A recent Buzzfeed article by  Peter Aldhous Azeen Ghorayshi Virginia Hughes

I'd encourage everyone to read the BuzzFeed article as it is not without bias against secularism.  That being said there are a number of things in it that concern me. First and foremost the article states that Dr. Krauss has been banned from the campuses of two institutions, Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Ontario in response to complaints made against him.  If true, this points to a pattern of behavior.  The second is Dr. Krauss's response to the current allegations against him.

From the article,

In lengthy emails to BuzzFeed News, Krauss denied all of the accusations against him, calling them “false and misleading defamatory allegations.” When asked why multiple women, over more than a decade, have separately accused him of misconduct, he said the answer was “obvious”: It’s because his provocative ideas have made him famous.

“It is common knowledge that celebrity attracts all forms of negative attention from many different angles,” Krauss said in a December email. “There is no pattern of discontent revealed here that suggests any other explanation.”

My gut response to this is that his reply smacks of deflection.  After further reflection, I am convinced that is what he is doing. I am a big fan of his work.  His ability to communicate complex and difficult ideas is one of the best I've seen.  Ergo, his inept response to these allegations raises even more suspicions in my mind.

Dr. Krauss has already suffered some repercussions from these allegations according to a recent Gizmodo article. If the allegations are confirmed then it is the moral responsibility of all organizations to cut ties with Dr. Krauss for two reasons.  First, the behavior itself.  This sort of behavior should not be tolerated and it is up to the secular community to make a strong statement that it will not be tolerated within it's ranks and follow those words up with equally strong actions.  Second,  the self-professed sine qua non of the secular movement is the pursuit of the truth.  We are fond of posting memes and quotes in social media and arguing in debates that it is the quest for truth that motivates us no matter how uncomfortable that truth may turn out to be.  If these allegations are proven to be the truth then Dr. Krauss's initial denial was a flat out lie.  That permanently disqualifies him to be a standard bearer in an organization or movement that professes to hold truth as the ultimate good.

Views: 199

Comment

You need to be a member of Atheist Nexus to add comments!

Join Atheist Nexus

Comment by Craigart14 on March 10, 2018 at 1:09pm

I hope these allegations aren't true, but either way, they are irrelevant to the validity of his work.  I also hope that such misbehavior as asking a student to dinner or stroking a woman's leg rise to the level of destroying someone's career.  Where I taught for 20 years, we had a number of workshops on sexual harassment, most of them featuring actual incidents that had occurred on campus.  One administrator was sued and lost.  A faculty member was trapped by two students who offered him a three-way in his office in exchange for A grades.  They cleverly left his door unlocked so a friend with a camera could get some dandy documentation.  In another skit, an instructor set up a student conference on the phone, saying, "Yes, I know who you are.  You're the one with the big hips."  When she arrived at his office, there was "suggestive" music playing.  Now, I would never do either of those things, but this was an historically black college, where big hips were considered attractive and suggestive music was nearly inescapable.  At one such workshop we were told that if two co-workers hug each other--in a culture where hugging is also nearly inescapable--and a third co-worker sees it, that co-worker has been sexually harassed.  After one workshop, my boss, an attractive woman, patted me on the shoulder, then apologized for sexually harassing me.  I suggested she improve her technique.  As Joan Rivers would have said, "Can we talk?"

Lawrence, keep your hands to yourself.  We need you on the front lines.  

Comment by Joan Denoo on March 10, 2018 at 12:04am

I am going to choose Lawrence Krauss, the scientist. Specifically, his books:

A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing.

Fear of Physics: A Guide for the Perplexed.

Quantum Man: Richard Feynman's Life in Science.

The Greatest Story Ever Told--So Far.

I am not a physicist or a cosmologist, however, Krauss made the field interesting and fun to study. Perhaps I am in over my head with his material, but I think I followed along in a reasonably intelligent fashion. 

Taking a look at Krauss, the moral or immoral man, I have no direct knowledge of his morals and ethics. If he is guilty of harassment of women, let the women bring legal charges against him and let him face his accusers in court.

If he is found innocent of any and all charges, he has the right and responsibility to bring charges against those that falsely or frivolously accused him.

If he is found guilty of harassment of women, then he has to be held accountable to the full extent of the law, even if it means being relieved of his position. But only after being found guilty. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on March 10, 2018 at 12:02am

Discussions about Trump or Clinton or Francis Collins, DeVos, or Al Franken are not the issue here. To bring all these different people into the conversation makes for unclear thinking, lousy speculation, and inferior outcomes. 

Decide on who is the topic of discussion:

Trump? 

Clinton? 

Francis Collins? 

DeVos? 

Al Franken?

Lawrence Krauss? 

What is the issue?

Morality? 

