"It's what you learn after you know everything that's important."
Adapted from Chemistry, Volume 65, Number 6. April 1972, pg. 3 Instructions: Answer all questions. Begin immediately. Time limit: 2 hours.
History: Describe the history of the Papacy from its origins to the present day, concentrating especially, but not exclusively, on its social, political, economic, religious and philosophical impact on Europe, Asia, America and Africa. Be brief, concise and specific.
Chemistry: Reproduce from memory the entire periodic table with all known values of physical constants to the limits of their uncertainties. For each element, discover enough new properties to correspond to each Greek and Arabic letter not in current use as symbols for physical constants. Use your data to formulate a new theory of science.
Medicine: You have been provided with a razor blade, a piece of gauze, and a bottle of scotch. Remove your appendix. Do not suture until you work has been inspected. You have fifteen minutes.
Public Speaking: 2500 riot-crazed aborigines are storming the classroom. Calm them. You may use any ancient language except Latin or Greek.
Biology: Create life. Estimate the differences in subsequent human culture if this form of life had developed 500 million years earlier, with special attention to its probable effect on the English Parliamentary System. Prove your thesis.
Music: Write a piano concerto. Orchestrate and perform it with flute and drum. You will find a piano under your seat.
Physchology: Based on your knowledge of their works, evaluate the emotional stability, degree of adjustment, and repressed frustrations of each of the following: Alexander of Aphrodisis, Rameses II, Hammuarabi. Support your evaluation with quotations from each man's work, making appropriate references. It is not necessary to translate.
Sociology: Estimate the sociological problems which might accompany the end of the world. Construct an experiment to test your theory.
Engineering: The disassembled parts of a high-powered rifle have been placed on your desk. You will also find an instruction manual, printed in Swahili. In 10 minutes, a hungry bengal tiger will be admitted to the room. Take whatever action you feel necessary. Be prepared to justify your decision.
Economics: Develop a realistic plan for refinancing the national debt. Trace the possible effects of your plan in the following areas: Cubism, the Donatist Controversy and the Wave Theory of Light. Outline a method for preventing these effects. Criticize this method from all possible points of view. Point out the deficiencies in your point of view, as demonstrated in your answer to the last question.
Political Science: There is a red telephone on the desk beside you. Start World War III. Report at length on its socio-political effects if any.
Epistemology: Take a position for or against truth. Prove the validity of your stand.
Physics: Explain the nature of matter. Include in your answer an evaluation of the impact of the development of mathematics on science.
Philosophy: Sketch the development of human thought. Estimate its significance. Compare with the development of any other kind of thought.
General Knowledge: Describe in detail. Be objective and specific.
Cosmology: Define the universe. Give three examples.
Ecology: From readily available starting materials (i.e., "I think, therefore I am," and hydrogen), devise a total synthesis of the planet Earth down to the most subtle chemical detail. Discuss barriers that you would encounter in carrying out this synthesis and how you would overcome these barriers.
Extra Credit: Find the answer to the question of life, the universe, and everything.