Was the world created by god, evolution or pasta?

Published October 5th, 2006 by Bobby Henderson


Simon Singh reviews The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster by Bobby Henderson.

The popularity of Intelligent Design over the past decade has been profoundly depressing for anybody who cares about science and rational thought. Supporters claim that some aspects of nature are so complicated that they cannot be explained by evolution, and therefore they conclude the existence of an entity who must have designed living beings. Although the criticisms of evolution are generally flawed and exaggerated, Intelligent Design is being taken seriously by many educationalists.

Link to the article.

345 Responses to “Was the world created by god, evolution or pasta?”

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  1. James in Germany says:

    First, I truly appreciate the time taken for the long posts. I am a little surprised to get an honest debate. Some here did not surprise, and began to stereotype and insult. This is just a substitution for poor argument. Some of what I’ve said is simply being overlooked, and some being cherry-picked. Some have tried to put words in mouth.
    My quote:”There is only one truth. No matter how impossible the truth may seem, it’s still the truth.”
    Marcus’s quote: “Uh, no. There are billions and trillions of truths. In fact, everyone has a truth — a reflection of life. My cat has one. I guess it is how you look at truth.”
    I guess I need to put my quote in context. How? Hmm. Maybe, this helps. Something did happen, or it did not happen. There is a god, or there is not a god. The Steelers lost again (SHIT! That truth hurts!(Me at least.)). We have been visited by aliens, or we have not been visited by aliens. No matter which of these options are true, then they are true, and the other then false(unless of course there such things like parallel universes–another debate?). Regardless of an individuals perception or reflection.
    “Please get back to us when you have a more compelling argument that hasn’t been debated to death on other threads.”
    You would think that a thread with the title “Was the world created by God, evolution, or pasta” would be a perfect place to debate what is being debated.
    Thanks for the tips nikkiee. I’m already familiar with many of the ID arguments, and the terms hypothesis and theory. “Argueing that a hole in one theory is support for another is not how scientific research and reporting is done.” Did I do that? Could it be that you’re mistaken? I can understand how you could infer that, but that was not my intention. I have said this though,”I keep hearing about all this abundance of evidence from several people. Just one that could not *ALSO* be “evidence” of intelligent design.” And, I still stand by that statement. I guess that’s where my other statement about “[…]No matter how impossible the truth may seem.[…] fits in.
    This is an excerpt from what you asked me to check out:
    Gene Sharing, Lens Crystallins and Speculations on an Eye/Ear Evolutionary Relationship1

