Hoaxes & Rumors

4th Grade Dinosaur Quiz: Real or Hoax?

4th Grade Dinosaur Quiz: Real or Hoax?
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An image shows a “4th Grade Science Quiz” which asks a series of questions regarding dinosaurs and the Bible. Today we take a closer look at this graphic.

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The Quiz is Real

According to an article in USA Today, the quiz is a real worksheet from a private Christian school called Blue Ridge Christian Academy which is located in Landrum, South Carolina. The articles goes on to report that the quiz was given to eleven 4th grade students after a teacher showed them a DVD called Dinosaurs: Genesis & the Gospel. This DVD was created by Answers in Genesis, a fundamentalist Christian organization which espouses a literal interpretation of the Bible that includes beliefs that the earth is only thousands of years old and humans & dinosaurs once coexisted.

Answers in Genesis was founded by Ken Ham, and the group is known for its controversial Creation Museum based in Petersburg, KY.

On February 4th of 2014, Ken Ham was involved in a much publicized debate with Bill Nye. Although the debate was marketed as being about creationism versus evolution, during his opening statement Bill Nye specifically mentions that he is debating Ken Ham’s “young earth” creationism. The debate was held at the Creation Museum and was moderated by Tom Forman of CNN.  The two and a half hour debate can be viewed here.

The Worksheet

Dinosaurs

The photo of the Blue Ridge Christian Academy worksheet appears to have been posted by a Reddit user who claims it was given to him by a friend. The quiz is dated March 28, 2013 and given a grade of A+. The “test” asks the following questions (with correct answers in parentheses):

4th Grade Science Quiz:
Dinosaurs: Genesis and the Gospel

1. The earth is billions of years old. (False)
2. Dinosaurs lived millions of years ago. (False)
3. On what day did God make dinosaurs? (“6th”)
4. Dinosaurs lived with people. (True)
5. What did people and animals eat in the beginning? (“Plants”)
6. Which one fits the Behemoth described in Job 40? (Dinosaur is circled)
7. If an animal has sharp teeth, it must mean it is a meat-eater. (False)

Originally, a partial second image which allegedly showed side 2 of the quiz was posted with only one question shown, “18. The next time someone says the earth is billions (or millions) of years old, what can you say? (Were you there)”

Since then, the full second page of the quiz has also been revealed. Here are the the other questions asked with “the correct” answers in parentheses:

11. Whom should we always trust? (God)
12. What is the “History Book of the Universe?” (Bible)
13. What did God tell Noah to build? (an ark)
14. Noah’s ark looked like this: (False)
15. The average size of a dinosaur was (“d. sheep” is circled)
16. What caused there to be fossils? (“b. a Global flood” is circled)
17. Fossils are (“billions of dead things buried in rock layers by water all over the earth.”)

4th Grade  Dinosaur Quiz Page 2

Reddit User

The Reddit user who posted this image claims that the quiz was given to his friend’s daughter at a private religious school near Greer, South Carolina. Initially, he hesitated to specify the school in order to protect the identity of his friend’s child. “I don’t want the kid to get in trouble, so I am keeping that under my hat until June when school is over,” he claimed. The user also stated that his friend wasn’t happy about the test, which is why it was posted online. “Friend’s kid took it. Friend was livid, showed it to me…” He claims to have taken a photo of the quiz with his iPhone.

USA Today identifies the Reddit user as Pher Reinman, a photographer and stagehand who was raised in Greer.

Blue Ridge Christian Academy

Blue Ridge Christian Academy was founded in 2004 by E.J. and Jill Bird. The USA Today article states that the private school taught kindergarten through 12th grade, consisted of approximately 150 students,  and sat on 30 acres of land.

After the worksheet became a viral sensation, funding for the school dried up as major donors withdrew their financial support. The school was also reportedly $2.8 million dollars in debt at the time the story broke in May of 2013. In an April 2013 “Answers in Genesis” blog post written by Ken Ham and Mark Looy, the men called the response a “vicious attack” on Christian education by “intolerant atheists” attempting to dictate their beliefs to mainstream culture.  They also urged readers to donate money to the school.

A Huffinton Post article from August of 2013 reported that the school had closed due to a severe lack of donations. The Blue Ridge Christian Academy website confirms that the school has closed, and claims that any current donations are used to maintain the “campus” as owners of the property search for a potential buyer.

Bottom Line

In early 2013, a photograph of a 4th grade quiz asking dubious questions about dinosaurs and the Bible appeared on Reddit. The image of the worksheet soon became a viral phenomenon. Although surprising, the picture is real and originated from a small private Christian school in South Carolina called Blue Ridge Christian Academy. Inspiration for the quiz was allegedly a DVD created by Answers in Genesis, a fundamentalist Christian organization founded by Ken Ham. As an apparent result of the viral image, donors which supplied funding for the school immediately withdrew their support, and Blue Ridge Christian Academy was forced to close shortly afterwards.

What do you think of this quiz? Let us hear from you in the comments below.

Updated October 5, 2014
Originally published April 2013

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