I wrote to Dr. Leakey asking for clarification of this quote,
and his response was that this was not a valid comment by a secular scientist,
and that his opinion has always been that evolution was a certain fact.
Dear Mr. Nelson
I have your letter and the best thing I can do is refer you to my published works, both scientific and popular. The Creationist movement is lead by a dishonest bunch of operators and misquotation is the hall mark of their work. Responding to them is time wasting and a letter would not be adequate to put your questions to rest. There are some things best ignored and the stupidity of these so called religious fanatics continues to astonish me. My list of publications is attached.
And since Randall's quotes specifically mentioned peer-review,
I should include Dr. Leakey's attached publications in peer-reviewed journals.
Does anything in this list imply any dearth of evidence for human evolution?
1969Leakey R.E.F. New Cercopithocoidea from the chameron Beds, Lake Baringo, Kenya.
Fossil Vertebrates of Africa. 1:53-70.
1969 Leakey, R.E.F. Butzer, K.W. & Day, M.H. Early Homo sapiens remains
from the Omo river region of South West Ethiopia, Nature, 222: 1132-1138
1969Leakey, M., Tobias, P.V., Martyn, J.E. & Leakey, R.E.F.
An Acheulean Industry with prepared core technique and the discovery of a contemporary hominid
at Lake Baringo, Kenya. Proc. Prehist. Soc. 3:46-76.
1970Leakey, R.E.F., Behrensmeyer, A.K., Fitch, F.J., Miller, J.A., & Leakey, M.D.,
New Hominid remains and early artefacts from Northern Kenya. Nature 226:223-230.
1970Leakey, R.E.F. In search of Man's past at Lake Rudolf. National Geographic 137:712-732.
1971Leakey, R.E.F. Further evidence of Lower Pleistocene hominids
from East Rudolf, North Kenya. Nature 231:241-245.
1971Leakey, R.E.F. Prehistoric Man in Africa.
In Journal of World History, UNESCO Publication Vol. XIII pp. 13-24.
1971Leakey, R.E.F., Mungai, J.M. & Walker A.C.
New australopithecines from East Rudolf Kenya Am .J.Phys. Anthrop. 35:175-186
1971Isaac, G.L., Leakey, R.E.F., & Behrensmeyer, A.K.
Archaeological traces of early hominid activity, East of Lake Rudolf, Kenya. Science 173:1129-1134.
1972Leakey, R.E.F. Further evidence of Lower Pleistocene hominids
from East Rudolf, North Kenya. Nature 237:264-269.
1972Leakey, R.E.F. New Fossil evidence for the evolution of man. Social Biology 19:99-114.
1972Leakey, R.E.F. Man and sub-men on Lake Rudolf. New Scientist 16th November 1972 pp. 385-387.
1972Leakey, R.E.F. & Isaac, G. Hominid fossils from the area East of Lake Rudolf, Kenya.
Photographs and commentary of context. In Perspectives on human evolution 2, Washburn, S.L. & Dolhinow, P. (Eds.)pp 129-140. Hold, Rinehard & Winston, San Francisco.
1972Leakey, R.E.F., Mungai, J.M. & Walker, A.C. New Australopithecines
from East Rudolf, Kenya (II). Am. J. Phys. Anthrop. 36:235-252.
1972Leakey, R.E.F. Further Evidence of Lower Pleistocene hominids
from East Rudolf, North Kenya, Nature 242:170-173.
1973Leakey, R.E.F. Evidence for an advanced Plio-Pleistocene hominid
from East Rudolf, Kenya. Nature 242:447-450.
1973Leakey, R.E.F. Australopithecines and hominids:
A summary of the evidence from the early Pleistocene of Eastern Africa. Symp. zool. Soc. Lond. 33:53-69.
1973Leakey, R.E.F. Skull 1470. National Geographic 143:818-829.
1973Leakey, R.E.F. & Walker, A.C. New Australopithecines from East Rudolf, Kenya (III).
Am. J. Phys. Anthrop. 39:205-222.
1973 Leakey, R.E.F. & Wood, B.A. New Evidence of the genus Homo from East Rudolf, Kenya I
Am. J. Phys. Anthrop. 39:355-368.
1973 Day, M.H. & Leakey, R.E.F. New Evidence of the genus homo from East Rudolf, Kenya, II
Am. J. Phys. Anthrop. 39:341-354.
1973Leakey, M.G. & Leakey, R.E.F., Further evidence of Simopithecus (Mammalia, Primates)
from Olduvai and Olorgesailie. Fossil Vertebrates of Africa 3:101-120.
1973Leakey, M.G. & Leakey, R.E.F. New large Pleistocene colobinae (Mammalia, Primates)
from East Africa. Fossil Vertebrates of Africa 3:121-138.
