As I contemplate the way Americans come to conclusions about candidates that effect their votes (our recent primary in West Virginia, for instance, with a predominance of non-college educated people many of whom believe Barack Obama to be a Muslim), I get increasingly worried about how the next administration will handle the economy or the war or anything else.
I guess I am most worried that people will vote for a candidate, say McCain, because they believe a certain set of lies and misrepresentations which he seems to come out with every day.
The Gallup organization just published this on their web site:
Four out of Five Americans Know Earth Revolves Around Sun
Probing a more universal measure of knowledge, Gallup also asked the following basic science question, which has been used to indicate the level of public knowledge in two European countries in recent years: “As far as you know, does the earth revolve around the sun or does the sun revolve around the earth?” In the new poll, about four out of five Americans (79%) correctly respond that the earth revolves around the sun, while 18% say it is the other way around. These results are comparable to those found in Germany when a similar question was asked there in 1996; in response to that poll, 74% of Germans gave the correct answer, while 16% thought the sun revolved around the earth, and 10% said they didn’t know. When the question was asked in Great Britain that same year, 67% answered correctly, 19% answered incorrectly, and 14% didn’t know.
Frankly, 18% of Americans thinking the sun revolves around the earth is a huge number, given the fact that we have known that the opposite is true for at least three centuries.
If even the most basic items of educational knowledge escape close to 1 out of 5 Americans, how can a government of by and for the people be established and still be sensible and able to make the changes we need?