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View Full Version : Are you scientifically literate quiz



Swift
2012-Apr-21, 01:50 AM
From the Christian Science Monitor (http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2011/1209/Are-you-scientifically-literate-Take-our-quiz/Composing-about-78-percent-of-the-air-at-sea-level-what-is-the-most-common-gas-in-the-Earth-s-atmosphere)
50 questions, and a good balance among chemistry, biology, planetary science, physics

I got 47 out of 50 right. Can I keep my degree?

swampyankee
2012-Apr-21, 02:20 AM
From the Christian Science Monitor (http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2011/1209/Are-you-scientifically-literate-Take-our-quiz/Composing-about-78-percent-of-the-air-at-sea-level-what-is-the-most-common-gas-in-the-Earth-s-atmosphere)
50 questions, and a good balance among chemistry, biology, planetary science, physics

I got 47 out of 50 right. Can I keep my degree?

Yes.

So can I. (I got 49/50)

Trebuchet
2012-Apr-21, 02:30 AM
Dang, only got 46. The test, I must say, got a little tedious.

I noticed two different questions, age of the Earth and age of the universe, had 6000 years as possible answers. Now I'm going to go look at the comments to see how many YEC's claimed that as correct.

ETA: Godwinning started in about the third page of comments, at which point I lost interest.

ravens_cry
2012-Apr-21, 03:51 AM
So far so good, but the format is annoying. Having to click, twice, and wait for it to load, twice, for each question is bad web design in my opinion. If it was 5-10 question, sure, but 50?
Going to be here a while.
40 out of 50, not the greatest I suppose. I really should have known some of them, but I second guessed myself, but others I only got on a practical fluke, so it evens out.

schlaugh
2012-Apr-21, 05:05 AM
Ah, chemistry and biology did me in - again. Only 37 out of the 50. And yes, the format is very irritating.

Alan G. Archer
2012-Apr-21, 06:40 AM
To my eternal shame, I answered only 36 out of 50 correctly.

snowcelt
2012-Apr-21, 09:16 AM
39 correct. Lucky I am but a janitor.

filrabat
2012-Apr-21, 09:30 AM
45 out of 50 :) Not to put people to shame, but my degrees and minors are more social sciences / business oriented (history, geography, finance, with plenty of economics and urban planning courses). To be fair, I was raised to firmly appreciate science. In fact, I might have majored in one were my talent in post-arithmetic mathematics a lot stronger (I can do college / high school algebra, but nothing beyond that).

Tog
2012-Apr-21, 09:39 AM
42 for me.

geonuc
2012-Apr-21, 09:40 AM
That's a good quiz, I thought. No stupid questions.

41

Strange
2012-Apr-21, 10:25 AM
Quite a good quiz. Had to think hard about some of those. My poor knowledge of clouds and 18th century units of measurement let me down at the last moment.

48/50 - so if I had a degree I could keep it?

swampyankee
2012-Apr-21, 11:12 AM
Who wants to write the poll question about the cutoff score for keeping ones degree in science or engineering?

I don't.

Fazor
2012-Apr-21, 11:47 AM
Do I have the record for lowest score on BAUT? 32/50. Though it should have been 34 or 35 as there were a few I knew, and inexplicably chose the wrong answer anyway.

But I'm pretty happy with a 32 even, considering I haven't had a science class in over a decade, and then it was just high school level stuff.

chrlzs
2012-Apr-21, 11:58 AM
Even more shamefully I gave up after getting sick of all those stupidly re-displayed screens on my slow connection.. And I was probably heading for a score in the 30's too - I was going perfectly up until it got to some relating to physiology/biology - not my strong suit at all (unless you ask me about marine life..).

Ah well, its the Interweb, so I'll just go and find another test that gives me a higher score - hey, I seem to get *really* high scores on quizzes that have even more advertising than that one... :D

WaxRubiks
2012-Apr-21, 12:11 PM
38.

Perikles
2012-Apr-21, 12:26 PM
I had 100% until half way through when I flunked an astronomy question. I was so mortified I had a break and then lost the internet connection in the meantime. I also had to move the whole thing sideways on my computer screen to lose the irritating advertising. I can't face starting again.

grapes
2012-Apr-21, 12:53 PM
Quite a good quiz. Had to think hard about some of those. My poor knowledge of clouds and 18th century units of measurement let me down at the last moment.

