By Ali Reza
People in secular and semi secular societies nowadays believe that science is the only way of knowing and understanding the environment around us and our purpose . However nothing could farther than truth. Science bases its knowledge based on on empirical evidence and explanations that are examinable. Many religious claims cannot be examined using scientific methods therefore it is hard for science to replace ideologies and religions because domain of science is limited to such factual examinable evidence.
Religion Says God Created the World but Doesn’t Say How
Monotheistic scriptures such as Torah, Bible, and Nobel Quran claim God created the world but they don’t say how! Hence this is where science attempts to explains how the world was created or came together and doesn’t focus so much on wisdom of it (why it was created).
For example biological evolution on the surface may seem to be at odds with many religions. For example the origins of species where species may have come from single organism may be hard to digest for those religious denominations that take their texts literal but many religious scholar and denominations now agree with evolution at some level mainly because of the overwhelming evidence that makes a strong case for evolution that cannot disputed.
Many religious texts also indeed agree with some sort of evolutionary creation of universe and earth because there are texts available that agree that creation has been taking a very low process that could have happened occurring over billions of years.
Creation in 6 Days
Islamic traditions and scriptures similar to Bible claim that God created the world in 6 days. This is a mistranslation of text because in Quran the word “yaum” has been used in Arabic. In language of Arabic, the word yaum could mean day but it could also mean duration or phase.
In fact, Shia’s 6th Imam, Imam Jafar Sadiqh (a), who is respected by all Muslims and regarded to be a true scholar of knowledge, confirmed that meaning of that verse is 6 “God’s day” or in other words it is indeed 6 phases and he confirmed process of creation took a very long time. (more to come about this in an upcoming post). Imam Sadiq lived centuries ago around 770 or 702–765 C.E so this acknowledging slow process of creation isn’t something new in Islamic faith.
In recent years, many similar statements observing that evolution at some level exists has been issued by religious scholars and the tenets of their faiths are compatible with this idea.
Scientists and well knowledge scholars of faith and theologians have written eloquent articles about their wonder at the history of earth and universe attempting to explain that there is see no conflict between science and faith in God and religion. Only religious denominations that deny evolution and scientific discoveries tend to be among those denominations that have strictly literal interpretations of religious texts.
Science and Religion Are Compatible
It is among many scholars’ of faith and science expert opinion that science and religion are fully compatible but they are based on different aspects of human experience, intellect and understanding.
Science tends to explain matters based on measurable evidence when examining different subjects. Religious faith, in contrast, does not depend on such empirical evidence because religion attempts to explain supernatural world which cannot be investigated by science. Hence science and religion can not be incompatible because science and religion are separate and address different questions of humans.
In fact many believe and science and religion are complementary as complete each other. Science is so much focused on explaining the “hows” or “whys” but religion is focused on the ultimate purpose and wisdom of creating, many believe that both could lead to perfection of humanity and human experiance.