Sunday, February 16, 2014

25% of Americans Believe in Earth-Centered Solar System

Faith-based astronomical text book.

I wish this story were a Poe.

A fake.

A hoax.

But it isn't.

I found this article on the NPR site: 1 In 4 Americans Thinks The Sun Goes Around The Earth, Survey Says. I'm just going to let the article do most of the talking.
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.
The survey of 2,200 people in the United States was conducted by the NSF in 2012 and released on Friday at an annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Chicago. 
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.
Pope Paul V must be celebrating from his grave. Perhaps these confused Americans are taking to heart the Inquisition's ruling on astronomy? That the idea of a sun centered solar system is  "foolish and absurd in philosophy, and formally heretical since it explicitly contradicts in many places the sense of Holy Scripture..." (source)
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."
Most atheists are woefully aware of that second statistic.

Take heart, my American friends, other countries can be oblivious, too.
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. 
Only 66 percent of people in a 2005 European Union poll answered the basic astronomy answer correctly. However, both China and the EU fared significantly better (66 percent and 70 percent, respectively) on the question about human evolution.
Cold solace.

But this is Purgatory.

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  1. Is this what the Romans felt like as they became aware that their society was sliding toward collapse?

  2. Sad. That's ignorance on par with Creationism.

    On the other hand, it would be incorrect to say "The universe began with a huge explosion". Yes, it was given the derisive moniker "Big Bang" and unfortunately the name stuck. True, it was a rapid expansion, but the term "explosion" isn't really properly descriptive. It's also not at all clear that the universe "began". There is no time at which the universe wasn't.


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