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Flying Spaghetti Monster

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Flying spagetti monster.jpg

The Flying Spaghetti Monster is a fictitious character invented to parody God, which has become popular in anticreationist and anti-Intelligent Design circles. It was created in 2005 to protest the decision by the Kansas State Board of Education to require the teaching of intelligent design.

Intention, Comparisons and Contrasts

The intention of the parody is to ridicule the idea of Intelligent Design (ID) being taught in schools, by claiming that if ID is taught, the creation of the world by the Flying Spaghetti Monster has as much right to be taught as well. The parody misses its mark, however, as it overlooks some key factors that make it different to Intelligent Design.

The following table compares and contrasts a number of similarities and differences between the Flying Spaghetti Monster, evolution, Intelligent Design, and the creation model.

Flying Spaghetti Monster Evolution Intelligent Design Creationism
Intended as parody Intended as science Intended as science Intended as a theological model of intelligent design
Creator (the Flying Spaghetti Monster itself) assumed to exist and identified Creator assumed not to exist Creator (designer) inferred from the evidence but not identified Creator assumed to exist and specifically identified
Evidence for evolution claimed to be planted by the creator Evidence for evolution is not to be questioned Evidence for evolution challenged with academic arguments Evidence for evolution challenged with academic arguments
Creator makes things appear older than they are as a test of faith Accepts uniformitarian ages Generally accepts uniformitarian ages Rejects uniformitarian ages as based on unprovable presuppositions
Has no genuine support in the scientific community Has the support of the vast majority of scientists Has the support of (at least) thousands of scientists Has the support of (at least) thousands of scientists
Has no supporting evidence Has supporting evidence that is highly contested Has supporting evidence Has supporting evidence
Flying Spaghetti Monster poster by the Atheists, Humanists, and Agnostics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison was displayed in the Wisconsin Capitol building during Christmas season of 2013. For the display the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty named the Wisconsin Department of Administration the winner of the 2013 Ebenezer Award.[1]
The Flying Spaghetti Monster used in a parody of Michelangelo's The Creation of Adam.

Anticreationists and anti-ID proponents repeatedly "overlook" that people who propose teaching Intelligent Design and/or creation in science classes are actually proposing that scientific evidence consistent with those viewpoints be taught. Proposing to teach other "theories" that lack meaningful scientific evidence is not an equivalent situation, but simply a case of refusing to address the issues. This lack of equivalence makes the Flying Spaghetti Monster an example of the straw man fallacy.

References


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