Read for Pleasure to Significantly Boost Intelligence

 

According to a recent study from the Institute of Education in London, children between the ages of 10 and 16 who read for pleasure are significantly better at math, spelling and vocabulary compared to their peers.

The study, conducted by Dr. Alice Sullivan and Matt Brown, examined 6,000 young people who had been observed by a 1970 British cohort study. The study focused on how often teenagers read during childhood and their subsequent scores in math, vocabulary, and spelling at ages 5, 10, and 16.

Related Article: Brazilian Prisoners Read Their Way to Freedom

The study found that:

those who read books often at age 10 and more than once a week at age 16 gained higher results in all three tests at age 16 than those who read less regularly.

As a lifelong, daily pleasure-reader myself, this struck me as remarkable news.  Reading for pleasure, something I find incredibly entertaining and engaging, has been shown to be intellectually beneficial, even in the realm of math!

The best part of the study though is that the researchers found that reading for pleasure is even more important for cognitive development than the parent’s level of education.

The combined effect on children’s progress of reading books often, going to the library regularly and reading newspapers at 16 was four times greater than the advantage children gained from having a parent with a degree.

This means that we are in control of our cognitive development in the same way that we can exact change on our genetic dispositions through epigenetic markers. However, parents can still play a vital role in their child’s development by reading regularly to their kids.  Children at age 5 who had parents who read to them scored better in all three tests when they were 16 compared to children without bedtime stories.

Related Article: Neocortex: How Human Memory Works and How We Learn

While it is surprising that reading for pleasure can have such a wide array of benefits on the mind, Dr. Sullivan explained that:

It may seem surprising that reading for pleasure would help to improve children’s maths scores, but it is likely that strong reading ability will enable children to absorb and understand new information and affect their attainment in all subjects.

The study showed that it is also highly important for parents to use a high vocabulary when speaking to their children as this will greatly boost the child’s vocabulary from an early age.

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“Geeky is beautiful” staticflickr.com

As Dr. Sullivan notes in her conclusions, it is is important to encourage children to read for pleasure. One of the best ways to do this is to show children the fun of reading.  Turn off the television and explore a world written on pages with your child.  Go to those worlds with them from an early age, and they will likely continue to independently read for pleasure for the rest of their lives.

Related Article: TVs, Brains and Zombies, Oh My: The Effects of TV on the Mind

Find out what your child is truly interested in, be it mystery, science fiction, fantasy, drama, romance, adventure, etc. and shower them in books. Their superior intelligence will be all the thanks you need.

 

Sources:

http://www.ioe.ac.uk/

http://www.cls.ioe.ac.uk/news.aspx?itemid=2740&itemTitle=Reading+for+pleasure+puts+children+ahead+in+the+classroom%2C+study+finds&sitesectionid=27&sitesectiontitle=News

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cohort_study

wondergressive.com/2012/08/28/epigenetics-and-altering-your-dna/

https://wondergressive.com/2013/04/04/tvs-brains-and-zombies-oh-my/

https://wondergressive.com/2012/12/13/brazilian-prisoners-read-their-way-to-freedom/

https://wondergressive.com/2013/06/12/neocortex-how-human-memory-works/

 

 

New Plausible Theory of Black Holes: Gateways to Other Universes

 

According to traditional physics, once you go far enough into a black hole, traditional physics simply ceases to be.  Any meaningful equation breaks down into nonsense. Insanity. Cosmic nincompoopery! Well, not anymore…

Einstein’s theory of general relativity states that if a person were to fall into a black hole they’d be shredded to the atomic level by a process called spaghettification, described as being stretched into an infinitely long strand of matter and energy by infinitely strong gravity.  This infinitely strong gravity is due to a singularity at the ‘end’ of the black hole, an infinitely dense area with zero volume.  A singularity is also used to describe the Big Bang.

There is a problem though; conventional physics cannot describe what occurs at a singularity point, so talking about the beginning of time or the core of a black hole has always been one-pointed, but pointless. Then quantum mechanics appeared.

Related Article: Life, It’s All Over the Place

By using the theory of loop quantum gravity, a merger of quantum mechanics and general relativity which describes space-time as a web of indivisible chunks about 10-35 meters in size, physicists have come up with a practical way to describe what occurs at the singularity point; the singularity isn’t there. 

There is no singularity. Gravity still increases as you get pulled into the black hole, but eventually it decreases, and you come out the other end. Although theories have postulated this idea before, the problem was that the singularity could never be bypassed. This is incredibly revolutionary because modern day physics has always taken the idea of a singularity for granted.  The universe had forever been filled with them; all of time and space began as a singularity.

Related Article: Ancient Galaxy That Shouldn’t Exist is Found Perfectly Formed

You are probably wondering what this means for you and me, what relevance this all has.  This opens the doors for even more science fiction to become science reality (consider: just about every piece of technology that exists today was written about as science fiction at one point).

According to the new theory, black holes are more likely doors to other universes, or incredibly distant areas of our own universe, or both.  Even more amazingly, using loop quantum gravity theory, if you were to rewind the big bang you wouldn’t be left with an infinitely dense point of mass and energy, you would cross a quantum bridge into another, older universe.

Related Article: Voyager 1: The Final Frontier?

This also helps explain what happens to information that approaches a black hole.  In a black hole with a singularity, the information would be lost forever as the black hole eventually evaporates after hundreds of trillions of years (give or take several hundred trillion years). As Jorge Pullin, lead researcher on the study at Louisiana State University, points out:

Information doesn’t disappear, it leaks out.

The infinite universe just became infinitely more infinite.

 

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_relativity

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spaghettification\

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravitational_singularity

http://www.hawking.org.uk/the-beginning-of-time.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loop_quantum_gravity

http://mashable.com/2010/09/25/11-astounding-predictions/

http://prl.aps.org/abstract/PRL/v96/i14/e141301

http://prl.aps.org/abstract/PRL/v110/i21/e211301

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn23611-quantum-gravity-takes-singularity-out-of-black-holes.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiverse

https://wondergressive.com/2012/08/17/life-its-all-over-the-place/

https://wondergressive.com/2012/09/21/ancient-galaxy-that-shouldnt-exist-is-perfectly-formed/

https://wondergressive.com/2013/01/12/galaxy-geysers/

https://wondergressive.com/2013/03/21/voyager-1-final-frontier/