aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Sunday, November 25, 2007
FSM @ Academy of Religion confab (afterward)
Over the four-day meeting, in panel discussions and speeches that began at breakfast time and went well beyond dinner, men and women who teach and study belief systems debated and dissected the things that people hold sacred. [...]
But...what gives meaning to some is an anathema to others. Just ask the four young graduate students who gave a presentation at the American Academy of Religion on the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster grew out of a backlash against biblical creationists in Kansas who wanted intelligent design taught in public schools as an alternative to evolution. The movement’s founder dashed off a letter to the state school board demanding his theory also be taught: that the world was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster.
Fueled by the Internet, the craze became a pop culture hit. Its followers are known as “Pastafarians.” Its icon is a spoof of Michelangelo’s “Creation” portrait, with Adam reaching out to touch a noodle.
But the four graduate students in religion argue that this is a parody with a purpose.
“I think it’s a really serious issue because we’re raising a generation of kids who don’t believe in evolution and don’t know what science is for,” said Luke Johnston, a doctoral student at the University of Florida.
“Religion is a constructed term created by scholars,” said Sam Snyder, who also goes to the University of Florida. “Religion is also in the hands of the public to do what they will. ... So how do we study that?”
Snyder and Johnston teamed up with Gavin Van Horn, also from Florida, and Alyssa Beall, from Syracuse University, for the presentation. [...]
If you don’t understand each other’s belief systems, then how can you talk to each other? asks Snyder.
“If we want to leave the world a better place, then people have to think and ask questions,” Johnston adds.
[Yale Divinity School professor and the new president of the American Academy of Religion Emilie] Townes is more specific. “Bad understanding of religions can lead to bad public policy, and that to me can be very destructive,” she said.
Jurassic Ark (reprise)
They’re crowing in Kentucky today:
Each day near Petersburg, Ky., 1,500 to 4,000 visitors, including busloads from Christian schools and churches, stand in line for as long as an hour to wander 60,000 square feet of animatronic exhibits presenting the Bible’s creation story as fact.
It’s been six months since the Creation Museum opened to crowds and protests, and the controversial attraction has proven more popular than even organizers had predicted.
The Ark easily had room for the dinosaurs (as you can see in other articles in this issue). First, the Ark was the size of a huge cargo ship (at least 450 ft [137 m] long). Second, there weren’t many different kinds of dinosaurs (only about 50 “kinds"). Third, God most likely brought the smaller juvenile dinosaurs, not the aging adults, because they would be better suited for the voyage and the responsibilities of reproducing rapidly after the Flood.
That from the new Creationist Museum. Mike Riddle, who authored that this past February, has a masters in education. Ugh!
Via Echidne of the Snakes, who also reports that the actor playing Adam in a Creation Museum video recently had a graphic Web site called Bedroom Acrobat where users would post explicit photos and stories. More on that from Raw Story (where I got the photo).
REALATED - Ars Technica takes a field trip to the new Creationism Museum:
There was also an explanation as to why, with only one progenitor family, it wasn’t considered incest for Adam and Eve’s children to marry each other. Apparently there was less sin back then, and therefore fewer mutations in their DNA. Evidently sin, not two copies of the same recessive trait, gives rise to congenital birth defects.
Chevron buying ads on Google for conservation…