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One In Four Americans 'don't Know The Earth Orbits The Sun' And Only Half Believe In Evolution

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http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/one-in-four-americans-dont-know-the-earth-orbits-the-sun-and-only-half-believe-in-evolution-9131721.html

With the possible exception of 'is the Earth flat?' it is (according to Discover magazine at least) the most basic question in science: 'does the Earth orbit the sun?'

The good news is that 74 per cent of Americans know the answer.

The very bad news is that means 26 per cent really don't.

These results, which appear in the National Science Foundation (NSF) survey of 2,200 Americans, will form part of a report set to be presented to Barack Obama and lawmakers in congress, and are likely to once again raise the issue of educational standards in the United States.

Other startling results from the survey included that only 39 per cent of Americans believe "the universe began with a huge explosion". And fewer than half of the people surveyed (48 per cent) agreed that "human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals".

Meanwhile, 51 per cent of Americans knew that antibiotics don't kill viruses.

The study also demonstrated that a total of 42 per cent of Americans thought astrology was either "very scientific" or "sort of scientific".

I wonder how many of the 42% got astrology confused with astronomy?

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26% are perhaps into Socrates: The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.

It makes you wonder how the people who don't know the expected answer to those questions get through their normal working days. In all probability, quite easily.

There are some boring old questions on that list. Personally, if I was trying to assess the effectiveness of compulsory state education I'd go for some less commonly asked questions like...

- how is money created?

- what is Socratic reasoning?

- what is the difference between physics and magic?

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All boils down to education, I guess.

Last week Mrs. Ayatollah saw a patient at her OB-GYN clinic. Strict Adventist couple; had been trying to conceive without success for almost a decade since their marriage. Well, actually, the problem turned out to be that they hadn't been trying. They'd never had sex, for the simple reason that they'd never been taught how, or that this was a necessary act for reproduction. The woman had been home-schooled (family couldn't afford the fees for the Adventist private school and believed that the public ones were run by Satan), and her husband had received such rudimentary sex education that it wasn't sufficient to work out the, erm, processes.

This wasn't the first one. Mrs. Ayatollah's boss commented that the clinic gets a couple of dozen such cases each year.

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<snip>

They'd never had sex, for the simple reason that they'd never been taught how, or that this was a necessary act for reproduction.

...Ironically another example of Darwinian selection.

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All boils down to education, I guess.

Last week Mrs. Ayatollah saw a patient at her OB-GYN clinic. Strict Adventist couple; had been trying to conceive without success for almost a decade since their marriage. Well, actually, the problem turned out to be that they hadn't been trying. They'd never had sex, for the simple reason that they'd never been taught how, or that this was a necessary act for reproduction. The woman had been home-schooled (family couldn't afford the fees for the Adventist private school and believed that the public ones were run by Satan), and her husband had received such rudimentary sex education that it wasn't sufficient to work out the, erm, processes.

This wasn't the first one. Mrs. Ayatollah's boss commented that the clinic gets a couple of dozen such cases each year.

Out of interest just what exactly had they been doing for a decade? Had they even seen each other naked?

Cultist religion just seems to take out all the natural curiosity out of people.

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That's very sad.

Having said that, you would think such an act would be entirely instinctive - even if you didn't consciously make the link between the act and pregnancy like Amazonian Indians.

We've had a lot of instinctive behaviour trained out of us - e.g. someone is annoying, hit them. Poking bits of yourselves into each other, particularly ones you've been brought up to regard as rather taboo, is probably not going to be something they'll try no matter what their instincts. Thus the dangers of having a brain and being brought up in deliberate ignorance. Makes me wonder how we managed to get through Victorian times.

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Quite. In what sense did they believe they'd been 'trying to conceive'?

It reminds me of the old Victoria Wood sketch about a couple who wanted a test tube baby because they lived in a 'very small maisonette.' :lol:

I'm wary of surveys like this though. Often the questions are yes/no only and are rigged to provide a certain viewpoint, in this case a way of bashing Americans and increasing state funding of education.

