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A BRIEF SURVEY OF SOME SCIENTIFIC FACTS

36 The Review of Religions – July 2007 1. Background There are various theories in science discussed in the book Revelation Rationality Know- ledge and Truth about which different opinions and thoughts exist. We mention some of them in this article. The Holy Qur’an is the Word of God and Nature represents the Work of God. In science, we try to understand the working of Nature. The commentaries of the A brief survey of some scientific facts in the book: Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge and Truth In the year 2002, certain scientific objections were raised about the book Revelation Rationality Knowledge and Truth written by Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih IV. Because of Huzur’s illness, the matter could not be investigated. Recently when this matter was brought to the attention of his Successor, the present head of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih V, he instructed me for investigation. According to his instructions, I sent the list of objections to Mr. Masoud A Malik (USA) for careful scrutiny and research. As a result, members of the Association of Ahmadi Muslim Scientists (AAMS) USA were assigned the task of conducting this research and offer their collective responses in the light of published scientific literature. The team consisted of Dr Amtul Mujeeb Chaudhry (USA), Professor Hafiz Saleh Mohammad Alladin (guest member from India) and Dr Arshad M Khan (USA). In this report, the team summarises the objections and provides a point by point response to each. We are presenting this research here for the benefit of our readers. Munir-ud-Din Shams (Additional Vakil-ul-Tasneef) 37The Review of Religions – July 2007 A BRIEF SURVEY OF SOME SCIENTIFIC FACTS OF REVELEATION, RATIONALITY, KNOWLEDGE & TRUTH Holy Qur’an reflect our efforts for comprehending the Holy Qur’an. Both in religion and in science it should be our aim to attain the truth1. There cannot be any contradiction between the Holy Qur’an and science, if we understand them both correctly2. The treasures of the Holy Qur’an as well as Nature are inexhaustible3. The book Revelation Rationality Knowledge and Truth (RRKT) contains an excellent com- mentary of several verses of the Holy Qur’an that deal with nature. It highlights the testi- mony of nature to the existence of an All-Mighty and All-Wise God4. The book is based on an in-depth study of the Holy Qur’an by the saintly scholar Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad(ru) who had a comprehensive knowledge of various branches of science. We strongly feel that the book serves as an excellent model of scholarly work regard- ing the interaction between religion and science, and is written by a profound lover of the Holy Qur’an. 38 The Review of Religions – July 2007 A BRIEF SURVEY OF SOME SCIENTIFIC FACTS OF REVELEATION, RATIONALITY, KNOWLEDGE & TRUTH In the words of the author: ‘The Divine scriptures are not textbooks of science, hence any reference therein to scientific subjects could not be merely incidental. The main purpose is to establish the unity of source; to prove that the material world and the spiritual world are both the work of the same Creator.’ 5 The author has drawn attention to the truths of the Holy Qur’an verified by science as well as to those truths that still await exploration.6,7 2. Research This article presents the findings to some pertinent objections and refutations made on a few of the scientific arguments given in the book, RRKT. The references for this research have been drawn from diversified sources. These sources include scholarly publications, research journals, scientific magazines, internet and non-technical web links. The objective is to cater for a wide readership and make the sources as accessible as possible. 2.1 Objection related to the chapter ‘Entropy and the Finite Universe’ In the chapter ‘Entropy and the Finite Universe’, the author explains the term ‘Entropy’ using the second law of Thermodynamics8. The author draws the conclusion that the universe would end when ‘Entropy’ reaches its peak as a result of which the universe will experience ‘Heat Death’. This conclusion has been supported by several scientists9, 10, 11, 12, 13. The observer, on the other hand, uses the concept of reversible process14 and the Hawking Principle15 to contradict the author’s point of view. The observer’s conclusion is supported by another school of thought16 which does not agree with the theory of Heat Death of the universe. Another research that takes into consideration the Hawking Principle (interestingly enough 39The Review of Religions – July 2007 A BRIEF SURVEY OF SOME SCIENTIFIC FACTS OF REVELEATION, RATIONALITY, KNOWLEDGE & TRUTH the same principle as cited by the observer) points to ‘Cosmo- logical Heat Death’17 of the universe. Other ideas about the fate of the universe include concepts like ‘Big Crunch’18, ‘Big Freeze’19 and ‘Big Rip’20, 22. The fate of the universe has been and still is a subject of rival scientific theories and serious scientific investigations20, 21, 22. Despite this controversy, the laws of Thermodynamics (as used by the author) continue to be part of the latest academic curricula23. Hence the author’s conclusion about the fate of the universe is a scientifically valid conclusion. 