It’s Time to Stop Validating Ignorance

In protesting the Kansas State Board of Education’s decision to allow intelligent design to be taught in public schools as an alternative to creationism, Bobby Henderson audaciously argued that “Flying Spaghetti Monsterism” ought to be given equal time in classrooms as well. 

The idea behind this colorful parody was simple. Religious tolerance is one thing. It is quite another thing to teach children unfalsifiable claims. 

According to the physicist Lawrence Krauss, author of A Universe From Nothing: Why There is Something Rather than Nothing, the notion that the earth is 6,000 years old, as opposed to 4.55 billion years old, is simply an error, and a very big error indeed. To teach such an error, Krauss says, has consequences. It would be like “teaching kids that the distance across the United States is 17 feet. That’s how big an error it is,” Krauss tells Big Think. 


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