Here’s a start to create a listing of what should be common knowledge. It’s my contribution to E. D. Hirsch Jr.’s Cultural Literacy, or What Every American Needs to Know. Every American? Well everyone.
Here’s the very first item on my list:
The DNA of every life form studied so far is composed of four nucleotide bases labeled A, C, G, and T. The sequence of these bases along a strand of DNA defines our genetic code, spelling out elephant in one case, amoeba in another, and us in still a third.