Wisdom of babes:
A few decades ago most people who thought about babies thought of them as being sort of little robots with little grasp of the world around them.  The exception was people who actually spent time rearing them, who seem to have regarded them as very young people.

For years now, science has been looking at actual evidence and seems to be coming around.  (How Babies Think, Alison Gopnik SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN vol. 303 no. 1 July 2010 page 76)  When something seems to be against expectation the baby will stare.  If an object seems to pass through a solid wall or if an apparently random clutch of balls mostly of one color is drawn from a container containing mostly another, the baby will notice.  They can also at a very young age interpret others’ desires, experiment and understand how mechanisms work. 

Furthermore when presented with a machine that worked in a novel way very young children having already mastered similar machines, were more ready to adapt to the rules of the new one than were similarly experienced adults.

In other words for some things the babies and very young children are better at evaluating evidence than are adults, who rely smugly on their preconceptions. 

For someone who is interested in challenging preconceptions, this is both good and bad.  The bad thing is that adults seem impervious to evidence.  We already knew that.  But babies and very young children are more open to it. 

It may be a dominance thing.  The adult thinks he or she ought to be in control of everything around, and learning a new fact is an admission of not having been omniscient before.  If I ever figure out a way around that, I shall certainly let you know.

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