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The Quran and The Construction of Scientific Mind by Enis Doko & Caner Taslaman
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STUDYING THE UNIVERSE IS VALUABLE
Another presupposition of science is the idea that studying the universe is inherently valuable. Beliefs that demean the study of the universe create serious obstacles for the practice of science. In this high-tech era, it may seem obvious that studying the universe is worthwhile. After all, science plays critical roles in producing technology and making our lives better. Cultures that appreciate scientific pursuits spread globally, and scientific activities receive generous governmental and societal support. However, when we look more closely at human history, we can see that this has not always been the case. Numerous civilizations in the history offered no serious encouragement and resource for studying the universe, apart from those that offered immediate practical benefit. Even though the inherent human desire to learn supports studying the universe, this intrinsic desire does not present a rational ground for this study.
As remarked previously, not every religious or philosophical view supports scientific activity. For example, religious or philosophical notions that view the universe or matter as inherently evil denigrate the study of the universe. Throughout human history, there have always been religious and philosophical schools of thought that describe the matter (the building blocks of the universe) as evil and thus oppose its study. But the Quran rejects such beliefs: since God is the Creator of the universe matter is good. Moreover, the Creator encourages the study of his good universe.
Some religions of the Far East claim that the outer world - the universe - lacks objective reality and is a mere illusion (some theists, for example some Sufi schools, also defend similar views). But it would unreasonable to study an entity which lacks objective reality; it is folly to study the science of an illusion. Therefore, the worldview of many Far East religions contradicts the presupposition that claims “studying the universe is valuable”.
The Quran, however, holds that the universe and the earth have been created “with truth” so that they are not illusion. The following verse is an example for this:
God has created the heavens and the earth with truth. Surely in this is a sign or those who believe.