National Public Radio, as part of its mission to help half the country feel it’s smarter than the other half, published this “Study” from the National Science Foundation earlier this week.
Among its (not especially dramatic) “findings” (I’m going to add a bit of emphasis):
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...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.”
It’s kind of funny that NPR is so confident in its own audience’s vaunted intelligence that it had to subtly point out which answers were correct.
On the other hand…:
Just over half understood that antibiotics are not effective against viruses.
I’m amazed that Americans did that well on what is, in day to day life, rather more important.
It’s an indictment of the American education system, isn’t it? Wait – maybe not:
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.
Didn’t see that coming, didja?
If the person who believes the sun revolves around the earth is refinishing your driveway or washing dishes or working for your city’s Public Works department, what difference does it make? He’s not your doctor.
(And if your doctor is unconvinced by the Big Bang theory? Again, so what? She got through medical school…)
Seems like these studies are just an elaborate way of allowing half the country to laugh at the other half.