About 25% of Americans Don't Know the Earth Revolves Around the Sun

John Keefer

Devilish Rogue
Aug 12, 2013
630
0
0
About 25% of Americans Don't Know the Earth Revolves Around the Sun



Does the Earth go around the Sun or does the Sun go around the Earth? And while we are at it, do antibiotics kill viruses?

Do you know the answers to the above science questions? Apparently many Americans don't. About 1 in 4 people tested in a recent survey conducted by the National Science Foundation think the Sun revolves around the Earth. It looks like most of these folks are still living in the educational Dark Ages.

Lest you think the sample size was too small, 2,200 people were asked 10 science questions, and the average result was 6.5 correct, according to the poll released on Friday, and reported by Phys.org [http://phys.org/news/2014-02-americans-unaware-earth-circles-sun.html]. So the number or respondents was fairly substantial to pull numbers from. Other science questions that received mixed responses:


Did the universe begin with a huge explosion? Only 39% answered yes correctly.
Did human beings, as we know them today, develop from earlier species of animals? Only 48% correctly said yes.
Do antibiotics kill viruses? Only 51% correctly answered no.


There is hope, however, as most Americans really like science and seem to hold scientists in high regard. But then the results seem to indicate that while they may like science, they may not necessarily read enough about it.

Source: NPR [http://phys.org/news/2014-02-americans-unaware-earth-circles-sun.html]



Permalink
 

Hawkeye21

New member
Oct 25, 2011
249
0
0
There was a different survey a couple of years back, one of the questions was: If Earth revolves around the Sun, how much time does it take to make a full revolution? Around 30% answered one day.

Also, how does one "kill viruses" anyway? Virus is a single organic molecule, it's not even an organism of any description. It isn't even alive.
 

MrHide-Patten

New member
Jun 10, 2009
1,309
0
0
Americuh, Fuck Yeah!
Sorry if this sounds like a sterotype, but was this sample from Texas?

I honestly don't want to know how Australia fares, ignorance is bliss. Ironically.
Cue all the people going on about "theories" and "unconfirmed", blahty, blah.
 
Mar 30, 2010
3,785
0
0
*Prepares snarky comment ragging on American stupidity*

*Remembers survey last year which found 1 in 3 UK <16s think cheese is made from plants*

*Goes and sits quietly in corner*
 

VanQ

Casual Plebeian
Oct 23, 2009
2,729
0
0
MrHide-Patten said:
Americuh, Fuck Yeah!
Sorry if this sounds like a sterotype, but was this sample from Texas?

I honestly don't want to know how Australia fares, ignorance is bliss. Ironically.
Cue all the people going on about "theories" and "unconfirmed", blahty, blah.
Nothing infuriates me more than when people say something like "Well, evolution is just a theory!", completely oblivious to the meaning of the word theory in a scientific context. That the word theory means something that can be observed and reproduced, such as evolution.

Australia is considered one of the smarter nations, but I'm almost certain that it's just a few very bright people carrying the weight of a very dumb overall populace. Most people don't care to educate themselves on matters more difficult than the location of the nearest pub.
 

tippy2k2

Beloved Tyrant
Legacy
Mar 15, 2008
14,261
1,363
118
Before we get all of the "Wow! What kind of ignorant and stupid person doesn't know that stuff!!!?", I'm going to chime in and say that this seems kind of expected.

Has anyone ever watched "Are you smarter than a 5th grader"? The contestants on the show answer questions about basic information that you would find in subjects up to the 5th grade. These people know the type of questions they are going to be getting and (I'd assume at least with the amount of money you can win), studied up on what they could see. Many of them still get stuck in the game. Why is that?

It perfectly demonstrates this exact thing we're seeing here. You don't realize but you forget a LOT of shit that school taught you because 90% of people don't need to know it in order to function and do their jobs. I remember a lot of this stuff because I loved school, useless trivia, and some of these things fascinate me but if you don't use the info stored in your brain, you lose it. We don't use the vast majority of these "Fun Facts" and so you're brain kicks them out for more important things in life like money management, the proper way to cook chicken so you don't all die, and how to juggle chainsaws.
 
Dec 14, 2009
15,526
0
0
What happens when you invest ludicrous amounts of money into a bloated military, and nothing into education and health?

Something like this.

Gotta be looking at priorities when your military spending is X times the number of the next X countries combined.
 

Jumwa

New member
Jun 21, 2010
641
0
0
Daystar Clarion said:
What happens when you invest ludicrous amounts of money into a bloated military, and nothing into education and health?
The US government actually spends more on education and health care than most western countries. They just do so very, VERY ineffectively. Such as pumping most of their healthcare dollars into private companies. And in the case of education, school financing is often tied to the wealth of the areas they service. So rich neighborhoods get well funded schools, the poor neighborhoods that need the money most get the least.

Then there's issues like how the school system prepares kids for test taking, which does not necessarily translate well into practically applying what you've learned to any other instance. As well, studies indicate that the day after a big exam, students have already begun to rapidly forget everything they had to cram for the test.

