Top Spanish minister shows citizens are thick as tortillas de ballenas

Quarter believe the sun orbits the earth

A survey into the social perception of science by the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology has revealed that a quarter of Spaniards believe the sun orbits the earth.

Additionally, a third of those surveyed seemed to think that humans co-existed with dinosaurs, and only 60 per cent believed that science has more benefits than downsides.

Carmen Vela, the country's secretary of state for research, development and innovation, used a presentation last week to actually emphasise an improvement in scientific understanding among her citizens.

When the last survey was run in 2006, only about half of the questions were answered correctly.

This year, the proportion improved to a whopping 70 per cent, when faced with questions including whether homeopathy was "very or quite scientific" (27 per cent said 'yes').

The Local reported that "over 11 per cent of people do not believe that human beings are descended from animals".

It posits that this belief could stem from 1971, when "under the dictatorship of Francisco Franco, a Catholic priest who was a consultant to Spain’s public broadcaster forbade any mention of evolution on television".

While Pope Pius XII declared in 1950 that there is no intrinsic conflict between Christianity and the theory of evolution, the broadcast censorship may have been a product of political control, as the Spanish members of the Church were overwhelmingly supportive of the fascist regime. ®

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