Tuesday, August 01, 2006

On Top of Spaghetti, All Covered with Cheese

In response to upcoming Kansas State Board of Education elections in Kansas, today I'm posting some relevant satire brought to my attention by recordstoregeek (who had the foresight to purchase and give this domain to me- among the best gifts EVER!). This is meant to be humorous and my apologies to those who don't/can't find the humor contained therein. If you wish to seriously read more on this topic, follow the hyperlinks provided for your convenience!

First a little history for those of you unfortunately born in some other lesser state (haha):
The increasingly bitter seesawing of power on the education board began in 1998 when conservatives won a majority. They made the first changes to the science standards the next year, which in turn were reversed after moderates won back control in 2000. The 2002 elections left the board split 5-5, and in 2004 the conservatives won again, instituting their major standards revisions in November 2005. (source: NYTimes)

Now for the fun stuff! Enjoy!

OPEN LETTER TO KANSAS SCHOOL BOARD:

I am writing you with much concern after having read of your hearing to decide whether the alternative theory of Intelligent Design should be taught along with the theory of Evolution. I think we can all agree that it is important for students to hear multiple viewpoints so they can choose for themselves the theory that makes the most sense to them.

I am concerned, however, that students will only hear one theory of Intelligent Design.Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. 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.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. In fact, I will go so far as to say, if you do not agree to do this, we will be forced to proceed with legal action.

I’m sure you see where we are coming from. 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. Some find that hard to believe, so it may be helpful to tell you a little more about our beliefs. 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. We have several lengthy volumes explaining all details of His power. Also, you may be surprised to hear that there are over 10 million of us, and growing. We tend to be very secretive, as many people claim our beliefs are not substantiated by observable evidence.

What these people don’t understand is that He built the world to make us think the earth is older than it really is. For example, a scientist may perform a carbon-dating process on an artifact. He finds that approximately 75% of the Carbon-14 has decayed by electron emission to Nitrogen-14, and infers that this artifact is approximately 10,000 years old, as the half-life of Carbon-14 appears to be 5,730 years. But 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. We have numerous texts that describe in detail how this can be possible and the reasons why He does this. He is of course invisible and can pass through normal matter with ease. I’m sure you now realize how important it is that your students are taught this alternate theory. It is absolutely imperative that they realize that observable evidence is at the discretion of a Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Furthermore, it is disrespectful to teach our beliefs without wearing His chosen outfit, which of course is full pirate regalia. I cannot stress the importance of this enough, and unfortunately cannot describe in detail why this must be done as I fear this letter is already becoming too long. The concise explanation is that He becomes angry if we don’t. 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.

In conclusion, thank you for taking the time to hear our views and beliefs. I hope I was able to convey the importance of teaching this theory to your students. We will of course be able to train the teachers in this alternate theory. I am eagerly awaiting your response, and hope dearly that no legal action will need to be taken. 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.

Sincerely Yours,

Bobby Henderson, concerned citizen.

P.S. I have included an artistic drawing of Him creating a mountain, trees, and a midget. Remember, we are all His creatures. (source:http://www.venganza.org/)

3 comments:

Jolie said...

Very funny! Aren't you glad you aren't in Kansas anymore?

Dannyboy said...

An update:As a result of Tuesday's vote, board members and candidates who believe evolution is well-supported by evidence will have a 6-4 majority. Evolution skeptics had entered the election with a two-person majority.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/us/AP-Kansas-Evolution.html?th&emc=th

abogado-david said...

Well, as someone who IS still in Kansas and will probably raise our children here, I am obviously happy that moderates are back in control of the state school board. Most of all, I want the new board to remove Bob Corkins--a lawyer and former lobbyist _against_ higher public school funding--from his paid position of Education Commissioner. (See http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2005/oct/12/board_education_officially_hires_bob_corkins/?education )

I do want our school science standards to be returned to the mainstream. The whole hearings they had were kind of a farce. The entire issue, however, had more to do with the so-called "culture wars" (AKA Republicans playing to their base) than how it really would have affected science education, I think. What I understand was technically being proposed by the conservatives was NOT banning the teaching of evolution, but allowing for legitmate discussion, criticism, and debate about the theory. And there is real scientific debate out there--not so much as to whether evolution has occurred, but how it occurred. (See http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/1418794.stm) If that was actually what was going to be put into practice, I would have no problem with it. I was fortunate enough to have taken college anthropology at Ottawa University (see www.ottawa.edu) which, as an American Baptist affiliated college, allowed a round-table discussion with science and religion professors there about reconciling our belief in a God-created world with the scientific evidence of evolution. That was hugely helpful to me and I can honestly say that I feel I have reconciled both in my mind.

That reconciliation, however, did not involve a mockery of Christianity, which is what the Gospel of the Flying Spagetti Monster is. Granted, it is much more clever and constructive than the basic these-morons-believe-in-fairy-tales criticisms I read. But, it is what it is. There are a lot of reasons to rejoice over the triumph of moderates in the school board. Don't even get me started about wanting to get Connie Morris out of there. (see http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2003/sep/15/conservative_liberally_criticized/ ) Anyway, the election results were encouraging--especially if it is an indication that Moderates may be regaining an upper hand within the Kansas Republican Party. Of course, some Moderates have just left the Republicans and switched to the Dems. Either way, there is much to rejoice in without offending Christians, which will be necessary if Democrats and progressives want to compete in Red States like Kansas.