science

A quarter of Americans believe the Sun revolves around them

Saturday, March 08, 2014 by: J. D. Heyes
Tags: science education, Americans, heliocentrism

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(NaturalNews) There is a lot to criticize about American public education -- and some things that are praiseworthy. But when one-quarter of us don't realize some basic facts about the universe in which we live, well then, "Houston, we've got a problem."

According to a report by the National Science Foundation (NSF), about 26 percent of 2,200 respondents incorrectly answered this question: "Does the Earth go around the Sun, or does the Sun go around the Earth?"

The right answer, of course, is that the earth orbits the sun, not the other way around.

But that wasn't the only question that respondents had difficulty in answering; after all, the NSF said in its findings, out of nine survey questions, participants only answered 6.5 correctly, on average.

'It's important for Americans to maintain a high regard for science'

That said, some of the "correct" answers are sure to stir controversy between scientists (who conducted the survey) and creationists, who believe the world did not "evolve" but rather was "created" by a divine God.

For instance, 39 percent answered "true" when asked if "the universe began with a huge explosion" (of course, scientists and creationists disagree on the correct answer), while 48 percent said they knew that "human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals," the NSF statement said.

When they were asked if there should be more government funding for science, just under one-in-three, or 30 percent, said yes, 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," ABC News reported. "It is conducted every two years and will also be included in a National Science Foundation report to President Obama and lawmakers."

The survey was part of a report called "Science and Engineering Indicators," which the NSF provides to the Executive Branch and to Congress. The lead author for the chapter in the report covering the public's perception of science, John Besley, an associate professor in MSU's Department of Advertising and Public Relations, said: "It's important for Americans to maintain a high regard for science and scientists. It can help ensure funding and help attract future scientists."

The theory that the earth and surrounding planets revolve around a relatively stationary sun is called heliocentrism, a theory that became popular within the scientific and astrological communities -- and was eventually widely accepted as fact -- in the 16th century, when Nicolaus Copernicus introduced his astronomical model of the universe. His theory lead to the Copernican Revolution in astronomical science.

At Natural News, science is also a big deal

Other findings in the survey include:

-- A vast majority of Americans -- more than 90 percent -- said they were "very interested" or "moderately interested" in finding out about new medical discoveries.

-- In the U.S., there is a relatively strong usage of what is called "informal science education." Almost 60 percent of respondents said they have visited a zoo or aquarium, natural history museum or some other science or technology museum.

-- Nearly 90 percent of respondents said they believe the benefits of science outweigh any potential dangers.

Regarding an interest in science, Natural News readers have voiced overwhelming support for the ongoing efforts of our editor, Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, in his bid to make research data more accessible to all with his Science.NaturalNews.com site [http://science.naturalnews.com], along with his efforts to test a wide range of foods for harmful substances in the Natural News laboratory.

Sources:

http://www.independent.co.uk

http://msutoday.msu.edu

http://abcnews.go.com

http://www.eurekalert.org

http://www.nsf.gov

http://science.naturalnews.com

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