Here is a quiz on “Dinosaurs: Genesis and the Gospel” given to fourth graders at a South Carolina Christian school:
The quiz was based on material from Answers in Genesis.
Atheists and skeptics, of course, have made much of this quiz since it was first posted on the internet a few weeks ago. Christians are obviously a bunch of morons, liars, brainwashers, idiots, and so forth. For a couple of examples, read Intolerant Atheists Viciously Attack Christian School by PZ Meyers or South Carolina creationist science quiz is real on Daily Kos.
And predictably, Answers in Genesis has replied with a “Christianity under attack” response (here and here).
The atheists are wrong; Christians are not idiots. But Answers in Genesis is wrong as well, in that young-Earth creationism gives the skeptics a tragically easy reason to reject Christian truth.
Here’s how I would answer the 4th grade quiz, with red X‘s on the answers the teacher would have marked as incorrect:
X — True. The opening statement of the Bible — “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” — is not necessarily included in the six days of creation, so the earth could have been created in 4000 B.C., 4,000,000 B.C., or 4,000,000,000 B.C.
X — True. Dinosaurs went extinct about 66 million years ago, at the end of the Cretaceous Period.
1/2 X — The 6th day. But is God’s day the same as our day? Moses himself indicates flexibility on this question in Psalm 90.
X — False. The Bible does not say that dinosaurs lived with people, and there is plenty of geological evidence that they did not.
X — The Bible says that animals and humans in the Garden of Eden ate plants, but states that the world outside of the garden was a wild place in need of subduing. Carnivores outside of the garden ate meat.
X — None of the above. Maybe a hippopotamus. A brachiosaurus wouldn’t have fed on grass like an ox, and could not have hidden in the lotus plants and reeds in the marshes along the Jordan River.
I don’t know what happened to #8-10. I probably would have gotten them wrong.
X — There are multiple history books of the universe. The Bible tells us about the origin of the universe, but it doesn’t give us much in the way of details. What it tells us is true, but what it tells us and what the young-Earth creationists tell us that it tells us are two different things. For example, Genesis 1 tells us that God made the stars, but it doesn’t tell us anything about the processes he used to accomplish this act. For that, I would turn to books about astronomy and nuclear chemistry. Genesis 1 also tells us that God said “Let the land produce living creatures,” which implies some sort of process without stating what that process was. I would turn to books about biology and geology to learn about the history of those living creatures and the processes by which they came about. (I apologize, Teacher, that this answer did not fit on the little line).
False. I think just about everyone would agree that Noah’s ark didn’t look like that.
X — I took Vertebrate Paleontology a long time ago at Montana State, but I would really have had to guess on this one. I would have had guessed b. rhino.
X — None of the above. The Bible does not say that Noah’s Flood deposited the sedimentary rock record along with its fossils. None of the other answers are things that in themselves would produce fossils.
X — Fossils are the remains or traces of organisms from the past that are preserved in Earth’s crust. There are patterns in how they are preserved that indicate that they were not produced by one, brief, cataclysmic process.
X — I agree that Earth is billions of years old. To say that it is only 6000 years old is neither Biblically necessary nor scientifically feasible.
My grade from a YEC’s perspective: 4.5/15 = 30%. F
Conclusion: With a Biblical and scientific foundation like this, no doubt some of these kids are “Already Gone.”
Grace and peace
|For an update, including my answers to the missing quiz questions, see More on the Answers in Genesis 4th grade dinosaur quiz|
6 thoughts on “A 4th grade quiz on dinosaurs that the teacher would have given me an “F” on”
I find this thoroughly depressing. How do you suggest we combat things like this?
The question that saddens me most is #18. It is a rude, arrogant, condescending response. Not a Christ-like way to respond to a presumed (from the perspective of the quiz writer) non-believer, or anyone for that matter. How about “Why do you believe that?” (Not asked in scorn.) Then follow up with “Here is what I believe the Bible says.” And explain about Gen. 1:1, 6 literal days, the Garden of Eden, Noah’s flood. I think a YEC 4th-grader could handle that much. As a YEC adult, I’d ask “Why?,” then follow up with “How does a God fit into that?” then go straight to Christ, ignoring the difference of opinion over the age of the earth. “Were you there?” is about as counter-productive as you can get.
J.W. — “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world” (2 Cor 10:4). If this is true for “combat” with the world, it is doubly or tripley true in our interaction with our brothers and sisters in Christ. So, the response needs to be soaked in the word and prayer, and characterized by love, humility, and patience. All of these things are a challenge, but are essential if we are to do what is right.
Carol — I agree, the “Were you there?” response does come across as rather rude, arrogant, and condescending. It is also ironic, because those who ask this question were not there either. God was there, and he tells the truth, but the YECs fill in lots of details that go far beyond anything recorded in the Scriptures.
It really breaks what little is left of my heart to see children being taught false things – they will grow up to be dogmatic about the wrong things or else they will grow up to be bitter atheists.
On that “were you there” business – I am tempted to say, the next time someone dogmatically tells me the earth is 6,000 years old, “Oh, you were there?”
The problem I have with your old earth theory is whether or not you think that millions of years occurred after the opening statement, the Bible is very clear that death came into the world through one man Adam. Since Adam was created on the sixth day, no animals of any kind could have died before Adam and Eve sinnedn
Where does the Bible say that animals did not die before Adam’s sin?
None of the passages used by young-Earth creationists to “prove” that animal death was caused by Adam’s sin actually say anything about animals (see Gen 3, Rom 5, Rom 8, 1 Cor 15).
I’ve developed this further at https://geochristian.com/2009/06/12/death-before-the-fall-an-old-earth-biblical-perspective/
Grace and Peace