For example, the Big Bang theory is just that, a theory. It's the current prevailing theory, but half a century ago the steady-state theory (that the universe has always existed) was the prevalent one. So a question like 'did the universe begin with a big bang' is a little difficult to answer with a yes/no answer.

I'm not trying to say that a load of Bible-Belt Americans are actually highly intelligent rational people, just that you can use these kinds of surveys to conclude whatever you want to conclude.

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Frankly, I'm more worried about the number of Americans that still think 9/11 was carried out by the Mooslims and that weapons of mass destruction were recovered in Iraq. <_<

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That's very sad.

Having said that, you would think such an act would be entirely instinctive - even if you didn't consciously make the link between the act and pregnancy like Amazonian Indians.

Some people have a very low or non existent sex drive. I saw a programme a while ago about sexless marriages. One woman of such a marriage said she had thought her husband was a perfect gentleman before they married, since he had never 'tried anything', but in fact he simply wasn't interested. It was a source of great sadness to her and the marriage did not last.

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Out of interest just what exactly had they been doing for a decade? Had they even seen each other naked?

Mrs. Ayatollah didn't say - understandably, out of respect for patient confidentiality. What shocked me is that such cases show up regularly. Every religious community has its moderate and its extremist elements. I was not brought up a Seventh-day Adventist - I converted from Roman Catholicism in my late 20s - but Mrs. A was and received the normal, somewhat awkward two or three sex education lessons at school in her early teens. Although neither of us had sex before marriage, we certainly had no trouble understanding what it involved, from the usual sources - playgrounds (we both went to state schools), TV, etc. Furthermore, the priests/pastors we grew up listening to did not try to pretend that it didn't exist or mustn't be done, but just emphasised that marriage was the right context in which to do it. However, there are more extreme elements: Opus Dei in the case of Catholics, and people like this loon in the case of the Adventists (who is also reputed to be the principal author of this masterpiece). I guess if you grow up with parents who themselves grew up being taught that we shoud all don our tinfoil hats, buy a hut in the mountains and prepare for the Second Coming, there will be certain, um, life skills that you end up needing to acquire later in life than you normally would, too.

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Last week Mrs. Ayatollah saw a patient at her OB-GYN clinic. Strict Adventist couple; had been trying to conceive without success for almost a decade since their marriage. Well, actually, the problem turned out to be that they hadn't been trying.

There's a passage in Catch-22 which recounts a very similar story. The doctor shows the couple what they should be doing with the aid of a pair of latex models he keeps in a locked filing cabinet for just such occasions. The next day the husband returns to the doctor's surgery and, without explanation, punches him in the face.

Alternatively...

sbj7e0.jpg

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I'm wary of surveys like this though. Often the questions are yes/no only and are rigged to provide a certain viewpoint, in this case a way of bashing Americans and increasing state funding of education.

Yeah, I guess that's the point - survey/study unconnected to reality provides newspaper headline.

HOUSE PRICES TO SOAR!

STATINS TO SAVE US ALL!

IMMIGRANTS KILLING ECONOMY!

HYPERINFLATION LOOMING!

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I don't think that the Victorians were at all reticent about sex, they just didn't like talking about it.

Look at all those huge families they had, must have enjoyed it no end.

I guess their strictures on pornography etc. were not prudishness, but to avoid the problems of unrestrained sex.

Remember they had no cure for syphilis.

Recently found out that my Uncle, born in 1900 was illegitimate, sort of puts my Gran who was a biblical fundamentalist in a new light.

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Never underestimate the power of religious indoctrinated sexual guilt and brainwashing that even thinking the most innocent sexual thoughts will result in your god punishing you for all eternity.

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Never underestimate the power of religious indoctrinated sexual guilt and brainwashing that even thinking the most innocent sexual thoughts will result in your god punishing you for all eternity.

Too much to fit in a newspaper headline.

You have to leave room for evidence.

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Never underestimate the power of religious indoctrinated sexual guilt and brainwashing that even thinking the most innocent sexual thoughts will result in your god punishing you for all eternity.

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