skepticalavenger:

God is scientifically useless

No one can deny that religious authorities have played a significant role in suppressing the development of science in the West: at least since the Middle Ages - and possibly even before Christianity, such as when the Athenian religious authorities executed Socrates for his “atheism”. For more than a decade I have been living free of the toxic effect of the religion I was brought up with, so it is not out of any desire to defend religion that I want to point out that, actually, the concept of “God” was not entirely scientifically “useless” but played a very significant role in the development of science in Western countries.
Specifically, the notion of linearity in the history of creation (“In the beginning…”) which is central to the judeo-christian myths (as opposed to the cyclical worldviews of Eastern religions) appears to have been a very significant impetus to minds wanting to understand the chains of causal connectedness of the physical world. In a linear historical worldview, those chains go back finitely, to precursor causes, and so ultimately are understandable. Also, the fact that their “God” was supposed to have imparted “order” to the primaeval chaos, impelled some proto-scientists to look for the expression of that order, as an act of religious piety. They developed mathematics as a language to understand the rationality of their supposed god (for instance calculus) with literally spiritual devotion. Newton, for instance, in writing his masterwork on the celestial mechanics “Principia”, stated “I had an eye upon such Principles as might work with considering men for the belief of a Deity”.
Even today, many scientists find their personal sense of “vocation” or mission to pursue science comes from their religious devotion to the judeo-christian conception of “god”. Many such scientists, including myself, later come to abandon any religious conception of god - either through the content of their scientific work (evolutionary biology, for instance), or more likely just through their experiences of evil in the world, and the inability to maintain such cognitive dissonance required to sustain adherence to the traditional religious teachings of an omnipotent and “good” personal God.
So, none of this is to say I think the notion of a god has any role within science. Within science, the quote at the top of this page is absolutely right on all points. I only wanted to make the point that for some people, at some time in their life, the notion of a god can be an impetus to science, both to choosing a life of scientific inquiry and even to fostering a fruitful scientific “worldview” (the universe is ordered and can be known by human minds). So it is not an absolute or scientific “fact” that the notion of god is or has always been “scientifically useless”.

skepticalavenger:

God is scientifically useless

No one can deny that religious authorities have played a significant role in suppressing the development of science in the West: at least since the Middle Ages - and possibly even before Christianity, such as when the Athenian religious authorities executed Socrates for his “atheism”. For more than a decade I have been living free of the toxic effect of the religion I was brought up with, so it is not out of any desire to defend religion that I want to point out that, actually, the concept of “God” was not entirely scientifically “useless” but played a very significant role in the development of science in Western countries.


Specifically, the notion of linearity in the history of creation (“In the beginning…”) which is central to the judeo-christian myths (as opposed to the cyclical worldviews of Eastern religions) appears to have been a very significant impetus to minds wanting to understand the chains of causal connectedness of the physical world. In a linear historical worldview, those chains go back finitely, to precursor causes, and so ultimately are understandable. Also, the fact that their “God” was supposed to have imparted “order” to the primaeval chaos, impelled some proto-scientists to look for the expression of that order, as an act of religious piety. They developed mathematics as a language to understand the rationality of their supposed god (for instance calculus) with literally spiritual devotion. Newton, for instance, in writing his masterwork on the celestial mechanics “Principia”, stated “I had an eye upon such Principles as might work with considering men for the belief of a Deity”.

Even today, many scientists find their personal sense of “vocation” or mission to pursue science comes from their religious devotion to the judeo-christian conception of “god”. Many such scientists, including myself, later come to abandon any religious conception of god - either through the content of their scientific work (evolutionary biology, for instance), or more likely just through their experiences of evil in the world, and the inability to maintain such cognitive dissonance required to sustain adherence to the traditional religious teachings of an omnipotent and “good” personal God.

So, none of this is to say I think the notion of a god has any role within science. Within science, the quote at the top of this page is absolutely right on all points. I only wanted to make the point that for some people, at some time in their life, the notion of a god can be an impetus to science, both to choosing a life of scientific inquiry and even to fostering a fruitful scientific “worldview” (the universe is ordered and can be known by human minds). So it is not an absolute or scientific “fact” that the notion of god is or has always been “scientifically useless”.

Why women still can’t enjoy sex

Why women still can’t enjoy sex

I think feminists need to have some biological and evolutionary studies included in their education, to balance their outrage, and help focus on strategies that will actually make changes instead of assuming it is all a matter of ignorant (or malicious) male “sexism” that has produced the reproductive imbalance that exists in every human society.

This article online is a classic example of rant and rage. No reasonable person (male or female) questions that there is injustice. But where does it come from?

The article is well written and passionate, but fundamentally fails to grasp or even ask, “what is the point of sex?” Contrary to the writer’s assertion it is not “love” - it is babies. In the scheme of evolution it is pure coincidence that sex is pleasurable for humans - it certainly has been a happy coincidence and it definitely gets the main job done, which is to propagate genes.

Male praying mantises still can’t enjoy sex either, and never will.

Nature isn’t fair. Women of our species bear the reproductive burden, and contribute a vastly unbalanced amount to the biological outcome (9 months of pregnancy, up to 2 years of lactation, and up to 18 years of care). A male only needs to donate a teaspoon of sperm to have “succeeded” genetically. The whole game of “love and marriage” is the way women get to even the score somewhat. They can get males to contribute to the upbringing of those offspring by binding them in long term commitments called marriage, in which, (in a reductive analysis) males receive sex and affection and contribute resources to “their” family.

But this system depends on a woman being able to keep that man bound to the family, and “easy” sex outside that dramatically undermines that bond. In my experience, “slut” is more often applied by women to other women, because it is actually a defensive term used to “punish” other women who are perceived as threats to their own reproductive project.


This is a much more complex issue to resolve, therefore, than simply labelling men as sexist, and “embracing” the term slut. We are dealing with deep pressures in evolutionary terms, and political slogans are not going to change anything. It will require a deeper understanding of the “why” in reproductive terms, and then seeing if we can work as a society to create concrete structures and alternative arrangements to even the biological bias against women, if we really want all to have “free sex” for fun, not just babies.