See those dents in my desk? There’s one for every time I see the results of a survey like this:
Dr. Miller’s data reveal some yawning gaps in basic knowledge. American adults in general do not understand what molecules are (other than that they are really small). Fewer than a third can identify DNA as a key to heredity. Only about 10 percent know what radiation is. One adult American in five thinks the Sun revolves around the Earth, an idea science had abandoned by the 17th century.
Excuse me a minute… [bangs head on desk, labels new dent “2005”]
I should figure out what I, as a scientist, can/should be doing to improve basic science education. At least no one is trying to argue that science classes should “teach both sides” of the Earth-Sun orbit controversy… on the other hand, Biblical literalism demands a geocentric system just as much as it demands creationism, and the current Pope considers the Inquisition’s persecution of Galileo to have been “reasonable and just”, so maybe this is next once Intelligent Design gets established.