CHICAGO — The National Science Foundation released a study last Friday revealing that only 74% of Americans correctly believed the Earth orbits the Sun.
NSF spokesman Jeff Welling broke down the 26% who answered the question incorrectly into two groups.
“It seems that 20% of all those asked believe the Sun goes around the Earth and an alarming 6% of Americans surveyed believe that they, in fact, are the center of the universe.” Adding, “You know the type.”
As disquieting as the NSF found these numbers, they were actually superior to European totals which found only 66% of EU residents could correctly answer the question. Upon hearing the news, American tourists at the Winter Olympics began an impromptu chant of “U-S-A! U-S-A!” through the streets of Sochi.
The United States still significantly lagged behind the world in affirming human evolution. When asked, only 48% of Americans believed that humans evolved from earlier species. The NSF questionnaire revealed that 32% rejected evolution on religious grounds, 12% were unaware of evolutionary theory, and 8% did not answer the question because it made them think of their grandparents having sex.
The question specifically asked if “Human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals.” Previous surveys showed the EU and China had much higher levels of agreement, at 70% and 66%, respectively.
John Besley of Michigan State University led the NSF’s research. He was encouraged when 90% of those questioned had an appreciation for the work of scientists.
This sentiment was echoed by survey participant Greg Brock. “Scientists blow my mind, man. They keep my cable on, my beer cold, and my chicken McNuggeted.”
Agreeing with this data, The National Opinion Research Center stated that Americans seemed generally supportive of scientific research. However, they have less interest in space exploration than medical breakthroughs that might remedy a lifetime’s worth of poor health choices.
“Basically, Americans want to subsist entirely on Doritos, Red Bull and pancake batter without experiencing any negative health consequences,” Besley said. “It’s the new American Dream.”