Corruption?

Religious scientists?

Christianity?

Education? 

Fun that isn't funny?

Science? 

OK, pick an individual; decide on the issue to be discussed.

Anyone want to choose Trump? Sadly, money buys justice and no individual or group could match his ability to legal representation, and if found guilty in court, the population gives him a ”Pass.” 

Nobody said life is fair. 

If justice means anything we should be able to mobilize enough to throw him out of office on moral grounds. I won’t hold my breath. If he gets thrown out of office, I think it will be something he does that hits home to his political base. 

In the meantime, I will give all the support I can to the ongoing legal process.

Comment by Dyslexic's DOG on February 26, 2018 at 1:39am

Yet they forgive Trump for his open misogyny.  

It's incredible how dumb the majority of Americans are.

Definitely the worst education system in the western developed world.

That is not going to get better under DeVos. 

Comment by Richard Lawrence on February 25, 2018 at 11:45pm

I agree with you.  We are a half a century removed from when this country put a man on the moon and had the intellectual horsepower to do so, a lot of it coming from the average Joe, to where we are now.  "A child sex ring was run out of the basement of a pizzeria by Hillary and the liberals. 'Pizza' is the code word for liberal perverts wanting to purchase a child. Over a two day period 'pizza' was mentioned over 650 times in phone calls to the pizzeria and this was just during normal business hours".  Right?  When you point out the building has no basement in the first place and, secondly, one might expect to hear the word 'pizza' mentioned in phone calls to a pizzeria you know what the response is going to be:  "A child sex ring was run out of the basement of a pizzeria by Hillary and the liberals. 'Pizza' is the code word for liberal perverts wanting to purchase a child. Over a two day period 'pizza' was mentioned over 650 times in phone calls to the pizzeria and this was just during normal business hours". What concrete steps can we take to change this?

Comment by Loren Miller on February 25, 2018 at 10:07pm

But there's a problem, DOG: the average Joe doesn't think the way you and I do.  They think that, because someone is immoral, regardless of whether that immorality is true, alleged, or utterly false, that it invalidates anything that person is said or any position that person holds.  This creates a convenient straw man which can be dismantled at will.  And, of course, they WANT that person's positions dismantled, because those positions act against their own interests.  Keep in mind, too, that right now, we're in a post-factual world where fact and truth are defined by the speaker and have nothing necessarily to do with real fact or real truth, where the Big Lie is the primary agent provocateur.

The counter-agency to this situation is simple and blunt: a persistent, repeated, factual kick-in-the-nuts to the positions held by those trying to deconstruct the truth, maintained until their lies no longer have any traction.  This is unfortunately necessary and for an equally unfortunate reason:

People are stupid and can't be bothered to think for themselves.

Comment by Dyslexic's DOG on February 25, 2018 at 8:15pm

Practically such allegations have nothing to do with the validity of Krauss's arguments, and the only value I have for Lawrence Krauss is the strength and validity of his arguments.

His personal credibility and morality is totally irrelevant.

So the allegations have no bearing on my appreciation for Krauss.

I don't judge scientists and their science by their personal flaws, as if this were the case, I'd not regard the work of Francis Collins as useful in genetics, because he is a devout theist.

So Lawrence Krauss's presumed immorality is a stupid Red Herring Fallacy.

Comment by Richard Lawrence on February 25, 2018 at 8:16am

Well said, Loren.  Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

Comment by Loren Miller on February 25, 2018 at 6:11am

While I support the #MeToo movement, that support is not without reservations, of which there are a few:

  1. Accusation is not tantamount to conviction.  Stipulated that too many of such situations are "he-said / she-said" debacles which may never be satisfactorily resolved.  Notwithstanding, the accused deserves his or her day in court and to face those accusing him or her.  We get too much trial by media as it is.
  2. A pat on the butt is not equivalent to rape, and treating it as such amounts to the brand of blanket death-by-stoning punishment prescribed by the bible.  This is a gray-scale, people, a continuum from white to black, and judgments should fit crimes.
  3. Enforcement and media attention needs to be consistent, especially considering that Republican defendants have been denying and closing ranks while Democrats such as former Minnesota Senator Al Franken simply fall on their swords.  I have a serious problem with this.

On top of all this, I just attended a Cleveland Orchestra concert last night which SHOULD have been conducted by doyen maestro Charles Dutoit, but wasn't because he finds himself under the same cloud as Krauss.  I won't argue that those who are guilty deserve appropriate consequences, but the "Ready-FIRE!-Aim" school of jurisprudence doesn't serve equitably and never has.

About

line

Update Your Membership :

Membership

line

line

Nexus on Social Media:

line

© 2018   Atheist Nexus. All rights reserved. Admin: Richard Haynes.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service