Creator with Meatballs by Doug Casey

 "And the Flying Spaghetti Monster saw the light, that it was good: and with His Noodly Appendage divided the light from the darkness."

Thus might read the Book of Genesis in the Pastafarian Bible. Pastafarianism, according to its followers, is a new and entirely plausible theory of the beginning of the world and the history of human beings--at least as plausible, if not more, they say, as the theory of Intelligent Design.

And they are willing to fight for it.

The story of the FSM Church and its battle for official recognition started with an unemployed physics graduate from Oregon State University with too much time on his hands. Inspired by fundamentalist Christians' demand to teach Intelligent Design as another scientific theory side by side with evolution in biology classes, 25-year-old Bobby Henderson addressed an open letter to the Kansas Board of Education (see his website, www.venganza.org).

"I am concerned. . . that students will hear only one theory of Intelligent Design," he wrote. "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."

The logical consequence: "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. . . 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."

As proof of the scientific correctness of his theory, Henderson explains in detail how the Flying Spaghetti Monster messes with the results of carbon-dating of artifacts to make them look really, really old. He also provides an explanation for the dire situation of planet Earth, complete with chart:

"[It] is disrespectful to teach our beliefs without wearing His chosen outfit, which of course is full pirate regalia. . . 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."

The accompanying graph, Henderson argues, shows a clear, statistically significant connection between rising global temperature and the waning pirate population within the last 200 years.

This could just be a cute story if--thanks to the Internet and instant global communication--it hadn't gotten so much public attention, and gleeful endorsements from dozens of angered scientists as well as members of the Kansas Board of Education who want to keep Intelligent Design out of the classroom. Doubtlessly realizing that it's a lot easier (and much more satisfying) to fight for a cause instead of against a problem, U.S. scientists have converted in droves to evangelical Pastafarianism.

"I am firmly convinced that the evidence supporting this depiction of the origins of life, the universe and everything has many of the trappings of science," writes Sebastian Wren, Ph.D., "and I therefore support the inclusion of FSM creation evidence in the Kansas science curriculum and standards."

Professor Douglas Shaw, Ph.D., concedes that "the FSM theory is much more plausible than the non-FSM ID theory, because it is the only one of the two that takes into account all the discrepancies between ID and measurable objective reality."

And Steven D. Unwin, Ph.D., author of The Probability of God, agrees that "if supernaturalism be called for, the pasta family of theologies seems the most plausible, and unquestionably the tastiest with cheese."

Some even offer additional evidence for the existence of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Brian D. Rabern from the Department of Philosophy at the UC Santa Barbara makes the cosmological argument, including chains of logic like "Gods create humans in their own image. The brains of humans resemble a bowl of spaghetti. Thus, the Flying Spaghetti Monster is the one true god."

Scientist Howard Bond, Ph.D. points out the noodly appearance of certain nebulas photographed by the Hubble Space Telescope; Santiago Perez, Ph.D. finds his evidence in the microcosm, namely our DNA, which bears a striking resemblance to His Noodliness--who, by the way, looks like a bunch of pasta with two meatballs and eyes on stalks. Proof positive that we are made in His image and likeness, says Perez.

But the buck doesn't stop at university staff--the national and international media has gotten wind of Bobby Henderson's new movement as well. FSMism has been featured in prestigious papers like the New York Times, Washington Post, Arizona Daily Star, Seattle Post Intelligencer, St. Petersburg Times, the UK Guardian and Daily Telegraph, the German Der Spiegel and Die Welt, the Italian La Repubblica, the Taipei Times, and on CNN. Even professional skeptic James Randi wrote an article in acclaim of Henderson's new religion.

Silly as it sounds, Pastafarianism is a force to be reckoned with. Henderson's open letter has meanwhile gone out to various other school boards and is being blissfully backed by hundreds, if not thousands of U.S. college students and pro-science activists nationwide. Staunch supporters are willing to take the matter to court and force the tale of the Flying Spaghetti Monster to be told in classrooms around the country.

And the best: It's so much more fun than the other story. RAmen.

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Posted 10-04-2005 2:14 PM by Doug Casey
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