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Flying Spaghetti Monster


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Netherworld
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« on: May 12, 2009, 01:24:20 pm »

Flying Spaghetti Monster

The Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM) is the deity of the parody religion[1][2] "The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster".[3] It was created in 2005 by Bobby Henderson as a satirical protest to the decision by the Kansas State Board of Education to require the teaching of intelligent design as an alternative to biological evolution in public schools. Since the intelligent design movement used ambiguous references to an unspecified "Intelligent Designer" to avoid court rulings prohibiting the teaching of creationism as a science, this presumably left open the possibility that any imaginable thing could fill that role.

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Netherworld
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« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2009, 01:25:02 pm »

In an open letter sent to the education board, Henderson parodies the concept of intelligent design by professing belief in a supernatural creator, which closely resembles spaghetti and meatballs.[4] He furthermore calls for the "Pastafarian" theory of creation to be taught in science classrooms.[5]

Due to its recent popularity and media exposure, the Flying Spaghetti Monster is often used by atheists, agnostics (known by Pastafarians as "spagnostics"), and others as a modern version of Russell's teapot[6] and the Invisible Pink Unicorn.

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Netherworld
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« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2009, 01:25:29 pm »



Niklas Jansson's adaptation of Michelangelo's The Creation of Adam depicts the Flying Spaghetti Monster in its typical guise as a clump of tangled spaghetti with two eyestalks, two meatballs, and many "noodly appendages".
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Netherworld
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« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2009, 01:25:54 pm »



Logo of the Flying Spaghetti Monster on a car bumper evoking the Ichthys.
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Netherworld
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« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2009, 01:30:46 pm »

Origins
The first public exposure of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (CoFSM) can be dated to January 2005, when Bobby Henderson, describing himself as a concerned citizen, sent an open letter regarding the FSM to the Kansas State Board of Education. The letter was sent prior to the Kansas evolution hearings as an argument against the teaching of intelligent design in biology classes. Intelligent design was thought of as a way to teach creationism in the public school system without mentioning the word "God". Henderson stated that both his theory and intelligent design had equal validity, saying

"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."[4]
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« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2009, 01:30:59 pm »

Henderson explained, "I don't have a problem with religion. What I have a problem with is religion posing as science. If there is a god and he's intelligent, then I would guess he has a sense of humor."[7]

The Board only responded after Henderson posted the letter on his website, gaining significant public interest.[8] Henderson subsequently published the responses he received from Board members.[9]

As word of Henderson's challenge to the Board spread, the website and Henderson's cause gathered more attention and support. The satiric nature of Henderson's argument made the Flying Spaghetti Monster popular with bloggers as well as humor and Internet culture websites.[10] The Flying Spaghetti Monster was featured on websites such as Boing Boing, Something Awful, Uncyclopedia, and Fark.com. Even recent fan sites, such as fsmawareness.com have sprung up to spread its existence. The mainstream media quickly picked up on the phenomenon as the Flying Spaghetti Monster became a symbol for the case against intelligent design theory in public education.[11][12][13] Henderson himself was surprised by its success, stating that he "wrote the letter for [his] own amusement as much as anything."[14]
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« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2009, 01:31:15 pm »

Later developments
In August 2005, in response to a challenge from a reader, BoingBoing.net announced a $250,000 challenge, later raised to $1,000,000, for "Intelligently Designed currency" by other bloggers, payable to any individual who could produce empirical evidence proving that Jesus is not the son of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.[15] The challenge is modeled after a similar challenge issued by young-Earth creationist Kent Hovind (an award of $250,000 to anyone who can prove evolution "is the only possible way" that the Universe and life arose).

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« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2009, 01:31:29 pm »

In November 2005, the Kansas State Board of Education voted to allow criticisms of evolution, including language about creative design, as part of testing standards.[16] On February 13, 2007, the Board voted 6 to 4 to reject the amended science standards enacted in 2005. This was the fifth time in eight years that the Board had rewritten the standards concerning evolution.[17]

Bobby Henderson, a 25-year-old Oregon State University physics graduate, had stated on his website that he was desperately trying to avoid taking a job programming slot machines in Las Vegas.[3] On November 15 the Dallas Morning News described him as an unemployed slot-machine engineer,[18] and on the following day the New York Magazine described an advance from Villard to write The Gospel of The Flying Spaghetti Monster with the subheading "Jackpot for unemployed slot-machine engineer and heretic".[19] As of February 2008, Henderson describes himself as spending "a lot of time trying to avoid a Real Job", saying that "it's not just about the money. Speculative work is more interesting. Specifically, I'm interested in random stupid projects." He cites as a successful example his "taco-art project" which took him one day, and orders for prints had made him over $2,000, though many other "stupid (but interesting) projects" didn't work out.[20]

