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 +

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Where things come from.

Today, Tiarnan, five, asked one of his quintessential Tiarnanisms. I use the term to capture the distinct way he thinks about the world.

His mother had just been cooking. Tiarnan looked across at the sum of her work and enquired:

“Mummy made the soup...but who made God?”

His mother had no answer but a captivated smile. Once again, Tiarnan had asked a question that I doubt any other person has framed, in exactly the same way, ever at all.

Tiarnan is much troubled by the question of God, at present. His elder brother, Fintan, eight, has been heard to complain:

“Mummy: Tiarnan won’t leave me in peace, in the bathroom: he is always asking me about God!”

Tiarnan has come to see the question of who made God, as a bit of a problem. He understands the idea of a being that makes all things...but then, he is led, ineluctably, to the question of how the maker made themselves – or who made the maker. Like a good little scientist, he has seen the logical problem in the God Solution, to the origin of the Universe – and it concerns him.

Now, I could sit him down and tell him of my own thoughts on the matter. However, I don’t think I will. I believe that it is better for him to ponder this question on his own and come up with his own thoughts on it. Besides, telling him my thoughts, would only deprive him of the pleasure and reward of thinking it through himself. So, I will let him ponder – and enjoy the reports of his thoughts, as they fall off his tongue, at random intervals, in the times to come. It is better that way. Childhood is more entertaining, when left to the children, to think through.

Posted by Valentine Cawley

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 8:59 PM 


Blogger Christine said...

That's right, let him have his moment of growth in pondering things for himself. :)

Ultimately, when it comes to religious thoughts, everyone does have to come to their own conclusion.

9:40 PM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

I believe in the freedom of each of us to come to our own views about the world, life and everything in it. The world is more interesting, if everyone has their individual take on it.

Best wishes to you, Christine.

9:59 PM  
Blogger anonymous said...

Dear Valentine,

That was an interesting comment you made.

Would you make the same allowance for the likes of Osama bin Laden, or David Koresh for that matter?


11:38 PM  
Blogger Pam Lim said...

Hm... I don't think he is questioning about his religion or about God. I think he questioning his own existence as well. Your boy is very advanced. Most people only question this when they are about to enter into adolescence. Have fun with your unusual brood.

It is tough, but I know your journey will be worth the while. :)

6:21 PM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Though he has long been doing this, I still find myself surprised at the depth of his questions. He sees really far into things.

Thank you for your hopeful words about the journey ahead. I know you are further along than we are. I look forward to it!

9:35 PM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Re. Osama and Koresh.

No. I would not stand by if I saw danger in a person's viewpoint. There is no danger in my son's questioning of the world - only curiosity, logic and his own evident insight. There is no need for intervention therefore. He is not leading himself anywhere that will be problematic for him or others.

I am a moral person. If I saw trouble in someone's stance, I would comment, intervene, or try to persuade them otherwise.

Thanks for your comment.

5:01 AM  

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