1974Leakey, R.E.F. Further evidence of Lowe Pleistocene hominids from East Rudolf, North Kenya, 1973. Nature 248:653-656.
1974Day, M.H., & Leakey, R.E.F. New Evidence for the genus Homo from East Rudolf, Kenya (III)
Am. J. Phys. Anthrop. 31:357-360.
1974Leakey, R.E.F. & Wood, B.A. New Evidence of the genus Homo from East Rudolf, Kenya,
Leakey,R.E.F. & Wood, B.A. A hominid mandible from East Rudolf, Kenya, Am. J. Phys. Anthrop. 41:245-250.
1975Day, M.H. & Leakey, R.E.F., Walker, A.C. & Wood, B.A. New hominids from East Rudolf, Kenya
Am. J. Phys. Anthrop. 42:461-476.
1976Leakey, R.E.F. New Hominid fossils from the Koobi Fora Formation in northern Kenya.
1976Coppens, Y. Howell, F.C., Isaac, G.L. & Leakey, R.E.F. (eds.) Earliest man
and environments in the Lake Rudolf Basin: Stratigraphy, palaeoecology and evolution. Chicago University Press.
1976 Leakey, R.E.F. An overview of the hominidae from East Rudolf, Kenya.
In Earliest man and environments in the Lake Rudolf Basin: Stratigraphy, palaeoecology, and evolution.
Coppens, Y., Howell, FC., Isaac, G.L. & Leakey, R.E.F. (eds.) pp 476-483 Chicago University Press.
1976Leakey, R.E.F. Hominids in Africa. American Scientist, 64:174-178.
1976Leakey, R.E.F. & Walker, A.C. Australopithecus, Homo erectus and the single species hypothesis. Nature 261:572-574.
1976Leakey, R.E.F. & Isaac, G. East Rudolf: an introduction to the abundance of new evidence.
In Human origins: Louis Leakey and the East African evidence. Isaac, G.L. & McCowan, E.R. (eds.) pp 307-332. W.A. Benjamin, Inc. Menlo Park, California.
1976Leakey, M.G. & Leakey, R.E.F. Further Cercopithecines (Mammalia, Primates)
from the Plio/Pleistocene of East Africa. Fossil Vertebrates of Africa 4:121-146.
1976Day, M.H., Leakey, R.E.F., Walker, A.C. & Wood, B.A. New hominids from East Turkana, Kenya.
Am. J. Phys. Anthrop. 45:369-436.
1978Leakey, M.G. & Leakey, R.E.F. (eds.) The fossil hominids and an introduction to their context, 1968-1974. Koobi Fora Research Project Volume I. Clarendon Press, Oxford.
1978Leakey, R.E.F., Leakey, M.G. & Behrensmeyer, A.K. The Hominid Catalogue.
In The fossil hominids and an introduction to their context, 1968-1974.
Koobi Fora Research Project Volume I. pp 86-182. Clarendon Press, Oxford.
1978Leakey, R.E.F. Reconnaisance and palaeontological exploration east of Lake Turkana 1968-1969.
National Geographic Society Research Reports, 1969 Projects. pp343-346.
1978Leakey, R.E.F. Koobi Fora: a summary 1968-1973. In Early hominids of Africa.
Jolly, C.J. pp17-28. Duckworth, New York.
1979Leakey, R.E. Lower Pleistocene hominids from Lake Turkana. North Kenya, 1970-1972.
National Geographic Society Research Reports, 1970 Projects. pp363-376.
1979Leakey, R.E.F. Early man in Africa.
In The Proceedings of the Association of Surgeons of East Africa, 1979.
1980Leakey, R.E. & Ogot, B.A. (eds.) Proc. 8th Pan African Congress on Prehistory and Quarternary Studies, Nairobi, 1987.
I'll believe corporations are persons when Texas executes one.: LBJ's Ghost
1980Leakey, R.E.F. How many species of hominids at Lake Turkana.
In Current argument on early man. Lars-Konig Konigsson (ed.) pp 29-30. Pargamon Press, Oxford, New York.
1980Leakey, R.E.F. Continuing research east of Lake Turkana in northern Kenya, 1973-1976.
National Geographic Research Reports 14:399-423.
1984A hominine hip bone, KNM-ER 3228, from East Lake Turkana, Kenya.
Am. J. Phys. Anthrop. 63:371-378.
1985Leakey, R.E. & Walker, A.C. New Higher primates from the Miocene of Buluk, Kenya.
1986Brown, F., Harris, J., Leakey, R.E.F., Walker, A. Early Homo erectus skeleton from West Lake Turkana, Kenya. Nature 361:788-792.
1985Leakey, R.E., Walker Introduction In Islands in the Bush.
A Natural History of Kora National Park by Malcolm Coe. George Philip, London.
