Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Scientific Method

religion, science, babies, baby, christian, creationism, ray, hovind, atheism, atheist,

My newest niece just turned one*. I caught a ride to work with my sister and my niece, we'll call her Blondie, was in the back seat with a half-full bottle of formula.

I watched Blondie as she tried to get formula out of the bottle without sucking on it. Her first try was to hold the bottle upside-down. This did not work. Then she tried holding the bottle upside-down and shaking it, with no success. Blondie then experimented with variations on the same theme: holding the bottle at a 90 degree angle, holding it straight out from her body like a wand, with and without shaking, etc.

Eventually, Blondie ended up accidentally squeezing the nipple of the bottle and formula flew out. Success! She then worked out the most efficient way to squeeze the nipple (gripping it with her fingers in the manner of milking a cow) and formula was everywhere, at which point the experiment was abruptly ended.**

Blondie proved to me that humans are born knowing the scientific method. She formulated a hypothesis: If I hold the bottle upside-down, formula will come out. She tested that hypothesis. She worked out the results: formula does not come out when I hold the bottle upside down. She then reformulated the hypothesis: if I hold the bottle upside-down and shake it, formula will come out. She then repeated this process until she got her desired result.

So why is it that my one-year-old niece has a complete, intuitive understanding of science while asshats like Ray Comfort and Ed (Ted? Ken? Whatever.) Hovind can't figure it out?

Oh, wait, that's right- my niece is an atheist, being one year old and all.

Yeah, religion's harmless.

*I really wish I could show you a video of her. She is just the cutest thing ever, but this is the internet and there are pervs. Lots of pervs. Pervy pervs.

**My sister knew what was going on the whole time. She thought it was funny, too, until formula started raining all over the inside of her car.


  1. You might not be old enough to notice the changes in education, but people are finally realising that you don't have to wait to teach humans complicated precepts. What I mean is, kids are being taught at five what I wasn't taught until seven or eight, that could probably be a lot lower yet. Anyhow I love watching kids the age of your neice or thereabouts learning about and interacting with their world.

  2. That is a great age for kids to discover things. The kiddo did, and still does, discover how to do the most amazing things. Which is all well and good until the first time she gets a hold of a bottle of bath soap and dumps it on her bed in an effort to wash her sheets. Such a mess! LOL!

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  4. Aww, how cute! I am so stealing that for my blog. (Don't worry, there's a point to it, other than disseminating cuteness. ;-))

    What does that have to do with the topic at hand (baby figuring out how to use bottle)?

  5. I remember my parents rigging the gate to our fence with a nut & bolt assembly, to keep me (at age 2-something) from opening the gate and running out onto our busy street. I also remember discovering the revolutionary principle of "lefty-loosey / righty-tighty" all on my own with no tutoring whatsoever. I wonder if my parents ever noticed that I didn't even bother going OUT the gate. Just knowing how to unlock it was enough for me.

  6. LOL. Stop interacting with the bottle, Blondie. The formula will come out when God wills it to.

  7. Awww, cute.

    This reminds me of Dawkins's idea that it's as ridiculous to speak of a "Christian child" or a "Muslim child" as a "Marxist child."

  8. kids are really smart, MUCH smarter than we tend to give them credit for.

    i used to have this adorable dog, very similiar to PFs dog. his name was Xanadu, and he was a good 90 pounds-and-growing, when i had to give him away.

    i had to give him away because at the time, i was living with my sister's family as nanny to my niece. and somehow (when i was off duty - i was at a friends house, both my sister and her husband were home) PJ had, at not quite 3 years old, gotten past the child-gate on the stairs, up the stairs, into their bedroom, into the TOP of their closet, and pulled out one of Bro-in-Laws LARGE daggars (all the weapondry was kept up really high - we all have knives and swords and a naginata, etc). then she retraced her path,
    and i got this frantic phone call, i needed to come home RIGHT NOW because PJ had been Hitting the dog with the daggar, and while the dog hadn't done anything yet, it was only a matter of time

    i came rushing home - and for some damned reason, PJ still had the daggar!. there would have been ZERO problem if they had just taken away the fucking daggar. i STILL, ten years later, don't understand why they didn't take the daggar away! who hell allows a 3-year-old to PLAY WITH A DAGGAR, at least once you see that she is?!?!!?
    they *ALSO* didn't even move the dog - they could have put the dog in my room, and it would have been fine, instead of having 15 or so small nicks/cuts. (and, PLEASE NOTE: the dog in NO WAY did anything but try to move away from the kid - he couldn't move far, because as soon as i left, my sister leashed him to a door, for some stupid fucking reason i don't understand. but the Xanadu - he didn't snap at the kid, or push her, or claw her, or anything. he might have whined - but he did not act in ANY agressive manner, even WHILE HE WAS BEING HURT. i miss my puppy :(

    so, i looked at my sis and her husband, saw that they were NEVEREVEREVEREVER going to actually PARENT their child, i looked at the child who didn't even realize that she was doing anything wrong until i TOLD her she had (and was really upset that she hurt Xanadu, after i showed her where and how she had done so - she "helped" me patch him up)
    and i realized that there was no way this was going to work - the puppy didn't react *this* time. but i wasn't always there, and my sis and her husband NEVER did anything to stop PJ from doing stupid shit (i mean, BIL had, one time, told PJ to stay out of the kitchen. an hour later, he's in the kitchen, she comes in. he watches her come in, says nothing, watches her notice the red burner, and watches as she reaches for the pretty glowing burner and says NOTHING until after she burned the fuck out of herself - at which point he fucking says "see, i told you to stay out". this was shortly after her 3rd BDay. i'm pretty positive that she had either thought that she was now allowed in the kitchen (cuz he didn't say anything), or she had forgotten all together that she wasn't allowed in.

    the dog needed to go to someplace that either had no children, or that had children whose parents actually parented.
    i found a wonderful family, they let me visit a few times, but i had to stop because Xaadu threw such a fit when i left...

    at 2 ys and 9 months, PJ knew how to open the child gate, open the door, figured out how to open the lock on the closet, and figured out how to climb to the TOP of the closet and get things down.


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