Study finds nearly 25 percent of Americans don’t know the Earth orbits the sun


By Annika Darling, The Space Reporter | February 15, 2014

Study finds nearly 25 percent of Americans don’t know the Earth orbits the sun

Wow.

Heliocentrism — the idea that the Earth and the other planetary bodies revolve around a relatively stationary Sun — purely in regards to our Solar System has been around since as early as the 3rd century BC, when it was suggested by Aristarchus of Samos. More famously, Nicolaus Copernicus championed the idea, while Galileo Galilei’s support of it got him into history making trouble when the Roman Inquisition felt forced to investigated the matter and concluded, at the time, that the idea of heliocentrism was undoubtedly false due to its obvious opposition to scripture. Galileo’s persistence and publications on the subject landed him in house arrest for the rest of his life. This was in 1615.

Today, more than 400 years later, some people — one in four to be exact — are still unaware that the Earth revolves around the sun, despite the fact that it has been, for some time, very well calculated. It isn’t that these people disagree, or that they are going to stage an inquisition, but they simply, somehow missed that very basic scientific information. This means that three-quarters of Americans are in the dark about their place in the universe in relation to the rest of the solar system.

The National Science Foundation posed the question along with nine others to a group of 2,200 Americans. The average score was 6.5 — as reported by Phys.org. NPR reported that 39 percent of these Americans answered correctly that the “universe began with a huge explosion.” NPR also reported that fewer than half agreed that humans evolved from other species, and that 51 percent said they knew that antibiotics don’t kill viruses. The majority of the participants reportedly that they were enthusiastic about science, and most — one in three — said it should get more government funding. Although this poll was just recently released, it was done in 2012.

 

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