1986Walker, A., Teaford, M.F. & Leakey, R.E. New information concerning the R114 Proconsul site,
Rusinga Island, Kenya. In Primate Evolution. Vol.1.Else J.G. & Lee, P.C. (eds.) pp 1410171.
Cambridge University Press. Cambridge, London, New York.
1986Leakey, R.E. and Leakey, M.G. A new Miocene hominid from Kenya. 324:143-146.
1986Leakey, R.E. and Leakey, M.G. A second new Miocene hominid from Kenya. Nature 324:146-148.
1986Brauer, G., Leakey, R.E., The ES-11693 cranium from Eliye springs, West Turkana, Kenya.
Journ., Hum. Evol. 15:289-312.
1986Brauer, G., Leakey, R.E. A new archaic Homo sapiens cranium from Eliye Springs, West Turkana, Kenya. Z.Morph. Anthrop. 176:245-252.
1986Walker, A., Leakey, R.E., Harris, J.M. & Brown, F.H. 2.5-Myr Australopithecus boisei
from west of Lake Turkana, Kenya. Nature 322:517-522.
1986Leakey, R.E. Research in the Lake Turkana Basin, 1977-1981.
National Geographic Society Research Reports, 1977 projects: 18:441-453.
1986Leakey, R.E. Note on Ecology and Famine. In An African Winter.
King, pp17-19. Penguin Books Ltd. Middlesex.
1987Walker, A., Zimmerman, M.R. & Leakey, R.E. A possible case of hypervitaminosis A in Homo erectus. Nature 296:248-250.
1987Leakey, R.E. & Leakey, M.G. A new Miocene small-bodied ape from Kenya.
Journal of Human Evolution 16:369-387.
1988Walker, A.C. & Leakey, R.E. The evolution of Australopithecus boisei.
In Evolutionary history of the "robust australopithecines". Grine, F.E. (ed.) pp274-258. Aldine de Gruyter, New York.
1988Harris, J.M., Brown, F.H., Leakey, M.G., Walker, A.C. and Leakey, R.E.
Pliocene and Pleistocene hominid-bearing sites from west of Lake Turkana, Kenya. Science 239:27-33.
1988Teaford, M.F., Beard, K.C., Leakey, R.E. & Walker, A.C.
New hominid facial skeleton from the early Miocene of Rusinga Island, Kenya, and its bearings on the relationship between Proconsul nyanzae and Proconsul africanus. Journ. Hum. Evol. 17:461-477.
1988Leakey, R.E. & Walker, A. C. 1988. New Australopithecus boisei specimens
from east and west Turkana, Kenya. Am. J. Phys. Anthrop. 76:1-24.
1988Leakey, R.E., Leakey, M.G. and Walker, A.C. Morphology of Turkanapithecus kalakolensis from Kenya. Am. J. Phys. Anthrop. 76:277-288.
1988Leakey, R.E., Leakey, M.G. and Walker, A.C. Morphology of Afropithecus turkanesnis from Kenya.
Am. J. Phys. Anthrop. 76:277-288.
1988Leakey, R.E., Leakey, M.G. and Walker, A.C. Morphology of Afropithecus turkanesnis from Kenya.
Am. J. Phys. Anthrop. 76:289-307.
1988Leakey, R.E. Human Origins: Current topics of relevance and interest.
Ossa, International Journal of Skeletal Research 14:11-18.
1989Leakey, R.E.F. & Walker, A.C. Early Homo erectus from west Lake Turkana, Kenya.
In Hominidae. Proceedings of the 2nd. International Congress on Human aleontology Turin,
September 28-October 3, 1987 Giacobini, G (ed.) pp 167-173 Jaca Book.
1989Leakey, R.E.F., Walker A.C., Ward, C.V., & Grausz, H.M. A partial skeleton of a gracile hominid
from the Upper Burgi Member of the Koobi Fora Formation, East Lake Turkana, Kenya.
In Hominidae. Proceedings of the 2nd. International Congress on Human Palaeontology Turin,
September 28-October 2, 1987 Giacobini, G. (Ed.) pp 167-173 Jaca Book.
1991Grine, F.E., Leakey, R.E., Teaford, M.F. & Walker, A.C. The KNM-WT 17000 premolar,
Journ. Hum. Evol. 20:505-515.
1991Leakey, M.G., Leakey, R.E., Richtsmeier, J.T., Simons, E.L. and Walker, A.C.
Similarities in Aeqyptopithecus and Afropithecus facial morphology.
Folia Primatol. 56:65-85.
1991Leakey, R.E., Introduction. In Elephants, the deciding decade.
Orenstein, R. (Ed) pp 19-23. Key Porter Books, Toronto, Ontario.
