Jay, Mark, Mateo and Lucas - everybody called Lucas "LT" because those were his initials and he sort of resembled a certain Giants linebacker - all met each other freshman year while attending Liberty University and became good friends. Often they would try to register for the same classes when convenient, given their majors. One semester they were all taking the same Chemistry class and had all done pretty well on all the material up to that point. Going into the final all four had a solid A in the class. In fact, the four were so confident going into the final that they decided to head over to Virginia Beach and party with some friends on the weekend, even though the final was on Monday. They had a great time, but they overslept and didn't make it back to Lynchburg until early Monday morning.
Rather than taking the final then, they instead spoke with the
professor afterward and explained to him why they missed it.
They told him that they had gone over to Virginia Beach for the weekend, and
had planned to come back in time to study, but had a flat tire on
the way back and didn't have a spare. They couldn't get help for a long
time and so they were late getting back to the campus. The professor thought this
over and then agreed that they could make up the final on the following
day. The four friends were elated and relieved.
They studied that night and went in the next day to take the exam. The professor placed them in separate rooms and handed
each of them a test booklet and told them to begin. They looked at the
first problem. It was something simple about morality and solutions
and was worth 5 points. "Cool" they thought, "this is going to be easy." Next they turned the page. They were unprepared,
however, for what they saw. All that was written there was: (95 points) Which
Knowing they had been outsmarted and with a sinking feeling in their guts, they all answered the question
anyway on the outside chance that they might give the same answer. The
professor collected the booklets, smug in his cleverness, and headed to
the faculty lounge to “grade” the papers and share with the other
faculty members his triumph over these students who had tried to pull
one over one him. He sat amidst a group of professors from another
department and began to tell them about what had happened. They were all
curious about the outcome and wanted to see how the students had
The Chemistry professor opened the booklets. Just as he suspected,
the four answers did not match. While Marcus and Mateo had answered that it was the front
driver’s side tire, LT put down that it was the right front tire and oddball Jay had answered that it was the back driver’s side tire. “Ha!” the
professor exclaimed. “I got ‘em!”
“Wait a second there,” one of the other professors said. “Are you certain those accounts conflict with each other?”
“Of course they do,” said the Chemistry professor. “Two of them gave completely different answers from the other two.”
“Well, yes,” said another. “But just because their stories are slightly different doesn’t make them contradictory.”
“Excuse me?” said the Chemistry professor. "Slightly different?"
“Look, the one who wrote that it was the right front tire may have just
been looking at the car from the front, which from that perspective
would’ve meant that the driver’s side was on the right. So his account
could match two of the others from that perspective. You know, it's sort of like when you have multiple eye-witness accounts of the same crime.”
“OK, that’s stretching things a bit,” said the Chemistry professor.
“The only crime these guys are bearing witness to is their own lying. Positions on a car are almost always given from the perspective of
sitting in the driver's seat. But even if I grant that, what about Jay, who said the flat tire was the back driver’s side?”
“Simple,” said another professor at the table. “They actually had two flat tires.” The others nodded in agreement.
The Chemistry professor was dumbfounded. “You all can’t be serious.
Isn’t it obvious that these guys are making stuff up? Sure, maybe they really did go to Virginia Beach over the weekend. That part of the story is slightly embarrassing for them to admit. However, the only other common element in their story is a flat tire and given their inability to correctly identify which one, why should I assume it ever happened to begin with? Why wouldn’t they have said they had two flat
tires if that’s what really happened? This is nonsense. I should fail
them all for fabricating this story and then they should thank me for
not bringing them before a disciplinary board. Are you all actually
suggesting that their differing accounts don’t clearly incriminate
The other faculty members looked at each other. “Yeah, that’s right,”
one spoke up. “You have to assume they’re all telling the truth here.
Your argument that there is a contradiction in their stories simply won’t
The Chemistry professor couldn’t believe what he was hearing. It was
obvious to him that these four students had made up this story and yet
these guys were telling him otherwise. Then it dawned on him. “What
department do you guys teach in?” he asked.
“Biblical Studies,” they answered. “Yeah, we teach Apologetics.”