Monday, May 18, 2009

482)The Movie 'Angels and Demons', Currently Playing, Is Instructive For Those Interested In The Debate And Link Between Science And Religion

I went to see the movie 'Angels and Demons', produced by Ron Howard and based on a book by Dan Brown, this past weekend and enjoyed it very much(Sorry Taliban, I am a Muslim, I do watch movies, listen to music and sing and try to dance when my legs are not hurting so much; I also love looking at Buddha statues). Not having read the book yet I did not realise that this was a movie about Science and Religion until the movie actually began screening. I slapped myself to remind me that this is a topic of abiding interest to me and that I even write a Blog about it. Hence this post today; I highly recommend you watch this movie. Wiki gives us a summary of the events in the movie(Google: 'Angels and Demons(film)' and click on the Wikipedia article):

"Langdon at this point mentions the history between the Illuminati and the Vatican and the conflict that began between them in 1668. According to Langdon, during the 17th century, the Vatican purged Catholics who favored science over conflicting Church teaching. The conflict eventually led to the Illuminati becoming a secret society determined to take vengeance on the Vatican for this incident and because of the Vatican's uncompromising position opposed to the science that the Illuminati stands for."

Google: 'Angels and Demons(film)' and click on the Wikipedia article. (The Novel by Dan Brown)

The plot centers around the discovery of antimatter in the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva. I have blogged before about the CERN Large Hadron Collider(LHC) in Switzerland and its search for more of the fundamental particles that make up all matter, in particular the so-called 'God Particle', also known as the Higg's Boson, the particle or field that gives the property of mass to matter:

As the plot in the movie thickens the Wiki article continues:

"Camerlengo is revealed to be much more radically religious than the previous Pope and had become increasingly uncomfortable with the Vatican's increasing openness to science. He had poisoned and killed the previous Pope and tried to appear as the savior of Vatican from the threat from the Illuminati, which he said was trying to destroy the Vatican in the religion and science debate."

The underlying theme of the movie is the dichotomy that has existed for centuries between the doctrines of the Catholic Chuch, based on the literal account of creation and genesis in the scriptures, and Science, with its conflicting empirical discoveries by the rational intellect of man. In recent years the Catholic Church has tried to minimise this dichotomy with the intention of eventually eliminating it. I applaud the Catholic Church for these acts of courage and strength. It has exonerated the scientist Galileo and apologised for its mistreatment of him. It has also recently apologised to Charles Darwin, about whom I have also blogged:

At the end of the day this is what Muslims can learn from a movie like this : There exists no(none whatsoever) dichotomy between Science and Religion in Islam. A careful reading of my Blogpost Four Hundred, the high octane fuel that powers my Blog on the link between Science and Religion in Islam, will demonstrate this plainly:

"In Islamic belief, knowledge is two-fold. There is that revealed through the Holy Prophet (s.a.s.) and that which man discovers by virtue of his own intellect. Nor do these two involve any contradiction, provided man remembers that his own mind is itself the creation of God. Without this humility, no balance is possible. With it, there are no barriers. Indeed, one strength of Islam has always lain in its belief that creation is not static but continuous, that through scientific and other endeavours, God has opened and continues to open new windows for us to see the marvels of His creation"(Aga Khan IV, Aga Khan University, 16 March 1983, Karachi, Pakistan)

Easy Nash

The Qur'an itself repeatedly recommends Muslims to become better educated in order better to understand God's creation: Aga Khan IV(2007)
The Quran tells us that signs of Allah's Sovereignty are found in the contemplation of His Creation: Aga Khan IV(2007)
This notion of the capacity of the human intellect to understand and to admire the creation of Allah will bring you happiness in your everyday lives: Aga Khan IV(2007)
Islam, eminently logical, placing the greatest emphasis on knowledge, purports to understand God's creation: Aga Khan IV(2006)
The Holy Qu'ran's encouragement to study nature and the physical world around us gave the original impetus to scientific enquiry among Muslims: Aga Khan IV(1985)
The first and only thing created by God was the Intellect(Aql): Prophet Muhammad(circa 632CE)