1991Leake, R.E. & Poole, J. Foreword. In The African Elephant, Twilight in Eden.
DiSilvestro, R.L. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. New York, Chichester Brisbane, Toronto, Singapore.
1992Rose, M.D., Leakey, M.G., Leakey, R.E.F. and Walker, A.C.
Postcranial specimens of Simiolus enjiessi and other primitive catarrhines
from the early Miocene of Lake Turkana. Kenya. J. Hum. Evol. 22:171-173.
1992 Brauer, G., Leakey, R.E. & Mbua, E. A first report on the ER-3884 cranial remains
from Ileret/East Turkana, Kenya. In Continuity or replacement, Controversies in Homo sapiens evolution.
Brauer, G. & Smith F.H. (eds) pp 111-119. A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam, Brookfield.
1992Kibunja, M. Roche, H., Brown, F.H. & Leakey, R.E.
Pliocene and Pleistocene archeological sites west of Lake Turkana, Kenya, Journ. Hum. Evol. 23:431-438.
1992Leakey, R.E. A Wildlife Director's Perspective. In Elephants., Majestic Creatures of the Wild.
Shoshani, J.S. (ed). Pp 214-217. Weldon Owen, Sydney.
1993Walker, A. & Leakey, R.E. (eds) The Nariokotome Homo erectus skeleton.
Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA 457 pp.
1993Leakey, R.E. & Walker, A.C. Introduction. In The Nariakotome Homo erectus skeleton. Pp 1-9.
Walker, A. & Leakey, R.E. (eds) Harvard University Press.
1993Brown, B., Walker, A., Ward, C.V., & Leakey, R.E. New Astralopithecus boisei calvaria
from east Lake Turkana, Kenya. Am. Journ. Phys. Anthrop. 92:137-159.
1993Heinrich, R.E., Rose, M.D., Leakey, R.E. & Walker, A.C. Hominid radius
from the Middle Pliocene of Lake Turkana, Kenya. Am. Journ. Phys. Anthrop. 92:139-148.
The above list in and of itself stands in direct contest of Luke Randall's misquotation
of the world's foremost paleoanthropologist.
To quote Dr. Randall,
"I do hope you can be open minded enough to accept the validity of the comments by secular scientists"
Because it is obvious that "some Christians" are among the only ones who don't realize
that the scientific support of Evolutionary Theory is overwhelming and conclusive.
In the early 1900s, public high schools began teaching evolution in science classes. By 1920, creationists proposed laws in 20 states to ban that practice. Their efforts were successful in several places, including Arkansas and Tennessee.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) took action, believing those laws violated a constitutional principle: separation of church and state. In their most famous case, the Tennessee law was challenged. A high school science teacher, William T. Scopes, volunteered to stand trial on a charge of teaching evolution. He was found guilty (1925), and the law remained in force. However, because of unfavorable media coverage, the reputation of creationists suffered. During the 1960s, more public schools began to teach evolution. In 1968 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled laws against that practice were unconstitutional saying " ... they make religion part of the curriculum ..." A "Family Affair" For the Leakeys
I'll believe corporations are persons when Texas executes one.: LBJ's Ghost
Here's a clip I picked up from a physics forum that illustrates my point on dating assumptions:
It does work both ways, but only if you have a good understanding of the sequence of rocks and the fossils they contain. If you find a new exposure with fossils you know appear only in mid jurassic rocks, you can place a fairly safe bet that these rocks are mid jurassic too. There are some very good indicator fossils that changed form quickly and lived short durations that can pin a rock age down to within a few million years. likewise you can use stratigraphy to determine the relative ages of a fossils- one higher up in a sequence will just about always be younger. For an absolute date (the fossil is x million years old) you will need some radioactive dating at some point, but sometimes relative dating (x is older than y, which is older than z) is enough. Pretty much all of the sedimantary rock in the UK had been given a relative age and assigned to a period on the geological column before radioactive dating was invented, so it goes to show that stratigraphy and fossil evidence work pretty well for dating rocks relative to each other.
The 2011 Interim Report
The 2011 Interim Report from the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change presents an overview of the research on climate change that has appeared since publication of Climate Change Reconsidered: The 2009 Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change. Research published before 2009 is included if it did not appear in the 2009 report or provides context for the new research. Nearly all of the research summarized here appeared in peer-reviewed science journals.
The current report was coauthored by a team of scientists recruited and led by Craig D. Idso, Robert Carter, and S. Fred Singer. Significant contributions were provided by the lead authors and contributors identified on the title page. This team of scientists has been working since the release of Climate Change Reconsidered on a new comprehensive report currently scheduled for release in 2013. A second interim report, similar to the current report, is planned for 2012.
