Daughter has reached the age of asking "why?" to everything.
"hold on to that cup with both hands"
"i don't want you to drop it"
"It's made of glass, and if you drop a glass thing it can break"
"because glass is brittle"
"because supercooling molten silicon dioxide makes an amorphous solid which is weaker than the crystalline form"
"the crystalline form has a tetrahedral lattice of ionic bonds"
"because one silicon atom can bind with four oxygen"
@nindokag Love this. I think it's fascinating that "why?" embeds both causation and relevance in its prompting for more information. Kids want to know both--i.e. "what caused this to be?" as well as "how is this relevant to me?" Such a simple word, but very complex search. It might be fun to try to explain both embeddings in parallel, e.g. "because glass is brittle and I don't want you to get hurt," or maybe switch from "causation" to "relevance" somewhere down the chain. Funny dialog though!
@jacek i can go one level deeper which is "the Pauli exclusion principle says every electron must have distinct quantum states, so the number of electrons in each shell is determined by how many states there are for quantum numbers"
but after that if she asks "why" again I have to say "I don't know!"
I think it's kinda cool how it only takes about 8 or 9 "why"s to reach the limits of human knowledge
after a couple more whys the answer should be 'we assume this as a postulate' which is followed by 'because its implications agree with everything that can be observed'. After that the anwers can go into the other direction in an endless circle, listing all phenomena verifying the postulate.
They all do this at some point.
A few go-rounds of answers, by the time I get to rayleigh scattering for blue sky questions, they aren't listening anyhow, only playing, and the answer becomes smiling something like "Because I say so. Now, would /rather/ drink your milk properly with both hands OR go sit on the stairs? Which would you like to do more?"
Just make the proposal matter-of-factly and the child will consider calmly.
Pout. Depends on the day :-)
Not my 1st rodeo
Or go Socratic, as @stsquad suggested.
@nindokag because that's just how the universe works
We haven't figured that out yet.
Because we have limited human resources.
Because we are made out of organic matter
Because that's how life happened.
We also haven't figured that out yet.
@nindokag My parents would get EXTREMELY stressed out for me asking "why". I haven't ever stopped asking "why" when I genuinely don't know something and need to know.
Society drowns our passion and thirst for knowledge because not knowing something is seen as weak. I find it extremely counterproductive to society as a whole.
We all should be asking questions as often and as soon as possible.
What a sad world to live in, one in which you don't and don't want to know what's around you.
@nindokag Also, please. Do what my mum did with me. Take her to a science museum in the morning, and let her roam around as much as she wants. Pick her up, have lunch, and go back to the museum. Or train museum, or geology museum, or even an art museum.
Feed her thirst for knowledge. Don't ever try to extinguish her flame.
It's just so beautiful. I have literal tears in my eyes. Sorry, I get emotional easily... But ... Why?
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