The ghost of Copernicus, Bruno and Galileo visit America

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One had his life’s work denounced. One was burned at the stake. And the other was imprisoned after being forced to recant is teachings. All shared the unfortunate scientific insight that the sun did not revolve around the earth, but the other way around. The church of that day understood the implications of that knowledge better than we do today. It meant that the earth was not the center of  the universe, but just a part of it, and possibly an insignificant part at that. It meant that humans were a part of nature and not the point of it. Science be damned! …And anyone who spoke out in favor of it. We have come a long ways since then, but apparently not long enough.

One in four Americans unaware that Earth circles Sun

The survey included more than 2,200 people in the United States and was conducted by the National Science Foundation.
Ten questions about physical and biological science were on the quiz, and the average score—6.5 correct—was barely a passing grade.
Just 74 percent of respondents knew that the Earth revolved around the Sun, according to the results released at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Chicago.
Fewer than half (48 percent) knew that human beings evolved from earlier species of animals.
The result of the survey, which is conducted every two years, will be included in a National Science Foundation report to President Barack Obama and US lawmakers.
One in three respondents said science should get more funding from the government.
Nearly 90 percent said the benefits of science outweigh any dangers, and about the same number expressed interest in learning about medical discoveries.

400 years later, and religion’s war against science is still claiming 25% of Americans as victims. It is even higher when evolution is the subject. In this country, that many people believe that science is the discipline that should be viewed with suspicion. What’s the harm in religion? We can vote the people into office who have the power to launch nuclear weapons. And one in four of us continue to denounce Copernicus. This madness must end.

David Johnson

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