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  • Dan Dredger wrote a new post, Yes, science is political 3 years, 5 months ago

    By Elizabeth Lopatto
    Over the past few weeks, we’ve gotten notes from Verge Science readers wondering why news from the incoming Trump administration has seeped into our science coverage. I wasn’t surprised: it’ […]

    • Yes, science is political

      How come, then, there is only one Scientific method (broadly defined) recognised and used by all scientists around the world?

      How come we don’t see American science bickering with Chinese science and Russian science and German science as to which one is the “real” science?

      I get what the writer is trying to convey, but in my view the message (the title in particular) is a bit simplistic and potentially misleading.

    • @OP – But science and politics are plainly related: science is the pursuit of knowledge, knowledge is power, and power is politics.

      Science is clearly the enemy of political liars and fabricators of false information.
      The last thing they want widely viewed in the public domain, is the competent debunking of their propagandist deceptions, by irrefutable empirical methods!

    • There is a party of fear and a party of hope. The party of fear is in charge- end of story. But I’ll continue anyway…

      Let’s wander back to Hollywood 1951. Two very different sci-fi were hits that year- The Thing From Another World and The Day the Earth Stood Still. Both depict aliens landing on Earth. In “The Thing,” the alien is plant-based and thus heartless, feeds on mammalian blood, multiplies by spreading seeds and is out to conquer our planet. In “The Day,” the alien brings an offer of peace.

      Both films feature scientists who want to save and work with their respective aliens. The scientist in “The Thing” is portrayed as the mad variety who openly valued the progress of science over human life while the scientist in “The Day” was out for the betterment of mankind. Fear versus hope.

      So in that era what was the most spectacular achievement of science? Nuclear bombs. The half-full side said it saved Allied lives by shortening the war while others wondered why anyone would research and invent something that made the destruction of the entire planet more than just a theoretical horror.

      You see the same split today. Some of us get edge-of-our-seats excited over what new particle might show its face at Cern; others think the mad scientists risk creating a black hole that will swallow us all.

      And there is some suggestion this dichotomy might be hereditary. Though the sample was too small and the correlation was only 80%, a study in the UK found conservatives had larger amygdalas- that part of the brain that recognizes and reacts to threats before we can reason our way to a decision- fight or flight (or as they say here in Southland, shoot or scoot). The Darwinian explanation might be that my liberal forebears on the Savanna survived by digging deeper into the scruff and eating better while the conservatives survived by not being eaten.

      But either way, it’s hope versus fear and right now fear is in charge- end of story (and this time I mean it).

    • We as a species have the intelligence to understand how things function. The central problem is the indoctrination every child gets in early childhood education. First by the parents, then by teachers at schools and by religious institutions..

      We cannot, in our present situation, completely achieve critical thinking because of the early indoctrination parents have already received and passed on to their children. But we as a society can affect children by teaching them some fundamental aspect of the world we live in. Without directly challenging the closely held beliefs of the parents, teachers could teach critical thinking more effectively if they were not themselves deeply indoctrinated or made bigoted with respect to science. Here are some of those concepts:

      Question authority is the most basic theme. Keep up a theme of “How do you know?” or “How can you find out?” or How often do you see this (or that)?”

      Question dualistic thinking. Yes there are some things that conveniently fall into a category of dualism in our observable world. Up vs down, night vs day, black vs white (colors not people), stopped vs moving, energy and matter, mind and body, hot vs cold, are some of these. But eventually even these can be challenged as “clearly” separate. To the end of eliminating dualism, the following can be taught:

      Gradients. Night and day gradient are evening and dawn. Black and white gradient is the relative darkness of grey. Fact and falsehood
      depends on the accuracy of evidence, The blending of colors such as
      water soluble dyes or paint pigments.

      Curve distributions. Tall vs short (in people) is questioned by the clearly observable variation the exists among people. Variation
      within a species should be emphasized in all classrooms and that
      would provide evidence for gradients and opposed against dualistic
      thinking. Height among people is an excellent observable example.

