Tag Archives: Science

Can “Science” legitimately Dismiss “Non-science”?

Mehran Banaei

For years the Greek philosophers in ancient Greece were debating which part of our daily food actually feeds us and turns into energy, and which part is useless and purged after digestion. To end the debate, one Greek intellectual came up with the assertion that the part that feeds us is “the nutritious faculty of the food.” His seemingly fancy assertion was an interesting explanation, but it did not offer anything new. The subsequent question which immediately comes to mind is: which part of the food we eat is “the nutritious faculty of the food.” What was proposed only begged the question. The offered explanation is tautological. It is like saying, the part that feeds us, is the part that feeds us.

If you think perhaps this was the characteristic of scientific inquiry in ancient time, not of the modern era on more vital issues, you are mistaken. This approach is still prevailing today in scientific inquires. Consider the following case:

From the early dawn of civilization, the oldest existential question ever asked by Mankind is that why is there ‘something’ rather than ‘nothing’. Some consider this basic question philosophical, others think it is scientific, a few think it is inherently theological. The fact of the matter is, this is a simple commonsensical question, naturally occupying Man’s mind worthy of serious inquiry. Indeed, why is there ‘something’ when there could be ‘nothing’? The ‘something’ refers to an entire universe with bewildering complexity intelligently fine-tuned where the earth and the whole of mankind is only an insignificant speck of dust in the grand scheme of creation. A sequential creation which gradually evolved from the moment of inception of time, space, matter and energy.

Each group has proposed a solution for this deep-seated enigma. However, the solution offered by the scientists is continuously nothing short of begging the question. Indeed, from physicists, cosmologists to biologists, their explanation of why is there ‘something’ as opposed to ‘nothing’ is anything, but satisfactory. The theologians and philosophers who attribute creation to an anthropomorphic cause are not in a better predicament.

Some ardent scientists would like us to think that they have unlocked the secrets of the universe and have totally eliminated the role of the First Cause or the Prime Mover. The creation of the universe is attributed to existence of gravity, quantum particles, Higgs boson, laws of physics, natural selection and so on. Some scientists attack ancient fairytales, yet propose modern fairytales like “multiverse”, or to say the least push a weak theory as though it is an established fact.

Like the above-mentioned ancient Greek thinker, these scientists do not seem to understand this rudimentary question too well and clearly have nothing to offer. Stephen Hawking for example states that “One cannot prove that God does not exist, but science makes God unnecessary… The laws of physics can explain the universe without the need for a Creator.” Really! Indeed, what an incredibly petulant and tautological argument coming from an eminent scientist! Similar to Richard Dawkins who asserts that natural selection did it, Hawkins reductionistic solution is that gravity did it all. In his revolutionary contribution, Hawking takes the liberty to avoid elaborating, I suppose from his perspective, on a minor issue: where did the laws of physics come from? Once again we see another scientist who looks for the cause of the universe within the already created universe. More so, he neglects to explain why the universe is programmed to gravitate. Is gravity self-created? How is it that gravity is acting up with an intended goal?

drawing-hands-by-escherThe drawer of this drawing is not in the drawing, likewise the cause of the universe cannot be within the universe

In answering the question, why is there ‘something’ as opposed to ‘nothing’, any proposed mechanism for what caused the universe and how it came to be is still an invalid remedy. For one would still ask why is there, for example gravity, where there could be no gravity. Where did the precise required laws of physics come from? Why is there natural selection as opposed to unnatural rejection? Their utter inability to tackle this and other similar questions have forced them to declare that all “Why” questions are silly questions unworthy of pursuit. To cover up the irrationality of their position and to silence their critic, they do their best to belittle philosophy. Ironically, in so doing, they give philosophical arguments to elevate science above philosophy.

The reason for the inability of science to answer this fundamental question emanates from the fact that existential questions are not at all scientific questions, the way empirical science defines itself, i.e. the process of observation, experimentation, quantification, falsification, prediction and empirical verification. Thereby, any proposed explanation offered by any scientist is unscientific and a matter of personal opinion, particularly when such a scientist steps into realm of non-science and metaphysics such as the debate on if there is or there is not a “God”. In this regard, an opinion of a scientist is no more valuable than an opinion of a chef or an auto mechanic. Is there any relationship between the validity of an opinion on metaphysics with what the person who expresses it does for living? What is the connection between cooking and the proclamation that there is, or there is not a God? Absolutely nothing. Likewise, what is the connection between science and atheism? If all the chefs in the world claim to be atheists, does this make the idea of God and cooking mutually exclusive, incompatible with one another? Scientists like Dawkins and Krauss have built a career outside of their respective field and would like us to think that their opinion on why there is ‘something’ as opposed to ‘nothing’ is more valuable than the opinion of the community of auto mechanics or chefs. Undoubtedly, their opinion is not the only possible explanation, or the best explanation.

These evangelical atheists have hijacked science and conveniently use their authority in biology and physics to give Fatwa in an area that they have no expertise in, i.e. there is no God. There is nothing scientific about the proclamation that there is no God. Where is the scientific objectivity here? No one would take these two scientists seriously if they ever give a Fatwa on economic matters, since neither one knows anything about economy. So why would anyone think that they their atheism is anything more than their personal opinion emanating from their inner desires and agenda?

Atheist scientists claim that they go where the evidence leads them. While there is plenty of evidence against religious dogmatism, there is nothing via science to conclude atheism. They project their own subjective opinion on non-existence of a Creator as though it is a fact of logic derived from science, while paint the belief on the First Cause as though it is fact of psychology derived from gullibility and insecure emotions, like it cannot be the other way around.

The modern scientists can have a better understanding of the universe if they do not narrowly compartmentalize human knowledge into science and non-science, and not easily dismiss anything, which cannot be subject of empirical verification. Existence of the First Cause does not require empirical verification in a science lab. For lovers of the truth, the ultimate criteria should be the usage of reason in its fullest sense and the overarching law of non-contradiction, to examine all claims, be they deductive or inductive in order to assess the possibility of existence or non-existence of anything.

 

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True Crime: The Prevelance of Perjury in Science and Theology

Mehran Banaei

To testify in a court of law, the witness is obligated to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. To arrive objectively at the truth, it is essential that all these three components go together hand in hand. One has to first tell the truth, not concocted fabrications. While disclosing the truth, one has to tell the whole truth, not just half of the truth and be selective to bits and pieces of what is desirable and what is not. Often, while much has been said, is there anything, which has been left unsaid? If so, the concealed information once revealed may force completely a different conclusion. In this respect, half of the truth is as effective as half a parachute. Lastly, in the process of telling the truth, the witness ought not to contaminate the truth with added impurities. Only through the employment of such a fact-finding process can a valid judgement be made.

This is how things are in a court of law, but how should things be in the trial of life? What could one testify with certainty in a lifetime of interactions in this universe? Can we ever ascertain if the universe is created by an external Agent, or is the universe the creator itself?

In analyzing popular discourse between atheists and theists from a Judeo-Christian background, it could be noticed that both sides do not follow this basic tribunal requirement. Both sides vigorously engage in only telling the truth. Yet, both sides with the intention to be triumphant in the debate deliberately ignore the two other concomitant requirements, that is the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, as if there is such a thing as half reality. Thus, committing the notorious crime of perjury. Both groups need to be reminded that those who jump with half a parachute are not going to have a safe landing.

What is the truth that both sides constantly broadcast? The truth is the outright flaws in their opponent’s view, hoping by embarrassing their opponent, they would score a point to rest their own case. What is left out to say, is the lack of evidence in their own view presented in form of faith, or presented in the name of science having nothing to do with reality.

