Why should we Trust Science?

f you think about it, it’s actually pretty sad that somebody is even motivated enough to open a Word processor and start writing about why should we trust science. Make no mistake, it’s important to think for yourself and not blindly follow what any authority says, but in this day and age, we all can agree that the problem of our World is NOT too much rational thinking and looking at evidence, but rather the opposite. It is not that people are looking for evidence and then look at evidence themselves, it’s that people are looking for opinions that confirm their already existing suspicions or preconceived notions. That is called Confirmation Bias.

Ok, after this gross-generalization, let’s get real. Many times story is less sinister. Today it’s easier than ever to be exposed to the so-called fake news. We all have a huge number of friends on social media platforms. There is a large spectrum of beliefs about the world and only some of them are true. So, it’s very likely that everyone has at least one free-spirit, alternative energy, magic beans, astrology type who likes to share various dubious claims with links to dubious sources which someone may tend to believe. The problem with this should be clear: not every idea is a good idea, or to put it more bluntly: not everything you read on the Internet is true.

Microscope

Image: felixioncool / Pixabay, Public Domain

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The Gender Wage Gap

The times we live in are difficult enough without people trying to sell so-called “fake news” as facts. Fake news is a term which was popularized by Trump in order to basically deceive his supporters that the media is dishonest. But just because in his case “fake news” cry has proven false, that does not mean that this phenomenon does not exist. We live in times where people spend huge amount of their day scrolling. Many times they scroll across some headline and believe it, without thinking or even clicking on it. Combine this tendency for instant gratification with the plainly simple truth that media these days does care a great deal about clicks, in order to get advertisements, so they form headlines like in a “you won’t believe” manner that are designed for people to click, just co confirm their bias or see something incredible.

Also, this era we currently live in has been greatly exposed to the dangers of relativism and dishonest post-modernism, so, some people even harbor a belief that everything is basically opinions, without any absolute truths. This state of mind is of course, deeply troubling, as this is exactly how we fall into the traps of believing that everyone can only say being bigoted is part of their culture and we cannot say anything against it.

How to get a coin?

Having said that, one of the movements that is sure to get a huge amount of smearing is feminism. Feminism has the potential to be deeply troubling to first of all, white patriarchal-type males which find it deeply troubling that women can possibly be on their level. Second of all, feminism poses great danger to basically all religions, as all of them think of women as lesser beings than men. Next, feminism can even be challenging to the established norms of society, where it is almost expected in some countries that women should stay at home and take care of children or even submit themselves to men’s desires. Even if we ignore all of this, it would still be in the interest of some corporations to spend less on salaries. If salaries are made more or less equal, they stand to lose. So, hopefully one can see what the motivation would be to try and prove that there is no such thing as a wage gap. Sorry to say this, but this establishment, whatever it is has managed to gain some leeway, because as has been argued before, today people generally are quick to believe anything they see online.

This post will try to bring to the table facts about the Gender Wage Gap. So, let us continue.

Or rather – rant is over, let’s begin. We’ll begin with quoting from Wikipedia, as it nicely summarizes what is actually happening.

There are two distinct numbers regarding the pay gap: unadjusted versus adjusted pay gap which takes into account differences in hours worked, occupations chosen, education and job experience. For example, someone who takes time off maternity leave will likely not earn as much as someone who does not take time off from work. Factors like this contribute to lower yearly earnings for women, but when all external factors have been adjusted for, there still exists a gender pay gap in many situations (between 4.8% and 7.1% according to one study). Unadjusted pay gaps are much higher. In the United States, for example the unadjusted average female's annual salary has commonly been cited as being 78% of the average male salary.

Wikipedia

To learn more, keep reading.

So, basically, there are two ways of looking at it, to begin with. Then, of course, things are different in different parts of the world, but Canada and the US are not that different from each other, and while EU seems better, it’s far from perfect. But any better result would be contrary to the idea that there’s pay gap which you might argue that this blog post is trying to prove, so it’s fair to include all three kinds of data – US, EU and Canada. Other world countries, like those in Africa can only make things worse, so they cannot generally be used as a rebuttal.

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Hate is not the underlying cause for Terrorism

Less than two weeks after terrorist attack in Manchester, there was another terrorist attack. This time the target is London.

The time has come for us as a civilization to examine the cause behind these attacks. Now, you might think that we have done so, but we actually haven’t. And why? Well, mostly it is because people do not want to be labeled Islamophobic.