      Sample size. Too often some people accept something as a “fact” from a single observation or even a single statement by someone. In basic science, a sample size of 30 observations is required as sufficient evidence. However in medicine especially with respect to the safety and effectiveness of new pharmaceuticals, thousands of tests are needed before wide spread use is allowed.

      Absolute vs relative. Another basic concept is the erroneous belief in absolutes. I have too often heard in news commentary the statement “That is absolutely right”. No one has the absolute “truth” about anything. We must get rid of this truly destructive notion that something or another is “absolutely” correct.

      These are just some of the basic concepts that must be taught in elementary schools in order to teach critical thinking so badly lacking throughout the world. A gradual approach to critical thinking would best be accomplished slowly and deliberately, not precipitously. During my 41 years of teaching biology, i have often referred to some of these basic concepts, however I did not emphasize them as much as I could have as basic to good critical thinking.

      A disclaimer is that the list of concepts above are not necessarily absolute, complete, or final. Timing in todays world is critical as to when in childhood development these concepts could be taught. Perhaps they could be taught gradually rather than precipitously, depending on the situation.

    • Wow! There’s going to be a science march on Washington! Date to be announced. I really want to go to this one. Can we get some awesome speakers please?! hint hint.

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2017/01/24/are-scientists-going-to-march-on-washington/?utm_term=.0aa9284f9a6f

    • Popper would not have used the terms “empiricism” or “prove” and it is to him that we owe the scientific method outlined above. Incidentally, the very best YouTube explanation of the scientific method is that by Lullie Tullet (I may have misspelt her name). Virtually all the others are 2,400 or 300 years out of date. This demonstrates that Popper’s method isn’t widely known and used by all scientists.

      Popper’s method is more than the scientific method, it is the general method for problem solving and equally applicable to solving political problems. P1, TS, EE, P2, repeat; problem (you start with a problem P1 and not an observation or an idea), you come up with your first tentative solution TS, you test it EE (error elimination) and through testing you come to a better understanding of the problem P1 and its solution. This is how we grow knowledge in every discipline, by trial and error.

      That said we must agree that Trump has been a fantastic problem solver in many fields to build his empire. And please remember that technology dwarfs science and feeds science with its problems for the most part.

      Trump does GREAT, its his key word, and he will be great for science and technology. One way he will do this is with education and his choice of Betsie as education secretary. Come on. If you can make the most watched speech in the world, the inauguration speech, and say you are going to make America great again and throw in that the US education system is flush with money but our children know nothing you are going to boost science and technology by leaps and bounds by giving the next generation a GREAT education. Teach them skills and concepts please and not stuff that they can get with a few clicks on their smart-phone Teach them mega knowledge rather than junk knowledge/stuff. Bottom line, teach them to be problem solvers rather than walking encyclopedias with heads full of stuff that they may forget.

    • David #6
      Jan 25, 2017 at 6:44 pm

      Trump does GREAT, its his key word, and he will be great for science and technology. One way he will do this is with education and his choice of Betsie as education secretary. Come on.

      All right! You’ve done the TV (un)reality show comedy!

      Now we need to get real and look at the disaster area Trump is propagating for science and education with his collection of pseudo science science denying muppets, with their “alternative facts”, climate change denial, and pseudo- economics!

      Come on. If you can make the most watched speech in the world, the inauguration speech, and say you are going to make America great again

      He is being watched because he is a dangerous idiot, messing with important global issues, on which he is utterly incompetent, not because he is going to make anything “great” apart from a series of disaster areas around whatever he touches!

      He is already trying to gag scientists because science refutes his reckless, clueless, superficial, half-baked ideas, before he even utters them!
      It is laughable to suggest that Trump’s claims could stand up to tests of scrutiny or Popper falsification!

