In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Praise be to God, and bless and peace be upon the Messenger of God, his family, his companions, and those who follow him.
Last time, our conversation stopped at Galileo’s letter to the Grand Duchess Christina, and the four principles proposed by the scholar ‘Sheikh’; To address and disentangle science and religion, based on the anxious question expressed by the Duchess to Galileo. We have spoken of the first principle, which I have called suspension; Suspension principle! Because scholars express it in the naturalistic position – I do not see it as accurate – or the naturalistic doctrine! meaning what? In the sense that when you go to study nature, you should be satisfied with the interpretation of nature by what is natural, and not get involved in introducing supernatural entities. This is what will be known later as the ‘Naturalism’, or ‘Naturalist proposition’! What does it mean? It means that the study of nature and the interpretation of nature should be limited to natural entities.. Spirits, ghosts, angels, unseen powers, and any unnatural forces, .. are not to be studied / investigated ! This limit is called, as we said, the ‘Naturalistic proposition’, or‘Naturalism’! Or it could also be called – if we wish to increase the terminological specification – the ‘Methodological naturalism’. There is nothing wrong with that! I do not think that any religious scholar, in the East or the West, .. has a stance against methodological naturalism.
Of course, this is an important topic, and we will see the theological proposition on naturalism in general. On the contrary! This will appear to us, when we talk about the model of integration or the model of cooperation, between science and religion! The naturalistic proposition is originally based on religious bestowal, what do you think about that?? The idea of natural law is originally a religious idea – first proposed by René Descartes -, and it was based on religious grounds, could you believe it ? Here, the greatest contribution of religion appears, without which Western science would not have been established in the way we know it. In fact, it already rose in the Islamic world before that. From this angle, they explain the models of prosperity and regression that governed Greek science, .. Chinese science, and medieval Islamic science.
There was prosperity, and there was setback! In the European case, science rose – went up – and continued that way (not regressing)! Why ? This we will talk about precisely – God willing – when we talk about the third model – The integration model, this is important! As I told you, there is no real theologian, who understands the limits of religious interpretation or hermeneutics, And who has an opposition to the naturalistic proposition or methodological naturalism ! It’s okay with them.. Nature is taught in a natural way, nature is explained by natural entities,.. by natural forces, there is nothing wrong with that ! But the problem occurs with metaphysical naturalism, or philosophical naturalism. Metaphysical naturalism – or the Philosophical naturalism – takes steps forward and invades religion! Why is that ? Because it insists that what exists, all that exists, is natural!
It insists that the limits of existence, that is, the whole Existence, are determined by nature, and that there is nothing outside nature; it denies (anything outside nature)! How did you know that? How can you prove the negated thing?! This proposition originally contains a logical fallacy, originally! You cannot scientifically, until the Day of Judgment, prove that there is only nature, and nothing outside nature exists; that is impossible! You cannot, you absolutely cannot! Because proving the negated argument is always impossible, right? I will now tell you (as an example) to prove that – five billion light years away from the Milky Way – there is no violet creature, made of gas and flesh, breathes dust, has ten billion heads, and the products of its respiration follow mathematical laws that contradict our laws we know in this Universe.
Prove to me that there is nothing like that! What a nonsense! No one -all the forces of human intellect can prove the non-existence of this creature. Of course, a fortiori, I cannot prove its existence. You will tell me in this way the philosophical naturalistic proposition is stronger than your spiritual religious proposition. Actually, it is not. You know why? You should not go with the metaphor all the way to the end. Never go with the metaphor all the way down.. I will mention something that may divert us away from this topic, but it is very, very important and useful to us. Especially regarding the issues of atheism, faith, etc… What compelled primitive man, at his beginnings, to assume the existence of unnatural, supernatural, and outside-of-nature entities? That is a difficult assumption, and very exhausting (for the mind). What would the plain and simple attitude be? It would be to suffice with the things that are tangible, existing, or touchable, right? You will answer me: “Nay, this is a naive and simple question.. and scientists from the nineteenth century and philosophers already answered it.
Feuerbach answered it, Marx answered it, Engels answered it, and Freud answered it afterwards. And in the twentieth century, of course, they all answered it! Herbert Spencer answered it.. James Frazer, the very famous anthropologist, answered it, and Taylor answered it”. How did he answer? They will tell that the answer is: “(that the assumptions of metaphysical entities / things) – of course, are all failed explanation attempts. The human tries to explain the natural phenomena, and of course in the past they had no knowledge of electricity, Nor of the atom, nor of the powers of the atom, etc.! So, they just give the wrong explanations (in the form of metaphysics). Nay. Originally, the idea of ghosts, spirits, and the intangible things that affect the tangible things, from where was it imposed for the first time? How did it impose itself on man in the first place? That is, this is the question they did not want to confront openly. Then you might ask me: “So what is your opinion?” I tell you my opinion!
