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.

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