Science News

Third of Russians think sun spins round Earth: poll

An orthodox cathedral is silhouetted as the sun sets in the village Zelyonaya Sloboda 50 km southeast from Moscow in this picture taken late on July 12, 2004. REUTERS/Viktor Korotayev

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Does the sun revolve around the Earth? One in every three Russians thinks so, a spokeswoman for state pollster VsTIOM said on Friday.

In a survey released this week, 32 percent of Russians believed the Earth was the center of the Solar system; 55 percent that all radioactivity is man-made; and 29 percent that the first humans lived when dinosaurs still roamed the Earth.

“It’s really quite amazing,” spokeswoman Olga Kamenchuk said of the survey that polled 1,600 people across Russia’s regions in January, with a 3.4-percent margin of error.

“All of them (the questions) were absolutely obvious... the data speaks of the low levels of education in the country.”

However, people tend to forget what they have been taught at school if it is not part of daily use, she added: “I wonder whether our colleagues in other countries would find any different.”

The study also found that women were more likely than men to believe the scientific fallacies.

Writing by Alissa de Carbonnel; Editing by Paul Casciato