ONTD Political

4th-Grade 'Science Test' Goes Viral: Creationism Quiz Claims Dinosaurs Lived With People

6:18 pm - 04/27/2013
Dinosaurs hung out with humans; God created dinosaurs on the sixth day; the "behemoth" described in the Bible's Book of Job actually refers to a brontosaurus. These are some of the unscientific beliefs behind what appears to be a fourth-grade science quiz posted recently online.

The quiz, dated Feb. 28 and titled "Dinosaurs: Genesis and the Gospel," was posted to Reddit's r/atheism forum by user Puskunk on April 21. Puskunk claims the quiz is from a private religious school in South Carolina but doesn't identify the institution because "it is a small school and I don't want any publicity that might reflect badly on the kid" who took the test.

The student evidently scored 100 percent on the test, answering "False" to statements such as "The Earth is billions of years old" and "Dinosaurs lived millions of years ago," among other bizarre questions.

The photo sparked a huge debate on the r/atheism thread. Many Redditors question whether the test is real; others claimed they had been taught similar lessons by creationists.

Snopes.com, a site that often works to verify or debunk viral pictures and videos, said the photo is "probably" legitimate, but further evidence "remains to be seen." The quiz's content seems, however, to line up with the views of creationist groups like Answers in Genesis, which produces an educational DVD with the same title as the quiz.

A reader even emailed Snopes to say that the quiz belonged to his 10-year-old daughter. "She will not be attending the school next year," he wrote.

The reader also sent in a picture of the back of the quiz, which included this question: "The next time someone says the earth is billions (or millions) of years old, what can you say?" Answer: "Were you there?"

While creationism has not historically been a part of the public school science curriculum in America, a 2012 Gallup poll reported that 46 percent of Americans said they believe in creationism. Even as some states weigh whether to allow creationism in public school text books, scientists have been ramping up their criticism of the belief.

Scientist and entertainer Bill Nye weighed in, telling the Associated Press in September: "The Earth is not 6,000 or 10,000 years old. It's not. And if that conflicts with your beliefs, I strongly feel you should question your beliefs."

One person who would doubtless be upset about the quiz is Lawrence Krauss, a theoretical physicist at Arizona State University, who has said teaching creationism is akin to a mild form of child abuse and that it mirrors the tactics of the Taliban.

By Meredith Bennett-Smith. Posted: 04/26/2013 1:48 pm EDT. Updated: 04/26/2013 4:38 pm EDT.

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sakuraberries 28th-Apr-2013 03:51 am (UTC)
If this is real...then it has me shaking with anger. Indoctrinating a child with false information like this...I can't even.
kangofu 28th-Apr-2013 03:57 am (UTC)
I'm still hoping this is all just a joke.

peace_piper 28th-Apr-2013 07:25 am (UTC)
miss_makiba 28th-Apr-2013 04:08 am (UTC)
I can't believe this is real. Seriously, how would people even get away with that crap?

Also, I don't understand question 14 at all. If you believe in an ark that saved all the animals, why, exactly, can't it be that particular ark?
qable 28th-Apr-2013 04:15 am (UTC)
The ark's dimensions are stated in Genesis, and would be a lot larger than what's depicted in the picture. It still wouldn't be large enough to have two or seven of every type of animal on the planet, though.
mollywobbles867 28th-Apr-2013 04:21 am (UTC)
Please tell me this is a joke. Please please please.
politicette 28th-Apr-2013 04:28 am (UTC)
Takes me back to my fourth-grade quizzes tbh.
seishin 29th-Apr-2013 12:16 am (UTC)
Same. Spelling tests were Psalms and other Bible passages too.
otempora541 28th-Apr-2013 04:35 am (UTC)
I haven't been around a 4th grader in a while, but this seems... Too young and easy for a 9 year old.
romp 28th-Apr-2013 04:59 am (UTC)
That fits. There are at least a couple people in this community who went to schools like this (and I was close to one for a bit)--they're super simple because that leads to Success...and you're not supposed to be thinking or questioning just regurgitating "facts."

