Free Will Or
Synaptic Wiring?
[an e-mail hoax, of sorts]

This "hoax" was floating around on the humor lists, and a reader sent us a copy.
Cliff Walker debunks it.

Graphic Rule

From: "Positive Atheism" <>
Subject: Re: (no subject)
Date: Friday, February 25, 2000 7:09 PM

The equation always comes up 4, which always equals "D".

The only countries that begin with "D" are as follows:

Most people who would do exercises like this (European-Americans; subjects of the United Kingdom) have heard of Denmark, may (on a very off chance) think of the Dominican Republic, and probably have never heard of Djibouti. Thus, your letter is probably "K" (a letter that does not appear in many Western alphabets).

(I picked the kitten as my animal, which is not really a proper animal name. Yahoo's main (rough) list of mammals goes straight from Jaguars to Leopards, so I looked further and consulted the Smithsonian's section on animals.)

Not many would pick the others from the Smithsonian's entire list of common animal names that begin with the letter "K":

or the Smithsonian's list of scientific names:

so it makes sense that the kangaroo would come up extremely often amongst European-Americans who can even think far enough through this exercise.

Cliff Walker
"Positive Atheism" Magazine

Graphic Rule

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