A precocious 6 (and three quarters!)-year-old named Jack got a chance to ask astronomical badass and Cosmos host Neil deGrasse Tyson a question at Boston's Wilbur Theatre last night, and he cut right to the chase. Yo, Neil, he asked, "What's the meaning of life?"
Jack seemed to think he'd asked a stumper, but NDT was unfazed. He launched smoothly into an existentialist explanation about creating meaning for yourself, with a touch of the familiar deGrasse Tyson raison d'etre:
"Meaning' is something you create. You manufacture it for yourself and for others. So when I think of 'meaning' in life, I ask, 'Did I learn something today that I didn't know yesterday, bringing me a little closer to knowing all that can be known in the universe?' If I live a day and I don't know a little more than I did the day before, I think I've wasted that day."
And while we're learning about the world around us and the laws that govern it, he adds, we're also here to mess up our parents' houses, catch snowflakes on our tongues, jump in mud puddles, and bang on every pot and pan, even if some grown-ups seem to have forgotten that.
Neil deGrasse Tyson, did you know it's legal to adopt an adult? That's something new I learned today! Neil deGrasse Tyson, will you be my dad?