Saturday, December 10, 2005

Flying Spaghetti Monster vs. Jesus

Here we see the Flying Spaghetti Monster disarming a gun-toting Jesus.

I am very thankful to Bobby Henderson for starting the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, which I am a devoted member (grin).

As you may know, FMS was created as a satirical weapon against the fundamentalist Christians who are working to revise the definition of science in schools so that “Intelligent Design” can be considered “science” and can be taught side-by-side (or ideally instead of) the theory of evolution.

The Theory of Evolution

My take on this is that the theory of evolution is just that, a scientific theory. Scientific theories are useful tools for understanding the world around us. They are discarded, disproven by new data, or strengthened by experiments every day.

As an example, scientists once supported the theory of “spontaneous generation”. This theory stated that life would spring up spontaneously if the circumstances were correct. The classic experiment to prove spontaneous generation was to take a box and fill it with wheat. After leaving the box to stand for a few days… open it and POOF! There’s a mouse in the box! The mouse was spontaneously generated!

The creation of this theory followed the scientific method, which, simplified, is:

  1. Observation and description of a phenomenon or group of phenomena. – “I’ve noticed that mice appear in boxes sometimes.”
  2. Formulation of a hypothesis to explain the phenomena. – “I theorize that if you put certain materials in a closed box, and you let the box sit for a while, a mouse will be generated spontaneously.”
  3. Use of the hypothesis to predict the existence of other phenomena, or to predict quantitatively the results of new observations. – “If I use a larger box, with different food, new animals will spontaneously generate, such as rats.”
  4. Performance of experimental tests of the predictions by several independent experimenters and properly performed experiments. – “Many have tried tested my theory of spontaneous generation in different cities and they’ve all gotten similar results.”
Well, obviously the theory of spontaneous generation no longer holds water - to us it might even seem ridiculous. It’s easy to disprove this theory with a controlled experiment – such as use a steel box that a mouse can’t bite through to get into the box in the first place! Or it could be disproven by careful observation that the box contains a hole that the mouse made to enter the box.

I mention this because science, by it’s nature, strives to be unemotional and non-biased. Sure, the scientist who formulated the theory of spontaneous generation was probably a bit tweaked when his theory was smashed, but, science demands new thinking, new experiments, collection of new data and therefore constant revision and new learning!

The theory of evolution, being “just a theory” is subject to revision or abandonment just as easily as the theory of spontaneous generation. If tomorrow, a scientist was able to observe an “intelligent creator” creating a new life-form, that scientist would document those observations, new theories would be created, old ones discarded, experiments performed, and the scientific world would be all abuzz with excitement!

Science is neutral. Science is not your enemy. Science is here to help us understand – nothing more.

Intelligent Design

In my opinion, Intelligent Design is a repackaging of Creationalism. It is NOT SCIENCE. Even the Vatican’s own Father Coyne said that intelligent design "isn't science, even though it pretends to be."

However, I have no problem teaching children about “creation”. I have no problem teaching Intelligent Design – BUT NOT AS SCIENCE. But, you know, Intelligent Design is not the only potential explanation of creation – there are hundreds of creation stories and myths! If we are to teach “creation” in our public schools, we should NOT teach is as science, we should teach it as Creation Mythology or Religion. And, we shouldn’t just teach Intelligent Design, we should teach ALL popular creation myths -- and this is where the Flying Spaghetti Monster’s divine noodly appendage touches us!

Flying Spaghetti Monsterism

Some would consider the Flying Spaghetti Monster creation myth to be ridiculous – right? First of all the FSM is a giant hovering bundle of spaghetti with two meatballs and eye stalks. Secondly, he created the universe complete with “mountain, trees and a midgit (sic) with his noodly appendage". Surely nobody could really believe something this ridiculous, right?

Here are some real-life creation myths for your enjoyment:
  • The Finnish Cosmic Egg creation myth states that a teal laid eggs on a woman's knee and one of the eggs falling off to create the world and all life on it.
  • The Hindus believe that the Lord Vishnu fell sleep on a snake and when he woke a lotus blossomed from his navel and gave birth to Brahma, who created the entire universe in a golden egg.
  • The New Hebrides people of the South Pacific creation myth involves a bat, a turtle, a ray, and an octopus and fish that evolved from a group of deaf mutes and fools.
  • The Norse believe that a man and woman emerged from the armpits of a giant to create a race of ogres that led to three gods producing the earth, human beings and everything else. The myth also features a “holy” cow whose teats gave rivers of milk.
  • Most Native American creation myths state that everything on Earth used to be really big and that the giant people and plants shrunk after fire from volcanoes ravaged the planet.
I don’t think that the Flying Spaghetti Monster creation myth is any more ridiculous sounding than these!

Maybe we should approach teaching creation myths based on popularity of the world’s religions? Islam is the world's most popular single religion. Following Islam, Catholicism, Hinduism, Protestantism, and Buddhism rounding out the top five.

I mentioned the Hindu creation myth above so since it’s in the top five, we should certainly teach it, don’t you think? Do you even know what the Islamic creation myth is? Surely we should teach that one, since it’s the number one religion in the world, right?

