Study: Americans Flunk Basic Science Facts But Like Science

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Bill Nye "The Science Guy" has recently debated a creationist and a climate change denier. (Getty Images)

Bill Nye “The Science Guy” has recently debated a creationist and a climate change denier. (Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBS DC) – Just under half of Americans believe in evolution and a quarter don’t know if the Earth revolves around the sun, says a new survey from the National Science Foundation.

Just half of the participants correctly answered that antibiotics are ineffective against viruses and only 39 percent of the respondents knew about the Big Bang Theory.

Nearly 2,200 people were asked nine questions about physics and biology, the average score was 6.5 correct answers.

But Americans are interested in science and wildlife centers; 60 percent of U.S. families visited science museums and zoos.

According to the survey, more than 90 percent of Americans think scientists are “helping to solve challenging problems” and are “dedicated people who work for the good of humanity.”

Which is good news, says John Besley, a Michigan State University professor who reviewed the data.

“It’s important for Americans to maintain a high regard for science and scientists,” he said. “It can help ensure funding and help attract future scientists.”

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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