February 22, 2015

1 in 4 Americans Apparently Unaware the Earth Orbits the Sun

A National Science Foundation study involving 2,200 participants find that about 25 percent of Americans got this question wrong: 'Does the Earth go around the sun, or does the sun go around the Earth?'

Does the Earth go around the sun, or does the sun go around the Earth?
When asked that question, 1 in 4 Americans surveyed answered incorrectly. Yes, 1 in 4. In other words, a quarter of Americans do not understand one of the most fundamental principles of basic science. So that’s where we are as a society right now.
The survey, conducted by the National Science Foundation, included more than 2,200 participants in the U.S., AFP reports. It featured a nine-question quiz about physical and biological science and the average score was a 6.5.
And the fact that only 74 percent of participants knew that the Earth revolved around the sun is perhaps less alarming than the fact that only 48 percent knew that humans evolved from earlier species of animals.
Here’s the thing, though: Americans actually fared better than Europeans who took similar quizzes — at least when it came to the sun and Earth question. Only 66 percent of European Union residents answered that one correctly.



  1. And 90% of the Alabama residents polled thought the earth was flat.

  2. Fix the link in your article.

  3. The answer is neither… According to quantum physics you cannot know this…

    We only perceive the planets and solar system rotations, but all information is flat and has no geometric configuration - gravity, feeling and touch are only connections to our data, at our locality.

    Check out Leonard Susskind’s theory about information entering a Black Hole - is not lost! A very intriguing and simple mathematical proof, gives insight into a ‘bit’ falling into an event horizon - the book about him and Hawking arguing!

    Before asking questions, one needs to know, with absolutely certainty, that your answer is correct, in Nature.

  4. Guess the race of that 1 in 4. Most blacks can't even tell time.

  5. Sometimes when you ask simple questions, people think it's a trick and they give the opposite answer to what they actually believe.

  6. No, that's not the case, any answer is at best a statistical interference, and in this case an extraordinarily strong one. If you're having a conversation (which you are) then at the very least you accept enough of a baseline that there is such a thing as "reality" to make meaningful statements about probabilities...

    Sure, there's a chance that there's no such thing as reality at all, but if that's the case then all statements are meaningless anyway (but since you still insist on making statements there's apparently a belief in the fact they have some meaning.) There's also an infinitesimal chance that quantum mechanics erased all of the stars and planets during the minutes since you last looked? Did that happen, no, it didn't, not in any meaningful way.

  7. Absolutely 100% of humans born, die.

  8. That's assuming there is such a thing as a human. There is a theoretical chance that there are no humans in existence and we are actually some other species that's plugged into a "Matrix" like construct. That makes it less than exactly 100% (less by an exceedingly tiny amount, but less nonetheless.)

  9. No, in this context it's not, because I'm just describing the theoretical as a thought exercise, while admitting that it's exceedingly unlikely. The concept however was taken to sophistic extremes by the parent poster (who extends is to real world levels of ideas, which, when done with a straight face, as though it means anything in our day to day world, is total sophistry.)

    From a theoretical basis though it's just the inescapable conclusion of the nature of quantum mechanics, of mind, and of the fact that all we know about the world is based on inference based on relayed sensory signals, molecules, and force fields. For all practical purposes though we can treat "all human die" as (more or less) totally true (unless, of course, one human will join with V-ger in space and form god and transcend space and time... Hehe, see where this goes?)

  10. I'm happy to say that you're rant is absolute rubbish, you couldn't be further from the truth and know nothing much at all about Nature or quantum physics, or maybe you do, but are not looking beyond the standard model of science or perception.

    Firstly, there are mountains of absolutes in Nature for one thing, shed loads. The speed of light, or more accurately, the speed of information (a little faster).

    What is the highest 'temperature' possible in Nature - an absolute maximum? Fusion physistists will say unlimited, idiot! There is a maximum, do you know it and why it is the case? Whilst you're at it, what is temperature and how is it measured?

    I'm not saying there is no reality, not at all, you misunderstand, I'm saying we experience perception of information and that information has no defined geometry, certainly not as we see it. Drinking your morning coffee is an interaction of information, a perception.

    By the way, you seem to be excessively hung up on my knowlegde, are you a science troll? Because I have noticed over the years alot of science in public view is deliberately wrong and intentionally misleading.

  11. You're both wrong SacJP and Hp B...

    Nothing is created or dies, it is transformed from one information state to another. Of course we call it birth and death and experience the happiness of a new baby, or the tragic loss of a loved one, but there is much more going on that you might first think.

  12. When you zoom into quantum mechanics and the nature of Nature, actually things become crystal clear, it is the scientific theory that is deliberately fuzzy.

    One truth I can define here is that you are a science troll and can't handle the truth!

  13. Well if you zoom out so far that you leave our temporal realm then sure everything is in a transcendental tranquil state of 'being' and nothing is born or dies, but for those of us back down here on earth, with our deliberately drawn lines in time and space where 'we' end end the rest of the universe begins, we can say, with a high degree of certainty, that individual humans are born, live, and die. Nobody is arguing that the fundamental particles and energies that we're made of disappear, but at a certain set of space-time coordinates they cease to confirm sufficiently to the matter/energy pattern we call 'a person', and we name this event 'death'

  14. The final twist in this vacillating history came with Einstein's general theory of relativity. If this theory is correct, there is no absolute motions with respect to a fixed space and therefore no « preferred frame of reference. »[...] Since all motion is relative, the choice of a sun-centered model over a earth-centered one for the solar system is one of convenience. […] It is not that the heliocentric theory is “truer.” Indeed the sun itself is moving and is in no sense the center of the cosmos, if indeed the cosmos has a center. The only “true”motion is the relative motion of the earth and the cosmos.

    Martin Gardner, “Mathematical Circus” p. 205

  15. I get that Sac and agree, but are you certain that everything about us is part of the corpse, or do we actually continue to another life or consciousness? I honestly think that death is a bit of a limited way to describe the event, because some bereaved people continue to feel the presence of a loved one and it is possible to locate people who are lost or missing through mind connections, even down to specific locations.

    Anyway let's not labour the point - so get to work on my 'theory of everything' :-).

  16. While I'd love to see this information based theory of reality fleshed out better, to a level that can make better predictions than any of the existing approximations we have, I can't help but notice that it's just another arbitrary 'fundamental', just as the speed of light being set static by definition is the basis of General relativity. I wouldn't be in the least bit surprised that inertia and gravity itself have the same underlying cause, but this 'embodied infornation' you mention is qualitatively different than what we call just 'information' (for if it were not you could gain thrust by sending information through a fiber optic cable, which we can't do.)

  17. Well I'll leave the maths and submission of the thesis to Nature magazine to others, but the information reaction for given matter is easy to work out from the momentum of photons or any object you can accurately quantify in terms of its given state.

    It appears to me that all matter is connected to the information field, giving descriptions of its proximity to others and relative velocity.

    The information must be sent to an adjacent hidden dimension, right next to our visible ones, and I suspect it is very rudimentary and is basically a 'string language'.

    Digital information through fiber optics is of course photons, instead of electrons in copper wire, which we interpret through a suitable interface. Nature's interface (between visible and information dimensions) I think will be much simpler and a fundamental part of our universe.

    Anyway have fun thinking about it, kind regards.