Study: Most American Adults Flunk Basic Science

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tenor77

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Let's talk geography while we're at it. How many Americans can point out all 50 states? That number is depressingly low.

BTW yes I still remember all this crap and I've been out of HS for 15 years.
 

Tindytim

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Only 47 percent of adults can roughly approximate the percent of the Earth’s surface that is covered with water.
This one makes some amount of sense, as it's not as important as knowing how long a year is.

Only 59 percent of adults know that the earliest humans and dinosaurs did not live at the same time.
What are you talking about? God created Dinosaurs in the same day he created Adam and Eve. Of course Dinosaurs and people lived at the same time.

Only 21 percent of adults answered all three questions correctly.
I think this information is great for children during their formative years to spark interest in a certain field or subject, but beyond that, people usually only remember what is necessary.

We don't all need to be polymaths.
 

The Schnoz

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Alls I needs to know about scienctology is written in the bible. It's the word of Jesus and his twelve disciples. Santa, the Easter Bunny, the first pope, adam, eve, peter, paul, and mary, puff the magic dragon, sinbad (the pirate, not the comedian, I ain't stupid), Gargamel, and Judas Preist.

Seriously though, i think religion and the teaching of creationism is partially at fault for this.
 

fuser

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[citation][nom]Tindytim[/nom]What are you talking about? God created Dinosaurs in the same day he created Adam and Eve. Of course Dinosaurs and people lived at the same time.[/citation]
Hilarious! But this is the problem. The United States has fallen in love with Christianity and has started pushing science out of our classrooms. These numbers (and the outlook for this country) will only get worse. You'd think that nobody had read about the Great Roman Empire!
 

joebob2000

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What's really sad is that there is a really big standard deviation when it comes to these statistics. (Sidenote: only 9% of Americans know what that sentence even means.)

It's a misnomer to see this and conclude that "the US needs to transition to a knowledge based economy". Guess what? We are already there, and as usual there are haves and have-nots. Almost everyone I willingly interact with on a daily basis (not including store clerks, gas station attendants, etc) can recall the answers to those 3 questions without blinking. I wouldn't doubt that the people who can answer all three questions are, by significant proportion, dramatically more successful than those that cannot.

If anything, the US (along with the rest of the world) could use more equality in education.
 

tenor77

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[citation][nom]The Schnoz[/nom]Alls I needs to know about scienctology is written in the bible. It's the word of Jesus and his twelve disciples. Santa, the Easter Bunny, the first pope, adam, eve, peter, paul, and mary, puff the magic dragon, sinbad (the pirate, not the comedian, I ain't stupid), Gargamel, and Judas Preist.Seriously though, i think religion and the teaching of creationism is partially at fault for this.[/citation]

Gotta disagree here. Let's not scapegoat religion for the failure of our educational system here. It's a bad system that lets people slip through because like everything else, people figure everything will work out in the end so they don't try. How many HS grads can pass the GED? Not many.

You know what happens in some countries if you're not in the top of the class? You work in camps and factories. Not saying it's right, but if there were consequences like that, these stats wouldn't be like this.
 

Tindytim

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[citation][nom]fuser[/nom]Hilarious! But this is the problem. The United States has fallen in love with Christianity and has started pushing science out of our classrooms. These numbers (and the outlook for this country) will only get worse.[/citation]
Look up "Kent Hovind". That guy pisses me off so much, with his pseudo-scientific lectures. He attempts to dispel scientific theories that he obviously doesn't understand. He's spreading his ignorance to the ignorant.

I suppose educating people on the actual processes that go into these theories would be the best method. But it's extremely difficult to tell a creationist that their understanding of Evolution is incorrect.

[citation][nom]fuser[/nom]You'd think that nobody had read about the Great Roman Empire![/citation]
But they killed Jesus!
 

hellwig

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This is a basic problem with HOW we teach people, not necessarily what we teach them. I bet the biggest issue with the Sun-Earth question was that people didn't know what it meant for the Earth to revolve around the Sun. I'm sure most people know roughly how long a year is. People aren't taught to think, just respond. They never understood WHY a year is 365 days (hint: because it takes that long for the earth to revolve around the sun).
 

