1 in 4 Americans Failed to Answer This Simple Science Question

1 in 4 Americans Failed to Answer This Simple Science Question

Some people say all I really need to know I learned in kindergarten, but maybe there are some other things you should know ... like the fact that the Earth revolves around the Sun

According to a poll of 2,200 Americans conducted by the National Science Foundation, one in four people are unaware that the Earth revolves around the Sun. The NSF gave participants a nine question quiz about basic physical and biological science, and the average score came back at a barely passing 6.5 questions correct. That's right, the average person can barely pass a basic science quiz, and a large chunk of the population doesn't know how the Earth travels through space.

The questions was "Does the Earth go around the Sun, or does the Sun go around the Earth?" — not exactly a real brain-burner, but it certainly gave a surprising number of quiz-takers from problems.

In the same survey, only 39% of people said that "The universe began with a huge explosion" and a measly 48% identified that "Human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals." Around half of the participants knew that antibiotics are not effective against viruses. 

Maybe it's because junk like "TRUTH! The Earth does not revolve around the Sun" and "Proof the Sun Revolves Around the Earth" fill up the searches on YouTube, but either way, it's a sad state of affairs.   

But it's not all bad news, the poll also found that nearly 90% of people said the benefits of science outweigh any potential dangers and around the same number are interested in learning about medical discoveries. So while people are completely lost on basic scientific facts, at least they're interested in learning ... that's something, right?

By the way, in case you needed a refresher course:


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Matt Essert

Matt is the news director at Mic, covering breaking news. He is based in New York and can be reached at matt@mic.com.

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