I recently read a number of surveys, which were conducted in the USA and Europe to determine levels scientific knowledge, and the results are shocking. Almost half of the Americans surveyed believe that the earth (and, by extension, the universe) is less than 10,000 years old (whereas the true figure is 4.6 billion years). Twenty per cent of the people surveyed in Britain believe that: (a) it takes one month for the Earth to go around the sun (the figure is more than 20 per cent for Ireland, Austria, Spain and Denmark); and (b) winter and summer are the result of the earth moving further away or closer to the sun, respectively. In about half of the countries surveyed in Europe, almost a third of the respondents believe that humans lived at the same time as dinosaurs (the figures range from 9 per cent in Sweden and Switzerland to 42 per cent of the respondents in Turkey who believe humans coexisted with dinosaurs). Responses to the proposition that 'human beings developed from earlier species of animals' ranged from 80+ per cent concurring (in Denmark, Sweden, France and Britain) to only about 50 per cent believing that this is true (in Poland, Croatia, Austria, Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Cyprus and Turkey). In fact, a majority of the Turkish population believes that evolution is false (this is probably true for much of the Islamic world). It would be really interesting to know how South Africans would score in a similar survey.