Wednesday’s Big Idea
Burden of Proof
Evolution is the fundamental idea in all of life science. In today's lesson, Lawrence Krauss explains why it matters so much that we teach it in our schools:
If we allow nonsense to be promulgated in the schools, we do a disservice to our students, a disservice to our children, and we’re guaranteeing that they will fall behind in a competitive world that depends upon a skilled workforce able to understand and manipulate technology and science.
There is also a bigger idea that we need to teach to students, and that is about the nature of proof. According to Bertrand Russell's famous teapot analogy, the philosophical burden of proof falls on those who make claims that are scientifically unfalsifiable.
Understanding the burden of proof is a skill that is often lacking in our public discourse, particularly in our digital age in which it is so easy to play fast and loose with the facts. If this aspect of critical thinking is further eroded through the teaching of unfalsifiable concepts, the consequences could be profound for a generation of students.