: Religion and Science Can and Should Mix With Each Other?


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alysomji
2007-06-23, 03:50 AM
Many people assume that since Christianity and science don't go together (creationism, 6,000 year old earth, sun orbiting earth, etc.), that must be the case for all religions. I want to clear the air and say that's not the case.

Example:

Islam has never had a problem with mixing science and religion. That is why there is also no separation of mosque and state.

Evolution and Islam (http://www.islamonline.net/English/Science/2006/05/article07.shtml)

Another example of Muslims employing reasoning in explaining their beliefs (http://islam4real.blogspot.com/2003/12/lecture-purpose-of-life.html)

There are many examples of things that happen by chance. Let me offer one situation. If you took ten colored marbles, then numbered them one to ten and you put them inside a bag. Next, you shook that bag to mix them up. Then, closing your eyes and reaching into the bag, you tried to pull out the marbles in order-1 to 10. What is the chance of pulling out the marbles in order? Do you know what the chances are? It is twenty six million to one (26,000,000 to 1). And this is something within our ability to do. So now I ask you, what is the chance that the heavens and the earth just came together as they are (with the exact precision and orchestration in their existence)?Think about the heart. Think about how it pumps continuously for sixty or seventy years [taking in and discharging blood throughout the body] maintaining steady precision throughout the life of the person. Think about the kidneys and the liver and the various functions they perform. The purifying instruments of the body that perform hundreds of chemical analyses simultaneously and also controls the level of toxicity in the content of the body. All of these are done automatically. Think about your eyes, the human cameras, that adjust, focus, interpret, evaluate, discern color automatically, naturally receiving and adjusting to light and distance. Think about it-Who created them? Who has mastered their design and function? Who plans and regulates their function? Human beings do this? No, of course not. What about this universe? Think about this. This earth is one planet in our solar system, and our solar system is one [of possible many] solar systems. Our galaxy, The Milky Way, is one of the galaxies. There are ONE HUNDRED MILLION GALAXIES in the universe. They are all in order and they are all precise. They are not colliding with each other. They are not conflicting with on another. They are swimming along in an orbit that has been set for them. Did human beings set that into motion and are human beings maintaining that precision? No, of course not. Think about the oceans, the fish, the insects, the birds, the plants, bacteria, and chemical elements that have not yet been discovered and cannot be detected even with the most sophisticated instruments. Yet each of them has a law that they follow. Did all of this synchronization, balance, harmony, variation, design, maintenance, operation and infinite numeration happen all by chance? Do these things function perfectly and perpetually also by chance? No, of course not. That would be totally illogical and foolish. In the least, it indicates that however it came to exist-it exists beyond the realm of human capability. We will all agree to that.Rest of this lecture available here (http://www.aswatalislam.net/DisplayFilesP.aspx?TitleID=2032) or here (http://www.sultan.org/articles/purposeoflife.htm).

Islam does not see a conflict between faith and science or religion and rationality or belief and reason. In fact, they are considered to go hand-in-hand - and a person is not considered a Muslim unless they believe in Islam based on actual reasoning and logical thought.

Criticize Islam. Go ahead. But logic and reasoning is considered central to the religion. Analogical deduction, for instance, is commonly used in making religious rulings. There is also a science of classifying and reporting sayings of the Prophet Muhammad - called the science of hadith.

I'm sure there are other religions out there which do not ask people to just "have faith" and turn off their brain in order to believe that there is a God. Such a concept seems silly - but should not be associated with all religions just because it's common in Christianity.

Christianity does not represent all religions or even most religions. It represents itself. That's it.

Now:

Between the 8th and 18th century, the most scientifically advanced and technologically complex society was always majority Muslim. That's 1,000 years of dominance over the rest of the world.

Poor and corrupt leadership has left the Muslim worlds in shambles since its downfall began in the early 19th century. The most scientifically advanced and technologically complex society in the Muslim world lies in Dubai. That's it.

What goes up obviously comes down - and all periods of dominance end, sometimes rather harshly. China and India are the future superpowers and western dominance will come to an end by the end of this century.

Nevertheless, we see rich Muslims from all over the world, as well as western Muslims, striving to send their kids to the top schools and make sure their kids are the brightest students. Academic achievement is very highly valued amongst Muslim societies and you will find many Muslim scholars in western universities.

