Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Pirates and Global Warming

My favorite meme in recent memory is the Flying Spaghetti Monster, which was a response to the ridiculous actions of the Kansas State School Board to introduce intelligent design to the "science" curriculum of that state. There are a few reasons why i think this is so cool. First, it's funny. It's not especially original-- people ridiculing creationists have invoked magical, mythical creatures since time immemorial (usually giant purple chickens, etc.), but this instance has a particular depth and texture that is unprecedented. There's an FSM creation myth and FSM paintings and FSM iconography and FSM scripture ("touched by His Noodly Appendage"), and even an FSM Holy Week. Second, it really does expose the essential ridiculousness of ID, even if it is, as must be the case, preaching to the choir (must be because ID is designed-- no pun intended-- to be evidence-proof). Third, it involves pirates.

Worshipers of the FSM, called "Pastafarians", know that one must don full pirate regalia in order to teach the beliefs of FSM-ism (I'm wearing an eye-patch right now, i swear. Ask the parrot if you don't believe me). The key scientific evidence in favor of the FSM is the clear correlation between the increase in global temperature and the decline in the number of pirates.

Sure, it's smart-alecky and all. But a good dose of clever humor goes further than the pronouncements of experts. Most of the scientists asked to speak before the Kansas board declined, realizing that if the board were interested in intellectual honesty they wouldn't be having a hearing to assess the relative merit of evolution vs. ID. The FSM won't have any affect on ID true-believers, but at least it's more fun for the rest of us than yet another dry refutation.

1 comment:

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