Theoretical Physicist and Cosmologist Lawrence M. Krauss claims that religion could be completely removed from society in just one generation.
The Atheist professor, author, and founder of the School of the Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University said in a speech at Melbourne, Australia's Victorian Skeptics Cafe back in August.
"What we need to do is present comparative religion as a bunch of interesting historical anecdotes, and show the silly reasons why they did what they did," Krauss said at the dinner presentation on cosmology and education.
Krauss has written several best-selling books on the topic of cosmology, including "The Physics of Star Trek" and "A Universe from Nothing," where he vehemently argues against creationism.
The physicist made headlines earlier this year when he compared teaching creationism to child abuse and saying that it mirrors the tactics of the Taliban.
"If you think about that, somehow saying that, well, anything goes, we shouldn't offend religious beliefs by requiring kids to know - to understand reality; that's child abuse," Krauss said in another video published earlier in February. "And if you think about it, teaching kids - or allowing the notion that the earth is 6,000 years old to be promulgated in schools is like teaching kids that the distance across the United States is 17 feet. That's how big an error it is."
But his change of mind during this most recent proclaimation seems to contradict his earlier sentiments as the topic came up about children and teaching religion in schools. The professor argued that critical thinking is still important to young children, even if it means introducing them to the beliefs of the world's different religions. "Instead of shying away from it," he continued, "We have to explicitly educate people to confront their own misconceptions."
But what came across as even more shocking to some was his comparisons of religion to slavery and the gay marriage issue. His thought is that if these society-changing issues were eradicated in just one generation, the same can happen for religion.
"People say, 'Well, religion has been around since the dawn of man. You'll never change that,'" he said. "This issue of gay marriage, it is going to go away, because if you're a a child, a 13-year-old, they can't understand what the issue is. It's gone. One generation is all it takes."
"So if we can plant the seeds of doubt in our children," he continued. "Religion will go away in a generation, or at least largely go away - and that's what I think we have an obligation to do."