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 +

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Ainan's invents mathematical notation.

Ainan has invented his own mathematical notation to express his understanding of numbers.

Now, I rather wish I could explain it, but I don't understand it. (I did sit down with him, for an explanation, but it turned out to be elusive in its complexity and I didn't have time to get to the bottom of it). It is a straightforward notation that looks simple enough when written down, but which seems to have very complex outputs. It is useful, it appears, when working with very large numbers.

The point of this observation is not about conveying a detailed understanding of his work (for that would not be of interest to most and, as I have said, I am not in a position to do so, anyway), but conveying an understanding of Ainan. He is turning his mind to other things, beyond Chemistry. His interests are spreading to Physics and Mathematics. He is beginning to do with maths, for instance, what he started to do in the early days, with Chemistry: experiment with it, to create his own projects, works, theories and practical results.

I find this heartening. You see with his wider interests in mathematical and physical areas, he looks set to become a more complete physical scientist and this will open up more options for him, in years to come.

It is sweet to note, too, his deep interest in his mathematical work. He gets a very great reward from playing with mathematical ideas in this way.

This development leaves me with less of an ability to predict his future, but more of a certainty that it will be a broad one. He is maintaining his interest in Chemistry and is continuing to develop along that line, too.

(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, a scientific child prodigy, aged eight years and seven months, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, five years exactly, and Tiarnan, twenty-eight 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.

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 11:37 PM 


Blogger Shannon said...

Years ago I met with a prominent figure in the banking industry. After a series of conversations, I walked away with the feeling that this acquaintance would have achieved the same level of success in the legal field or perhaps any field. Extraordinary intellect in a single area is often the result of an extraordinary general intellect, perhaps just being directed in a particular way. Ainan's understanding of Chemistry suggests that he can grasp other complex languages and numerical systems. I'm always impressed by how he puts his knowledge to use.

Best Wishes.

4:05 PM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Thank you Shannon. It is great that he is generalizing in this way, for it promises a more diverse future for him (which can only be good). With his new interest base, all the physical sciences and engineering disciplines are now options - for he is building the foundation of them all. Perhaps he will become even more diverse later on.

Your thoughts are warmly appreciated.

Kind regards

6:34 PM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

By the way, Shannon, I would agree with you regarding Bankers...I know one whose conversation is very stimulating and broad-ranging indeed. As you have noted, he could have succeeded in many other areas, too.

Perhaps some of these banking minds will now be free to contribute in other ways, given the chaos in the global markets. That can't be a bad thing.

Best wishes

6:39 PM  
Anonymous Crawford Hanson said...

Now if all these bankers are so smart, this whole financial mess wouldn't have happened would it?

12:09 AM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

I think their smartness or otherwise wasn't what got them into trouble...I would say it was their greed and short-sightedness that did so. (ie...making lots of money, now, at the high risk of trouble later).

I wouldn't say that all bankers are smart, however...some are, some not so.

Best wishes.

10:18 AM  
Blogger Shannon said...

Who said that ALL bankers were smart, Crawford Hanson?

5:02 PM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Hi Shannon,

I rather agree. I would say that it would be untrue to say that ALL of any class of human could be considered smart. There will always be those who are there for reasons other than smartness - even in disciplines that one would have thought require smartness.

As for smartness...enjoy what we have now, because all the evidence suggests that it is now in decline around the world. (That is the smart ones are making up an ever smaller proportion of each generation). It isn't a good prospect.

Best wishes.

5:25 PM  
Blogger Shannon said...

"As for smartness...enjoy what we have now, because all the evidence suggests that it is now in decline around the world."

I'm curious to know why you feel this way.

1:01 PM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Hi Shannon,

It is a matter of fact, unfortunately, that, for at least the last 150 years, the less intelligent have outbred the smarter in all countries that have had access to contraception. The consequence is that the world has been getting dumber (genetically) for that entire period. The trend persists and indeed is quite trackable. I came across one website that projected global iqs, year by year, to 2050 and the results are quite depressing. Truly, we are headed for stupid times (relatively speaking we are already in one, compared to former days).

No doubt there will be national and regional variations in this dysgenic anti-intellectual trend...but the global average future is pretty bleak.

I shall have to write a proper post about this with reference to data.


11:11 PM  

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