The Flying Spaghetti Monster is the deity of a parody religion created by Bobby Henderson in 2005 to protest the decision by the Kansas State Board of Education to require the teaching of intelligent design as an alternative to biological evolution. On the site and in the letter, Henderson professes belief in a supernatural Creator entity that resembles spaghetti and meatballs, called the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and suggests that FSMism should be taught in science classrooms, essentially arguing a reductio ad absurdum against the teaching of Intelligent Design. The followers of The Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM) are called Pastafarians.
Creature’s picture irks Board of Ed member
BY ICESS FERNANDEZ
The Wichita Eagle
State Board of Education member Connie Morris took exception Wednesday to a picture of a made-up creature that satirizes the state’s new science standards hanging on a Stucky Middle School teacher’s door.
Fellow board member Sue Gamble told The Eagle that Morris asked for the picture to be removed.
The creature, called the Flying Spaghetti Monster, is the creation of Bobby Henderson of Corvallis, Ore. It looks like a clump of spaghetti with two eyes sticking out of the top and two meatballs flanking the eyes.
Henderson created the entity and an accompanying mythology on the origin of mankind to make fun of Kansas’ recent debate over the teaching of criticisms of evolution, including intelligent design.
In November, the board voted 6-4 to allow criticisms of evolution to be taught in Kansas schools.
Morris, who voted for the new science standards, saw the picture during the tour. She did not return phone calls for this report.
Gamble, who voted against the new standards and was also on the tour, said that Morris asked principal Kenneth Jantz to have the picture taken down.
Board members toured Stucky before finishing two days of meetings in Wichita on Wednesday.
Gamble said that when she saw the picture during the tour, she knew that some board members wouldn’t approve of it.
“When we went into that classroom, students were looking at rock formations,” Gamble said. “Connie stopped to talk to a teacher and I moved on. That was when I was aware of the flyer. I thought ‘she’s probably going to say something to the teacher.’ “
Gamble said that when Morris saw the picture, she asked the principal, who was on the tour, to take it down. Jantz did not comment for this report.
Gamble said she didn’t see Morris talk to Randy Mousley, the teacher, or to the principal, but that she later went up to Mousley and asked if Morris said anything to him about the picture.
That’s when Gamble learned that Morris had asked the principal to take it down.
The monster’s picture has hung on the door since September or October and was put up there as a joke, Mousley said.
“It’s a parody,” he said. “It’s just making fun of anti-evolution.”
Mousley said he doesn’t teach students about the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
Also on the door is a Doonesbury comic strip about science, said board member Carol Rupe, who represents Wichita. She also voted against the new standards.
“It was two little pieces of paper on the door,” she said. “It was poking good fun.”
Gamble said she told the principal that it was his decision whether the monster could stick around.
“I advised the principal that Morris has no authority,” she said. “I told him to deal with his staff as he saw fit, not by what a state board member says.”
Board chairman Steve Abrams, who voted for the new standards, didn’t see the picture but said he thinks that the Flying Spaghetti Monster is silly.
“Personally, I think it’s juvenile,” he said.
The picture was still on the door at the end of the school day Wednesday