Friday, December 15, 2006

Intellectually Inferior Christians

David Sklansky has issued a challenge to Christians. He is willing to wager $50,000 for anyone who can pass a polygraph exam on two tenets of Christianity: 1) that Christ rose from the dead, & 2) that those who do not profess faith is Christ will not enter Heaven. The second part of the wager is that he and the challenger will both take the math portion of either the SAT or the GRE in half the normally allotted time, and whoever scores lower will pay the other $50,000.

His premise is that people who agree with those two basic beliefs of Christianity are less intelligent than those who do not. Of course, all it would really prove if Sklansky won the bet is that Sklansky is better at a math test than the individual challenger. In case you didn't know, Sklansky has written several books about the mathematics of Poker and describes himself as a child math and logics prodigy.

A few quotes from Sklansky in the thread:

Their beliefs make them relatively stupid (or uninterested in learning). Or only relatively stupid people can come to such beliefs. One or the other.

The condescension of otherwise intelligent people toward those of us of faith is annoying and amusing at the same time.

And I really can't even conceive of someone who can legitimately pass that polygraph doing great on the exam. The only way it is conceivable I could lose without getting cheated is if I am rustier than I realize or if I happen to make the occasional careless error that is impossible to fully guard against.

So, if someone gets past the polygraph and then does, in fact, best Sklansky on the test, he'll blame it on the challenger cheating or his own rustiness.

It's a "no win" bet for any challenger because of the parameters of the wager. not to mention that many of us who could probably give him a run for his money on the test are too smart to wager $50,000 on such a proposition.

For the record, I believe the two things he includes in his polygraph portion, and at one time, I think I could have been in the game on the math test. I took both the SAT and the GRE in my school career. I missed one question each on them. On the LSAT, I missed one question in the Logical Reasoning section and aced the Logic Games section.

Even if Sklansky could get a perfect on the test and a challenger, let's say me, only missed one, Sklansky would have won his $50,000, but how can he honestly say the challenger did not do "great on the exam"?


Abby said...

So...Do my good grades prove this wrong, or make me a heathen?

oso diablo said...

if you cruise around the web much at all, you run into this sort of crap all the time. It's barely worth giving it any credence.

Mostly, i wanted to comment that i didn't agree with your tag of "leftist condescension" for this topic. I don't see how this is a left/right thing.

oso diablo said...

response from Ken Jennings, fwiw...

Julie said...

See, now, I wouldn't do well on the math test. I've never done well with math, but how can that be proof that I'm not smart?