In existographies, Ainan Cawley (44- AE) (1999- ACM) (LH:5) is a Singaporean former invented-by-his-father media sensation, who from 2007 to 2013 was being sold as the next big child prodigy, albeit on inflated IQ grounds.
In short, in 2005, Valentine Cawley, Ainan's father, heard that his son, then age 6.5, had taken an interest in a chemistry textbook, and by age 7 obtained a grade "C" in an so-called "O Level" chemistry test, a test designed for ordinary age 16 children, after which his father began to sell if not over-sell his son, via blogging, phone calls, and news interviews, as an "IQ 349" child prodigy, so to get educational sponsorship. This was one of the top five "inflated IQs", found by Libb Thims, as listed in his infamous Thims 32 ranking (2010). At about age 15, Cawley dropped off the radar. Presently, Cawley, in his 20s, doing weightlifting and working to get a music degree.
In 1999, Cawley, at age 2 weeks, as reported by his father Valentine Cawley, who seemed, at this point, already to have "child prodigy" visions in mind, said the word water or “Ayer” (water in Malay), the earliest on record (see: age of first spoken word). We can compare this feat with that reported by Agustin Mello in respect to his son Adragon Mello, who said his son was speaking at 6 weeks and, similar to Valentine, reported that his son Adragon had an IQ of 400. Both fathers, Valentine Cawley and Agustin Mello, had "forced prodigy" visions in their mind, which they were attempting to channel through the raising of their son, albeit in an over-selling manner.
In 2005, Cawley, age 6.5 began reading one of his aunt's O Level chemistry textbook, which means, in Europe, the "ordinary level" of chemistry for a 16-year-old, which can be compared to the harder A Level, designed for 18-year-olds.
Age 7 | IQ of 263 or 349?
In 2007, Cawley, age 7, passed the “Chemistry O Level”, which his father blogged about, describing Ainan as a “scientific child prodigy, and former baby genius”, and was reporting that his son at the low estimate range had an IQ of 263:
- “O Level is normally taken by sixteen year olds. The average candidate would, therefore, be sixteen and a half years old. Since the brightest 20% of students are the ones the exam is aiming at; to pass it one would need a mental age of 18.645 years. This is derived from the IQ score and the age thus: the deviation IQ of 113 is the same as the ratio IQ (in this case) of 113. IQ as a ratio is mental age divided by chronological age multiplied by 100. Therefore the mental age of O level students who pass would be expected to be: 1.13 times 16.5 years, which is 18.645 years. Ainan is not 18.645 years old - he was seven years and one month when he took the exam - so passing means something interesting. It means that, in terms of his scientific reasoning capability his ratio to the norm is: 18.645/7 years 1 month. This equals a ratio of 2.63. That is Ainan is at least 2.63 times more precocious than average. In terms of IQ, were this a fair estimator of ratio IQ, which it is likely to be since it involves scientific reasoning which will have a large component of g, in it - the general intelligence factor - it would represent a ratio IQ of 2.63 times 100 or 263 IQ. This is a ratio IQ estimate which is different from a deviation IQ estimate.”
- — Valentine Cawley (2007), “Chemistry O Level”, Mar 25
This fumbled calculation, however, which brings to mind the famously "invented" 1988 Marilyn Savant "228 IQ" (see: Savant scam), which got her into Guinness Book "Highest IQ" category for three years, via number fudging similar to that seen above, was not enough for Valentine, and he goes on to say that his age seven son, has an IQ closer to that of 350!, as he explains below:
- “Yet, this is likely to be an underestimate of his precocity - for he has already read the A level texts and is working on a University text. That latter text is suited to a 20-year-old Chemistry student. The average IQ of a chemistry student is 124. This corresponds to a ratio IQ of 125. Therefore, the average mental age of a 20 year old Chemistry student would be 25. Using this to generate a ratio IQ for Ainan giving his age as 7 years and three months - the time when he started to read the University book, would give a ratio IQ of 349.”
