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, April 30, 2012

Samantha Schermanhorn and Kaylie George: proof that humans are not an intelligent species.

Samantha Schermanhorn and Kaylie George, both 13, have recently, and rather unwittingly, proved that the human species is not an intelligent one. Indeed, their action does suggest that some humans are less intelligent than a typical wild animal.

Samantha Schermanhorn and Kaylie George decided to go sunbathing recently. Now, you might think there is nothing particularly stupid about sunbathing (apart from the risk of skin cancer)...except that Samantha Schermanhorn and Kaylie George had a brilliant idea about just where to sunbathe. They chose to do so on the surface of a rural Pennsylvanian road. That is right, they were sunbathing in the road.

Now, here is where it gets even more stupid. They both fell asleep. Guess how they woke up? That is right. They woke up when they were struck by a car. Curiously, this car happened to have been driven by one of Schermanhorn's cousins. The 19 year old young man had stopped at a stop sign, then made a turn – before he ran over his dumb cousins. Apparently, though, both girls survived the collision and are now in the Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh, to which they had been airlifted. News articles didn’t say whether they were in a special ward, for the uniquely dumb.

Seriously, though, this incident does show that humanity is not universally intelligent. Commentators about the human species always speak of the “intelligence” of the human race – but frankly, modern man does not bear this out. There are many very stupid people in this world – people who do things a dog wouldn’t think to do. I very much doubt whether a dog would choose to sunbathe in the middle of the road. A dog would know that cars are going to come along and drive over him or her, if they did that. It seems, though, that these two teenage girls weren’t bright enough to see the danger that sunbathing on a road put them in.

Any discussion of the intelligence of the human species needs to be more honest about the situation. Humans are not universally intelligent. In fact, the average human IQ is just 90 – which is pretty dumb, really. However, this should be further understood to mean that half of humanity has an IQ LESS THAN 90. Really, there are billions of dumb people out there...and some of them, like Samantha Schermanhorn and Kylie George are REALLY threateningly stupid.

So, future discussions of the “intelligence” of the human species should note that humanity has a small, intelligent minority, but that vast hordes of humanity are really not very bright at all. Just ask Samantha Schermanhorn and Kaylie George. I am sure their replies, to any question at all, would be pretty convincing on the matter.

Posted by Valentine Cawley

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 12:06 PM 


Blogger Mark Chadwick said...

Wow, elitist much?

I don't have problem with and am glad to see a father celebrating your own gifted children but to denigrate other 13 year old children for having a terrible lapse in judgement is not the way to make your child stand out.

If you were criticizing an adult who should have the experience and the brain development under their belt to realize that laying down on an infrequently traveled rural road was still risky, I would say go for it.

But these are 13 year old children who are now lying in the hospital with severe injuries suffering the consequences of their bad decision. My guess is they are intelligent enough to learn from this and never make a similar mistake in their lives.

Stick to building your child up. Don't tear other children down.

12:13 AM  
Blogger Cowcharge said...

And sunscreen is no protection from SUV rays.

2:49 AM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

I am not being “elitist”, Mark...I am being a realist about the human condition. In an absolute and not only relative sense, a great proportion of humans are not intelligent.

I am not trying to make my children stand out by “denigrating other 13 year old children”. I am simply being straightforward in my assessment of their implicit cognitive capacity. I am being honest. In many circles that is regarded as a good quality.
You try to excuse these 13 year olds by making a case that they don’t have the experience and brain development to realize that laying down in a rural road is dangerous. Really? Do you honestly believe that at 13 years old they would not have had time to observe that roads are dangerous? When my youngest child was a few months old, he was aware of the dangers of cars and made a point of shouting out a warning to his elder brothers at the approach of a car. Now that is about five or six months old. If a child that young is aware of the dangers, just how stupid is a 13 year old who is not aware of the dangers?

At 13 years old, the brain is relatively mature. The peak of intelligence is about 15 years old or they are very near their peak, in that sense. If they aren’t bright enough at 13, it does suggest that they are unusually lacking in the intelligence department.

I am not tearing Schermanhorn and George down. I am just being honest in my assessment of them. I am not hiding behind PC nonsense, and other dishonest practices. These are not bright girls. That is clear. They are not alone in their dumbness, however. A good chunk of humanity is just as dumb as they are. That was my further point in the second half of my post. Perhaps you didn’t understand that. I am not picking on these particular girls. I am highlighting the often ignored fact that humanity as a whole is not intelligent. Vast swathes of humanity are pretty dumb. This is not elitism. This is unavoidable fact.

12:34 PM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Thank you Cowcharge!

12:36 PM  
Blogger kyt said...

You realize, of course, that a google search of either of these children's names comes up with your mean-spirited blog post. Quite a stunning and literal illustration of adding insult to injury, here... Was it really worth it?

5:26 AM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

I am not "mean spirited" and neither is my blog post. If you understand it to be so, then you haven't understood it. My blog post is simply giving an honest and realistic assessment of the girl's ostensible intelligence or lack thereof, in the light of this incident. It is, moreover, widening the picture to include the vast fraction of humanity who are also similarly none too bright. It is not, therefore, picking on them, in particular, but using them as an example of a general phenomenon: that much of humanity is not very bright at all. This is overlooked in PC talk. I am not constrained by PC limits. I prefer to be direct and honest. If that offends you, then it suggests you would rather I was of the PC brigade. Sorry. I am not.

I am not responsible for Google. So, why do you attempt to make me so? Google ranks things according to their importance and relevance to a topic. Clearly, its algorithms view my article as important and relevant. It is irrational to blame me for that...all I did was write a short, honest reflection on the situation.

