Schism Emerges in New Intelligent Design Theory: Competing Books Appear On Origins of Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM)

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Two books appear this week espousing the theory that the universe is the product of intelligent design by a large entity composed of pasta. “The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster,” written by the movement’s leader Bobby Henderson, is being published by Villard Books. A second title, “God Speaks! The Flying Spaghetti Monster In His Own Words,” is being self-published through by author Jon Smith (

The simultaneous publication of two books advancing the idea that the universe was created by an entity composed primarily of pasta may indicate a dramatic schism in one of the world’s newest religions. “God Speaks! The Flying Spaghetti Monster In His Own Words,” by Jon Smith (, appears on, a self-publishing site for print-on-demand books, on the same day that a book by the movement’s founder arrives in bookstores across the nation.

The publication of Smith’s book coincides with the publication of the first book by the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM) movement’s founder, Bobby Henderson, as well as with a growing debate over the teaching of intelligent design as a scientific theory.

The competing titles reflect the growth of a cult-like Internet following of the FSM theory espoused by Henderson, an Oregon physics graduate and self-appointed head of a movement known as Pastafarianism, which posits that the universe was created by a creature comprised largely of noodles.

Henderson’s book, “The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster,” being published today by Villard Books, may herald the arrival of an influential voice within the intelligent design debate plaguing school systems across the U.S. The publication of the competing title by Jon Smith, however, offers evidence that this belief system, like many before it, may well be headed toward rapid fragmentation.

Smith, who claims to be a supporter of Henderson, nevertheless employs in his book a practice nowhere sanctioned on Henderson’s official FSM web site ( In an attempt to make what he describes as “deeply spiritual points through humor,” Smith records a series of anagrams accompanied by illuminating commentary. Examples of these “Spaghettigrams,” generated by rearranging the letters present in the phrase “Love and the Flying Spaghetti Monster,” suggest at best a cautious view of human affection:

· “Top-heavy, handsomest, negligent flirt”

· “Test-driving of shapely, hot gentleman”

· “God-given nymph of stealthier talents”

Smith’s goal in the book, as he describes it, is undoubtedly ambitious -- “to inspire those of all beliefs to put aside the superficial prejudices, distorted thinking, and superstition that can cloud one’s vision and interfere with authentic spirituality.” Whether or not the FSM movement, which has lobbied to be considered by school boards alongside other theories of intelligent design, will embrace Smith’s ideas remains to be seen.

Jon Smith is Dr. Jonathan C. Smith, a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Professor of Psychology at Chicago's Roosevelt University, and Founding Director of the Roosevelt University Stress Institute. Dr. Smith has published 15 books and more than three dozen articles on stress, relaxation, and meditation.

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