Talk to your Muslim neighbors and you will find they are more committed to ensuring their kids are well educated than anything else. Often, religious studies are even put on the back-burner to enable Muslim students to compete in contributing more to society than their non-Muslim peers.

No one hates the fact that the Muslim world is in shambles more than Muslims themselves. No one hates the fact that so few Muslims have been recognized as significant contributors to society in recent times (compared to Jews, for instance, who have a disproportionate number of Nobel prizes) more than Muslims themselves. It's part of what leads to frustration - and, occasionally, extreme views.

Just another perspective. Just another POV. Just wanted to share.

Mole
2007-06-23, 07:30 AM
"Islam does not see a conflict between faith and science or religion and rationality or belief and reason."
No It just declares a Fatwa on any dissenting beliefs.

hugh
2007-06-23, 11:51 AM
Religion and Science Can and Should Mix With Each Other

As soon as you say that Allah, God or Yahweh created man, you are denying evolution. To say otherwise is sophistry.

Muslims have been recognized as significant contributors to society in recent times (compared to Jews, for instance, who have a disproportionate number of Nobel prizes) more than Muslims themselves. It's part of what leads to frustration - and, occasionally, extreme views.

Wow that's an extremely anti-semitic comment but I have always said that the worst bigots are religious proselytizers of ALL faiths.

alysomji
2007-06-23, 12:38 PM
It's a compliment to Jews, actually. It's got nothing to do with antisemitism. Did you know Arabs are Semites, too? Try looking it up.

Also, look up what percentage of Muslims are Arabs. Let us know what you find.

As soon as you say that Allah, God or Yahweh created man, you are denying evolution. To say otherwise is sophistry.

Some Muslims do believe the human being evolved from the Ape. Secondly, most Muslims believe in macroevolution. Thirdly, these Muslims have justification in their faith for their beliefs.

Fourthly, the leap between man and ape is quite clear to scientists due to the increase in the size of the brain. For Muslims, it is perfectly acceptable to distinguish human and ape based on brain size, such that Adam and Eve would be the primates of exceptional brain size (despite both animals sharing almost entirely the same DNA, as this fact is irrelevant in the case mentioned). Here is this hypothesis, for instance:

1. Man's creation, in the first stage, was initiated by the production of a like species from the earth. In this stage, a number of near-human pairs - male and female - were produced directly from the earth.

2. In the second stage, the near-human pairs were inculcated with the ability of reproducing life through sexual interaction between the male and the female gender of the species.

3. In the third stage, one of the directly produced pairs (as in the first stage)[4] - i.e. Adam and Eve - were physically fashioned into due proportion and were inculcated with the advanced human abilities. It was at this stage that Adam and Eve became complete humans.

4. Over subsequent centuries, the other directly produced pairs (in the first stage) and their offspring became extinct. The only pair that survived, through its offspring was that of Adam and Eve.

5.The whole human race that populates the planet is the offspring of the one directly produced pair, which was physically fashioned into due proportion and inculcated with the advanced human faculties.

There is a large leap in brain size unexplained in the history of evolution. This large leap in brain size can be explained by believing these animals were the first humans created by God. At least in Islam, such an explanation is not unfeasible. Not sure about other religions (besides Christianity).

Breadbin
2007-06-23, 12:50 PM
There are ONE HUNDRED MILLION GALAXIES in the universe. They are all in order and they are all precise. They are not colliding with each other. They are not conflicting with on another. They are swimming along in an orbit that has been set for them.

Are you sure about that? I'm pretty certain that galaxies do collide and have been observed and documented doing so.

There's some kind of order and precision to the distribution of matter on a cosmic scale? The motion of bodies can't be explained by gravitational theory? Euclidian geometry? Relativity? None of that counts because the universe looks too big and complicated?? Are you sure about that?

I don't understand the point you're trying to make at all. You're espousing that Islam encourages and nurtures a scientific and rational examination of the nature of reality and then you give us some very strange quotes that seem to be claiming that nothing, whether it be biological systems or just the behaviour of matter in general, can be explained by anything other than some form of "intelligent design".

You berated Christians for their ideas about creationism in the first paragraph and then went on offer up the same tired reasoning we hear from them.

When you've made your mind up about what science and rationality really means then come back and we'll be more inclined to consider your point of view on the subject.

Breadbin
2007-06-23, 01:27 PM
Humans and other modern day primates evolved from a common ancestor. There is no "leap" (in brain size or any other specific aspect of anatomy) that is unexplained by evolutionary theory.

