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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