    Finally, we speculate on the basis of our
    current studies on Tripedalia that eyes and statocysts (associated with mechanoreceptors in many cnidarians
    and thus possibly ears in vertebrates) are evolutionarily related. Numerous examples indicate that gene
    sharing is widely used, consistent with changes in gene regulation being an evolutionary driving force for
    innovation of protein function.
    We don’t even get through the synopsis without seeing the word “speculate.” Then throughout the report we get “possibility”, “remains to be proved”, “problems”, “speculate”, etc… It seems to me when reading the paper that evolution is already assumed to be true, not that gene sharing is proof of evolution. This is evident in this statement:
    “However eyes
    evolved, either divergently or convergently, the contribution
    of PaxB to crystallin gene expression shifted
    later to the more modern Pax6. Pax gene proliferation
    is seen already in cnidarians thus allowing such a shift
    to occur early in evolution (Miller et al., 2000).
    Then we have this:
    That jellyfish ocelli are concerned with vision, in
    the sense that they are light responsive structures with
    striking similarities to vertebrate eyes, coupled with
    the remarkable conservation of key regulatory genes
    between the diploblastic cnidarians and chordates
    (Galliot and Schmid, 2002; Hayward et al., 2002), justify
    their consideration in the context of eye evolution.
    Consideration? This is hard science? Lots of big potentially intimidating words in a report on gene sharing is a long way from proving evolution (if that’s what you were trying to do).
    But this is beside the point. With some effort I could rewrite this report and speculate how these changes took place with ID as the driving force. That’s the problem with speculation–it leads people to assume, making an ass out of u and me. How many assumptions and amounts of speculation do I need to put together in order to accept evolution, or ID for that matter. How do many seem to automatically assume one over the other. Is it because of an already present bias? If so, that would be unscientific. And again, if evolution, then why not as a tool of intelligent design? That seems to me to be a valid question.
    Some here want to claim that imperfections and what we perceive to be illogical developments in many species disprove ID. Does it really? Not being able to explain why things are the way they are, is not a scientific argument. Here’s an analogy: In the early PC we had DOS, then came Windows, and then XP. They all have similarities. They all had bugs in the system–errors in logic if you will. Does this mean that they were not created by an intelligent being (relatively speaking)? On the other hand, you might assume that those systems evolved. What was the driving force? Of course, creating all life on Earth would be a “slightly” larger task. Mistakes would be expected. I’m not talking about a perfect god…never did as far as I can recollect.
    “So basically…..the possiblity of evolution occuring is such a small one it should seem impossible…..but no matter how impossible the truth is, it’s still the truth.
    You’re arguing against yourself.”
    That’s keeping your eyes peeled, Gill. I guess it boils down to understanding my argument. You see, I’m trying to come from all sides (which is difficult to make coherent). I’m not trying to throw out evolution, but am also attempting to get other possibilities accepted, like ID. So, it may seem that I’m all over the board. But, I think if you look at the context of which I made those statements, they make more sense. For example there are those here that seem to accept evolution as hard fact. In the attempt to allow them to accept the possibility of ID, I offer the statement by Crick. At the same time, most of those same people seem to exclude the possibility of ID as a driving force for evolution–hence, my “truth” statement. You see, I’m trying not to exclude the possibility of anything being discussed (God, ID, evolution) without having convincing information. I’m truly attempting to be a neutral observer. I have still yet to see anything suggested here that removes ID from the classroom using evolution’s standard of being in and remaining in the classroom. Once again, I stand by my claim that what can be used to support evolution can also be used to support ID.

    Please, be patient. I’ll get to you. But, it’s 3:06 a.m. here. I’m just one against many here. But, I will say this before I watch the rest of game 2 and hit the sack. I do see problems in your argument that are difficult to put into words. You’re gonna make me work on this. Thanks for giving me an Exedrin headache. :-)
    On some days my time is very limited. I’m already getting the evil eyes from my lady. I will look at some of the suggested reading. It better be good! So, try to take it slowly. My absence does not mean I’ve “chickened out.”

  2. James in Germany says:

    Can you not discuss without trying to insult? I did not brag about taking drugs, I made the point that I’m no “Bible thumper”.
    All that aside, the fact that two PHD buddies of yours agree on anything doesn’t mean shit.
    At least with statement, I agree wholeheartedly:”The only way to advance science and mankind is to teach the latest scientific theories to our children and hope that a few of them go on to work on those theories finding that they are correct or finding they are incorrect.”

  3. nikkiee says:

    JiG ”
    ………We don’t even get through the synopsis without seeing the word “speculate.” Then throughout the report we get “possibility”, “remains to be proved”, “problems”, “speculate”, etc… It seems to me when reading the paper that evolution is already assumed to be true, not that gene sharing is proof of evolution……..”

    Words commonly used in scientific reporting. Politeness. An invitation for others in a particular field of reseach of to respond with findings which may contradict. An unconvincing arguement on your part. “Nit-picking”
    Appologies for the shorthanded character of my reply. I am pressed for time and consider my work more important.
    “…..Numerous examples indicate that gene sharing is widely used, consistent with changes in gene regulation being an evolutionary driving force for
    innovation of protein function…..”
    You really do need to brush up on “knock outs” and “mutant rescues” before you even go into relatedness of genes across a range of organisms. These support Darwinian theory.
    Also JiG, I was not questioning your understanding of ID, rather your understanding of basic of Darwinian Theory.
    Many of the evolutionary relationships predicted on the above “Tree of Life”
    have since been supported by comparisons of genome sequences mutation rates in replication of the eukaryotic genome as well as comparison of mitchondrial DNA and ribosomal RNA. If something can be predicted according to a theory and evidence consistantly provided supporting the prediction, we call it a law, As Aussie pointed out in his post.
    “….I’m truly attempting to be a neutral observer….”
    Couldn’t find any evidence of this in your statements.
    As for the rest of your post. I have have to wait til I have time. I’ll leave it to you to provide a suggested timeline theory for an intelligent designer and your thoughts on “most recent common ancestors. (predicted by Darwinian theory and supported by conserved DNA sequences/genes)
    Reguarding the research papers you reference: I would need time to read those particular ones as well as peer review papers and other research papers supporting or refuting the work. I already know what has been accepted, but that is the way scientific debate is conducted. Also 2002 is a long time ago in the field of molecular biology.
    Must go

