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 +

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The meaning of a lizard.

Tiarnan, three, sometimes asks funny questions. They are funny not because they are inherently comic, but because they are surprising indicators of what he is thinking.

Today, he asked one of his typically philosophical questions: "What are lizards FOR?", he enquired of his mother. "What are they DOING in the house?"

It was a marvellous moment - and a marvellous thought. Here was a three year old pondering the purpose and meaning of lizards. It is a pondering enough to wake an adult mind - for how many adults think of such things? How often do we pause to wonder at the world? Have not most of us ceased to do so? Yet, here, is a little boy puzzling at just what it is lizards get up to and why.

It is a more interesting question than, at first, it seems. For in asking it the way he did, he is clearly coming from a presupposition: the underlying belief that everything has a purpose and a meaning. It is a revealing insight into the way Tiarnan views the world that he should think that things have purpose. He has gone beyond the level of just accepting that something is he wants to know why it is there and what it happens to be doing. This, to me, shows that he is thinking about the world and trying to understand why it is the way it is - and not just witnessing the world (as many youngsters do) and then accepting, unquestioningly, it for what it appears to be.

Another thing I find appealing about the question is that an adult would never ask it. No adult is ever going to ask what the purpose of a lizard is just not a thought an adult mind is ever likely to frame.

Watching my children think about the world is very rewarding - and surprising too. In some very real way, their world is a new one, unlike the old one in which I live. They see the world anew...and that is very refreshing.

(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.

We are the founders of Genghis Can, a copywriting, editing and proofreading agency, that handles all kinds of work, including technical and scientific material. If you need such services, or know someone who does, please go to: Thanks.

IMDB is the Internet Movie Database for film and tv professionals.If you would like to look at my IMDb listing for which another fifteen credits are to be uploaded, (which will probably take several months before they are accepted) please go to: As I write, the listing is new and brief - however, by the time you read this it might have a dozen or a score of please do take a look. My son, Ainan Celeste Cawley, also has an IMDb listing. His is found at: My wife, Syahidah Osman Cawley, has a listing as well. Hers is found at:

This blog is copyright Valentine Cawley. Unauthorized duplication prohibited. Use Only with Permission. Thank you.)

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 9:27 PM 


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