48/50 - so if I had a degree I could keep it?49, ditto the cloud thing. Their answer is over simplified (yeah, I know, sour grapes :) )

My impression overall was that it was a literacy quiz, which happened to be about science. For instance, there were questions that you could answer based solely on knowledge of Latin alone, because the question mentions the Latin derivation of the answer.

swampyankee
2012-Apr-21, 01:28 PM
I had 100% until half way through when I flunked an astronomy question. I was so mortified I had a break and then lost the internet connection in the meantime. I also had to move the whole thing sideways on my computer screen to lose the irritating advertising. I can't face starting again.

Do you use Internet Explorer? Good browsers have ad-blocking available ;)

Perikles
2012-Apr-21, 01:49 PM
For instance, there were questions that you could answer based solely on knowledge of Latin alone, because the question mentions the Latin derivation of the answer.I only noticed a couple of Greek ones (I didn't know the answers, but I knew the Greek), but I haven't done the second half yet.


Do you use Internet Explorer? Good browsers have ad-blocking available ;)Yes, I do, and I didn't know that. Could you advise? (but not wanting to derail the thread)

Strange
2012-Apr-21, 02:06 PM
I only noticed a couple of Greek ones (I didn't know the answers, but I knew the Greek), but I haven't done the second half yet.

I think there are seven where a knowledge of Greek (or Greek mythology) will help guess or confirm the answer. Not that I know any Greek, but I was able to reverse engineer from some other Greek-derived words.

caveman1917
2012-Apr-21, 02:14 PM
42, at least i got the answer to life, the universe and everything :)
But also eternal shame for having Io and those other moons orbit saturn :doh:


Yes, I do, and I didn't know that. Could you advise? (but not wanting to derail the thread)

Try firefox with its ad-block, WOT and NoScript plugins.

Strange
2012-Apr-21, 02:19 PM
But also eternal shame for having Io and those other moons orbit saturn :doh:

I think the astronomy ones were the ones I had to think hardest about.

caveman1917
2012-Apr-21, 02:30 PM
I think the astronomy ones were the ones I had to think hardest about.

In general astronomy went well for me, it was the periodic table that got me most. On that specific question my thinking was "a bunch of well known moons, that's either jupiter or saturn so i'll just quickly pick one or i'll be sitting at this quiz for half an hour".

The bad thing of course is that those were the moons Galileo observed so that's something i should have immediately known (even if only in terms of the history of science).

parallaxicality
2012-Apr-21, 02:54 PM
49 out of 50. Not bad, I have to say, for someone with no post-highcschool scientific training.

The one that got me was the "-nimbus" suffix. I immediately thought "cumulonumbus" and clicked "Vertically developed", then slapped my head.

I have to say, not to bring up religion or anything, but I find it funny that a publication called "The Christian Science Monitor" would design two questions specifically to annoy young-Earth creationists.

Strange
2012-Apr-21, 03:00 PM
I have to say, not to bring up religion or anything, but I find it funny that a publication called "The Christian Science Monitor" would design two questions specifically to annoy young-Earth creationists.

I don't know much about Christian Science but they are not the sort to take the bible completely literally; their philosophy seems more akin to something like Taoism or Buddhism. They don't have a problem with science even if they might think the material world is an illusion (presumably it is a consistent illusion amenable to scientific investigation).


The one that got me was the "-nimbus" suffix. I immediately thought "cumulonumbus" and clicked "Vertically developed", then slapped my head.

Spoiler Alert! :)

That one got me too.

swampyankee
2012-Apr-21, 03:25 PM
49 out of 50. Not bad, I have to say, for someone with no post-highcschool scientific training.

The one that got me was the "-nimbus" suffix. I immediately thought "cumulonumbus" and clicked "Vertically developed", then slapped my head.

I have to say, not to bring up religion or anything, but I find it funny that a publication called "The Christian Science Monitor" would design two questions specifically to annoy young-Earth creationists.

The YEC crowd probably doesn't think to highly of the Church (http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0804713.htm) or Vatican Observatory (http://vaticanobservatory.org/), either. I don't find any contradiction between a publication with "Christian" in its title considering YEC and ID invalid as scientific theories.

grapes
2012-Apr-21, 03:30 PM
Spoiler Alert! :)

That one got me too.Their correct answer was, "It is precipitating," which is not strictly true. But enough about my problems...

Anyone know what 0.567... is? At first glance, I thought we had a rare appearance of the Euler-Mascheroni constant, but no...

parallaxicality
2012-Apr-21, 04:29 PM
I just assumed it was the numbers 5 6 and 7 in a row.

