Should Scientists Be Atheists? More Nonsense From Laurence Krauss

While Laurence Krauss has publicly denounced philosophy, he can’t seem to stop himself from doing it and doing it badly (and publicly, to boot). His lack of intellectual self-control is remarkable given that he is an accomplished physicist. He might have profited in his latest rant, “All Scientists Should Be Militant Atheists,” by a course in elementary logic.

This diatribe was prompted by the case of Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who refused to issue marriage license to gay couples. He writes of militant atheism and science, “I found myself thinking about those questions this week as I followed the story of Kim Davis….” How this totally non-scientific event is relevant to his scientific thesis is mind-boggling.

He writes, “The Kim Davis story raises a basic question: To what extent should we allow people to break the law if their religious views are in conflict with it?” Tots agreed. He seems to think that if you would allow Kim Davis to break the law, you should also allow jihadists to behead infidels and apostates with impunity. And, thus, you should be a militant atheist scientist. This is plain old slippery slope reasoning on issues of no relevance to the practice of science (so the conclusion is a non-sequitur).

Let me be clear. I think that Kim Davis should not be allowed to break the law (and jihadists should not be allowed to behead infidels) because other people are harmed by their religious convictions. And yet we should make every accommodation for Jews not to work on their Sabbaths, for Muslim women to wear veils, and for Quakers to avoid military service because those religious choices don’t harm anyone else. In between infidels and Quakers lie the very murky issues that a liberal society —> Read More