Scientific Methods and Analytical Brains

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Edited May 2019: We were a part of a wonderful Classical Conversations community for the first eight years of our home education journey. Now, due to poor state leadership and questionable corporate business practices, our family has elected to “consciously uncouple” from our association with the organization and we cannot recommend any others get involved at this time. 

Today was “tell a joke” day for our Classical Conversations presentations.

I believe it’s well-established that our children don’t know how to tell jokes. I have many mixed emotions in telling you Dos told three jokes this morning – not a one of them made sense.

God Bless that Child. She needs it.

The funniest part of the nonsense joke-telling is the other kids were totally ok with a joke that didn’t make sense. They laughed along and even asked her follow up questions.

It reminds me of watching Veggie Tales last week. There is thunderous applause at one point and Bob the Tomato says, “How are we clapping? We don’t have any hands!” and Larry the Cucumber says, “I have no idea.”

Then they go on. That’s the entire dialogue about the hand clapping. They’re ok with the mystery. And the kiddos who watch Veggie Tales are ok with floating hairbrushes and all the other items that float mysteriously through the air, wielded with what I can only assume are Jedi-mind tricks.

{not intending to mix my fictional characters and genres too much. what am i saying? star wars and veggie tales should not be mixed. here i go, pushing the edge of the envelope, once again!}

In case you were wondering what my point is, a question I frequently have for myself as I wander the rabbit trails of my stream of conscious, I’m really curious when we lose our comfortability with mystery.

I know I’m absolutely not ok with mystery. Surprises, uh-uh. No way. I don’t like sudden movements, gray areas, or other such questionable items and activities. I would never come up with a talking asparagus who can sling a sling shot a la Junior.

I also can’t stand the idea of telling a joke without a clear, concise point. This is why I’m typically not “ha ha” funny in person. I don’t tell jokes, I make witty observations. I hate playing those “fun” party games like Mafia or “I got this crossed and am handing it off uncrossed.”

Are you like me? Do you puzzle over children’s ability to simply accept without question? Does the idea of not having all your ducks in a row make you anxious?

My current season of life is highly child-focussed. I’m not a childhood development person, so probably 85% of my day is spent looking at my children with true puzzlement. I have no idea what they’re thinking or why they do the things they do.

I wonder if, in my desire to remove the mystery, I’ve lost track of the point of life? Perhaps humans are designed to embrace mystery, to never fully comprehend the “big picture,” to plunge ourselves into a river of uncertainty simply to see if we can swim!

What are we thwarting with our scientific methods and analytical brains?

I don’t have answers yet, but I suspect there are some good theories out there. I’d love to hear your thoughts – in your opinion, how important is the quality mystery?

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