Please tell me you know the correct answers to these questions…

True or false?

a) Lasers work by focusing sound waves. (False. Lasers focus light.) 45 percent of the people who were asked this by the National Science Foundation got this one right.

b) Antibiotics kill viruses as well as bacteria. (False.) 51 percent.

c) The universe began with a huge explosion. (True, according to the “Big Bang” theory widely accepted by scientists, but dismissed by some religious leaders.) 33 percent.

d) The earliest humans lived at the same time as the dinosaurs. (False. Dinosaurs died off millions of years before humans appeared.) 48 percent.

e) Human beings developed from earlier species of animals. (True, according to the theory of evolution, which is accepted by the majority of scientists, but not by many religious leaders.) 53 percent.

According to the National Science Foundation, Americans are in pretty sad shape in terms of general scientific knowledge. They also report that while doctors and scientists are held in high esteem, belief in pseudoscience is “widespread and growing”.

Here’s a little good news from the study:

In contrast to two years ago, when half of those surveyed were wrong, a majority, 54 percent, answered correctly when asked how long it takes the Earth to orbit the sun. (One year.)

You can read the full story here.