The boy who knew too much: a child prodigy

This is the true story of scientific child prodigy, and former baby genius, Ainan Celeste Cawley, written by his father. It is the true story, too, of his gifted brothers and of all the Cawley family. I write also of child prodigy and genius in general: what it is, and how it is so often neglected in the modern world. As a society, we so often fail those we should most hope to see succeed: our gifted children and the gifted adults they become. Site Copyright: Valentine Cawley, 2006 +

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Did Leonardo Da Vinci exist?

There once was a man called Leonardo Da Vinci. He was not just a man, he was every man rolled into one - there was nothing he could not do better than any other - and all of them put together.

Leonardo Da Vinci was a painter of such fine art that his works breathe of life itself. To look on them is to witness a shadow of the Creator. I need only mention the Mona Lisa, for any who have seen it, in person, as I have, know this to be true. Yet, he was not just a painter. He was a scientist too and explored all areas of science accessible in his day. He was a great anatomist, effecting detailed studies of the human body, unusually working on cadavers himself. He was an inventor, who invented a myriad of the devices we have come to know, today, five hundred years later, including the submarine and the helicopter, the tank and the mortar. He was a military engineer. He was a sculptor, of great ambition, though sadly his finest work was not realized in his lifetime. He performed geological studies, that lay undiscovered until modern times. He was a natural musician who was noted for composing songs spontaneously, and being able to play any instrument he was given, even if he had never before encountered the instrument. He was the finest fencer, that is swordsman, in Florence. He was also the most handsome man in the city - so handsome in fact that people would line the roads to watch him walk to work in the mornings. His eyesight was of such rapid perception that he could perceive the details of the shape and angle of a bird's feathers, in flight, and drew them to provide concrete proof of his ability to this very day. This is remarkable since his drawings were not confirmed until the invention of modern stop-motion photography. Furthermore, he was of such physical strength and grace that he was reputedly able to stop a running horse in its tracks and lay it down on its side, without harming it.

Do we believe in such a man? We do. In fact, we are sure that he existed and call him the quintessential Renaissance Man - a man able to do all things well. We enjoy his works, marvel at his inventions and wish, just a little, that he were still alive.

Perhaps he is. Perhaps his like still lives in the world, today. But how would we treat such a man today? I, for one, would seek him out and endeavour to become acquainted with him, perhaps even his friend. For it would be a fascinating adventure to know such a man. Yet how do many people of today treat such a portrait of a man? They call it fiction. They choose not to believe it. They doubt its every word. Why do they do this? It is because they cannot conceive of someone or something greater than themselves. I can. I can imagine one greater than myself - and I would enjoy meeting such a one, for in that encounter could only come enlightenment. If Man can believe in God, why cannot Man believe in a great Man? Is Man meant to be an ordinary being of modest ability and little imagination? Is Man meant to have difficulty learning and growing and severe limits in doing so? Is Man a specialized being with but one skill, moderately developed. I do not think so, but that is how many think. That is how they view themselves and the people they know. Yet, Man is greater than that. There are Men as great as the Men of the past of which we write in awe. They exist, they live, they breathe - but in these times, it is quite possible that you do not know of them. Why? Because they are not treated well by many of their fellow men. They are greeted with scepticism and scorn, doubt and suspicion. They are told that they cannot be real, that there is some trickery afoot. It is not so, however. Such people are in the world. They are few, that I admit. But they are there. Leonardo da Vinci still lives, but his name is different. He may be of a different race to the Italian he was. He may yet be a child. But he is out there somewhere. We may never, however, meet him. For he may assess the way of Man and decide that a quiet life is best. A life that does not disturb the common perception of many, that Man is a limited creature of little mind. If that is so, that is a pity. For we need such people. We need the new Leonardos for, from them, new worlds come. Worlds that all of us may live to enjoy.

Why do I write this article? Because some among the readership of this site, have read of Ainan and doubted his existence. Ainan Celeste Cawley exists. So does Fintan Nadym Cawley. So does Tiarnan Hasyl Cawley. So do I, Valentine Cawley. So, too, does my wife, Syahidah Osman Cawley. We are all real. Every word in description of every deed any of us has accomplished is true. Nothing has been exaggerated, nothing is even satirical. It is all fact. I am a writer of non-fiction. Not fiction.

I want there to be understanding in the world, of the few who are most gifted - of the ones, who could, if nurtured, change the world for the better. These people are ignored to the point at which some people do not even believe in them. Why is this so? It is because gifts of the dimension I write about are so rare as to be outside the experience of most people. Most people will never, in all their lives, meet a child who began to talk in his first month, crawl in his fourth, or walk in his sixth. Most people will never meet a six year old with an adult's grasp of science and an ability to think creatively within it. Yet, this is an error in thinking. Just because you have no experience of something, that does not mean it is not true. None of us have visited another star - but the stars still shine - and they will long after we are all dead.

Ainan's story was once my story. Yet, my story was never told, never seen, never understood. It was lost in a universal indifference to what is special in Man. That must not be allowed to continue. There must be greater understanding of, and appreciation for, those of true genius amongst us - otherwise they will never be allowed to flourish and we are all the poorer for that.

So, read of Ainan, Tiarnan and Fintan. Read of Valentine and Syahidah and spread the word far and wide to all you know, of this site and its contents. For, in doing so, you will be creating understanding in the world of those who are most misunderstood and unappreciated. Those who could make this world what it could be, instead of what it is. So choose: do you want the world to be the best that it can be - or do you want it to remain the one you have?

I welcome your thoughts on this and all other matters. Thanks for your help.

This article is copyright Valentine Cawley 2006, as are all the articles on this site. No use is permitted, except for a reference to them through a link. Please respect this.

(For an introduction to Ainan Celeste Cawley, six, a scientific child prodigy, and his gifted brothers, go to:

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 2:46 PM 


Anonymous vanrijngo said...

Hello my friends,

I've read most of your writing about your wonderful family,.. I only wished that I could have been born into a family as such, with the marvelous understanding which you and your wife has of this world we are living in. I have nothing but admiration for you all.

Bob Miller---vanrijngo

2:35 AM  

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