For example, Christian apologetics like C.S. Lewis, John Lennox, Richard Swinburne, John Polkinghorne and Alvin Plantinga are a few among many theists who confront the atheist camp with the weapon of scientific truth, the truth about the inescapable implications of fine-tuning. They well demonstrate that the universe must have a cause and the cause of the universe is not within the universe. Yet, they never mention that there are blatant scientific errors in the Bible, the countless inconsistencies and historical blunders in that which is claimed to be a perfect divine revelation. What is further added to the truth is the baseless claim that the cause of the universe is an anthropomorphic Entity. Is there a shred of evidence in this universe to attest to this claim? While there are compelling reasons to believe in the First Cause, there are no compelling reasons to believe that the entire Bible is word by word dictated by the First Cause.

Cosmos

On the other hand, atheists like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens rightly argue that religious teachings have been used by the elite to control the masses. Organized religion discourages free inquiry and stands at odds with scientific facts. What they do not say is that, this dreadful state of affair is utterly contrary to the teachings of Moses, Jesus and Mohammed, neither one had any interest in wealth or power. It is a historical fact that all these three men went head on with the atrocious regime of their time to liberate their community from mental and physical slavery. It is a historical fact that all these three men taught mankind to use reason and expand their knowledge. What Dawkins and Hitchens do not say, is abuses and crimes committed in the name of religion do not disprove the Divine causality. In fact, when a crime is committed, it is irrelevant in what name it is committed, be that in the name of “religion”, “western values”, “self-defense”, etc. What they do go ahead to falsely add is that science has buried the idea of a created universe, and what science discovers about the origin and functioning of the universe would have no implications beyond science.

Cartoon

Such a misleading presentation offered by the two sides often causes confusion among unwary audiences, leading many to agnosticism that the truth cannot be knowable, or it is relative. Thus, one can never be certain about the nature of reality. When it comes to causality, the state of human knowledge is ever inconclusive.

In discovering the truth about the universe and human existence, one has to detach oneself from personal desire and all socio-cultural beliefs without any affinity to or pressure from the external sources. Then tell the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth. If one abides by this simple principle of fact-finding, one can easily arrive at the ultimate reality about the origin of the universe.

The fact is, one may not be able to figure out what is beyond death, or if there is heaven and hell. One cannot know what is the nature of this Entity who caused the universe and how It came to be. But by observing the universe, there are countless assertions that one is indeed able to attest with certainty. The prime evidence of nature is before every man and woman. Nature’s immediacy and simple language are timeless and universal. Our own existence alone testifies to a cause. We know better that nothing can be spontaneously created out of nothing. There is no case in point to falsify this assertion. Everything in the universe is evidently designed and functions based on specific defined laws. From a tiny atom to the most complex celestial system, everything follows a certain order. The idea of a perfectly functioning accidental universe with no beginning or end is impossible and improbable, thus it is irrational to advocate such a position. It is so absurd as well as dishonest to argue that this incredibly complex web of life in the vast space is a result of random chance. One should know better that chance is not a cause. Even chance requires some pre-requisites. The alternative explanations such as materialist explanation are inadequate. The existence of consciousness and free-will refute the materialist position on causality. All exhibits confirm that the universe is somehow created and is pursuing a goal. The creation of the universe is not by accident, but is by intention.

Judging by the ubiquitous effects, the Causer of the universe is evidently infinitely powerful, creative and intelligent. Even most atheists do not dispute these attributes; however, they rather ascribe these attributes to “Mother Nature”, “Natural Selection” or pure chance. From this single assertion one can autonomously extrapolate that the Entity who is intelligent must necessarily be compassionate, merciful and just or He is not intelligent at all. His degree of compassion ought to be proportionate to His power and intelligence. Furthermore, the Causer of the universe must be singular, eternal and there can be nothing like Him.

To say the very least, in the trial of life, one should be able to bear witness that the universe is caused by this Entity for a purpose.

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The Business of Promoting Absurdities

Mehran Banaei

In the spring of 2000, Audrey Kishline, the founder of “Moderation Management,” one of the pioneers of the “harm reduction” movement to battle alcoholism was involved in an automobile accident having a blood alcohol level of 0.26, which is three times more than the legal limit. The defender of “controlled drinking” and an avid opponent of the “abstinence module,” being totally intoxicated drove the wrong way on a Washington State highway and smashed her car into an incoming vehicle, killing the other driver and his 12-year-old daughter. State troopers found her unconscious with a half-empty bottle of vodka by her side. Kishline was charged with vehicular homicide and sentenced to 54 months in jail. After this tragic incident, she was at least honest enough to admit in prison that her “moderation management program” is a “program for alcoholics covering up their own alcoholism.” The question is: Did she not know prior to this tragedy that her proposed moderation treatment is ineffective?

Drubwang Konchok Norbu Rinpoche the famous Tibetan Yogi Master, at his old age cut his hair in a ritual preparation of his death. However, his “Holiness” the Dalai Lama advised him that his presence in this world is still needed. He ought to live longer to preserve the Tibetan teachings and help his people. Rinpoche agreed, allowed his hair to grow again and decided to stay alive until the age of 100 to help his people.

It may be important to let the disciples and faithfuls to think that a Master has some control over the timing of one’s own death; however, the Master himself would know better that he has no power over his death or others. Contrary to the proclamation made, Rinpoche died in 2007 at the age of 85. Did Rinpoche and his “Holiness” the Dalai Lama not know what it means to be a mortal being?

Charles Templeton was once a prominent and successful Canadian evangelist. For 20 years Templeton played an active role in propagation of Christianity. While in public he gave the impression that he fully adheres to his Presbyterian faith, in private he actually wrestled with the core tenets of Christian faith. He and his fellow evangelist Billy Graham traveled together across North America and Europe to preach the word of God to thousands of enthusiasts gathered in sports arenas. Templeton gradually started to drift away from Billy Graham ideologically. In 1957, after a long struggle with doubt, Templeton finally declared himself an agnostic. In two of his post-Christian books: An Anecdotal Memoir (1983) and Farewell to God: My Reasons for Rejecting the Christian Faith (1995), Templeton admitted to have had great difficulties with the Biblical account of creation, the authenticity of the Bible and the nature of God. In essence, he found what he was preaching to be an incomprehensible theology.

According to a 2010 study conducted by Daniel Dennett and Linda LaScola of the Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University, there are many active clergies similar to Templeton whom on the condition of anonymity have confessed to the researchers not to actually believe in the Christian God. What prevents these clergies from coming out of the closet is the economic consequences i.e. loosing their job.

On the other side of the spectrum, Anthony Flew, a long time notorious champion of atheism, struggled to keep justifying an accidental universe despite all odds, something that his long academic career was based on. In early 2004, he abruptly abandoned his disbelief in God and converted to Deism. The dramatic change of mind was based on scientific findings, while in the past he habitually used science to debunk theism. The structure of the DNA double helix made Flew to finally bow down to the Design Argument. This makes one seriously wonder where he obtained the conviction and confidence in atheism, and whether he was ever doubtful of the very beliefs that he was urging others to adhere to all along.

These examples show that Mankind often plays embarrassing games with his own mind. In deceiving others, he first must work hard to deceive himself, as a result often ending up being the first who pays the price of deception. Thus, not surprisingly cognitive dissonance is one of the most extensively studied areas in social psychology where there is an ongoing conflict between one’s vested interests, desires and the inner voice.

What is the psychological state of a man who builds a career on obtuse ideas that are indefensible and contrary to basic common sense, ideas that there is no shred of evidence to support them? For instance, have you ever heard of anything more ludicrous than a claim, which stipulates that complex design aimlessly happens, rather than being planned ahead by an intelligent designer? Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss advocate that this vast universe was created out of nothing with no primary cause, and then finely tuned by sheer luck, resulting in endless complex life forms with conscious awareness. “The Greatest Show on Earth” evolved randomly with no external guidance, but by a blind, unconscious automatic process. Forces of nature and natural selection at work are the given explanation for the existence and apparently purposeful form of all life, itself having no purpose at all. It has no mind and no mind’s eye. It does not plan for the future. “It has no vision, no foresight, no sight at all. If it can be said to play the role of watchmaker in nature, it is the blind watchmaker.” The zenith of such an absurdity is that this belief is shamelessly presented in a prestigious package labeled as modern science with one primary goal: to exclude God the First Cause and to counter the intelligent design argument advocated by theist scientists and philosophers like Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Newton, Paley and the Islamic scientists of the Golden Age.

