Saturday, February 24, 2018

BuzzFeed tries to MeToo Krauss

BuzzFeed is attempting a MeToo takedown of a prominent physicist:
Although not a household name, Lawrence Krauss is a big shot among skeptics, a community that rejects all forms of faith — from religion and the supernatural, to unproven alternative medicines, to testimonials based on memory and anecdote — in favor of hard evidence, reason, and science.

Krauss offers the scientific method — constantly questioning, testing hypotheses, demanding evidence — as the basis of morality and the answer to societal injustices. Last year, at a Q&A event to promote his latest book, the conversation came around to the dearth of women and minorities in science. “Science itself overcomes misogyny and prejudice and bias,” Krauss said. “It’s built in.”

Online, you can buy “Lawrence Krauss for President” T-shirts and find his quotes turned into inspirational memes. He writes essays for the New Yorker and New York Times, helps decide when to move the hand of the Doomsday Clock, and has almost half a million followers on Twitter. He made a provocative (if critically panned) documentary, The Unbelievers, with the evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, another celebrated skeptic.

The skeptics draw heavily from traditionally male groups: scientists, philosophers, and libertarians, as well as geeky subcultures like gamers and sci-fi enthusiasts. The movement gained strength in the early 2000s, as the emerging blogosphere allowed like-minded “freethinkers” to connect and opened the community to more women like Hensley. It acquired a sharper political edge in the US culture wars, as skeptics, atheists, and scientists — including Krauss — joined forces to defend the teaching of evolution in public schools.

But today the movement is fracturing, with some of its most prominent members now attacking identity politics and “social justice warriors” in the name of free speech.
Politically, he is just what you would expect from a prominent academic: Trump-hater and bowing to leading liberal causes, including feminism. See his Twitter feed:
Nov 1, 2016: Women’s rights, and climate change. Two reasons Trump needs to lose, and hopefully Democrats gain senate majority.

April 14, 2017: Trump proves that beyond grabbing them, he doesn’t care about women’s health and welfare. No big surprise.

May 28, 2017: Even without the pussy grabbing one look at this and you know this is the kind of creep you would want your daughter to stay away from.

June 1, 2017: All bad. Not content to attack the environment, the administration joins religious fanatics to attack women’s rights
BuzzFeed charges:
And in his private life, according to a number of women in his orbit, Krauss exhibits some of the sexist behavior that he denounces in public.
I don't want to pile on here, or even to repeat the allegations. Most of them are anonymous. None are criminal, and none have any corroboration. The most serious complaint is from a woman who went to his hotel room in 2006, and complains that he made some sexual advances.

One of her critics is Rebecca Watson. She is a kooky feminist atheist/skeptic who complains a lot about misogyny among the overwhelmingly male atheist and skeptic community. She once got hysterical just because an acquaintance flirted with her in an elevator.

I believe people should be innocent until proven guilty. I do not believe that men should be destroyed by unverifiable non-criminal accusations from many years ago, even if they seem plausible. So I give Krauss a pass on this one.

Krauss illustrates the dangers of left-wing academic groupthink. My guess is that the atheist-skeptic community will purge their male scholars like Dawkins and Krauss, and allows feminist phonies like Watson to take over.

Krauss needs to rethink his Trump hatred. It used to be that he could gain approval from liberal women by reciting meaningless feminist slogans, but that strategy does not appear to work anymore.

1 comment:

  1. If you want to piss off a skeptic, just mention John Keel, Jacques Vallée, George P. Hansen or Patrick Harpur. It drives them CRAZY! As if all of Hollywood doesn't give you the one eye. People in the arts are so much more aware and have higher "eye cue." I believe Iain McGilchrist explains why this is the case neurologically. As author Lewis Hyde says, trickster makes this world. Let see how many of these left-brained nerds can decode the classic allusions in Bob Dylan's Jokerman ( They probably never read that many books. They're like lost children.

    The Secret Tradition of the Soul (Patrick Harpur)