The Science of Curiosity

When I was a small kid, I had hundreds of questions about everything. What they taught us in school was completely distanced from my curiosity in observing the world around me.

Why are these people defecating in the bushes? Nobody in school taught me about poverty. Who are these weird looking males dressed up like women who clap their hands and ask for money? Nobody in school taught me about eunuchs. Do railway tracks that we see going off towards the far distance ever meet at the horizon? How do ships know the direction in which to travel if all they see around them is just miles of ocean? Why is this guy on TV banging his mouth on her and why are they sucking each others lips? And so on.

Nothing they taught us in school had anything to do with the questions I had as a kid.

All children, even today, face this disparity between what they are taught in school, and what they observe in real life to which they don’t find any answers.

Over time, I gained the childhood wisdom of which questions to ask, and which questions are better stored in my mind in a safe place, a vault, to be explored for answers by myself later. As the years passed, my curiosity and my ability to seek answers were always in a desperate race in which curiosity always won. Curiosity is innate and uncontrollable; a child’s ability to get answers depends on external factors such as exposure, behavior of parents, elders willing to teach you, access to information, etc. There was no Google or Wikipedia in those days.

The more questions I had, the less answers I found.

Our formalized education system expects parents to fill that gap, while parents don’t even have a rudimentary understanding that there is a gap.

The complexity of the questions increased as I grew up. I also grew to understand that if I wanted answers, I had to find them myself, and thus, find resources that would fulfill my innate need to find answers to satisfy my curiosity.

What I suspect happens to most kids is that they learn to bury their curiosity. This is one of the greatest evil perpetrated by us human beings on our children.

I was in search of my own God, not the one people go to temples and churches to worship with blind faith, but one who will satisfy my curiosity with complete reason and knowledge of the highest order.

The lesson I learned, and it was a very hard lesson, is that there is no such God.

It was several years later that I understood that the God I was seeking is what is a human endeavor called Science.

Science is curiosity in action.

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