Jerry
2012-Apr-21, 05:11 PM
I was 21/21 when I clicked the wrong part of the screen and lost the test. dammed if I will trudge through it again..Is it just me, or is does that website jump all over hell on everybodies computer?

adapa
2012-Apr-21, 05:46 PM
49/50.

My biggest complaint other than the tedious nature of this test is that many of the questions (including the one that I missed) have more to do with the knowledge of history than the understanding of scientific concepts.

grapes
2012-Apr-21, 05:51 PM
Same. I guess that's why they called it a literacy test, instead of an numeracy test. :)

Solfe
2012-Apr-21, 07:37 PM
42 for me.

You did that on purpose! :)

CSM takes the stance of "publication is not a platform for evangelizing". I find it odd too considering the name.

parallaxicality
2012-Apr-21, 07:51 PM
CSM takes the stance of "publication is not a platform for evangelizing". I find it odd too considering the name.

I find it odd too considering that evangelism was just about the first thing the printing press was used for. Protestantism pretty much invented itself around it.

Tensor
2012-Apr-21, 09:14 PM
I'm with Strange, 48. Do I get to keep the degree I don't have?

tlbs101
2012-Apr-22, 12:50 AM
49 out of 50. Not bad, I have to say, for someone with no post-highcschool scientific training.

The one that got me was the "-nimbus" suffix. I immediately thought "cumulonumbus" and clicked "Vertically developed", then slapped my head.

....

I missed that one, too, for the same reason -- and the dinosaur question; 48/50. Oh, and I have even had a "Cloud Formation" poster for years and I still missed it.

I guess I can keep teaching science next year (and keep my degrees).

eugenek
2012-Apr-22, 01:36 AM
44. I wish Trivial Pursuit had these questions.

Solfe
2012-Apr-22, 05:25 AM
I threw in the towel after getting the first 14 correct. I monkey clicked until I couldn't monkey click any more.

May be should be tested for ADH... I got the first 14 correct and gave up.

ravens_cry
2012-Apr-22, 06:16 AM
I got to number seven before I came here to complain about it, but I kept going.
I wonder what *that* means?

Tobin Dax
2012-Apr-22, 06:39 AM
Has anybody noticed that this quiz is around a year old? IIRC, there was a thread for it when it first came out.

geonuc
2012-Apr-22, 08:28 AM
It's interesting to me that many are complaining about the website experience, while I had no troubles at all. Interesting not because I don't believe the complaints are legitimate, but because how different OS/browser setups can affect things. Except that I know squat about computers, I might be able to make something of that ...

Perikles
2012-Apr-22, 09:20 AM
Same. I guess that's why they called it a literacy test, instead of an numeracy test. :)I think they must have been careful about the title, because it is arguable that being scientifically literate is not the same as being scientifically knowledgeable.

Solfe
2012-Apr-22, 02:06 PM
I think the main issue is the questions extend "below the fold", and you need to scroll down for every user action. This happens no matter what OS or browser you are using.

I used a 7" screen and 32" in monitor and the effect is the same.

caveman1917
2012-Apr-22, 02:20 PM
I think the main issue is the questions extend "below the fold", and you need to scroll down for every user action. This happens no matter what OS or browser you are using.

I used a 7" screen and 32" in monitor and the effect is the same.

I didn't have to do that, Ubuntu with firefox

Strange
2012-Apr-22, 02:34 PM
I think the main issue is the questions extend "below the fold", and you need to scroll down for every user action. This happens no matter what OS or browser you are using.

I had to do that at first for a few of the longer questions so I just "zoomed out" ("Ctrl -" on Firefox) so it all fit on screen.

geonuc
2012-Apr-22, 02:36 PM
I think the main issue is the questions extend "below the fold", and you need to scroll down for every user action. This happens no matter what OS or browser you are using.

I used a 7" screen and 32" in monitor and the effect is the same.

I didn't have to. Windows 7 with Firefox.

Solfe
2012-Apr-22, 02:52 PM
I have Ubuntu Remix for my 7" netbook and my wife has Windows 7 with Firefox. Classizilla didn't fare well on that page, but that is pretty typical for 13 year old Mac with OS 9.

peter eldergill
2012-Apr-22, 03:33 PM
43 for me

Biology killed me. And there was some question about the US postal service and dinosaurs. (And clouds)

Pete

BigDon
2012-Apr-22, 06:52 PM
Results: Your diet consists primarily of library paste and the condensation off the windows of short school buses. :confused:

I'm not sure how to take that. :(

Xelebes
2012-Apr-22, 09:23 PM
92%

My saving grace was knowing my Greek mythology.

