Science at Home

Exploring with an 8 Month Old Child

It’s certainly never too soon to begin the exploration of our universe… “newborn” is actually a good starting point. Today, I spent about 30 relaxing, calm minutes in our front yard with my 8 month-old son, Andrew. We didn’t do anything complicated, didn’t talk more than necessary, and just took a wandering stroll through the yard. No preparation was required, no special knowledge of my local habitat was needed… just open eyes, ears, and the freedom to touch. And, a fabulously simple learning experience was had by both father and son.

I tried to follow Andrew’s gaze, so as something caught his attention we would head in that direction. We spent extra time up close with several different trees touching the various textures of bark, watching ants crawl, and even had a surprise discovery of a miniature monster: an abandoned cicada shell. This bug frozen in time was certainly fun to grab, lightly crush, and drop to the ground.

A rainbow-color pinwheel was also an attention grabber, so we spent time watching the breeze make the petals spin… what a surprise, as it seemed to happen all on its own!

So, explore with your children… as early as they begin to develop a focus… and help them learn to discover the universe, one tree leaf at a time.

An Experiment in Consciousness

In only a few days (or less), my wife and I will have our second child, a son named Andrew. I have a deep interest in the human brain as well as the underlying functions that give rise to what we consider human consciousness… a natural phenomenon that remains completely out of the range of current scientific explanation.

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I hold the hypothesis that human beings actually develop consciousness well after delivery into this world, and that there is a transition into this higher functioning state. Starting with the birth of Andrew, I will work on a journal of observations to record his development in an attempt to identify this transitional process. Although these observations will be entirely subjective and experiential, I do anticipate that we might find just a glimpse into the development of this one infant human brain and how it interacts with and evolves in our world.

Follow along with the journal in Neuron News from Dynamic Patterns under the Topical Category “Raising Consciousness,” and let me know what you think as well as provide me with any guidance or suggestions you might have during my observational experiment.

Last updated January 16, 2021