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1 in 4 Americans doesn't know Earth circles sun

1:48 PM, Feb 15, 2014   |    comments
Solar array panels are seen on the Russian segment of the International Space Station and a blue and white part of Earth is photographed by an Expedition 38 crew member while the crew watches for the arrival of the ISS Progress 54 cargo spacecraft on Feb. 5, 2014.
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To put the brightest possible spin on this story is to say that three-quarters of Americans are fully aware that the Earth revolves around the sun.

The downside, of course, is that means 1 in 4 are in the dark about what Discovery calls "probably the most basic question in science."

The National Science Foundation asked that question and nine others of 2,200 Americans, with the average score on the quiz coming in at 6.5, reports Phys.org.

Some other results noted by NPR:

• 39% answered correctly that "the universe began with a huge explosion"

• Fewer than half - 48% - agreed that "human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals"

• 51% knew that antibiotics don't kill viruses

Meanwhile, about 90% of respondents were enthusiastic about science, and 1 in 3 thought it should get more government funding. The poll was conducted in 2012, but the results were released Friday at a conference.


Newser is a USA TODAY content partner providing general news, commentary and coverage from around the Web. Its content is produced independently of USA TODAY.

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