If we didn’t do much of any physical science, or give incentives to those who practiced it, or hold up any great scientists as models for admiration, or even so much as envy its power, we’d see science as some strange alien value of another people, having no meaning to our lives. And wouldn’t it be? And isn’t it natural enough to see another’s values as subjective and not rigorously empirical? So what if it was not science we treated this way but moral action?
“Ah!”, we have been trained to say, “but regardless of what you think of science your whole population will die out at a young age without it!” Very true. Remember that criterion.