The “Holy Grail” of modern science and a child’s dream bring together knowledge and faith. His name is William Maillis, 9, and he seems to be a kid like many others, who loves playing video games, making pranks on his neighbors, and hanging out with his friends. Everything is normal; almost normal. Because this bespectacled boy from Penn Township, Pennsylvania, graduated from high school a few months ago and has just begun college. His greatest ambition? Do astrophysicist to “help scientists prove the existence of God.”
Born into a very religious family – Peter, the father, is a Greek orthodox priest -, the child has immediately shown extraordinary qualities: when he was six months, he identified numbers; when he was 7 he constructed entire sentences; when he was 21 months old, he knew how to do multiplication; at 4 years he could read and write, and studying algebra, the sign language and Greek, at 5 he solve geometric problems, and at 7 trigonometric. A genius, capable, in the years when most of us are barely able to orient themselves in this unknown world, he embaraces adults and teachers.
But his life journey, writes the American magazine People, which was the first one to tell this amazing story, was not simple at all. At the of 4, he did not pass the entrance test of the kindergarten. A problem that is very similar to those faced by geniuses such as Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison in the past. His parents, convinced that the examination was too schematic for such a brilliant mind, sent him to a psychologist specializing in wunderkinds, who confirmed: “Your son is a genius.” A few years later, he was posing, wearing a toga and a touch, for the graduation ceremony picture. One could barely spot him among his much taller companions.
Today, William attends the Community College of Allegheny County, but his mind has already focused on the future: the Mellon University in Pittsburgh, where he plans to enroll at the end of his school studies. There, he will follow courses of physics and chemistry of the universe. This child has had this passion since always. He is familiar with concepts such as “singularity”, “space-time”, and “pure gravity”, and, between one class and another, he elaborates his theories. One of them may lead him (at least, that is what he dreams of) to refute the studies conducted by Stephen Hawking and Albert Einstein on the existence of massive black holes.
“He wants to prove everyone that God exists, because only an external force may be able to give life to the universe,” says the boy’s father. An ambition that results in a slap to those who deny, a priori, the possibility of reconciliation between creation and evolution. “God gave you a gift – Peter often reminds – the worst thing would be not using it to improve the world.”
The path William is trying to follow in his life has already been recently undertaken by theoretical physicists of international importance. One of the, the American-Japanese Michio Kaku, who said long ago “I came to the conclusion that we are in a world of rules created by an intelligence, not unlike his favorite video game, of course, which are more complex and inconceivable.” According to the scholar,” everything we have defined as chance so far, will have no meaning. For me, it is clear that we are in a plan governed by rules created and not determined by the universal possibilities, God is a great mathematician.” And how can we forget, Church side, the words pronounced by Pope Francis before the Pontifical Academy of Science two years ago? “The Big Bang, which now stands at the origin of the world – said the Pope – does not contradict the power of divine intervention, but demands it. Evolution in nature does not contradict the notion of Creation, because evolution presupposes the creation of the beings that evolve.”
A slow process of rapprochement between the two aspects of human life, which have been mistakenly considered antithetical. Maybe, one day, they will be able to unite again, thanks to the dreams of an extraordinary child.