A long period of scientific tests has produced evidence of a fact that has immense metaphysical significance.
After successive tests, and reviews of related scientific literature from the past 30 years, Kristy vanMarle, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences in the College of Arts and Science, University of Missouri, arrived at a startling proposition: Infants have an innate sense of “intuitive physics.”
Infants as young as two months ‘know’ that unsupported objects will fall, and that hidden objects do not cease to exist. By the onset of the fifth month, infants have an expectation that non-cohesive substances like sand or water are not solid.
VanMarle says that infants use this ability to predict the future. “Intuitive physics include skills that adults use all the time. For example, when a glass of milk falls off the table, a person might try to catch the cup, but they are not likely to try to catch the milk that spills out. The person doesn’t have to consciously think about what to do because the brain processes the information and the person simply reacts. The majority of an adult’s everyday interactions with the world are automatic, and we believe infants have the same ability to form expectations, predicting the behavior of objects and substances with which they interact.”