Rhaedas
2012-Apr-22, 09:40 PM
Got 45 right. One I got wrong I didn't read the question right, and the others I had narrowed it down to one of two and guessed wrong. It's true that having some Latin/Greek knowledge helped in a few cases with the hints they gave. Reminds me of the old joke..."I took Latin in school. I can't use it in conversation, but I know other languages' root words."

I agree they could have made it a bit easier to take. Either had all the questions on one page, or not show the correct answer until the end, or use some javascript to eliminate the correct answer phase. But that's just the web designer in me talking, I've seen worse.

ToSeek
2012-Apr-22, 11:20 PM
47/50. Clouds and a couple of dumb things messed me up. On the other hand, my having taken both Greek and Latin helped tremendously. As others have noted, this seemed more like a science trivia quiz than an actual science quiz - you're still quite capable of doing science in the relevant field even if you don't happen to know that particular tidbit of information.

Arneb
2012-Apr-22, 11:24 PM
47
Bernoulli (rather embarassing for someone routinely doing ultrasound measurements of blood flow)
mu (sorry, way over my head)
-nimbus (aw, shucks)

And yes, the darn quiz took forever. And the professor with the dye solutions wore neither gloves nor protective glasses. Ts, ts!

jrkeller
2012-Apr-22, 11:34 PM
45

Jens
2012-Apr-23, 04:16 AM
I just assumed it was the numbers 5 6 and 7 in a row.

That was one of the ones that got me. I knew it wasn't pi or phi, but I couldn't guess between the other two. I guess I've been out of high school for a while, and don't use that stuff.

But I got a 43. And I got the one about clouds right, though it was sort of a guess. And like others, some of my answers were derived from knowledge of Greek or Latin rather than science. . .

Perikles
2012-Apr-23, 07:34 AM
And like others, some of my answers were derived from knowledge of Greek or Latin rather than science. . .This, and other comments, made me wonder about what literacy actually means. Obviously a fairly flexible term, but no matter how you adapt it, the root meaning is the ability to read and write and interpret the written word. Extended to specific areas such as scientific literacy, this means the ability to read and write scientific formulae in addition. Obviously, the quiz does not really test this, so scientific literacy is a misnomer for the quiz. I suppose they mean scientifically knowledgeable. If they do mean that, then it is an abuse of the term literacy, which does rather question their own literacy. :D

jokergirl
2012-Apr-23, 08:47 AM
46/50, although one of those was a lapse in concentration for something that I *did* know the answer to, but mixed it up.
A bunch of those I solved more by knowledge of Greek/Latin though, which I am not too happy about. The Chemistry questions were hardest for me.

;)

LookingSkyward
2012-Apr-23, 09:25 AM
39 - not terrible for a tron hunter - agree with some of teh history complaints

Tog
2012-Apr-23, 09:58 AM
I have next to no knowledge of Latin or Greek, but I did get the cloud one right. I almost selected something different, though.

The one I'm really kicking myself for is the nanometer to centimeter conversion. I hate to sound all "Scooby Doo Villain" about it, but I would have gotten that one if it hadn't been for the near total obscurity of the decimeter. (I counted over one space from Meter and moved the decimal.)

I also got the physics math problem one right even though I only knew the definitions of those units from a previous question (which I missed). I knew the answer had to be a product of 10, because it's metric. There were two options as I recall, and I chose correctly.

NEOWatcher
2012-Apr-23, 02:20 PM
I only got to 16 questions before my session got painfully slow.
Something on my machine tends to build up until I re-start my browser. (it's a work machine, so I have to live with it)

But got 14/16.

Perikles
2012-Apr-23, 06:08 PM
I persuaded the wife to try this quiz, to see how a PhD in Greek History might help support a total lack of scientific knowledge other than random facts gleaned from Trivial Pursuit. She has been struggling with the physics questions, and I have just heard mutterings from the background which went like this: Lets see - a 200 gram object subjected to a force of 1 joule. That's about a pack of butter. I'm going for 0.02 ..... oh, that's a surprise, I just couldn't imagine a pack of butter going that fast. :rofl:

Edit: She's just finished with a score of 39/50. For somebody who can't tell the difference between watt, amp and volt this is really amazing.