Nope, I don't think this proves that the French are hopeless scientific illiterates:
The video should be self-explanatory, but I'll point out that the question is (approximately) "Which object orbits the earth?" And the choices are: the moon, the sun, Mars, Venus.
Come on. More than 2/5s of the audience got the answer right!
BTW, I'm not (just) being snarky. This doesn't prove that the French are stupid any more than Jay Walking or an opinion poll showing that 1 in 5 Americans think that the sun orbits the earth proves that Americans are stupid. There are profound and depressing examples of human ignorance to be found all over the planet. (Even Europe!) But the simple fact is, as often repeated here, people are getting smarter.
Yep. Even Americans.
You see a lot of hand-wringing about how the US, driven by religious fundamentalism, is becoming increasingly scientifically illiterate. I wonder. We're shocked when we see that half of Americans don't believe in evolution, or that 20% of us are as clueless about how the solar system is set up as 56% of that French game-show audience. But the pertinent question is, what would those same polls have shown 25, 50, 100 years ago? And what will they show 25, 50, 100 years from now?
UPDATE: Welcome InstaPundit readers. While you're here, don't miss our Robert A. Heinlein centenary celebration. Share your memories of a favorite Heinlein book or story!