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5D Thinking Team
Scientific Discoveries Help Us to Understand Existence and God’s Presence
Bilal A. Malik
5D Thinking Team
30 Sep 2022 11:40


On July 12, 2022, dazzling and spectacular full-colour images captured by the James Webb Space Telescope were released from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. This is an incredible achievement rightly called by NASA ‘the dawn of a new era in astronomy. According to experts, the images were taken at different wavelengths over a period that totalled 12.5 hours. Space analysts say the James Webb Space Telescope has offered a window to peep into the cosmos. It must be mentioned that the James Webb Space Telescope took 30 years and $10 billion to build and has flown over 1.5 million kilometres away from earth. According to NASA’s official description, the image presented here shows a landscape of “mountains” and “valleys” speckled with glittering stars. The large bright white lights scattered across the image are stars found in our galaxy, the Milky Way. Above the orange 'mountains' is a white steam-like substance. This is, in fact, ionised gas and hot dust that is streaming away from the nebula due to intense radiation. While applauding the Webb team’s incredible success and calling it “a ground-breaking new view of the cosmos”, Bill Nelson, NASA’s administrator, said: “These images, […], show us how Webb will help to uncover the answers to questions we don’t even yet know to ask; questions that will help us better understand our universe and humanity’s place within it.” Thomas Zurbuchen, the associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, made a similar statement. He said: “These first images show us how much we can accomplish when we come together behind a shared goal, to solve the cosmic mysteries that connect us all. It’s a stunning glimpse of the insights yet to come.”


NASA scientists are hopeful that with the help of advanced space technology, we will understand the universe better and get to know its more profound mysteries. For most of us, the biggest mystery is “who created the universe”? By bringing this question here, I aim to kick off the “religion-science” debate but not in the context of “conventional compatibility theory”. Let me explain my position. Consider the universe as a book. Then, undeniably, the Webb Telescope’s mesmerizing images are just a few broken footnotes. The whole book is yet to be read. Nevertheless, just a few broken footnotes have already created an unexpected level of bewilderment. Everyone, who sees these images, is perplexed by the immensity of the universe.


People’s opinions generally fall under two broad expressions. One expression represents scientism; the idea that advocates science as the ultimate source of knowledge. The proponents of this theory believe that, soon, advanced science will answer all fundamental questions related to consciousness and existence. Science will prove that existence is nothing but a self-attained and self-regulated arrangement and rearrangement of atoms and molecules under the operating forces of nature. And, in the equation of matter, wherein all the physical phenomena take place, God is nothing but a delusion, and the universe exists on its own. This cult-science posted and shared these images with huge accolades for science, scientists, and scientific instruments. Of course, there was great admiration for the puzzling universe too. 


The second response came from the religionists. They, too, posted and shared these images but with relevant religious descriptions emphasizing the power and knowledge of God, The Creator. They, too, applauded science, scientists and scientific instruments but with one addition, i.e., gratitude to God. For religionists, every scientific discovery assures that there must be only ONE WISE BEING behind such a calculated, mathematical precision and a uniquely symmetrical project called the universe. The whole composition is divinely beautified, weighed and balanced. Muslims captioned these images with Qur’anic references. They cited verses such as: “We built the universe with great might, and We are certainly expanding it”; “So I do swear by the positions of the stars, and this, if only you knew, is indeed great oath”; “Do disbelievers not realize that the heavens and earth were once one mass the We split them apart”; and. “We will show them Our signs in the universe and within themselves until it becomes clear to them that it is the truth.” 


The arrangement of cosmic existence is compellingly seeking answers to Who is the Intelligent Designer? Who wrote this wonderful, puzzling book? Who is the Artist who produced such an utmost perfect piece of art? These are relevant questions. Science can’t outrightly negate them just because they point to an untestable “Conscious Agency”. There is fundamentally nothing wrong with acknowledging a “Conscious Agency”. If wrong, it is a million times more absurd to propose that “life evolved from non-life”. This is untestable too. Similarly, consciousness evolved from unconsciousness. Such theories are devoid of basic scientific logic. We can further extend and ask, why, in the first place, did the universe have to exist? Why not no universe? Why is there matter, and why not non-matter? And, why is there something and not nothing?


 Similarly, who told atoms to do what they did at the beginning of life? How did the atom become conscious of its function? Presumably, the debate between religion and science has no endpoint. Religionists claim that “belief as a method starts where reason ends”. Admittedly, current science, a course of rational investigation developed in the West, has its own method to explain the nature of the relationship between seen and unseen physicality. The scientific method follows prediction, formulation of hypothesis, testing and conclusion. Then, afterwards, the conclusions drawn are regressively analysed to establish patterns followed by classification and categorization. Things and processes are identified precisely with the patterns they resemble. However, religion identifies physical creation, including unseen physical forces, as a manifestation of God’s attribute as a Creator.


God’s involvement in the ‘creation process’ is not of a Prime Mover who started and left. Instead, God is involved in the equation from moment to moment. Also, God’s attribute of creating is not mechanical, like a machine operating through a command to repetitively perform a particular action with no active will. In this context, religion and science are two contrasting approaches to explaining the nature of existence. For religion, the objective is to uncover the eternal God. But, for science, the aim is to find the original cause. Intellectuals from both departure points struggle to identify the converging and diverging points in the two approaches. 


Islamic texts, substantiated by a strong lived reference’ don’t accept the position that taking religion means rejecting science or vice-versa. From the Islamic viewpoint, religion doesn’t disrupt scientific progress. Islam doesn’t put religion and science at loggerheads. For example, religion and science complemented each other in the “golden age” period of Islamic civilization. Science explained the physical mechanism, a systematic, rational analysis of the course of action; religion explained the metaphysical effect and the divine hand behind the veil of causation. The idea of effect is dynamic and central to the religious description of ‘cause and effect’ equation. It ascertains God’s involvement before, during and after action. Simple: all sorts of physical actions, from atomic to cosmic level, can’t produce anticipated results until God doesn’t bless them with the power of effect. This principle is general and applies with no exception. It is worth mentioning that the mechanism doesn’t refer to something happening independently. It, too, follows a way referred to as “sunnatul Allah”, a divine set of patterns. 


For example, the ‘forces of nature’ operate through a particular “sunnatul Allah”. Similarly, the moment of quarks follows another “sunnatul Allah”. Therefore, by consciously subscribing the power of effect to God, we acknowledge God’s entire presence. The problem was raised in the latter period when Muslims imitated the West to “prove” God through the scientific method. Historically, the testing of God’s physical existence happened in the West soon after the “enlightenment” movement. It was a failed attempt that led to rationalism, scepticism, agnosticism, and atheism. Logically, limited can never fix limitless. Human senses obverse materiality/physicality, but God isn’t physical. It is nonsensical to bring God into a physical frame when God is not made up of matter. 


The problem of testing God has underpinnings in the human ego. Humans aren’t ready to accept limitations, the natural disposition of our contingent existence. We try to play the authority, eternality, and infinity. This is nothing but deception. We fall into the ‘ego trap’. The animal of ego follows the path of denial and disapproval. 


The fact is that science can manipulate life, but it can’t create life from non-life. This won’t ever happen doesn’t matter how far we go in the course of scientific advancement. Even if AI machines e.g. humanoids “become”, as they claim, conscious someday in future, it will still accounted as manipulation of life, not life in the actual sense. The creation of life necessitates the condition of the Creator being conscious. To conclude, it is fine to appreciate science, scientists, and scientific instruments. However, it is rationally and morally wrong not to appreciate the “Conscious Agency” that created life at the very beginning.

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