The Letter of Captain Jeff the Mishunairee to the Rutgers Campus Crusade for Christ
"Science can purify religion from error and superstition. Religion can purify science from idolatry and false absolutes…"
-Pope John Paul II
1 While I realize Campus Crusade for Christ isn’t a Catholic group, Pope John Paul II was a respected and intelligent man who did a great deal not just for Christianity, but humanity as well. 2 Here is one of the most important people in the Christian world professing the importance of cooperation between science and religion. 3 While the two have debated and had conflict throughout our history, a friendship between them can, in fact, help both sides. 4 Both have intelligent things to say and people are more likely to listen to friends than enemies. 5 I have come to this conclusion and made it a goal of the Rutgers Pastafarians to improve the relations between the science and religious groups on campus.
Chapter 2-The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster
1 The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (the members of which are referred to as Pastafarians) is dedicated to keeping Intelligent Design (ID) out of public school science classrooms. 2 At this point in time, ID cannot be falsified, tested, or observed. 3 These characteristics are fundamental to science and any idea that does not possess them is not science. 4 Furthermore, ID is clearly based on religion and therefore it cannot be taught in public school due to the separation of church and state.
5 Due to its unfalsifiabilty, however, we can’t say ID is wrong, only that it’s not science. 6 Also, though the Church has no set dogma or rules, a great deal of Pastafarians, myself included, support the idea of religious tolerance. 7 The Rutgers Pastafarians have also established a code of conduct which bans any attacks or insults directed towards any religion. 8 It is a zero tolerance policy and any violators are expelled from the group. 9 So we are not out to prove Christianity wrong and mock Christians or any religion in any way.
10 Christianity and Intelligent Design are separate ideas. 11 The Church of the FSM is a satire of the ID movement, namely their argument that one cannot disprove that an omnipotent designer created the universe and life and therefore it is a plausible idea. 12 We counter and say you cannot disprove a Flying Spaghetti Monster created the universe and life and therefore by the ID proponents’ logic, it’s a plausible idea as well. 13 It’s meant to be as ridiculous as possible to demonstrate the flaw in this logic, plus a little humor goes a long way in any argument.
“A contradiction (between science and religion) is out of the question. What follows from science are, again and again, clear indications of God's activity which can be so strongly perceived that Kepler dared to say (for us it seems daring, not for him) that he could "almost touch God with his hand in the Universe.”
1 Evolution is basically the formation of new organisms through the inheritance of changed genes over time. 2 The origin of life is a completely different idea, and evolution does not, nor is it meant to, explain how life started. 3 So while Creationism is more about origins, while evolution is an explanation of how organisms progress. 4 Since one covers the beginning of life and the other covers the rest, you can see how they could fit together nicely without conflict. 5 Furthermore, Darwin never said ‘Evolution is the inheritance of change over time and God doesn’t exist.’ 6 It’s not part of the theory. 7 The Church of England just apologized to Darwin, saying they misunderstood him. 8 The Vatican agrees that evolution could be used as a tool of God. 9 I don’t see why the Almighty wouldn’t use such an effective process to do His work. 10 So ultimately, evolution does not have to conflict with or oppose both God and the idea of the Creation.
11 With that said, and the reader accepts that fact, I can now give evolution a brief rundown. 12 In the interest of keeping this concise and unbiased, I’m mostly going to drop keywords that can be researched or answered by me if the reader is so inclined. 13 I feel that if I provide all the information, it might be biased towards my side. 14 As with any serious issue you should research both sides, using all sources available, and make up your mind for yourself.
15 As I wrote above, evolution is basically the formation of new organisms through the inheritance of changed genes over time. 16 Natural selection is just the process where the variation of one organisms’ offspring allows them to gain an advantage over others, thus allowing them to produce more offspring than their competitors and pass on their advantageous variation of their genes. 17 It is not a random process as many would claim. 18 While the mutations that occur are random, they are fed through the selection process and which “guides” them systematically to produce good results.
