Wednesday, June 27, 2007


The "why" questions are the most difficult, taxing my creativity, religious upbringing and scientific mind all at once. Yesterday while driving, I was asked by Wm, "Why does God let you get killed?" In what seemed like minutes but was only seconds, my mind zipped through possible answers to this question. I could try the "original sin" story, how Adam and Eve sinned, causing God to allow us to suffer and die. I tossed this aside for the moment, thinking it could get into a very long conversation. I settled for "because if we all had babies, no one ever died, the world would become overpopulated and we'd not have enough food for everyone." That seemed to be something (having enough food) that his young mind could handle.

Ah, another question laid to rest for the moment. "But why does God let you itch?"
Humph! Another question, and this one not so easy. What was the advantage to humans to become itchy? I explained about plants that have protection against other living things harming them, and some of them cause us to itch. Some insects need to bite us to get their food, and their bites itch. But how does one explain allergies, asthma, itchy eyes? Perhaps because of our human nomadic existence, our genes ended up in the wrong climate or biosphere?

Another time, the boy asked how all the water stacks up in the pool. I pointed to the sides and how the walls contain the liquid. He wanted more detail. How is it that when you put your foot in the water, that there is water underneath, and the water moves aside for your leg? How does water keep together. Luckily, I had that answer, describing molecules of liquid being a good deal like marbles that on the ground, roll away from each other, but in a bowl, are all together. Okay, okay, that's simplistic, and yes, I do know about water molecules having an affinity for each other. He's five, okay? But his questions are tough!


lisa-chan said...

how random, the need to know the biological purpose of itching.

pita-woman said...

I guess just be thankful he has a thirst for knowledge.

Mary said...

Someday, Cathy, you will be glad for your blog to help you remember all William's questions. I wish I had written down my children's questions. Back then, we didn't have blogs. I much prefer the fact questions. I still remember our elder daughter asking early on, "How many teeth does a rabbit have?" That one I could research. Back then I had to go to the library. Philosophical questions and religious questions are much harder.

whitetr6 said...

cuz otherwise, ice would have holes in it?

molecule schmolecule :-)

William keeps me so entertained. What a great kid. Thanks for sharing!


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