Infanticide VS the Atomic Bomb

Greetings and Salutations skeptics,

While watching a debate between William Lane Craig and Christopher Hitchens, a particular question was put forward to Hitchens by an audience member. it went along the lines of “If you are so critical of all of the harm caused by religion, then surely you must be more critical of the atomic bomb, created by physicists, the most dangerous weapon in all of history”. In today’s blog post, I will answer the question, and point out a vital difference between the screw-ups of religion and the screw-ups of science.

When Hitler decided to wipe out the Jews, as well as other historical events enacted for purely religious reasons, the decision was made to intentionally perform violence against a particular race, religion, culture or age group. These groups of people made the choice to go out and kill, abuse, rape, torture, pillage or conquer particular people for religious reasons.

When Physicists embarked on creating the atomic bomb, they were simply doing what scientists do, following the evidence to see where the research leads. By looking at Einstein’s most famous formula, it is obvious that a great amount of energy is potent in every atom in the universe, so physicists decided to go out and test it, to see how they could tap into this energy. It could then be argued “Why didn’t the physicists just stop at nuclear power stations, and avoid an atomic bomb?”

Well, its not that simple, seeing as the same mechanisms are used in both apparatus, and they are both using the same underlying physics, but there was reason behind the decision to create an atomic bomb. It is the same reason that almost every dedicated scientist has for creating ruthless killing machines, they are trying to end warfare. By creating the atomic bomb, physicists where aiming to end world warfare, by making it so ruthless, so destructive and so vile that it just could not be done. The same aim was shared by Alfred Nobel, who created dynamite. It didn’t work with dynamite, it just made war more efficient, but it worked with the atomic bomb, eventually. Warfare between the large countries is impossible today, as any one of them could wipe out an entire country with its nuclear arsenal, so they have to be very friendly with each other.

There is the vital difference, religious people are simply going out, to kill or harm a particular group of people, where as physicists are just following the research where the evidence leads, and trying their hardest to end world war. It is only symbolic of the underlying process of religion, as opposed to science.

Science is a process of testing a hypothesis critically and rigorously, and drawing from those tests a theory or subsequent hypothesis, which you test again, and again, to try and best understand the reality we live in. There is no a priori assumption in science. Whereas in religion, there is one big assumption, god. All of religion revolves around the god hypothesis being true, and any evidence for god presented by religion has been cherry-picked to prove the a priori assumption which is god.

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Baking Soda, Heartburn Relief, Herbs

Hello there skeptics of the world,

Today’s post is a copy of a science assignment on antacids. We were asked an imaginary question from an anonymous writer about the effectiveness of baking soda as an antacid. We ran some tests and here is the letter I wrote:-

Hello there sick at heart, I think I have the answer to your question.

After running a few tests, I can conclude that baking soda is effective at reducing heartburn pain and neutralising stomach acid, however, I certainly would not recommend it as an antacid, due to safety risks. Under controlled, laboratory conditions, baking soda is just as effective as leading heartburn tablets at neutralising acid. This would suggest that baking soda would make a good antacid, Not true.

It is important to know that the human body is a finely tuned, highly evolved organism, and it requires a special balance and harmony amongst all its parts. A small disturbance can have major ramifications. Antacids are the same way. The companies which produce antacid tablets spend millions of dollars and many years of research testing the effectiveness, speed, consumability, and mostly safety, of their antacids. Their drugs are highly tuned and given in just the right dose as to ensure both effective heartburn relief and safety, a fine science.

An effective and safe heartburn tablet must have the combination of two things, heartburn relief and safety. It must have enough neutralising effect to ease the pain which is produced by heartburn, but it must not neutralise the acid to much, or stomach acid will become basic and this can have very dangerous health effects and risks… as well as causing more heartburn.

The problem with baking soda is that it is not taken in a recommended dosage. Antacid tablets come with a clear set of instructions and dosage, where as there are no such instructions for baking soda. Over dosing is very easy, and dangerous,and anybody who is willing to risk their health to save a few bucks is out of their mind. The best thing to do is to go with the tried and test, safe, antacid tablets. As to which one; you get what you pay for, so get the expensive one, you are paying for the assurance of a safe heartburn relief.

I hope this helps with your heartburn problem,
sincerely,
Jack Neubecker.

——————–

A lot of comparisons can be made here between antacids and other herbs and alternative treatments, this was the angle I was playing for. It is true that St. John’s Wort works as an antidepressant, but it is much safer to take the drug, for a few reasons. The reason why St. John’s wort works as an antidepressant is because of a few chemicals in the plant. The job of science based medicine is to find out what these chemicals are, extract and purify them, and put them into a drug in controlled levels. The St. John’s Wort does not know it is having its chemicals used to treat depression, and the chemicals in it are not in controlled, refined, perfected quantities, it is from nature, its rough. You could take 10 grams of one plant of St. John’s Wort and get 3 times the amount of active chemical as 10 grams of the next St. John’s Wort plant. Scientific medicine works to ensure that the chemicals are always given in the same amounts, for safety, so it is always wise to go for the scientific drug, not the crude plant.

I’ll leave you all today with one of my favourite quotes from an anonymous author, “Science works Bitches.”

Science is the Only Way to Test Reality

Hello there skeptics,

Today I am going to be blogging about the wonderfulness of science, and how it is not some abstract way of looking at the universe (as the post-modernists will have you believe), it is actually a fundamental part of the universe, and is THE way to test reality.

Something my mother has told me for a long time since I came out of the closet about being a skeptic and an atheist, is “Science is not the only way of knowing things, there are plenty of other ways.” I’ve never asked her what these other ways might be, but should could be talking about either of two lists of ‘ways of finding out things’ :-
1. The ignorant list – she could be talking about things like logic, philosophy etc., in which she is just being ignorant and does not know that both logic and philosophy stem from science.
2. The post-modernist list – She really means what she says, and thinks the other ways of knowing are things like belief, spiritualism, mysticism etc., in which she is also being ignorant, because these things are either testable by science or not real.

I will start with a distinction, the fact that science is able to test anything is not just some blatant statement, its true. Anything which is real (reality), is testable by science. Now you may say, “Supernatural things are not testable by science”, this is a common misconception, supernatural things like ghosts and spirits are testable by science, but once they are testable by science they are not supernatural. A common misunderstanding is that there are things that science can test, there are supernatural things which cannot be tested, but are real, and there are things which don’t exist. This is wrong. Things are either real, (have some sort of measurable effect on the universe) or they are not real. Ghosts, for example, they could be real, and in which case, they are testable by science, or they could not be real, in which they are not testable by science. If something can be measured, (demon possessions, spirit hauntings, homeopathy, acupuncture etc.) then it is part of the real world and can be tested by science. There is no possibility of something having an effect on the universe around us (curing a patients cancer, making a possessed person’s head spin 360°, create the universe etc.), and not be testable by science.

That is because science is just measuring the world around us, in the purest and simplest form, and this is amazing to me, because it is the only discipline where you know that the same thing will be found over and over again. Think of the greatest three scientists of the last two centuries, Darwin, Tesla, Einstein. If these people were never to have existed, then somebody else would have made their discoveries instead. Somebody else, probably Wallace, would have published the theory of evolution, somebody else would have invented the Tesla coil (albeit with a different name) and AC electricity, and somebody else would have theorized special and general relativity. This is true because the outcomes of science are based on reality.

Science by definition, is the measuring and describing of the world around us, and it is the one and only way to find out things about the reality of the world we live in. I will eave you with a quote from