Question:
I believe that you have heard about the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Reading its historical background, I see that this was used by Bobby Henderson as a logical supportive argument why Intelligent Design should not have equal attention in science classes along with evolution. The argument is that a religious faith such as a belief in an omniscient, invisible spaghetti “creature” as the creator of the universe is just as valid as a belief in God since intelligent design teaches a necessity of a designer just not specifically whom. Therefore an Intelligent Design by a spaghetti monster shouldn’t be taught as science just like an Intelligent Design by God. While I agree that Intelligent Design can’t be taught as science, I have a huge problem following this argument. I just can’t seem to accept this comparison (could be due to the bias because I’m a believer).  One other reason this could be a problem for me could be because over the years, I’ve found there are skeptics and liberal historians for instance that are against the historical validity of the Bible (such as different sources for the Pentateuch instead of Moses, Exodus never happened, etc).  And then I see there is growth in this Pastafarian movement and that they are gaining acceptance as a legit religion. While to me they are just simply a mockery to a “real” religion and faith.  And what “enraged” me even more is the fact that they compare God to a dubious human creation such as a spaghetti monster. I’m afraid they may think the same regarding believers in general.  I guess what I’m trying to say is, because my own religion receives doubts from the science community, it’s difficult to draw the line between “valid” and not valid religion. What do you think of this? What do you think of their comparison and the fact that FSM/Pastafarian is gaining acceptance?  
Answer:
The “Flying Spaghetti Monster” is the creation of angry atheists.  They created this idea as a means to mock belief in God.  The premise is that belief in the God of the Bible is really about as believable as belief in the Flying Spaghetti Monster.  They have used this ironic and disrespectful idea as an argument against allowing for the teaching of Intelligent Design in schools. Their point is that if we are going to teach design, then we must give equal time to the Christian God and to the Flying Spaghetti Monster.  
This argument is really just rhetoric.  It ignores the fact that there is plenty of evidence for the God of the Bible.  Jesus fulfilled dozens of messianic prophecies.  Despite claims to the contrary, the Bible is the most reliable historical record from the ancient world.  The evidence for the resurrection of Jesus and for the miracles of Jesus are very strong.  To compare belief in the God of the Bible to belief in the Flying Spaghetti Monster is to demean the millions of highly educated people who have believed in the Bible because of the evidence that it is inspired. No one believes in the Flying Spaghetti Monster.  To equate these is sheer rhetoric, and you should recognize it for what it is. This argument is truly mean and disrespectful and it represents an attempt to use mere rhetoric to manipulatively move from legitimate discussion about the evidence for the reliability of the Bible, for which there is great evidence.
Should design be taught in science classes in the United States?  In my opinion, no, because design is not a scientific concept.  Design cannot be measured, it cannot be demonstrated by experiment, and it cannot be refuted by experiment.  I am totally convinced that the evidence from science points unequivocally toward the idea that the universe is designed, but design is not a scientific theory, so it probably belongs in a philosophy class or a religion class.  It can be mentioned in science classes, but it is not strictly science. 
However, to invoke the Flying Spaghetti Monster as an argument against Christianity or as a reason to not teach design is mere rhetoric and really is not even an argument at all.  It is an embarrassment that atheists use this argument, but I suppose they will have to speak for themselves on why they use it.  
So, the reason you have trouble following this argument is that there is no argument to follow.  The Flying Spaghetti Monster is a mere rhetorical tool and it is not the basis for any actual rational argument.  It is evidence of bad behavior on the part of non-believers, not that you are having trouble understanding it!
I have spoken extensively about the historical reliability of the Bible.  We just had an entire conference last November on the topic. Audio available at this link: http://evidenceforchristianity.org/report-on-2016-icec-at-york-college-history-archaeology-and-christianity/     The evidence for the historical reliability of the Bible is extensive, and profound.  The fact that there is no physical proof of the Exodus (true) is not evidence that this did not happen.  The passage of impoverished migrants through a desert nearly three thousand five hundred years ago would surely leave no physical trace, so the lack of physical evidence for the Exodus is no surprise.  The fact is that there is a vast amount of Old Testament historical information confirmed by archaeology.  There is literally not a single physical evidence which refutes the historical accuracy of the Bible.  You should read the statements of liberal critics with a rather large grain of salt.   We at ARS have an entire class on biblical criticism, including reasons to be very skeptical of liberal source criticism.  It, as well as a class on archaeology, is part of our Apologetics Certificate Program (see the front page of our web site).
I am not sure why it creates doubts for you that some people believe in Pastafarianism.  The fact is that no one actually believes in this idea.  People ascribe to this idea out of spite and meanness.   Lots of people believe in lots of things.  Atheism is completely discredited by the evidence, yet people believe in it.  Mormonism is based on a blatant lie produced by a charlatan, yet peole believe in it.  None of this makes the Bible any less inspired.  Nor does it undo the historical reliability of the Bible, or the fulfillment of messianic prophecy or the scientific reliability of the Bible.  I suggest you not get distracted from the evidence for the inspiration of the Bible by the fact that some people believe in irrational ideas such as Pastafarianism.
You should not be intimidated by scientists who are atheists.  I am a PhD scientist, I have read the Bible many times, and I have found no contradiction between the Bible, properly interpreted, and what I know from science.  The evidence for design from science is so strong that for a scientist to deny the existence of God requires an irrational leap of faith.  I have written a book on this topic, “Is There a God?” which is available at www.ipibooks.com   I posted a class on this topic recently.  You will find it at the front page of the web site from my recent teaching trip to India, titled God and Science.  http://evidenceforchristianity.org/audio-from-missionary-teaching-trip-to-south-asia-jan-2017/ 
Remember, just because unbelievers say things, does not make it true.  Jesus was raised from the dead.  He is the Messiah.  Christianity is true and atheism is an empty and irrational philosophy.  Do not be intimidated by such arguments.
I am attaching a power point on history, archaeology and the Bible. History, Archaeology and the Bible   You can find an accompanying audio in article at the front page of the web site in the article on lessons given in India.
John Oakes

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