March 22, 2015 I attended my first Origins Project Dialogue with Lawrence Krauss.
I have never been a big fan of Chomsky. I have been a huge fan of Krauss since I first watched a debate with Michael Shermer against D’Souza and another Christian Apologist. He has been my ‘patron saint’ of science and non-belief ever since. I admittedly was somewhat surprised to learn that Krauss had such reverence for Chomsky, for starters Krauss makes no secret about his opinion of philosophy; it is anything but favorable and sometimes he finds it intolerable even as much so as religion at times. Not because Chomsky is unworthy or respect or even reverence but because he is in my opinion a pacifist more than an activist; I would even go so far as to call him an apathetic complainer, even anti-American. His disdain for the U.S. government and it’s institutions borders on Right Wing Conservatism even Tea Party politics, if he wasn’t an atheist who condemns religious scripture. What he doesn’t condemn is the Church or it’s institutions. In fact he often praises them for the good they do in the world with the poor, the sick and the hungry. Support of the Catholic Church let alone religion in general is not something Krauss has ever shown. Ever.
Outside of that, the impact on politics and government; the difference he has made in communities, society and academia is volumes. He is the most cited living scholar in history and has authored over 100 books. He attended the University of Pennsylvania in 1949 at the age of 16, and went on to receive his M.A. and Ph.D. as a member of the Harvard Society of Fellows from 1951-1955, earning a degree in Linguistics, Philosophy, and Mathematics.
His activism over the course of history has landed him in jail several times. He even landed on Nixon’s enemy of the state’s list. His protests of the Viet Nam war to his condemnation of religion he has never held his tongue.
Krauss in his truly reverent and heart felt introduction he even said that where most people might ask ‘What would Jesus do?’ I ask ‘What would Noam do?’. That in my mind was one of the most sincerely reverent statement I have ever heard. He went so far as to call Chomsky his Mentor; he was one of Krauss’ instructors at MIT.
I won’t say I was disappointed by the dialogue but I most definitely was not impressed by Chomsky, I was however more that awestruck by Krauss. He was everything I expected and more. Not only in his ability to have such an inspiring and informative conversation with Chomsky but by how approachable he was afterwards when they were signing books. I unfortunately didn’t get a book signed, the line was at least 500 people long. What I did manage to do was go up to the side of the table he was on; it seemed everyone was waiting for Chomsky, and I loudly said ‘Professor Krauss’ and when he turned around I told him I had a gift for him, then I gave him a copy of ‘Los Alamos Place Names’. It is not only my home town but my family legacy is there in the ‘X Lovato Field’ which is a softball field named after my dad in 1975. He was very receptive.
A couple of weeks later I tweeted him; ‘I hope you enjoy the Los Alamos Place Names book I gave you’. To my absolute surprise he tweeted me back the same day’ Thank you very much. I was pleasantly surprised. From that moment on I have attended every local event here in the Phoenix area but one. I have even gone to the smaller talks on campus at ASU in the Marston Theatre inside the Tech 4 Building where Krauss office is.