Discovery Institute Attacks the Flying Spaghetti Monster

FOR PURE ENTERTAINMENT, we can always count on Casey Luskin, our favorite of all the neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids).

Casey has just published this article at the Discoveroid blog: The Proper Rebuttal to the Flying Spaghetti Monster: Cartoon Satire on South Park. Here are some excerpts, with the expected Curmudgeonly commentary between paragraphs:

There are Darwinists who actually think that by mentioning the “Flying Spaghetti Monster,” they have made an argument. I probably get about one e-mail per month from a Darwinist who says, “If we are going to invoke or teach ID, we might as well invoke or teach the Flying Spaghetti Monster.” Has intellectual discourse stooped to such a low level?

Some of you may need a bit of background information. Back in 2005, the Flying Spaghetti Monster became a wildly popular joke because (according to the Wikipedia article and our own memory) it was proposed “to protest the decision by the Kansas State Board of Education to require the teaching of intelligent design as an alternative to biological evolution.” Quoting again from Wikipedia:

In an open letter sent to the education board, [Bobby] Henderson parodies the concept of an intelligent designer by professing belief in a supernatural creator called the Flying Spaghetti Monster which resembles spaghetti and meatballs. He furthermore calls for the “Pastafarian” theory of creation to be taught in science classrooms.

Henderson’s spoof was fabulous. It even embarrassed the members of the Kansas State Board of Education — well, all but a few of the hard-core creationists like Kathy Martin, who didn’t get the joke.

Speaking of people who don’t get the joke, here’s some more from Casey’s article:

To invoke the Flying Spaghetti Monster is to invoke an arbitrary, silly, and unscientific cause. But in science, to invoke intelligent causation is not to invoke an arbitrary explanation. We have observation-based experience with intelligent agents which shows that they are the only known causes of high levels of specified complexity — the very type of specified complexity we find in natural structures. Using uniformitarian reasoning, a common form of scientific reasoning which invokes causes that we observe in nature that are sufficient to account for the observed data, we can use our observations about the power of intelligent agents to infer the prior action of intelligent causes. There’s nothing arbitrary about it.

Right, Casey. The Flying Spaghetti Monster is arbitrary, but there’s nothing arbitrary about your theory. You quite rationally claim that some unknown intelligence (whether it’s a solitary creature or a vast swarm is never addressed), with utterly unknown characteristics (mortal or immortal, sexual or asexual, plant or animal, physical or spiritual), whose home base is somewhere (probably Uranus), and whose ultimate origin is a mystery (evolved, created, or eternal), arrived on earth somehow (in UFOs, perhaps), at some unspecified time (or times), and then in some unspecified way (technological or magical), for unspecified reasons (boredom, or maybe cosmic fulfillment), did something (or maybe several things) to influence the genetic characteristics of some (but maybe not all) of the creatures on earth.

We agree with Casey; his “theory” isn’t arbitrary. It’s way beyond that. ID “theory” is so nonsensical that it could be classified as a derangement. Anyway, here’s Casey’s final paragraph:

Something inside me keeps saying that such logical rebuttals give far too much dignity to FSMism. Given that FSM is merely a funny non-argument in cartoon form, the only real antidote for FSMism is to expose its illogic by invoking other funny non-arguments satirized in cartoon form. So if you’re a Darwinist and you still don’t get the point, then my only suggestion is this: Go watch more South Park.

After having read a number of Casey’s articles at the Discoveroid blog, we’ve come to the conclusion that he’s not a charlatan. He’s serious. Clueless, of course, but serious, and totally without a sense of humor. It must be a grim and ghastly way to go through life. But that’s what it takes for a career in creationism.

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2 responses to “Discovery Institute Attacks the Flying Spaghetti Monster

  1. Obviously, the folks at the UnDyscovery Institute remain untouched by His Noodly Appendage.

    Ramen.

  2. Obviously, the folks at the UnDyscovery Institute remain untouched by His Noodly Appendage.

    All of us are touched, but few of us are able to feel the cold, clammy noodle in our hearts. I hope that Casey Luskin may someday feel His Noodly Appendage on his heart, and the parmesan of enlightenment on his head.

    They really don’t get it, do they? The FSM was first introduced to demonstrate that in the US, a country that guarantees religious freedom, if you want to teach one religious belief you have to teach them all. Courts have ruled that ID is simply biblical creationism dressed up in pseudoscience, so its introduction to science class would be as unconstitutional as indoctrinating students in Pastafarianism.

    Nice post!