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

A customer picks up his just-bought iPhone.

WATCH: First Guy In Perth To Get Hands On New iPhone Drops It On Live TV

Jack Cooksey, 18, was unpacking his brand-new iPhone 6 for a local TV reporter, when he accidentally dropped it. The rest of the customers still in line groaned.


NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell held a news conference on Friday, during which he said, "I got it wrong on the handling of Ray Rice. ... But now I will get it right."

NFL Commissioner: ‘We Will Get Our House In Order’

Roger Goodell has been embroiled in controversy over how the league has handled off-field violent behavior of some of its star players. He said he had not considered resigning.


White House Announces Campaign Against Campus Sexual Assault

In unveiling the “It’s On Us” campaign aimed at preventing attacks on college campuses, President Obama said such violence is “an affront to our basic humanity.”


Alibaba founder and CEO Jack Ma has much to laugh about. Shares in the company opened at $92.70 in the New York Stock Exchange on Friday. The company is now valued at more than $200 billion — that's bigger that Amazon and Facebook.

Alibaba Shares Surge On First Day Of Trading

Shares of the Chinese e-commerce giant opened at $92.70 a share on the New York Stock Exchange today, making it the biggest initial public offering in U.S. history. They were priced at $68 a share.


Elizabeth Lessner stands behind the bar at Betty's Food and Spirits in Columbus, Ohio, in 2004.

Iconic Pabst Beer Brands Sold To Russian Company

Pabst Brewing Co., with its famous Blue Ribbon, Old Milwaukee and Schlitz labels, is being acquired by Russian brewer Oasis Beverages for an undisclosed sum.


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
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments