What is the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster?

Michael Pollick
Michael Pollick

In 2005, the Kansas State Board of Education voted to require that public schools include the theory of "intelligent design" as a viable alternative to the Darwinian theory of evolution. This decision prompted a graduate physics student named Bobby Henderson to draft a somewhat satirical letter of protest. Henderson argued that any legitimate "intelligent design" theory could not be presented as scientific fact without acknowledging a God, which would violate the separation of religion and science in public schools. He presented an argument in which an all-powerful Flying Spaghetti Monster could be logically credited with creating the known universe.


This letter became the basis of a parody religion known as the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Adherents of the "faith" claim a "Spaghedeity", the Flying Spaghetti Monster, actually used His Noodly Appendage and other powers to create everything on the planet after drinking heavily. If a scientist should happen to use techniques such as carbon-14 dating to disprove this theory, the invisible Monster would actively skew the results in His favor.

The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster satirizes some of the Bible.
The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster satirizes some of the Bible.

Henderson went on to create a largely satirical "Sacred Text" which further outlined the tenets of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Many of these tenets are loosely based on, or suggested by, Judeo-Christian scripture, such as the Ten Commandments. Henderson's version of the Commandments is rendered as the "Eight I'd Really Rather You Didn'ts," for example. Followers of the Church call themselves Pastafarians, a play on the Jamaican-based religion Rastafarianism.

Although many of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster's texts and beliefs are little more than exercises in college satire, there is an underlying point to the movement. The theory of intelligent design is very difficult to explain on a purely scientific level, since the theory inevitably leads to questions about the "intelligent designer" responsible for creation. While the more established theory of biological evolution uses strict scientific data to prove its case, the intelligent design theory is often hampered without the addition of religion-based evidence. Henderson used a theoretical Flying Spaghetti Monster to point out the difficulty of presenting largely faith-based Creationist theory in a scientific setting.

The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster could best be described as a parody religion, along the lines of "Bob" Dobbs's Church of the Subgenius, or an anti-religion, somewhat akin to Scientology or scientific agnosticism. It is still popular on many college campuses, especially to those who feel disenfranchised from mainstream religions or are attracted to counter-cultural lifestyles in general. The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster does have its own website, and its literature is available at many bookstores and libraries.

Michael Pollick
Michael Pollick

A regular wiseGEEK contributor, Michael enjoys doing research in order to satisfy his wide-ranging curiosity about a variety of arcane topics. Before becoming a professional writer, Michael worked as an English tutor, poet, voice-over artist, and DJ.

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Discussion Comments


Dear pfiddle: The racism is not appreciated. Just because someone is an american, it does not mean that they are going to start stuffing their beliefs down your throat or criticize your nations history. We are not evil.

P.S. Please keep the discussion toward religion/the flying spaghetti monster, not criticizing a country it seems you know very little about and are simply stereotyping.


Where that Nazi (comment) come from. ??? There's good and bad everywhere. I (and quite a few others) just don't like one person OR country forcing his/her/it's belief system on another.

As for free speech et al I. Ireland wasn't in the war but like US and Canada we let a huge proportion of our young fit men go fight (incl my father) against a regime that was intent on forcing it's beliefs on one and all. That's MY idea of Nazi-ism.

And it doesn't matter who's doing the forcing. OR where. Free speech is just FREE.




and there aren't any nazis there in ireland either. wonder who helped out with that? good thing for you and the rest of europe we americans love freedom so much!


pfiddle (again)

ps I should point out that I do believe in a higher spirit and I do believe in prayer and I am a great believer in science.

So any of you Americans that are now girding your lions (??) to attack Ireland and all it's black arts and infidels just settle back and try and remember the articles of free speech you so love also applies to others. Just because I/we think different and believe different than you doesn't make us terrorists and you the world's police.

Speaking of which - do not do unto others as you have them do unto you. They may Not have the same taste.

PPS; there's no oil in Ireland. so there.


As an ex catholic I welcome any discussion on the idiocy of "organized-religion".

The Church of the Turnip Trotters..... or whatever makes us think about the possibilities of spirituality and that's good.

However I can't understand what 'Researcher' is on about with "Adherents of the belief that Evolution is science are ignorant of the scientific method."

Evolution is neither belief nor science. It's fact. The universe, our earth our bodies etc all evolved and continue to do so. Fact. Whether some drunken (or sober) diety at some point instilled a sense of being/soul in 'mankind' is a matter of debate, nothing else. Anyone who reads the bible/Koran/Mein Kampf - whatever believeth the same and forces others to do likewise is 1. an idiot and 2. a fascist.

Really - should we follow the 'laws' as laid down in the Bible that anyone growing two crops in a field should be stoned Lev 24:10-16.(to death !! no on weed !!)

We should sell our daughters as slaves, burn a bull to "please God" ?? Here in Ireland The IIA would slap a fine before you could say Levatanians 19:19

How would anybody approach an alter of God with glasses Lev. 21:20 ( pity that one's not 20:20 !!

I don\'t give a toss 'coz my eyesight is 20:20 ophthalmologist checked on Tues last)

What about sabbath breakers. Should we stone to death (Exodus 35:2) eg all McDonald workers - Answers on postcards please to Goodall's Good Food Guide, prize for best entry. Free admission to heaven or hell depending on taste and where your friends are heading. I don't want to be in the same heaven as all the holy Joes and Jihadists of any weird religion. Where do dogs go ?? That'll do me nicely.

Get a life. Get on with it and help others, especially if they ask for help.

Judge not that ye may be also not judged. Or whatever.



I have an open mind on this subject and I can't understand why some Spaghetti Monsters so strongly criticize the Intelligent Design point of view.

Maybe one of the Monsters would explain to me how for example reproductive organs can develop over many generations. Until they function correctly there will of course be no future generations. There must be many similar examples.


Adherents of the belief that Evolution is science are ignorant of the scientific method. They substitute their own beliefs and prejudices for science. The theory of evolution glosses over simple fact. The adaptations that determine which members of a species survive, natural selection, must exist before the stress is applied.

The magic phrase used is "over millions and millions of years..." which is substituted for knowledge.

There is no magic by which animals understand stress and make changes in their DNA causing mutations which drive evolution. They cannot "adapt." Rather random changes eventually create mutations and those with advantageous changes have superior survival skills.

If changes needed to survive are not present before the stress no one survives.

The question that evolution fails to answer is what is the force that started it all? Why does DNA exist?

Intelligent design isn't science. We can't prove things taken on faith, nor should we. It would not exist if not for the nonsense taught as evolution.

The scientific method not Evolution should be taught in school. Teach children how to think not what to think.

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