POLITICS
04/26/2013 01:48 pm ET Updated Apr 26, 2013

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

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.

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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.

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