A Bit of General Revelation: Babies Can Think

Dear Reader,

In my continuing quest for a reformed theology of education (see this post and this one), I have been focusing on special revelation — i.e. what God tells us in His Word– but we can also learn from general revelation. General revelation is that which we can learn from God’s Creation and this includes what we learn through science (see this post on methodology).

In that light, I ran across this summary of a paper in the magazine Science which argues that babies not only think but that they are capable of quite high level thought. Basically, researchers found that babies can infer how much adults value different goals based on how hard they work to attain them. Most interesting to me was the last paragraph in which one of the researchers, Elizabeth Spelke, observes (if I may paraphrase) that, as babies have so much to learn about the world, it should not be surprising that they are capable of complicated and high level thought.

This idea may not seem revolutionary but if you consider how children have been seen historically — as lumps of clay, blank slates, and so on — it is really quite something to be able to show that there is not just real cognition but high level thinking in those little brains. And, to bring this back to my enterprise, it gives us scientific evidence, in addition to the biblical witness, to reinforce the idea that even the smallest children can and should be considered as full people.


One response to this post.

  1. […] Because knowledge is intimate and relational (see #s 15 & 16 above), even the youngest children are capable of knowing. (History of Education:1500-1800; Babies Can Think) […]


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