According to ‘Online Gambler’ magazine (Issue 24, P7), the renowned poker author David Sklansky has offered a $50,000 reward which should provide some easy money for a real Christian with some mathematical ability.
The challenge is in two parts. First, Sklansky’s opponents must pass a lie detector test stating that they are at least 95% sure that Christ was resurrected from the dead, and 95% sure that only those who actually believe that Christ was resurrected will go to heaven. Second, they must sit the math SAT or GRE test with Sklansky and outscore him. Passing both parts of the test results in the $50,000 payout.
However, Sklansky feels confident that he won’t have to pay out a red cent. According to the magazine, Sklansky said, “Fundamentalists are at least 10 times less likely than Asians, Jews or atheists to be scientifically brilliant.”
Moron Mormon, Ken Jennings, said in his blog, ‘Trivial Minds’
You’d think some Christians somewhere would be able to beat a poker player on a standardized test, but no, says Sklansky, this is clearly impossible. “I’m betting fifty grand they are not. Their beliefs make them relatively stupid (or uninterested in learning). Or only relatively stupid people can come to such beliefs.”
And it appears to be that contention of Sklansky which gets Jennings properly excised, because he continues…
But really. If holding a strictly Calvinist view of the afterlife makes you stupid and irrational…then aren’t there things in all religious beliefs that sound just as improbable? Wouldn’t it be just as dumb to believe that God wants you to wear a yarmulke, or that Vishnu has ten avatars, or that wine can transform into the blood of a Judean carpenter, or that Joseph Smith was given gold plates by an angel? All religions fall somewhere on the Xenu Implausibility Scale, right? Okay, Sklansky’s got a beef with evangelicals in particular because he’s gotten into a lot of dumb arguments on creationism, but I don’t think he’s thought his worldview (sic) through very well.
…Whether or not religious belief is tied to intelligence is an interesting academic question, but he doesn’t offer any argument or scholarship to back up his belief that you’d only be into Jesus if you were dumb as a bag of hammers. Instead he offers a dumb, arbitrary intelligence test, presumably cherry-picked to match his own aptitudes…The competitive angle is what gets me: it’s not enough to insult people of faith. He wants you to know he can best them, one at a time, all comers. Maybe this kind of bluster is expected in the poker world, but here in the real world, it makes you sound like an arrogant jackass. Or a pro wrestler.
Mind you, whilst I’ve little time for Mr Jennings and his silly so-called religion, I do not think that David Sklansky has handled himself well, if we are to believe Jennings’ version of events. However, it is notable that the alleged link to the exchange between the parties which Jenning’s provides does not work, but whether that is his fault or Sklansky’s I do not know.
Nevertheless, whilst Jennings is so full of his own abilities that he comments at some length about them on his blog, he actually avoids Sklansky’s challenge by claiming that he has already sat a SAT test and can provide the accredited results, so there is no need for him to do the test again. However, it is notable that Jennings wanted to change the conditions of Sklansky’s challenge so as to include the verbal part of the SAT test, since Jennings claims that, “…[Sklansky] consistently misspells “resurrected” as “ressurected” [therefore he] isn’t going to beat my SAT verbal score anytime (sic) soon.”
In other words, Jennings has avoided the first part of Sklansky’s challenge by claiming that he couldn’t meet it as
…don’t believe heaven will be some all-Mormon church social. According to Mormon belief, all the great philosophers and religious teachers were inspired by God, and good-hearted people of all faiths, or no faith at all, will be saved.)
…and then avoided the second part by trying to change the parameters to include his alleged superior verbal ability over Sklansky’s.
All that suggests to me is that Jennings doubts that he could win the challenge and that Sklansky’s money is quite safe.
That said and done, Sklansky’s challenge is stupid, but that is not to say that anyone who claims to ‘believe’ in the irrational, superstitious nonsense that is religion is not even more stupid, and in a far more profound way.
In conclusion, Jennings is clearly not completely stupid, since he was clever enough to make up a spurious reason for having avoided Sklansky’s challenge, but that is not to say that he is not psychopathologically delusional for believing in Moronism.
BTW, Did anyone think that Jennings was having a swipe at Scientology by his reference to the ‘Xenu Implausibility Scale’? The three words, ‘pot’, ‘kettle’ and ‘black’ spring immediately to mind, lol.