Science literacy: 1 in 4 Americans don’t know the earth orbits the sun

1 in 4 Americans are in the dark about one of the most basic questions in science: Does the sun revolve around the Earth, or does the Earth revolve around the sun?

A survey conducted by the National Science Foundation asked individuals ten questions about science and technology. The results were released at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Chicago.

The good news: 3 in 4 Americans know the earth orbits the sun. The bad news: 1 in 4 Americans don’t know the earth orbits the sun.

When asked “Does the sun revolve around the Earth, or does the Earth revolve around the sun?” 1 in 4 Americans surveyed answered incorrectly. In other words, a quarter of Americans do not understand one of the most fundamental principles of basic science.

Perhaps more disappointing is the fact that fewer than half (48 percent) of study participants were aware that human beings evolved from earlier species of animals.

However, in the words of the report, while “many Americans provide multiple incorrect answers to basic questions about scientific facts;” … “residents of other countries, including highly developed ones, appear to perform no better.”

See MSN for a list of the questions in the survey, along with their correct answers. Below each question, you’ll see a graph showing the percentage of Americans who gave the correct answer, along with the percentage of people in other regions who answered correctly when asked similar questions.

Perhaps the best news from the survey: While many Americans are fuzzy on basic scientific facts, an overwhelming majority (90 percent) of Americans believe that scientists are “helping to solve challenging problems” and are “dedicated people who work for the good of humanity.”

The earth orbits the sun.

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