But here's the nagging question that I have about this psychic-kids business: WHY? Why would Dharma want to create a generation of superpowered people? To create super-soldiers? Eh. Maybe. Not very original, though, unless Lost has a unique spin on the idea. Perhaps the Dharma karma cops were trying to meld Children of the Corn with The Brothers Karamazov to create a priestly class of adolescent, parent-hating Grand Inquisitors charged with purging the world of bad adults. (Sorry, Dad: You're a workaholic who neglects his family. Go to hell! ZAP!)I see at least two related but distinct motives that might explain the interest in psychic kids. First, I've speculated previously that certain characters -- e.g., Walt and Hurley -- have the power to make their own luck by affecting probability. I suspect Dharma may originally have wanted to tap and aggregate this psychic power to affect luck in hopes of influencing the core factors of the Valenzetti equation. A poster named koralis uses the lovely metaphor of many little magnets that combine to create a strong attractive force. The problem, of course, is the inevitable course correction that would result from successfully altering humanity's fate.
That leads me to motive two, which might help explain not just the orphanage but the Others generally, too. Assume some faction within Dharma discovered the course correction problem, leading the Others to give up trying to affect the Valenzetti's core factors. Perhaps the Island has become a place where "luck makers" can safely learn to control their abilities. I've always been struck by Juliet's transformation from mousy ex in Miami to woman of action on the Island. Maybe her own ability to make luck caused problems in the timeline -- e.g., by killing her ex-husband who wasn't supposed to die. On that note, could 9/11 have been the course correction that resulted from Edmund's premature death?
Of course, just because Others no longer seek to affect the core factors, that doesn't necessarily mean they view the Valenzetti as irrelevant. As a poster named todell notes, the Island orphanage may be a kind of "stash" of special kids. I could also see Ben trying to con Fate through some strategic reinterpretation of the Valenzetti Equation. In a prior post, for example, I discuss the possibility that the Equation might actually predict our extinction via evolution into a new trans- or posthuman species. Maybe the Others think they can make an end run around Valenzetti's grim mathematical prophecy by reproducing this new species, which explains why they desperately need a fertility doctor.
We shall see! In the meantime, welcome again to Eye M Sick...