Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Editor Friend's Assertion That 4-Year-Olds Ask 300 Questions A Day. What Does Science Show?

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Dear Elaine,

As always, thanks for your daily thought.

The first thing that came to my mind -- as a person with nine years of university training and three college degrees -- was a question.

"Is it true that 4 year olds ask 300 questions a day?" (Online, the more frequently cited number is 437 questions a day.)

I said to myself: "300 inquiries per day would require almost non-stop recitation of questions, which, in my experience as a father and neighborhood "shuttlecraft operator," did not match up (at all!) with my actual experience of children. 

I also asked myself whether the assertion that "4 year olds ask 300 questions" a day was a comfortable way for many non-college-educated adults (who often rely on shibboleths, "old chestnuts" and "articles of faith" to the relative exclusion of searching questions) to malign or impugn college-educated people who, in fact, ask lots of questions.

The surpassing beauty, elegance and utility of The Scientific Method is that humankind actually succeeded in devising a method of inquiry -- a method independent of belief, pre-supposition and superstition -- which, by its innate structure, obliges scientists to try to disprove their hypotheses.

The next time a child is entrusted to your care, have a pencil and paper ready to make a hash mark every time the child asks a question. 

Then calculate the number of questions the child asks per hour and finally multiply the hourly figure by 14, the number of waking hours in a child's day. 

However, since a typical 3-4 year old spends 3 hours a day in front of a "screen," the actual number of hours available for asking questions is 11. 

If a child asks 300 questions a day, s/he will ask 27 questions every available waking hour. 

I am prepared to be surprised.

However, after you've "run the test" and reported your findings, I do not anticipate a surprise.

That said, "science is science." 

Let's find out!

Image result for pax on both houses, global warming trump
And pigs fly.
Pax tecum


PS Here is a compendium of well-documented blog posts that probe the widespread-and-growing acceptance of falsehood under Donald Trump. Thomas Aquinas is spinning in his grave with enough rotational force to power turbines that would supply Earth's energy needs in perpetuity.

Compendium Of Pax Posts Concerning Trump's Habitual Lying

On Tue, May 9, 2017 at 11:14 AM, EK wrote:

I read that "Average 4-year-old asks 300 questions a day. Average college grad: 20.”

Does this mean that college grads know it all? Or they stop being inquisitive? H-M-M-M … :)

Have a Great Day … 


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