A timely exam…from Ken Ham

This weekend, I’ve been working on an exam for my introductory biology class. We’ve been covering basic principles of evolution so far this term, discussing multiple lines of evidence and examples. Then, what appears over the transom but an exam from a Kentucky middle school covering exactly the same material! What luck! This will make exam prep even easier, and it even includes the answer key!

Only problem is that the entire exam is total bullshit. Darn. I guess I’ll have to go back to composing my own.

Although, an exam consisting of the question, “What is wrong with each of these 13 creationist claims?” might be sort of useful. Except that I’d rather my students learn the real science.


  1. anchor says

    “…an exam consisting of the question, “What is wrong with each of these 13 creationist claims?” might be sort of useful.”

    How useful could it be? The subject of that question doesn’t even belong in a science exam. None of it has anything to do with biology or science or anything remotely resembling reason.

  2. aziraphale says

    His answer to Q4 implies that T. rex was created on day 6. Presumably that’s true of every animal species. But his Answers in Genesis says that there has been ultra-rapid speciation from about 1400 “kinds” on the Ark to millions of species today. So most species were not created on day 6.

  3. evodevo says

    I note that the contradictions in creation order between Genesis 1 & 2 aren’t noted in the exam either…I wonder if a student is allowed to invoke THOSE and put “none of the above” lol

  4. nomdeplume says

    The material on these pages should result in the author being assessed as needing treatment for psychiatric problems. I’m familiar with much of this but seeing it altogether like this is simply horrifying. To take just one example, the idea that any adult human being could believe that all animals were vegetarian, and nothing died before the “Fall”, is astonishing.

  5. chigau (違う) says

    You have a transom on your office door?
    What happened to the camera outside your office?

  6. says

    So the answer to question 1 “Can you marry your relation?” is Yes because we are all related. Thats a nice generalist answer which means a man can marry his brother, a sister van marry her sister or her brother and both of them can marry their mother or father. Hasn’t The Hamster heard of Sodom and Gomorrah? Perhaps we should all pray to God that he smites Kens Ark.

  7. says

    10 is a fun question. Last I checked, there’s not exactly a strong consensus. Efforts to answer the question have generally lead to the supposed authorities excommunicating each other and a lot of bloodshed. Not exactly a situation that instills me with any confidence in any answer that emerged.

  8. says

    Question #2 is interesting.

    Did Kangaroos live in the Middle East?
    a. Yes
    b. No
    c. They live only in Australia
    d. We can’t know for sure

    Did they even notice that if you’re answering (c) then you automatically believe (b) as well. Why, exactly would you bother to include both of these options?

    I mean, okay, they’re creationists, but this exam isn’t even internally consistent if it believes b and c can be separated.

  9. jrkrideau says

    @ 8 garydargan
    Well, if I have this right, Abraham was Sarah’s half-brother so Abraham seems to have been an incestuous pimp. Clearly a great role model for young impressionable Christian boys.

  10. nomdeplume says

    @11 Yes, strange alternatives in b and c, and in a and d. How can you answer “yes” when we have absolutely no evidence, not a single fossil bone, not a single museum specimen from the area? Well, according to the answer given, we can answer yes, not because the bible says there were marsupials on board (the people who wrote the bible had never heard of such a thing), but because the bible says all the animals were in board. I mean, what about the unicorn?! Conversely, if you answered “d”, “we can’t know for sure”, then why not (in the absence of even a single fossil bone or museum specimen)? And what about South America? And what about the monotremes? Perhaps AiG hasn’t heard of them. How did they get to Australia, not only without again, leaving a single fossil or specimen on their journeys, but it would take a long time for an echidna to walk all that way (and how did they maintain ant colonies on the Ark?!), but how did the platypus manage to cross big areas of dry land? (and how was it maintained in aquarium conditions on the Ark?!). The Ark also has to cope with finding the leaves of one species of eucalypt, enough for a pair of koalas for a year, shut a pair of kangaroos into a small pen without them smashing themselves to pieces (not domesticable animals), find suitable flowers with nectar for Tarsipes, provide space for gliders to glide (and insects to eat), provide artificial burrows for wombats, and so on. Why it is almost as if the AiG crew, like the biblical,authors, knew absolutely nothing about the marsupial radiation in Australia. Oh, and did I mention emus and cassowaries?

    Look, I know I know, what’s the point, but you really have to wonder how adult human beings (including one apparently with a PhD in biology) can make themselves believe such obviously illogical nonsense.

  11. cartomancer says

    The thing that gets me about these loons is that they are so insistent on taking everything in their book as crushingly literally as possible (even the contradictions!), and yet nowhere in said book does it tell them “this book is to be interpreted as crushingly literally as possible”.

    What is it that has convinced them this is the way the text should be interpreted? The vast majority of readers throughout history, including pretty much every significant figure in Christian history, has not interpreted it this way. It is not an obvious or natural way to interpret such a text. The results of doing so are ambiguous and nonsensical and contradicted by every shred of evidence that can be brought to bear. Worst of all from the authoritarian perspective these people espouse – there is no authority for doing so! It’s just their personal preference.

    Why do they think that they, with their fallible human minds, can understand the intentions and communicative style of their supposedly infallible god? Why are they so sure their god isn’t an obscurantist, a poet, a believer in scientific inquiry or a creature that communicates entirely in coded metaphors?

  12. nomdeplume says

    @14 Nicely put Cartomancer. It is the most extraordinary mindset. Fundamentalist Christianity like this converges on fundamentalist extremes of Islam, Judaism, Catholicism, and the new versions like Scientology, Mormonism. All of them have a mindset that something written on paper by someone has to be absolutely believed.

  13. brightmoon says

    I remember being shocked speechless that people actually believed in biblically literal, young earth creationism when I first found out about it in the 1980s. Old earth creationism isn’t much better .

  14. christoph says

    This reminds me of a book “F in Exams” by Richard Benson. Non-intentional hilariously wrong answers to test questions.

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