Though you say nothing about yourself, your responses are starting to impress me. I am beginning to think you are following the old adage "it's better to keep quiet and let people think you are stupid than to open your mouth and remove all doubt!"
I have been around for a long time and seen a lot; my life has been quite an adventure. I have come to comprehend some things which are pretty universal and, I believe, the root cause of problems for the human race.
I have never met a stupid child (excepting those with brain damage sufficent to suggest an institution) but I have met many stupid adults. I have deduced that we are all born ignorant but that stupidity is achieved. The problem is with our educational system. They know how to test for knowledge but they have no idea how to measure (intelligence??-)"lack of stupidity".
I will tell a story on my son. He was born in February. As a consequence he was a babe in arms for his first summer and a toddler hardly able to speak during his second summer. That summer he loved to go to the park and feed the ducks.
One day, early in his third spring, he came running into the living room yelling "daddy, daddy there are ducks in the front yard". I went to look and there were spring birds out there but no ducks. So I took the trouble to teach him to recognize the various birds. Within a week or so he knew a lot of birds.
The problem was, when ever I asked him to name the birds he saw, after he named them all he would say, under his breath, "but they are all ducks!" It wasn't until I found some ducks that I was able to make it clear to him that a duck was a type of bird, and that a bird was not a type of duck.
His reaction surprised me. For several months he absolutly refused to discuss the issue. I think I had "broke his bird" so to speak.
What I am getting at here is that children think and analize the world around them. They make mistakes. Anyone who thinks makes mistakes - if we didn't, man would have understood the world a million years ago. The problem is that children begin to doubt their abilities to think it out for themselves and begin to take their teachers word for things.
Those who do not believe the teachers and try to think things out for themselves are thought of as stupid and find education very unrewarding while those who cease to think and only learn what they are told succeed. The problem is that if you don't think, you lose the ability.
I am a very strange person in that I managed to get to the highest level of education without ever believing my teachers. (There is another long story behind that.) What I have discovered is that the most educated people in our society are also the most stupid. I think there have been a few intelligent people with education but I think it is an extremely rare event (that's my pony that I am looking for though I have doubts I will ever meet such a person). Of course, all this is just an opinion and I could be wrong but, if I am, how come history is full of intellectual academys that block rational discourse and why should we expect the present to be different?
Have fun (and I know you will) DoctorDick