According to David Biello and John Pavlus in Scientific American, Singer is best known for his denial of the health risks of passive smoking. He was involved in 1994 as writer and reviewer of a report on the issue by the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution, where he was a senior fellow. The report criticized the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for their 1993 study about the cancer risks of passive smoking, calling it "junk science".
Seems an astrophysicist prone to dabbling in areas in which he lacks expertise.
CBC said that tobacco money had paid for Singer's research and for his promotion of it, and that it was organized by APCO. Singer told CBC it made no difference where the money came from. "They don't carry a note on a dollar bill saying 'This comes from the tobacco industry,'" he said. "In any case I was not aware of it, and I didn't ask APCO where they get their money. That's not my business."
A kook unmasked....
Singer has been an advocate of the skeptical stance in the global warming controversy for a number of years. In 1990 he founded the Science & Environmental Policy Project to advocate this position, and in 2006 was named by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as one of a minority of scientists said to be creating a stand-off on a consensus on climate change. Singer argues there is no evidence that global warming is attributable to human-caused increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide, and that humanity would benefit if temperatures do rise. He is an opponent of the Kyoto Protocol, and has said of the climate models that scientists use to project future trends that "models are very nice, but they are not reality and they are not evidence."
Unlike the 2008 iteration, which was criticized for taking donations from oil companies, the Heartland Institute stated that the 2009 conference is entirely funded by individual and institutional donations.
The Heartland Institute
The Heartland Institute is a libertarian,  American public policy think tank based in Chicago, Illinois which advocates free market policies. The Institute is designated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit by the Internal Revenue Service and advised by a 15 member board of directors, which meets quarterly. As of 2011, it has a full-time staff of 40, including editors and senior fellows. The Institute was founded in 1984 and conducts research and advocacy work on issues including government spending, taxation, healthcare, tobacco policy, global warming, information technology and free-market environmentalism.
In the 1990s, the group worked with the tobacco company Philip Morris to question the science linking secondhand smoke to health risks, and to lobby against government public health reforms. More recently, the Institute has focused on questioning the scientific consensus on climate change, and has sponsored meetings of climate change skeptics.
In conclusion, this NIPCC report falsifies the
principal IPCC conclusion that the reported
warming (since 1979) is very likely caused by the
human emission of greenhouse gases. In other
words, increasing carbon dioxide is not responsible
for current warming. Policies adopted and called for
in the name of ?fighting global warming? are
It is regrettable that the public debate over
climate change, fueled by the errors and
exaggerations contained in the reports of the IPCC,
has strayed so far from scientific truth. It is an
embarrassment to science that hype has replaced
reason in the global debate over so important an issue.
There are no respected (and sane) real scientists on the side of the fundies so they invent phony agencies to push false preaching. I see few differences between Islamic fundies and our own off the wall kooks. You preach lies to defend not god's word but man's.
The Heartland Institute 2009 International Conference on Climate Change, held March 8-10th in New York at the Marriott New York Marquis Times Square Hotel, brought together scientists, economists, legal experts, and other climate specialists to "confront the issue of global warming." These specialists, all climate change skeptics, aim to call attention "to new research that contradicts claims that Earth?s moderate warming during the 20th Century primarily was man-made and has reached crisis proportions."  The conference was organised and "sponsored" by the Heartland Institute, a U.S. think tank that in preceding years received substantial funding from Exxon for its work downplaying the significance of global warming.
Untrue. In Origin of Species, Darwin presented one of the methods in which Evolution can be falsified:
Originally Posted by Darwin
If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down. But I can find out no such case.
What Darwin is referring to eventually came to be known as Irreducible Complexity.
Certain, specific creationist hypotheses ARE falsifiable; many creationist hypotheses have been falsified. The general idea "God did it" is NOT one of those falsifiable hypotheses.
Scientists tend to see what they are looking for, at times I wonder at their logic (or lack thereof). They are not trying to deceive (except for the Al Gore cronies) but do not consider the alternatives to their opinions. When dates do not correlate with their belief or expectations they are tossed out. The calibration of dates at times uses fossils from assumed periods rather than "historical" objects. I have seen scientists provide a curve from data points that looked like spatter painting just because they knew the curve they wanted to see.
I moved to the creationist camp when I realized its scientists considered all the evidence.
So, you're a creationist not because you have evidence of creationism, but because of something that creationists do?
There is a lot of evidence out there, but little that suggests evolution.
I visited Lucy in the museum at Addis Ababa and the only thing to suggest that Lucy was an evolutionary link rather than just an extinct creature was the evolutionary mindset. Someone suggested that it required a trained paleontologist to see it so I suggested that maybe the training was the problem. IOW the training would preclude any other observation or conclusion.