- — Valentine Cawley (2007), “Chemistry O Level”, Mar 25
These, however, are classified as "inflated IQs". Basically, tricks via a mix of ratios, numbers, and ages, to "invent" or feign an "above" ceiling range genius IQ, such as illustrated in the above paragraphs. What typically happens in these cases is a sort of reverse psychology, wherein the child who his told they are a genius, as a child, becomes the reverse as an adult; whereas the child who is told they are a dunce, as a child, becomes a genius as an adult.
In 2010, Valentine Cawley published The Boy Who Knew Too Much: A Child Prodigy Volume, an eBook of his blogging on his son’s development, which he oversold as the first volume of a "multi-million word" compilation. To give some fact-checking "reality" comparison, the 2016 10-volume print set (see: volumes) of Hmolpedia, which took a decade write, totaled 3.5-million words, using a wiki (not blog), and working on it 3 to 12 hours per day. Here we see, in respect to this example, the difference between a "real IQ", e.g. genius studies scholars calculating the IQs of geniuses, and a "non-real IQ", e.g. parent's biasedly calculating the IQ of their children.
In 2010, Libb Thims, in the wake of his objective study of "IQs cited in the 200 range", whatever the source, listed Cawley, and his father's 200+ IQ citations, in his Thims 32 rankings, which morphed into the "IQ 200+ | Smartest person ever" video (4-parts; 1-hr) listing 40 individuals (2M views).. This Cawley 350 IQ combined with the Mello 400 IQ, were two of the goads that pushed Thims into the "re-ranking of the IQs of geniuses" effort, currently seen in the top 2000 minds rankings, wherein IQs are matched to each person "realistically", not according to the dreams of parent.
In 2013, Cawley was listed by TheBestSchools.org (TBS) as “World’s 50 Smartest Teenager”.
In Mar 2013, Cawley, age 14, with his two younger brothers, father and mother, were interviewed by Rentakini TV, wherein Ainan sits there "mute", "bored", and giggling with his brothers, while his father does all the talking, continuing to sell Ainan as a baby prodigy, and how he could do this and that in his crib, and how they need an American University to sponsor him to do a four year program in chemistry.
In 2020, TBS reporters, with Cawley aged 21, in their followup article “Former Smartest Teens: Where Are They Now?” (2020), commented that Cawley, was MIA:
- “In 2013, age 13 , the native Singaporean had just moved with his family to Kuala Lumpur, and enrolled in Taylor’s University American Degree Transfer Program where he was majoring in the sciences. Where he is now …? Good Question! Massive amounts of research, emails, and phone calls still haven’t clued us in to this wunderkind’s whereabouts.”
Presently, Cawley has been video-reported as being into weightlifting and working towards a degree in music.
In sum, Cawley, similar to Adragon Mello, fell victim to the trap of his father trying to over-sell him as a super-genius, purporting to have a near 400 IQ, only to have it all backlash, and the child revert to normality or anonymity as an adult; which is similar also to what happened to William Sidis as an adult, after being thrust into the new media for the first 14 years of his existence.
- Anon. (2020). “Former Smartest Teens: Where Are They Now?” (Ѻ), TheBestSchools.org, Oct 29.
- Anon. (2020). “Ainan Cawley: His IQ is 263. This is What Happened to Him” (YT), Verter.io, May 26
- Anon. (2013). “Ainan Cawley: Child Prodigy” (YT), Rentakini.TV, Mar 15.
- GCE Ordinary Level – Wikipedia.
- Cawley, Valentine. (2007). “Passing O Level Aged 7”, Blog: The Boy Who Knew Too Much, Mar 25.
- Ainan Cawley (talk page) – Wikipedia.
- Mislabeled geniuses and IQ tests – Hmolpedia 2020.
- Cawley, Valentine. (2010). The Boy Who Knew Too Much: A Child Prodigy Volume (Amz). Publisher.
- Hmolpedia 2016 (print set) (subdomain) – Hmolpedia 2020.
- IQ:200+ (references) (subdomain) – Hmolpedia 2020.
- Thims, Libb. (2010). IQ: 200+ | Smartest person ever” (playlist), Human Chemistry 101, Oct 31.