The Basis of Education Should Be Questions, Not Answers

Can democracy remain vibrant if the public, and especially children, don't have the tools to distinguish sense from nonsense?

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"You can can get more information in your cell phone now than you can in any school, but you can also get more misinformation," says American-Canadian theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss. And he’s right: we’re in an era where any human can access a previously unimaginable wealth of knowledge. This access has grown faster than our ability to process it critically, however, and what we lack is any decent filter to weed out erroneous or partisan information. Children are the most susceptible to this, and Krauss argues that teaching children how to question information—essentially, how to make children skeptics—may save humanity from a dumbing-down. Lawrence Krauss' most recent book is The Greatest Story Ever Told -- So Far: Why Are We Here?

The Universe May Not Have a Purpose — But You Do, Thanks to Science

Life is a temporary, cosmic accident and the universe may very well be meaningless. That's depressing — or is it?

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The universe doesn't care about you, and the future is miserable. So begins theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss' guide to optimism. Optimism? You heard us right. We may never find meaning or purpose in the universe, but to assume that our purpose is interlinked with that of the universe is what Krauss calls the height of solipsism. Life is beautiful precisely because it's so temporary, and if anything helps us to be optimistic in a morally neutral universe, it's science. Asking questions and understanding what something is helps us realize the consequences of our actions. Armed with knowledge, we can make decisions for the common good. If that's not hope, what is?

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Why Searching for a Theory of Everything Is Better Than Finding It

Will we ever have a Theory of Everything? Theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss isn't sure that's the right question to be asking.

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It’s no surprise that understanding highly abstract mathematics can be challenging, says theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss. The organ of your body that does the understanding — the brain — is like the organ that does the waste processing — the kidney. Both are products of millions of years of evolution, and neither will change overnight. The type of thinking that helped us survive on the African savannas doesn’t help us grasp quantum mechanics. We should expect to not understand everything about the universe, and to keep asking questions…

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What Caused the Big Bang? Consider the Beer Bottle...

For once, beer is going to clarify your understanding. Theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss lays down the empirical evidence for the mechanics of the Big Bang.

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It’s near impossible to comprehend the size of our universe without busting a mental cog or spraining your sense of awe. However, the origins of our universe has exactly the opposite problem: it was once mind-bogglingly small — tinier than a single particle. Physicist Lawrence Krauss explains the principle of inflation, and how within the first billionth of a second of the Big Bang, our universe increased in size by a factor of 10 to the 30th—for comparison, that’s the size of a single atom, to the size of a basketball. How did it do this? It involves a ‘frozen’ Higgs field, some cooling, and then an enormous explosion. Krauss uses an analogy we’ve all been at the mercy of: putting a beer in the freezer and forgetting it for a few too many hours. Lawrence Krauss' most recent book is The Greatest Story Ever Told -- So Far: Why Are We Here?.

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