TheCapulet

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[citation][nom]Tindytim[/nom]But they killed Jesus![/citation]
Lol, they didn't just kill Christ, they did exactly what was prophesied for thousands of years without ever realizing it. :p
 

grieve

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I am Canadian; as such I’m ignorant to your teaching practices and cannot pass a fair judgment.

Before reading on please note I’m not stereotyping, there are millions of acceptations I am sure. Also, I am fully aware what I’m going to say is not Science; it is Social Studies and/or Geography…

Many times I have travelled to the USA at which time I have taken notice of how little you guys know about other countries… In particular I am referring to Canada. Many Americans I spoke with thought we live in igloos!! Almost no one knows where Edmonton is (where I live), but I mean they have no clue, not even an approximate.

In Canada we learn about all countries not just Canada. I bet I could name almost all your states and Capitals. I would bet I know 90% and when reminded ill remember the other 10%. How many provinces, capitals do you know of your neighboring country(s)?
It is VERY important to realize I’m not criticizing any Americans; this is simply an observation I have made from my experiences.
 

Tindytim

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[citation][nom]grieve[/nom]It is VERY important to realize I’m not criticizing any Americans; this is simply an observation I have made from my experiences.[/citation]
I would second that observation, being from the USA myself. However, as a Canadian, how much do you know about Mexico? or any other country for that matter?

I'd guess you know more about the USA than you do about other foreign nations, and not just because we're your closest neighbor. The fact of the matter is, not only do we have a huge amount of influence on the world as a whole, but out media perpetuates all of the large English speaking markets.

People from the USA ("American" is a misnomer as America spans 2 continents) don't really have any need to learn about Canada because Canada's influence on us isn't as large as ours on them. Mexico has a larger influence on us than Canada does, and even then most people don't know that Mexico is actually The United Mexican States and consists of 32 states.
 

grieve

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[citation][nom]curnel_d[/nom]From what I remember in Highschool, we didnt have to learn a single thing about canada, or most other countries. We basically learned america (and not that well), and then any of the countries that we've been in war with (again, not well at all.)[/citation]

Thats my point....
 

frozenlead

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100% agree with hellwig. People think too little and "just do" too much. For some reason, labeling the unknown with ignorance is a perfectly good alternative to learning something new.
 

Tindytim

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[citation][nom]curnel_d[/nom]From what I remember in Highschool, we didnt have to learn a single thing about canada, or most other countries. We basically learned america (and not that well), and then any of the countries that we've been in war with (again, not well at all.)[/citation]
Maybe there is an age difference issue between you and me, but I remember learning about the Celts and the Franks, about the Industrial Revolution in Europe, and about the imperialism in Africa just for example.

And I later dropped out of Highschool after 2 years.
 

grieve

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[citation][nom]Tindytim[/nom]I would second that observation, being from the USA myself. However, as a Canadian, how much do you know about Mexico? or any other country for that matter?I'd guess you know more about the USA than you do about other foreign nations, and not just because we're your closest neighbor. The fact of the matter is, not only do we have a huge amount of influence on the world as a whole, but out media perpetuates all of the large English speaking markets.People from the USA ("American" is a misnomer as America spans 2 continents) don't really have any need to learn about Canada because Canada's influence on us isn't as large as ours on them. Mexico has a larger influence on us than Canada does, and even then most people don't know that Mexico is actually The United Mexican States and consists of 32 states.[/citation]

I agree, in Canada we learn more about USA than any other foreign country. I am sure due to your countries stature as well as you are our only neighbor. However we do spend considerable time learning about the rest of the world as well.

I think one of your main problems you just stated inadvertently.
“”don't really have any need to learn about Canada because Canada's influence on us isn't as large as ours on them.””

Why would a person NEED to know if people and dinosaurs lived at the same time?

 

Tindytim

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[citation][nom]grieve[/nom]However we do spend considerable time learning about the rest of the world as well.I think one of your main problems you just stated inadvertently.“”don't really have any need to learn about Canada because Canada's influence on us isn't as large as ours on them.””Why would a person NEED to know if people and dinosaurs lived at the same time?[/citation]
You make a good point.

But, as someone who was in the American school system in this decade, I know I learned a great deal about other countries, Canada included in that. However, we learned very little about the current states of all of those countries, and more about their formations, and their histories on a large scale.
 
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