Sir, there are simply certain occurrences that happened to the first humans, to Adam and Eve, and are still happening with you and me! When you put your head on the pillow and sleep, you see things, years later prove to you, that you saw them for real (what you dreamt about actually happened in real life), and not just a dream or delusion or nervous activity in the brain! This is what is known as prophetic dreams. You see things (in the dreams), and they happen as you saw them. (for example) You see the woman you will marry after ten years, and you may see your son from her, then exactly you will have him/her as you saw in the dream. Here the question began with the first human! He sleeps, then (for example) his grandfather comes to him in a dream! He tells him to beware, in this specific place, such-and-such will happen, and such-and-such will happen to your son and he will die. You go there, you save your son at the very last moment, while you haven’t visited him for three months.. How? Who came? Who saw? Who told? What is happening? These occurrences, from the days of Adam, to today, to the Day of Judgment, will continue to be repeated with man. You sleep, and you begin to really derive information, not from the senses, not from the physical world, but rather from what is beyond the senses, from somewhere which penetrates the veils of time and space. What do you think?
There is a real penetration to the veils of time and space, and the most difficult thing (to explain) is the penetration of the veil of time, not just space! Here, this question arose in the face of primitive man. So where did this penetration come from? And he began to correctly realize that there are affiliations / connections (in him), that follow components or a certain component / unseen thing! It is clear that this thing is not restricted by what material substances are restricted to. Any physical material is bound, within the limits of time and space, clearly! The body is restricted, within the limits of time and space. On the other hand, it seems that this thing, which has traversed space and time, and brought this information and data, is not of the same kind as the essence of the body, and is not subdued and is not restricted by the boundaries of time and space. He called it a soul, he called it a spirit! Let him name it whatever he wants, but he refers to a fact he actually lives. From here, the idea of “the unseen”, what is beyond the senses, and what is beyond matter, began to seep into people’s minds, right? Clearly! It is a real idea, and it points to a fact. Therefore, those who dream that they can eliminate religion from the lives of people are naive! They have to cancel dreams from human life first, they have to abolish the unseen’s interference, assuming its existence, in the seen world. And it does interfere; it interferes every now and then by the way, and there is no one of us who did not experience the unseen’s interference in his/her life, .. in a way that is superior to any physical / materialistic explanation, absolutely! We must be humble with these occurrences. These are occurrences! Facts are then sought to explain these occurrences, clear?
However, the materialistic, underestimating, undervaluing models of things -which consider these occurrences as mere illusions, dreams, myths, or legends- do not explain anything,.. Not at all! Actually, the issue is much more complicated than that. Among the things that I will contribute to -as a contribution of my own – God willing -, but I do not know in which lecture in the series of “science and religion”, is a simple idea; through which I want to conclude that the unseen is not “what is behind”, what do you think about that? In other words, the unseen is not the other side of the coin, what do you think? What I concluded from my understanding of these topics, and my understanding even of the Qur’anic text, is that the unseen is intertwined with the seen world. They are not two sides of the same coin,.. No! Rather, they are one side which has different manifestations. What a complex and very beautiful topic! From a philosophical and theological point of view, and even from an empirical perspective -based on personal experiences for us- , It seems that you do not have to wait until you die in order to experience entering the world of the unseen. You can enter it at every moment; actually, you already entered it without even knowing. The unseen is intertwined with the seen world, what do you think? It is amazing that science contributes now, more than it did before, to what? To revealing these faces of the unseen, and their manifestations, .. while not even being aware of that!
Science does not feel that it reveals the faces of the unseen! Rather, a large part of science – a large part of it, and it is the most important part, i.e. the most critical part of it – is the part dependent on the unseen, on the effects of the unseen in the realm of seen, what do you think about that? That is, everything related to the subatomic world is related to a metaphysical world. It was not possible, and it seems that it is not even possible, to reach it physically one day, no matter how multiplied our technical ability becomes, and yet we believe in it, within models that adopt it as an explanation of its effects in the world of seen. By God, the same issue is the religious issue. What do you think? Revelation, spirit, and dreams! Same issue! And you think that the first is science and the latter is a myth; they are the same! The same logic applies to both. A beautiful case, and this we want to hold a lecture about, of course, among the things I want, as if this is one of the files that we want to deal with, but this will be later, this after we finish – God willing -.
Going back to (the story of) Mr. Galileo. I mentioned what is known as the naturalistic principle, or naturalism. I called it the suspension principle; I think it is better naming! When we study nature, we must suspend the sacred text for a while. So, can there be a clash, suspicion, confusion, or disagreement? Yes, it is possible, very possible! Here Mr. Galileo has another principle, which he calls the Accommodation principle! What is the that? He says The venerable Lord accommodates Himself with the attained level of human understanding and knowledge. That is, when He revealed to His prophets! Of course (in Galileo’s case), they are interested in the Christian context; To Jesus – peace be upon him -. (Of course, by the way; the idea of revelation among Christians is different from the idea of revelation among Muslims, it is very different!
