A survey of 2,200 participants from the National Science Foundation found that 1 in 4 Americans still think the sun revolves around the earth and not the other way around. The average score on the 9 question quiz that focused on fundamental concepts of science was 6.5. Only 48% of people knew that humans evolved from previous species but that number increased when premised with, “According to Evolution”.
Other interesting trends are that 4 out of 10 use the Internet as their primary source of data. Television usage dropped meaning that there is a transition occurring. Americans were also more trusting of those from the scientific and medical community than any other group. Four out of ten felt that the government was spending too little on research and would like to see improvements.
There is a silver lining. The vast majority of Americans (90%) believe that the advantages of science outweigh the costs. They have also shown a greater interest in science and scientific discoveries than in the past. Only a percentage of people follow science closely but most have interest in scientific discoveries. They are open to receiving more information about science.
The advantage of science is that it helps people make more accurate decisions. People who look for facts, use a level of analytic thinking, and weigh the options are more likely to be successful than those who do not have the ability to question basic ideas in their environment. The use of science to advance humanity is one of the most important modern inventions over the past few centuries.