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Every Child Is Born a Scientist

Majid Ali, M.D.

Who is a scientist? Anyone who allows Nature to be the teacher. Anyone who observes things without prejudice. Anyone who sees things as they are, without calling them good or bad. For example, when a little girl is told that the same substance can be solid, liquid or gas, she cannot say that is true or false. However, if she sees a chunk of solid ice melt into water and that water rises as vapor when heated, she is a scientist when she says that the same substance can be found in all three forms, solid, liquid, and gas.

Let us take another example. A little boy sees a picture of a dancing girl with fourteen arms. He is a scientist if he says he has seen a picture of a girl with fourteen arms. He is not a scientist if he claims that there are girls with fourteen arms.

Another example: When a woman looks at the skin of a Nigerian under a microscope and says that the skin is dark because it has more melanin pigment, she is a scientist. When a man claims that people of Denmark who have blonde hair are more intelligent than those with dark hair, he is not a scientist. He is ignorant.

Since all children have an ability to observe things around them, they are all scientists. Some of them study scientific subjects of different types—chemistry, biology, and others—and continue to do science by using scientific methods. Some others study law and become lawyers and judges. They apply man-made laws in court rooms. When other law-makers change those laws, lawyers and judges abandon old laws and apply new laws. I add that most lawyers and judges do not stop observing natural phenomena, and remain scientists, even though their professional work is not scientific (because they follow man-made laws).

By the above examples, I make the distinction between the study of natural phenomena—the science of observation of natural law (order of things)—and the study of man-made laws and beliefs , which is not science.

Many people make the mistake of thinking that science is only done with test tube experiments in the laboratory. I point out that Charles Darwin, the most frequently quoted scientist in biology, never performed a test tube experiment in his research that led to his discovery of evolution by natural selection.

Science is the process of observing nature. It is purity of observation. Scientific knowledge is testable, hence refutable. That is the primary strength of science. It is self-correcting. It owns nothing and is not owned by anyone. It does not have any beliefs, nor does it accept any ideology. So, a true scientists is always eager to make new observations and is willing to change his opinions when that becomes necessary.

Children's Learning Fields
Every Child Is Born A Scientist
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