So money isn't even the issue as such, it's a complete failure of method, ideology and politics.
 

balladbird

Master of Lancer
Legacy
Jan 25, 2012
972
2
13
Country
United States
Gender
male
VanQ said:
Nothing infuriates me more than when people say something like "Well, evolution is just a theory!", completely oblivious to the meaning of the word theory in a scientific context. That the word theory means something that can be observed and reproduced, such as evolution.
true, the way the term "theory" is used outside of scientific circles is more closely related to the scientific "hypothesis" than to its scientific equal.

As to the study, I'd need more information on the sample group to draw any definite conclusions, and it sounds like at least one of the questions was loaded. I.E. if you were polling people in the bible-belt and asked them if the universe started with a big explosion, they'd almost certainly answer "no" as a point of blind faith. I live in middle-of-nowhere, missouri, and I've lost track of how many "The big bang theory: God spoke and BANG, it happened" bumper stickers I've seen over the years.

the rest ties into what a fellow before me said, knowledge that isn't vital to survival tends to sift to the back of the mind and disappear. I don't think americans are particularly unique in that regard.
 

Megazuurkool

New member
Feb 6, 2014
5
0
0
I am not going into the issue whether the universe was created by an explosion or whether we humans developed from animals, but those people did not believe that. Surely they knew there were people who believed it to have happened that way, but if you don't believe in this theory, of course you'll fill in that it isn't correct. There are a lot of people who don't support the evolution theory, big bang, my ancestors were apes etc.. and if that's what you believe you are not stupid for saying 'no' to the whole theory thingy.

I'm so sorry for my English.
 

Avaholic03

New member
May 11, 2009
1,520
0
0
I wonder how many kids were just fucking with the results. I can remember a few times taking these types of surveys in school, depending on how bored I was that day sometimes I'd just randomly pick answers, other times I'd intentionally pick the dumbest answer. Unless kids have an incentive to actually get the answers right, I don't know how reliable the results are.

(or maybe I'm just in the very small minority)
 

cynicalsaint1

Salvation a la Mode
Apr 1, 2010
545
0
21
I find the detail of the survey a little sketchy.
2.2k *IS* a small sample size for a nation of over 300 million - as in about .0007% of the US was surveyed.
Also without any kind of demographic information about who was responding its pretty dangerous to make broad conclusions based on it.

Furthermore there's no information about how the survey was conducted - Were people just cold called? Could the questions have been worded in a confusing manner? How hard would it be for someone to accidentally give an answer they didn't intend to? Etc.
 

Eclipse Dragon

Lusty Argonian Maid
Legacy
Jan 23, 2009
4,259
12
43
Country
United States
I'd also like to know what percentage of these people over-analyzed or just plain don't believe in the big bang or evolution (because of religious beliefs for example).

What percentage answered sarcastically?

There's also a trick you can do, ask people "How many animals did Moses bring on his ark?"
You might find yourself surprised by how many people say "two"

Was it verbal? That's a whole different issue.
My college professor did a little experiment with his classes in which he asked
"What's your nationality?" the first person answered, not their nationality, but their heritage, and the rest of the people answered in the same manner.

Actually the last question can be useful for finding out if you have a doctor worth your money.
Next time you get the flu, go to the doctor, if he/she tries to prescribe you antibiotics, get a new doctor, this one either needs to go back to school or has the bad habit of over-prescribing antibiotics.

If they tell you "Tough shit next time get a flu shot" Okay fine :/
 

M920CAIN

New member
May 24, 2011
349
0
0
To be fair, I didn't know the answer to the last one "do antibiotics kill viruses?" - I would've answered something like "not all because otherwise no one would die from disease"
 

iseko

New member
Dec 4, 2008
727
0
0
Hawkeye21 said:
There was a different survey a couple of years back, one of the questions was: If Earth revolves around the Sun, how much time does it take to make a full revolution? Around 30% answered one day.

Also, how does one "kill viruses" anyway? Virus is a single organic molecule, it's not even an organism of any description. It isn't even alive.
Good question. The answer is a little more ambiguous but in short: we don't. Most viral infections pass on their own. Examples: common cold (Rhino-virus), the flu (influenza). Some people demand antibiotics for them and this is because A) they are idiots B) they are not stupid but know nothing of the subject or C) they are idiots who know nothing of the subject.

Viruses replicate using mechanisms of their respective host cells. Those make new capsule proteins and copies of their genome. Some viruses need more of these cell mechanisms then others. An example of an antiviral drug is tamiflu. What that does is prevent the newly formed virus particles from exiting the host cell. Giving our immune system time to destroy the infected cells. They do this be 'eating' the infected cells and destroying everything inside (including the virus particles).
So basically, most (I think all) antiviral druggs slow down viral replication at one point or another. Giving time for our immune system to respond and kill infected cells. I think the treatment for HEP A for example is injection with immunoglobulines targeting the viral vector itself. Not sure about that though. I would have to look it up.
 

MCerberus

New member
Jun 26, 2013
1,168
0
0
No talk of their processes.
Referring to surveys without citations.
No clue whether there is bias in their population.

Am disappoint, phys.org.