1 in 4 Americans Don't Know Earth Circles Sun
Survey suggests science teachers have some work to do
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Feb 15, 2014 6:31 AM CST
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – To put the brightest possible spin on this story is to say that three-quarters of Americans are fully aware that the Earth revolves around the sun. The downside, of course, is that means 1 in 4 are in the dark about what Discovery calls "probably the most basic question in science." The National Science Foundation asked that question and nine others of 2,200 Americans, with the average score on the quiz coming in at 6.5, reports Phys.org.

Some other results noted by NPR:

  • 39% answered correctly that "the universe began with a huge explosion"
  • Fewer than half—48%—agreed that "human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals"
  • 51% knew that antibiotics don't kill viruses
Meanwhile, about 90% of respondents were enthusiastic about science, and 1 in 3 thought it should get more government funding. The poll was conducted in 2012, but the results were released yesterday at a conference. See page 23 on this PDF for the full survey, which includes older results from other countries. Or click to read about Bill Nye's recent debate with a leading creationist.

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Showing 3 of 348 comments
TessTalks
Apr 13, 2014 8:27 PM CDT
And the Dumbing Down of America continues.
Dan Zeke
Feb 18, 2014 7:54 AM CST
more than half of the voting public re-elected Obummer too.
wakeUp
Feb 18, 2014 12:53 AM CST
The real story should be that 3/4 of Americans are sheeple that are too stupid to understand that Earth DOES NOT revolve around The Sun. Yeah, you read that right... Earth and The Sun both revolve around a common barycenter. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barycentric_coordinates_%28astronomy%29