Sunday, April 08, 2007


Our daughter Marie asked for a little teen quiz for Easter to help distribute goodies as quiz rewards (I think I have that right).

The result is posted here as a modest contribution to the human race and intelligent discussion.


1. we are living in an "inter-glacial period": these last about how long typically?

ans: about 10 - 20 thousand years

2. most of the time the planet experiences "ice age conditions" in which glaciers cover large areas of the high latitude regions. How long do ice ages last typically?

ans: about 100 thousand years

3. Roughly how long ago was the last "interglacial period" in which the planet warmed up?

ans: about 125 thousand years ago

4. At the end of each "ice age" (ie at the beginning of each inter-glacial period) there is a major global warming. Roughly how long ago was this last major global warming?

ans: about 15 thousand years ago

5. What are the most important atmospheric greenhouse gases( besides water vapor) , and what are their chemical formulas?

ans: 1.carbon dioxide C O2, 2. methane C H4, 3. nitrogen dioxide N O2

6. What do these chemical formulas mean?

ans. C O2 = molecule consisting of one carbon atom bound to two oxygen atoms
C H4 1 carbon + 4 hydrogen
N O2 1 nitrogen + 2 oxygen

7. Roughly how long will carbon dioxide stay up in the atmosphere once injected?

ans: roughly 100 years

8. If planet earth had no atmosphere which produced a greenhouse effect, how much colder would the earth surface be on average?

ans: roughly 54 fahrenheit degrees colder than now.

9. What is the freezing temperature of fresh water (in degrees fahrenheit) ?

ans: 32 degrees F

10. As the global average temperature rises (global warming) at what latitude does the average temperature rise fastest?

ans: at the high latitudes near the N and S poles.


1. If the quantity (3 times some number ) plus 2 is equal to 8, what is the number?

ans: 2

2. What is 0.615 rounded to the nearest tenth?

ans: 0.6

3. Express the quantity ( 5/12 - 3/8 ) as a fraction in the simpest form.

ans: 1/24

4. If the tax on $27 is $1.62, what is the percentage tax rate?

ans: 6 percent


1. When did the U.S. revolutionary war happen?

ans: 1775 - 1783

2. When did the U.S. Civil War happen?

ans 1861 - 1865

3. When did World War II happen?

ans: 1939 - 1945


1. What percentage of human DNA is identical to chimpanzee DNA?

ans: 98.4%

2. what is the rough age of our universe?

ans: about 14 billion years

3. what is the rough age of our sun?

ans: about 4 billion years

4. what is the rough age of planet earth?

ans: about 4 billion years

5. when did life originate on earth?

ans: about 3 billion years ago

6. when did the dinosaurs become extinct?

ans: about 65 million years ago

7. when did our ancestors become distinct from the ancestors of chimps and gorillas?

ans: about 6 to 10 million years ago

8. where did the shared ancestors of humans, chimps, and gorillas live?

ans: in Africa

9. what would our ancestors have been classified as when they became a distinct species?

ans: another species of ape

10. when did our ancestors begin habitually walking on their hind legs?

ans: about 4 million years ago

11. when did our ancestors begin using stone tools?

ans: about 2.5 million years ago

12: when did some of our ancestors look enough like us that that are now called homo sapiens?

ans: about 500 thousand years ago

13. How many ice ages have homo sapiens lived through:

ans: about five

(here we leave the realm of simple numbers ... )

14. what is meant by "Cro-Magnon"?

ans: this refers to anatomically modern people (looking like us) . named after a cave in France where their bones were first identified, but later found in France and Spain generally, living during the Late Ice Age ( about 40 thousand years ago), and using many more sophisticated tools, especially for hunting large animals.

15. would a Cro-Magnon have been able to learn to fly a jet aircraft?

ans: yes

16. why did it take so long for humans to learn how to fly?

ans: required first the invention of domestication of plants and animals, invention of writing and mathematics and calculus, understanding of chemistry and physics - all this took a long time building on the achievements of the previous generations.


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