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Old 08-30-05, 08:40 AM   #1
The Bus
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The Flying Spaghetti Monster: "I was touched by His Noodly Appendage"

Quote:


But Is There Intelligent Spaghetti Out There?

Is the super-intelligent, super-popular god known as the Flying Spaghetti Monster any match for the prophets of intelligent design?

This month, the Kansas State Board of Education gave preliminary approval to allow teaching alternatives to evolution like intelligent design (the theory that a smart being designed the universe). And President Bush and Senator Bill Frist of Tennessee both gave the thumbs up to teaching intelligent design.

Long before that, Bobby Henderson, a 25-year-old with a physics degree from Oregon State University, had a divine vision. An intelligent god, a Flying Spaghetti Monster, he said, "revealed himself to me in a dream."

He posted a sketch on his Web site, venganza.org, showing an airborne tangle of spaghetti and meatballs with two eyes looming over a mountain, trees and a stick man labeled "midgit." Prayers to the Flying Spaghetti Monster, his site says, end with "ramen," not "amen."


Then, Mr. Henderson, who says on his site that he is desperately trying to avoid taking a job programming slot machines in Las Vegas, posted an open letter to the Kansas board.

In perfect deadpan he wrote that although he agreed that science students should "hear multiple viewpoints" of how the universe came to be, he was worried that they would be hearing only one theory of intelligent design. After all, he noted, there are many such theories, including his own fervent belief that "the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster." He demanded equal time in the classroom and threatened a lawsuit.

Soon he was flooded with e-mail messages. Ninety-five percent of those who wrote to him, he said on his Web site, were "in favor of teaching Flying Spaghetti Monsterism in schools." Five percent suggested that he would be going to hell. Lawyers contacted him inquiring how serious he was about a lawsuit against the Kansas board. His answer: "Very."


This month, the news media, both mainstream and digital, jumped in. The New Scientist magazine wrote an article. So did Die Welt. Two online encyclopedias, Uncyclopedia and Wikipedia, wrote entries on the Flying Spaghetti Monster. The Web site Boingboing.net mounted a challenge: "We are willing to pay any individual $250,000 if they can produce empirical evidence which proves that Jesus is not the son of the Flying Spaghetti Monster."

Now, Mr. Henderson says on his Web site, "over 10 million people have been touched by His Noodly Appendage." But what does that mean? When push comes to shove, will the religion that has come to be known as Pastafarianism do what it was intended to do - prove that it is ridiculous to teach intelligent design as science?

[Read NYT Article]
Scientific Endorsements to FSMism



All of this is funny as hell.
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Old 08-30-05, 08:44 AM   #2
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Mentioned in post 34 of this thread.

At least the hipster is unemployed.
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Groucho - What if, like, we were all living in a mouse neuron man, and what if some mouse neuron in our universe had a universe it. Whoa.

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Old 08-30-05, 08:47 AM   #3
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It's all about the meatballs.
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Old 08-30-05, 09:00 AM   #4
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Old 08-30-05, 02:55 PM   #5
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from the letter...

"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, I have included a graph of the approximate number of pirates versus the average global temperature over the last 200 years. As you can see, there is a statistically significant inverse relationship between pirates and global temperature. "

lol
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Old 08-30-05, 03:37 PM   #6
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Regarding the thread title....

Paul, is that you?

Chris
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Old 08-30-05, 03:47 PM   #7
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Embraced by the warmth of his sauce-
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Old 08-30-05, 03:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs. Danger
Embraced by the warmth of his sauce-
move to adult talk?
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Old 08-30-05, 04:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrpayroll
Regarding the thread title....

Paul, is that you?

Chris

First thing I thought of too.
Anyway, thread title of the week.
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Old 08-30-05, 04:13 PM   #10
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Where can I get that t-shirt?
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Old 08-30-05, 04:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Groucho
Where can I get that t-shirt?
Here
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Old 08-30-05, 05:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Groucho
Where can I get that t-shirt?

Here, I found your size!




Chris
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Old 08-30-05, 05:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrpayroll
Regarding the thread title....

Paul, is that you?

Chris
THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT "I" THOUGHT!!! &
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Old 08-30-05, 05:26 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by The Edit King
THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT "I" THOUGHT!!! &
Someone's muscling in on your territory!


Chris
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Old 08-30-05, 06:01 PM   #15
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Nice!
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Old 08-30-05, 06:46 PM   #16
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Pastafarianism
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Old 08-31-05, 05:01 AM   #17
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Interesting. But what about the meatball that fell off of my mountain of spaghetti? What did that create other than a mess on my floor?
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Old 11-16-07, 11:59 AM   #18
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Quote:
Religious scholars mull Flying Spaghetti Monster

(AP) -- When some of the world's leading religious scholars gather in San Diego this weekend, pasta will be on the intellectual menu. They'll be talking about a satirical pseudo-deity called the Flying Spaghetti Monster, whose growing pop culture fame gets laughs but also raises serious questions about the essence of religion.


Graduate students Gavin Van Horn, Samuel Snyder and Lucas Johnston, (l-r), study Flying Spaghetti Monsterism.

The appearance of the Flying Spaghetti Monster on the agenda of the American Academy of Religion's annual meeting gives a kind of scholarly imprimatur to a phenomenon that first emerged in 2005, during the debate in Kansas over whether intelligent design should be taught in public school sciences classes.

