U.S. Quarter of Americans Convinced Sun Revolves Around Earth, Survey Finds
Feb. 16, 2014
By LIZ FIELDS
A quarter of Americans think the sun revolves around the earth. Getty Images "Does the Earth go around the Sun, or does the Sun go around the Earth?"
If you answered the latter, you're among a quarter of Americans who also got it wrong, according to a new report by the National Science Foundation.
A survey of 2,200 people that was released Friday revealed some alarming truths about the state of science education across the country, with many failing to an answer even the most basic astronomy and science questions, according to a release about the survey.
Out of nine questions in the survey, participants scored an average 6.5.
Only 39 percent answered correctly with "true" when asked if "The universe began with a huge explosion," while only 48 percent knew that "Human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals," according to the statement.
Asked whether there needed to be more government funding for science, 30 percent said there should be.
The survey was conducted in 2012, but the results were only presented on Friday at an annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Chicago. It is conducted every two years and will also be included in a National Science Foundation report to President Obama and lawmakers.
Heliocentrism, the theory that the earth and planets revolve around a relatively stationary sun, became widely accepted in the 16th century, when Nicolaus Copernicus introduced his astronomical model of the universe, which led to the Copernican Revolution.