The Lawrence Krauss affair

Certainly most of you are aware of the allegations that physicist Lawrence Krauss engaged in sexually predatory behavior. This was made public with the BuzzFeed article that accused Krauss of a panoply of sexually aggressive and harassing behaviors, ranging from inappropriate comments made to women through physical groping up to sexual assault.  I didn’t find the specifics of most allegations fully convincing, yet the fact that there were so many of them that resembled each other meant that they could not be ignored. As I’ve said, the more independent claims there are against a person, and the more they paint a consistent pattern of behavior, the greater the likelihood that the accused is guilty.

After that article appeared, I did some digging on my own, and came up with three cases that have convinced me that Krauss engaged in sexual predation of both a physical nature (groping) and of a verbal nature (offensive and harassing comments).  The allegations that convinced me are not public, but the accusers are sufficiently credible that I believe their claims to be true. Further, these claims buttress the general allegation of sexual misbehavior made in BuzzFeed. In my view, then, Krauss had a propensity to engage in sexual misconduct. I therefore disassociate myself from the man. He has, of course, denied every allegation in the BuzzFeed article, but the cases that pushed me to write this post aren’t in that piece. But to me these other cases make it likely that at least some of the allegations in BuzzFeed are true.

I don’t like trial by social media, and don’t feel that allegations are always the same as facts. The finders of fact, like Krauss’s employer Arizona State University, will be the ones to determine his professional fate. All I can do, and which I do here, is publicly disassociate myself from Krauss, declare that the behaviors I know of are reprehensible, and hope that he owns up to his behavior.

All women, whether in the atheist “movement” or not, deserve better than this. Women are not objects for someone’s one-sided sexual pleasure, but fellow humans with dignity, autonomy, and the right to be free of sexual predation.  Any abrogation of that right should be strongly condemned. This should go without saying.

I am taking the step of not allowing comments on this post as I don’t really want any discussion here of my position, which I’ve arrived at after long cogitation. As I said, I don’t want trial by social media, and it would be hypocritical of me to allow that here.

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