TIME Science

Americans Are Really, Really Bad at Answering Questions About Science

And only one in three thinks science education should get more funding

According to a recent study, 1 in 4 Americans believes the sun revolves around the Earth. (If you are one of those people: sorry, that is incorrect.)

The folks at Discovery News decided to take a closer look at Americans’ apparently egregious level of basic science knowledge, citing the aforementioned study, which also found that only 48 percent of Americans know that humans evolved from earlier species. Discovery News also took note of a recent study, this one from the Pew Research Center, that focused on other basic science questions like: What’s the most abundant element in the atmosphere? (Nitrogen) and Is bacteria resistance a thing? (Yes, it’s a thing.)

So, Discovery News’ Laci Green and Anthony Carboni decided to go around their office and ask their co-workers some of these basic science questions that so many Americans have gotten wrong. They seem to do pretty well (since they work in the science industry after all) but the question about the most abundant element in Earth’s atmosphere seems to trip a few people up.

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