    • Alan,

      GREAT to get a comment. Unfortunately I have lost my reply but I will try again tomorrow. I have hit a number of vegan YouTube sites with the one and only diet and none have made a comment. All I can conclude is that they don’t do the most important bit of problem solving EE.

    • We know that the earth is round. We know that we advance our understanding of facts and values by standing on the shoulders of giants and seeing further. We will get it right. The Islamic world, 1.6b folk, one fifth of humanity, has made no contribution to our understanding of facts and values in 900 years. Yet they were responsible for all of man’s advances in the previous 500 years, the Islamic Golden Age.

      Today we know the best way to run a country and the only economic technology that works. The best way to run a country is RULE BY THE BEST ARGUMENT and the best economic technology (its a technology stupid and not a science) is that that came from David Hume’s drinking partner, Adam Smith. Never-mind the soundbites. Trump does best practice in governance and economics and will make America great again.

    • David #9
      Jan 25, 2017 at 8:51 pm

      Today we know the best way to run a country and the only economic technology that works.

      . . . and almost all of this technology was created by the science Trump denies, and the scientists he is trying to silence!

      The best way to run a country is RULE BY THE BEST ARGUMENT and the best economic technology (its a technology stupid and not a science) is that that came from David Hume’s drinking partner, Adam Smith.

      You got it most of it right up to to thins point!

      Never-mind the soundbites.

      That’s why those using evidence and science regard Trump’s TV hype type sound-bites, as ridiculous! Trump and Co. have no scientific or evidenced basis and mostly produce “alternative pseudo-facts” or knee-jerk babblings, which contradict the consensus of expert opinion or even objective reports of events! They work on propagandist disinformation from vested interests, and their own ideological nonsense – not scientific, economic, or technical expertise!

      Trump does best practice in governance and economics and will make America great again.

      You would have to be joking!
      He is trying to turn the US into an isolationist, protectionist, backwater, running unregulated, obsolete, technology!

      He has a massive string people suing him him over debts from rogue business deals.
      Four of his casino companies went bankrupt owing many creditors!
      He paid $25million in an out of court settlement to students who paid for fake business courses at the so called “Trump University”, and he proved him self to be utterly incompetent in the energy business and in diplomacy, in an exchange of letters with the Scottish First Minister.

      He has appointed science deniers and Young Earth Creationists to important cabinet posts and is trying to gag expert federal departments!

      He is just a spoilt kid from a rich family, who made money as a rogue trader!
      He has no capability whatever in running public or government services, and proved this by appointing the most unsuitable people he could find to important cabinet posts. It is only a matter of time before they mess-up big-time and degenerate into squabbling among themselves.
      He has denied climate change and the benefits of renewable energy, and is busy expanding polluting obsolete industries, and stranded assets! Then there is his ridiculous wall, and claims that Mexico is going to pay $billions for it!

      The comedians are already having a field day, and Trump is fuming in infantile rages at criticism of fantasy assertions!

      He could well leave office by way of impeachment, for conflicts of interest, legal transgressions due to pig-headed ignorance, and utter incompetence!

    • David #6
      Jan 25, 2017 at 6:44 pm

      This demonstrates that Popper’s method isn’t widely known and used by all scientists.

      This is a statement of profound ignorance!
      Popper falsification is an absolute part of scientific methodology, taught in all university science courses.

      Popper’s method is more than the scientific method, it is the general method for problem solving and equally applicable to solving political problems.

      Nope! – Popper’s method IS included as part of the scientific method – which provides reliable information across many fields!

      And please remember that technology dwarfs science and feeds science with its problems for the most part.

      Technology originates in science, and scientific methodology provides the answers to technical questions. Technology certainly does not “dwarf science”
      Anyone who embarks on technical projects without the relevant knowledge of science, is doomed to failure, and probably some sort of disaster!

      Anyone working with technology who does not understand the related science, is just a machine minder or odd-job man, under the supervision of scientists and engineers. – Someone who plods through the handbooks they have provided, on basic servicing and use of the equipment.