There is no insult in my words. Insult would imply that my words were meant to hurt, in some way and that, perhaps, they were not true. My words are simply a true reflection of the situation. Is one not allowed to speak truthfully any more in this world? Would you rather I praised their intelligence, for finding such a warm spot to sunbathe, out of the shade of trees? Would that be the "smart" way to look at it?

If you google their names, you will find many, many sites, filled with comments remarking on the girls' stupidity, dumbness and general bovine condition. There are hundreds of thousands of such comments. So, why do you think I should be singled out for having a similar opinion? My reference to their lack of intelligence, is but one in many hundreds of thousands? That view is EVERYWHERE on the Internet. Just search their name with the word "dumb" at the end of it and see how many references you get. There are loads of them.

I suggest, given the situation, that you write a special note to everyone who thinks they are dumb. That should take you the rest of your life.

My view, is the common view about their action. Having a go at me, won't change that. Nor will it take down the hundreds of thousands of statements - many of them far more unkind than anything I have written on the matter. Some of them are cruel. My words are not.

11:32 AM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

By the way, Mark Chadwick, the girls are NOT "seriously injured" as you term it. You are just trying to engender sympathy for them...rather inappropriately, actually. Their injuries consist purely of lacerations to the ear, head and a few other places. That is it. Nothing is broken. A hospital spokesman described them as being "in fair condition". They are NOT in serious condition. Stop being dishonest to create a more favourable response to the situation. They were lucky, however. Their action could have killed them.

2:31 PM  
Blogger PomoBear said...

When I first saw the article in the Chicago Sun I thought: "what on earth were they thinking..."

There might be more to the story though. The newspaper didn't give many details on the road itself, maybe it was usually blocked and recently re-opened? I find it hard to believe that the two girls would sunbathe on a regularly used road.

I think the reason you have been berated so much for your blog is because your rhetoric regarding the girls is pretty harsh. But I'm pretty sure you didn't mean to be that sharp. In writing a sarcastic tone can be construed as an insulting one just because there are no expressions or tone of voice to show otherwise.

Anyway ultimately their decision was a stupid one, but I'm glad to see that they live to tan another day. Hopefully they got some sense knocked into them (literally).

7:57 AM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Thank you Pomobear, for your fairer response...indeed, rational response, to my blog post. It is heartening to have one such voice in the comments!

Actually, I have seen a picture of the road (with the yellow incident tape around the area the girls were sunbathing). It is quite a narrow road, lined with grass. However, what makes their action even dumber than revealed in the news story, is that the place they were sunbathing, is on a little hill in the road. They were on one side of that hill fairly near the top of the hump. Now, this meant two things. Firstly, they would have been completely unable to see any cars coming from one direction - even if they were awake, because their view was blocked by the crest of the hill. Secondly, NO car would be able to see them, just over the top of the hill, coming from behind the hill. They chose the worst possible spot to sunbathe. They chose a spot at which it wouldn't even be safe to cross the road, never mind sunbathe in it.

I think, given the total circumstances of the sunbathing incident, it does very much seem like they did something very stupid. It is clear that they gave no thought to where they were sunbathing at all. It seems they are unable to make contextual judgements regarding personal danger. Now, I don't know about you, but my children could do that in their first few months of it doesn't take long for a kid to pick up this kind of information...except it seems to have been missed by these two girls.

Yes. They are lucky to have survived, with minor injuries. Hopefully, this will have taught them a lesson to think more carefully, in future, about the consequences of their decisions.

As for berating comments...there is one comment that is so harsh, I couldn't publish it, just in case my children saw it. It was very offensive. What is funny about these comments is that people are not willing to accept the obvious about this situation: that what the girls did was very stupid and life threatening. They all seem to want to ignore this fact. I think this is a perilous attitude to take towards life threatening stupidity.

I do hope you get to read this Pomobear because I would like your thoughts on the sunbathing on a hill aspect.

Thank you.

9:07 AM  
Blogger Summer said...

Hi Valentine,

This is PomoBear, (I just changed my ridiculous account name... I made it when I was 12)

Anyway, your hill analysis is pretty interesting, it shows the magnitude of their foolishness. Now, my thoughts are now back to the "what on earth were they thinking" stage...

Perhaps it was just a quiet road and they felt that they would be safe lying on it for an hour? But I still don't understand why they couldn't just lay on the grass, or at least on a better spot in the road where they could see the cars coming...

Moving on, I think that this is a touchy subject because the victims were younger, and because they were injured. Although its true that you should have kept your rhetoric involving the girls from being too harsh, I feel that a lot of these negative comments are over reactions.

I mean, the bottom line is that what those girls did was awfully foolish and unintelligent. If people are too scared to acknowledge that much, well then they won't be able to teach their own kids not to do the same.


1:11 PM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Yes, I understand why it is a touchy subject...but at the same time, I think people are being too PC about it. There is a great reluctance to call out sheer stupidity as sheer stupidity. Nearly everyone seems to want to make excuses for them. However, making excuses for stupidity doesn't make people any less likely to be stupid in future.

The grass verge was very wide, though sloped, they would have been on the equivalent of a recliner, had they chosen to lay down on that. It looks quite comfortable enough and would have kept them safe from the road. However, it seems they preferred a hot, black, hard location to a soft green one.

There is no way the location they chose could ever be considered safe since it guaranteed that any car coming from behind the hill would hit them. The only rational reason - if one could call it rational - for choosing that location, would be a suicide attempt. It is literally suicidal to sunbathe in the location they chose, since half of all cars passing could not possibly avoid them.

I like your new name - which might be your actual name, I gather.

Thanks for commenting - and I agree, people are over-reacting. I am just saying what really should be said. This was a dumb act on the part of these two girls - an act so dumb, they are lucky to be alive.

2:26 PM  

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