Saturday, 13 October 2007


In the United States, someone who was appalled by the decision taken by the State of Kansas in 2005 to teach “creationism” at school, created the “Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster”!

The school authorities had decided that the “intelligent design” which is suppose to explain the creation of the world by a superior being, should be taught as an alternative to Darwin’s theory of evolution which is traditionally in every school programme.

Bobby Henderson, a scientist, decided to counter-attack by “absurdity” and sent a letter to the authorities to explain that “pastafarism” should also be taught in science classes (read the letter here). According to this theory, the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster and the followers of the Church of the Flying Monster are called “pastafarians”!

This info had been circulating on the web site BoingBoing and had gained a lot of momentum from then on. A creationist had offered a lot of money in reward to anyone who would be able to provide an “absolute proof of the theory of evolution”. The site had reacted offering even more money to anyone who could provide an “absolute proof that Jesus is not the son of the Flying Spaghetti Monster”! Proof is still awaited…

The first time I read about this, the only reaction I had was to shake my head, the second was to laugh. I thought “why once again do we have to battle over such things? Why is it that religion has to be the centre of discussions which are from the beginning condemned to end nowhere”? Religion is and should always be a personal thing. Should we impose our beliefs on others? I think if you look at the past, on what was and is being done in HIS name, you will get an approximate answer.

I was born a catholic, even went to Sunday school for a while, but religion was never a very important part in my life, not in a way that makes me go to Church every Sunday. I did use to wonder when I returned to Portugal, why religion (catholic) was taught at school? So, being an adolescent who had, as other adolescents, other important things to worry about; I thought that religion did not belong in school and said so. That earned me a very fiery discussion with the priest who used to teach the religion classes!

I am a Roman Catholic, and as such I believe in one of the most precious gifts God has left us “free will”. I choose to believe that there must be a superior being watching over us, and I choose to believe that when I talk to Him, He listens, where ever I am.

But then, I also have a scientific upbringing. Having studied archaeology, I often stop at details and ask as Saint Thomas did, i.e. “see to believe”. Therefore, the religion part in me makes me talk to Jesus when I need comfort and then the scientist in me makes me think that he was a man of flesh and blood who had very interesting ideas and a good philosophy of life.

Now, this “sterile” debate between the theory of evolution and creationism is devoted to get no where! Because no one can be a hundred percent sure. I am sure my fellow “scientists” will agree with me, that we can never be sure of anything, that no matter how far we get in getting scientific explanations and proofs out, that there is always a small percentage of doubt. That is the most important part in science (in my humble opinion) “doubt to be able to go further”. When you reach a certainty, you are stuck and will not be able to see further in future unless you remain with a small part of doubt and challenge that certainty to be sure.

Therefore, who can guarantee what God looks like? Could it be a Flying Spaghetti Monster? It could also be anything else we like if we start thinking this way!

To anyone interested, visit the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster website (click here)!

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