Thursday, April 06, 2006

Alternative beliefs or just a bowl of noodles?

Sorry for my delay, I've been out for a while. But I think I have a strong post for a good return...this one is going to strike some chords with a few of you...

In my writing for mass media class, we've been talking about interesting stories, and how some publications are on top of their beat. My teacher, Deborah Givens (excellent teacher for anyone planning to take 204) brought up this story about Intelligent Design in the Herald-Leader the other day...the title of this article: IN SPAGHETTI MONSTER THEY TRUST.

Now you're probably wondering, "What's a Spaghetti Monster?" Well you can log onto the Herald-Leader at, and pay 3 dollars to read their archive...or you can go get your coffee, soda of your choice (mine is Pepsi), milk, water or Full Throttle, maybe even some cookies or something, but whatever you need, get it now because you're in for a shell-shocker if you're not familar with this story.

I've done a fair share of research about the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and the cause behind it. It's interesting, but it's probably going to upset many of you who do not understand something. Science. Not only science, the meaning of it, the purpose.

My biology teacher gave me a good definition last semester. Here it is (thanks Mr. Bill):
Science is an open system of skeptical inquiry producing falsifiable knowledge subject to modification based on empirical and objective testing.

Just incase that lost you, here's a dumbed down version (if you're not lost, just skip through):
Skeptical inquiry means that you can doubt it.
Falsifiable means it is open ot being shown that it is not true.
Modification means change. A slight change or an alteration.
Empirical is just using your senses.
Objective means free from bias.

Okay, I think if you read those definitions you can go back and figure out that science must be open to questions.

Back to the case of the spaghetti monster. I mean, Spaghetti Monster. Okay, so this guy named Bobby Henderson of Kansas finds that Intelligent Design is being taught as a science in school and decided to do something about.

Now please, family, friends, and those who have stumbled upon my well thought out ramblings (or not so well thought out on some days) don't think that I'm arguing against Intelligent Design. I'm not. It seems that this has came up in all my classes this semester. I've learned a lot and I think I'm prepared to make a good arguement here, if you're willing to listen to it.

Okay, so anyways. Bobby Henderson decides to write a letter to the Kansas school board proposing that they teach the religion of Flying Spaghetti Monsterism. Now, I haven't read the book of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, but judging from the website, I'm pretty sure, (now this isn't a, well, don't quote me...) that this is just...(is anyone listening...) a joke.

Bobby Henderson isn't just a random idiot that is just making things up. He has a degree in physics and seems to actually be a reasonably intelligent guy. BUT, here is what I don’t like about his point. He is mocking religion. He is making his point, which is that you can’t teach religion as science, because it’s not open to being proven false, but is it right to sacrifice your credibility? Well let’s see what some assumed believers in Intelligent Design had to say…

“…an intelectual man such as yourself, you should have thesimple common sence to respect other peoples beliefs. making a LAMEjoke about the the one awnser the one thing your whole pathetic lifeis base upon CANT awnser is a sign of how your brain is flawed. iwould suggest growing up allitle and/or blowing your f***** face offwith a shotgun.
F***** humans, your all pathetic. you dont know s*** b****.”

That's not exactly what I would think the intelligent designer would say, let's see another…

“Bobby,Grow up. You are behaving like an idiot. It is people like you that give your side no credibility at all.Take your spaghetti monster and stick it.”

Credibility seems to be lost from the Intellectual Design side when people handle it such as this. There are some people who handled it well, but it only takes one idiot to ruin it for everyone.

I’m not at all arguing for the religion of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and honestly, I don’t believe Henderson is. His point, as is his supporters is that, you shouldn’t teach Intelligent Design in a science class because it doesn’t hold up with the definition of science. The idea of Intelligent Design belongs in a theology class, or religious class of some sort.

To speak my part, not all scientists believe there isn’t such thing as intelligent design. Many are just trying to figure out the natural reason for things to happen. I don’t see how anyone capable of reading this can argue against science. It’s the same reason you’re capable of reading my words right now. It gets you to work in the morning, and probably gives you a way to get through your work day better. Science is curing diseases, creating simple medicines, giving college students iPods the size of matchbooks that hold 79,298 songs so they can listen to 47 of those from their pocket. Science is just what that definition I gave you says, it’s just trying to present a method that others can test, and argue for or against. Religion can be put to tests over and over, and it is every day. But that works from faith. You can't prove faith. If your faith is solid enough, you can sustain learning about other ideas.

Evolution isn’t what many make it out to be either. This is something I’m tired of hearing too. Darwin didn’t say we came from monkeys. Darwin believed in what is natural selection. Let me explain as simply as possible what that means.

Suppose there are two different colors of this certain type of moth, green and brown. They both live on a type of bush that is mostly green and has small brown twigs. Well, big, ugly birds feed on these moths. The moths primarily stay on the leaves. Which do you think is easiest for the bird to find? The brown. So the moths carrying the gene for brown are killed off slowly and the green survive. (I’ve included a drawing to help you understand).

So it’s easy to see how this happens. That’s natural selection. Nature is what decides what exists. And this way, things can go on and live. So it’s not really like the strongest survive. Say the strongest of the moths are brown, they’re still dead. Over time, the green moths will filter out things that don’t work, just as their color filtered out.

This isn’t a myth either. We’ve seen it happen in our time. In England, there was a type of moth that was white and blended in with a certain type of tree. Factories were built near the trees, turned them black, and the white moths that lived on the trees slowly turned black. Not because they thought about it and just did it. It’s just that the black ones, whether they were black from mutation or whatever, were more capable of survival. Then, once the factories were forced to clean up, the moths slowly turned back white after several more generations.

Evolution isn’t the monkey to man system many people believe it to be. And it’s usually not presented that way in school. I’ve never had it brought to me that way in a class. But maybe those people in Kansas are dealing with a little different situation.

Either way I think the Flying Spaghetti Monster is definitely getting it’s point across, some just aren't listening. It’s not clear to me if that’s a very proper way to get your ideas out. Go on to the site, decide for yourself.

The Doctor is out for today. I’ve given my advice, the prescription is blank. Fill it in yourself.