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The Incubus
2003-Feb-01, 12:25 AM
According to a study by the NSF, half of Americans don't know how long it takes us to orbit the sun.

http://www.informationweek.com/story/IWK20030117S0041

The article goes on to explain most people's aversion to science and technology (hence me saying that it's arguably related).

This seems a bit questionable to me, since there's not a lot of further information given (sample size, etc) and because it's a scientific article on a business website, but I'm wondering what the rest of you think?

The (And sorry if this has been mentioned before) Incubus

g99
2003-Feb-01, 12:35 AM
I agree with it. National Geographic had a similar report on American's knowledge of geography and a while ago we had a discussion on how Science courses are falling in the UK. I can't rememeber this being mentioned...

But basically National Geographic showed that many Americans could not locate all 50 states, Iraq, nor locate many of the major countries of the world or locate all of the countries important at the time (Iraq, Afghanistan, ect.).

Argos
2003-Feb-01, 11:29 AM
Strange...

Iīve been to the USA sometimes and this American character is something that intrigues me the most. How come a so educated, criative and technological society as the American ignore basic geographic facts. Once an American lady just couldnīt believe me when I said that Brazil is as big as USA. She said the Brazil was more or less the size of Los Angeles. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Maybe Freud explains.

Dickenmeyer
2003-Feb-02, 04:29 AM
Well, I've been an American all my life and I for one know it takes a WHOLE DAY for the earth to go aroung the sun...(nudge, nudge, smirk)

dgavin
2003-Feb-02, 04:49 AM
365.2425 days.

And I didn't learn that in any sience class either. Had to figure that out when writting a computer date handeling routine that was not dependent on any seed date.

Getting tire of all this American bashing though. In School here they do teach geography up through middle school. Most middle school and later grade school children know the states and other contries geography.

But like anything else, if you don't use it you lose it over time.

And quite frankly I find it silly that some other country thinks less of us because we don't sit around in our spare time and study these things into our 30's and later.

Or that studies like that are focusing on age groups that are not always active in schools or in studies.

Can i recall the names of all 50 states? Not anymore. I could at one time in my life, as well as many of the foriegn counties.

Have to take studies like with a grain of salt as typically they never give you the demographics of the people they are asking questions of.

Jetmech0417
2003-Feb-02, 07:15 AM
Not to mention the political state of many countries today. One day, you have one large country, and the next you have anywhere from 5-50 smaller countries. It's hard to keep up with all that. I don't remember if I was in grade school or middle school when the Soviet Union broke up, but I DO remember having to learn the capitals and locations of every single country that was spawned by the collapse. If you asked me today what the capital of Turkmenistan was, though, I'd be stumped.