And when I say childlike, I don’t mean it in the way that so much of childhood is good. I mean the bad way.
In the last three decades, studies of children show that they quickly pick up an intuitive understanding of how the world works, say the researchers. For example, babies know that objects fall and are real and solid (even though physics experiments show they are mostly made of atoms containing empty space.) “These intuitions give children a head start when it comes to understanding and learning about objects and people. However, they also sometimes clash with scientific discoveries about the nature of the world, making certain scientific facts difficult to learn,” the review says.
“To be scientifically educated means you have to pick up a lot of counter-intuitive beliefs,” says Bloom, whose research centers on how children develop their ideas about the world. It’s perfectly rational for people to rely on intuitive beliefs about the world, i.e. that objects fall down, rather than learning Einstein’s theory of gravity, he adds. “Life is too short.” The conflict comes when intuition conflicts with scientific evidence.