Flying Spaghetti Monster

While Lynda and I were in Barnes and Noble last evening and I was on my usual path to the computer section, my attention was drawn to a prominently displayed book. It was a bright red book titled The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, by Bobby Henderson.

It was rather obvious that it was a parody on something – very likely against theism in some way. And so it is. It turns out to be a development of the statement made by Mr. Henderson about a decision of the Kansas State Board of Education that intelligent design must be taught as an alternative to biological evolution in public schools. In an open letter to the board, Henderson calls for equal treatment of his belief in the “Pastapharian” theory of creation, obviously mocking their decision, but considering such an option as just as logical.

I wanted to say something clever to the Barnes and Noble lady who greeted me as I glanced through the book, questioning why such a volume should be so prominently displayed. But as usual I came up blank – until after bed time. (It was 11:20 pm as I penned the first draft of this.)

The book was resting in an acrylic stand on a workstation table about chest high and facing the incoming traffic along a narrow walkway beside the escalator. What I now wish had come to my mind then was to ask her how the book came to be placed in such a position, and then to proceed:
– What processes were involved in getting it into the hands of the intelligent person who made the decisions to place it in such a location?
– How did the book itself come together?
– What processes were involved
– in the pages becoming bound together?
– in the printing of the pages?
– in the arrangement of the letters into the words – sentences – paragraphs?
– in the fabrication of the paper?
– in the design and fabrication of the parts of and assembly of the machinery to print it?
– This could go on and on, but what about
– the transportation system to get it there (vehicles, roads, drivers, maps & navigation systems)
– Postal system to plan and take advantage of the transportation system
– Payment and accounting system to
– buy the books so they could be stocked
– sell the books
– pay the employees
– again, this could go on and on
How many of these and so many other systems involved in getting that book into place on its acrylic stand can, with a straight face, be attributed to time, chance and natural processes?

Which of the steps were just allowed to happen by chance?

Oh, and don’t forget that this is just one of thousands of books on tables, racks and shelves all neatly and intelligently organized and arranged (at least originally) for maximum sales appeal so that customers can find them, buy them and make money for a large national organization.

– How does all this compare to the organization and order of a simple flower that grows, reproduces itself – attracting insects to help the process – and is beautiful to boot, and is a single example of a huge variety of plants and animals?

Which is more complex – the book store and its history and assembly, or living organisms?

Who’s really being silly?

[Reminder: See my caveat in the pages on the right.]

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