Nation & World News

1 In 4 Americans Thinks The Sun Goes Around The Earth, Survey Says

By Scott Neuman on February 14th, 2014

A quarter of Americans surveyed could not correctly answer that the Earth revolves around the sun and not the other way around, according to a report out Friday from the National Science Foundation.

The survey of 2,200 people in the United States was conducted by the NSF in 2012 and released on Friday at an annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Chicago.

To the question “Does the Earth go around the Sun, or does the Sun go around the Earth,” 26 percent of those surveyed answered incorrectly.

In the same survey, just 39 percent answered correctly (true) that “The universe began with a huge explosion” and only 48 percent said “Human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals.”

Just over half understood that antibiotics are not effective against viruses.

As alarming as some of those deficits in science knowledge might appear, Americans fared better on several of the questions than similar, but older surveys of their Chinese and European counterparts.

Only 66 percent of people in a 2005 European Union poll answered the basic astronomy answer correctly. However, both China and the EU fared significantly better (66 percent and 70 percent, respectively) on the question about human evolution.

In a survey compiled by the National Opinion Research Center from various sources, Americans seemed to generally support science research and expressed the greatest interest in new medical discoveries and local school issues related to science. They were least interested in space exploration, agricultural developments and international and foreign policy issues related to science.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This entry was posted in News from NPR. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

 

More Stories in News from NPR

Fast-Track Trade Authority, A Step Toward Asia Deal, Passes Full Senate

The bill still must clear the House. The measure would clear the way for President Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership, which is unpopular with labor groups and some Democrats.


TLC Pulls ’19 Kids And Counting’ Amid Reports Of Star’s Sexual Misconduct As Minor

Reports say Josh Duggar, 27, molested five underage girls in 2002 and 2003. Duggar has apologized, and his family says they have been open about “one of the most difficult times of our lives.”


Man Convicted Of Killing D.C. Intern Chandra Levy To Get New Trial

Prosecutors have agreed not to oppose a new trial for Ingmar Guandique, who was found guilty in 2010 of killing Levy in 2001.


Decision On Gay Scout Leaders To Come By October, Group’s Head Says

Robert Gates, the former CIA director and former defense secretary, tells NPR that the Boy Scouts of America needs to talk to sponsoring institutions about the potential change.


Policemen face protesters during a protest in central Bangkok today. Thai authorities detained dozens of activists protesting against military rule on the one-year anniversary of a coup against the elected government.

Thai Authorities Arrest Protesters On Anniversary Of 2014 Coup

At least 13 people were arrested in the capital, Bangkok, and seven others in the country’s northeast after they staged protests against Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha’s rule.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments