Scientists Lawrence Krauss & Robert Trivers Defend Admitted Pedophile

You may recall that back in 2008, billionaire Jeffrey Epstein got a sweetheart deal in which he served just 13 months in prison for raping girls as young as 13. Evidence has since emerged to suggest that he created a vast underage sex ring in which he may have also forced girls to have sex with his wealthy friends. Amongst the accused are Alan Dershowitz and Prince Andrew (allegations they deny, obviously).

You may also remember that in 2011, physicist and atheist superstar Lawrence Krauss claimed that his scientific training led him to conclude that Epstein was innocent because Krauss only ever saw Epstein around girls who appeared to be 19 or so.

Remember, this was two years after Epstein had officially accepted the charge that he had paid several underage girls money for sex.

Well, it’s now 2015 and things have never looked more damning for Epstein as his victims fight hard to bring him to justice. But Krauss hasn’t quite given up on him yet, despite a slight downgrade in his supportive rhetoric:

Krauss directs a program on the origins of life — a program that Epstein has supported. Krauss said he would feel cowardly if he turned away from Epstein, given that he doesn’t know anything about the accusations.

It’s great that in the past four years, during which Epstein’s victims have exposed more details of his crimes, Krauss has adjusted his statement from confidently stating that Epstein was 100% innocent of the charges against him to saying he doesn’t know anything about the accusations.

Sure, you could still criticize him for not reading the court documents, or the many articles that have been written about his buddy, but at least he’s being slightly less disgusting than he was before. Slightly?

Ramping up the disgust factor is a biologist and giant piece of shit named Robert Trivers, who took $40,000 from Epstein and then said about the underage girls Epstein raped and allegedly coerced into a prostitution ring, “By the time they’re 14 or 15, they’re like grown women were 60 years ago, so I don’t see these acts as so heinous.”

I assume that Trivers is referring to the dropping age of the onset of puberty (in both girls and boys). In the past 60 years, that age for girls has gone from 13.1 to 10.5. The weird thing is that I think most sensible and compassionate people would agree that it was wrong to pay a 13-year old for sex in 1950, and it’s just as wrong to do it today, even if said 13-year old has been using menstrual pads and training bras for two years or so.

But Trivers clearly isn’t sensible or compassionate: he’s just a rape apologist who is desperately trying to justify his income at the expense of the ruined lives of countless girls who were lured into a pedophile’s high roller prostitution ring.

But on the plus side, at least he makes Lawrence Krauss look positively angelic.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca is a writer, speaker, YouTube personality, and unrepentant science nerd. In addition to founding and continuing to run Skepchick, she hosts Quiz-o-Tron, a monthly science-themed quiz show and podcast that pits comedians against nerds. There is an asteroid named in her honor. Twitter @rebeccawatson Mastodon mstdn.social/@rebeccawatson Instagram @actuallyrebeccawatson TikTok @actuallyrebeccawatson YouTube @rebeccawatson BlueSky @rebeccawatson.bsky.social

Related Articles


  1. “But on the plus side, at least he makes Lawrence Krause look positively angelic.”

    Perhaps Trivers is on Krause’s payroll as well as Epstein’s? Maybe Krause is paying Trivers to be more of a jerk than him so that he’ll look better by comparison?

    Just a thought.

  2. I’m sick over this. The American Humanist Association is awarding Krauss Humanist of the Year. I became a member of that organization because I saw Rebecca Hale speak, and she convinced me that the AHA supported feminism, unlike several other secular organizations I had formerly supported and found wanting.

    I plan to write to Hale and suggest other AHA members do as well. Someone who would defend a pedophile and blatantly lie about having knowledge of the accusations is not worthy of any honor.

  3. I went back to reread the article from 2011 and there is DJ Grothe defending Krauss. No wonder Grothe defended Michael Shermer, he had practice excusing rapists.

    No if you’ll excuse me I need to go vomit in the shower.

    1. Lawrence Krauss, along with Shermer, was also accused at the time of questionable behavior.

      He then, like Shermer, apparently threatened lawsuits.

      Grothe has himself said quite a few questionable things in the past.

  4. ““By the time they’re 14 or 15, they’re like grown women were 60 years ago, so I don’t see these acts as so heinous.”

    Wow. Just because a girl might be physiologically ready, does not mean she is mentally ready for sexual relationships. In any case, it’s really not healthy for people who are 20+ years the senior of an adolescent to be trying to engage with them sexually. If they are ready for sex, there are plenty of other age-appropriate adolescents around for them to engage with.

    I would ask these men why they can’t find more age appropriate sexual partners. Is there something wrong with the women who are relatively close to the SAME AGE AS YOU to have relationships with?

    1. People with severe mental disabilities, those under the influence, or those in one’s custody (eg. prison guards with prisoners) are also “physiologically ready”.

      The world record for the youngest ever mother is 5-years-old (she and her daughter are still alive today). She was obviously physiological ready.

  5. “By the time they’re 14 or 15, they’re like grown women were 60 years ago, so I don’t see these acts as so heinous.”

    I didn’t need a training bra or pads until I was 14.

