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Mar 28 / Jonathan

Science literacy

This has been floating around for a while, and I’ve been meaning to mention it. So here goes.

Science Literacy — American Adults ‘Flunk’ Basic Science, Says Survey

  • Only 53% of adults know how long it takes for the Earth to revolve around the Sun.
  • Only 59% of adults know that the earliest humans and dinosaurs did not live at the same time.
  • Only 47% of adults can roughly approximate the percent of the Earth’s surface that is covered with water.
  • Only 21% of adults answered all three questions correctly.

We see these surveys from time to time, and I don’t know whether to be skeptical. I can see missing #3 (the correct answer is about 70%, and they accepted 65–75%), but #1 is hard to believe. Here’s the actual question with its choices:

Question #1
How long does it take for the Earth to go around the Sun?

  • One day
  • One week
  • One month
  • One year
  • Not sure

Half of all adults got this wrong? Really? We’re in deep, deep shit. One can only hope that it’s the same folks who don’t get around to voting.

One Comment

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  1. Loren / Mar 28 2009

    Imagine it: No Adult Left Behind. If not for adults, why for children?

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