      There ARE people who try to deal with technology, without the required scientific training and understanding – as accident reports show!

      (NASA lost Apollo 1 and two space shuttles as a result of the ignoring of science in warnings from engineers.)

    • Alan4discussion,

      Great comments. Popper gave us the demarcation criteria in 1934. Its a relatively small tool in the epistemological arsenal. He gave us the most important contribution to the biggest problem in philosophy, the epistemological problem, in 1982 with his universal problem solving methodology, P1, TS, EE, P2 repeat.

      I’m no knocking science when I say technology is bigger. Its bigger because science can give us a law of nature like Newton’s third law of motion but millions of engineers will use it. Popper gave scientific knowledge its deserved place as OBJECTIVE KNOWLEDGE and the title World 3. Descartes gave us dualism, World 1 and 2 and Popper gave us World 3.

      Going further I would call technology World 4.

      But I would go further and say World 1 was prior to the Big Bang, World 2 is the material world, World 3 is life, World 4 is mind, World 5 is objective knowledge and World 6 is technology. And if we can go 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 then we can go to 7,8 and n. Gone is the second law of thermodynamics.

      And further again. Expanding Popper’s scientific method to the general theory to solve any problem. And recognising that there are only two problems in philosophy, epistemology and ethics, facts and values, neatly demarcated by Hume’s guillotine. We can go forward recognising that trial and error gives us the best science, technology and morals.

    • Alan4discussion,
      I am always impressed by your replies. When you make the statement below am I to assume you are speaking for RDF.

      “On this site we debunk such misleading poor quality information.”

      I would be very pleased if the scientific method, or as I refer to P1,TS, EE, P2 repeat, the universal problem solving method, was taught around the globe. But there is very little reference to Popper on Academy.ed.com which is generally full of current philosophers pursuing lots of silly tangents. I introduced Popper to my engineering lecturers and worked as an engineer for twenty five years as a sub-sea engineer and never met anyone familiar with the scientific method and they came from every university in the UK. I see universities granting degrees in psychoanalysis and Marxist professors, ideologies that some have described as being murdered by Popper’s demarcation criteria vintage 1934.

      I am always introducing Newton’s statement “standing on the shoulder’s of giants and seeing further” but never see any post Popper.

      Please visit Lullie Tullet’s YouTube for the best presentation on epistemology which I refer to as the king of enquiries telling every other discipline what they can and cannot do.

      Please may I submit a post for RDF on ethics.

    • @David

      That said we must agree that Trump has been a fantastic problem solver in many fields to build his empire. And please remember that technology dwarfs science and feeds science with its problems for the most part.

      I think you have this around backwards. Technology is often not made possible for some decades after the fundamental science was conducted. Lasers are a good example the fundamental science was done more than 50 years ago but Blue rays, checkouts, laser range finders and laser cutters came a long way after that. Technologies usually come some time after the basic science is done. Some of technological development can spurn research and provide a feedback but it usually starts with known science. I may want to build a hover car, I’m much more likely to have success if I think along the lines of known science (magnetism, aerodynamics etc) than if I say well it looks like we need to develop an anti-gravity device.

      Trump does GREAT, its his key word, and he will be great for science and technology. One way he will do this is with education and his choice of Betsie as education secretary. Come on. If you can make the most watched speech in the world, the inauguration speech, and say you are going to make America great again and throw in that the US education system is flush with money but our children know nothing you are going to boost science and technology by leaps and bounds by giving the next generation a GREAT education. Teach them skills and concepts please and not stuff that they can get with a few clicks on their smart-phone Teach them mega knowledge rather than junk knowledge/stuff. Bottom line, teach them to be problem solvers rather than walking encyclopedias with heads full of stuff that they may forget.

