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, July 09, 2007

The origin of Life

I don't know at what age most children ponder the origin of life, but yesterday Ainan, 7, came to me with his own ponderings.

"How can chemical reactions, become life, become me?", Ainan began, with his mantle of curious intensity, that is always worn when he considers his own ideas, "The reactions are just reactions – they are not alive."

Thus, Ainan wondered about the relationship between chemistry and life - and the curious observation that any given ordinary, everyday reaction, is simply not life - but somehow, all the millions (billions? Who knows?) of reactions that go on in a human being somehow sum to become life. The sum, as ever, is greater than its parts.

(If you would like to read more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, a scientific child prodigy, aged seven years and seven months, or his gifted brothers, 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 @ 9:25 PM 


Blogger EbTech said...

Those are some very deep questions! When looking at complex systems, it is not always clear how they might have emerged from simple laws. From fractals and chaos to computation to natural selection to intelligence... has Ainan made much progress along this line of thinking? Perhaps he will design a sequence of reactions which would embody some of the essential properties of life!

Ainan might like to experiment with Conway's Game of Life. It is a kind of cellular automaton, which is essentially a mathematical simulation. However, it has some interesting properties that make it relevant to the study of real things. Here are some introductory links:

12:36 PM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Ainan is very familiar with Conway's Game of Life: he used to play it two or three years ago and was fond of showing me the strange properties he had coaxed from it.

Thanks for the reminder, though.

12:04 AM  

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