Even looking at the Holy Book as revealed by God differs to some extent, from the idea of the Qur’an as a revelation from God, what do you think? That is why they see no problem when this revealed book, which is this Bible, or the New Testament in particular, even the Old Testament of course, when it is being different; has different versions, and different paragraphs in it. They would say: “No problem”. OK, no problem. Then what about mistakes? Even mistakes! (They admit) There are mistakes! Scientific mistakes, philosophical mistakes, .. historical mistakes, it’s okay, normal (they say)! How comes? In the end, they limited the revelation to the essence of the book only, not to its details).
You will ask me: “Was this always the case?” No, not always, no! This was in the recent centuries in particular! After the battle of what? The battle of Lower Criticism with Higher Criticism Briefly; Lower criticism was a comfortable thing for Christians, in the European sphere in particular, the West! Because it re-reads the sacred texts and versions of these texts, using the methodology of history, .. the methodology of linguistics, and other scientific research methodologies, that’s okay! But stems from what? From believing in the authenticity of this book, in the authenticity of these sacred texts. Contrary to that is the higher criticism, which originally starts from a refutation position. It does not believe that the sacred text is preserved, nor that it is from God, and that it is nothing more than what? Human effort and cumulative work! And that it was not written at one time, nor in one context. So, you will find in it… What can I say? A museum of mistakes! Archaeological, historical, cosmological, physical, and biological! In all fields! Terrible mistakes. They say that is normal! So, this higher criticism is considered atheistic criticism, heretical criticism (by them). The Reformers came here, especially from the Protestants! Catholics have always been more orthodox! Protestants have developed many things! They developed the regenerative position, and then they developed the “Liberal Protestantism”, and they adopted several stances!
Then after that in the twentieth century came the neo-orthodoxy; The New orthodoxy, of Karl Barth! We will talk about this when we talk about the model of separation, not the conflict model. Many more things! So, their concept of revelation is based on a broader idea. An idea that is more flexible and subject to critical handling than the concept of revelation among Muslims. They have their justifications, and we have ours. By the way, we have advantages on which we must hold with our fingers (hold firmly)! You have a book from 1500 years ago, really as it is, unchanged! Leave the story of Birmingham and the Koran of Sanaa and Yemen and this nonsense. This book is not originally preserved in the papers and lines; it is preserved in the hearts,.. .. it is recited by memorizers, mothers, fathers,.. .. by illiterate people, and scholars from 1500 years ago in the sanctuaries (of mosques), (and is recited) five times a day when we pray! Forget all the other empty nonsense (claiming it is not preserved). It is miraculously preserved! No book on earth has ever been able to do this! Never forget this. We have our justifications, and they also have theirs. So, they said God accommodates Himself. How then? His intent matches His discourse, His scripture, His revelation, which He inspires to the messengers, not even Jesus himself, the messengers of Jesus, i.e. the apostles, He inspires them! An inspiration to heart, we call it inspiration, not a revelation of words and meaning, but a revelation of meaning!
Even the meaning is not defined in all its aspects, it is the essence of the meaning! Therefore, we will talk about Saint Augustine, of Hippo! By the way, he was very ahead of his time, and he was liberal. He used to say that there is no problem with any text in the Bible that you see differing, with the facts presented by those with knowledge. Of course, you even find in some foreign books – and I am surprised at this leniency – that they write like this; «differs with proven scientific knowledge» ! And «Scientific» they say! What is «Scientific» ? These terms did not exist in the first place, but they write them like that nevertheless; they are lenient! Some of them, some researchers are lenient! He did not say that, he meant knowledge, for which philosophers were of course responsible. Philosophy was the mother of science! Aristotle, for instance, used to talk about earth and heaven, and he had the Book “On the Heavens”! He also talked about animals, plants, and he was a philosopher as well. Philosophy was the mother of science!
He (St. Augustine) said (paraphrasing): “If you encounter any accurate, good, proven knowledge presented by these people (philosophers) that contradicts with the text of the Bible then, .. the solution is easy; directly resort to the metaphorical interpretation plan. Say there’s no problem, we’ll interpret it metaphorically, in a way that it will fit with that knowledge”. He is so ahead of his time, he died in 430 A.D. , imagine! And he had this theory! That is, he was really liberal, ahead of his time by a thousand years. What thousand? Almost 1500 years! Something weird! This exists. Galileo followed the same principle; He said there was an accommodation. So, what does accommodation mean?. He said (paraphrasing) “Do not take the text of the book literally, you do not read it literally.
Rather, God revealed to us the essence of the meaning, but He formulated it in the form of what? Our modern knowledge in which we live. When the Bible was written, it was formulated in the language and epistemological ceiling of the apostles who wrote it only, only! Do not take this as literal absolute facts to which our observations to nature are subjected. on the contrary! Do not do this”.. Here comes the principle of the two Books.(Al-Kitabayn). I talked about it before the break. He (Galileo) told them because God communicates to us through what? through two Books; The sacred text, and the book of nature. Here, Aristotle adopted, for a while, the principle of specialization, separation, and independence. He said in relation to nature, we should adopt what? Natural search tools. With regard to the soul, to winning, to eschatological happiness, to salvation, ..we have to depend on what?.. The Bible. Science is silent (discarded) here, natural philosophy is silent. He quoted a phrase in his letter to a cleric named Baronius.