If you're headed for a Christian university, I'm not sure how it works. All the stories I've read are about students being groomed for political office. I know some of science departments but what does that mean for fundamentalists. I notice there isn't a Geology Dept at Trinity Western...
romp 28th-Apr-2013 04:37 am (UTC)
OMG, why are people even doubting this? This has been going on for decades. I swear sometimes I think people in cities (esp lefties ones like SF and Portland) should be sent via exchange programs into fundie strongholds just so they understand a sizable part of the US.
365reasonswhy 28th-Apr-2013 05:03 am (UTC)
Believe me, I don't doubt it at all, but it still sometimes shocks me the depth that they will go to in order to keep their children ignorant, and I'm even from a fundie stronghold- Alabama- and grew up in a southern Baptist church. They're all horrible, but that last questions is particularly incredible.
steinsgrrl 28th-Apr-2013 04:43 am (UTC)
My parents and sister's family are Pentecostal and the answers to that quiz are exactly what they believe. I don't get it, because they're not stupid nor naive, but since they found the church, if the church and/or Bible doesn't specifically say it, they don't believe it. The zealotry is frightening.
bestdaywelived 29th-Apr-2013 11:07 pm (UTC)
So ... they are both stupid AND naive? I mean, giving up critical thinking and reality to be a religious zealot kind of shows the worst.
chimbleysweep 28th-Apr-2013 04:52 am (UTC)
The answer to 18 could be used about things that allegedly happened 6000 years ago...................

But that's going to be my new comeback for everything.
tigerdreams 28th-Apr-2013 06:26 am (UTC)
The thing they don't realize is that if their opponent decides to use the same style of debate and standards of evidence that they use, the best retort is, "Yes. Prove I wasn't!"
365reasonswhy 28th-Apr-2013 05:00 am (UTC)
That last question OMG. How can they not see that answer creates all kinds of problems, even for their own arguments.

"Jesus died on the cross!"
"Were you there?"

And I was definitely reminded of this with the entire quiz:

Mean Girls

Putting the ONTD in ONTD_P.
zanbam 28th-Apr-2013 05:05 am (UTC)
Next time someone tries to tell me that Jesus died for my sins, I'm going to ask them "were you there?" Boom, mic drop.
romp 28th-Apr-2013 06:21 am (UTC)
I hope you say that last bit too.
ceilidh 28th-Apr-2013 05:20 am (UTC)
I can absolutely believe a private school in SC gave this test and meant it. When a lot of liberals in large cities say "oh, private schools, yay!" they have zero fucking clue what religious private schools in the south are like--many private religious schools in the south are basically Sunday School, all the time. In SC, private school teachers don't have to be certified or even have a college degree, they don't give standardized tests (I mean, I wish standardized tests didn't exist, but), they have no accountability to the state or to anyone, really. They just have to be "good Christians" and that's basically it.

My college roommate went to Bob Jones Academy (private school associated with Bob Jones University) for a time until her parents pulled her out and put her in public school because she got reprimanded at school for wearing jeans while at the GROCERY STORE WITH HER MOM. OH NO, THE HORROR. I'm pretty sure the school in this article isn't BJA, because it says a "small" school, but there are a ton of fundie private schools in the Greenville/upstate area with Bob Jones ideals and I'm wondering if that's where this school is located.

This does look babyish for a 4th grade test but then again since they aren't actually teaching 4th grade science I find it plausible that they don't care about other grade level work. All the reading skills you need to know are enough to read the Bible, you know? (and really, they don't want you to read it, they just want you to come to church so you can have a preacher tell you what it says and what it means.)
katiie_ 28th-Apr-2013 09:10 am (UTC)
Don't private schools in the US have to adhere to a certain curriculum though? And if they don't, are their diplomas generally accepted when applying to universities?
It just seems really strange that private schools are allowed to teach something like that. (I went to a private catholic school in Germany and while we had to keep religion as a mandatory subject till our a-levels and had to adhere to a dress code, it all seems rather lax in retrospective compared to stories I read about private schools in certain parts of the US.)
__fasterfaster 28th-Apr-2013 05:51 am (UTC)
#17 seems to have come from this...a friend of mine showed it to me a few years ago.

doverz 28th-Apr-2013 05:54 am (UTC)
Well, number 18 can be used for anything in the Bible by that means. Did God create the universe?? Were you there?? Nope so he didn't.
corbyinoz 28th-Apr-2013 05:55 am (UTC)
This is beneath even those who argue that creationism is a 'theory' to be sat alongside the 'theory' of evolution. Thus proving they know absolutely zero about how the scientific method actually works.

As an educator? This is physically painful to read.

Edited at 2013-04-28 05:56 am (UTC)
idemandjustice 28th-Apr-2013 08:52 pm (UTC)
My usual response to the "just a theory" thing is, "So is gravity."
ohmiya_sg 28th-Apr-2013 06:04 am (UTC)
A reader even emailed Snopes to say that the quiz belonged to his 10-year-old daughter. "She will not be attending the school next year," he wrote.