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« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2009, 01:31:43 pm »

In November 2007, three talks involving the Flying Spaghetti Monster were scheduled to be delivered at the American Academy of Religion's annual meeting in San Diego. The talks included titles such as, "Holy Pasta and Authentic Sauce: The Flying Spaghetti Monster's Messy Implications for Theorizing Religion".[21] Academics say while its inclusion in the program may get laughs, it is a serious debate on the essence of religion exploring questions such as "does religion require a genuine theological belief or simply a set of rituals and a community joining together as a way of signaling their cultural alliances to others?" or in short, "is an anti-religion like Flying Spaghetti Monsterism actually a religion?"[22]

In December 2007, The Ledger reported that members of the website, Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, sent emails to School Board members in Polk County, Florida, on the issue of intelligent design.[23]

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« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2009, 01:32:01 pm »

Beliefs
Henderson proposed many of the beliefs in reaction to common arguments by proponents of intelligent design.[24]

The canonical beliefs of Flying Spaghetti Monsterism are set forth by Henderson in the Open Letter,[4] the Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and on Henderson's web site,[25] where he is described as a prophet.

The central belief is that there is an invisible and undetectable Flying Spaghetti Monster, who created the entire universe "after drinking heavily."[14] The Monster's intoxication was supposedly the cause for a flawed Earth. All "evidence" for evolution was planted by the Flying Spaghetti Monster, in an effort to test Pastafarians' faith — a form of the Omphalos hypothesis. When scientific measurements, such as radiocarbon dating, are made, the Flying Spaghetti Monster "is there changing the results with His Noodly Appendage."[4]

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« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2009, 01:32:16 pm »

The Pastafarian belief of heaven stresses that it contains a beer volcano and a stripper factory.[26] Hell is similar, except that the beer is stale, and the strippers have STDs.[27]

Henderson uses parallel concepts from religious texts when describing the FSM, poking fun at those who literally interpret the Bible. The religious text of the Pastafarian religion is called the Loose Canon instead of the formal Canon. In place of the Ten Commandments, it contains the Eight I'd Really Rather You Didn'ts.

The official conclusion to prayers is "RAmen", contained in certain sections of The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and so on. It is a portmanteau of the Semitic term "Amen" (used in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam); and Ramen, a type of noodle. While it is typically spelled with both a capital "R" and "A", it is also acceptable to spell it with only a capital R.

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« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2009, 01:32:42 pm »

Pirates and global warming

According to the Pastafarian belief system, pirates are "absolute divine beings" and the original Pastafarians.[4] Their image as "thieves and outcasts" is misinformation spread by Christian theologians in the Middle Ages and by Hare Krishnas. Pastafarianism says that they were in fact "peace-loving explorers and spreaders of good will" who distributed candy to small children, and adds that modern pirates are in no way similar to "the fun-loving buccaneers from history". Pastafarians celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day on September 19. Ghost pirates are also believed to be responsible for all the mysterious lost ships and planes of the Bermuda Triangle.

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« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2009, 01:33:12 pm »

The inclusion of pirates in Pastafarianism was part of Henderson's original letter to the Kansas School Board. It illustrated that correlation does not imply causation. Henderson put forth the argument that "global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters are a direct effect of the shrinking numbers of pirates since the 1800s."[4] A chart accompanying the letter shows that as the number of pirates decreased, global temperatures increased. This is akin to the suggestion from some religious groups that the high numbers of disasters, famines and wars in the world is due to the lack of respect and worship towards a deity.

In 2008, Henderson has interpreted the growing pirate activities at the Gulf of Aden as an additional empirical support, pointing out that Somalia has "the highest number of Pirates AND the lowest Carbon emissions of any country."[28]

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« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2009, 01:33:32 pm »

Holiday
Around the time of Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa, Pastafarians celebrate a vaguely-defined holiday named "Holiday", which doesn't take place on "a specific date so much as it is the Holiday season, itself". Because Pastafarians "reject dogma and formalism", there are no specific requirements for the holiday.[29]

Pastafarians note the increasing popularity of their holiday at the expense of others, with stores and shops now wishing people "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas" -- even George W. Bush's White House Christmas cards wished people a happy Holiday season, leading Henderson to write the President a note of thanks, including an FSM "fish" emblem for his limo or plane.[30]

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« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2009, 01:34:14 pm »



Chart comparing Number of Pirates versus Global Warming. This chart (with inverted numbers on one axis), a version of which was included with Bobby Henderson's original letter to the Kansas School Board, illustrates the absurdity of assuming that correlation implies causation.
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