I will not change the minds of the unified threesome but others who may lurk reading these posts just might have their interest aroused and decide to check out the work of the scientists at The Institute for Creation Research or other creationist organizations. I changed camps when I came to the realization that most people believe in evolution simply because most people believe in evolution. I don't say that lightly because it proved true of the scientists and engineers surrounding me, they had never heard the other side of the story much less considered it. We had some excellent discussions and never a ya-ya session.
Look, EVEN IF you could prove some sort of creationism to be true, you've still got a problem.
Look at Newtonian Physics. Three simple rules, covering Inertia, Acceleration, and Reaction. Three brilliantly simple laws, taught, in depth, in physics classes throughout the world. And three laws that are bull****, in light of Relativity. Everything that Newtonian Physics demonstrates remains sufficiently accurate for virtually all human applications, but the accuracy of the relativistic explanation is exceedingly higher. Relativity didn't render Newtonian Physics worthless, it just clarified the full nature of the three laws of motion, and exposed us to data that had been lost due to imprecision.
If evolutionary theory is ever to be demonstrated false, it will not be by those who deny its very existence, as is the wont of most self-described creationists today. It will be demonstrated false by those who can provide a better theory to explain the data. Evolution IS proven, at least in the same way that Newtonian Physics is proven.
About the only creationist theory that can still be considered valid, in any way, shape or form, is the idea that evolution is the method in which "god" created life.
We work together every damn day. --Jon Stewart
Someone can write a book about the Flying Spaghetti Monster, for instance, and would have to rely on FSM theories.
The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, while having existed in secrecy for hundreds of years, only recently came into the mainstream when this letter was published in May 2005.
With millions, if not thousands, of devout worshippers, the Church of the FSM is widely considered a legitimate religion, even by its opponents ? mostly fundamentalist Christians, who have accepted that our God has larger balls than theirs.
Some claim that the church is purely a thought experiment, satire, illustrating that Intelligent Design is not science, but rather a pseudoscience manufactured by Christians to push Creationism into public schools. These people are mistaken. The Church of FSM is real, totally legit, and backed by hard science. Anything that comes across as humor or satire is purely coincidental.
Pastafarianism is a real religion.
Most of us do not believe a religion ? Christianity, Islam, Pastafarianiasm ? requires literal belief in order to provide spiritual enlightenment. That is, we can be part of a community without becoming indoctrinated. There are many levels of belief.
By design, the only dogma allowed in the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is the rejection of dogma. That is, there are no strict rules and regulations, there are no rote rituals and prayers and other nonsense. Every member has a say in what this church is and what it becomes.
To outsiders it makes us hard to define, but here are some general things that can be said about our beliefs:
We believe pirates, the original Pastafarians, were peaceful explorers and it was due to Christian misinformation that they have an image of outcast criminals today
We are fond of beer
Every Friday is a Religious Holiday
We do not take ourselves too seriously
We embrace contradictions (though in that we are hardly unique)
You are welcome to Contact Me
Questions and Answers
Q: Is this a joke?
A: It?s not a joke. Elements of our religion are often described as satire and there are many members who do not literally believe our scripture, but this isn?t unusual in religion ? it?s only more obvious in the case of our particular religion. A lot of Christians, for example, don?t believe the Bible is literally true ? but that doesn?t mean they aren?t True Christians.
If you say Pastafarians must believe in a literal Flying Spaghetti Monster to be True Believers, then you can make a similar argument for Christians. There is a lot of outlandish stuff in the Bible that rational Christians choose to ignore. We do the same with our scripture. This is intentional.
Q: A lot of Pastafarians seem to be anti-religion and/or atheists (why is this?)
A: We?re not anti-religion. This is NOT an atheists club. Anyone and everyone is welcome to join our church including current members of other religions. In addition to the Atheists, Agnostics, and Freethinkers who have joined us, we have a number of Christian (and Muslim, and Hindu and Buddhist ?) members and I would love to have more. Note to the religious: You are welcome here.
Let me make this clear: we are not anti-religion, we are anti- crazy nonsense done in the name of religion. There is a big difference. Our ideal is to scrutinize ideas and actions but ignore general labels.
Q: I don?t believe you or any of your so-called followers actually believe any of this.
A: Some Pastafarians honestly believe in the FSM, and some see it as satire. I would just make the point that satire is an honest, legitimate basis for religion. Satire relies on truth to be effective. If it?s a joke, it?s a joke where to understand the punchline you must be conscious of underlying truth.
Compare our religion to those that are built on lies. I am not talking necessarily about mainstream religions (which themselves are often full of mysticism and ad-hoc reasoning), but think of cults, or churches where the leaders are scamming their followers out of money. These are groups where the followers fully believe. Are these churches legitimate since they have many True Believers?
Or can we agree that religion is as much about community as any shared faith. By any rational metric, Pastafarians are as legimate a religious group as any. Arguably more so, since we?re honest and rational.
