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Letter of Support to School Board

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.

We do not know just what happened back then as he was penning his letter, but something tumultous must have happened in his life, because the closing part of his letter took an extremely dramatic turn which is pretty much the stuff of dreams and legends.

In a complete about face, he proposed 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 curriculum.

Further, the urgency with which this must have happened can be seen by the fact that the new theory was mentioned no where else in his letter, indicating that his final appeal was done in haste. It must have been like a fire in his bones to fix this problem up at the school level.

One can only guess as to what happened. Perhaps during the course of his letter he ran across some information that one of the theories was extremely questionable, actually based on a process which was completely unknown, and most likely should not be taught in a science class in any school. It may even be a pseudoscience. With these possible deep thoughts and concerns, he changed direction completely and composed his final urgent appeal to the school board.

The dramatic turn can be seen in the following, some of the first paragraph and his final urgent appeal:

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. ...

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.

Sincerely Yours,
Bobby Henderson, concerned citizen.
https://www.spaghettimonster.org/about/open-letter/

He did not further elucidate on what the new third theory was, but from the description he gave, it was clearly not Evolution. And it takes a fair bit of nerve to write to a school board and suggest they remove one teaching from a curriculum and replace it with something completely different. And we must applaud Bobby Henderson for his bold appeal.

I only wish that I had known about this back then. I would have been very happy to support him and possibly would have written myself to the school board showing some support for his bold appeal. My letter may have been something like the following:


LETTER TO SCHOOL BOARD

I am writing to you to give some very strong support to part of the concluding appeal in the letter by Mr Bobby Henderson that you have recently received. I very strongly agree with him that public school science classes are not the right place for any theory that is most likely founded on mumbo jumbo magic, speculation, a process which is completely unknown, and circular reasoning, apart from possibly being a pseudoscience.

I heartily agree with him in asking you to drop one of the main theories on your science curriculum and replace it with a subject much more rational and as he finally wrote, using "logical conjecture based on overwhelming observable evidence."

As for the other two theories he mentioned, the FSM sounds bonkers. And Intelligent Design having a religious background really belongs somewhere else. If you have religious classes it could go there. Or any voluntary scripture or devotional periods the students may choose, would be better for its discussion.

In the case Mr. Henderson's appeal is not upheld and the school board chooses to leave Evolution on its science curriculum I would respectfully request that you give some consideration to moving Intelligent Design to a class on religion or for pastoral periods.

Leaving the FSM and Evolution together, though not ideal, I can at least console myself with the thought that they have a very similar validity and may actually complement each other quite well.
Sincerely yours,
Stephen Buckley
LETTER TO SCHOOL BOARD

I am writing to you to give some very strong support to part of the concluding appeal in the letter by Mr Bobby Henderson that you have recently received. I very strongly agree with him that public school science classes are not the right place for any theory that is most likely founded on mumbo jumbo magic, speculation, a process which is completely unknown, and circular reasoning, apart from possibly being a pseudoscience.

I heartily agree with him in asking you to drop one of the main theories on your science curriculum and replace it with a subject much more rational and as he finally wrote, using "logical conjecture based on overwhelming observable evidence."

As for the other two theories he mentioned, the FSM sounds bonkers. And Intelligent Design having a religious background really belongs somewhere else. If you have religious classes it could go there. Or any voluntary scripture or devotional periods the students may choose, would be better for its discussion.

In the case Mr. Henderson's appeal is not upheld and the school board chooses to leave Evolution on its science curriculum I would respectfully request that you give some consideration to moving Intelligent Design to a class on religion or for pastoral periods.

Leaving the FSM and Evolution together, though not ideal, I can at least console myself with the thought that they have a very similar validity and may actually complement each other quite well.
Sincerely yours,
Stephen Buckley
LETTER TO SCHOOL BOARD

I am writing to you to give some very strong support to part of the concluding appeal in the letter by Mr Bobby Henderson that you have recently received. I very strongly agree with him that public school science classes are not the right place for any theory that is most likely founded on mumbo jumbo magic, speculation, a process which is completely unknown, and circular reasoning, apart from possibly being a pseudoscience.

I heartily agree with him in asking you to drop one of the main theories on your science curriculum and replace it with a subject much more rational and as he finally wrote, using "logical conjecture based on overwhelming observable evidence."

As for the other two theories he mentioned, the FSM sounds bonkers. And Intelligent Design having a religious background really belongs somewhere else. If you have religious classes it could go there. Or any voluntary scripture or devotional periods the students may choose, would be better for its discussion.

In the case Mr. Henderson's appeal is not upheld and the school board chooses to leave Evolution on its science curriculum I would respectfully request that you give some consideration to moving Intelligent Design to a class on religion or for pastoral periods.

Leaving the FSM and Evolution together, though not ideal, I can at least console myself with the thought that they have a very similar validity and may actually complement each other quite well.
Sincerely yours,
Stephen Buckley


Image:The Flying Spaghetti Monster

Image:The Flying Spaghetti Monster

Image:The Flying Spaghetti Monster


DISCLAIMER
This is my interpretation of events. It may not be exactly what happened.

REFERENCES

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Flying_Spaghetti_Monster.svg
Simple picture of Flying Spaghetti Monster.
Author: dopplerduck
PUBLIC DOMAIN

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Human_evolution_scheme.svg
Attribution: M. Garde
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.


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Stephen Buckley
E-mail: stephen [at] greatesthoax.info
Last revised: 26 Jun 2021.
Construction started about 24 Oct 2020.


Page design/construction Stephen Buckley 2020.