Baronius said a beautiful phrase! He said (paraphrasing): “The Bible said it would take us to heaven, but does not explain to us how heaven works. How does it work? Do the stars and planets rotate or not, which is the center, which is the periphery; this is not the work of the Bible, it takes you to heaven – that is, it raises you to God -, .. it takes you to salvation and success! But it doesn’t teach you how the heaven works? This needs celestial mechanics, you need Newton to come next, and you need such-and-such…”. Beautiful words! So I think Galileo has so far been successful, and had used these… I won’t say gimmicks -quite the contrary- these methodical principles/controls, in a smart way! In a smart and realistic way, because there is a need. And of course the reason which caused him to do that is the gap that he lived through, experienced, and paid the price for (poor guy); The house arrest, trial, etc., A gap between what? Between the apparent meaning of the religious text and what is understood from it from one side, and what investigations into nature and the Universe lead to from another side. There is a Gap! The gap exists, you cannot deny it and tell me it does not exist. If it did not exist at all, there would not have been any objection, concern, or annoyance in the first place, neither from the natural scientists nor from the Church! (objections, annoyances, etc.) flared up, from both sides, flared up, right? There are people who have been burned.
That is, we talked about Galileo, who was really lucky, but Giordano Bruno before him – in 1600 A.D. exactly, ,i.e. thirty-three years before Galileo’s trial – was burned on the stake, poor guy! That is, on the stake, on the pole! He was imprisoned for nearly nine years, then the man was burned, while he was in his youth, at the beginning of the fifth decade. Of course, if we mention Giordano Bruno, we would say that in 1993 – I think -, he was declared a saint for the first time in the Campo de’ Fiori in Rome! The Church apologized, i.e. the Catholic Church. It has the merit of sometimes having the humility of apologizing. Of course, was the Church’s decision (to apologize) compulsory or a chosen one? It is clear that it is a compulsory decision; the successive victories of science undoubtedly raised the shares of science, increased its credibility, and always gives it credits, constantly! So, the church would back off. In the nineteenth century there was Thomas Henry Huxley’s review of Charles Darwin’s “Origin of Species”.
He authored a review of the book, which is published. Thomas Huxley mentioned the following; He said (paraphrasing) “in every battle between religion and science, science emerges victorious, and religion retreats”. He said “this is what we see; check history! In every battle in which religion disagreed with us; With scientists, we win, and it loses”. So, this encouraged some materialistic scientists, and perhaps those with a metaphysical or philosophical naturalism, such as Dr. Adkins, the famous English chemist; His book on chemistry has also been translated into many living languages. He is a great scientist in chemistry, without a doubt! He said very clearly; (paraphrasing) “The future will be entirely for science, and religion will be eliminated from human existence”. He is Very confident, Masha Allah *sarcasm*! He is not a philosopher, not a historian, and he is not a theologist; that is his problem! So, you will find that the more flexible and more tolerant models, are adopted by whom? By theologian scientists; who are religious scholars, and at the same time they are what? Great physicists, great atom scientists, great chemists, great biologists, etc.
They are the ones who embrace this (flexible model) Alfred North Whitehead was as much a philosopher as he was a scientist. The man was first a mathematician, he was a respectable mathematician! And he taught modern science in an excellent way. Because mathematics helped him, like his student Bertrand Russell, he worked with him on what? On “Principia”; Principles of mathematics. The two worked on that book, but he is his student; Russell is a pupil of Whitehead. So, Russell writes about physics, and understands physics well; Because he has the mathematical tool, he is a great mathematician! His teacher, Whitehead, is a great mathematician! They understood very well the science of nature, physics, astronomy, etc., .. in an excellent way, and at the same time they were philosophers. Whitehead was a philosopher, but of course he was not an atheist, no! And he had a very flexible and deep perspective within what is known as the ‘Process philosophy’, or I call it the path philosophy, or the philosophy of transformation. A great philosophy! We will of course see what it means. Of course, it is not accepted by the Islamic belief system. We will see how he (Whitehead) understood God, and what God means to him! But in the end, he concluded that there will be no survival and no possibility even for the survival of the human race, without what? Without the integration of science and religion, the reconciliation of science and religion.