Q: We want to use FSM designs for t-shirt, jerseys, posters?
A: It?s ok to use FSM materials for your own use and to spread the word ? I?m happy to see it. There have been a number of sports team and club shirts ? I can provide high quality images/vector designs for screen printing, just let me know.
That said, it?s not ok to *SELL* FSM products.
A couple reasons for this. I?m wary of the FSM being used in designs with slogans that are purposely antagonistic or otherwise harmful to the Cause. I?m thinking of a case years ago where someone was selling overtly caustic anti-religion shirts with various FSM designs and it became a problem.
I?m all for pointed criticism and humor at the expense of too-powerful religious institutions, but that is a very different thing than declaring someone is stupid for being religious. I?m strongly against simple intentional offense just for the sake of offending ? I believe it makes the larger problem worse, causes everyone to entrench in their views, and gives ammunition to opponents. I have no say in the broader non-religious movements, but I don?t want FSM seen as cynical and negative. This is very important to me.
Second, unlike mainstream religions, there is no soliciting for donations or tithing here. This server was expensive to build and is expensive to run, and it?s funded by sales of shirts/books/emblems. Because of that, I am aware of the hundreds of FSM products offered that don?t support this site, and the few who I feel hurt the cause. I believe most people have good intentions, but also I don?t want to see this organization disappear.
If there?s something specific you want offered on the FSM store, let me know and I?ll see what I can do.
If ever possible, I would love to do away with all merchandising ? I think it hurts the purity of the Cause. It would be nice if there was a rich benefactor keeping things afloat. (Accepting applications).
Q: What Does the Flying Spaghetti Monster think of Same Sex Marriage?
A: The CotFSM has no judgement on same sex marriage, for/against; that is to say, all are welcome into the loving embrace of His Noodly Appendage. (And there are many gay/bi members).
Q: In 1000 years will FSM be a mainstream religion?
A: This is something I think about constantly and it keeps me up at night. I sometimes wonder what the Church of Scientology ? or lets say the Mormon Church looked like 5 years after Joseph Smith transcribed the scriptures out of the hat with the seer stones. What worries me is that right now I can be pretty sure there aren?t a lot of dogmatic nutty FSM people around, but what about in 20 years? What about in 50 years? What about when someone figures out a way to make money out of this and turns it into some new age spiritual enlightenment thing. There are billions of Christians who are crazy serious about their religion who don?t necessarily believe the things in the Bible actually happened. So .. yes, I do worry where FSM will go. My hope is it continues to be a positive force in the world. We will need to keep an eye on it for sure.
Q: How do Pastafarians believe our world was created?
A: We believe the Flying Spaghetti Monster created the world much as it exists today, but for reasons unknown made it appear that the universe is billions of years old (instead of thousands) and that life evolved into its current state (rather than created in its current form). Every time a researcher carries out an experiment that appears to confirm one of these ?scientific theories? supporting an old earth and evolution we can be sure that the FSM is there, modifying the data with his Noodly Appendage. We don?t know why He does this but we believe He does, that is our Faith.
I'll believe corporations are persons when Texas executes one.: LBJ's Ghost
Q: To what extent do Pastafarians need evidence to support their beliefs? What is considered valid evidence, and why are some religious ideas lacking evidence believed more widely than others? Why is Christianity more widely accepted than Pastafarianism?
A: For many religions, acceptance is due to the time it has been around and due to the number of people who already follow it. For potential followers it’s often less a consideration of evidence, and more a judgment that the collective group of followers is better informed. That millions or billions of people already follow this religion is strong social proof that there is something to it. The larger the group and the longer it has been around, the more pronounced the effect.
But nonbelievers are overreaching when they dismiss the phenomenon of religion as wrong and useless because it so often lacks a basis in evidence. The fact that millions of people get something positive out of a religion – even if it is based in superstition – *does* mean something. But that’s not to say it’s True, only that it has Value. For many people, religion is about being part of a community and being part of something bigger and more important than themselves.
Nonbelievers would be better off criticizing only on the negative, damaging parts of religion, and being less judgmental about the idea of religion in general. Nonbelievers get hung up asking for evidence when really we should be looking at why does religion thrive despite evidence? We should be pushing the idea that faith is not equivalent to evidence-based-reasoning without insisting that it’s inferior, only that they are different ways of seeing the world. And that the problems happen when these world views clash.
Pastafarianism is different than most religions in that we explicitly make the point that our scripture need not be believed literally. In other religions this is known but not often said out loud (Many Christians don’t take the Bible literally but won’t volunteer this). Pastafarian scripture has some outlandish and sometimes contradictory components – and unlike the scripture of mainstream religion, these pieces were intentional and obvious, and our congregation is aware of this.
