Lawrence Krauss: Teaching Creationism is Child Abuse

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It amazes me that people have pre-existing notions that defy the evidence of reality.

But that they hold onto them so dearly. And one of them is the notion of creationism,

or. in fact, Senator Marco Rubio, who’s presumably a reasonably intelligent man and

maybe even educated, was asked what’s the age of the Earth, and ultimately, either because

he actually believed it or he was trying to appeal to some constituency, had to argue

that it’s a big mystery, that somehow we should teach kids both ideas, that the Earth

is 6,000 years old and that it’s 4.55 billion years old, which is what it is.

If you think about that, somehow saying that, well, anything goes, we shouldn't offend religious

beliefs by requiring kids to know - to understand reality; that’s child abuse. And if you

think about it, teaching kids - or 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.

Now you might say, look, a lot of people believe that, so don’t we owe it to them to allow

their views to be present in school? Well, as I’ve often said, the purpose of education

is not to validate ignorance but to overcome it. Fifty percent of the people in the United

States, when we probe them each year with the National Science Foundation, think that

the sun goes around the Earth, not that the Earth goes around the sun. When we asked the

question - we provide the question: The Earth goes around the sun and takes a year to do

it; true or false? Almost every year, 50 percent of the people get that wrong.

Now, does that mean in schools we should allow the anti-Galilean and Copernican idea that

the sun goes around the Earth to be taught? Absolutely not. If, in fact, the very fact