It is a must, he said! Never think that you live by science alone! If indeed one day came and we abandoned religion, and lived by science alone, .. I tell you, that is, without hesitation, our destiny will be annihilation! We are now on the verge of annihilation by the way! because of what? Because of the decline of religious tendency within the political leaders of the world! Is not it? These are materialistic leaders, almost atheistic, almost atheistic indeed! They have almost no real religious spirit. Therefore, these people are as close as possible to igniting a nuclear war, which may completely destroy human civilization! They don’t have it, they don’t have it! Materialistic people, they only believe in materialistic standards, and calibrated everything materialistically, something dangerous! What would happen if humanity in general turns like this, the general line becomes like this? That would not be a good thing.. Albert Einstein, by the way, has the beautiful phrase, which I commented on many times! He says: Science without religion is lame (crippled / limping), religion without science is blind. I would blame him about something, but before I say what this blame is, when did Einstein say this phrase?
The context is always important; Context! Do you know when he said it? He said it in the heat of his struggle, along with Bertrand Russell and others, against nuclear war. There were threats between the eastern and western camps that there would be a nuclear war, .. and people were very, very worried and afraid, and they saw what nuclear weapons had done in Japan. In this particular period, Einstein wrote this quote. What is the meaning of this? This means that he was deeply aware that the strongest guarantee for reviving and awakening the human conscience is what? It is religion ! And that science without religion would be what? It would be lame (crippled / limping). My criticism of Einstein is that if he were the other way around, he would be more right. Therefore, I do not know; Did he do it on purpose, or did he do it carelessly? Paul Davies is a leading physicist and applied mathematician, and one of the winners of the Templeton Prize! The Templeton Prize, of course, is founded for bringing science and religion closer together, and for affirming spiritual values in science and religion, was won by a group of leading scientists and philosophers,including Paul Davies, .. John Polkinghorne, the atomic physicist, and Professor Stephen Hawking. He is a grand scientist! Of course, he believes in the integration model of religion and science, and it is beautiful! A beautiful person! I have read many of his writings; they are very informative and profound, profound! He won that award, which outweighs the Nobel Prize in (money) value, Could you imagine that! An award that has global value, but we do not hear about it much, because the general trend is against religion, generally! Highly respected scientists have received this award.
What is important to our topic, is that Paul Davies attributed to Albert Einstein that he said what? That he said, “Religion without science is lame, and science without religion is blind”. That’s much better! Did Davies deliberately say that? That is, did he feel the way I felt? Because Einstein’s phrase, in its philosophical depth, is inaccurate, let me explain to you why! Now science without religion, he (Einstein) says is lame! i.e. it won’t walk perfectly, it won’t tread well. No! I say no, not lame, but rather blind, blind! In terms of foundation, and this is what I promised to explain to you, but – God willing – in the upcoming lectures – perhaps next week, when we talk about complementarity / integration between them – in terms of foundation, modern science would not have originally been founded without its assumptions or initial underlying assumptions. And all these assumptions were provided by religion, not by science, what do you think? They were all religious assumptions, theological! And as I told you, the idea of the laws of nature, is a religious idea. It was first presented by René Descartes, and on a religious basis. You now, of course, when you hear about the laws of nature, and that nature is governed by laws, you think that it is an easy idea! It is not easy at all, and it was neither understood nor proposed.
You will tell me Aristotle talked about it. No, Aristotle didn’t talk about the laws of nature. The idea that René Descartes, and everyone who followed him,brought to this day, about the laws of nature as we understand them, is the opposite of the idea established by Aristotle. Aristotle believed that all the phenomena of the Universe and nature are explained by ‘essential properties’ in things, essential properties which are intrinsic as a matter of speaking. Today there is no philosopher of science, in the East or the West, who understands science—understands what science is, .. and understands the philosophy of science, who says that the laws of nature are characterized by essentiality. Rather, they are not characterized by essentiality! They are all characterized by choice and freedom. (i.e.) They could have been opposite (to the laws we now know); they could have been in any other image that is completely different, producing what? Other phenomena! And therefore, another universe, or other universes! Very possible! Descartes is the one who introduced that. Isaac Newton, in the “Principia”, was mentioned (and discussed) by one of his colleagues, who is also a great scientist! In it, he (Newton’s colleague) mentioned four principles that he derived from his understanding of Newtonian physics and Newtonian mechanics, which he also believes in, at the head of those is that God is a free chooser and doer, and that the laws of the world and nature are free and not essential. Nice and thoughtful idea! The opposite of Aristotle Now, the complete opposite of Aristotle.
This is a religious idea! Why? Omnipotence, or the absolute power, which the Jews, Christians and Muslims believe in, makes God what? A free chooser and doer. There are no limits to his action and his ability – there is no deity but Him! At least within what? Within the limits of possibilities! Not the limits of mental impossibilities. The impossible in and of itself has no meaning in the first place, it does not define anything, it has no meaning in the first place; .. to be defined, you can treat it as nothingness. Other than that, there is no limit to his ability; Omnipotence. This is a theological idea, this was a Scholastic idea! Deep topics! This is very important to understand. This idea cannot be established within the Aristotelian idea of the essentiality of natural law! But this idea is founded and justified within the modern idea, from 300 or 400 years ago, in what? In the free choice and freedom of natural law, and its non-essentiality. It exists, and it works, but it is not essential, what do you think? Therefore, I am telling you, by the way, that this is among the things that inspired the scientists! Einstein, by the way, could not develop the theory of relativity, except through fertile imagination. And instead of riding the witch’s wand in order for to fly with it, he rode the ray of light, and began generate; generating ideas, fantasies, propositions, hypotheses, and so on!
