An acquaintance once stunned me and a colleague when she noted she believes that, “babies are basically a lump of meat just lying there until they are 10 months old.”
After I collected my jaw from the floor, I went on a long winded explanation (okay, tirade …) about all the things that we know and that prove infants are anything but lumps of meat until they reach 10 months old. In fact, they are active learners and interactively relating beings from the very moment they are born. Babies are so visibly actively engaged that I recall my absolute incredulity at the very notion that anyone can think them “lumps of meat just lying there.”
Well, they are not “just lying there,” not one iota so. Don’t know how the notion got into this acquaintance’s head, but she was wrong.
This fabulous Ted Talk is a great (and I admit far less tirade-like) way of explaining some of how they are very much the opposite. It is well-worth listening to. In it Alison Gopnik describes some things you may not think babies can do, as well as how they might be doing them.
Oh, and don’t miss the adorable ‘little scientist thinker’ video embedded in her talk. He defines “cute”!