I have written before (here and here) about how babies, even before they speak, have an intuitive sense of justice and fairness, suggesting that embryonic versions of those values are hard-wired into us by evolution. The more sophisticated formulations of justice that we now have are built by culture upon those foundations.
We have also known for some time that babies have a simple sense of number and addition such as that one plus one makes two. There has been growing recognition that they also have intuitive physics knowledge and a new study confirms that.
In a review of related scientific literature from the past 30 years, vanMarle and Susan Hespos of Northwestern University found that the evidence for intuitive physics occurs in infants as young as two months – the earliest age at which testing can occur. At that age, infants show an understanding that unsupported objects will fall and that hidden objects do not cease to exist. Scientific testing also has shown that by five months, infants have an expectation that non-cohesive substances like sand or water are not solid. In a previous publication, vanMarle found that children as young as 10 months consistently choose larger amounts when presented with two different amounts of food substance.
It seems like babies are born with the kinds of abilities that are consistent with an empirical and scientific attitude towards the world. This is something that should be reinforced and built upon but instead their thinking in the early years is corrupted with the magical thinking of religions that holds back the full development of their reasoning abilities.