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

North Korea Is Not Pleased: Dance Video Features Kim Jong Un

Citing a threat to the leader’s dignity, North Korea reportedly asks China to block a video that inserts Kim Jong Un’s image into bizarre situations, all set to a bouncy dance track.


Hospital Settles Lawsuit By Thousands Of Women Over Exam Photos

The Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins Health System will pay $190 million to settle a class-action lawsuit that includes more than 7,000 women.


Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin votes for a U.N. Security Council draft resolution demanding full access for investigators at the Malaysia Airlines crash site in eastern Ukraine.

Flight MH17: Black Boxes And Bodies Handed Over; U.N. Calls For Inquiry

In a late-night exchange, pro-Russian separatists have given what they say are Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17′s data recorders to Malaysian officials in eastern Ukraine.


Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s Friend Convicted For Impeding Bombing Inquiry

Azamat Tazhayakov has been found guilty on some obstruction of justice charges, and not guilty of others. He was accused of removing evidence from Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s dorm room.


Sgt. Ryan Pitts waits for a flight at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan.

Veteran Who Held Off Taliban Attack On His Own Receives Medal Of Honor

Army Sgt. Ryan Pitts is credited with holding off a brutal Taliban attack back in 2008. He was the only one left alive at an observation post in Afghanistan, and continued to attack despite injuries.


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