    I want to vomit.

  6. “Krauss said he would feel cowardly if he turned away from Epstein…”

    Mother fucker, cowardly is supporting an admitted child rapist because he pays your bills! If Krauss ever talks about morals again, I will absolutely lose my shit.

    Craven selfish lickspittle.

  7. I thought it was disgusting when Lawrence Krauss was the keynote speaker at the Northeast Conference of Science and Skepticism in 2014. I expected some protest, but never noticed any. It’s a conference I never plan to attend, due to NECSS’ questionable judgement in selecting speakers.

    1. I had totally forgotten about this (I have a great memory for utter trivia, but terrible one for important stuff.) At the time it was a large factor in my decision not to attend NECSS last year. I’ve already got my ticket for this year, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed. (That works, right?)

      I have a Pamela Gay “Stopping Harassment Starts Here” t-shirt from TAM 12 (right after the elevator incident, the last TAM I attended or ever will attend.) Maybe we can come up with something suitable if there are more crappy speakers. (Crappy in the POS sense, not the rambling incoherent boring sense. I’m happy with boring.)

  8. There is no way to excuse a mature adult who has used an underage person for sex, whether or not money was involved. People who support those who have made a habit of doing so aren’t much better.

    That said, isn’t a pedophile someone with a strong preference for sex with prepubescent children? A young woman of 13 who “has been using menstrual pads and training bras for two years or so.” clearly isn’t prepubescent, regardless of the calendar.

    I mention this only because I’m tired of seeing “pedophile” thrown around casually and inaccurately.

      1. A pedophile is someone with a mental illness who needs treatment. A child rapist is a child rapist regardless of their mental health. A pedophile may or may not be a child rapist, a child rapist may or may not be a pedophile. It’s not pedantic to separate the two and to use language accurately. Using pedophile when you mean child rapist stigmatizes mental illness in exactly the same way as using ‘retard’ when you mean stupid or ignorant. It prevents people who need help from asking for it, which puts the whole community in danger.

        1. All I’m saying is, the vernacular changes. Good or bad, the horse is out of the barn. The same way ‘misogynist’ has come to mean the same thing as ‘chauvinist’ in my lifetime.
          It’s a losing battle, the ship has sailed, can’t put the genie back in the bottle and all that. People keep trying to change language, but prescriptive changes almost never stick.
          And people with a sexual attraction to kids are going to be viewed as dangerous. Because kids are vulnerable and the rest of us have a duty to protect them. There’s no linguistic trick to make that not so.
          Admitting to pedophilia is always going to be like admitting that you have a constant urge to commit mass murder. I don’t see any way to take the stigma out of that.

      2. Also, I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard people defend using words like ‘fag’ or ‘retard’ because “this how how people use language”. It’s not okay.

        1. Gay people and people with disabilities are not inherently dangerous, are not moved by internal pressures to harm others.
          Describing a kidfucker as a pedophile is not the same thing. It’s a semantic quibble.

  9. I’m not a fan of mob justice. It disgusts me almost as much as rape. Krauss may be an ass sometimes, and he’s not the best spokesperson for or the most eloquent of freethinkers, but hasn’t been convicted or even accused of a crime. He may be blinded by his loyalty to Epstein, but that doesn’t make him anywhere near a monster on the same level as Epstein.

    You are twisting Krauss’ words. He is correct when he says that he doesn’t know anything about the allegations. He wasn’t there and didn’t observe any indications that they were true at the time. What he’s experienced makes difficult for him to square his observations with the known facts in this case. But just like Krauss, many people discussing this issue are allowing their personal viewpoints to override their rationality. Does Krauss have misplaced devotion to his former associate? Yes, but vilifying a person by defining them by one or two short statements they’ve made seems illogical to me, and insinuating that they’re doing it for financial gain based on circumstantial evidence is libelous. These are tactics used by anti-GMO, anti-vax, and other promoters of pseudoscience, not a rational freethinker’s blog.

    Trivers’ statement is somewhat more difficult to stomach, but to say that he’s not sensible and lacks compassion is in itself an insensible and uncompassionate statement. He didn’t say what Epstein did wasn’t a heinous crime. He compared the consequences of the rape of a prepubescent child to the consequences for a teenager closer to adulthood. Insensitive? Yes. But to call him a “giant piece of shit” is ridiculous and completely uncalled for in my opinion. In fact it smacks of thoughtcrime to me. Saying it damages your credibility as a rational freethinker and it certainly doesn’t help Epstein’s victims.

    1. What is “mob justice”? Define your terms.

      Also “It disgusts me almost as much as rape. ”

      Your priorities are FUCKED UP.

      He is an ******ADMITTED PEDOPHILE******

      Jesus. Even when we know for *sure* that someone is a terrible human being who has done terrible things to other people, we have to handle them with kid gloves.

      Yeah, rape culture totally doesn’t exist.

      Fuck that shit.

    2. “These are tactics used by anti-GMO, anti-vax, and other promoters of pseudoscience, not a rational freethinker’s blog.”

