Originally published in Faith it
At an age when most kids are focused on beating the next level in a video game, or working toward actually hitting the ball in their baseball game on Saturday, William is consumed with becoming an astrophysicist.
Most kid’s dream of becoming a firefighter, a doctor, maybe an astronaut or a teacher, but William isn’t just dreaming of becoming an astrophysicist, he’s already becoming one.
The boy from Pennsylvania, graduated high school in May 2016, at the age of 9. After attending community college classes, he enrolled at Carnegie Mellon University last autumn. According to his father, Peter Maillis, William began speaking in full sentences at just seven months old. He was doing addition at 21 months, and multiplication by the age of two — a time when he was also reading children’s books, and writing his own nine-page book, “Happy Cat.” At four years old, he was learning algebra, sign language and how to read Greek, and when he was five, he read an entire 209-page geometry textbook in one night and woke up solving circumference problems the next morning.
This kid is literally a genius, and has been declared one by Ohio State University psychologist, Joanne Ruthsatz.
William’s desire to become an astrophysicist is rooted in his strong faith beliefs. He disagrees with some of Einstein and Hawking’s theories on black holes and has his own ideas to prove the existence of the universe. The son of a Greek Orthodox Priest, William wants to prove that an outside force is the only thing capable of creating the universe, which means that “God does exist.”
Stephen Hawking, however, who passed away recently at the age of 76, held a much different assertion. “Before we understood science, it was natural to believe that God created the universe, but now science offers a more convincing explanation,” once said the renowned physicist. “What I meant by ‘we would know the mind of God’ is we would know everything that God would know if there was a God, but there isn’t. I’m an atheist.”
William’s parents say they have never pushed him toward his studies or this God-proving endeavour, but rather that he’s a pretty “normal” 11-year-old. “We’re normal people,” Peter explained. “And he’s a normal kid. You can’t distinguish him from other 11-year-olds. He likes sports, television shows, the computer and video games like everyone else.” But still, distinct from other kids his age, William’s ultimate life passion is perfectly clear. When asked what his “dream” is, the child prodigy had no hesitation in his response. “I want to be an astrophysicist so that I can prove to the scientific world that God does exist,” William said in a recent interview with Hellenic College Holy Cross.
When asked why he felt the need to prove it to scientists, his answer was even more profound: “Well because there’s these atheists that try to say that there is no God, when in reality it takes more faith to believe that there’s no God than it does to believe that there is a God… Because it makes more sense that something created the universe than that the universe created itself. It takes more faith to say the universe created itself than to say something other created the universe because that is more logical.”