Evolution test: Is this a joke?
December 16, 2004 9:41 PM   Subscribe

Is this a joke? Officials from the College Board, the nonprofit entity that administers the Scholastic Aptitude Test or SAT, have announced that they are producing a new version of the test for students who live in school districts where creationism rather than evolution is taught in science classes.
posted by lacus to Grab Bag (16 answers total)
It doesn't exist on Google News, so probably, uh, yes.
posted by gramcracker at 9:50 PM on December 16, 2004

I think so because there isn't a science section on the SAT, and I don't remember any science-related passages on the reading section.
posted by mai at 9:50 PM on December 16, 2004

If you look through the previous articles, it seems like an extreeemely dry satire site, but I dunno. I live in Kansas, and I haven't heard anything about this.
posted by interrobang at 9:52 PM on December 16, 2004

It's a joke:

The revision, says College Board spokesman Lester McCue, is a reflection of the changing nature of science content being taught in high schools around the country. "The SAT has to keep up with these changes or risk being left behind. We can't test kids on material that they are not being taught," says McCue. "In the past, we've evaluated students' ability to comprehend passages about historical scientific events, and while we'll continue to do that, the test now assumes that the world is 6,000 years old as opposed to hundreds of millions of years old

No way a college Board PR person is going to say that. First of all, nationwide, very few high schools are teaching any alternative to evolution. Second, CollegeBoard's bread and butter is catering to Universities, not freaky local high schools - and I imagine 99% of accredited higher education institutions would not be too happy about including Creationism questions - even if they were only part of the reading comprehension section. Lastly, the company is super-sensitive to being neutral, after accusations of cultural bias have arisen in the past. They would not risk tripping up the tens of thousands of Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Secular, and other non-Christian kids who are not used to reading biblical language.

The test measures reading comprehension - not general knowledge, so there's no need to use either biblical or Evolution passages. They would just pick something more neutral, say, chemistry.

But isn't it sort of sad we have to question if it's genuine or not.
posted by sixdifferentways at 10:10 PM on December 16, 2004

But isn't it sort of sad we have to question if it's genuine or not

Unless you think the SAT has started including math questions in the verbal section, you don't need to question it. It's an obvious fake, up there with the fake BBC-news page a friend made on the occasion of my marriage featuring a photo of Ghidora the Three-Headed Monster in place of the happy couple. Ah well, we *do* breathe atomic fire at our enemies.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:39 PM on December 16, 2004

Thanks all. Thought it was satire at first, then began to doubt. It's just that it wouldn't surprise me if it was true, as sixdifferentways points out.
posted by lacus at 10:40 PM on December 16, 2004

Jonathan Swift's estate has just filed a patent infringement suit.
posted by Gyan at 2:11 AM on December 17, 2004

Read the rest of the site, it's satire. As for thinking the SAT started including math questions. Well, fuck if I know. I never took the SAT since I'm not an American and there's a lot of people in the same boat.
posted by substrate at 6:08 AM on December 17, 2004

...and that boat is apparently 30 cubits high. sure this is satire, but it works because you have to look at it damn hard to be sure that it's satire. i teach biology; it's hard enough as it is without having to teach kids the basic shit they should have gotten in high school.
posted by caution live frogs at 6:52 AM on December 17, 2004

I'm an American and I never took the SAT. ACT was what everyone I know took.
posted by agregoli at 7:13 AM on December 17, 2004

I'm an American and I never took the SAT. ACT was what everyone I know took.

The preferred test seems to vary primarily by state. Most colleges and universities will accept either. I got into the out-of-state university I went to with my SAT scores, but most in-state students at that same university had taken the ACT.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:44 AM on December 17, 2004

These recipes from Bush's inaugural menu are pretty funny.
posted by modofo at 9:17 AM on December 17, 2004

The SAT has a slight edge over the ACT, but not as much as I expected.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:40 AM on December 17, 2004

As far as I always understood it, the ACT is big in the Midwest with the SAT more popular on the coasts. Generally, of course.
posted by dame at 10:12 AM on December 17, 2004

lacus, you're not very swift, are you?
posted by dhartung at 11:01 AM on December 17, 2004

lacus, you're not very swift, are you?

No. But I am deep.
posted by lacus at 4:10 AM on December 19, 2004

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