The Flintsons: Based on a True Story
April 27, 2001 10:20 AM   Subscribe

The Flintsons: Based on a True Story According to a recent survey, half the adults surveyed didn't know that the Earth revolves around the sun, and 42 percent said they thought early humans lived side by side with dinosaurs. Seems like we hear about some survey of this nature every year ("87% of high school children can't find the US on a map of the US!"), although this article at least has a citation. I couldn't find any mention of said survey on the CAoS website. (Although if you take a look at their masthead, you can see why some people may be confused about scientific issues, as it seems to show fish revolving around the DinoWorld ...)
posted by Shadowkeeper (15 comments total)
The other night on Leno, a woman was asked on which continent is the US located. The woman, a third grade teacher, replied "It's either South America or North America. Wait...I know this. I just asked my class this question the other day. It's North America -- I told them it was South America, but a student corrected me." [sic]

And then we wonder why they grow up to be so dumb. (I really hope this teachers are the exceptions and not the rule.)
posted by jennak at 10:30 AM on April 27, 2001

42 percent said they thought early humans lived side by side with dinosaurs.

Many (for example...see last paragraph) do, and not because they didn't get exposed to science in school. I guess having one's head in the sand is just a whole lot easier sometimes.
posted by DiplomaticImmunity at 10:34 AM on April 27, 2001

I really hope [these] teachers are the exceptions and not the rule.

Of course they're exceptions, jennak. The problem is they're not-so-rare exceptions. My mother's a teacher (one of the "good ones") and I've worked in school systems, so I've seen it first hand. As underpaid as teachers are in this country, it is still considered a "safe" career choice for many clueless college grads. Teachers are in such short supply that (at least in my state) you need nothing more than a Bachelor's degree (in any subject) to start teaching--certification isn't needed for several years after you start teaching. Lots of kids come out of Joe's Half-Assed College with a degree in sociology or english or psychology and don't know what to do with themselves, so they teach. And too often being a "successful" teacher, in many public school environments, means just keeping order in the classroom.

Of course, there are many excellent teachers who care deeply about educating their kids. But sadly, at least in my experience, they're exceptions to the rule.
posted by jpoulos at 10:46 AM on April 27, 2001

Woo hooo! We suck! It is this sort of story that makes me question the idea of one person, one vote. I guess it wouldn't be fair to make people pass a basic knowledge quiz before letting them vote.
posted by quirked at 10:50 AM on April 27, 2001

I always wonder about these surveys. I mean, the information is culled from people who have enough time on their hands to answer surveys. Then again, I guess I have enough time to write this post, so who am I to judge? It just seems that smarts are inversely proportional to willingness to answer questions like "So...does the sun revolve around the Earth or vice-versa?"

And speaking of living side by side with dinosaurs, I can hop on the highway for an hours and be at the giant T-Rex and bronto used in PeeWee's Big Adventure.

Is this something you can share with the rest of us, Amazing Larry!?

posted by Kafkaesque at 10:58 AM on April 27, 2001

"So...does the sun revolve around the Earth or vice-versa?"

If someone asked me that, i'd be sorely tempted to answer that the sun revolves around the Earth just to be a smart-ass.
posted by kindall at 11:05 AM on April 27, 2001

Live and learn! Thanks for the net and for this great stuff. But if people were not around during the time of the dinosaurs, who made people later? And who kiled off the big guys if not people.
Are you sure about that Sun thing? I looked up for 5 straight minutes and nothing seemed to move, nohow.
posted by Postroad at 11:14 AM on April 27, 2001

Postroad, the sun only moves when you look away. Why do you think they tell you to not look at it? If you kept looking at it, the sun would never move and then there'd be no nighttime. Tshah, I thought everyone knew that.
posted by chicobangs at 11:24 AM on April 27, 2001

Thanks. More good info. No wonder my eyes always need drops. But if you look away it might move without me knowing it, right?
posted by Postroad at 11:54 AM on April 27, 2001

I don't know what the hell you guys are talking about.. the sun revolves around me because I'm the center of the universe. Duh.
posted by zempf at 11:56 AM on April 27, 2001

But. . .

[Agh, I just can't let this go.]

. . . at least everyone knows Michelangelo's David, right?

posted by rodii at 12:54 PM on April 27, 2001

Michelangelo is David?! i always thought he was da vinci! damnit!
posted by fuzzygeek at 2:04 PM on April 27, 2001

posted by kindall at 2:45 PM on April 27, 2001

I really *am* sorry. I just couldn't stop myself.
posted by rodii at 5:21 PM on April 27, 2001

I live nearby Tuataras (which are Dinosaurs, I think).
posted by holloway at 10:08 PM on April 27, 2001

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