Again, you're doing nothing to make a major distinction between Islam's concepts of creation and those of the Judeo-Christian faiths. You start from the same incorrect postulates and then just devise another unsubstantiated hypothesis to get from there to modern day man.

You seem to be trying to make the argument "we're better than those other religions because we believe in science" but it's bad science that doesn't attempt to explain well-accepted observations. Just the same old contrivances masked with a weak concept of evolution.

I'm not trying to make a sweeping generalisation that followers of Islam don't make any contributions to knowledge and understanding, they have historically and they continue to do so, as do followers of other faiths. But don't try to tell us that your religion has all the answers because they all say that and they're all wrong so far.

alysomji
2007-06-23, 02:44 PM
Science: http://www.miraclesofthequran.com/scientific_index.html

Math: http://www.miraclesofthequran.com/mathematical_index.html

Islam can be interpreted such that it has no contradiction with science - and one can still remain orthodox while doing so. That's the bottom line.

You can't say that for Christianity. Not to berate it, but I don't think anyone should be asked to believe on the basis on not using reasoning.

alysomji
2007-06-23, 03:02 PM
Humans and other modern day primates evolved from a common ancestor. There is no "leap" (in brain size or any other specific aspect of anatomy) that is unexplained by evolutionary theory.

Again, you're doing nothing to make a major distinction between Islam's concepts of creation and those of the Judeo-Christian faiths. You start from the same incorrect postulates and then just devise another unsubstantiated hypothesis to get from there to modern day man.

You seem to be trying to make the argument "we're better than those other religions because we believe in science" but it's bad science that doesn't attempt to explain well-accepted observations. Just the same old contrivances masked with a weak concept of evolution.

I'm not trying to make a sweeping generalisation that followers of Islam don't make any contributions to knowledge and understanding, they have historically and they continue to do so, as do followers of other faiths. But don't try to tell us that your religion has all the answers because they all say that and they're all wrong so far.

Breadbin, can you tell me why organisms evolve as they do? Why not some other method? Why is the solar system arranged the way it is? Why are things organized so as to almost enable humans to survive and breed?

Why? Why? Why?

Science has no answer. It just tells us what we have and how we happen to have it. It does not necessitate disbelief in a greater being. That's the bottom line. Evolution, for example, is a process. It explains how organisms evolve. But, it does not explain why they evolve and why the environment works this way.

It’s quite a different category to say “Look, we will study matter and we will ask how matter organizes itself into particular forms,” and come up with the answer “evolution.” It is quite another question to ask “Where does matter come from to begin with?” And if you like you must go outside of matter to answer that question. And then you’re into philosophical categories.

Now, if we conclude that science does not necessitate disbelief in a greater being, then there's nothing illogical about believing in God providing there are logical premises. For Muslims, this is the Qur'an which is considered to be a book which could not have been created by any visible being.

eg. Science: http://www.miraclesofthequran.com/scientific_index.html
Math: http://www.miraclesofthequran.com/ma...cal_index.html

Explain what being could've posited these ideas and notions 1,400 years ago?

The creator of the Qur'an is considered, therefore, to also be (as asserted in the book) the creator of matter - which has evolved (through scientifically discovered processes) into what we see today before us in the form of matter.

This is the Muslim viewpoint, from what I have gathered.

gorilla
2007-06-23, 03:05 PM
You can't say that for Christianity.

Sure you can. Pope JPII said that evolution was the best explination for the diversity of life, and the Vatican has run an excellent observatory for years. In fact, the big bang theory was first proposed by a priest.

Since Islam and Christianity both share a common source - the Jewish religion, it's not suprising that they're both compatible in their viewpoint.

Just because there is a small subset of Christians who don't accept the modern scientific viewpoint that doesn't mean that all Christians don't. Same as you can easily find a subset of Muslims who don't belive in some scientific viewpoints.

alysomji
2007-06-23, 03:09 PM
Sure you can. Pope JPII said that evolution was the best explination for the diversity of life, and the Vatican has run an excellent observatory for years. In fact, the big bang theory was first proposed by a priest.

Since Islam and Christianity both share a common source - the Jewish religion, it's not suprising that they're both compatible in their viewpoint.

Just because there is a small subset of Christians who don't accept the modern scientific viewpoint that doesn't mean that all Christians don't. Same as you can easily find a subset of Muslims who don't belive in some scientific viewpoints.

