You Have to Watch Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Conversation with an Intelligent 9-Year-Old

Take a very inquisitive 9-year-old with an excellent question (involving stopping asteroids from colliding with our planet) and let Neil deGrasse Tyson take a crack at it.

The result is pure awesomeness:

(What’s that on your face? A huge smile? That’ll go away once you’re reminded of the 7-year-old admirer of Creationist Ken Ham.)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • JT Rager

    OH GOD. 3:20

    This kid is a BAMF.

    • JT Rager

      OH GOD. “Madame President”

      Neil is a BAMF

  • 3lemenope

    “What’s a good analogy? Dough…”
    “Like ‘money’ dough?”
    “No, more like…”
    “Cookie dough?”
    “Cookie dough! Or even better pancake…no, bread dough. What happens when you push your finger into bread dough? Part of it moves, but your fingers go inside, because…”
    “It’s a non-Newtonian solid!”

    And at that point, the nine-year-old wins ALL the internets.

    • nell2

      At which point, you’d think Neil deGrasse Tyson would stop talking to the kid in that condescending tone one uses with a recalcitrant two-year-old, but, no, he just keeps on keepin’ on in that treacly, patronizing voice and making snide little asides at the boy’s expense.

      Never did like the guy and this video hasn’t elevated my opinion.

      • 3lemenope

        Eh, I didn’t read it as condescending. I suppose it comes down to style differences.

      • JT Rager

        Condescending? Looked to me like Neil was having a conversation with the kid the way he talks to everyone.

      • guy12

        If you ignore the audience laughing it doesn’t seem like this, in my opinion.

      • MikeTheInfidel

        This is the way he talks to everyone. He isn’t being condescending. He’s being Neil deGrasse Tyson.

      • Peter Naus

        Yeah, I kinda thought so at first, then I realised he was dumbing it down for the adult Americans in the audience. When he spoke to the kid, he used terms like “its own gravity”, and you could see the spark connect.

        And while biscuit or bread dough may be non-Newtonian solids, asteroids ain’t. I think he tried to deflect Jacob’s enthusiasm for the term there.

        Smart kid, though. Pity about the naggers and minders behind him.

    • Little_Magpie

      OMG yes. :) I didn’t know what a non-Newtonian solid was when I was nine.. :)

    • Art_Vandelay

      “That’s what she said” would have been a little over the top but equally awesome.

      • 3lemenope

        True, though from a nine-year-old kinda disturbing too.

        • Art_Vandelay

          Highly. Mind-blowingly disturbing practically, but still awesome.

  • Artor

    NdGT is awesome. That is all.

  • Neko

    Made my day! Thank you.

  • ConureDelSol
  • WingedBeast

    I don’t know anything about Jacob other than this video, but if he doesn’t have major scientific companies offering him future jobs *RIGHT NOW* people are missing valuable opportunities.

  • A3Kr0n

    Look Ken Ham he’s taking notes. That’s evidence that our young people are listening to Neil!

  • Q. Quine


  • Nancy Mac

    I have hope…

  • lmern

    Faith in humanity gloriously restored.

  • onamission5

    Love. This is made of more awesome than awesome itself.

  • Jean

    Jacob is awesome! And I’m no children fan! :D

  • Alex Rushhawk

    Thanks for sharing! This kid, and kids like him, are the keys to our (successful) future, so long as he isn’t being indoctrinated on a daily basis into some form of religion. Religion, it seems, poisons /everything/.

  • TheUnknownPundit

    To borrow (rather loosely) from that one hit wonder Thomas Dolby:
    He blinded me with SCIENCE!

  • pianousa

    A fun video with non-Newtonian liquid.

  • Larry Meredith

    I don’t know what the fuck I just watched but I’m gonna go get drunk on the beach.