This was implanted in us by religion on the one hand, and by myth and legend! The Fables, these Tales, these Beloved Tales, these are the ones! They planted in us! These myths, in depth, have the same plausibility as any natural phenomenon, what do you think? Don’t tell me it is unreasonable. Originally, what is the basis for reasonableness? When you finally say ‘reasonableness’ to me, what do you mean? There are people who make the mind and reasonableness a worship, i.e. as if it is a true god! No, the true God is characterized with what? With freedom. The self and characteristics of the true God cannot be what? Cannot be essential! They are not essential! Are they not? Therefore, this true God was, is, and will remain forever and ever, able to create for you images of rationality and reasonableness that are endless, where also there will be no preference for one over the other, what do you think? All (of those images) can be explained.
So, Einstein is not much superior to Cinderella. Of course, I will come back to this in the next lectures. And I will and explain this very, very accurately. Generosity of religion here is greater than you imagine! The gift of religion is greater than people imagine. ‘Religion and the conflict with science’? Absolutely not. Religion is the one who established -had it not been for these basic assumptions- science would not have started in the first place. Even when you now think about the idea of the law itself, how it works, and its speculation vortex, you would say “something strange!” You will eventually end up (to a result that the) world is a world governed by consciousness, a conscious world! What do you think? And a free world by the way, a free world! You will tell me “yes, quantum physics confirms this freedom!” Absolutely it does, frankly speaking. It is against essentiality! And against Newtonian determinism! correct. But it is a conscious world, we will ask about the source of consciousness in it, right? Here is the idea that is difficult for simple reasonableness.
So in the end, the best, and most comfortable explanation for this world, is that there is an infinite source of creation; creation of consciousness, creation of phenomenon; it is responsible for giving the world what? Its consciousness. Without the consciousness, this world -starting from subatomic levels, and ending with the abyssal depths of the Universe-, As well as the idea of natural law could not have been conceived at all, what do you think? Things are not what you imagine. By the way, it is very nice that these great scientists and philosophers really did not lose the amazement of childhood. A child, by the way, feels this way. And I told you about a cousin of mine, .. an old man, whom I always admired! I was the only one who admired him! He liked to sit with me when I was a little boy, and talk with me, and I used to take his words very seriously. He was wondering why the water was spurting out? Indeed, he had the right to be wondering! Why if you spill the water, it spills out? Something beyond imagination! Why if you put (the cup) down, (the water) settles? Why if I break the glass, it breaks? Why if you bend iron, it bends?! Then why does the plant move in place (phototropism)? Steps towards the light! Why is it growing? Why does it keep itself alive? Why is it racing? Yes, then why does the animal move in the place, around the place, and move away from the place? Then all the attributes of life, including a large part of the voluntary awareness, which changes the nature and conditions of its existence, until it ends with human awareness, which presents this lecture (for example), and these issues that have afflicted humans, .. over hundreds and thousands of years! Why is that? All these are fundamental and important questions, which cannot be taken as they are. It must be put to discussion, and the thinking of the answer must be deepened to the end, as long as you are alive.
Of course, we will not reach the end! And here we come – God willing – to the end of the lecture here, but there are two points left and I will finish – with God’s help -. Galileo Galilei’s fourth principle, which is interpretive humility; he called it interpretive humility! Lovely! The same principle was concluded by Francis Bacon, when he wrote in his book “The Advancement of Learning”, and I quoted it once in a sermon perhaps nine months ago. Francis Bacon said, not in his“Novum Organum”, but rather in his“Advancement of learning”; What did he say? He said (paraphrasing): “With the exception of the arrogant, ignorant, who did not know what he/she is saying, everyone who speaks in understanding the world or understanding the Bible, must realize that their understanding has limits, and that these limits are not closed, and that we can constantly expand these limits! Today we set the limits here, and we’re going to make it a kilometer further, then another kilometer, then another kilometer! These Bounders move further and further!”
He said (paraphrasing): “only the arrogant and ignorant is the one who thinks he has reached the end! Not at all! We should be humble in our words about nature, and in our words about the Bible”. And this is a message even today to Muslims too! We must be humble. What (an ignorant Muslim) would say to you (nowadays)? “This is an undisputed matter; you are contradicting the religious undisputed topics!” Brother, be humble, you’re a little arrogant, ‘undisputed’ you say?! As if you have understood everything! As if you understood the scientific theory, and understood the Qur’an, and closed the topic! He thinks he reached the end! You do not understand neither science nor the Qur’an, nor anything! Believe me. Therefore, you are very, very limited, and you affirm with the help of ‘the undisputed’, which you think is undisputed! And you will find that most of what you think undisputed is actually very, very far from the certainty that you think! Galileo likewise, invites us to the principle of what? The principle of interpretive humility! In short; it is that when you speak -especially according to Galileo- in the interpretation of the Bible, so that you ‘accommodate’ it with the facts of natural sciences and others, he said that you should be humble when you do that, and know that you are only seizing some of the biblical truth, some of what can be understood from the sacred text, and not the fullest understanding, and not all understanding.
