1 in 4 Americans doesn’t know Earth revolves around the sun

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One in four Americans does not know that the Earth revolves around the sun, according to a new study.

AFP reported that the survey was conducted by the National Science Foundation and included more than 2,200 people in the United States.

The quiz reportedly contained nine science questions and the average score was 6.5 correct, barely passing.

The results found that 74 percent of respondents knew that the Earth revolved around the Sun. Fewer than half knew that human beings evolved from an earlier species of animals.

The survey is conducted every two years and will be included in a National Science Foundation report to President Barack Obama and US lawmakers.


  • Leigh

    One in four Americans does not know that the Earth revolves around the sun….and the photo used in this story is of the moon. Wow, its worse than I thought, LOL!

    • its my business

      Totally, Lee. And the grammar – lordy be! One in four Americans <> not know that the Earth revolves around the sun, according to a new study. That word should be <> . Like I said earlier, I can’t wait for the responses on this one. Goodness forbid they didn’t ask about our long lost planet Pluto. HA!

      • its my business

        My brackets messed up my comment. Just saying about the grammar, which is totally off-topic, I know – sorry. But it should be – – One in four Americans do not know that the Earth revolves around the sun, according to a new study. OK, enough said – If they had written it differently – then they would be correct using the doesn’t word. OK, off my high horse about that. Back to topic. Debating the 2200 people – Kids? They did not really specify. Evolution or Aliens, or Divine Intervention. I would like to see their demos of the 2200 people that took “the quiz”.

      • John Brofresh Davis

        “doesn’t know” is actually correct. Reason why? The focus of the subject here is “1” i.e. one American doesn’t know as opposed to one American don’t know. If you were to say 25% or a quarter of Americans, then you would use don’t.

      • its my business

        Yes, I debated that in my head before posting my thoughts. I think a few of us made our claims based on no punctuation. We should keep it on topic, anyway. This article is disturbing.

  • charles

    I don’t think it’s fair generalizing the survey. They only surveyed 2k people anyway. My worry is that they believe more that humans evolve from other species than earth revolving around the sun. Even the evolution of man is not proven yet as they never found the missing link. Also they call it evolution through natural selection. There was no found proof of any ling pf evolution from one species to the next.

    • Larry Berry

      No because you are referring to the one in one in four. You would correctly say one doesn’t know, rather than one don’t know. So one (the one you are referring to) in four doesn’t know. Like one person, out of that group over there, doesn’t know, rather than one person don’t know.

    • its my business

      Thanks Rocketman! I have a VERY open mind to all those debate issues of Evolvement; I truly do. I believe that we could be here on this planet that revolves around the sun for many options. I am going to take a break now and go eat a steak.

    • Larry Berry

      True, only because humans ARE animals. However I don’t think that’s what you meant.

      You are in a room with a chimp holding a banana, a gorilla holding a stick, and an orangutan with empty hands. Which is the smartest primate in the room?

    • Larry Berry

      Sorry but no. You are referring to the one not the four. One out of the four doesn’t know. One doesn’t know. If you were referring to the four, then it would be they. If you said 4 out of 8, then it would be don’t know, because then it would be ‘they’ (the four). But one out of four is ‘doesn’t’ because it is the ONE out of the group of four. He (the one out of the four), he doesn’t know, or he don’t know?

  • DJ

    There is a photo of a moon headlining a story about the earth and the sun. The grammar stinks. Fix that then we will go on to the topic of evolution.

  • mycommentemail

    Not terribly surprising. As soon as you start down the path of selectively choosing which parts of science you believe and which you don’t based on ideology then it is only a short distance to having a scientifically illiterate population. As a nation we reap what we sow. As soon as we allow creationism or climate change denial to gain mainstream acceptance we cannot then suddenly expect people to understand other branches of science correctly. Once you publicly and continuously erode public confidence in one branch of science for non scientific reasons you do it for all. Not knowing that the earth orbits the Sun and other basic, national level failures are the natural, though unintended, end result.

  • djgill301

    An ignorant population is more easily controlled. Time to cut more spending on education. We need more people believing in unicorns, fairies and magic beans.

  • rickydee

    Actualy, the grammar is correct. “doesn’t” is the contraction for “does not”, the singular tense. The subject of the the verb “doesn’t” is “1”, which is singular. “in 10 Americans” is a prepositional phrase modifying “1” and has no effect on the verb. The head, as written, is gramatically correct. Leave out the prepositional phrase, and you would not say ” 1 do not…”; you would say ” 1 does not”.

    • JustMe

      Okay then..I, meaning me is singular..So would it be then, “I does not know you”? “I do not know you” sounds much better..

  • rick

    Just take out ‘in 4 Americans’ and read it. You’ll see ‘doesn’t’ is correct. You would not say ’1 don’t know’, you would say ‘1 doesn’t know’.

  • Kevin Starnes

    I’m not sure which is more frightening: Knowing that 25% of people don’t know that the Earth revolves around the Sun, or that I’m not the least bit surprised that they don’t. Ignorance has lost its stigma because society glamorizes idiots like the Kardashians (who probably don’t even know that our planet is named “Earth”) and newcomers like that irritating Boo-Boo girl and her two-digit I.Q. (and I’m being generous with that) Mother.

  • JT

    Not surprised in the least. A friend of mine said one of his girlfriend’s coworkers stated that she didn’t know the solar system was really “a thing–I thought it was just some stuff they made up for you to memorize in school.” No kidding. These are the people in your neighborhood…

    • Kevin Starnes

      The widespread ignorance of many Americans on even simple subjects is scary! I’m not a Jay Leno fan, but I did see his “Walking” (I’m unsure of its real name) segment in which he asked people on the street some very easy questions. One question was, “Do you know the name of our current Vice President?” Of course, many people didn’t. As I said in my comment here, ignorance no longer has the stigma it once had.

  • Bob Jones


    Above is a link to the full report from which this article extracted a minuscule bit of information. Table 7-8 shows American results vs international results.

    Seeing the whole report puts the article in perspective. Americans are not behind the rest of the world in understanding that the Earth revolves around the Sun. When it comes to the acceptance of evolution however, we are just slightly ahead of Russia and way behind the rest of the educated world.

    Communism/atheism/evolution always seem to get tied together by the anti-evolution propaganda movement in the US. Given the communist and atheist statism in Russia’s past, you would think the acceptance of evolution would be more widespread there if this was true.

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