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, March 21, 2007

Ainan walks on water - an experiment

Ainan doesn't know about Jesus Christ. He doesn't know much about any religion, in fact. That part of his education has been omitted for we live in a mixed environment: which religion should he learn of, when he lives between alternatives?

For now, he has not been strongly immersed in any of the religions. He knows of them. Yet, he does not know them explicitly or deeply. In some ways, his scientific bent precludes much inquiry into the matter, for he takes a scientific view on all things.

Thus, Ainan doesn't know about the miracles of Jesus. He hasn't heard the stories told by christians everywhere of the loaves and fish feeding the five thousand; of the water turned to wine; or of Jesus Christ walking on water.

It was funny therefore, that Ainan independently set himself the challenge of walking on water, on Sunday, at the pool. He didn't know that this was a biblical thing to do. He didn't know it had religious overtones reminiscent of Jesus. Yet, he tried to walk on water.

Being Ainan, he adopted a scientific approach. Firstly, he took two pieces of styrofoam that he had found from some box and placed one on each foot. Then he stepped into the pool. He sank - but with a noticeable slowing. He noted this and decided to test it further. He jumped into the pool without the foam and sank quickly to the bottom. Then he tried it again, holding a piece of styrofoam in each hand. He sank to the bottom again, but was noticeably slower in doing so. He remarked on this.

Finally, he took a large float of the kind used by trainee swimmers and stepped onto it. Then he jumped into the water. He didn't sink to the bottom. His descent stopped at just below his shoulders and there he floated in the water, head above the surface, balanced on the board (quite a neat physical feat that).

So, in a limited sense, Ainan succeeded. He didn't exactly walk on water, but he didn't sink either. He was supported from below and didn't submerge.

What I found interesting about this is the precedents to the situation. Leonardo Da Vinci also tried this, unknown to Ainan. He invented shoes that would allow one to walk on water (if memory serves me right). His shoes were impractical - less so, in some ways, than what Ainan did.

The difference between Ainan and Leonardo Da Vinci, is that Da Vinci would have known about Jesus Christ. Ainan didn't. So, in a very real sense, his experiment was a creative act, from Ainan's knowledge perspective.

Anyway, it was fun to watch - especially when he half-succeeded, spookily balanced in the water.

(If you would like to read more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, a scientific child prodigy, aged seven years and three months, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, three, and Tiarnan, thirteen months, please go to: I also write of gifted education, IQ, intelligence, child prodigy, child genius, baby genius, adult genius, savant, the creatively gifted, gifted adults and gifted children in general. Thanks.

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 10:35 AM 


Anonymous Anonymous said...


I wonder whether his experiment will lead him to further investigate the properties of the materials that enabled him to float. Will he return to this experimentation later, or was it a one-off occasion?

Which leads me to another topic....

Does Ainan ever ask to synthesize his molecular creations? or is he satisfied with theoretical exploration?


(Apologies for any 'typos'; my fingers are' all thumbs' lately.

11:44 AM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Ainan returns to experiment with things if he feels there is more to be learnt. If he has exhausted something, in his eyes, he doesn't return to it.

We will see if it is a one-off. Knowing him, if he sees an opportunity to refine it, he will take it.

He has bemoaned, in the past, that he cannot synthesize his molecules - this is Ainan code for he would like to do so. I think he would then like to investigate their properties and see if they match his theoretical expectations.

There will, no doubt, be more to come on this.

Best wishes

12:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

first of all, congratulations on having a genius child.

secondly, can you please increase the font size for it is too small to be read in a big amount. *dizzy*

last but not least, may I ask what religion you are and wether you give freedom to your child to embrace any religion he wants for that is the way I understand your writing...just curious.

5:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ainan was copying Mythbuster.not his own idea.

9:46 PM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Anonymous re. "Funny".

You are completely wrong. It was Ainan's own idea. He had not seen any related episode of Mythbusters at the time he made his water walking experiments. Have you actually LOOKED at the date of the posting? It is a LONG time ago.

Your later postings cannot be posted, here, because they go beyond the limits of what is acceptable.

It is clear that you are very quick to jump to the conclusion that Ainan was "copying" someone else - without having the remotest idea of what Ainan had or had not seen, in the way of "Mythbusters" programmes. You assume far too much.

I find the kind of thinking you indulge in rather boring. Your last comment (unpublished) is really VERY stupid (I am sure you know the one).

Ainan thinks for himself. He is an originator of many different ideas in many different areas. That you seek to believe otherwise, without any foundation at all, says a lot about you. Most of all, it says that you are jealous.

I post what Ainan does and what Ainan says and what Ainan thinks. Had his actions been copied from somewhere else (which they were not and never are), I would not bothered to have posted it.

Really, you should stop to reflect on yourself and your belief system a little.

I write knowing that most will not understand where I am coming from, because they have not seen your next two comments: take it from me, they are pretty dim.

Why not wait until you have more evidence about someone before coming to a snap judgement? That would be the intelligent thing to do.

1:31 AM  

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