Flying Spaghetti Monster vs. Jesus

Many have criticized Bobby for his creation of Flying Spaghetti Monsterism, most of them claiming to be “Christians” and most of them acting very non-Christian ways. Here are some selected quotes from our Christian friends:

“i would suggest growing up allitle (sic) and/or blowing your fucking face off with a shotgun.”

“I hope your genitals fall off … Jack ass. you're an idiot. I'll pray for you.”

“Grow up. You are behaving like an idiot. …Take your spaghetti monster and stick it.”

“Congratulations, bastard. … And by the way, your case would not hold in court, mainly because no judge in his right mind is going to buy this bullshit. Also, feel free to kill yourself.”


“And, I do believe that those who led the lambs astray will be faced with a death even more cruel than being thrown into a lake of fire, if you could imagine.”

“i don't believe this shit!!!”

“Aren't you tired of being a faceless and unimportant pawn for evil? … have fun in hell”

“YOU are a freak! Oh a DUMB one at that! You don't know anything about intelligent design, (mainly because it takes an intelligent being to understand). I guess that leaves you out!”

“You are nothing but a weak ass immatation (sic) of Hitler.”

Pretty nasty stuff, huh? These comments are uneducated, rude, hateful and completely un-Christian!

I think it’s clear to see that the people who are pushing to teach “Intelligent Design” to children don’t really want to teach science (since “ID” isn’t science) and they don’t seem to talk much about “other” creation myths, so they don’t seem to keen on teaching creation mythology.

So what are they doing? Why are they pushing so hard on this?

It is my opinion that fundamentalist Christians are frightened of science. They are frightened of anything that “threatens” or in any way contradicts their belief systems. The list of things “fundies” are threatened by includes:
  • Homosexuals
  • Gay Marriage
  • Other religions and belief systems
  • Non-Christian holidays especially Halloween
  • Empowered women
  • Liberal thought
  • Sexuality/Erotica/pornography/nudity
  • Evolution/Darwin
  • Freedom
  • Minorities
  • The human body
  • Themselves (they believe they were created in sin)
  • The Earth / the environment (remember, they believe in the “rapture” – why not trash the place?!)

In short, they hate everyone incluing themselves, anything that might “tempt” them, and everything that they don’t personally believe in. They are completely devoid of acceptance, tollerance, and understanding.

Because of their fear, and inability to accept “what is”, they attempt to control. They attempt to crush any opposing viewpoint. They attempt to quiet any dissenting voice. They attempt to destroy anyone who doesn’t see the world the same way they do.

And, the greatest irony of all, it that they call themselves “Christians”, even though their actions are completely contrary to the actual teachings of Jesus.

So, Christians are really pissed off by the Flying Spaghetti Monster because it threatens them, and as the illustration indicates, they’d love to kill it. And I think that’s why FSM is so popular and is steadily increasing in popularity – FSM is ridiculous (therefore fun), it points out how ridiculous “Intelligent Design” is, and it evokes hatred in fundamentalist Christians thus forcing them to show their true colors.

I personally am a deeply spiritual person and I not only believe in, but I try to abide by the actual teachings Jesus. He taught tolerance, love, and acceptance – he was one of the greatest spiritual avatars of ever to walk this earth. However, because of the actions of fundamentalist Christians, I would NEVER identify myself as a Christian.

I personally believe that “divine consciousness” had a hand in the creation of the universe, and I personally believe that divine consciousness is part of the process of evolution and natural selection. However, I would never endorse Intelligent Design or teaching this as science, since it is a spiritual belief, not science.

So, my personal life has been negatively effected by these fundamentalist Christians, and I will go on to say that they’re hurting many, many people with their actions.


In closing, let me quote something said by John F. Kennedy when he accepted the New York Liberal Party nomination on September 14, 1960:

“If by a "Liberal" they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people -- their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties -- someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a "Liberal," then I'm proud to say I'm a "Liberal."


Blogger Jo E. said...

Wow, I have to say I am astounded by your own aroggance. You compare Jesus to a FSM and then go to say you think he is one of the greatest religious avatars of all time. Yet, you would be ashamed to call yourself a Christian. You can't straddle the fence my friend. Simply being a good person is not the entirity of being a Christian much less the credintials involved in entering heaven. It is faith in what cannot be known by deduction through the scietific method. We have far to limited a view to understand even half of this beautiful universe. Intelligent Design is not a repacked version of Christianity, it is a realization that through sciences growning knowlege that there is much more to the cosmos than a coincedintal string events that lead to the evolution of man. That all of these natural laws all the way to quantum mechanics( wich still dosen't fit into general relativity) seem to have been designed to produce intelligent life, aka Humans. So, before you continue to bash an entire faith based on a few members that have chosen to express their voice in an improper manner, do some more research for yourself. If you truly are this open minded person please try. A great starting point would be a book by Lee Strobel entitled "A Case for A Creator". This work alone provides a great jumping off point into doing your own indepent research. God Bless

3:20 PM  

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