Below is a picture of the inside of a Rolex watch, which is intelligently designed and manufactured by Swiss engineers for a specific purpose. Is there any doubt that this watch has a designer and maker?

Rolex08b

The photograph below is a magnified picture of supposedly not designed tights joints of Issus, a planthopper insect, one of the fastest accelerators in the animal kingdom. What kind of logic would justify the claim that it is made by random mutation with no purpose or foresight? The components in the machinery below are much finer and complex than a Rolex watch. It requires greater precision and engineering expertise. It is a living machine with consciousness, yet atheists are resistant to acknowledge that the organism is designed because of the inevitable implications.

Issus-02-0913-de

How did atheists manage to pass premature conjectures as science and get away with it so easily? They use subtle techniques that obscure the line between persuasion and deception. At first they deviously changed the most fundamental and natural question in Man’s mind from the time immemorial: How did the universe come to be, is it caused or uncaused, to the nonsensical question of: Are “science” and “religion” inherently incompatible with each other? Having successfully interjected blurry concepts like “science”, “religion” and “God”, their subsequent common campaign strategy has been to be vociferous and vigorously popularize their own atheistic agenda. They claim to be standing on the rational side and wrap their ideas in a nice attractive package labeled modern science. They keep using words such as reason, logic, rationality, science, knowledge, open-mind and free-thinkers, regardless of how preposterous their overall claim sounds like. Conversely, they stigmatize their opponents as religious, irrational and close-minded creationists and even frequently demonize them as fanatically dangerous, etc. They pretend that their atheistic view is a product of rationality and scientific approach, but theism is a product of psychological need and desperation. In their research, case studies and television documentaries they are selective to that, which is supportive to their argument, i.e. to dismiss the notion of “God” they only concentrate on cracked pot figures. They repeatedly make inconclusive and circumstantial claims, then get a few of their like-minded colleagues to say: “Yes, he is right.” From that they make a circuitous conclusion which has nothing to do with science, for example, Darwin forces us to reject the belief in a Benevolent Grand Planner.

In debates, they are very choosy about who do they debate with. They dodge tough questions, constantly interrupt their opponents or the interviewer, repeatedly speak over them and spread misinformation. They appeal to fear mongering, misrepresent their opponents’ position, for example if one disagrees with the mechanism of Natural Selection, he is then painted as “anti-evolution”, “anti-science” or “history-denier”. They make giant bluffs and hope that no one would catch their bluff, i.e. Darwin blew away the Teleological Argument, a self-created universe from nothing or Multiverse. They maintain a tight grip over a favoured scientific paradigm in academic settings where the preferred ideas are institutionalized as truth. Subsequently, many of these atheists in the process have gradually come to believe their own lies.

Academic science is a profession just like all other professions. Indeed, in a material world where crooks can be found even among federal judges, police chiefs and heads of states, it is erroneous to assume that there are no crooks and opportunists among atheists, professors and scientists, and that they are immune from the alluring temptations of wealth and power.

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Has Science Buried the Camel and its Droppings?

 

Mehran Banaei

An illiterate desert Bedouin of early history walking on a path with his companion inferred that this path must be a frequent passage for camels. The companion curiously asked him how he could be so certain given that there are no camels in sight. The Bedouin wisely replied: look at the trail, all you see here is camel droppings and camel footprints.

Camel droppings

The Bedouin did not have any formal education, but he certainly used solid scientific methodology to arrive objectively at his conclusion, which is the usage of observation, information gathering, analysis of empirical evidence, inductive reasoning and so on. At his disposal he had all the essential tools that freethinkers require to make a valid inference. What other possible conclusion can any skeptic make from the available data under identical circumstances? I believe there is absolutely none. Nevertheless, so many would not give up trying and be cynical at the conclusion made by the Bedouin. For example, there are those who could vigorously argue:

1) The droppings are not really camel droppings, they have the appearance and odour of camel droppings. However, the real thinking individual would not be fooled by the appearance, only those who have a lazy mind would think that the aforementioned signs would mean that a camel must have passed by. (Richard Dawkins, Peter Atkins)

2) There are so many different animal droppings and footprints in the world. How do we know that these are camel droppings, but not of a polar bear or fish? (Michael Shermer, Dan Barker)

3) No camel ever passed over the trail; the camel droppings have created themselves out of nothing. (Daniel Dennett, Lawrence Krauss)

4) No camel ever passed over the trail; the camel droppings have always been there from eternity to eternity with no primary cause. (Fred Hoyle, Thomas Gold, Hermann Bondi)

5) If camels do indeed regularly pass through this passage, how come there is so much pain and suffering in the world? (Epicurus, Sam Harris, Dan Barker)

6) Camel and camel droppings do not exist. They are illusions, the idea is totally unfounded, an ancient fairytale. It is wishful thinking, a manifestation of humankind’s oldest inner desire to achieve emotional comfort. (David Hume, Sigmund Freud, Karl Marx, Ludwig Feuerbach, Friedrich Nietzsche)

7) People who use teleological argument in favour of camel droppings and camel droppings-maker are people of faith; religious zealots with a certain fundamentalist agenda disguised as freethinkers. (The Skeptics Society, Atheist Alliance of America, American Atheists Association)

8) Camel droppings on the path evolved and branched out independently from droppings of other species by blind processes of natural selection. Thanks to science, camel is no longer needed to produce camel droppings. Natural selection should suffice as an explanation for the existence of camel droppings without recourse to an actual camel. (Richard Dawkins speaking for Charles Darwin)

9) The only reason that one believes that a camel has passed by is all because one is raised in a culture where everyone believes that a camel has actually passed by. If one were raised in a culture where everyone believed that the great Juju at the bottom of the Sea left those droppings behind, one would then adhere to that tribal belief. (Richard Dawkins)

10) Camel is not great; the belief in existence of camel having passed the path is a man-made idea to control the masses. I do not want to live in a universe that one is obligated to acknowledge the existence of a ruthless camel that drops waste. (Christopher Hitchens)

11) Even if one observes on a daily basis that numerous camel caravans routinely pass by here, the existing droppings and footprints on the trail do not entail that they belong to a camel, which has passed by. One cannot generalize from specific and move from “is” to “ought”. (David Hume)

12) There were no camel droppings until we observed them. The camel dropping particles exist due to the wave function collapse brought about by our observation. (Neils Bohr et al)

13) The belief that camel droppings and footprints are indicative of a camel in the vicinity is based on blind faith. The Bedouin’s assertion is founded on religious dogma. His conclusion does not constitute an inference from scientific data. Faith is a vice pretending to be a virtue. I cannot believe people in the 21st century still believe that camel drops waste on its path. You Intelligent Design people must be ashamed of yourself thinking order, complexity and fine-tuning mean anything. Aren’t you embarrassed to believe in pseudoscience? (PZ Myers)

14) Today the real scientists no longer believe that we need a camel to end up having camel droppings; biologists can easily create camel droppings in the lab without a supernatural cause. One may not be able to prove that a camel actually did not pass through the trail, but science makes the necessity of camel passing through unnecessary. The laws of physics can explain in details what the droppings are made of without the need for a camel. Thus, science has buried the camel and its droppings. (Richard Dawkins, Stephen Hawking)

At times, it may seem that modern scientists are inadvertently not employing the principle of Occam’s razor, that is, not complicating explanation beyond necessity. However, a careful examination reveals that avoiding the simplest explanation is their career goal as many of them are heavily into atheism who are more concerned about defending a particular ideology than scientific discoveries. Nevertheless, when science deviates from common sense, it is no longer science; it is no longer pursuit of truth. It is then no wonder why the most inevitable conclusion on the most fundamental question in life is so often missed by scientists.

