Islam And Modern Science Essay

For example, he suggests that a Koranic passage referring to the production of milk in cattle posed a challenge to contemporary understanding: And verily in cattle (too) will ye find an instructive sign.From what is within their bodies between excretions and blood, We produce, for your drink, milk, pure and agreeable to those who drink it.

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However, rather than thinking of Ptolemy as a criminal, it makes more sense to think of him as a creature of his times, or perhaps a victim of his epistemology.The Koran, on the other hand, is an unchanging statement about why we are here.Conflating the very different disciplines of religion and science can only work to the detriment of both, as we will see.The tension between deductive and inductive approaches to science has been a more contentious issue for Christian than for Islamic scholars. Abdullah Yusuf Ali] While the preeminence of philosophy and theology in the pre-modern West sometimes restrained free inquiry, especially if scientific findings contradicted theoretical commitments, the Islamic world was more open to adjusting theory to observation.In contrast to the pre-modern understanding of science that often elevated what we now call philosophy over what we have come to know as science, and long preceding the advent of modern science, Islamic scholars were inspired by the Koran’s teaching that the physical world is the perfect creation of the infallible Creator and by its instructions to observe and study nature: [Blessed be] He Who created the seven heavens one above another: No want of proportion wilt thou see in the Creation of (Allah) Most Gracious. It is this inductive process that the Koran encourages with its repeated injunctions to look at the signs in the heavens and on earth, to think and contemplate, and to travel through the world in search of knowledge.Modern science is not a body of facts, but a process for the study of the natural world.Because of human fallibility, that process yields a constantly changing set of conclusions about how this world operates.Today, many Muslims can be found in the fields of medicine and engineering.Even the ultraconservative Muslims who long for a return to the ethical norms of the seventh century see no need to abandon cell phones to do so, and even the most extreme of Islamic extremists envies the high-tech oil-extraction techniques and the weaponry of the West.Given the spread of this movement, it is worth distinguishing the claim that the teachings of Islam have been conducive to the development of the methods of science from the extravagant notion that particular scientific findings are foretold and validated by the Koran.It is my view that the Koran is a book of guidance rather than a book of science, and its references to the natural world are meant to be inspirational rather than demonstrative.


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