The Pope represents Catholicism. Only Catholics follow and believe in him.

The Bible, however, is shared across Christianity - and contradicts science in many ways. Yet, all Christians are required to believe in it.

This isn't the case for Muslims and the Qur'an (which doesn't posit creationism, a 6,000 year old earth, sun orbiting earth, etc.). In Islam, the Qur'an is the basis for belief because it's considered so spectacular and spontaneous that it could not have been produced by a human. Even if you disagree with this, there is rationale for the belief system.

In Christianity, what is the basis for belief (the rationale)? "Faith" ?

Ricketty Rabbit
2007-06-23, 07:01 PM
Islam has never had a problem with mixing science and religion. That is why there is also no separation of mosque and state.

I think you misunderstand the rationale for the separation of church and state.

James Madison, who has been called the "father of the [US] constitution", said it far better than I, when he said in part:

"What influences, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on civil society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of civil authority; in many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been seen the guardians of liberties of the people. Rulers who wish to subvert the public liberty may have found an established clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government instituted to secure and perpetuate it, needs them not."

This sounds strikingly familiar to what we see from the Taliban.

Ricketty

alysomji
2007-06-24, 12:00 AM
Your beliefs are your beliefs. If you stop believing them when you're not at home, they're not really your beliefs.

A separation of church and state is necessary because people don't really believe in the church. That's what it comes down to.

Everyone has a belief system. Even 'no beliefs' is a belief system.

Mole
2007-06-24, 08:20 AM
Not everyone feels they have a right to inflict their belief system on others. That, for the most part, is reserved for the "true believers".


No religion has problems with secularists until they try to inflict their beliefs on non believers.

Chumley
2007-06-24, 07:59 PM
Religious fundamentalism and Science are unlikely bedfellows.

Science is constantly evolving. New discoveries made using empirical data revolutionize our understanding of the universe around us. Every decade, we make quantum leaps in our understanding of the Sciences.

Religious fundamentalism on the other hand vehemently rejects new interpretations of the scriptures. Float a new idea, and you are branded a heretic. Maybe even ex-communicated or stoned to death if you are a member of some of the more dogmatic faiths.

hugh
2007-06-25, 04:09 PM
The whole human race that populates the planet is the offspring of the one directly produced pair, which was physically fashioned into due proportion and inculcated with the advanced human faculties.


Thanks for the chuckle!

eljay
2007-06-25, 07:04 PM
The Qu'ran is no more more scientific or accurate than the Bible from which it is poorly derived. (And the Bible, in turn, is nothing more than a mediocre re-hash of human laws, traditions and mythologies from preceding centuries.)

More importantly - because, as with the Bible, the Qu'ran is open to "interpretation" (although, as the immutable word of a god, it shouldn't be) - whose interpretation is the correct one? My good and wise Muslim friend says that people used to live to be many hundreds of years old. Is he correct, even though his interpretation does not agree with science at all? Or is he perhaps just "mistaken" in his "interpretation"? Who has the audacity - or the right - to suggest that he is "wrong"?

The point is moot, since Hinduism is actually the One True Religion and Judaism/Christianity/Islam are, therefore, irrelevant.

Silly stuff...

JesseJ
2007-06-25, 07:17 PM
living to be many hundreds of years old was possible in the distant past because, over the centuries, time has sped up, which is why we don't live as long.
HAHAHAH After working in the rain all day I needed a good laugh! Thanks eljay!

eljay
2007-06-25, 07:28 PM
It's funny, but it's true.

He's a smart person and a good businessman, but he and his wife - both good Muslims - believe that people (such as Noah) used to live to be hundreds of years old and that this is no longer possible because Time has accelerated.

Arthur Dent
2007-06-26, 04:06 PM
Did all of this synchronization, balance, harmony, variation, design, maintenance, operation and infinite numeration happen all by chance? Do these things function perfectly and perpetually also by chance? No, of course not. That would be totally illogical and foolish. In the least, it indicates that however it came to exist-it exists beyond the realm of human capability.

All that just for not shaving our beards. Sounds like heck of a deal. ;)

JesseJ
2007-06-26, 07:49 PM
Did all of this synchronization, balance, harmony, variation, design, maintenance, operation and infinite numeration happen all by chance? Do these things function perfectly and perpetually also by chance?
Yes. And if you think otherwise you are incapable of believing in science and this 'arguement' is over. End discussion.