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Battle of Dogmas, a Mug of Beer vs. an Egg: The Commonality of “Atheistic Science” and “Trinitarian Christianity”

Mehran Banaei

Those who adhere to science and logic take a strong position against the Christian doctrine of Trinity. They protest as to how on earth can 1+1+1 be equal to 1, and consequently hold that the nature of God in Christianity is totally incomprehensible and inaccessible to the human intellect. They further argue: how can a being be both human and God, mortal and immortal, finite and infinite, fallible and infallible, contingent and incontingent, caused and uncaused, possessing these attributes simultaneously or consecutively? How can God be in human flesh, and further, how can the Divine God have a human son? These critics have argued for centuries, that the notion of Trinity cannot be rationally possible, since if God has a son, His son then must have the same nature as his Father, otherwise he cannot really be his Son. If so, how could the Son have the same nature as his Father, when the nature of the Father is that he has no Son or Father and no one gave him life? After all, He is the God that begets not, nor was He ever begotten.

Trinity is so blatantly irrational, that many well-known Christian thinkers such as Joseph Priestley, John Locke, Isaac Newton, and Ralph Waldo Emerson openly rejected it and adopted the Biblical Unitarian version of Christianity that regards Jesus as just a human being. Historically, the classical response from Christian theologians has been anything but satisfactory. Many Christians today continue to struggle with the perennially irreconcilable notion of a triune God.

Trinity is commonly defended by employing four different strategies, all of which are invalid. Trinitarians blatantly bypass the basic law of non-contradiction through the usage of these techniques, either separately or combined.

Firstly, the argument by analogy. Analogies are frequently provided to explain complex and indefensible concepts; often the analogy used is fallacious and is nothing close to the concept being defended. In defense of Trinity, an analogy of egg is provided to explain this indigestible concept, claiming that Trinity is just like an egg having three layers. The shell, white, and yoke are all parts of one egg, but at the same time they are all separate components of an egg. God is like an egg in that He is 3-in-1, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. This analogy is expected to clarify how divinity and humanity can be the unified characteristic of a single entity, forgetting at the outset that an explanation is not a proof. The approach employed leaves further questions unanswered such as: why is the nature of Divine like an egg, but not for instance like an onion unsettled. Can Trinity be truly the Divine nature of the Big Bang Originator?

Secondly, the irrationality of the proposed concept is covered up by clouds of worthless terminology and convoluted language. The Christian God is claimed to be a “Hypostatic Union” between man and God, an invented terminology by the First Council of Ephesus held in the year 431, a fancy term that conveys absolutely no meaning but pontifical gobbledygook.

Consider the following example, through natural processes, a silkworm can turn into a beautiful butterfly, but once it becomes a butterfly it can no longer return to being a worm again. Metamorphosis is a unidirectional process. Such a species cannot be both worm and butterfly at the same time. If God becomes man in every sense of the word, He then loses His power to become God again. If He is still able to regain His divinity, then He never was truly a man.

Thirdly, Trinity is a mystery that has to be accepted based on blind faith; it is a matter of personal belief. Faith excuses evidence. A thing that cannot be subject of rational scrutiny could still be justified since the good Lord can do anything. How many times have we heard Christian theologians claim that “you cannot question everything”? They come up with disingenuous vocalizations and slogans such as: God is love, the love of God can overcome mystery and irrationality; when we meet the Lord in the heaven He will eventually explain His mysterious nature to us. In explaining the Biblical causation to the scientific community, the Trinitarian position is that “Jesus did it”, “the Holy Spirit did it”, and the anthropomorphic “God the Father, the old man up in sky did it.” Then they look surprised why scientists dismiss the Biblical account of creation.

Fourthly, when clergies are confronted with an unanswerable question, they use the same technique commonly used by trained politicians on how to dodge a difficult question by answering a different question so brilliantly.  They never write off the point raised and always acknowledge that the issue raised is justified and deserves scrutiny. The technique requires manipulation of the audience, by first creating a little distraction to sideline the questioned issue and then gradually moving on to a different topic that is easy to handle, the position taken is something which everyone would agree with. At the end, if the unsuspecting questioner feels the issue is still unclear to him, he may conclude that he is just too unintelligent to understand the issue well explained to him.

Ravi Zacharias on the Law of Non-Contradiction and the Trinity

Needless to say, none of the above approaches would quench the thirst of truly rational individuals, all those who seem to have had enough of the Christian dogma and long for a little bit of a breeze of rationality. Many scientists as well as philosophers claim to be among this group. However, they too have equally abandoned rationality and throw the baby out with the bath water. They reject God the First Cause with the notion of Trinity, Christianity, all manmade and altered religions. The illogical Christian theological doctrine has given excuse to the rise of atheistic science. Their first error is that, since the existence of God is not subject to empirical analysis, it must be excluded from science. Thus, in looking for an alternative Godless worldview, scientists fail dreadfully. Their solution is no different than that of Christianity and they ultimately fall into the same pitfall.

At first atheist scientists came up with the idea of the Steady State universe. They argued against theists that if God has no creator and has always been there, why not the same be true about the universe, that the universe had no cause, and has always been there. If God is said to be eternal, why not to say that the universe is eternal. Furthermore, with respect to the notion of the fine tuning of the universe and the astounding variety and complexity of life, materialists proposed “Natural Selection” to rebut William Paley’s notion of Watchmaker. However, after the discovery of the Big Bang, the dominant Steady State universe could no longer be defended. The Big Bang confirmation established that the universe had a beginning and a beginning universe suggests that there ought to be a creator. Further discovery of the Double Helix geometric shape of DNA, the molecule of life comprized of chemical bases arranged in approximately 3 billion precise sequences made defense of atheism a silly attempt. Atheists suddenly found themselves in trouble and started looking for a remedy, ideas such as Multiverse, parallel universes, M theory, String Theory and other dimensions, etc. started to develop without any inductive supports, contrary to the very basic tenet of empirical science. None of these theories have arised based on evidential discoveries; on the contrary they all have been developed with a specific objective, which is to eliminate the need for a Creator in explaining the causality.

To an impartial objective observer, the similarities between the two views presented by respected atheist physicists and Trinitarian Christians are evident: both are unsupported, illogical and based on faith that is blind faith. The Christians rather believe in the trinity of God, than in the unity of one God. The atheist scientists rather believe in an absurdity of a self-made accidental universe, or in a more bizarre idea of infinite number of undetectable self-created universes than believe in a single Creator of all that there is. If this belief is not based on blind faith, I then wonder what is. The atheist scientists confused science with science fiction, have coined terms such Multiverse for a fictional concept, then like Christians, appeal to a faulty analogy to justify their pseudo-science. For example, claiming that the whole of existence is like a mug of beer full of bubbles. A beer mug being a vast hyperspace, the mother of all universes and the individual bubbles are like the individual universes popping into existence. Subsequently concluding, not all universes would be conducive to complex life; we were just the lucky one to live in the universe that hosts life. We are the winners of the jackpot of a cosmic lottery. Really! How practical? Isn’t that nice, winning the ultimate prize without even buying a ticket?

BeerRiddles of the Multiverse

God and the Universe


Indeed, what a useless and dogmatic effort by atheists. The idea of the Multiverse cannot exclude the role of God the Creator. Not only does the Multiverse theory not eliminate the need for God the creator or the First Cause: rather, it makes the matter even somewhat more complicated. As if having to explain one origin and one causation is not hard enough, now multiply that by infinite causes. Let’s suppose that the Multiverse theory is accurate, the question of who created the hyperspace, the mother of all universes and then set the physical laws to govern it, still remains blatantly unanswered. Did the Multiverse not have an initial cause? Who said that God cannot create a Multiverse? How does the notion of the Multiverse lead one to conclude atheism is warranted? The atheists position on the creation of the Multiverse is no different than that of the creation of the universe. They defend the irrationality of their belief by claims such as, “Nothing did it” (Lawrence Krauss); “It did itself”; “The universe created itself” (Daniel Dennett), “Mother nature did it”, “Natural Selection did it”, “The Selfish Gene did it”, “a blind watchmaker did it” (Richard Dawkins).

