More Evidence of Seemingly Willful, or at Least Very Casual, Ignorance

ACADEME BLOG

Last month, I reported on the results of an annual study conducted by the National Science Foundation that measures the interest in and knowledge of basic science among a large sample of American adults. The study showed that the professed interest in science far exceeded the demonstrated knowledge of science. In fact, in some respects the lack of even the most basic knowledge led me to assert that something else is at work beyond some failure of our schools and teachers. Among the most dismal results, the most shocking was that about one in four respondents answered incorrectly on whether the Earth orbits around the Sun. I suggested that one doesn’t even need a school or a teacher to learn such basic things. If one is an adult, one needs only to have been intermittently conscious over the first two-plus decades of your life in order to have absorbed such…

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