Jonathan Drori, in his presentation at last year’s TED conference, poses four basic questions related to scientific understanding. They are designed to illustrate that perhaps you don’t know as much as you think you know – because we all make assumptions. As it happens, I got all of them right, but that’s probably because I had a good grounding in science, and then continued to learn as I grew up. As a result, I learned, after I had left school(!), that my boyhood assumption for the answer to question 1 was wrong. The answer to question 2 I knew at a very early age, because I performed the experiment for myself. And the answers to questions 3 and 4 I knew when I was still at school.
I find it worrying that many people do not get all these questions right. In particular, that answer to the second question – I find that completely astounding. It must mean that they have never bothered to try out even simple things for themselves.