Atheist Round Winners [Turing 2013]

You may want to keep this year’s answer key and list of entries in the atheist round handy while you read the results.

Atheists earned their reputations as skeptics in this round, as their scores were much lower than the Christians gave in their round.  By the crudest metric — percent of entries with more than a 50% pass (Very Likely Atheist + Likely Atheist) — only six entries out of eleven hit the mark among the atheists.  For the Christians, only three entries didn’t hit this benchmark.  And, after all, you’d expect a good number of entries to read as what they’re written as.

So the atheists were more choosy, but whom did they choose?

The entrant with the highest percentage of atheists rating him ‘Very Likely Atheist’ was the very Catholic Gilbert of The Last Conformer (entry 10, who netted 42% of atheist readers, and 74% rating him as more likely atheist than Christian.  Personally, I’m wondering how many votes his ‘System 1/System 2‘ reference netted him.  Brendan Hodge of DarwinCatholic (entry 1) was the next runner up, with 36% of atheists judging him as very likely atheist and 70% rating him likely or very likely atheist.

And then the real atheists all appeared in a block.  The next five placements went to all five atheists, with Chana Messinger (The Merely Real) taking the lead as the real atheist most likely to be recognized as such (entry 5, 28% very likely atheist).  Right behind her was Chris Hallquist of The Uncredible Hallq (entry 2) with 27% of atheists giving him the most plausible rating.

After these two, very likely atheist ratings slipped below 25% (i.e. lower than if people were voting at random).  But all the rest of the Christian entries were trapped at the bottom, as you can see below.

And the Miss Intellectual Congeniality Award goes to Chana Messinger, who was far and away the contestant whom non-atheist voters most wanted to have a chatty coffee with.

In fact, she scored a hat trick: Most Atheist Atheist, Miss Intellectual Congeniality (among non-atheists) and Miss Intellectual Congeniality (among atheists).  Fifty percent of atheists judges wanted to sit down and chat with her, and, if she wasn’t available, their alternate partners were Gilbert (47%) and Brendan (44%).

The Judges Lose The Ritual Round of the ITT
Sophisters, Economists, and Calculators Succeed on the Last ITT Question
Winner on the Tradition Round of the 2015 ITT
No One Won The 'Underappreciated' Round of the 2015 ITT
About Leah Libresco

Leah Anthony Libresco graduated from Yale in 2011 and lives in Washington DC. She works as a news writer for FiveThirtyEight by day, and by night writes for Patheos about theology, philosophy, and math at She was received into the Catholic Church in November 2012."