SCIENCE! It’s not just for white-coated nerds.
In this case, instead of trying to figure out whether they were conversing with a human or a computer program, people were invited to guess whether a set of answers to religious questions were given by an atheist or a Christian.
One set of answers came either from atheists, or from Christians giving as convincingly atheish answers as they could come up with. In another round, it went the other way, with Christians and atheists competing to seem more believably godly.
There’s probably not a tremendous amount to take away from it overall, but it’s certainly notable that the three most convincing “atheists” interviewed here were actually Christians. It seems likely that, at least in this self-selected group, the misunderstandings and straw-mannery characteristic of some religious discussions clearly aren’t as universal a factor as we might like to think. I’ve talked to some Christians who still misrepresent what I believe, no matter how many times I explain it. But sometimes people on both sides really do get the point the other lot are making, and just don’t buy it.
Adam at Daylight Atheism has some thoughts on why this might be the case.
(h/t Friendly Atheist)