Did he not bother checking her school out beforehand? I assume most of the parents sending their kids their believe the crap themselves so this shouldn't have come as a surprise to him.
daydream11 28th-Apr-2013 07:14 am (UTC)
In a lot of areas the best schools are the private ones, simply because the private ones are basically holding cells, and even in the public schools you'll find teachers who'll teach this kind of thing anyway. I know some classmates in one seminar last year told us that her textbooks (from her public high school) came with "evolution is JUST A THEORY" stickers on them. So.

And even if you know that it's a Christian school, you don't always get access to the textbooks beforehand.
astridmyrna 28th-Apr-2013 06:10 am (UTC)
I feel so bad for this kid.

Also, somewhat relevant (but very entertaining):
scolaro 28th-Apr-2013 06:57 am (UTC)
This is perfect!
shadowesque13 28th-Apr-2013 06:10 am (UTC)
I'm still stuck on the sheep-sized dinos. I'm just lulzing at it. I mean, sure, if you took every dinosaur discovered and averaged their sizes...I have no idea what you would come up with. But still!
recorded 28th-Apr-2013 08:10 am (UTC)
in my mind all dinosaurs are babies at all times

also this image:

akgjldsagjlsdw. so cute
sleeky 28th-Apr-2013 06:29 am (UTC)
Oh god, flashbacks to middle school. We were actually taught legit science in science class (although every ~controve4rsial topic came with an opt out permission slip) but then in bible class we got all these good facts. Dinosaur skeletons are just rearranged whale bones! Dinosaurs were really about the size of a cow! You could have had a dinosaur for a pet!

Except for all of the mental conditioning I've had to try and undo it would almost be funny to me now. Except they still teach it and it is so sad and idgaf, it should be illegal for an accredited school to teach it as fact.
the_physicist 28th-Apr-2013 09:07 am (UTC)
especially in science class. D:

or do you think it's possible it is from religion class and they just called it a science test? i mean, doesn't make it too much better as kids don't always seperate subjects as well in their minds as adults do from the outside...
browneyedguuurl 28th-Apr-2013 06:43 am (UTC)
daydream11 28th-Apr-2013 07:10 am (UTC)
My science books at my private Christian elementary school had the text of Genesis in place of what would have been the evolution chapter. There was also a blurb at the end about how evolution is "false doctrine" and is anti-Christian. It makes sense that so many people end up doing away with religion entirely once they get into a proper biology class with a proper instructor; creationism isn't why I became an agnostic, but it certainly helped on the "I've been lied to my whole life" score.

Fucking assholes.
seishin *queues 'Losing my Religion'*29th-Apr-2013 12:42 am (UTC)
Going from a school with one extreme (private, evangelical), to another (private, but with 2 headmasters (Jewish & Catholic)) that made it a point that there would be NO religion in class at all, cemented my beliefs that everyone believes differently, and it's totally OK (as long as you dont push your beliefs on others).

I remember taking a World Religions class in HS (Catholic), and the teacher asked us how many of us believed in reincarnation. About 40% of the hands in class went up. When the teacher told us that's not a part of Catholicism, my first thought was '...so?' That's when I fully realized I was more agnostic than Catholic.

lady_sesstra 28th-Apr-2013 07:47 am (UTC)
While creationism has not historically been a part of the public school science curriculum in America, a 2012 Gallup poll reported that 46 percent of Americans said they believe in creationism.

46 percent

46 percent


recorded 28th-Apr-2013 07:52 am (UTC)
recorded 28th-Apr-2013 07:51 am (UTC)
the_physicist 28th-Apr-2013 09:54 am (UTC)
but look, humans and dinos clearly coexisted:


although you make a good point that if humans and raptor lived at the same time, how come humans still exist? XD

Edited at 2013-04-28 09:55 am (UTC)
that_therapist 28th-Apr-2013 11:08 am (UTC)
This is the kinda thing that makes my theology lecturer break down in fits of hysterical laughter.
the_physicist 28th-Apr-2013 12:57 pm (UTC)
That's not what your final is going to look like? Damn. I was about to forward you a link to this so that you could revise tactically from this 'past paper'.

Edited at 2013-04-28 12:58 pm (UTC)
underlankers 28th-Apr-2013 12:31 pm (UTC)
Whenever I hear the word creationism in any context this is my reaction:

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