Knowing How You Know/general knowledge questions

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General Knowledge Questions[edit]

Choose a few of these questions to research as a test of your own Theory of Knowledge.

Several of these questions are specific to the United States. If you are from another country, substitute analogous questions that pertain to your own country.

Some have simple, well accepted answers, some are controversial, and others ask for your opinions.

  1. How old is the universe?
  2. How old is the earth?
  3. When did life begin on earth?
  4. When did the first humans begin life on earth?
  5. Where did the first humans begin life on earth?
  6. Describe, briefly, your understanding of the theory of evolution. Do you believe in that theory? Why or why not?
  7. What, if anything, happens after death?
  8. In what year did the world population first reach one billion people? In what year did it reach six billion people? In what year did it reach seven billion people?
  9. What is the current human population of the earth? How many people, worldwide, are Christians?
  10. Describe your understanding of peak oil. When do you estimate we will reach worldwide peak oil, if ever?
  11. Describe the distinction between petroleum reserves and petroleum resources. Are world-wide petroleum resources increasing, decreasing, or staying the same?
  12. Describe your understanding of net energy gain.
  13. From what country does the US import most of its oil?
  14. Does the US export any fossil fuels? If so, please describe this.
  15. What role, if any, should thorium play in our energy policy?
  16. How many people have died, worldwide, as a result of a nuclear power accident?
  17. Many years after an acorn is planted it grows to become a huge oak tree. Where does most of the dry mass of that tree come from?
  18. What establishes the basis for private ownership of land?
  19. Describe your understanding of economic externalities. Give several examples relevant to today’s economy.
  20. Describe your understating of the term “the commons.” Identify several examples of “the commons” that are relevant today. Describe your understating of “the tragedy of the commons.” Describe several examples that are relevant today. What specific proposals, if any, do you have for avoiding actual or potential tragedy of those commons?
  21. Describe the concept of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Give examples of destructive activities that are included in GDP. Give examples of pro-social activities that are excluded from the GDP.
  22. Describe your understanding of Trickle-down economics. What evidence supports the theory? What evidence contradicts the theory?
  23. Describe the fallacy of “false dichotomy.” Give several relevant examples.
  24. Describe the difference between correlation and causation.
  25. Describe the difference between anecdotal evidence and systematic data.
  26. Describe how a literal truth can send a false message. Give examples.
  27. What, if anything, establishes a fact? How does it differ, if at all, from an opinion?
  28. Describe how you sort through conflicting information to decide what you believe; i.e. describe your theory of knowledge.
  29. What fraction of pregnancies are mistimed, unplanned or unwanted at the time of conception?
  30. Do you believe that contraception prevents abortion? Why or why not?
  31. Are corporations people? Why or why not?
  32. Where does the US rank, worldwide, on various measures of gun violence?
  33. Describe the recent history of gun violence in Australia.
  34. Discuss your understanding of the statement “if guns are outlawed, then only outlaws would have guns.” How is this relevant, if at all, to discussions of gun violence?
  35. What is the current level of gun violence in the United States? Do you find this acceptable? If not, what specific proposals do you have for reducing gun violence?
  36. Are there any limits to the second amendment? If so, please describe them.
  37. Rank the ten amendments in the bill of rights in order of importance.
  38. How many times does the word “Freedom” appear in the US constitution?
  39. Describe the “Great Compromise of 1787” and its role in drafting the US constitution.
  40. Describe the “Three-Fifths Compromise” and its role in drafting the US constitution.
  41. Describe your understanding of statesmanship. Who was the greatest statesman ever? Who is the greatest statesman now serving in congress?
  42. Describe the purpose of federal form I-9.
  43. What role, if any, does form I-9 currently play in immigration policy? What role would you like to see it playing in the future?
  44. How is money created and introduced (i.e. by the central bank) into your nation's monetary system?
  45. What was the federal income tax rate for the highest earners (the top tax bracket) in 1960? What is it now?
  46. What is the purpose of taxation? Is today’s tax system fair? Why or why not? Describe, in detail, a tax system that you believe would be fair.
  47. What is fractional-reserve banking?
  48. Who invented the electric light bulb?
  49. Describe the concept of class warfare. How is it relevant today, if at all?
  50. Describe the distribution of income and wealth in the United States.
  51. Politicians often talk about values. Please rank order the following values from the most important to the least important: 1) Caring for others, 2) Fairness, 3) Liberty, 4) Respect for authority, 5) Loyalty, 6) Sanctity.
  52. Do you believe the current political incumbents propose or enact policies or legislation that violates the US constitution? If so, please cite a specific example of such policies, and identify the section of the constitution that is violated.
  53. Describe your understanding of the phrase “all men are created equal.” Describe how it is relevant to today’s social issues.
  54. Is homosexuality a sinful choice?
  55. Does vaccination improve public health?
  56. Describe the practice of Sharia law in Dearborn, Michigan. In what regions of the United States is Sharia Law practiced or enforced?
  57. In what country was Barack Obama born?
  58. How many people have been deported from the United States during Barack Obama's presidency? How does this compare to other presidencies?
  59. How many people were killed in shark attacks last year? How many died in automobile accidents?
  60. What are the top five causes of death in the United States? Worldwide?
  61. What caused the collapse of the twin towers of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001?
  62. What is the cost of the F-22 Raptor program? What is the military role of the F-22 Raptor? What is the combat history of the F-22 Raptor?
  63. What fraction of the US federal budget is the defense budget?
  64. How many nuclear weapons exist in each country?
  65. What fraction of the federal budget is devoted to foreign aid and which 3 countries receive the most?
  66. What are the actual goals of the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program?
  67. Where does the US education system rank among countries in the developing world?
  68. What countries rank below (have lower death rate) the US in infant mortality rate (calculated as deaths of infants under one year old)?
  69. Where does the US rank in health care outcomes?
  70. Describe poverty in the United States.
  71. Describe malnutrition in the United States.
  72. What countries have not adopted SI units (International System of Units) as their official system of weights and measures?
  73. Describe the National Bridge inventory and the 0-9 structural evaluation scale it uses. How many bridges are rated below 4 on this scale? How many bridges in the United States are classified as “structurally deficient”? How many are classified as “functionally obsolete”? To what extent, if any, does this represent a safety risk?
  74. What are the five most important issues facing the American people? Why do you choose these? What solutions can you offer?
  75. Is faith a reliable epistemology?
  76. What is the historical and archaeological evidence regarding the biblical story of the Exodus?
  77. What is the efficacy of homeopathy?