      Education always seems so obvious to anyone who hasn’t taught. Trouble is we forget how we learned things and assume all sorts of things about the education system that just are either not true or are far more complicated than you can imagine unless you have been confronted with 26 kids from different backgrounds 4 times a day and told to teach them X by this time.

      Yes we want problem solvers but you are not going to be able to solve many problems unless you understand a few fundamentals first. So a grasp of Mathematics and literacy are essential to being able to do anything. This is going to mean you cannot even look up facts let alone analyse the results on your iPhone if you can’t read. You cannot solve an engineering problem if you cannot add. So right there is years of gradually drilling known facts into kids. You are not going to understand say evolution or forces without learning about genetics and Newtonian physics first. So much of the basis of a good education will lie on the foundation of basic skills and knowledge. Problem solving can be taught at the same time of course but it would be absolutely pointless trying to teach just problem solving, doubt everything! Does 2 + 2 really equal 4? No we teach conventions, facts (which where possible such as in maths can be demonstrated with blocks or objects etc.) but much will rely on explicitly stating certain things.

      There are many problems with the education system in the USA (and here in Australia) the appalling pay given to teachers in the USA and the enormous power given to people who know nothing about education are high on the list. My brother in law (an American teacher) has a Masters in education (obtained at some expense) and he gets less than $40 000 a year! You want people to do a job like teaching don’t be such tight-arses. And let them do their bloody jobs stop telling them they have to teach nonsense. The actual reasons for poor education outcomes are many and varied and if you find yourself thinking it’s just a fundamental issue like the system is just trying to fill kids heads with fact then please first familiarise yourself with the curriculum. Then ask a teacher.

    • I hope that one of the four year results of the Trump presidency is that a whole bunch of sciency people and scientists look to run for office. I have been openly critical of “protests” and everyone here is probably sick of my point of view on that. But, a plan that has teeth and actually could induce positive change is that we need better politicians. I hope people are motivated to both run and to support those who run. If you are like me, you do not want the scrutiny, the skeletons (I have way too many!!!) and the general idea of representing people is kind of foreign. But, I hope that there is a subset of people who want to affect change and that they stand up when it comes to their door. MORE SCIENTISTS!!!

    • Trump does GREAT… he will be great for science…

      Trump understands Science so well that he initially offered the post of Education Secretary to Jerry Falwell, a preacher who runs a “university” that teaches pseudoscientific nonsense…

    • Cantaz #21
      Jan 30, 2017 at 9:14 am

      Trump understands Science so well that he initially offered the post of Education Secretary to Jerry Falwell, a preacher who runs a “university” that teaches pseudoscientific nonsense…

      . . . and Trump +, also understand administration and diplomacy so well, that they don’t bother consulting the federal experts, and are committed to radically reducing federal budgets and staff numbers!

      Who needs professionals to advise the president and his yes-men? ? ? ? 🙂

      After all, commenting on his executive order about restrictions applying to seven countries – the lord high Trump said his government was “totally prepared.” – “It’s working out very nicely,”!

    • Everybody approaches the world with belief system bias, but those who are most deceived won’t even recognize their own dependence on belief systems. The more one pretends his belief system is equivalent to fact, the less likely he’ll ever question what he believes and the more likely he’ll push his beliefs on others as if they were fact. He doesn’t ask others to believe like he does, no, he screams, “there is no debate, no belief, only science”. I got news for you, Science as we know it, will never produce moral codes, it’ll never say what is right and what is wrong, it’ll never give you the values or worth of humans or objects. Whenever you see these things, it is all belief systems. Science will never tell you it’s wrong to use a nuclear bomb on a city. It’ll never tell you when the baby becomes a baby or at what gestational point the abortionist is committing murder. It’ll never tell you that a cripple is more or less valuable than a non cripple. It’ll never tell you that a girl is more valuable than a boy or visa versa. It’ll never tell you what will make you happy. That is all belief systems and they are peddled wherever you go, but the evil is in the belief systems that pretend they are not belief systems. Their alluring lies are able to deceive millions and make other true believers that never question their faith because they actually believe they have none. So the next time you hear somebody preaching that a baby isn’t a baby until first breath, and that promiscuity, homosexuality, prostitution, and transgendering are all moral because science told him it was, please recognize he’s delusional and has yet to realized his own dependence on belief systems.

