Take the religious Turing Test!

Leah of Unequally Yoked has a cool experiment going on:

In a conventional Turing Test, computer programmers try to write a computer program that can pass for human.  In the Ideological Turing Test, atheists and Christians test how well they understand each other by trying to talk like each other.  All the entries in the atheist round are collected below, and you can click on each link to read the entry to decide whether you think the author is sincere or shamming.

Voting on the “atheist” entries end tomorrow, and voting on the “Christian” entries end next week. Help contribute to her experiment!

Leah is also participating in Blogathon, so that should be motivation to show her some support!


  1. hkdharmon says

    I read some of the responses, but none of them feel genuine. they feel more like they are all trying to impress us with big words. Perhaps both atheists and christians think the other party tries to hard to sound intelligent rather than just talking.

  2. thisisaturingtest says


    they feel more like they are all trying to impress us with big words.

    Well, to be fair, the nature of the questions sort of elicit those kind of responses. After all, the goal is to tell the difference between thinking Christians and atheists- the knee-jerk types (of both camps) are easy enough to spot, without needing a Turing Test.

  3. R Johnston says

    On the atheist entries some are a lot more overwritten than others. There were at least three or four that quite clearly indicate answers that both stylistically and substantively really had to be thought about rather than merely given. I’d also note that one of the really overwritten atheist entries is an obvious pair with a really overwritten christian entry of the exact same style, so that while you might intuitively decide that overwriting means trying to imitate the other side, at least one of the people submitting entries decided to very consciously use the same overwritten unnatural style for both entries.

    I generally found it a lot harder to form an opinion about the christian entries than the atheist entries. Maybe that’s because most atheists are former true believers or were raised to be believers while very few true believers were ever people who adhered to a well reasoned and thought out atheism. While there are certainly some believers who used to be atheists, I’ve never even heard of a believer who had previously been an atheist for the right reasons. As PZ says, brain damage is the only thing that could make a believer out of an honest and studied skeptic.

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