It says a 1/4 of Americans surveyed - that would be a quarter of 2200 people believe that. Saying one in four Americans (insinuating the entire US population) is wrong.
A properly done survey would allow you to extrapolate those conclusions to the broader population- hence why political polling generally predicts election results. But there's not enough information in the article to say whether a representative cross-section was surveyed.
"garbage in, garbage out". Poorly worded questions lead invalid surveys to inaccurate results.
For example, one of the local radio station's morning DJs love to randomly dial phone numbers and ask the person who answers some really obvious question. An amazing number of people answer incorrectly or say "I don't know." Yet, I'm sure that all of those people could answer the question properly if 1. they weren't caught off guard by the question, and 2. they understood what was being asked.
In another thread someone had no clue where Massachusetts was.
Not such a big difference really. A lot of people don't know, don't care and it will never effect them directly.
Now if you found me an astronaut that thought that way I'd be worried. Really worried.
Irrelevant. How many people think the world revolves around them? That is a more important question. And one to be more aghasted over. Stop ridiculing people over their ignorance and get to stuff that matters. Are people kind, good, helpful, loving?That matters. If your smarter than the average fifth grader show it by not ridiculing people who aren't as smart or rich or as good a rider or intelligent enough to be atheists or aren't as whatever form you want to hold against them.
"To the question "Does the Earth go around the Sun, or does the Sun go around the Earth," 26 percent of those surveyed answered incorrectly."
Yipe, that should be pretty straightforward wording for most people, and even young earth creationists don't normally contest that idea. I'd also like to see how they chose the people surveyed.
The thing is, most adults just don't ever think about these things. Yeah, they learned all this stuff in school, but then never had any reason to give it any more thought. Then, one evening, your phone rings, in between washing the dinner dishes and getting the kids' bath ready, and someone asks if you can spare a few minutes to take a survey on science education, and you say sure, why not. You aren't really giving it your full undivided attention, the kids are playing, the TV is on...
If the questioner was skilled at getting you to focus and asked some lead in questions to get you thinking about something you hadn't thought about since that solar system model you made for your 8th grade science class, you would say, "The earth revolves around the sun." But, just being hit with that question out of the blue, without having fully engaged your brain, while you're letting the dog out?
LOL, I can easily picture my sister saying, "What? Shit, I don't know. What were the choices? OK, whatever. Sun around the Earth." Even though she certainly knows the Earth revolves around the Sun.