Founder of Weird Movement Realizes Evolution More Absurd
In 2005, an open letter from a concerned citizen to a school board pushed for equal time to be given to three theories in public school science classes.
Mr Bobby Henderson proposed adding a third theory to the two that were currently listed for the classes.
His new theory was about a strange deity called the Flying Spaghetti Monster (known as FSM) and his letter outlined some of the beliefs of his weird theology. It has since become a movement with followers in many countries around the world.
But there was a dramatic shift in the final appeal of his letter with him completely changing direction and instead proposing a completely different
theory as one of the three to be taught, in effect telling the school board to dump one of the current theories and replace it with something else.
And it was completely different to the one currently being taught in the school science classes.
And we can only speculate on just what happened back then to cause him to make such a change in direction. And the new different theory he was proposing was mentioned nowhere else in his letter, suggesting this move had been done in haste.
It is at this point that we need to take a closer look at the original three theories mentioned at the beginning of his letter:
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 and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. ...
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.
So at this point in his letter he is proposing the school board accept his weird new FSM theology, in effect making a total of three theories to be taught
in the public science classes:
His FSM theology;
Intelligent Design; and
But by the time we get to his final paragraph and appeal he has dropped one of these and suggested a completely different theory instead:
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 (Pastafarianism), and one
third time for logical conjecture based on overwhelming observable evidence.
Bobby Henderson, concerned citizen.
There is no mention of Evolution in this closing paragraph. And the description of the new theory he is proposing suggests it is something completely different. And the question is why and just what did it mean for the theory of Evolution that he was suggesting be dropped?
One third time for Intelligent Design, one third time for Flying Spaghetti Monsterism (Pastafarianism), and one third time for logical conjecture based on overwhelming observable evidence.
We first look at why he would add a theory at the beginning of his letter and then drop one by the end.
And it's really not too hard to have a guess at this. Somewhere through the course of his letter he must have become aware that one of the theories was in fact quite questionable and was actually based on mumbo jumbo magic, the details of which are still unknown, and requiring circular reasoning along with a fair bit of speculation such as "may have been" and "may be" etc.
Worse yet, this was one of the main theories which had been taught in the school science classes for many years. Realizing that this meant there was possibly some balance of weirdness in the curriculum and this was unlikely to change, one approach would be to try a simple switcheroo like at the beginning of the Indiana Jones movie, by putting something in there not quite as absurd.
So at this point he most likely decided to leave his weird FSM on the list and suggest a new theory to replace the theory of Evolution. Instead of trying to drop both subjects which would be a drastic change in the balance of weirdness, by swapping Evolution with something more rational, and with his FSM theory added, would keep the balance at approximately 33⅓ %. This would be a very safe gamble.
By this time he had most likely come to the belief that the theory of Evolution was even more absurd and bizarre than his own weird FSM theory and that it should be the one removed from the list.
But just what does this mean for the theory of Evolution with respect to his beliefs? There is only one possible conclusion that could be drawn from this
shuffle. Realizing that there were serious problems with the curriculum he had to make a quick decision in an effort to try to minimize the weirdness or
absurdity of it all, even if it meant he had to back off and leave his own strange FSM theory off the list.
But the theory that Mr Henderson dropped from his suggested list was in fact Evolution, and not his own weird FSM theory.
In effect sending a very clear message that by this time he had most likely come to the belief that the theory of Evolution was even more absurd and bizarre than his own weird FSM theory and that it should be the one removed from the list.
And his strong closing appeal in his letter shows that this is indeed the course of action that he pursued.
It does not appear that the school board upheld his appeal, but Bobby Henderson should be commended for his efforts in trying to remove a theory which is based on mumbo jumbo magic from the public school science curriculum.
This is my interpretation of events. It may not be exactly what happened.
Simple picture of Flying Spaghetti Monster.
Attribution: M. Garde
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
E-mail: stephen [at] greatesthoax.info
Last revised: 26 Jun 2021.
Construction started about 24 Oct 2020.
Page design/construction Stephen Buckley 2020.