Last week, a couple of online surveys came to my attention. Both were from the Pew Research Center (a non-profit, respected group); one was about public knowledge of science, the other about religion.
If you haven’t taken them, they are very short (13 and 15 questions each) and will literally only take a couple of minutes for you to fill out—they don’t ask for any specific personal info, and the questions are very simply stated. So please, go take them both before you continue reading here.
<sound of “Jeopardy!” theme>
OK, all done? How did you do?
Bragging time: I got all the answers right, on both quizzes. But, apropos of a test on religion, I have a confession: I guessed on the last religion question; I’m not all that clear on the First Great Awakening (though I knew it wasn’t Billy Graham, so my odds went up to 50/50 for my guess).
I found the questions and results interesting. I’ll note the religious test was given out in 2010 (32 questions were used in the phone survey; only 15 are listed online), but I didn’t find the questions particularly dated.
Not surprisingly, I was pretty confident in the science test, and knew my answers were right. I was shakier on some of the religious questions; I have a broad knowledge of many religions, but specifics not so much. Still, I did well.
Also not surprisingly, Americans didn’t fare so well in the science test (maybe we should make members of Congress pass both tests before being allowed to sit on the House Science Committee). But more interesting is which questions were answered incorrectly, and by what percentage; Pew reports the results.
Written By: Phil Plait continue to source article at slate.com