Leave room for others, and even leave room for yourself perhaps in a later period, during which you will have established your stem (in the ground of knowledge), hardened your bones, established your footing, and increased your knowledge and understanding! Right? By God, if we have any subject, then, any flexible brain and any brain that is open and intelligent, would return (at a later time) to the subject another time, and see it from new angles, right?! And also this person may change his opinion and understanding about that subject. This is our nature, we are weak human beings, we are not absolutes, we are not absolute beings, we do not reach the ends, we do not have the ability, we always realize / have a small part of it; a fragment, of the truth. This is a fragment! A fragment, of the truth. A piece of the puzzle from here, a snippet of the truth from there! Therefore, we must also seek help from each other, humble ourselves to each other, and humble ourselves to time. Time is the one which will prove to us that we have not reached the end. Wonderful is the subject of the principle of interpretive humility!
An important principle, which is the fourth principle. These are the four principles upon which Galileo Galilei based his letter to the Grand Duchess Christina. On the mention of Giordano Bruno, a question might arise! One of you might ask a question; “So why didn’t the scientists take the incident of his burning as an iconic example? The man was burned, the poor man was burned alive!” It was said that in his last moments, before he breathed his last breaths, he prayed; «Lord forgive them, they do not know.».. If we paraphrased him, we would say that he was insinuating: «They imprisoned me and burned me, and I ask their forgiveness.» That is, he was not an infidel, he was not a heretic, the man had deep faith in God, and the poor man was burned, in the name of God! As the great Cardinal said; “O Lord, how much blood has been spilled and how many people have been tortured in your name!” All of that in the name of God! For God’s sake! (Of course) God does not want this at all, God is way much greater than to give man this flexible, large, and surrounding mind, and then wants him to suppress, oppress, and silence it! Never never never!
Therefore, I see the real privilege of Islam and the Qur’anic text, which really opened the doors of intellectual and expressive freedom wide open.. Disregard Muslims; by the way they are like the others, to some extent! They are not really loyal to their Book (Qur’an), even if they claim the exact opposite, to the point of demanding that you and I be killed! So excited is such a person! It is this very person who confirms that he/she is not loyal to their Qur’an. If they were (truly) loyal, he/she would not have been fanatical, nor would they have been extremists, nor would he/she have turned into an object of oppression. The Qur’an is not oppressive at all. Our answer to the question; Why was Giordano Bruno not taken as the Iconic example instead of Galileo? Not to mention that Galileo was not even imprisoned; he was only put under house arrest! he wasn’t burned, but (Bruno) was burned! And asked forgiveness for them! Why? Why doesn’t even the atheists consider Bruni as this iconic example? They just consider Galileo (as the iconic example)! The answer is quite simple; Because Giordano Bruno, in general, was not a scientist, in the modern term of the world, as much as he was a pure philosopher.
That is, why was he taken and burned alive? Because of adopting the idea of multiplicity of worlds, Multiverse. Of course, not in the cosmic way we have now, no! (He says) Within this world, maybe in distant planets/objects that can be seen or even the ones which cannot be seen, maybe other beings live there, not necessarily human, other beings that are sane and understanding. How do we know for sure they don’t exist? (he says). Of course, this question – according to the Roman Christian Church – in itself is heretical and forbidden to be raised! Why? Why? Because they consider that the Lord – I seek forgiveness from God Almighty from this – sent his son, his most important prosopon (divine person), who is Jesus! God is three (they say); Three persons! And this prosopon (they say) is the most important to us, but as for God, of course, it is a secondary thing, a secondary rank! The Father is of course the most important prosopon, then the son for us (they say). They say (paraphrasing) “the Father sent his second prosopon, sacrificed him, and hanged him on the cross, for the salvation of humanity, the salvation of the universes, so how do you assume that there are other beings that Jesus did not reach, that Jesus did not save?! This is blasphemy and heresy!”
They did not accept that (that other people didn’t know Jesus) on this planet Earth! As you know, there were no geographical discoveries, and they did not circumnavigate, and there was no Marco Polo and Magellan, and they did not circumnavigate the Earth (yet)! They used to assume that the other side of the earth is like the other side of the moon; the other side of which is not inhabited. They used to believe that there could be water and mountains and so on, but there are no people.. When it was said “But there are people!” they would respond: “How? Forbidden!”. This idea is called what? The ‘Antipode’. This is one of the ideas that Andrew Dickson White talked about a lot! In his book “A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom”. He talked a lot about the ‘Antipode’! And for the sake of Antipode, people were killed, and others were burned! It was forbidden to say that Antipode(s) exist.
