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Table 1 Results referring to the first three sections of the questionnaire (in percentages)

From: Knowledge of evolution and human diversity: a study among high school students of Rome, Italy

Question Correct Wrong No reply
Section 1. Age of the Earth and evolution of species    
For how many years has the Earth existed? 86.6 9.8 3.6
What does ‘biodiversity’ mean? 96.5 3.1 0.4
Were there species that lived in the past but which are now extinct? 93.7 4.7 1.6
Have living forms always been as they are now 96.5 3.1 0.4
Are there species living today which did not exist in the past 93.7 4.7 1.6
Can environment conditions undergo profound changes over long periods of time? 96.5 2.4 1.1
Section 2. Evolution of Homo sapiens    
How many years ago did Homo sapiens appear 33.0 53.5 13.5
Where did Homo sapiens first appear? 69.9 24.1 6.0
Did physical characteristics of Homo sapiens change since it began to migrate into different environments? 95.0 3.4 1.6
Is there fossil evidence documenting the places and times of the appearance of Homo sapiens? 94.2 2.9 2.9
Does it make sense to speak 29.8 70.2 0.0
Section 3. Human diversity Yes No  
Did intellectual superiority contribute to the success of the great civilizations? 57.1 42.9  
Did intellectual superiority contribute to scientific- technological progress? 65.9 34.1  
Does intellectual superiority exist? 7.4 92.6  
Does human diversity depend on biological and/or cultural factors? 44.2 55.8  
Do you positively value contact between different cultures? 92.6 7.4  
Has scientific progress helped to improve contacts between cultures? 97.0 3.0