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Adolescent Challenges Einstein

Jacob Barnett is twelve years-old. He likes to play Halo, likes shows on the Disney Channel, and recently attended his first dance. He has an IQ higher than Einstein's at 170, can play classical masterpieces by memory on the piano, left high school by the age of 8, taught himself advanced mathematics within a two-week period, and is currently getting so far ahead in university that he is likely to be given a PhD research position soon. Now, the boy is challenging Einstein's theory of relativity and the Big Bang. By Mr. Barnett's calculations, Einstein's theory does not adequately explain how all the carbon that makes up things like the Earth came into being, and that the Earth would have to be three times older than it is believed to be-- which he also deems improbable. As for what, if not the Big Bang, is responsible for all the carbon in the universe? "I'm still working on that," says the child prodigy. "I have an idea, but...I'm still working out the details."

For a kid with a higher IQ than Einstein who is on his way to a PhD before puberty, his parents seem to be doing a good job with raising him and helping keep him as grounded as they can. Certainly this 12-year-old's good mind will be a great contribution to mankind as he continues to grow and learn and explore. His genius is matched with a tremendous curiosity of things and a desire to understand, noticeable even at the age of three:

"We were in the crowd, just sitting, listening to this guy ask the crowd if anyone knew why the moons going around Mars were potato-shaped and not round," [his mother] recalls. "Jacob raised his hand and said, 'Excuse me, but what are the sizes of the moons around Mars?'"
The lecturer answered, and "Jacob looked at him and said the gravity of the planet...is so large that (the moon's) gravity would not be able to pull it into a round shape."
Silence.
"That entire building...everyone was just looking at him, like, 'Who is this 3-year-old?'"

It is not often that we get to see a potential Galileo or Einstein at such an age. Good luck to Mr. Barnett as he continues his studies and sparring with the great scientific minds that came before him.
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Discussions - 4 Comments

Great story about an exceptional American kid!!!! Thanks for sharing.

There was movie when I was a child about a man acclaimed to be a genius (played by Ronald Coleman) who answered all the questions on a quiz show, except this one, which tripped him up: "What is your social security number?"

Seriously, we can all look forward to the intellectual contributions of this young sage.

It's funny how we adopt words and adapt our lexicon to the times. This is a very useful slant on things.

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