Makin' the Case: Take the quiz – What is your answer?

By Philip Case, Published:

Here’s the Question of the Day:

“Does the Earth go around the Sun, or does the Sun go around the Earth?”

Since we’ve confirmed long ago that Copernicus and Galileo were right to refute Aristotle’s view of the sun and universe revolving around the Earth, I thought everyone knew the answer to that one.

Apparently not. The report says:

“If you answered the latter (sun around Earth), you’re among a quarter of Americans who also got it wrong, according to a new report by the National Science Foundation released at the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s recent meeting in Chicago.

“A survey of 2,200 people revealed some alarming truths about the state of science education across the country, with many failing to answer even the most basic astronomy and science questions, according to a release about the survey.

“Out of nine questions in the survey, participants scored an average 6.5.

“Only 39 percent answered correctly with ‘true’ when asked if the universe began with a huge explosion, while only 48 percent knew that human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals, according to the statement.

“Asked whether there needed to be more government funding for science, 30 percent said there should be.”

Simply astounding.

Prior to Copernicus in the latter half of the 1500s, and despite the fact that Columbus and his three little ships had returned from their 1492 voyage without being consumed by monsters when they fell off the edge of the Earth, the popular view was the Biblical one positing a flat planet with the universe revolving around it — or a firmament above and below, sort of like a bowl over and under a plate.

Copernicus and those who followed him teetered on the edge of heresy by suggesting otherwise. Apparently there are still those who think he’s wrong.

And, in the continued spirit of those things that appear beyond logical reason, among the 25 percent who took the geocentric option, many of them likely would insist astronauts didn’t really land on the moon in 1969, but rather the historic feat was nothing more than a Hollywood creation.

Got something on your mind? Let me hear from you (pcase@state-journal.com or 502-227-4556) and make your case.

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