Thursday, June 08, 2006

"The Story Of God" Documentary

This is my first post on science in this current iteration of the blog. In the first incarnation, I made a pretty controversial post about how multidimensional space resulting from string theory, is mentioned by God in the Qur'an:
(God) is the One Who created for you all that is on the earth. Moreover He turned to the heaven and fashioned seven heavens with harmony. He is full of Knowledge of all things (29:2) And We have made, above you, seven tracts. We have never been unmindful of the Creation (23:17) (God) is the One Who created seven heavens one above another. Thou can see no fault in the creation of the Beneficent. Turn the vision again! Can thou see any flaw? (67:3) Did you see how God created seven heavens one above another and made the moon a light therein and made the sun a lamp? (71:15-16)
The people of Muhammad's time could not understand what the 7 heavens referred to. Even today, most people are perplexed regarding mention of the seven heavens. But God reveals meaning slowly, over time. We can see how science can reinforce faith and faith reinforce science, they do not have to conflict.

This brings me too an interesting documentary I was watching last night on Canada's CBC entitled "The Story Of God: The God Of The Gaps.". The documentary aimed to chronicle the often conflicting understandings of the universe in the Western world, from the perspective of a practicing Jewish scientist.

The narrator interviewed a diversity of figures including Christian literalists, Richard Dawkins, the atheist evolutionary biologist, and physicists at CERN.

The documentary was not that elucidative or enlightening, partly because, like most chauvinistic Western thinkers, he chose the Bible as the religious counterpoint to scientific ideas, rather than the Qur'an, which is much richer in scientific references.

What was interesting, however, was to get brief synopses of the Western scientists discoveries that countered Christian orthodoxy, yet themselves were believers in God. Men like Galileo, Newton, and even (gasp), Darwin were believers, not to mention others who were not featured including Einstein and Gregor Mendel (the "father of genetics").

Also of note was a discussion with the scientists responsible for discovering the "God Gene" (VMAT2), whose variation purportedly predisposes certain people to spiritual pursuits.

With the furor over "intelligent design" seemingly have blown over, we should always pay attention to the overlaps of faith and science. It is too often that we allow atheists to shout down religious practices like circumcision only to find out that they may have benefit after all, like the prevention of AIDS and so on.

Technorati Tags: Science, Islam, Christianity, Religion

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