It is true by relying on science we can learn so much about the universe, the proposed Darwinian explanation on how A evolved to B, may be satisfactory to those who are only concerned about the origin of B, but not A. But, why stop at B? Why be only concerned about where and how the bubbles in the beer come from? The more important question is where did the mug that holds the beer come from. How did the whole of the grand existence begin?

Furthermore, the atheist scientists seem to forget something rather pivotal to their field here. This forgetfulness is that explanation is not a proof. An explanation is not an argument and cannot be taken as justification or proof. Why on earth should the Multiverse be like beer and not like water, totally flat and bubbleless? Did the atheist scientists forget what really gave birth to backlash against religious institutions? Did they forget their own arguments against faith-based beliefs, and what distinguishes science from religious belief in fairytales? What must be considered is a religious man who believes in the notion of Trinity, is painted by scientists to be closed-minded, an obtuse religious fanatic, as Richard Dawkins describes it: “an enemy of reason”. If this is who he is, then in a way he is licensed to believe in Bronze Age superstition and nonsense. However, how can an academic man of science, a lover of reason and rationality, a graduate of a prestigious university and author of numerous books come up with a similar argument and invalid conclusion as a religious fool? Why are the lovers of truth using the same techniques to dodge questions which their proposed science is paralyzed to answer?


What is strikingly shocking is to see blind faith arguments coming from scientists, those who have already criticized the faulty analogy of Trinity and further unfairly picked on William Paley’s Watchmaker analogy.

Practically in every textbook or website on logic and science when the fallacy of faulty analogy is discussed, the example of Paley’e argument is cited as a typical fallacy of faulty analogy, arguing that this analogy does not demonstrate the existence of an intelligent designer. Consider the following diatribe,

“…the analogy doesn’t succeed because of faulty comparison. In false analogy, constructiveness of the argument gives way to deceptiveness and triviality, where the falseness in the analogy can be understood by the absurd construction of the argument. This can be best understood by the ‘watchmaker analogy’, which is used as an argument for the existence of God. According to this particular analogy, the complexity of the universe is similar to the complexity of a watch. Since every watch has a watchmaker, so the universe too must have a maker or designer, in short God. This analogy falls flat, because of the fatuousness of the comparison and is, today, considered to be the best example of false analogy. This will become clear when the argument is given an absurd turn. It can be accepted that the universe is as complex as a watch. But while the watch can be taken around in the pocket, the universe cannot be. Thus, an analogy becomes false when there are many characteristics that highlight the differences between the comparisons.” (Reference)

Using this logic, that the universe and a watch are not the same thing, I suppose one can comfortably argue that the comparison of Multivers with a mug of beer is likewise unwarranted; thereby the Multiverse cannot exist, simply because unlike a mug of beer, you cannot drink the Multiverse.

The atheist scientists erroneously think that scientific inaccuracies in the Bible are a good proof that there can be no God. They conclude from the fact that the followers of each religion claim that their religion is the Truth with capital T, therefore there can be no such a thing as absolute Truth. They deduce from the fact that there are so many different concepts of god, therefore there can be no God. How unscientific? It is a pity to see such conclusions are made by those who are systematically trained to discover the truth by the process of elimination, those who are trained to separate fact from competing theories.

The fallaciousness of scientism is well exposed and counter-attacked by Christians who were bashed relentlessly by scientists for the last couple of centuries. However, Christians should be reminded that it was the dogmatic outlook of Christianity in the very first place and its hostile attitude towards knowledge that gave rise to atheism. Christians among all people are in no position to complain about why scientists have an aversion towards religion, and should know better why people are driven in droves towards the abyss of relativism and atheism.

The debate between atheism and Christianity has turned into a boring dispute between the pot and the kettle, both sides calling each other black, each side guilty of the very fault identified in the other side, both sides being guilty of mixing sense with nonsense.

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Mystical Cults vs. Pseudo-Rational Cults: Are they in essence any different?

Mehran Banaei

Atheism is not a modern concept emerging with the progression of scientific knowledge. Despite what atheists repeatedly claim, atheism is an ancient belief, if not older; it is just as old as theism. Ancient but always marginal, it was never able to enjoy taking over the hearts and minds of people. Atheism will never succeed to replace theism of any kind. Throughout history, there were many powerful regimes that dictated and enforced this ideology to the masses, but failed miserably to propagate and preserve it. Citizens were obligated to participate in the government-orchestrated ceremonies, but in private many of them believed in God. And, as soon as they had the first opportunity, like a stretched rubber band when applied force is removed, they openly abandoned the imposed belief at once and returned to their natural state of belief in God. One explanation for the historical abysmal failure of atheism is because of its core stand, which is contrary to human nature. From the moment we are born we are curious sense-making and sense-demanding machines. As we grow older, we ponder deep on larger existential questions on life and death. We are psychologically hardwired to look for the ultimate meaning and purpose for our existence, to seek our Creator and worship Him. Humankind is a worshiping species. If we fail to achieve this task successfully, we will end up moving towards worshiping a wrong object of devotion, be that fame, wealth, glory, Manchester United FC, Elvis Presley, idols, various founding gurus, or scientism.

Considering human nature, it should not come as a surprise, out of the blue yonder, that cults still emerge in the so-called age of reason. Some cults visibly have all cultish characteristics of a closed-minded religious group, yet they still successfully manage to attract many followers from all walks of life: from weak and vulnerable individuals to literate and financially established citizens. A notorious case in point is the cult founded by Rajneesh Bhagwan, a creepy messianic pimp from the 70s and 80s era. Osho Rajneesh Bhagwan was a popular controversial “spiritual leader”, very skillful in psychological manipulation, master of mind control and sexual exploitation. He is dead now and with his death the movement died out as well.

Rajneesh may have been a genius in his illicit field, but his employed techniques to recruit people were outmost elementary. With a simple message of there is no God, let’s have tantric sex; this charismatic con artist managed to attract a huge number of simple-minded followers mainly from North America, Europe and Australia, promising them a guaranteed shortcut to the Utopia. By promoting the “pleasure principle” i.e. ecstatic dancing (he called it meditation), wild orgies and recreational drug use, Rajneesh gained so much popularity and wealth beyond imagination. The man became internationally famous for having 198 Rolls-Royces. His followers were all dressed in red or reddish hues and resided with him in a large isolated ranch in the eastern part of Oregon, U.S.A.

Life on the Rancho Rajneesh in Oregon

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RajneeshOne

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Ironically, it seemed that no one learned a lesson from the horrific Jonestown massacre back in November 1978. Rajneesh’s naïve disciples did not know that their beloved guru had extensive criminal records. In 1985 when he was deported from the U.S. for multiple felonies, no country but India, his country of birth, allowed him entry. All his fanatical disciples still refused to accept the truth and followed Rajneesh like a herd of sheep to India. The group re-settled in Poona Ashram. Later on after his death in 1990, many of his devotees gradually left the cult and spoke against their former outlawed idol; some of them openly said that they could not believe how “stupid” they were to fall for this charlatan’s phony charm.

Not surprisingly, the movement with some makeover under a new leadership is now resurfacing once again in the U.S.A, Germany, India, Mexico and among all places in Iran. Why humanity never learns from its own mistakes is beyond anybody and boggles the mind. Sadly, there will never be a shortage of crooks and airheads in this world. There are so many of them around and come from all walks of life, constantly seeking one another to form a symbiotic relationship. Mindlessness and emptiness are the usual factors to drive people to mystical cults. Greed and financial exploitation are the driving factors for the gurus to target the potential followers. It is puzzling how people easily give up their precious functioning mind and confuse endarkenment with enlightenment. I suppose, if one enters the state of total mindlessness via drug use or self-hypnoses, there will be no demarcation between illusion and reality; one can then easily believe in anything. It further helps when a self-appointed authority puts the seal of approval that says that: “You are OK to hold on to your adhered belief and lifestyle.” “Happiness” can then be instantly achieved. The particularized harmful behavior then finds a justification in a quasi-belief structure, and is maintained at all costs, whereas a sound justifiable belief should be the result of continuous confirmation through evidence.

