Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Atheists' religious knowledge: generally pretty good

I'm sure we've all heard that in an American survey (full report), those that know the most about religion are atheists/agnostics.

You can take a shortened version of the test (I got 15 out of 15, but must confess, one answer was based on a guess, and another question I was fairly sure I was right, but thought it could have been another answer).

I tend to agree with the Friendly Atheist's take:

* Many atheists left religion in the first place because we learned too much about our faith.
* Atheists pay attention when we hear religious groups make ridiculous statements.
* Atheists tends to be better educated than the rest of the population.

Not much more to say really. Here are the results:

Question & % of survey respondents answering correctly
1. Which Bible figure is most closely associated with leading the exodus from Egypt? 72
2. What was Mother Teresa's religion? 82
3. Which of the following is NOT one of the Ten Commandments? 55
4. When does the Jewish Sabbath begin? 45
5. Is Ramadan…? 52
6. Which of the following best describes the Catholic teaching about the bread and wine used for Communion? 40
7. In which religion are Vishnu and Shiva central figures? 38
8. Which Bible figure is most closely associated with remaining obedient to God despite suffering? 39
9. What was Joseph Smith's religion? 51
10. According to rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court, is a public school teacher permitted to lead a class in prayer, or not? 89
11. According to rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court, is a public school teacher permitted to read from the Bible as an example of literature, or not? 23
12. What religion do most people in Pakistan consider themselves? 68 (Wasn't 100% sure on this one)
13. What was the name of the person whose writings and actions inspired the Protestant Reformation? 46
14. Which of these religions aims at nirvana, the state of being free from suffering? 36
15. Which one of these preachers participated in the period of religious activity known as the First Great Awakening? 11 (Guessed this one)

Other comments from the blogosphere:
Pharyngula
Richard Adams
Why Evolution Is True
Panda's Thumb
Blag Hag

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