An illusion of harmony: science and religion in Islam by Taner Edis

By Taner Edis

Present discussions within the West at the relation of technological know-how and faith concentration as a rule on science's uneasy courting with the normal Judeo-Christian view of lifestyles. yet a parallel controversy exists within the Muslim global relating to how one can combine technological know-how with Islam. As physicist Taner Edis exhibits during this interesting glimpse into modern Muslim tradition, a great deal of well known writing in Muslim societies makes an attempt to deal with such complicated questions as: Is Islam a "scientific religion"? have been the discoveries of recent technology foreshadowed within the Quran? Are clever layout conjectures extra beautiful to the Muslim standpoint than Darwinian causes? Edis examines the variety of Muslim pondering technology and Islam, from blatantly pseudoscientific fantasies to relatively refined efforts to "Islamize science". From the world's most powerful creationist hobbies to strange science-in-the-Quran apologetics, renowned Muslim techniques advertise a view of traditional technology as a trifling fact-collecting task that coexists in near-perfect concord with literal-minded religion. on account that Muslims are keenly conscious that technology and know-how were the keys to Western good fortune, they're wanting to harness expertise to accomplish a Muslim model of modernity. but while, they're reluctant to permit technology to develop into self sufficient of faith and are suspicious of Western secularisation. Edis examines all of those conflicting traits, revealing the problems dealing with Muslim societies attempting to adapt to the fashionable technological international. His discussions of either the parallels and the diversities among Western and Muslim makes an attempt to harmonise technological know-how and faith make for a special and fascinating contribution to this carrying on with debate.

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Still, Islam is a religion that is similar to Christianity but also distinct enough in history and emphasis that comparing how the two have responded to the challenge of modern science can be very illuminating. Muslims have produced an extensive literature on science and religion that proposes various ways to accommodate science intellectually and institutionally. Most Muslim responses parallel intellectual options that Christians also have taken, but there are also significant differences. Exploring these should help us better understand the interaction between modern science and all the Abrahamic religions.

Fitra: Created nature, particularly referring to humans. It generally has a positive moral connotation. Hadith: A report of a saying by the prophet Muhammad or his Companions. This term is also used to describe a body of collected reports considered sound by Muslim scholars. These reports serve as a kind of secondary scripture. Orthodox Muslims believe a handful of hadith to contain the direct words of God, as the Quran is supposed to do, but most reports are anecdotes of early Islamic practices that are supposed to set down the ideal examples that the faithful should follow.

First, I am not a Muslim in any religious sense. I appreciate Muslim culture and civilization, and since I grew up in Turkey, this is inevitably part of who I am. But I am very skeptical that there is a God, I do not believe Muhammad had any supernatural connections, and I think of the Quran as an interesting ancient religious text. In fact, I am a bit of a physics chauvinist—I think that according to the best of our current knowledge, our world is an entirely natural, physical place that does not depend on any supernatural powers.

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