Although not to the victims, but to many it was so clear at the outset that Rajneesh was a greedy opportunist preying on the vulnerability of his victims. His cult had all the classic textbook features of a notorious cult heavily into Eastern Mysticism. The question which comes to the mind is: Is it not possible to be engulfed in a less conspicuous cult which keeps on pumping its followers with an illusion that they are critical thinkers, that they are rationally using their mind and reason, but in reality it is quite the opposite? There are many societies in the world that their citizens are under a similar illusion, for instance, the illusion that their country is founded on democratic principles and being run by the will of the people. They erroneously believe that all citizens are free and equal. However, the reality is to the contrary. This misconception is deliberately manufactured and injected into the psyche of the masses in a most subtle way. If they are made to think that they are governing, they will then be easily governed. Likewise, isn’t there a cult which from the outside, appears to be a circle of progressive freethinkers with a prestigious and exclusive academic image geared more towards the upper white-collar and green-collar segments of the society. However, from inside it is nothing but an odorous circle of fanatical zealots, i.e. a cult of “scientism”, equally irrational as the mystical cults. Are all people immune to fall for the Wolf-in-Sheep-Clothing syndrome or ploy?

I believe it is possible, but such a cult may be much harder to detect, since it appears to have the opposite image, to the extend that no one would dare to classify the group as a cult. On the surface, it clearly portrays itself as distinct from religions and mystical cults. In fact, no one even considers them as a group, but a new universal scientific and philosophical movement on the rise as saviours of humankind for the 21st century, engulfed in the darkness and superstitious hogwash of religions, small or large. They are portrayed as knights in shining armour, slaying the dragon of irrationality with the glistening excaliber or atheism. The followers mostly seem to be well-educated elite, supposedly following empirical reasoning no matter where it leads them. How could this essential mandate lead rational researchers to an error of any kind? It very well can, if the mandate is just a decorative motto framed on the wall.

There are many pretentious individuals, who like to look open-minded and intelligent, cultured and tolerant, attracted to arts, literature, classical music, etc. They arrogantly consider themselves as the intellectually superior to others. Nevertheless, their attitude and belief show loud and clear that they are not what they appear to be. When one examines their belief closely, one does not really find much difference with that of Rajneeshi blue-collar cult. The common element is, both group fail to think on their own and personally examine all the relevant evidence. They wrongfully put their trust in a leader who is taken to be the ultimate authority. Appeal to popular scientific authorities could be as improper as appeal to religious authorities. How many times have we seen atheists erroneously dismissing William Paley’s notion of natural theology, an assertion which is made not based on empirical evidence, but based on a FATWA given by the Grand Ayatollah Richard Dawkins? The common criterion used for being selected as the authority in a pseudo-rational cult is based on the number of publications of the contenders and the number of copies sold worldwide. Is this a rational criterion?

The cult of scientism appear to promote science and reason, yet they seem to be totally out-reasoned by their supposed fascination of reason. They follow the group founder(s) as their prophet(s) no matter what he said or says. The founder or leader, knows all useful PR schemes, would never look as creepy as Rajneesh, but debonair and sophisticated, lucid and coherent, cool and full of confidence in what he delivers. He always looks smart and presentable, has many academic titles attached to his name. That gives him the license to preach, that he knows it all. Even within this school of thought, both leaders and followers are closed-minded and intolerant of their opponents, and what is more, equally believe in irrational unsupported dogmas based on blind faith, without any shred of empirical evidence that they always demand from all others. For instance, they believe in the multiverse (infinite meta-universes), or the belief that despite the incredible complexity of life and its astounding variety, life is the product of a chance mutation and all organisms, despite looking they are intelligently designed, they are not. They believe in the notion that nothing is something, and that something creates itself out of nothing, then that nothing created everything. They then justify this belief by absurd speculations and analogies posing as facts, which in itself is extremely bizarre! What can be more dogmatic than the belief, which stipulates that everything in nature has mere appearance of design formed spontaneously by mindless atoms unguidedly coming together? What is more mindless than the belief that chance mutation would give rise to incredible complexities in an “accidental life-supporting universe”? The zenith of this dogmatic outlook is when it is packaged as a scientific conclusion. Far from being a scientific conclusion, it is a departure from sanity into realm of irrationality. Further, their lack of honestly is well displayed when data opposing to their position are dismissed and buried. Their campaign strategies are based on propaganda: leave the bronze-age belief on a Single Creator introduced by uneducated shepherds, come and join us, we are the sophisticated intelligentsia. They promote belief in a modern fairytale god, i.e. “Mother Nature”,  “Natural Selection”, etc. The modern fairytales are no different than old ones like Zeus and Hera. Lack of critical thinking, peer pressure and blind following of an elevated leader are not exclusive traits of fundamentalist religious circles. Secular humanists too can be influenced by similar social factors, become mesmerized by their prophets and accept unconfirmed ideas because they are consoling to their psyche.

By first creating a need and then extensively marketing it, the secular gurus make millions of dollars in book and documentary sales, speaking fees and research grants on top of already gained fame and popularity. Although these gurus are often successful in their personal business endeavors, the irrationality and fakeness of their belief and the applied campaign strategy are the underlying reason for the overall failure of the proposed ideology, which is vigorously being promoted. But who cares about the distant future? The bottom line is mainly dollars and cents gained today. Their effort to make their adhered ideas look modern and fashionable will not really help them. It is a recipe for future backlash and failure. They always tend to create a simplistic polarization, and no third way to perceive the world. They create this illusion of polarization. It is either atheism or your mystical religions. But what if the whole truth is neither? By special pleading this third way is kept hidden. Through self-brainwashing many of these gurus may themselves come to believe in this false polarization and then are bent on its universal projection.

The pretentious atheism, sugarcoated with science is incompatible with human nature. It is a doomed idea destined to be cast into oblivion, hoisted by its own petard of arrogance. Rationality is an ongoing process in thoughts, not an emphasis on a particular favoured conclusion forced upon masses. Rationality is a consistent harmonious, continuous process of thought that is based on physical, biological, psychological, social and ecological foundations.

My final point is poetically illustrated in this clip titled: “Be Happy: It’s an Order” or be scientific, it’s an order, or be rational, it’s an order. Similar to the message in this clip, a group which arrogantly thinks that its view of reality is superior, rational and scientific and ought to be adopted by all those who are perceived as irrational and backwards would most likely miss the very obvious. The obvious is a lack of realization that the “backward” people are already using rationality and have a belief very much compatible with established scientific facts.

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Quran: The Flawless Bridge between “Science” and “Religion”

Nadeem Haque and Mehran Banaei

One of the greatest philosophical conflicts in the dynamic vistas of human dialectical thought, is that of the perceived incompatibility between science and religion. In the last few decades, a spate of books, articles and television documentaries have arisen, dealing with this issue as circumscribed by the Judeo-Christian tradition. Yet it appears strikingly odd and intriguingly compelling, that the general debate on such a universal theme has turned overwhelmingly into an exclusive debate between science and the Biblical account of the creation of the universe and its multifarious processes. This has no doubt contributed to highlighting the existing variances between scientific facts and the Bible, in turn leading many people to dismiss religion in general, whilst concomitantly fostering the growth of atheism and agnosticism. It seems even more odd, that such a discussion, by default, usually excludes all religions except the Judeo-Christian tradition. Yet, once this tradition is conclusively shown to be incommensurate with science, all religions, including the initially excluded ones, are brought back into the fold of discussion and summarily tainted with the stain of scientific incompatibility. This is indeed a most bizarre state of affairs, especially when it emanates from those who advocate the scientific method of discovery — the very group that claims to value accuracy and objectivity.

