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Spot the logical fallacy before your head explodes!

Let’s play a game and see how far you can get in this quiz for “Skeptics” written by a rather bitter creationist before your brain literally explodes into tiny meaty bits. Feel free to leave specific comments about each fallacious question below, but be sure to be extra grumpy just like the quiz creator expects! Here’s a hint: the “right” answer for each question is “D,” so looking at questions 36 and 37 it appears as though to prove that Jesus rose from the dead we only need to take the word of the Bible, but to prove evolution we need to provide a videotape of Australopithecus turning into the quizmaster’s neighbor (do we even get to know what the neighbor looks like? I mean really, help us out).
I’ll get you started by taking an easy one: building a strawman by beginning with the assumption that anyone described as a “skeptic” automatically believes all Christians are as stupid as the guy ranting about doomsday on the street corner (question #29). Thankfully that’s not true, or after reading this screed I’d assume every Christian is as ignorant and bitter as this guy, and what a scary, scary world that would be.

If this link drives you insane, don’t thank me. Today’s post came straight out of the ol’ mailbag, courtesy of reader Andy. Thanks, Andy! Excuse me while I go drink antifreeze.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

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22 Comments

  1. I only made it about three questions in before the pounding started.

    By question 8, I skipped to the end, to the scoring system.

    "331-430 points: You're way too intelligent to be a Skeptic. Consider converting."

    *sigh*

  2. Phil Plait just posted a link to a good rant over at <a> mostly about the fact that science bloggers do have opinions of their own, but also some good stuff about what it means to be a skeptic and how some people — such as the creator of that quiz — misunderstand and misuse this.

  3. I got as far as Q16 before my brain fell out.

    "the Bible doesn't offer a detailed cosmology otherwise that shows it to be in error"

    Er…what? The bible doesn't offer a cosmology that's in error? Well, if you don't bother with the first book, and stab your eyes out, you might be able to believe that…

  4. I'm having a LBC kind of moment…

    I am remembering a that a car was driving by, slowing down, the lights come off…

    I tried to get behind something solid but some paniced idiot grabbed onto me.

    I said, "It's a drive by fool and I ain't dumb enough to stand here but YOU are and now you gonna get us BOTH killed…"

    Ovbiously, I died that night.

    Eh,

    Not so much, but I really had to shove.

    Why do I get the same feeling, whenever I talk to a creationist?

    rod

  5. Well, it's a strange thing, indeed…

    I had no idea that this was possible, but each time I attempted to look at that quiz, my nose started bleeding. The first time, I thought it was just a coincidence. The second time, I just assumed I hadn't waited long enough for it to stop properly. But by the third through fifth times, well, I was convinced that there must be SOME sort of correlation taking place. Also, I think I saw a bit of brain in there, and I can no longer remember 1997. Is that strange?

    I'm feeling a bit lightheaded again, so I'm going to go lie down…

  6. Expatria, look out your daily aspirin intake.

    Quite frankly, I find this "quiz" and the stated motivation at the beginning quite naive. But I have one comment:

    Q12, answer D – "Translators have unwittingly anachronized by imposing …". I can only dream of what/how many other things translators have unwittingly anachronized, hyperbolized or just plain gone "creative" about.

  7. Yeah, I did find that on a few occasions, answer D wasn't all that bad, considering the other options. But usually, it was more a matter of:

    Answer A: hmm, not really, unless I was kidding around.

    Answer B: better, but still rather fundie-esque in its stupidity and unthinkingly parroting (or trying to) what you'd once heard some smart person say.

    Answer C: almost. So close I can practically touch it, but still incorrect/incomplete enough not to be my choice.

    Answer D: Nope, flew right past the correct answer and into the opposite end of the spectrum of idiocy.

    So where is "Answer E: other" ?

    (For example: Q3, Q16, Q24, Q30, Q33, perhaps even Q35)

    As for Q17: "According to the Bible, when was Jesus born?", that's a nice straw man. Apart from the fact that pretty much no one still contends the estimated date of between 8 and 4 BC. But "According to the bible". Is there any other source that can be used to estimate a date of birth for a character that's only mentioned in the bible?

    According to "the Lord of the Rings", what is Frodo's date of birth?

    There is no historical data.

    Yeah, at around question 5 frustration set in, and it only increased with every subsequent set of ignorant choice options.

  8. This was written by J.P. Holding (real name Robert Turkel) – an online troll for Jesus.

    He really is the worst of the worst: Dishonest, ignorant, arrogant, underhanded etc. Google his real name and you'll get all the dirt on him.

    A quick comment on question 2 of the "quiz": Let's change it to "You need to know something about the social world of the ancient Greeks. Who should you ask?". Would you go for someone who objectively looks at the evidence or someone who believes that Hermes is speaking to him directly in is head and is guiding his research?

  9. And when your questions so obviously contain incorrect statements.

    Q40: "Since there is no classical historian at all that believes Jesus Christ was a myth, …"

    None at all? Really?

    If that would be true, I wonder what classical historians consider evidence …

  10. I noticed the mention of "enterprising skeptics," "intelligent skeptics," "Skeptic philosophers" and "a variety of Skeptics of varying levels" in this satire-quiz. And if you go to the linked sites that tell you what the "intelligent skeptics" said, there's a mention of the "less intelligent skeptics." The noun skeptic hardly appears here without a defining adjective, which is a technique used in public speaking (mostly theological public speaking)–instead of defining a concept add an adjective to it to cast the impression that you've defined it. Yeah, like any "intelligent skeptic" is going to buy that!

  11. I got lower than their minimum available points. Guess that's what I get for bubbling in "E" on every choice.

    I'm having a hard time envisioning what my life would be like if I spent enough time obsessed about ancient Israel to know what in the world most of those questions were even prattling about. It seems to me that it is a test loaded strictly for consumption by people whose lives revolve around the Bible and who say of Relativity and QM "Oh, it's that 'science' stuff…"

  12. Yea, it's just Robert Turkel again. He's had his butt handed to him so many times by Farrell Till and Robert Price (among others) that he could populate a large hat rack with Turkel butts.

    He's an amusing and annoying crank with delusions of competence. I place him in a similar category to Jason Gastrich.

  13. I managed to make it to question 23, but by then I could feel both my intelligence and will to live fading quickly, so I had to quit. Like viggen, I didn't even understand what was being referred to in a lot of the question. Does anyone know what the "certain Hebrew word" in question 14 was, and why we should care?

  14. Meh. It's such a brain-numbing irrational quibble-fest, who could really be bothered?

    You can stop 'em in their tracks with one simple question:

    "Why is your religion right, and everybody else's wrong?"

  15. >>because it says so in the bible…..silly …;)

    Oh. Right. How could I have missed that? And here was I worshipping Sobek just because he told me he was the only God. Yeah, so he's a crocodile. I was impressed by those teeth.

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