Religion and Science – Are They in Conflict?

Religion and Science is a topic that has attracted a tremendous amount of attention in recent times. It has become a meeting point for scientists, philosophers and theologians in a very constructive fashion. According to Oxford dictionary the word religion means ”belief in a superhuman controlling power especially in a personal God or gods entitled to obedience and worship” and has been described as such by many people.

The word science comes from the Latin “scientia,” meaning knowledge. I should like to stress, that I use the word science to mean knowledge which has been soundly established. It does not include the theories which, for a time, help to explain a phenomenon or a series of phenomena, only to be abandoned later on in favour of other explanations. These newer explanations have become more plausible thanks to scientific progress.

Vocal materialistic scientists such as Richard Dawkins, have in recent times, aggressively peddled the idea of religion and science as being in a perpetual state of conflict. These beliefs are not uncommon. Many educated atheists have beliefs similar along these lines and its about time that these and other misconceptions are cleared.

Firstly if religion and science are in conflict which religion in particular? Is it Hinduism, Buddhism or Christianity? Secondly what is meant by the word ”conflict” in this context? And finally what ”science”? Are they talking about a conflict between established scientific data and certain verses in the holy books of all religions? Or is it a conflict between unproven and undependable scientific theories and hypotheses that always seem to take ”U-turns”? Questions such as these are never raised let alone answered by the scientific community at large. However we will try and answer these questions from a logical point of view in this discussion.

Contradictions
Almost all religions contain internal/external contradictions in their authentic holy scriptures and there’s no point in lying or hiding behind linguistic acrobatics or ”metaphorical” interpretation of certain passages. Also nearly all religions contains scientific and mathematical errors that are logically unacceptable and which weakens their argument for the right to be called ”divine revelations”.

The Glorious Qur’an
Let’s analyse the second largest religion, Islam. Let us see what the relationship between modern established scientific data and Quranic passages are.

Astronomy

Creation of the Universe

It seems here there’s a different situation. No longer do we have a religious book littered with contradictions but a religious book which actually anticipates modern scientific data by more than 1400 years. We will begin with astronomy and analyse what the Quran says. The Qur’an contains the following verse on the origin of the universe in Surah Anbiya 21:30 ” Do not the unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were joined together (as one unit of creation) before we clove them asunder”? The striking congruence between the big bang and the Quranic verse is inescapable!

The meaning of this verse was confirmed by Dr. Alfred Kroner. He is one of the world’s renowned geologists and a Professor of Geology and the Chairman of the Department of Geology at the Institute of Geosciences, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany. He said: “Thinking where Muhammad came from…

I think it is almost impossible that he could have known about things like the common origin of the universe, because scientists have only found out within the last few years, with very complicated and advanced technological methods, that this is the case.” Also he said: “Somebody who did not know something about nuclear physics fourteen hundred years ago could not, I think, be in a position to find out from his own mind, for instance, that the earth and the heavens had the same origin.”

Initial Gaseous Mass Before the Creation of Galaxies

Modern Cosmologists and Astrophysicists state that before the galaxies in the Universe were formed, celestial matter was initially in the form of gaseous matter. In simple terms, huge gaseous matter or clouds were present before the formation of the galaxies. To describe initial celestial matter, the word ‘smoke’ is more appropriate than gas. The following Qu’ranic verse refers to this state of the Universe by the Arabic word Dukhann which means smoke.
Then He turned to the heaven when it was smoke… (Quran, 41:11)

Scientists now can observe new stars forming out of the remnants of this ‘smoke’. The illuminating stars we see at night were, just as was the whole of galaxies, in that ‘smoke’ material.

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