Krauss on pseudoscience
Scientists spread the word on evils of pseudoscience
By Deborah Frazier - Rocky Mountain News, February 18, 2003 - original
Scientists must be the evangelists against the well-financed effort to undermine science education, especially evolution, a physics professor said Monday.
Scientists have become society's bad guys, as portrayed in the television series The X-Files where the truth is out there and don't trust anyone, said Lawrence Krauss, a professor at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio.
Krauss, speaking at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, said religious dogma and pseudoscientific nonsense have marginalize science at the highest levels of government and the schools.
For example, after the Columbine High School shootings, U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay suggested the tragedy occurred because evolution was taught and children learned they were "nothing but glorified apes," Krauss said.
Other signs that pseudoscience is replacing real science are studies that show most school children believe in astrology and 63 percent of all adults are unaware that dinosaurs died before the first humans walked the earth, he said.
"Part of science is that you submit conclusions to your peers based on experiments, and if it doesn't work, you throw it away," he said. "Science is far more interesting than pseudoscience."
Well-financed religious groups are attacking schools that teach science, especially those that teach evolution, he said.
In Ohio and Georgia, groups want "intelligent design" taught, claiming that creationism must be included in science classes for fairness, he said.
Krauss said he searched scientific journals and found 115,000 references to evolution and 80 for intelligent design. However, all but 11 of the articles on intelligent design referred to engineering, he said.
"To these people, evolution is atheism. In their minds, if you believe in evolution you believe that there is no God," he said.
The threat is worse outside the schools with the Bush administration advocating the "Star Wars" missile system which had a success rate of only 41 percent in test trials - despite scientific arguments that the system will fail, Krauss said.
"The current administration is blurring the line between church and state while consistently ignoring the virtually unanimous recommendations