(H/T to Donklephant for this gem)
An excerpt from the Times:
Dr. Miller’s data reveal some yawning gaps in basic knowledge. American adults in general do not understand what molecules are (other than that they are really small). Fewer than a third can identify DNA as a key to heredity. Only about 10 percent know what radiation is. One adult American in five thinks the Sun revolves around the Earth, an idea science had abandoned by the 17th century.
He had firsthand experience with local school issues in the 1980’s, when he was a young father living in DeKalb, Ill., and teaching at Northern Illinois University. The local school board was considering closing his children’s school, and he attended some board meetings to get an idea of members’ reasoning. It turned out they were spending far more time on issues like the cost of football tickets than they were on the budget and other classroom matters. “It was shocking,” he said.
Good on ya, America! Who needs to know what radiation is when Britney Spears can save you! And DNA? Pfft. All we know is some dude got his DNA into Paris with night vision technology. The Earth revolves around the sun? Hogwash! You know, when Zeus created the Sun with Hercules holding up the Earth… in 168 hours (that’s 7 days for all you non-mathy people out there.) But don’t forget, there are 300 feet in 100 yards, and that’s where you can find the end zone! Don’t bother thinking about how hard the wind is blowing when you need to punt the ball on 4th and 25, either. How much for tickets? $15? Too much!
Okay… that snarky kvetching out of the way, here are my questions:
1. What was the sample size?
2. What were the demographics of the universe?
3. What was the average education level of the sample? (I suppose that ties in with 2.)
4. Um… what? How does this compare to 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 years ago?
5. Who is at fault for the dumbery of the Ameripublic?
Yay! Let’s go to Mars and watch the Sun revolve around it, too!