Good Reason

It's okay to be wrong. It's not okay to stay wrong.

Atheists know more about religion

Try your hand at the latest Pew Forum poll. This was designed to test religious knowledge, and most Americans flunked.

On average, people who took the survey answered half the questions incorrectly, and many flubbed even questions about their own faith.

Those who scored the highest were atheists and agnostics, as well as two religious minorities: Jews and Mormons. The results were the same even after the researchers controlled for factors like age and racial differences.

So Mormons did almost as well as atheists? That makes sense. I knew a bit about religion as a Mormon. Then when I learned a little bit more, I became an atheist.

Oh, and in fairness, I did score 15 out of 15 on the poll, but the last question was a 50/50 lucky guess.


  1. Ok, now I'm convinced that we have the same sources – so often when I stumble across something interesting about religion or language, a blog entry about it pops up on here soon after.

    Anyway, fun quiz! I also scored 15/15 so I'm really surprised that the average was so low. Not only is it sad that people don't bother to familiarise themselves with others' religions, it's also worrying that so many people don't even understand what they themselves are preaching. At least it's somewhat reassuring to see that all of the Aussies I've shown it to so far have scored significantly higher.

  2. I feel ashamed, having only scored 14/15. Must go and learn more about the First Great Awakening… And has there been a Second?

  3. 14/15 I guessed that public school teachers were permitted to lead a class in prayer. I should have given America the benefit of the doubt.

  4. I also got 15/15 and I credit a lot of it to sophomore Humanities at CHS. I grew up Methodist, but high school was when I first really learned about the tenets of religions like Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Catholicism. They did a pretty decent job of teaching in the context of world history, and I wonder if they still teach it similarly.

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