Stop Terror with peace sign illustration

By MIH83 / Pixabay

The arguments that Religion should not be even looked at do not help our society stay safe. There are right now a huge amount of tweets and Facebook posts with people claiming that religion has nothing to do with it, without having a slightest clue about who and what the attackers even are. Now isn’t this insane?

Yes, the most immediate cause for these attacks is Hate. But Hate does not come from nothing. There needs to be an explanation and a cause for it.

You do not simply hate somebody without any reason whatsoever. Atheists are aware of the dangers of all religions. All we ask is that Religion is not so easily dismissed as a possible source of this hate.

It is naïve to ignore the possibility that it can be religion. It might turn out not to be, but with people being afraid to even ask the question, we might never know. And we can't afford not to know. Lives are at stake. The risk of offending an ideology is a small price to pay.

It seems almost certain that they ARE Muslim extremists. They are the people who took the absolute worst of the religion and decided to live by it. It happens. They have told us this many times. And there are a huge amount of cases where moderate Muslims were convinced to leave their lives in the West and join ISIS, simply because they liked how ISIS was interpreting the religion. This does NOT mean all Muslims do this or are capable of doing this. But it does mean that modern Muslims need to condemn what they do.

Denial doesn't help Christians, Atheists, Buddhists and least of all moderate, modern Muslims who are possibly the biggest victims of ISIS. But the first step is acknowledging the possibility that it might have something to do with religion.

Few thoughts about the First Cause Argument

Many times, you can hear the so-called “first cause” argument and that it supposedly proves the existence of God.

The argument goes something like this:

  1. The Universe had a Beginning
  2. If the Universe had a beginning, it must have had (transcendental) cause that is outside of our reality – first cause
  3. The Universe has a first cause that is outside our limits
  4. This cause must be powerful
  5. This cause is God

On the first glance, the argument it does look powerful.

But, sometimes if one is witty enough, one can remember what was written by various philosophers before.

Scientists Not Sure Are not sure what caused The Big Bang. But you are?

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Science and Religion do clash

TL;DR – That science and religion do not clash as they are not concerned with the same things is basically a mantra invented by religious people to have their religion not questioned.

If religion makes claims about the Real World, they can be disproven.

The entire point of this post can be summarized by the image above.

It can also be perfectly explained by paraphrasing Sam Harris: There is NOT a single thing for which once we had a scientific answer, but for which we now have a much better religious answer, while through history we have countless examples where things were once explained by religion, but are now better explained by science.

It basically goes in this one way, every single time. It is almost every time science really advances knowledge about our universe, religion somehow falls back, loses credibility. To prove this point just think about that once religion claimed that the Earth was stationary, until science proved this wrong. Same with Earth being the center of the universe, and the sun going around it. This can also be seen in the science disproving nonsense that is Noah’s ark, for example. Then the creationism of man, which was disproved by evolution / geology / astronomy. Nowadays creationism is mostly replaced by so-called “intelligent design” where people are simply saying “ok, some kind of evolution did happen, but it was god who guided it” .. or “god started it”, or something similar.

Of course, even these things are being disproved by science right as we speak. For example, through the human body there is evidence of “bad design”, meaning no intelligent designer would do things in this manner, but on the other hand, they are perfectly explained by evolution.

Buddha

CC0 Public Domain – Mikegi / Pixabay

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Happy Birthday, Bertrand Russell

On today’s date, 18 May 1872 (- 2 February 1970) Bertrand Arthur William Russell, was born. Bertrand Russell was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, writer, activist and Nobel laureate.

Russell in 1938

See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

He has left huge impact on mathematics, logic, philosophy and even computer science. So, to celebrate the day this extraordinary man was born here’s some sites where you can get Bertrand Russell’s books either for free or very cheap.

Copyright NOTICE:

Not all of these books might be in the public domain in your country. You MUST check the copyright laws of your country before downloading.

But even if they are not free in your country, some of them now are really, really dirt cheap. For example, there is a huge number of Books under €2 on Amazon.de.

Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe

As has been said multiple times, poetry is one of the things that has the potential either to elevate us above all possible reason or move us to tears. Because of this, entangled.life will from now on share poetry that has just that potential to inspire us humans.

So, let’s get into it. First poem we’ll share is Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe:

Edgar Allan Poe 1848

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of ANNABEL LEE;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea;
But we loved with a love that was more than love-
I and my Annabel Lee;
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsman came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
Went envying her and me-
Yes! - that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we-
Of many far wiser than we-
And neither the angels in heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.

For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling- my darling- my life and my bride,
In the sepulchre there by the sea,
In her tomb by the sounding sea.

- The Complete Poetical Works of Edgar Allan Poe on Project Gutenberg