    • @ #24

      Whenever you see these things, it is all belief systems…

      Nobody falls for that kind of false equivalence here.

      To suggest that any way of understanding the world is equally valid and effective as any other is naïve at best.

      If one truly thought of Science as just like any other “belief system”, one should be consistent with that thought and be ready to deny oneself all the advantages and progress that science has made possible (modern technology and medicine included) over the few hundred years of its history.

    • All we have is confidence in ideas. confidence is set up through use of the scientific method, observation, logic, verification, reliability, and reproducibility. I will not speak for anyone here (nor everyone here) but, there are ideas that i have a high confidence in and ideas that i have a low confidence in. All of my confidences rest between 1% probability and 99% probability.

      sometimes I am guilty of being lazy with language and it may seem like I am declaring something a 0% or a 100% probability, but, it is only that, lazy language. I am never 0% nor 100%.

      You, Jeriah, seem 100% convinced that you’ve figured shit out. And, you haven’t. You are declaring McDonald’s the best restaurant without ever having experienced a restaurant that serves food outside the fast food paradigm.

      You are so so far in over your head that I am going to call you Trumpie.

      Now, Trumpie, I have a very very high confidence that oranges exist. I have a much lower confidence in the existence of unicorns. you know how i can say that? That’s right. Use of all of the skills I listed above.

      Trumpie,, simply saying something or having words in your vocabulary to express an idea does not commit any of the rest of us to agreeing, taking you seriously, or spending an ounce of time or effort entertaining your madness. However, you will find many folks here (I am NOT one of them) who will patiently spell stuff out for you. You are, again under no obligation to listen, entertain etc… their posts.

      let’s see just how our methodology compares/contrasts to yours. I have confidence in the idea that exercising raises your heart rate and can lead to weight loss. you may agree or disagree…. then offer me something that you assert and I will do the same.

    • Jeriah Knox

      Hi I see you are using the is-ought distinction. I thought Sam Harris handily dealt with this in “The Moral Landscape”. Worth a look even if you don’t agree in the end. Basically, provided you accept that the foundation of any morality that matters to anyone is to do with the suffering of creatures capable of suffering then science can indeed tell you a great deal about what is moral.

      Abortion for example – knowing when a fetus is capable of feeling distress or pain is entirely within the realms of science and provided you can agree that it might be bad to cause suffering then science by helping us quantify suffering of all individuals involved is entirely relevant. Once we have a better understanding of the brain we may be able to tell the exact moment when a baby is a baby.

      Same for bombing a city. Let’s consider the morality of bombing a desert compared to a city, science could in this case be used to great effect to make a clear judgment about the comparative effects. You have but to accept the premise that we are interested in the suffering of conscious creatures.

      The whole field of psychology is geared towards helping us understand what makes us happy. As imperfect as our science is in this realm we are certainly pursuing anti-depressants in this very goal.

      As for this being a belief system, well it simply isn’t. Science may be able to answer some of these questions to some degree now, other questions may be beyond us. Other questions may be thought answered, only to find out with more information we develop a better model. None of this relies of faith. I don’t need faith to know these methods work I can see the results all around me. I can fly in an aircraft, get cures to diseases that would have been treated with prayer or exorcism only a couple of hundred years ago. I can measure directly the benefits by comparing life expectancy in countries which still rely on faith for health care. I can put a priest without a pilot license in an a480 and wait for years with no success to take off on prayer alone. Or I can put a pilot in and take off now. If some aspect of science turns out to be wrong it can be overturned and if the evidence is convincing I will throw away my beliefs in a heartbeat. That is the very antithesis of faith.