But what I find interesting is that when people object to the idea of Pastafarianism, it’s never with our scripture or ideas they suspect to be tongue-in-cheek. They object to the most intentional, honest, real components of our religion. It’s the times when we break from satire that we’re criticized, the times when I say something tolerant or hopeful about Christians that I’m called names. I am convinced there is a large number of people who need to believe that ours is not a legitimate religion because it can’t exist in their world view.
Well, I can only say this to those people: it’s only because of the insistence that we were *not* legitimate, that there was motivation to *be* a legitimate religion. You see, our religion, like Christianity and other mainstream religions, is based *not* on a foundation of evidence, but of community. The Pastafarian church was built and its legitimacy formed by people tired of being disenfranchised for thinking rationally. We have every right to exist and form a religious community. That many of us don’t literally believe our own superstitions or in the existence of our own God is evidence that we’re thinking.
About Bobby. Mini-bio.
Education: Negligible (B.S. Physics)
Location: Grew up in Oregon, USA. College: Oregon, New Zealand. After college I lived in Nevada and then Arizona, and then Oregon again, and then I have been wandering-while-working for the last ~3 years, most of that in the Philippines, most of that on Boracay island.
Occupation when not engaged as prophet of FSM: Hobo. Also sometimes nerd work on or around computers. Sometimes writing things for money. You can probably hire me to write something or do computer nerd work for you, probably cheap.
You can view the about page on my blog here for more.
And the actual blog here if you are interested, but be warned: it’s mostly pictures of palm trees and things. Everyone asks: I don’t sit around in hammocks all day (I am ashamed to admit I don’t have one here.) – these are just the pictures I take. Most of the time I am doing something boring in front of a computer.
I'll believe corporations are persons when Texas executes one.: LBJ's Ghost
Dr. Chui makes the case that even a simple protein is hopelessly complex. Dr. Dawkins would have us to believe that the first form of life may have been a ?naked gene? and a ?selfish? one at that and he can suggest it with a straight face. Many fantasize that a short random genome can over time become a long random genome. On the other hand the creation scientist suggests that DNA is the factor that holds created life forms in their created kinds. If evolution were true there would necessarily have to be a definite mechanism for information enhancement. It seems that science has degraded to the point that it has lost its commitment to impartial investigation of the evidence (all evidence) in preference for upholding materialistic preferences regardless of (and even in spite of) the evidence. Fruit fly experimentation has revealed that mutations are not information enhancing, but even such experimentation was performed with added intelligence to control the process. Yet the evolutionist would have us believe that somehow life arose out of a primordial soup in spite of an oxidizing environment.
Proteins are nothing more than chains of amino acids, and amino acids are readily produced from inorganic components. In this experiment, and numerous others, it was demonstrated that amino acids - the building blocks of proteins - can be formed without conscious effort, and many amino acids will link freely with others to build protein chains.
Dr. Dawkins would have us to believe that the first form of life may have been a “naked gene” and a “selfish” one at that and he can suggest it with a straight face. Many fantasize that a short random genome can over time become a long random genome. On the other hand the creation scientist suggests that DNA is the factor that holds created life forms in their created kinds. If evolution were true there would necessarily have to be a definite mechanism for information enhancement.
There is. Natural selection.
It seems that science has degraded to the point that it has lost its commitment to impartial investigation of the evidence (all evidence) in preference for upholding materialistic preferences regardless of (and even in spite of) the evidence. Fruit fly experimentation has revealed that mutations are not information enhancing, but even such experimentation was performed with added intelligence to control the process.
You're referring only to the mutation aspects. Mutation alone is NOT the mechanism for information enhancement. Mutation is the driving force; natural selection is the screening process that eventually determines if a trait becomes prevalent or dies out completely.
Every birth can be considered a mutation. EVERY birth. The genetic code of a child is not perfectly identical to either of its parents, or any of that child's siblings.
Yet the evolutionist would have us believe that somehow life arose out of a primordial soup in spite of an oxidizing environment.
That's one hypothesis. There are many others. Perhaps the environment wasn't oxidizing at that time. Perhaps there were additional chemicals involved that resisted the oxidizing effects. It is demonstrable that certain meteors are extremely rich in organic compounds. Perhaps "god' chose to spawn life on earth with an organic seed like this one: Murchison meteorite - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
These are all HYPOTHESES, as are the various creation ideas. Unlike "god-did-it" creationism, these ideas are technically testable, if not practically. Don't mistake evolutionary theory with abiogenetic hypotheses.
I do love the idea that god supposedly created a world inhospitable to life, then planted life on it and told it to adapt or die. There's something darkly poetical about that, something that speaks to the resiliency of life. I don't believe this hypothesis, of course, but it is amusing and inspiring nonetheless.
We work together every damn day. --Jon Stewart