The question – “Does the Earth go around the Sun, or does the Sun go around the Earth” – was answered incorrectly by 26 per cent of respondents.

Fewer than half of the respondents – 48 per cent – are aware that humans evolved from earlier species of animals and just 39 percent answered correctly that “the universe began with a huge explosion”.

A total of 42 per cent of Americans said that astrology is either “very scientific” or “sort of scientific”.