19 Claims of evolution being wrong as some traits are irreducibly complex are no good. 20 Just because you can’t imagine how something works doesn’t mean it can’t work. 21 Just because one doesn’t see how an eye could evolve, doesn’t mean the evolution of the eye is impossible. 22 Imagination varies from one person to another and is too subjective to be good measure of possibility. 23 One key aspect of the Irreducible Complexity argument is the idea that each trait is not built from scratch every time they are evolved. 24 Old structures are frequently repurposed in the evolutionary process. 25 For example, legs used for walking evolved from fins used for swimming. 26 So the eye could’ve evolved from simpler sight mechanisms, that would allow an organism to see, but with less parts being used. 27 There are various analogues throughout the animal kingdom: light sensitive cells in jellyfish, eyespots in planarians, and infrared sensors in pit vipers.
“The discovery of natural law is a meeting with God.”
1 Observed Selection and/or Speciation in Nature:
2 Nylon Eating Bacteria
3 Pepper Moth
4 Jeff Feder and Rhagoletis pomonella and Diachasma alloeum wasp
5 Anolis sagrei, Leiocephalus carinatus, evolution, leg length
6 Antibiotic Resistance in Bacteria
7 Pesticide Resistance in Insects and Weeds
8 Overfishing decreasing fish body size
9 Poaching decreasing elephant tusk size
10 Observable Selection and/or Speciation in Laboratory Experiments:
11 Richard Lenski and E. coli
12 William Rice, George Salt, and Fruit Flies
13 Theodore Garland, Jr. and Mouse Running Speed
14 Domestication of the Silver Fox
15 Classical Examples:
16 Darwin’s Finches
17 Wallace Line
19 Pentadactyl Limb
20 Vestigial Limbs in Whales and Pythons
21 Vestigial Eyes in Cavefish
22 “Transitional” Fossils:
24 Tiktaalik rosiea
25 Maiacetus inuus
26 Evolution of the Horse
27 Evolution of Humans
28 Irreducible Complexity:
29 Youtube-Kenneth Miller and his mousetrap
“In my mind God wrote two books. The first book is the Bible, where humans can find the answers to their questions on values and morals. The second book of God is the book of nature, which allows humans to use observation and experiment to answer our own questions about the universe.”
1 I’ll end this with one final point, my view of science back when I was Christian. 2 I didn’t abandon Christianity due to incompatibility with my scientific views. 3 I was a devout Christian and a strong supporter of evolution, the Big Bang, plate tectonics, etc. (I left Christianity because of a difference of opinions between me and God, but that’s a story for another day.) 4 So this was my reconciled view of science and Christianity. 5 Since humans are inherently sinful, I felt that God in all his power and wisdom wouldn’t trust us to tell the masses what he wanted to say. 6 Therefore, while the Bible has some good information in it, it’s still a book written by men, not by God, and should not be accepted as word for word truth. 7 To do so could lead to blasphemy and sin, as something in it could be wrong and therefore contradictory to what God did or what He expects of us.
8 While this is more wishy-washy when it comes to ethics, problems do arise when it comes to the Bible’s version of science. 9 It is indisputably dead wrong when it presents basic information about astronomy (1Chronicles 16:30, Psalm 93:1, Psalm 96:10, Psalm 104:5, Ecclesiastes 1:5), mathematics (1 Kings 7:23, 2 Chronicles 4:2), and psychology/anatomy (Matthew 9:4). 10 So who’s to say that Genesis doesn’t make a few mistakes when it comes to the Creation? 11 Science has provided the correct information in those other cases, maybe it can also provide us with the correct information about the creation of the universe and of life. 12 This doesn’t mean Jesus’ teachings are invalidated, but the Bible does presents false information about the universe, about God’s creation.
13 So if God wanted to give us accurate information, a message, proof of His work, would He use a book written and controlled by imperfect and sinful men? 14 Or would he scatter the evidence around in nature, leaving clues across galaxies or deep in the bedrock, where it could never be tampered with? 15 In my opinion, it would be a lot harder to fake the fossil record than it would be for someone to accidently change a few words in the Bible.
16 So in conclusion, you can be Christian and support science. 17 Us Pastafarians are just trying to protect science with a little humor. 18 Assuming God does exist, He gave us science for a reason. 19 I’m not saying I’m right and you must agree. 20 I’m saying try to be as unbiased as you can and look at the evidence science has provided. 21 If God is real, science can only show you the full glory of His work.
Captain Jeff Cupo