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 +

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Ainan's experimental flair: a practical scientist

Yesterday, Ainan took something out of the freezer, and said: "This is super-cooled water, Daddy."

Now, until Ainan first mentioned it to me, a few months ago, I had never heard of super-cooled water. As is becoming increasingly the case, it is Ainan who introduces me to things scientific.

I looked at the water. It was just liquid, like any other water. There didn't appear to be anything special about it. I went about making a cup of tea.

Then Ainan did something magical. He swirled the water in the vessel - and all at once, it turned to ice, as if some Wizard of old had cast a spell.

I had never seen that before in my life. If I had not been scientifically trained, and I had seen that in a time before science, I would have thought it magic, at work. The liquid crystallized as ice, in an instant. Uncanny.

What I found revealing about this, is that Ainan has good experimental control. He is able to get the world to do things, experimentally, which, frankly, I would have thought unlikely. He has, to use an old word, the "knack" for experimental design and interaction with the world.

Don't ask me how he got the water to do that - but he did. What a curious boy.

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 12:21 PM 


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