25% of Americans believe WHAT? (Trying to find a specific poll)

There was an article recently that showed the results from a study and it was something like 25% of Americans believed something ridiculously stupid (Sun revolves around the Earth… etc), but it also showed that a higher number of people in England or Germany believed the same thing.

I know this is quite vague but I’m wondering if anyone knows what I’m talking about and knows where I can find this article?

Don’t know the specific article you’re referring to, but I think you can find a poll showing 25% of Americans believe just about anything you can think of…

Things 25% of Americans believe:
[li]that vaccines could lead to development disorders in children.[/li][li]that Congress shares its foreign policy powers with the United Nations.[/li][li]that Muslims are not patriotic Americans.[/li][li]in astrology.[/li][/ul]

gallup.com has like 10+ of these polls every day. The big advantage though is that they are “real” pollsters who know how to do statistics.

56% of the studio audience of the French version of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” thinks the Sun revolves around the Earth (see 1:00). http://www.tagtele.com/videos/voir/7042

Not necessarily. I have read that, in France, many members of the studio audience will deliberately give the wrong answer if they think the question is easy. The idea is to punish the contestant for being a dope.

Here is a gallup poll that might be the one you’re looking for, although the numbers are a little lower (18% believe sun revolves around earth). I also think I’ve seen some comparison where the results were even worse (and again worse for Germans vs. Americans), but I might misremember that.

Here ya go:


Personally, I always like to be pedantic and skew the results to the earth-sun question. First of all, neither revolved around the other. They both revolve around an empty point between them. Second of all, it’s just a matter of perspective. The sun goes around the earth, if I define my coordinate structure as such. Really, the question is asking “Do you agree that it makes sense to define the bigger body to be the one ‘holding still’?” to which I’d answer “Depends.”

The common point they both revolve around would be within the sun itself, pretty damned close to the sun’s own center of gravity.

I believe that’s right, but that’s having worked it out when I was majoring in physics 12 or 13 years ago, so I might be misremembering. Basically the Earth rotates and the Sun sort of gently wobbles around.

Well, it’s really the second point that matters- it’s all relative.