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The Muslim World vs the Christian World -- scientific contributions

Reader comment on item: Musing on History
in response to reader comment: ex nihilo

Submitted by Michael S. (United States), Jun 27, 2015 at 22:40

Hi, Waz. You said,

Something does spontaneously arrive out of empty space.

I looked for the word "spontaneous" on the link about the uncertainty principle, and couldn't find any. The URL you presented did talk about the subject:

Quantum physics explains that there are limits to how precisely one can know the properties of the most basic units of matter—for instance, one can never absolutely know a particle's position and momentum at the same time. One bizarre consequence of this uncertainty is that a vacuum is never completely empty, but instead buzzes with so-called "virtual particles" that constantly wink into and out of existence.

Note that it says the "empty" space isn't really empty: virtual particles exist in it. This is not a case of "something" from "nothing", but of "apparent" particles from "virtual" particles. Inventors have been trying for centuries, to patent devices that promise "something from nothing". No practical models have ever come of this.

The bottom line, bearing on the existence of "intelligent life" (God, etc.) beyond the known universe, is this: The universe, as we know it, did not create itself. Since the universe apparently exists, therefore, and our physical beings seem to be part of it, we can conclude that the world we know was made by someone or some thing that is greater than what we know. That's the thing that's so hard for the bloated egos in our universities and other places of high esteem to accept: Mankind, collectively, is not the sharpest blade in the drawer: We are... ahem... ignorant.

God has graciously given us a work-around for our ignorance, namely, the revelation of the Bible. To be fair, there are other books of revelation around. Let's compare the contribution to mankind produced by the Bible to that produced by Qur'an, for instance:

The civilization based on the Bible, namely Europe, gave us Newtonian physics, Calculus, Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, plus practical toys like computers, electricity, telephones, McCormick reapers, space ships, etc.

The civilization based on Qur'an, meanwhile, gave us algebra -- not "algebra", the branch of mathematics that was probably invented by the Zoroastrians, but the word, "algebra", and Arabic word. The existence of this discipline was introduced by a Persian scholar, and it eventually found its way to Europe by the hands of Jewish translators. Persia and the rest of the Muslim world then fell into decay, and Europeans proceeded to conquer and civilize the world.

All this can be found in the historical record, a record that Muslims like the Islamic State are so intent on destroying, statue by stele

I just did a brief surf, to see what Muslim apologists say about Islamic science. The link I came upon was this:

http://www.aljazeerah.info/Islamic%20Editorials/2007/October/Creation%20and%20Evolution%20in%20the%20Holy%20Qur%27an%20By%20Hassan%20El-Najjar.htm

Nothing remarkable. Qur'an borrows its creation story from the Bible, including all the "scientifically verified" notions that the author mentions. For our (Waz & I) ongoing discussion, a more fruitful investigation would be to see what Qur'an says about eternity. The Book of Revelation goes into great detail on this matter, borrowing from "Old Testament", particularly Ezekiel.

Concerning the propagation of science in the Christian World vs. in the Islamic World, I think the main difference is that the Christian world ultimately accepted the validity of diversity of thought and tolerance, something Islam seems to have missed. In the Christian World (which, in modern times, included most of the "Jewish World"), this seemed to have happened parallel to the Reformation: diversity of thought in general, in other words, went hand-in-hand with diversity of scriptural interpretation.

The background for diversity in Christianity, I believe, comes from the fact that Christianity (unlike Islam) did not rise to a place of power by the sword. This began with the ministry of Jesus, who led his followers outside of the centers of power in Rome and Jerusalem, and who repeatedly admonished them not to try to physically overthrow the powers that be. Muhammed, on the other hand, led his followers into battle; and much of Qur'an reads like a treatise on war and diplomacy.

God bless and keep you and yours.

Submitting....

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