      And what pray tell is your alternative? Faith in a deity you cannot prove exists? You would base your decisions about morality on what scripture?

      Let’s have a little look-see at what the Bible says about abortion and child murder?

      Number the children of Levi after the house of their fathers, by their families: every male from a month old and upward shalt thou number them. And Moses numbered them according to the word of the LORD. — Numbers 3:15-16

      So not a human until 1 month old, so God thinks it okay for a retrospective abortion?

      And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive? … Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. — Numbers 31:15-17

      Child murder is justified how? Were these children evil?

      Give them, O LORD: what wilt thou give? give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts. — Hosea 9:14

      God is happy to abort.

      Yea, though they bring forth, yet will I slay even the beloved fruit of their womb. — Hosea 9:16

      If you sin God kills your innocent baby?

      Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up. — Hosea 13:16

      Women with child ripped up. Infants dashed to pieces?

      Because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die. — 2 Samuel 12:14

      Child dies for sins of the parent. Perhaps women wanting an abortion should just commit blasphemy and save the bother and expense of an abortion clinic.

      The priest shall say unto the woman, The LORD make thee a curse and an oath among thy people, when the LORD doth make thy thigh to rot, and thy belly to swell. And this water that causeth the curse shall go into thy bowels, to make thy belly to swell, and thy thigh to rot: And the woman shall say, Amen, amen. …
      And when he hath made her to drink the water, then it shall come to pass, that, if she be defiled, and have done trespass against her husband, that the water that causeth the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter, and her belly shall swell, and her thigh shall rot: and the woman shall be a curse among her people. And if the woman be not defiled, but be clean; then she shall be free, and shall conceive seed. — Numbers 5:21-21, 27-28

      spell for testing if unfaithful women are in fact unfaithful. If they have conceived through an affair the child must die. After all he paid good money to buy the woman.

      Tamar thy daughter in law hath played the harlot; and also, behold, she is with child by whoredom. And Judah said, Bring her forth, and let her be burnt. — Genesis 38:24

      Again another confirmation being slutty results not only in your death but the death of the poor child.

      The LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon…. And there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead. — Exodus 12:29-30

      (this was after the Pharaoh had tried to release the Jews several times only to have God harden his heart, as he told Moses he would before Moses began his campaign. So God murdered these children unnecessarily to make a point about how powerful he was.)

      And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them. — 2 Kings 2:23-24

      Cheeky children deserve to be eaten by bears.

      Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones. — Psalm 137:9

      Of course science will never be able to determine what causes happiness but faith can. Apparently happiness is dashing little ones against rocks.

      What does it say about rape?

      If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her; Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city. — Deuteronomy 22:23-24

      So if she cannot cry out (perhaps his hand is over her mouth) it’s her fault she was raped

      But if a man find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her: then the man only that lay with her shall die. … For he found her in the field, and the betrothed damsel cried, and there was none to save her. — Deuteronomy 22:25-27

      This clarifies the first- definitely her fault in a city she is at least presumed to have screamed her lungs out far from other. This shows the rape victims is also considered a sinner.

      And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive? … Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves. — Numbers 31:15-18

      Child murder, pedophilia and rape.

      So religion and faith gives us what alternative? None that don’t cause more evil. So yes I’d agree the universe does not care if we wreck this planet, kill each other, but you are missing the most simple point possible. I care! I care about my wife, my son, my extended family friends, the students I teach and my society! I have evolved to care – certainly not the only strategy that could have evolved, if I was a crocodile I probably would not care but as a primate I do. I have evolved emotions (not personally evolved them just the recipient of my emotions) and as such I can use science to maximize my chances of survival and interest and fun and love of life. None of this requires faith. Although I remain open to be convinced otherwise (another scientific principle). You’ve made the assertion about science never been able to touch this stuff I’d love to hear some evidence.

      Regards