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, December 20, 2010

A very odd prime number

Yesterday, Ainan recounted to me a conversation he had had with Fintan, seven.

“I asked him: “What is an odd prime number?””

Fintan, answered at once. “23”.

“No,” said Ainan,”2. It is odd because it is even.”

I can only imagine what I would think would be Ainan’s style of announcement: a triumphant utterance, pleased to have surprised, by something unexpected.

Ainan, in other description of the story, rephrased it as: “2 is an odd prime number, because it is even.”

Now, I think this is quintessential Ainan type thinking. He has a liking for that which stands out, is distinctive, or unusual in any way. 2 fits this ideal, because it is the only prime number that is even. It, is, in fact, the only prime number which could ever be even – because any other even number would, obviously, be always divisible by two, making it not prime, after all.

I have an inkling that thinking about the odd or atypical, will characterize Ainan’s life work. He is very likely to devote himself to that which is exceptional, that which appears to flout rules: for that is his natural bent, to be drawn towards that which does not conform to expectation. There is, I think, much potential in such ways of thinking. We shall see what he makes of it.

(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, 10, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, 7 and Tiarnan, 4, this month, please go to:

I also write of gifted education, child prodigy, child genius, adult genius, savant, megasavant, HELP University College, the Irish, the Malays, Singapore, Malaysia, IQ, intelligence and creativity.

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 9:46 PM 


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