as to say, if you do not agree to do this, we will be forced to proceed with legal action. I’m sure you see where we are coming from. If the Intelligent Design theory is not based on faith, but instead another scientific theory, as is claimed, then you must also allow our theory to be taught, as it is also based on science, not on faith.

Some find that hard to believe, so it may be helpful to tell you a little more about our beliefs. We have evidence that a Flying Spaghetti Monster created the universe. None of us, of course, were around to see it, but we have written accounts of it. We have several lengthy volumes explaining all details of His power. Also, you may be surprised to hear that there are over 10 million of us, and growing. We tend to be very secretive, as many people claim our beliefs are not substantiated by observable evidence. What these people don’t understand is that He built the world to make us think the earth is older than it really is. For example, a scientist may perform a carbon-dating process on an artifact. He finds that approximately 75% of the Carbon-14 has decayed by electron emission to Nitrogen-14, and infers that this artifact is approximately 10,000 years old, as the half-life of Carbon-14 appears to be 5,730 years. But what our scientist does not realize is that every time he makes a measurement, the Flying Spaghetti Monster is there changing the results with His Noodly Appendage. We have numerous texts that describe in detail how this can be possible and the reasons why He does this. He is of course invisible and can pass through normal matter with ease.

I’m sure you now realize how important it is that your students are taught this alternate theory. It is absolutely imperative that they realize that observable evidence is at the discretion of a Flying Spaghetti Monster. Furthermore, it is disrespectful to teach our beliefs without wearing His chosen outfit, which of course is full pirate regalia. I cannot stress the importance of this enough, and unfortunately cannot describe in detail why this must be done as I fear this letter is already becoming too long. The concise explanation is that He becomes angry if we don’t.

You may be interested to know that global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters are a direct effect of the shrinking numbers of Pirates since the 1800s. For your interest...there is a statistically significant inverse relationship between pirates and global temperature.

In conclusion, thank you for taking the time to hear our views and beliefs. I hope I was able to convey the importance of teaching this theory to your students. We will of course be able to train the teachers in this alternate theory. I am eagerly awaiting your response, and hope dearly that no legal action will need to be taken. I think we can all look forward to the time when these three theories are given equal time in our science classrooms across the country, and eventually the world; One third time for Intelligent Design, one third time for Flying Spaghetti Monsterism, and one third time for logical conjecture based on overwhelming observable evidence.

Sincerely Yours,

Bobby Henderson, concerned citizen."

Laughable, for sure! But wait, here is more intelligence to wrap your mind around.

Here is a video that tells the history of their beliefs.

Max Your Ping Prepare

So, if you are like me, you may have more curiosity about whether this is serious or just a joke. I checked out the tab that shows academic endorsements. They actually have some.

Here is a sample...
"“In discussing competing theories, if one is to present ID then it is only fair and logical to teach other theories with commensurate evidence. Based on Mr. Henderson’s letter, it is clear that the FSM theory has evidence comparable in weight to ID. As a scientist and professor, it is often difficult to present differing opinions in an unbiased way. However, it is important to the student to be exposed to these ideas to form their own opinions. This comes right out of the handbook of the ID purporters: present the different “theories” and let the listener decide. If those in favor of ID are so convinced, then they should not be concerned that the presentation of the FSM theory would serve to undermine the credibility of ID. “
– Elizabeth Garrett-Mayer, PhD"

Amazing, isn't it? I am not one to rip on another person's religious beliefs, I mean, after all, people rip on my religion all of the time. But, come on!

Here is another video that tells about how the church happened to be created.


Opening Statement

"Pastafarianism is a wholly remarkable religion; in fact, it's probably the most remarkable religion ever to come out of the small, and often disturbing, imaginations of the sentient beings on our fair planet.

Pastafarianism is not only a wholly remarkable set of beliefs, but it is also highly successful - more popular than Christianity, more crowd-pleasing than Hinduism, and producing far better merchandise than Scientology.

In many of the more edgy societies around the world, Pastafarianism is already regarded as the only religion worth going door to door for, despite it's sometimes lack of evidence, lack of moral standards, and lack of men...Two other key factors ...of this faith are:

One, it's supported by real people with real PhD's, and two, every Friday is considered a religious holiday.

Another...the one true deity, for it is a monotheistic belief system, is a Flying Spaghetti Monster."

The official site even has a gospel to sell you.

"Purchase the Gospel...
An elaborate spoof on Intelligent Design, The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is neither too elaborate nor too spoofy to succeed in nailing the fallacies of ID. It's even wackier than Jonathan Swift's suggestion that the Irish eat their children as a way to keep them from being a burden, and it may offend just as many people, but Henderson, described elsewhere as a 25-year-old "out-of-work physics major," puts satire to the same serious use that Swift did. Oh, yes, it is very funny. -- Scientific American."

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