Someone else got the t-shirt. :(
And, yes, it isn't a case of bragging. There's virtually nothing that has been invented that isn't "obvious", once you think about it. And there are only so many ways something can be done. So similarity of ideas is bound to occur a lot.
This doesn't mean it's a "nothing" thing to come up with these ideas. What it means is that social norms and social structure are usually placed first.
Now, that's not always a bad thing. Even if a 5 year old DOES come up with an idea for nuclear fusion, you really don't want to start handing them reactor cores.
On the other hand, ignoring kids because the adults have put themselves on a pedestal is stupidity.
Some of the other posters have said that the bar has been raised over time. In absolute terms, I'll give that a "maybe". New species of plants, animals and insects are still being discovered. Australia's Wollami Pine did not require an expert to find.
In astronomy, amateurs find more comets and asteroids than "professionals", largely because amateurs are the ones looking. Since kids can look through a telescope as easily as anyone else, you can't convince me that they are incapable of discovering things.
Maths. It has been proved (by some VERY complex maths) that Fermat's Last Theorum is correct, due to a 1:1 correspondance between two different types of geometric construction. Know any kids who can draw? It might prove much more long-winded, but I bet a kid could derive a proof, in time, by construction alone.
Also Maths. The 4-Colour Problem. Got Crayons?
Paleantology. Just find a rich fossil bed, and dig. If you don't find anything rare or unique, over 4 or 5 years, you're either really unlucky or really not looking.
Marine Biology. Cetatian sounds can be studied using nothing more complex than a wrapped microphone and a PC with a sound card. Since there =ARE= no "experts" in this field, kids will know as much as anyone else, and are at no disadvantage through age.
Rocket Science. A British amateur rocket club, until very very recently, used sugar as a principle ingredient of the fuel. I think this is something kids can get hold of, fairly easily, don't you?
This list is not exhaustive, or intended to be. It's intended to show that the bar is actually staggeringly low in places, and a baby could practically roll over it.
Kids with active imaginations and a low boredom threshold are being diagnosed ADHD and pumped full of drugs to make them more controllable.
(That's not to say ADHD isn't a real problem. It is. It's just that tired, frustrated teachers in overcrowded classrooms, trying to maintain what they perceive as discipline, make really, really, lousy psychiatrists.)
[ Parent ]