Hot off the presses:
When some of the world’s leading religious scholars gather in San Diego this weekend, pasta will be on the intellectual menu. They’ll be talking about a satirical pseudo-deity called the Flying Spaghetti Monster, whose growing pop culture fame gets laughs but also raises serious questions about the essence of religion….
The appearance of the Flying Spaghetti Monster on the agenda of the American Academy of Religion’s annual meeting gives a kind of scholarly imprimatur to a phenomenon that first emerged in 2005, during the debate in Kansas over whether intelligent design should be taught in public school sciences classes.
Supporters of intelligent design [bla bla bla bla]
An Oregon State physics graduate named Bobby Henderson stepped into the debate by sending a letter to the Kansas School Board. … [speaking] for 10 million followers of a being called the Flying Spaghetti Monster …
“We have evidence that a Flying Spaghetti Monster created the universe. None of us, of course, were around to see it, but we have written accounts of it,” Henderson wrote. As for scientific evidence to the contrary, “what our scientist does not realize is that every time he makes a measurement, the Flying Spaghetti Monster is there changing the results with His Noodly Appendage.”
[the Noodly Appendage recently touched] three young scholars at the University of Florida who study religion…. They [formed] panel on FSM-ism on the agenda at one of the field’s most prestigious gatherings.
The title: “Evolutionary Controversy and a Side of Pasta: The Flying Spaghetti Monster and the Subversive Function of Religious Parody.”