The starting point for most every discussion? That’s a gross overstatement.
How about: The starting point for many discussions? A starting point, among other possible starting points, for many other discussions? And one possible point of entry, though not necessarily a useful starting point, for still other discussions?
There are many questions that don’t lend themselves to scientific inquiry at all. And for questions that do, there are dozens of different ways to approach them, science merely being one approach.
Is science often a particularly reliable and useful approach in the pursuit of truth? Of course. Should we promote scientific literacy? Obviously. But let’s not confuse utility with preeminence, as if “the pursuit of truth” and “science” are somehow synonymous.