Freedom had been hunted round the globe; reason was considered as rebellion; and the slavery of fear had made men afraid to think. But such is the irresistible nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing.
~ Thomas Paine, Rights of Man, 1791 ~

Thursday, April 2, 2015

April 2015 Quiz

Each month I've been asking a series of questions to hopefully encourage readers to think more deeply about their beliefs. What is truth? and how do you know? What tools do you have at your disposal in your search for truth? Will you be able to rule out falsehood? How?

This month I want to do something slightly different. I want to test your knowledge. Do you understand that which you believe? Do you understand that which you reject?

Let's find out...

Yes, you are welcome to use Google.
  1. Name 5 different scientific methods used to determine how old various natural objects are.
    Bonus points if you can find articles from reputable sources detailing how each of these methods was determined to be accurate, and the tests to eliminate errors.
    Double bonus points if you can find details of experiments that show how these methods agree with each other when used to date the same object.
  2. How old do scientists believe the earth is? What methods did they use to calculate the age of the earth?
  3. Name 5 different creationist methods used to determine how old various natural objects are.
    Bonus points if you can find details of experiments to test these methods.
    Double bonus points if you can find details of experiments that show how these methods agree with each other when used to date the same object.
  4. How old do creationists believe the earth is? What methods did they use to calculate the age of the earth?
    (If you feel the need to refer to a holy book then you're missing the point of this exercise)
  5. Does the earth physically rest on foundations that cannot be moved?
  6. If the sun stood still, would it be daylight for longer?
    Bonus points if you can explain in detail what would need to happen in order for the sun to appear in the same position in the sky for 3 hours, from the point of view of an observer on earth.
  7. Where is heaven? Please be specific.
  8. Where and what is the firmament (referred to in Genesis 1:7) ? What did God say it was?
  9. What is Earth? What did God call "Earth" in Genesis 1?
  10. Why does the moon look red during a total lunar eclipse?
While we're speaking of lunar eclipses, be sure to check out the total lunar eclipse on April 4, 2015.

If you're spooked by freaky stories about lunar eclipses and Jewish Passovers, you may want to consider these details before giving in to superstitious nonsense:
  • The Jewish calendar is a luni-solar calendar, which means it is itself based on the passage of the sun and moon in the sky.
  • As a result of this, Passover always occurs on a full moon.
  • Lunar eclipses can only occur on a full moon. Essentially what you're seeing is the earth's shadow on the moon.
  • There will be 8 tetrads this century. We know the day and the hour of all of them. ;-)
  • Big things happen every year, not just during years marked by tetrads.
  • Learn about the Texas Sharpshooter fallacy.

Happy Easter everyone!