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, October 08, 2007

Does anyone think anymore?

We live in a time when more people have more access to more information than ever before...but does that mean more people are reading and thinking?

I have evidence that suggests otherwise. All I need to do is look at the searches that people have made to arrive on my site. One particular search was surprising the first time I saw it some weeks ago - but what really surprised me is the fourth time I saw it. This is a search that several people, in different parts of the world have made...people who all share something in common: a lack of the ability to think for themselves.

Each of these searchers used a variation on: "A sentence with child prodigy in it." I found that unnerving in its implication for the searcher's level of creative ability. Clearly, they were unable to write a sentence, for themselves, that used those two words meaningfully - and so searched the net for such a usage, which they could then copy.

It is likely that they are students, or other people, who have been assigned a writing task regarding child prodigy - but who are unable even to construct a single sentence that uses the terms.

It is all rather worrying. Are people forgetting how to think for themselves?

(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, a scientific child prodigy, aged seven years and ten months, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, four years and three months, and Tiarnan, twenty months, please go to: I also write of gifted education, IQ, intelligence, the Irish, the Malays, College, University, Chemistry, Science, genetics, left-handedness, precocity, child prodigy, child genius, baby genius, adult genius, savant, gifted adults and gifted children in general. Thanks.)

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 9:32 PM 


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe they were trying to find something they read about a child prodigy but they just couldn't remember the exact context. It's really hard to tell what's going through a person's mind by looking at a google search.

What if their searches lead them to your site and they read this post? What will they think about what you are thinking?

6:41 AM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

It is true that there can be some ambiguity as to the intent of a particular search - but I think my interpretation of their intent, is the most likely (Occam's Razor, applies, I would suggest).

You are right that someone with that particular intent could be offended by my post, if they find it - but that wasn't my intention. My wish was to raise the issue that people are not thinking enough - they are becoming intellectually lazy (perhaps, of course, they always were and nothing much has changed).

I don't think one should shy away from talking about difficult issues, even if some might be offended by them - otherwise those difficult issues never get raised and never get thought about. Not talking about them, would actually contribute, rather ironically, to the lack of thinking of which I wrote!

It is a difficult balance because, as I have said, I don't wish to offend anyone - but at the same time, I do wish to have the freedom to talk about difficult issues, if necessary. It is never easy to address such matters in just the right way.

I hope - and others with your thought - can understand.


10:42 AM  

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