Teaching Creationism Is ‘Child Abuse,’ Says Prominent Physicist Lawrence Krauss (VIDEO)

Author: February 6, 2013 5:58 pm

images-1Big Think, the online knowledge forum, released a video on Tuesday of theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss speaking on the idea of teaching creationism. In it, Krauss asserts that the notion of creationism defies reality and teaching it to children is tantamount to child abuse. The video is in reaction to Senator Marco Rubio who, in December, declared in an interview with GQ┬áthat he didn’t know how old the earth is. In Rubio’s words:

“I’m not a scientist, man. I can tell you what recorded history says, I can tell you what the Bible says, but I think that’s a dispute amongst theologians… I think parents should be able to teach their kids what their faith says, what science says. Whether the Earth was created in 7 days, or 7 actual eras, I’m not sure we’ll ever be able to answer that. It’s one of the great mysteries.”

Wrong, says Krauss. Evolution is accepted reality, the basis for all biological sciences. For someone like Rubio, who is presumably both intelligent and educated, to take the stand that anything goes in education–that it’s okay for any belief to be taught regardless of reality–is a terrible error. In the following video, Krauss says:

“Allowing the notion that the Earth is 6,000 years old to be promulgated in schools is like teaching kids that the distance across the United States is 17 feet. That’s how big an error it is… The purpose of education is not to validate ignorance but to overcome it… To overcome a situation where a United States Senator can speak such manifest nonsense with impunity is vitally important to the healthy future of our society.”


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Here’s the video:

Krauss isn’t the first person to insist that teaching creationism is a form of child abuse. Various atheist and rationalist groups have maintained the same thing. But people of faith, like Anglican priest and theologian David Jennings, of Leichester Cathedral, have taken that stand also. Last fall, when asked whether creationism should be taught in the schools, Jennings said in an open forum:

“There are some people who believe the earth is actually flat… But do we teach that, do we actually suggest that to young people?… Whatever people want to believe in the privacy of their own home, in the privacy of whatever religion they practice, they’re free to do that. But to teach young people things that we know are not true is tantamount to an abuse of young people.”

Last August, Bill Nye the Science Guy weighed in on the subject, also for Big Think:

“Denial of evolution is unique to the United States…I say to the grown-ups, If you want to deny evolution and live in your world that’s completely inconsistent with everything we’ve observed in the universe, that’s fine. But don’t make your kids do it because we need them. We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future…we need engineers that can build stuff, solve problems.”

Here’s the video:

All of these men underline the point that we Americans are not only unique in our denial of science, but also in the degree to which that denial holds back our young people. As a society, we’re jeopardizing both our future and theirs. We battle over religious ideology–which seems to lurk behind every issue these days–rather than uniting to educate our young and insure that they maintain an edge when it comes to innovation and leadership in the world.

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4 Comments

  • These religion fundamentalists, whether Christian, Jewish, Muslim or whatever will continue to deny the reality of science and proclaim it just another belief system. They also proclaim a moral superiority that is unfounded based on simple statistics. It is no minor matter that these people are simply wrong.

    It is a real shame that these anti-science cretins and their dogma seems to be growing more popular in the U.S. even as science begins to answer many of the questions of the universe (not to mention the formation of the earth and solar system and the foundation of life). They are obviously feeling very threatened by real science and strike back with false equivalencies and pseudo science.

    As a nation, we will fall further and further behind the rest of the developed world, where the focus is on teaching science and technology, not mythology disguised history and science. What they do not realize is that Christianity will go the way of Greek and Roman paganism if they cannot accept real science and pretend that “god” must have created the universe only in ways that they approve of. What audacity.

    Science can tell us how the universe came to be but it cannot tell us why. That is the province of theology and philosophy. If Christianity wishes to survive the 21st century, the religious fundamentalists must accept their role in society theorizing about the “why” and cease trying to tell intelligent people “how”.

  • “Wrong, says Krauss. Evolution is accepted reality, the basis for all biological sciences.”
    Well Krauss is wrong. Evolution is NOT accepte reality. That’s what some is insisting we believe but that doesn’t line up with the facts. There is a significant number of credentialed scientists in a variety of fields who do not accept evolution as fact but rather see it as a belief system.

    • OK, lebs27 – name a few of these “credentialed scientists in a variety of fields who do not accept evolution as fact but rather see it as a belief system.” You say a significant number. I challenge you to name just three scientist with PhD’s in an accepted science, the university where they did their post grad work and the field of science they are actively engaged in. If you do not respond with the facts to back up your statement, we will take it as fact that you do not know what the hell you are talking about. Remember, just three with all of the information I requested. Religious schools do not count, theologians are excluded as are writers who claim to be science writers.

  • The fact remains Mr. Betterman, it did. No intelligence was needed, in fact there are many ways the human body could’ve been better intelligently “designed.

    I concur with Krauss. The logical fallacies as consistently put forth by the Religionists is abuse.

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