My five year-old granddaughter is brilliant. But she shares a flaw with many other brilliant people. She absolutely hates to say “I don’t know.” And she sometimes just makes concepts up out of whole cloth in an attempt to disguise the fact that she does not know something.
Example: This evening LK brought home Chick-fil-A. Instead of packets of ketchup, for some reason she got packets of something called “Polynesian Sauce” that is red and gooey but slightly less viscous than ketchup. The following exchange ensued:
Granddaughter: Papa, this is not ketchup.
Papa: It’s not? What is it?
Granddaughter: uh, hmmm, uh, it’s Fraxee.
Fraxee? Not bad for a word she made up on the spot to disguise her ignorance. I would pass it off as an amusing stage she is going through except for one thing that really alarms me — I think my granddaughter might be a materialist. After all, if you ask a materialist how the mind can be reduced to the electro-chemical processes of the brain, they will say the mind is an “emergent property” of the brain. They say this with a straight face apparently expecting you to just swallow down their confession of ignorance disguised as an explanation. Instead of saying the mind is “emergent,” they might just as well take a cue from my granddaughter and say the mind is “Fraxee.” The accounts are equally explanatory.