Supporters of intelligent design hold that the order and complexity of the universe is so great that science alone cannot explain it. The concept's critics see it as faith masquerading as science.

An Oregon State physics graduate named Bobby Henderson stepped into the debate by sending a letter to the Kansas School Board. With tongue in cheek, he purported to speak for 10 million followers of a being called the Flying Spaghetti Monster -- and demanded equal time for their views.

"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," Henderson wrote. As for scientific evidence to the contrary, "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."

The letter made the rounds on the Internet, prompting laughter from some and vilification from others. But it struck a chord and stuck around. In the great tradition of satire, its humor was in fact a clever and effective argument.

Between the lines, the point of the letter was this: There's no more scientific basis for intelligent design than there is for the idea an omniscient creature made of pasta created the universe. If intelligent design supporters could demand equal time in a science class, why not anyone else? The only reasonable solution is to put nothing into sciences classes but the best available science.

"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," Henderson sarcastically concluded.

Kansas eventually repealed guidelines questioning the theory of evolution.

Meanwhile, Flying Spaghetti Monsterism (FSM-ism to its "adherents") has thrived -- particularly on college campuses and in Europe. Henderson's Web site has become a kind of cyber-watercooler for opponents of intelligent design.

Henderson did not respond to a request for comment. His Web site tracks meetings of FSM clubs (members dress up as pirates) and sells trinkets and bumper stickers. "Pastafarians" -- as followers call themselves -- can also download computer screen-savers and wallpaper (one says: "WWFSMD?") and can sample photographs that show "visions" of the divinity himself. In one, the image of the carbohydrate creator is seen in a gnarl of dug-up tree roots.

It was the emergence of this community that attracted the attention of three young scholars at the University of Florida who study religion in popular culture. They got to talking, and eventually managed to get a panel on FSM-ism on the agenda at one of the field's most prestigious gatherings.

The title: "Evolutionary Controversy and a Side of Pasta: The Flying Spaghetti Monster and the Subversive Function of Religious Parody."

"For a lot of people they're just sort of fun responses to religion, or fun responses to organized religion. But I think it raises real questions about how people approach religion in their lives," said Samuel Snyder, one of the three Florida graduate students who will give talks at the meeting next Monday along with Alyssa Beall of Syracuse University.

The presenters' titles seem almost a parody themselves of academic jargon. Snyder will speak about "Holy Pasta and Authentic Sauce: The Flying Spaghetti Monster's Messy Implications for Theorizing Religion," while Gavin Van Horn's presentation is titled "Noodling around with Religion: Carnival Play, Monstrous Humor, and the Noodly Master."

Using a framework developed by literary critic Mikhail Bakhtin, Van Horn promises in his abstract to explore how, "in a carnivalesque fashion, the Flying Spaghetti Monster elevates the low (the bodily, the material, the inorganic) to bring down the high (the sacred, the religiously dogmatic, the culturally authoritative)."

The authors recognize the topic is a little light by the standards of the American Academy of Religion.

"You have to keep a sense of humor when you're studying religion, especially in graduate school," Van Horn said in a recent telephone interview. "Otherwise you'll sink into depression pretty quickly."

But they also insist it's more than a joke.

Indeed, the tale of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and its followers cuts to the heart of the one of the thorniest questions in religious studies: What defines a religion? Does it 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?

In short, is an anti-religion like Flying Spaghetti Monsterism actually a religion?

Joining them on the panel will be David Chidester, a prominent and controversial academic at the University of Cape Town in South Africa who is interested in precisely such questions. He has urged scholars looking for insights into the place of religion in culture and psychology to explore a wider range of human activities. Examples include cheering for sports teams, joining Tupperware groups and the growing phenomenon of Internet-based religions. His 2005 book "Authentic Fakes: Religion and American Popular Culture," prompted wide debate about how far into popular culture religious studies scholars should venture.

Lucas Johnston, the third Florida student, argues the Flying Spaghetti Monsterism exhibits at least some of the traits of a traditional religion -- including, perhaps, that deep human need to feel like there's something bigger than oneself out there.

He recognized the point when his neighbor, a militant atheist who sports a pro-Darwin bumper sticker on her car, tried recently to start her car on a dying battery.

As she turned the key, she murmured under her breath: "Come on Spaghetti Monster!"
http://www.cnn.com/2007/LIVING/perso....ap/index.html
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Old 11-16-07, 12:09 PM   #19
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Quote:
Indeed, the tale of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and its followers cuts to the heart of the one of the thorniest questions in religious studies: What defines a religion? Does it 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?
IMHO, the most interesting line in the article. Something to consider, if you go back to the Latin root religio among the meanings and connotations are awe, sanctity, and reverence, which would indicate to me that some level of sincerity is required of at least some followers for a set of rituals to be considered a religion.
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Old 11-16-07, 12:27 PM   #20
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Sincerity is hard to prove, I'd imagine.
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Old 11-16-07, 12:27 PM   #21
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My Halloween costume.
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Old 11-16-07, 12:53 PM   #22
AGuyNamedMike
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kvrdave
Sincerity is hard to prove, I'd imagine.
Agreed, but I'm talking definitions, not legal merit.
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Groucho - What if, like, we were all living in a mouse neuron man, and what if some mouse neuron in our universe had a universe it. Whoa.

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