One of these often excluded worldviews is that of Islam, and its claimed revelatory foundation — the Quran. Muslims, however, claim that no dichotomy or chasm exists between science and the Quranic belief in monotheism. In fact, Muslims acknowledge that any book that claims to describe the creation of the universe ought to accurately reflect the essence of the universe in both principles and processes. It would therefore be most intriguing for the interested and contending parties to examine whether the Quranic model casts some light or indeed fresh new insights into this ongoing epistemological divide. Yet in the West, it is felt that Islam, far from being compatible with modern science, must be the underlying reason that has directly had something to do with fomenting retrogressiveness, intolerance and fundamentalism. In fact, in this discourse on science and religion, Islam seems to have become unfairly excluded, since it has been misperceived to be an exclusive religion of the Arabs, emanating from a primitive and outmoded culture. However, it is not generally known that the word Islam is absolutely non-exclusive, universal and timeless, since, unlike most religions, it is not tied to a culture, nationality, race, region, personality or somebody’s personal belief; rather, it is a description of a state of mind and action, linguistically denoting voluntary peaceful submission to the singular Creator, where one flows in concordance with the universal natural order of cosmic scheme (22:18). A Muslim is anyone, anywhere, at any time, who chooses to follow such ubiquitous natural laws in the realm of existence.

Yet despite this misunderstanding, evolving incipiently, side by side with the resultant inordinate rejection of Islam, is an ever-growing realization among many Muslims, as well as some non-Muslim academics, that the Quran appears to be addressing this age and the coming 21st Century and beyond, over and above the contents and approach found in many other scriptures.

Scientific Correlations
In the 20th Century, perhaps the greatest realization or discovery has been that the universe has evolved from a singularity — commonly referred to as the Big Bang. Indeed, it has been admitted by leading atheists, such as philosopher Antony Flew, that this point has become their nemesis. This is because an origin implies that there was once ‘no thing’ — whatever that may mean — and that such a rude beginning borders on the now taboo or embarrassing question of “God” or a Creator. This is not to say that many scientists have not tried to escape the dreaded ‘beginning’ by postulating an accidental universe; however, their solutions themselves have been highly problematic, unprovable or wildly speculative, such as: imaginary time, quantum fluctuation, multiple-universes, self-created universe, infinitely cyclical universes, etc. In fact, it appears that all the purported solutions to escape the singularity problem are haunted by the growing awareness that there appears to be intelligence embedded within the processes of the universe. This line of thought, under the right conditions, would naturally lead to the logical question as to whether there is some connected overall purpose to the universe and, concomitantly, a species such as the human being. Interestingly enough, but not surprising, towards the end of his life Anthony Flew abandoned atheism and arrived at the conclusion that there must be an Intelligent Creator behind the Big Bang and the complexity of nature.

The verifiable fact about the Quran in this whole debate on origins, is that unlike other scriptures, in the Quran — during the depths of the Dark Ages, 1,400 years ago — it has been unequivocally recounted that the whole universe and the earth therein, were once, one piece and that the Creator ripped them apart and made every living thing from water (Quran: chapter 21, verse 30), that the Creator is continuously expanding the universe (Arabic word used for expanding is musiuna, 51:47), and that the universe has evolved to form celestial systems and the earth, from the coalescence of dust and gas (41:11). These concepts were not realized until the 20th century, particularly after the discovery of galactic recession by red shift by Edwin Hubblein 1925.

Yet another branch of knowledge, among a myriad, where the Quran’s correlation with science has been startling, is in the area of embryology. Although it was linguistically clear as to what was being said in the Quran, about human development before birth, by Arabic linguists, many of the verses on embryology were unconceptualizable to them, owing to a lack of specialized education in the subject. One of these intriguing verses which was queried, stated: “Read in the name of your Sustainer and Lord, who created the human from a thing which clings (alaqa)” (96:1-2). The “clinging thing” alaqa is also the root word for the derivative meaning of alaqa which is “a leech-like structure”. This is a pristinely accurate visual-cum-structural description of the embryo from day 7 to 24 when the zygote clings to the endometrium of the uterus much like a leech clinging to the skin. The University of Toronto embryologist, Professor Keith Moore, who was approached by linguists on these verses, explained, in the 1980s, that just as the leech sucks blood from its host, so too does the human embryo withdraw blood from the pregnant endometrium. By the 23rd to 24th day, the embryo has a strong physical and functional resemblance to a leech. The root meaning of the word for clinging is alaqa, which, unfortunately, has been mistranslated into English incorrectly, as “blood clot”, in many translations of Quran.

Yet another verse states that: There is a stage before birth when the human being is like a “chewed lump” (mudghah, verse: 23:14). The “chewed lump” verse was explained dramatically by Moore as follows: He made a plasticine shape resembling the 28-day-old embryo and then had it bitten into. When juxtaposed, the resemblance between the special plasticine model and the actual microscopically enhanced picture of the 28 day old embryo, is strikingly similar, for one can observe that the structures on the embryo are the somites, which are the early stages of vertebrae; they do indeed resemble bead-like teeth marks imprinted on the plasticine model and hence the appropriate description of this stage as resembling that of a “chewed lump” — the mudghah. The staging of pre-natal human development was first described in 1941 by Streeter, and a more accurate system was proposed by O’Rahilly in 1972.

Another area that the Quran covers, most accurately, is geology. As geologist Z.R. El-Naggar points out concisely, “…the Quran consistently describes mountains as stabilizers for the Earth, that hold its outer surface firmly lest it should shake with us, and as pickets (or pegs) which hold that surface downwardly as a means of fixation. So simply stated, the Quran describes the outward protrusion of mountains from the earth’s surface, and emphasizes their downward extensions within the Earth’s lithosphere, as well as their exact role as stabilizers and as a means of fixation for such a lithosphere.” Some of the verses pertaining to these geological phenomena are: 78:6-7; 15:19; 16:15. The notion of mountains having roots was first hypothesized in the latter half of the nineteenth century, and their role in connection with providing stability to the dynamics of the lithosphere, through plate tectonics, has only begun to be comprehended since the late 1960s.

Nature of Belief in the Quran
Given these considerations, one might be led to question how these verses ended up appearing in the Quran. Historically, it must be pointed out that the undeveloped paganistic Arabic society in the 6th Century had no 20th Century notions of the Big Bang, the expanding universe, plate tectonics and embryology, for the Quran was revealed to an illiterate Muhammad by God in the Dark Ages, and that the inductive aspect of the scientific method sprung up after the Quranic period. Several centuries prior to the advent of the Quran, superstitions, mysticism and a non-scientific way of explaining nature had gained a hold in most societies on earth. In this abysmal atmosphere, the Quran led untutored desert nomads and the people they came into contact with, to look into the nature of the universe in order to fathom things, which led to a scientific revolution that helped foster the Renaissance and the Enlightenment periods in Europe. Indeed, the Muslims had learned and then further developed the thought heritages of the Ancients, and in so doing, evolved the conduction of science to new and novel heights. As medieval historian Thomas Goldstein has remarked in his book, The Dawn of Modern Science: From the Arabs to Leonardo Da Vinci: “Every single specialized science in the West owes its origins to the Islamic impulse — or at least its direction from that time onwards.”

Methodologically and inspirationally, it was the Quran itself that led to the “Islamic impulse” that Goldstein refers to. To understand exactly why, we need to delve deeper into an analysis of the Quran itself. The Arabic word Quran literally means a book “to be read”. It claims to be the complete and absolutely unaltered communication from the single intelligence that has originated and developed the entire universe. The Muslims’ claim is that if this assertion is true, then the Quran must be able to withstand, at least, the following tests: Firstly, there should be no internal inconsistencies and contradictions within its contents. Secondly, it should not contain statements that are contrary to known facts, regarding for example, the structure and function of the universe. Thirdly, it must be linguistically clear, unambiguous, and precise. All these tests are necessary so that its contents can be objectively confirmed or refuted. Passing these tests, successfully, would indeed establish the credibility of the Quranic claim of its ‘divine’ origin. On the other hand, if inconsistencies and ambiguities do indeed exist, then the book in question is either entirely man-made, or might have originated from the Originator, but was subsequently corrupted by human beings. In a nutshell, this would mean that the book is not credible.

