US state of Kansas in battle over "Intelligent Design" in education

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Wednesday, November 2, 2005

File:Touched by His Noodly Appendage.jpg
The Flying Spaghetti Monster is typically depicted as a clump of tangled spaghetti with two eyestalks, two meatballs, and "noodly appendages," here in a parody of Michelangelo's The Creation of Adam.

Tempers are flaring in the U.S. state of Kansas, where a school board may be on the verge of passing a measure to require that Intelligent Design be taught in public school science classes.

Christian political activists such as Reverend Jerry Johnston of First Family Church in Overland Park Kansas are supporting the effort to shape Kansas science standards according to religious beliefs. Johnston said, "Getting intelligent design into school curricula is the worthiest cause of our time and the key to reversing the country's moral decline."

In an apparent attempt to make the inclusion of Intelligent Design into the curriculum seem foolish, "believers" in the Flying Spaghetti Monster are lobbying the Kansas school board, calling for it to require that creation by the Flying Spaghetti Monster be taught alongside Darwinism and Intelligent Design.

Bobby Henderson, the creator of "pastafarianism", said "I think we can all look forward to the time when these three theories are given equal time in our science classrooms… One third time for Intelligent Design, one third time for Flying Spaghetti Monsterism, and one third time for logical conjecture based on overwhelming observable evidence."

Several members of the Kansas Board of Education have already indicated that they might vote in favor of such an initiative. Board member Carol Rupe wrote, "The new version (of science standards) changes the very definition of science from 'seeking natural explanations' to 'seeking logical explanations.' That is why I think FSMism is able to be included. It is as 'logical' as any other theory."

In 1999, Kansas also wrote Creationism, a precursor of Intelligent Design, into the public school curriculum. A later school board, however, overturned that directive.

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