“Well, although I do not suppose that either of us knows anything really beautiful and good, I am better off than he is; for he knows nothing, and thinks that he knows.” -Socrates
This weekend, I’m pleased to bring you a song by Wizz Jones, a British singer-songwriter who’s been at it for over 50 years, yet who most people have never heard of. Have a listen to one of my favorite songs of his, about a man who returns from World War II and never quite makes peace with what happened.
While polls show that 79% of Americans know that the Earth revolves around the Sun, 18% thought it was the other way around and 3% didn’t know.
While we might have a lot to say about the state of education and knowledge in America, it might surprise you to learn that other countries are no better. In Germany, only 74% knew, while 16% got it wrong and 10% didn’t know, and in Great Britain, 67% knew, 19% got it wrong and 14% didn’t know.
And while, in the US alone, this equates to something like 50+ million people believing the wrong thing, I wouldn’t stress over it. Why not?
The information — the correct information — is out there, and easy to find, and easy to learn. Even though you might find some of the things we ignorantly believe to be appalling, the fact that many of us believe them does nothing to make them true. And it never will, and no one else’s beliefs can change what you factually know.
So enjoy this weekend however you choose, and I’ll see you with the astrophysics during the week!