The analysis of any book, which claims to be a revelation, ought to include the most important resource accessible to us — the human intellect. It is only through the human intellect that we can confirm or negate the presence of contradictions and thereby substantiate or invalidate claims. Surprisingly, the Quran itself emphasizes that the reader subject its contents to rigorous analytical scrutiny with an objective and honest intent, in order to ascertain if there are indeed any internal or external inconsistencies (4:82). In this way, the Quran boldly and confidently challenges its readers not to take its claim of divine origin at face value, but to examine the book and always remain alert for any kind of inaccuracy, a challenge which is unequivocally open to all skeptics and those with a keen interest in scientific investigation, particularly in the area of the compatibility or incompatibility between science and religion. The claim of the challenge, even after 1400 years, has still not been deposed, even by those who are no friends of the Muslims. More interestingly, from a scientific perspective, the Quranic proposition to find internal or external incongruity within its contents, as a way to dismiss its claim, is tantamount to a truly scientific method of falsifying invalid ideas and concepts.

In general, the aforementioned criteria may be used to test any claimed revelation. Contemporary Islamic thinkers point out that if the information contained in this book was unknown 1,400 years ago, one would perhaps be led to question its presence in so ancient a document. They ask: Does the Quran indeed withstand the tests of precision, consistency and non-contradiction? And if so, is the structurer of the Quran also the structurer of the universe?

One certainly needs to question, where such scientific verses came from? However, one thing is certain: If Muhammad did indeed write the Quran, expositing his own ideas and mindset, he would have had to have gained 20th Century knowledge regarding: embryology, cosmology, geology, ecology, archaeology, biology, sociology, anthropology, history, atmospheric sciences and cognitive sciences, whilst being deprived of libraries, laptop computers, telescopes, microscopes, universities, the internet and sophisticated databases. Even if they were somehow miraculously available, of what use would they be to an illiterate man. However, be that as it may, the central question remains: Whether one believes that Muhammad procured his knowledge from earthly or possible extraterrestrial sources, as opposed to from a Creator who is independent of our space and time conceptions, what exactly is the thrust and the message of this widely possessed, though seldom analytically studied book?

To fully understand the Quranically inspired re-genesis of knowledge in the Dark Ages, its multiplier-effects over the ages and the import of the Quranic view of science, we must understand that the Quran unequivocally rejects belief based upon blind faith. However, many people tend to look upon the Quran from a Eurocentric perspective on the nature of religion, and tend to thereby color Islam as just another dogmatic belief system. For example, even the word for “belief” in Arabic does not mean “belief” construed as “blind faith”, as it has evolved to mean in Christianity and many other belief systems. In fact, this blind-faith notion is echoed in the authoritative proclamation of St. Augustine: “Credo quia abserdum est” – “I believe, because it is incredible”. In stark contradistinction, the word for “belief” or “faith” that is used in the Quran, is iman, which has, at its root amana. This word means to confirm or verify things. Therefore a real Muslim is one who confirms ideas and statements, and is not given to accepting ideas without proof and evidence. There is no room for a leap of faith at any stage. The fact that many profess to adhere to Islam, but do not in fact follow its pristinely laid out Quranic methodology, in no way diminishes Islam’s pre-eminent position towards evidence and proof (e.g. see 2:44; 3:190,191; 16:90; 8:22; 28:49; 23:17; 67:10). It was, after all, the Quran, which wrought a revolution in science by its emphasis on intellection. Through the influence of the Muslim philosopher Ibn Rushd’s (Averroes’) writings and that of others, the European Averroists in the Middle Ages set the trend for rationally criticizing authority based on mystical doctrines. Since the Quran fostered such a transformation of the West itself, it is in reality, a neglected part of the Western legacy, and is a document that is vitally worthy of scrutiny. This is because the Quran invites self-examination and proof at the crux of its fundamental framework.

The Quranic approach is proof-seeking and teleological, that is, it is purpose, intention and design based, being identical in many respects with Unitarian beliefs, which had many well-known adherents such as Voltaire, Newton, John Locke, Milton and Joseph Priestly. The message of the Quran is that of Unitarianism, albeit an advanced and completed version of it, as the sample verses on embryology, geology and evolutionary cosmology illustrate. If one recollects, these Unitarians within Christendom, like the true Muslims, denounced mysticism, believed in rationality, and did not regard Jesus as divine or semi-divine.

Socio-Environmental Implications
Given the consistent rational stance of Islam, the laws of nature are seen to collectively form the primary revelation. The exposition of splendid artistry and remarkable engineering contrivance in divine creation overflows on almost every page of the Quran. Indeed, the quintessence of the Quranic outlook, is that by reflecting on the universe, and the diversity of life forms within it, we certainly observe a panoramic display of remarkable order and consistency. Such harmonious order is maintained throughout, by the structure of the extremely delicate dynamic balances in the physical universe. The Quranic outlook emphasizes that nature’s equilibrium is itself comprised of interlocking and interdependent structures and processes. These processes by their very design have particular functions and boundaries that are not arbitrary or ad hoc. Therefore, the usage of the elements of nature, whether in the ecological or social spheres, have their usufruct limited to ensuring that they are not used in a manner in which their structure or function causes instability and disequilibrium, internally or in the wider domain.

This parameter of universal utility is discernable by examining structure and function and the context in which structure and function are embedded or operate. In other words, human-made designs extracted from natural designs must be part of the balance which gives rise to absolute social and environmental principles based on: not upsetting absolute cause and effect relationships that maintain the dynamic equilibrium. In this discernment of nature, social and ecological rights are not ethnocentrically conventionalized or man-made synthetic constructs; therefore they cannot possibly be relative or biased. Such absolute rights encapsulated by the full recognition of reality are to be upheld under the auspices of a beneficent Creator, who is the ultimate Owner and Inheritor of the universe, and to whom all creation will eventually return (22:64 and 67:15). Indeed, all dominion belongs to the Creator, and not Man, who oftentimes attempts to be the arrogant opportunistic usurper. Man must maintain the balance dynamically inherent in natural order (55:7-9), and be ultimately accountable to the peerless God, for every action, large or small in the socio-ecological realm.

Perfect “Convergence”
In the globally united vision exposited by the Quran, non-contradiction and teleology are intricately interconnected, as much as dominant present day indeterminacy and relativism are inextricably intertwined with the notion of a blind chance-based universe. These two roads — one of intelligence, the other of chance — tend to lead individual thought and socio-environmental structuring into diametrically opposite destinations.

Taking the route of intelligence, rather than that of chance, if humanity realizes that the Quran is nature’s precise reflector, to be used as a prescriptive guide and motivator to prevent or cure our mounting socio-environmental problems, there would be an eventual dissolution of the artificial boundary between the sacred and the profane, science and divinity, through a natural rapprochement based on the correlation between causality in nature and pristine revelation. Inevitably, such a rapprochement would further set the stage for transforming human thought towards a unitary understanding of the whole purpose of creation and man’s role within the vastness of cosmic order. In fact, anyone imbued with such an outlook would not be searching for a pristine revelation to act as a bridge between science and religion. That which is one, needs not to be bridged. Indeed, in this vein of reality, it can certainly be proclaimed that science is truly religion and religion truly science and there is no dichotomy in knowledge.

If these ideas of verifiable unity are eventually realized, then the whole of humanity would indubitably reap the benefits of a perfectly complementary relation between the usage of scientific reasoning and the usage of revelation, where each one symbiotically reinforces the value of the other, for the enhancement of both humanity and the rest of nature, whilst simultaneously pointing to the very same ultimate providence.

This article was published in The Quranic Horizons, Quarterly Journal of the Quran Academy, in the April-September Issue of 2000.

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