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Originally Posted by Irizary View Post

Re. the first question about orbits, I don't think it's surprising that many people don't know basic astronomy. Where do people learn it? Despite a lot of education, I didn't learn it in school, but on my own.

Where and when did you learn it?
Astronomy was a pretty big deal in my school. We had wall charts, models, regular trips to a planetarium, and books about the planets were always fought over in library class. But I probably learned about it from my parents initially. And I went to an inner ring suburb, mostly working class public school district.

Even if not formally taught, it seems like something like the relationship between the earth and its moon and sun is something that a child would ask about on their own eventually. As in questions about eclipses, day and night, seasons (although that has to do with the tilt of the earth's axis), and the changing shape of the moon. And Copernicus and Galileo would come up at some point before one graduates from high school.

I think people who don't know this sort of thing must have little value for knowledge/curiosity or live in a very uneducated population with horrible schools and no library.
 

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Originally Posted by Irizary View Post

Like, the place I grew up was very rough, without much adult supervision. Even if kids had questions, there weren't many adults around to spend time with them and answer those questions, and teachers weren't very involved with kids' lives. So that's probably a deprived circumstance, but I'm not sure how rare it is.
Sounds like my second possibility, very limited educational opportunities even for those who are curious. Very unfortunate.

But they will come to an age where they can go to a library if they want and find answers, or ask people who know. And it's not like pictures of the solar system aren't sometimes on the front of magazines, newspapers, in movies, etc. Maybe they were taught to not value knowledge or to be curious, but whatever the reason, if a person makes it to adulthood, and either doesn't wonder why the sun and moon move across the sky or doesn't bother to find out, then, for whatever reasons, they have issues. And no, I don't think it's all that rare, unfortunately.

Intelligence, knowledge, and intellectualism has so many negative connotations for so many people. "Don't want to be an upstart, do you? Don't want to act like you are better than other people, do you? Before you know it, you'll be reading that EEEvilution stuff." Even my own family encountered issues when people found out I went to a nice college. They chided them for paying for it, supposedly some people have talked about me behind my back that I think I'm better than them, or it's a waste since I'm not rich as a result. Note these were all people who never went to college themselves. Education/curiosity can hit a nerve with a lot of people.
 
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