This isn’t a poll about creationism, but it’s bad. Look what we found at PhysOrg: One in four Americans unaware that Earth circles Sun. They say it’s part of a survey conducted every two years, and will be included in a National Science Foundation report to President Barack Obama and US lawmakers. We’re told:
The survey included more than 2,200 people in the United States and was conducted by the National Science Foundation. Ten questions about physical and biological science were on the quiz, and the average score — 6.5 correct — was barely a passing grade.
We can’t find anything about this on the website of the National Science Foundation, and PhysOrg doesn’t discuss all ten questions, but they say:
Just 74 percent of respondents knew that the Earth revolved around the Sun, according to the results released at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Chicago.
What a country! And there’s this, which isn’t surprising:
Fewer than half (48 percent) knew that human beings evolved from earlier species of animals.
If you find the result about Earth orbiting the sun to be difficult to accept, there’s an older poll with the same result. At the website of Gallup, Inc., the polling organization, they have this article from July of 1999: New Poll Gauges Americans’ General Knowledge Levels.
Gallup asked only three questions: (1) What’s the Fourth of July all about?, (2) What country did the US win its independence from?, and (3) Does the earth revolve around the sun, or does the sun revolve around the earth? They say this about the response to the third question:
In the new poll, about four out of five Americans (79%) correctly respond that the earth revolves around the sun, while 18% say it is the other way around. These results are comparable to those found in Germany when a similar question was asked there in 1996; in response to that poll, 74% of Germans gave the correct answer, while 16% thought the sun revolved around the earth, and 10% said they didn’t know. When the question was asked in Great Britain that same year, 67% answered correctly, 19% answered incorrectly, and 14% didn’t know.
There’s not much we can say about this. That’s how things are out there.
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