The Horizon Of Science
This article covers the relationship between science and religion, called the horizon of science.
Atoms and molecules function at the foundation of the entire visible universe and its emerging characteristics. Our nutritional needs of sugar, fats and proteins are made up by atoms merging. For example, chlorophyll is like a factory made out of the atoms of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and magnesium. It is given only light, water and carbon dioxide, and a short time later we get boxes of sugar, rolls of material, exquisite clothing and delicious foods. This skill is not in chlorophyll but there is the hand of Mercy and Omnipotence behind this bounty and blessing.
A New World
At the end of the nineteenth century the belief was widespread in the scientific world that everything had already been discovered and all that remained was detail. If we look at it from a physicist’s perspective Newtonian mechanics was only one aspect of the explanation of matter. With quantum mechanics at the beginning of the twentieth century our outlook expanded and the existence of other dimensions was unveiled. These developments were indicators that other dimensions could follow.
In 1927 Bohr (1885–1962), Heisenberg (1901 –1976) and Pauli (1900–1958) were looking for answers to questions like “What is an atom? How does it function? What does it resemble?” The philosophical explanations were fairly striking. Studies had shown that truth was not deterministic but statistical (based on probabilities) and that material truths were also based on the observer. In conclusion, quantum truths were colored by objectivity.
Rutherford’s (1871–1937) experiments showed that atoms were not hard and unbreakable but comprised mainly space with little particles roaming about. Quantum theory, on the other hand, showed that the atom was unlike the hard objects in traditional physics, and that matter, rather being comprised of concrete sub-particles, had dual properties (waves/particles). The particles that made up the atom are seen not as being entities with existence in their own right but as going from one form to another like a dance of energy.
The physical aspect of the universe is like the waves produced by TV broadcasts. Just as television broadcast waves may show an apple, a flower, birds or human images the energy waves in the universe similarly take the forms of apples, flowers, birds, humans and, indeed, sound.
On the topic of electrons and light Richard Philip Feynman (1918–1988) argues that the only thing we can say regarding the behavior of tiny things is that they behave differently. An atom acts in a manner which is quite different to what we have seen previously. For Feynman it needs imagination to understand how they behave.
Feynman asserts that not all the conclusions drawn in science are absolute; they are only results or hypotheses on what may happen in the future. For Feynman we cannot know what will happen because we have not carried out countless number of perfect tests.
The Truth of Oneness
The cosmos is a realm of geometrical rules and operating on the principles of physics in an orderly and organized manner. The small things possess the same properties of bigger things; the former ones are perhaps not more elegant nor are there more wisdom in their makeup than the latter ones; but they do not fall too far behind either. All existence is in a chain of creation from the twine to the quark, from thereon to atoms and molecules, and finally reaching the human. In every thing, every task, every organization there is a perfect ranking and unity from the smallest to the largest.
From the electrons that exist within one millionth of a centimeter to galaxies with diameters of one hundred thousand light years everything in the universe is connected. As David Bohm says (1917–1992), Quantum mechanics has proven that things very different from one another are connected to each other without the cause and effect chain. Everything is connected to everything else. Scientists who read the book of the universe in the light of science arrive at the Qur’an’s greatest truth, in other words, the truth of Unity and the reflection of Oneness in the physical world.
In the early days, it was noticed that the four basic forces (electromagnetic force, gravity, nuclear and weak nuclear forces) formed the basis of the atom bringing about one force. This raised the thought that a simpler theory could be made to explain all events and the universe as a whole. “Implicate Order” was a step in this direction. This theory explained that the energy fields light, heat, electricity and magnetism, once considered to be separate entities, could now be seen as “different aspects” of the same thing. The forces and material factors that help all systems to function in a harmonious way were nothing more than a reflection and manifestation of the one absolute truth.
The Aim of Science
For Erwin Schrödinger (1887–1961) the true aim of science should be to find answers to the questions of who we are, where we came from and where we are going. John Eccles (1903–1997), who received the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1964, thinks science in its current state can neither bring explanation to the wisdom of our existence nor can it offer answers to basic questions like “Who am I? Why am I here and why do I exist? What will happen to me after I die?” In a similar vein, Robert Jastow thinks that science will never unveil the secrets shrouding creation.
The 1980 winner of the Nobel Prize for Medicine, neurophysiologist Roger Sperry (1913–1994), in an interview in 1983 stated that science itself is in conflict with materialism. For him there is no explanation of why science and religion should be conflict. He thinks such a conflict is a remnant of the conditioning produced by the materialist philosophy.
With materialism taking root in the scientific world, life became meaningless, everything seemed banal. In the twentieth century when developments that rocked the very foundation of materialistic philosophy started to change the picture of the universe, it became clearer that there was no differentiation between science and religion. The sciences became more apparent as a way of knowing God. We believe that these developments will carry on to the 21st century in an exceeding manner.
By Dr. Osman Cakmak
Osman Cakmak is a professor of chemistry at Gaziosmanpasa University, Tokat, Turkey.
This article is borrowed from The Fountain Magazine.
- Feynman, Richard. The Character of Physical Law, The 1964 Messenger Lectures, MIT Press.
- Schrödinger, Erwin. What Is Life? Cambridge University Press, 1992.
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