  4. The Aussie says:

    “So, in reality, it’s not about science, or evolution, or even intelligent design at all. It’s about bias–it’s about an agenda. I DON’T WANT THAT BIAS\AGENDA POLUTING MY CHILD’S EDUCATION!”
    James, I can understand your fears of indoctrination of the youth. I share much of the same worries.
    And yes, I will agree here is a bias in the system. There is a bias in every argument, dependant on who is arguing it.
    I dispute you though, on your claim that there is an agenda. Or rather, I object to the way you use the term.
    Yes there is an atheist agenda. The agenda is to teach students the best possible theory that supports available evidence. After being ‘polluted’ by that agenda, a student can make scientifically testable hypotheses on the the mechanisms of evolution. If we rely on ID, then theoretically, any outcome can occur, from test to test, on the whim of the designer.
    If every result in chemistry, physics, biology, engineering, ANY testable science, was dependant on some unknown, UNKNOWABLE variable, what hope could we ever have of understanding the world? (I understand that this is bad argument technique, but I feel it has to be said)
    Now, for what observations we have, results suggest that no such variable exists At the very least, they show it as having no interaction with our universe. Consider in mathematical terms: (sorry all you non-nerds)
    A*x= B*x + C*x + D*x for values of x on the interval [a, b] (a to b inclusive for those without the maths education).
    BUT also,
    A*x= B*x + C*x for values of x on the interval [a, b].
    One could write out the equation including the D term. Likewise, one could view the universe (or if you prefer a smaller scale, the evolutionary process) as having an Intelligent Designer.
    However, the same outcome of A*x is tue when you ignore the D term. From simple algebra, this implies that D is equal to zero in the interval tested. While it may be true that outside said interval, D =/= 0, we can never test outside [a,b], so for all intents and purposes, D = 0.
    Likewise with the Intelligent Designer argument. It may be that there is an intelligent designer (henceforth IDer), I strongly doubt it, but I’m a professed skeptic. Now, this IDer makes zero testable contribution to the sum.
    ID relies on the basic evolution mechanism (B*x +C*x from example), plus designer D*x. If there is no testable contribution to the sum, then by the underlyng philosphy of science, the designer argument should be discarded. It is an overcomplicated explanation of the observable data.
    Therefore, UNTIL WE HAVE PROOF TO THE OTHER, as scientists, we must assume there is no IDer. In short, we cannot teach, AS SCIENCE, ID unless we have some reason to favour it over evolution. However, since it complicates the theory without making any observable change, it must be disregarded according to the fundamental principles of science (please look up Occam’s Razor, and to a lesser extent, Hume’s Dictum).
    Thankyou for your time, patience, and argument.

  5. nikkiee says:

    —–The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2006—–
    “for their discovery of RNA interference – gene silencing by double-stranded RNA”
    Andrew Z. Fire Craig C. Mello

  6. nikkiee says:

    Hi Aussie.
    …In short, we cannot teach, AS SCIENCE, ID unless we have some reason to favour it over evolution…..
    ID is science? So is FSM!

    I prefer my science proven!
    Gotta run.

  7. nikkiee says:

    The mechanisms responsible for the creation of double-stranded RNA in the cytoplasm of cells are considered (accepted) to have been the result of an evolutionary process that armed eukaryotic cells with a defence against double stranded RNA viruses and/or other double stranded RNA nucleic acids.

  8. nikkiee says:

    “….What I think this fight against ID in the classroom all boils down to is this: There are people who are paranoid that ID *MIGHT* introduce religion into the classroom–namely, the Christian religion. I don’t see many evolutionists protesting Islam being slowly squeezed into the school system……”
    Classroom/school system maybe. As a science NO

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