#SCIENCE is based on EVIDENCE, making it inherently not #FAITH-based @startswithabang

Ethan Siegel has written a must-read article defending the scientific process in the Forbes science section (No, Science is Not Faith-Based). Siegel takes on an inflammatory and misinformed claim from Matt Emerson that science is faith-based (Wall Street Journal). Emerson’s claim was related to the recent detection of gravitational waves by LIGO. Siegel, a trained astrophysicist, clearly explains why the claim that science has anything to do with faith is completely non-scientific. Read the full-article here, my favorite parts below:

Faith, by definition, is the belief in something despite insufficient knowledge to be certain of its veracity.

Yet in every case, there are two key components that make the prediction scientific:

  1. The prediction, or the belief that the outcome can be accurately predicted, is predicated on the existence of quality evidence.
  2. As the evidence changes — as we obtain more, newer and better evidence — and as the full suite of evidence expands, our predictions, postdictions and entire conceptions of the Universe change along with it.

There is no such thing as a good scientist who isn’t willing to both base their scientific belief on the full suite of evidence available, nor is there such a thing as a good scientist who won’t revise their beliefs in the face of new evidence.

I have a family member that teases me because I always ask about the evidence behind claims, assertions, etc. I guess years spent on a science PhD and postdoc will engrain a desire for evidence in you, but that desire has nothing to do with faith…

#Science and #Religion – Pope’s encyclical supports the science of climate change and calls for revolution!

Religion and science… in harmony? The Pope and the Vatican have taken a stand with scientists against climate change. The encyclical released today will hopefully have huge impacts on the discussion surrounding climate change, but at the very least will make climate change a major topic of discussion in politics and religion. The church’s stand is already causing tension in US politics, with anti-science Republicans chastising the Pope for his stance.  While the Pope and Catholic Church have a history of supporting the science of man-made climate change, this makes climate change a part of the church’s official teaching. Very exciting times! And who thought religion, especially the Catholic Church, would be fighting alongside scientists??

Lots of commentary about this news all over the internet, here are a bunch from The Conversation!!

[tweet https://twitter.com/CauseScience1/status/611638724431073280] [tweet https://twitter.com/CauseScience1/status/611638701999955968] [tweet https://twitter.com/CauseScience1/status/611638682802626562] [tweet https://twitter.com/CauseScience1/status/611638661541679104] [tweet https://twitter.com/CauseScience1/status/611638621121212417]

Anti-Science Quotable: Ben Carson – science or propaganda? #science


I find a very good measure of correlation between my religious beliefs and my scientific beliefs. People say, ‘How can you be a scientist? How can you be a surgeon if you dont believe in certain things?’ Maybe those things aren’t scientific, maybe its just propaganda.

Ben Carson – retired neurosurgeon and potential Republican presidential candidate on Meet the Press

Sounds like Carson is picking and choosing the science he wants to mesh with his religion and calling the rest propaganda… yikes! For not wanting to make a science and religion statement into a soundbite, he certainly provided one.

Unearthing a new Defender of #Science!! Evolution debate between ESPN baseball analysts results in firing, then reinstatement of @KeithLaw

In case you missed it, we have a new Defender of Science (and evolution) in an unexpected place!

Background hereCurt Shilling and Keith Law, both ESPN baseball analysts, engaged in a twitter debate about evolution and science. Curt Shilling posted a number of tweets questioning evolution, which Keith Law rebutted with SCIENCE! ESPN then suspended Law for defending evolution, but then later reinstated him. Obviously all of this caused a huge commotion in the twitter-verse. More on the story here and here. Keith Law not only wins for defending science, but also for his tweet response after being reinstated by ESPN…. shout out to science heretic history~!

[tweet https://twitter.com/keithlaw/status/536891544650149888]

Props to Keith Law! and to EPSN for not being on the wrong side of history.

Apparently, Curt Shilling was taken aback by the resulting twitter storm in response to his comments.

WTF?!? Arizona School Board mandates pages be ripped out of Biology textbook… but then loses big in local elections.

Gilbert, Arizona…. really? ArizonaHonorsBiology.com courtesy of MSNBC and Rachel Maddow.

After a crusading religious group showed up at the Gilbert, Arizona school board meeting with three Republican state senators to complain about the presence of a mention of abortion in an honors biology text book, the board voted to get rid of that material. It was determined that the most efficient way to remove the offending material is to literally remove it – as in, tear the whole page out of the book.

In my opinion, once you are ripping out pages of textbooks that you don’t like, it’s only a short step to burning books that you don’t like. Not to mention that censorship of academia and science has worked out real well for other groups throughout history (cough cough, sarcasm).

Glad to hear that the Gilbert School Board that mandated this blasphemous act (against science… and freedom … duh) is on its way out after losing in the elections earlier this week. For more on that, watch this video segment from the Rachel Maddow Show!

#Science Quotable: Pope Francis believes in evolution and the big bang…. WHA?????? #MindBlown

When we read about Creation in Genesis, we run the risk of imagining God was a magician, with a magic wand able to do everything — but that is not so. He created human beings and let them develop according to the internal laws that he gave to each one so they would reach their fulfillment.

God is not a divine being or a magician, but the Creator who brought everything to life. Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve.

Therefore the scientist, and above all the Christian scientist, must adopt the approach of posing questions regarding the future of humanity and of the earth, and, of being free and responsible, helping to prepare it and preserve it, to eliminate risks to the environment of both a natural and human nature. But, at the same time, the scientist must be motivated by the confidence that nature hides, in her evolutionary mechanisms, potentialities for intelligence and freedom to discover and realize, to achieve the development that is in the plan of the creator.

Pope Francis at a plenary assembly of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

Wow…. this is something I never thought I would write or post about…. Can’t wait to see what all the anti-evolution Christians have to say about this.

Watch Live: Currently in Hour 10 of #24HoursOfReality on climate hope!


Watch the live steam of the multimedia event: 24 Hours of Reality by the Climate Reality Project. Each hour covers a new topic on climate change and climate hope. The coming hours are sure to include more inspirational stories and facts from around the globe. Specifically, the topics will include clean and renewable energies in different countries and the impact this clean energy has on security, job growth, economics, public health, and more! If that weren’t enough, the coming hours will also feature musical guests Jack Johnson, Colbie Caillat, Fitz and the Tantrums, Boyz II Men, and Jason Mraz!

Immunization Policy in NYC upheld!

An informative article in the NYTimes discusses the New York City vaccination policy in detail… specifically since it was recently called into question.

Unfortunately, we have the “freedom” to not let our children get vaccinated if we don’t want to in this country.  To counter this, an NYC policy states that unimmunized children can be bared from public schools when another student has a vaccine-preventable disease.  A nice way to keep disease from spreading…

Recently, several families in NYC have called this policy into question since their children have been kept from school because they were not immunized due to “religious” reasons; and that this policy prevents their religious freedom.

Fortunately, the Supreme Court Judge Kuntz wrote in his ruling that “religious objectors are not constitutionally exempt from vaccinations,” and has voted to uphold the policy.

Good work NYC.