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 +

Monday, March 05, 2007

Further observations on Fintan's perceptual ability

For a better understanding of Fintan's feat I should, perhaps, explain the circumstances of the monkey sighting a bit more.

Firstly, it was getting towards dusk and though not quite at the cusp, as it were, the light was already beginning to fade.

Secondly, the monkeys in question were pretty small. We are not talking gorillas here. We are talking little creatures that, as adults are perhaps fifteen inches tall (that is the biggest of them). The children were perhaps 9 or so inches tall.

Thirdly, the two monkeys that Fintan spotted were a child and a smaller adult - maybe a female. So the monkeys were really quite small.

Fourthly, the monkeys were grey, with some variation in colour which made them difficult to spot in the surroundings. Especially, in the relatively poor lighting.

Despite all of this, Fintan spotted them a full one hundred metres before I was able to. The implication is clear: in the same confusing conditions with multiple hiding places and varied terrain from buildings to jungle, to waterways and man made path, Fintan would be able to see an adult human at several times that distance - that is, at several hundred metres - perhaps five hundred metres - before I could - in poor lighting. I find that quite remarkable, particularly when we consider that Fintan is only three and therefore, relatively speaking, perceptually inexperienced. It would appear that he has particular gifts in the direction of visual perception, therefore, which should find a useful outlet in life, I hope.

Perhaps, in good conditions, he would be able to see someone further still, before I - or perhaps anyone else - could either.

As for uses, for this, a reader from California insightfully suggested search and rescue operations or crime scene investigator. In both roles, such a gift could prove remarkably effective.

I don't expect anything to be overlooked by him, then!

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

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 3:19 PM 


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am also thinking that Fintan would make a great scientific observer of the natural world. Perhaps he will be a biologist, naturalist or photographer.

Unusual social and perceptual abilities would make him a great psychologist or politician. I am crossing my fingers that he will be a great leader for the cause of environmentalism. The world needs one!

Like his father, he may have many gifts.

1:04 AM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

It is funny that you should suggest naturalist...because Fintan does have a great love of animals and appears capable of distinguishing many different animals. This is something he has taught himself since he can distinguish animals that we can't!

I think Fintan may turn out to be a very surprising son for reasons I will discuss in other posts, too.

Thanks for your thoughts.

Oddly, on the politician front, I had a dream that Fintan would one day be President of Singapore. I found the dream quite startling! It was funny to see my whimsical son in such a serious role.

Thank you for your kind words.

Best wishes to you.

6:30 AM  

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