Laralee and I were watching Phenomemon and discussing the nature of intelligence and, more specifically, curiosity. I find that very few people I know are as curious about things as I am. Laralee says she would be more curious, but since she seldom has the time nor inclination to find answers to the things she wonders about, it dampens her curiosity. Personally, I think that laziness and curiosity aren’t necessarily related: you could be both.
In any case, I remember a long time ago (early high school, I suspect) when I became curious about how the body makes energy. I mean really makes energy; everyone knows that food is converted to energy that drives your muscles or whatever. What I wanted to know is how that energy is converted, stored, and then released… on the molecular level. After a bit of research, I learned about ATP– adenosine triphosphate– and how the body “builds” these molecules and then breaks them down (turning ATP into ADP) to release the energy stored in the atomic bonds. Wow. It was amazing stuff, and I even took the chemical formula (C10H16N5O13P3) and figured out how the molecule was structured. Then the phosphate groups made sense, and I really understood how the body made energy.
It’s these sorts of thoughts– I can think of many such seminal moments throughout my life– that keep me interested and learning. There’s so much amazing stuff around us, and so much more to learn than I’ll ever know. I find it a little disappointing that more people don’t share my curiosity, but that just means they have to listen as I explain to them (in excited tones) about the latest thing I’ve wondered about or learned.