      Oh for fuck’s sake, it’s not the same thing at all. You’re grasping at straws all because you want to defend a pedophile and the pedophile’s defenders. WHY?

    3. “Trivers’ statement is somewhat more difficult to stomach, but to say that he’s not sensible and lacks compassion is in itself an insensible and uncompassionate statement.”
      Well, he basically decided that those children were totes not children and therefore worthy the protection children are entitled to is totes compassionate.

      “He didn’t say what Epstein did wasn’t a heinous crime. He compared the consequences of the rape of a prepubescent child to the consequences for a teenager closer to adulthood.”
      So, he’s doing this “objectively ranking rapes from worst to “stop making such a fuss”, which apparently means that raping a teenager isn’t quite so bad, therefore what he said wasn’t totally excusing the rape of teenagers.

      “Insensitive? Yes. But to call him a “giant piece of shit” is ridiculous and completely uncalled for in my opinion. ”
      PoS is a mild term for men who think that raping teenagers isn’t that bad because they have grown tits and pubic hair.

      “In fact it smacks of thoughtcrime to me.”
      Thoughtcrimes don’t actually exist. Nobody can read your thoughts. But saying horrible things is an action and being called out on it isn’t “punishing thoughts”
      Are you seriously suggesting that we should kindly refrain from judging people who think that raping teenagers isn’t quite bad?

      Rape apology, more magical than measles at Disneyworld.

    4. Nobody is saying Krauss is on the same level as Epstein, and you’re absolutely right he hasn’t been charged or accused of a crime – no one is saying so.

      As for “mob justice”, Krauss is hardly being lynched. He’s facing words which are criticsm of his own words. He’s free to give his opinion, and others are free to give theirs. Free speech works both ways. It doesn’t protect one from criticsm of one’s words.

  10. Robert Trivers has done brilliant work in evolutionary theory, and his ideas have been very influential in shaping my thinking about natural selection and social theory (to borrow the title of one of his books). How disappointing to learn that he’s a moral weakling, willing to apply his considerable intellect not to the rational search for truth but the rationalizing defense of the pedophilia of his wealthy patron. What gross behavior from a scientist who was once cited as a positive example by the biologist Marlene Zuk when writing on how feminism can strengthen inquiry into animal behavior (“Feminism and the Study of Animal Behavior,” Zuk 1993).

    1. “and social theory ”

      And now his social theory work has been tainted. He is no longer credible. Because he is a pedophile apologist and defender. He doesn’t know shit about social theory, obviously.

      1. It’s a fair point, but I’ll note that “social theory” in the evolutionary sense and “social theory” in the sense of human societies are very different things. The evolution of social systems can occur by mechanisms that we would judge morally repugnant by human standards (deception, exploitation, theft, killing, etc.). The “values” of evolution are not, and should not be, the values of human society. (A point the MRAs can’t seem to wrap their heads around.) Trivers can be clueless about moral behavior and still insightful on the mechanisms of the evolution of social systems. But, his behavior does call into question his overall intellectual integrity, at least to me.

  11. When Trivers was at UCSC I heard people from his department describe how disappointed they were with him; they felt they’d made a terrible mistake getting him.

  12. It’s all very suspicious. Just the other day Jerry Coyne (a friend of Alan Dershowitz) posted a 16-minute YouTube of Woody Allen and was slobbering over that little weirdo like he was Da Bomb. Worse, there was no kick back in the comments, just ‘Isn’t Woody a clever boy!’-type fawning. Yuck.

  13. I note how, in the original post dealing with this issue, Krauss begins by using “as a scientist”, but latter, when saying he doesn’t wish to discuss the details he found out after looking into the matter further, that “I don’t think these are issues that are relevant to Jeffrey’s support of science, my scientific credentials etc.. “

  14. DJ Groethe, in comments to the original post, defends the sitution somewhat, by questioning both age of consent laws and prostitution laws.

    If, however, Epstein is an opponent of such laws, there is a lot he could have done instead of simply break those laws.

    With his money, he could have launched a ballot initiative in California, and potentially change the laws regarding consent or prostitution in the largest state of the union.

    Alternatively, instead of taking a plea deal and ensuring most details remain secret, he could have taken the issue to court, allowing all the details to become public so that everyone can see the facts and know that, while he may have broken the law, he did nothing wrong and that these were unjust laws.

    He could have also appealed the case, challenging the constitutionally of laws prohibiting sex between consenting adults (or an adult and a teenager). Gay men did this first, and unsuccessfully, in Bowers v. Hardwick. In fact, the appellants in that case insisted on being prosecuted, even when the authorities wanted to drop the charges. The then did it in Lawrence v. Texas, where the defence attorney actually argues for an increase in the fine levied, so that it was above the amount which would allow an appeal.

    Epstein certainly had the money, and the celebrity, to turn his case into a cause célèbre against either prostitution laws or age of consent laws.

  15. The American Humanist Association today posted a link to Krauss’ speech as “Humanist of the Year,” and I commented: “The Humanist of the Year is a guy who stood by a pedophile? Um… okay.” My comment was deleted. So much for open dialogue, I guess. I would’ve expected better from AHA.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top button