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Science vs Atheism
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Science vs Atheism

It is not how the world is that is mystical, but that it is.  
                                                                         -Ludwig Wittgenstein

This book is the result of 30 years spent by the author in exhaustive research. It attempts to present the basic teachings of religion in the light of modern knowledge and a manner consistent with the modern scientific method.

First published in 1966, and unlike other apologetic books on religion, God Arises is a blunt and brave account. Particularly because it is not the same old Religion vs Atheism discourse but more of a Science and Nature vs Atheism argument.

The author has used a huge corpus from science, logic, reason and philosophy to prove how hollow the claims of atheism are.

This book questions the incapability of Darwinism in understanding the Divine. Man’s desire to find meaning in the universe is itself a proof that without a Creator everything is senseless. Nature is a fact, not an explanation. If we will turn down the contribution of scientists who believed in God, the scientific achievements left out will be nothing but mere absurdity. It is the religion which points towards the real causes of the creation of the universe, whereas the findings of physicists are confined to determining the outward structure of this universe as it appears to exist before us:

Science doesn’t tell us how or why the laws of nature came into being, how or why they continue to exist or why they cause the earth and the heavens to function with such unfailing precision that, simply by observing of them, it was possible to establish immutable scientific laws.

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As the author quotes Cecil Boyce Hamann: Nature does not explain, she is herself in need of explanation. According to the Bohr Theory, an invisible atom possesses an internal structure similar to our solar system. Why is that so?

About the miraculous nature of human being, the author asks the atheists to imagine:

Would it be any wonder then if the consciousness, which we as human beings experience existed on a cosmic scale but in a totally perfect form? As an intellectual exercise, it is no more difficult to accept this, than to accept the notion that genes, although only microscopic elements in the human embryo, control the growth and development of a six-foot-tall man. Might not the human and natural desire for the world immeasurably vaster than our own be echo spiritual or otherworldly of a world already existing in this universe in a form invisible to human eyes?

Some scientists openly confess that they believe in Evolution because they can’t find any other alternative. They either have to believe in the Religious concept of Creation or Darwin’s thesis. Some choose an ape being their ancestor over the fact that God with His own Hands created them. By denying the Unseen, it is the only man who is in loss, Khan argues, Denying the Truth in no ways alters, harms or makes it a less of a truth.

From a passage from ‘Clearer Thinking’ by A. E Mander, here is another question Khan proposes atheists should take into consideration:

‘How can we be sure that there is any validity in this thought-process that we call ‘reasoning’? How can we be sure that the belief which we form reasoning is true?’

Every fact that we believe in, is always, in the beginning, a simple assumption. Yet what is perceived by the eye is nothing more than an object of a certain size and a certain shade of colour. And a true scientific theory merely means a successful working hypothesis (or assumption). This is what makes atheism a materialistic approach to life. And why should we simply reject this approach, Khan writes:

‘Just as the Corpuscular Theory of light propounded by Newton was rejected by the twentieth-century scientists because its explanation of the phenomenon of light was found unsatisfactory, we likewise reject the materialistic theory of the universe because it does not offer a satisfactory explanation for the phenomenon of life and the universe.’

What we today apprehend as a probability; no wonder tomorrow we shall witness as a fact. Intellectual inconsistency is bound to afflict any theories conceived by man. Without taking a Creator into account, one cannot give a valid explanation of life. The Maker of the world has fashioned life in such a way that it just cannot be explained by any mechanical interpretation.

Atheists believe that man is just a bag of chemicals without a soul and unable to perform miracles. Science tells us that within every few years, all of the atoms in a human body are totally replaced. It shows that man is more like a river than a mere structure of flesh and bones: Man is like a river. And the human personality is like an island in it, unaffected by the ceaseless flow of the cells.

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Modern atheist’s condition has become something like what William Blake once said-
‘A mark every face I meet
Marks of weakness
Marks of woe’

Atheism, nowadays, has become a fashion; a trend. As humans, we incline towards to be unique and different from the rest and demand constant attention. Because media has pictured religion as something monstrous and somehow unacceptable, some think being an atheist might bring them into attention. But according to the author, both science and nature prove atheism illogical. So why is that atheism is on the rise? An atheist friend of mine told me that I am a Muslim because I was born in a Muslim family and if I were born in a Hindu family, I would believe that Hinduism is the one true religion. Seems like a sane argument. That it is all about conditioning. Nature vs Nurture. But there are millions of people from different religious backgrounds who convert to Islam every year. Why do they do that? What changes in them? Some statistics show that Islam is the fastest-growing religion in the world, especially in the West. Why?

It is fine to get fascinated by Darwin, Dawkins, Hawkins, Hitching, Harris, Nietzsche, Anton Flew or Mary Daly but it is a shame to fail to benefit from the likes of Sina, Rushd, Kindi, Farabi, Qurtubi, Suyuti, Razi and Ghazali.

We don’t always understand art and music in order to get enchanted by it. Is it really necessary that the Unseen and The Divine should make sense always in order to make one feel spiritual and enlightened? If one doesn’t believe in mind or consciousness doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, right?

As said in the beginning, this book does not refute atheism by religious arguments but by the narrative of nature and science itself. Still, ‘Where belief is concerned, we can lead a horse to the water, but we can’t make him drink.’, Khan concludes.

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