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, April 29, 2008

The beauty of the molecular world

Today, Ainan came to me in some excitement, "Daddy, there is a molecule that looks like a butterfly!"

He was very pleased at his new knowledge. "It is called lepidopterene!"

Indeed, it does look like a butterfly and indeed it is beautiful. Yet, this moment, sweet as it was, makes me wonder what life will be like for Ainan. Who will share his enthusiasms? Who will understand his references? Am I to be the only one who understands what it is that he is saying?

I hope not. I hope he gathers around himself, in time to come, others to share his view and understanding of the world. That is vital in the long-term. One day, I may not be here - and Ainan will not be able to refer to me, to share his latest wonderment. I hope that day never comes, but statistics and the history of mankind are against me on that one.

Ainan sees a beauty in the world that few others know - and it is doubtful whether any other 8 year old is quite as aware of the beauties of science, as Ainan is. At least, we have never encountered such a child. Ainan, therefore, must come to his own understandings and be his own witness to the beauty of the things he encounters and ideas he has. I am here, for now, to share in them, with him - and, one day, perhaps, there will be others who can see what he does and understand it with him.

Yet, Ainan is also privileged to see, understand and know the things he does. For, in doing so, he has a much richer appreciation of the unseen world all around us. He has a deeper grasp of reality than most ever achieve. He sees the reality of the molecular world on which all of us are founded. His eyes are searching deeper, still, now, as he branches off into studying the physical world. One day, perhaps, he will see things no-one has ever seen before. I hope he will be well equipped by then, to explain what he sees and share his understandings. It is my job, as a parent, I suppose, to ensure that he is so prepared.

In the meantime, I will continue to enjoy his outbursts of enthusiasm and the moments of excitement he has when he sees something new and learns something amazing, or comes to some insight, on his own, of what was previously unknown. It all gives a new dimension to fatherhood, beyond what might be expected.

Happy parenting, all!

(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, a scientific child prodigy, aged eight years and four months, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, four years and nine months, and Tiarnan, twenty-six months, please go to: I also write of gifted education, IQ, intelligence, the Irish, the Malays, Singapore, College, University, Chemistry, Science, genetics, left-handedness, precocity, child prodigy, child genius, baby genius, adult genius, savant, wunderkind, wonderkind, genio, гений ребенок prodigy, genie, μεγαλοφυία θαύμα παιδιών, bambino, kind, niño, gênio criança, gifted adults and gifted children in general. Thanks.)

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 10:28 PM 


Blogger azlan said...

i love to read your blog. are prodigies can be made? i have watched a national geographic programme about a girl who was conditioned by her father to be top champion chess master.

2:05 PM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

I, personally, don't think that a prodigy can be made. In the case of the girl you mention, her father was a very intelligent man. Would his programme have worked if she did not have good genes to inherit? There is no telling...but I don't think so.

When I was at school there were people who did well because they were bright and there were people who did well because they worked very, very hard. The latter never became as good as the former in terms of their ability to think. It just didn't happen.

If your genes are not good, very good, I don't think prodigiousness is possible. If the genes are right, then it is possible.

3:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On a slightly related note, the chemist Albert Hoffman died recently.

11:55 AM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Yes. It is related thank you for pointing this out. He deserves a post, I think. By the way, he was not only a very good Chemist - but he lived an astonishing 102 years.

More later.

Kind regards.

12:53 PM  
Blogger azlan said...

g'day mr cawley,

the girl that i mentioned is susan polgar. she was aired in "my brilliant brain", national geographic. oh btw, she's a blog. that's

for me, i believe prodigiouness can be made; provided there are appropriate modules tailored.

cheers (-:

2:43 PM  

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