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 15, 2013

Are prodigies in competition with others?

Today, someone from Arlington, Virginia arrived on my blog with a curious search: “Cannot become a theoretical physicist because of prodigies”. I thought this a most odd search in what it said about the searcher’s understanding of prodigies.

Firstly, let us look at the situation with regards to prodigies. Many researchers put the number of true prodigies, of all types lumped together, at one in five million people. That means that the rarer types of prodigy, such  as omnibus prodigy (the type Ainan has now demonstrated himself to be – a prodigy with a multitude of talents), are much rarer still. There are, therefore, very few prodigies. How many in Physics have there been in recorded history? Well, Wikipedia’s list of child prodigies musters only 8 names. Thus, the entire competition from child prodigy physicists amounts to just 8 people.

It takes little imagination to see, therefore, that prodigies are not, truly, in competition with the masses of others, who are not prodigious. There are too few prodigies for it to be a truly competitive situation – prodigies are simply overwhelmed numerically by the non-prodigious.

So, to my searcher in Arlington, Virginia – you need not worry about the presence of prodigies in theoretical matter how talented they are, they will be numerically too small a number, to worry about, in any real competitive sense. This applies to all categories of need worry about prodigies out competing them, because there will always be too few of them to take up all the spots at the top, as it were: there will always be space for a bright individual who took more time to develop to their fullest.

There is only one way prodigies could become real competition at the top, in all fields: and that is if they were, perhaps, a thousand times more prevalent. In such a situation, they would tend to dominate – but that situation is unlikely to happen and, in fact, would be impossible without major intervention in human evolution and population genetics. This is not likely to happen in the foreseeable future, though it is conceivable that it might happen one day – probably beginning in a state that has less scruples than others, over possible ethical issues, most likely in Asia. I doubt, however, whether that is going to be something present adults will have to face, because the relevant technologies will take a significant time to mature and may, of course, never be implemented in humans at all.

Prodigies are not anyone’s competition. What they are, is human colour: they add to the spectrum of interesting humans out there in the world and should be welcomed, not feared, or shunned. What prodigies bring to the table is so rare that it is not, truly, in competition with anyone. Each prodigy should be treasured and valued, for the human rarity they are. Then again, if people fear their competition, people will tend to hamper the prodigy’s development...they will attempt to stymie them in every way they can. That, would be a truly sad loss of the prodigy’s talents. A prodigy should be aided, in every way, to become what they may – for though they add to life and society, they don’t take away opportunity from others, because they are simply too few.

Celebrate the prodigies in your midst...and don’t worry about competing with them. It is not about competition, it is about making the best of life, for us all.

Posted by Valentine Cawley

(If you would like to support my continued writing of this blog and my ongoing campaign to raise awareness about giftedness and all issues pertaining to it, please donate, by clicking on the gold button to the left of the page.

To read about my fundraising campaign, please go to: and here:

If you would like to read any of our scientific research papers, there are links to some of them, here:

If you would like to see an online summary of my academic achievements to date, please go here: learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, 10, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, 7 and Tiarnan, 5, 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.

There is a review of my blog, on the respected The Kindle Report here:

Please have a read, if you would like a critic's view of this blog. Thanks.

You can get my blog on your Kindle, for easy reading, wherever you are, by going to:

Please let all your fellow Kindlers know about my blog availability - and if you know my blog well enough, please be so kind as to write a thoughtful review of what you like about it. Thanks.

My Internet Movie Database listing is at:

Ainan's IMDB listing is at

Syahidah's IMDB listing is at

Our editing, proofreading and copywriting company, Genghis Can, is at blog is copyright Valentine Cawley. Unauthorized duplication is prohibited. Use only with permission. Thank you.) 

Labels: , , , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button
posted by Valentine Cawley @ 3:22 PM 


Post a Comment

<< Home

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape