'Everyone Says It So It Must Be True': The Pseudoscience Quiz
We have an astonishing capacity to accept scientific-sounding concepts if we hear them repeatedly. Test your ability to differentiate between real science and “common knowledge” falsehoods.
True or false: Scientists have proven that childhood vaccines cause autism.
True or false: Non-avian dinosaurs and humans lived on Earth at the same time.
True or false: You lose most of your body heat through your head.
True or false: A scientific theory is really just speculation without hard evidence.
As Christopher Columbus left to sail the ocean blue, did everyone believe the world was flat?
Does lightning ever strike in the same place twice?
What color is your brain?
- multiple colors
What color is the blood inside your veins?
Should you throw away food that you drop on the floor?
- not if it has a high sugar or salt content
- yes, always
- not if you pick it up in less than five seconds
Can brain cells regenerate?
What is the difference between a hypothesis and a theory?
- A hypothesis is a random guess. A theory is an educated guess.
- A hypothesis is a potential explanation for how something works. A theory is already well-supported by evidence.
Did humans evolve from the ape species we have today?
- depends on the human
True or false: If an experiment has an error in it, that means it's worthless.
Is the Great Wall of China visible from space?
If a penny dropped from the top of the Empire State Building hit a person on the ground, what would happen?
- He or she would die instantly.
- He or she would feel a sting from the impact but would live.
- Nothing. The penny would burn up on the way down.
True or false: Astronauts are weightless when they orbit Earth.
After hair is shaved, what happens when it grows back?
- It grows back thicker.
- It grows back faster.
- It’s the same as it was before.
When a tornado is coming, what should you do to your house?
- Open the windows to reduce the air pressure.
- Keep the windows closed.
- Open windows only on one side of the house.
Was the ancient Maya civilization destroyed by climate change?
- It was one of several factors.
What is the Many Worlds Interpretation?
- There is one universe, but life exists on many planets.
- There are parallel universes.
- An entire world exists underground that no one has discovered yet.
True or false: A gluten-free diet is more nutritious.
True or false: Humans burning fossil fuels doesn’t actually increase the amount of carbon on Earth.
If you're standing at the equator, do you move faster or slower than someone to the north or south?
Stars twinkle because:
- They're dying.
- They're far away.
- Their light is traveling through turbulence.
What is the brightest star in the sky?
What causes the seasons?
- the Earth's tilt
- the Earth's distance from the Sun
- the Earth's rotation
Diamonds are formed from what substance?
What percent of your brain do you actually use?
- Virtually all of it
- 10 percent
- 25 percent
Antarctica's ice sheet is changing in what way?
- It's expanding.
- It's decreasing.
- It is staying the same.
When plastic trash is thrown into the ocean, what happens to it?
- It gradually dissolves.
- It forms a giant soup of floating garbage.
- It melts.
What influences the direction of a toilet flushing?
- The shape and design of the toilet.
- The spinning of the Earth.
True or false: The Moon has a dark side.
True or false: The hole in the ozone and global warming are two completely different things.
Your intelligence is a factor of brain weight.
In a fusion reaction, what do hydrogen atoms combine to form?