Sunday, 16 February 2014

survey sez or keeping up appearances

The discouraging results of a 2012 survey of American's acumen and performance on a battery of basic science questions were revealed just recently and show that a dumbfounding 26% believe that the Sun transits the Earth, rather than the other way around.  These sort of things that the pollsters asked where not just matters of trivia but rather established facts and necessary for the most elementary of further inquiries.

I do, however, wonder why the National Science Foundation delayed releasing the news of the abysmal state of education, having lost a couple years to help correct the matter, and why draw parallels to an even more outdated, yet equally symptomatic and depressing round of questions from European and Asian demographics that fares worse. Having such non-compartmenalised knowledge or disengaged guardians is not what a vengeful Church was to Galileo.  Maybe it was due to all the negative and anti-academic that has mounted against environmentalists over climate change—or perhaps, hopefully (statistics being what they are), these respondents, schooled aright, realised the nature of these trick-questions, though the Earth is not the pivot point of the Sun, that neither does our planet orbits a point negotiated between our star and the rest of the universe. Far fewer still could correctly locate Atlantis on a map. Such optimistic thinking is probably out of line, however, and the outcome is never that skewed.