The Scientific Method

I’m all for encouraging intelligent scientific debate. We had one here this morning so I was pleased.

We were watching a DVD where a bunch of kids & their teacher were singing & dancing, which Jallie were really enjoying. The teacher, a quite chunky lad, dresses up in character for the songs. For this one he was dressed as a lady, a rather well-padded lady.

Ellie, ever observant, says: “She’s fat!”

I didn’t have a lot of time to worry about where she picked this up from, & about her getting body-image problems before the age of 3, because she straight away followed up with:

“I’m not fat. I have boobies”.

Right, ummm, yes… Daddy was a bit lost for words.

Jake, however – who I proudly like to think has an inquiring mind – was a bit sceptical about this, & approached Ellie confidently. “You don’t have boobies”, he says.

“Yes I do” replies Ellie, lifting up her T-shirt to prove it.

“No you don’t. You have a mini”.

Ellie: “I have a mini and boobies”, lifting up her T-shirt again.

Jake: “You just have a mini. I have a willy”.

“You have a willy. I have a mini. And boobies” (T-shirt comes up again).

“I have a willy. You have a mini. You don’t have boobies”.

“I’m a girl. Girls have boobies. I have boobies”, responds Ellie, with a grasp of logic that makes me smile.*

“‘I’m a boy. I have a willy. I don’t have boobies”: also quite hard to argue with.

This went back & forth for a bit, then:

“You have a tummy-button”, poking the appropriate place as an offer of proof.

“You have a tummy-button”, also poking appropriately.

Then they went back to enjoying the singing.

Like good scientists they were able to respect each other’s contrasting point of view & to disagree amicably, then move on to find an area of agreement.

I’m pretty sure that’s how the structure of DNA was discovered isn’t it?

I’ve got that Mr Nobel‘s ‘phone number on speed-dial now, just in case…

* Yes, I know it’s a ‘non-sequitur’. Any concept that we can’t even give a proper English name to shouldn’t have to be explained to a 2-year-old, in my opinion 🙂 


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