Is this the Face of God?
Is this the Holy Plate of Pasta?
Someone I know claims he once heard a customer chortle as he left a seafood counter that he "...must've gotten half that steak free because so much was hanging off of the scale when the butcher weighed it!"
Sigh... put another mark in the scientific illiteracy column. It's sad, but the score keeps getting higher over there, because so many people are ignorant of science and the scientific method that any talking head can throw together his own "theory" and demand it be given equal time in the classroom. Since so many folks who make decisions on school boards don't know enough science to realize what "theory" actually means, a few wacky ones are getting a lot more face time than they deserve in local school systems. Well, if Intelligent Design deserves equal time, who are we to deny Pastafarians their fifteen minutes of fame? Let's teach The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster!
Each decade seems to generate another silly book: there was The Dieter's Guide to Weight loss During Sex in the seventies, then came The Yuppie Handbook in the eighties (no idea what it was in the nineties). The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster may not have been the number one silliness of the first decade of Century Twenty-One, but that was never the intention Instead, this is an all-out attack - carefully comedic, of course - on those demanding the teaching of Intelligent Design. Three cheers for the Holy Plate of Pasta and His prophet, Bobby Henderson!
Back in 2005 when he was supposedly a twenty-something physics student from Oregon, FSM's chief prophet drafted an elaborate - and frequently hilarious - spoof of ID or, as it's usually called in scientific circles, "Creationism in a Cheap Tuxedo." Pandering (of course) to the lowest common denominator - the great unwashed and the partially educated - Henderson constructed a new religion in its entirety. Pastafarianism became a religion complete with its own chosen people, own heaven and hell, own creation story, own version of communion, and - now - its own gospel.
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was 'Aarrrh.'"
Thus beginneth The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, holy book of a new religion variously known as FSMism and Pastafarianism - it doesn't make much difference to its practitioners. It doesn't make much difference, because there isn't actually much to the religion. Perhaps that's a "good thing," as Martha Stewart might say. Some prime tenets of Pastafarianism are:
- FSM don't need no steenkin' dogma
- Heaven has not only a beer volcano, it also has a stripper factory
- Pasta is perfect food. Can I get a RAmen?!
- Midgets are evil
- Friday is a religious holiday. Every Friday.
- Pirates are His chosen people, and every bad thing you've ever heard about them is a lie
But there's more: he who studies FSMism will learn that many scientific "theories" are incorrect. Take gravity: Earth isn't holding people down, the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM) is pushing them downward with His Noodly Appendage. There is no such thing as evolution: the FSM created the world in five days (thus Friday's status as a religious holiday for adherents of FSM), and on the fifth day, He laced the entire universe with false clues: red-shifted light to make it look like distant stars were receding, bazillions of fossils buried in the rock, and stuff like that. He did all this to fool future "scientists" into thinking that the universe is billions of years old and that life on Earth took hundreds of millions of years to "evolve." Small wonder He took Friday off: He was tired!
Ever heard of "string theory"? the scientific paradigm that claims that everything in the universe is made of eensy strings way, way, way too small to see with the naked scanning electron microscope? Think about it: strings... spaghetti... strings... spaghetti... I see the pattern; do you?
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An Pastafarian with His Pets
Pirates are the chosen people of the FSM. If you want your prayers heard, it's best to dress in full regalia (parrot optional).
New Pastarfarians will learn much about their chosen religion. For instance, the answer to the question, "Does He hear my prayers?" is that indeed He does,
"but that is not to say that they will necessarily be answered. To increase your odds, it's recommended that you wear full Pirate regalia or at least an eyepatch."
Or one learns answer to the question, "How do you reconcile the glaring inconsistencies and contradictions in the FSM religion?" which is,
"First, all those seeming flaws were carefully put in place, by Him, to test His followers' faith. Second, a certain amount of inconsistency is necessary for a religion to become widespread - for example, Christianity, Islam, and so on."
There is just one self-levitating Holy Plate of Pasta (replete with tomato sauce and meatballs) and Bobby Henderson is His prophet. Can I get a RAmen!?
Though it's all good fun - at least as long as you're not a fan of ID, I suppose - the book actually has a hidden purpose. That's to demonstrate the absurdity of the argument that ID and Evolution are both valid because they're both "theories." Henderson points out that if those two can be considered equals just because the proponents of ID say they are, while relying on the listeners' unfamiliarity with the meaning of "theory" to a scientist, then any crackpot paradigm - such as FSMism - likewise deserves equal time. Sadly, his most likely audience (young men whose interest is suddenly piqued by a Heaven with a beer volcano and a stripper factory) is unlikely to have much influence on their local school boards.
Ah, well, he tried - and most of it was funny. I just want to know, however: if heaven has a beer volcano and a stripper factory, is it true that in... "the other place" the beer is flat? and so are the strippers?
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