So, what is an antipode? That on the other side of the earth yes maybe there are people, people! So that means they were not informed of the call of Christ? “You infidel! You will be killed! Naturally; Because there is no way we can reach them, Peter didn’t reach them, right? The Church did not reach them! It means God is not savior to all! Blasphemy!”. These are forbidden ideas. Very narrow-minded. The answer; Giordano Bruno was not taken as an iconic example of the conflict between science and religion, because he was not a natural scientist; he was just a thinker, and more like a simple philosopher. And the ideas he put forward were not like the ideas of Copernicus and Galileo; they were rather speculations, without any evidence or proof; pure assumptions! They could be right or wrong. Therefore, they considered (his ideas) pure heresy, and the scientists, on their part, did not cherish them. The scientists would say: “there is no evidence, nor is there any way to validate these assumptions! That is, we do not cherish him much; we express regret at him, we sympathize with him, and we ask God mercy on his soul…” – that is, if they are believers – “.. and nothing more than that”. Reasonable words. Now you understand the difference! So the lesson that I want to say now – one of the most important things – whenever you venture to narrow the belief picture of God -there is no deity but Him- That is, when you make it narrow, accommodating only the scope of your understanding or the understanding of your group, your church, your mosque, your party, your Ash’ariyyah (school), your Salafis (school), etc.. Whenever you do that, you are gambling with the future of Religious honesty! That is, you will expose it to tremors and danger! And quite the opposite is true; The more you are intelligent, proactive, broad-minded, fertile in imagination, having a proactive ability, and expanding the belief image of the Lord -there is no deity but Him- On all levels, you will keep winning, what do you think?
Now come and see. By the grace of God, I – the humble servant that I am-, have been for many years now, -close to twenty years now – .. I have been always striving to expand the belief picture of God’s mercy -there is no deity but Him- is it not true? Such that I believe in the possibility of the survival of most of humanity, not all, but most of humanity, whom we call ‘the infidels’?! Today, by the way, we have a very strange fever in calling everyone who is not a Muslim ‘the infidel’! “infidels!” By God, this is a very terrible, and bizarre arrogance! We are not envied on this one! “Infidels, infidels!” Man! It is not true! You are violating the spirit of the Noble Qur’an. They are not infidels. The most of what can be said about them is that they are non-Muslims. Now are they infidels or not infidels? Quranic-wise, you do not have the authority to judge them like this in general or in detail. Saying “They are infidels” is nonsense and has nothing to do with the correct Islamic faith; you do not understand anything, unfortunately. This is what most of our scholars do! This is a lesson we must learn.
I conclude with the Tycho Brahe system. Of course, Tycho Brahe – the Danish and well-known – was distinguished in his observations, he made numerous observations (in astronomy) over many years, and authored thousands of pages! Ultimately, I am mentioning this is to see that Galileo when he was tried, part of his trial was scientific, a scientific matter! Tycho Brahe came a little earlier before Galileo, clear? And Kepler! Kepler! There was a cooperation between the two, Kepler was a student of Tycho Brahe at the end of his life. For about the last three or four years (of his life), the German Johannes Kepler has worked as an apprentice and assistant scientist, for whom? For the Danish Tycho Brahe. The important thing now, is that Tycho Brahe acknowledged that Ptolemy had a model, and Copernicus has another model, but both models did not convince him; he had his own model, through which he explained the phases of Venus, which Copernicus could not explain. He explained that! He also explained the Parallax with it, which Copernicus was unable to explain as well! He said (paraphrasing) “the Earth is not what Galileo thought, and not what Copernicus thought”, so what it is? He made some sort of a mix, but scientific! Scientific, and he has a mathematical model, which explained! Subhan-Allah! This is amazing!
We will also introduce that model in the next lectures! (We will talk about) The nature of scientific models, the nature of scientific theory in the first place! And we will see that we have a trend among scientists led by Duhem; the French Pierre Duhem, and the Austrian Erwin Schrödinger, in the discussion on the essence of «scientific interpretation» as a process, .. and that it is not as objective as you think, not even as realistic as we think. This is a trend, this one! There are a lot of trends! Philosophy of science is a long and complex subject. So, what did he say? He said (paraphrasing): «I see that the Earth is really in the center..». Amazing! But the planets do not revolve around it, no! They revolve around the sun. But the sun and the moon together revolve around the Earth”. You understand (his theory) now? So, the earth is the center (he says), but the other planets, other than the sun and the moon, do not revolve around it, but rather around the sun. The sun has a large orbit (he says), in which the other planets revolve, and the sun -with its planets- and the moon, Both revolve around the Earth. The other planets revolve around the sun.. New model! If you have heard of Tycho Brahe’s system, this is his astronomical system. So, what do we have? Three systems. The surprising thing is that each of them explains certain things, and recedes in other things, while some other things are explained exhaustively!
I say this, and I ask forgiveness from God for you and me, and praise be to God, Lord of the worlds.