2.2 Objection related to the Chapter ‘The Qur’an and Cosmology’ The observer has raised an objection regarding the statement of the author about the movement of universe in space. The argument is that the wording ‘movement of the universe in space’ (as used in RRKT) implies that universe and space are distinct entities. Therefore the wording contradicts the definition of a single unique universe. This controversy is not new. In fact it has been and still is a critical subject of speculation24, 25, 26, 27, 28 in the field of cosmology. Hence, the author’s choice of words is scientifically valid and correct. 2.3 Objection related to the chapter ‘The Essential Role of Clay and Photosynthesis in Evolution’ The observer refers to page 384 of the book, RRKT, where the author states: ‘To those pondering over the origin of life, it is classic chicken and egg problem – which came first the protein or the DNA.’ The observer points out that this problem has been resolved by the Crick’s postulate. The author has referred to a classic paradox about whether DNA or protein was the first to 40 The Review of Religions – July 2007 A BRIEF SURVEY OF SOME SCIENTIFIC FACTS OF REVELEATION, RATIONALITY, KNOWLEDGE & TRUTH appear in early pre-biotic Earth. Despite the formalisation of the ‘Central Dogma’ of molecular biology by Crick in 195829 (which states that information passes unidirectionally from nucleic acid to protein, that is from RNA to protein), it is now understood that there are multiple ways of interpreting the Central Dogma29, 30. In addition, there are many exceptions to this formalisation30, 31, 32, 33. These exceptions could lead to multiple interpretations about the origin of life and the roles of DNA, RNA and protein in this process. Currently there is no scientific consensus on this issue, due to some controversial aspects. Hence the author’s statement in the book is scientifically valid and correct. 2.4 Objection related to the chapter ‘Chirality or Sidedness in Nature’ In this chapter, the author reports on one school of thought which states that ‘chirality’ or sidedness in molecules is related to their spin34, 35, 36, 37. The observer reports on another school of thought which suggests that chirality is related to the arrangement and position of atoms in a molecule38, 39, 40. Scientists have also discovered an aspect which states that chirality can be switched in molecules by the addition or removal of electrons41. Hence, the refutation made by the observer regarding the author’s statement is not valid. 3. Conclusion Detailed research was carried out to investigate the objections made on some of the scientific evidence presented in the book, RRKT. In three instances (‘entropy and heat death’, ‘universe and space’, ‘chirality’), the objections only reflect a different school of thought as compared to the idea presented by the book, RRKT. References have been provided in this article to prove the existence and wide support of the author’s idea in the scientific 41The Review of Religions – July 2007 A BRIEF SURVEY OF SOME SCIENTIFIC FACTS OF REVELEATION, RATIONALITY, KNOWLEDGE & TRUTH realm. Hence the author’s statements are perfectly valid scientific statements. In one instance (‘chicken and egg paradox’) the objection was found to be incorrect. References have been provided for this result. Scientific research is a dynamic activity which continues to expand upon earlier findings, proving or refuting them or pointing out their limitations. The Holy Qur’an, on the other hand, is a universal truth independent of any argument or scientific developments. Hence, when scientific reasoning enters a conflict due to ongoing research, it should not confuse the reader about the conclusions of the author that are guided and based upon the Qur’anic prophecies. We strongly believe that the book, Revelation Rationality Knowledge and Truth, serves as an excellent model of a scholarly work that diligently examines the inter- actions between religion and science. References and Notes 1. Revelation Rationality Knowledge and Truth (RRKT), 1998. p.256, para 2. 2. Ibid., p. 286, para 3; p. 300, para 3; p. 344, para 4. 3. The Holy Qur’an, Ch.15:V.22 4. RRKT, p.386, para 3; p.569, para 1 5. Ibid., p. 285, para 4 6. Ibid., p. 303, para 2; p. 331, para 4; p. 333, para 2; p. 334, para3; and p. 488, para 3 7. Ibid., p. 314, para 2 8 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second _ law_of_thermodynamics 9. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_de- ath 10. http://www.physlink.com/Education/ AskExperts/ae261.cfm 11. http://www.alamut.com/subj/ideolog- ies/pessimism/entropy.html 12. http://srikant.org/core/node10.html 13. http://www.avogadro.co.uk/h_and_s/ entropy.htm 14. http://www.ac.wwu.edu/~vawter/Ph- 42 The Review of Religions – July 2007 ysicsNet/Topics/ThermLaw2 /ThermalProcesses.html. 15. Barrow, J. D. and Tipler F. J., (1988) The Anthropic Cosmological Principle, Oxford University Press. 16. math.ucr.edu/home/baez/physics/Rel- ativity/ BlackHoles/ hawking.html 17. Adams, F C. and Laughlin, G. (1997). A Dying Universe: The Long Term Fate and Evolution of Astrophysical Objects. Reviews of Modern Physics 69, 337-372, http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/astro- ph/pdf/9701/9701131.pdf 18. Davies, P. (1997). The Last Three Minutes: Conjectures About the Ultimate Fate of the Universe http://en.allexperts.com/e/u/ul/ultimat e_fate_of_the_universe. htm 19. http://en.allexperts.com/e/b/bi/big_fr- eeze.htm 20. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultimate _fate_of_the_Universe 21. http://www.cnn.com/TECH/9701/15 / end.universe/ 22. Caldwell, R.R., Kamionkowski, M. and Weinberg N.N. (2003). Phantom Energy and Cosmic Doomsday. Physical Review Letters 91(7) DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.91.071301. 23. Griffiths, T. (2007). The Physics of Everyday Phenomena (5th ed.). McGraw Hill, p.6 24. Munitz, M.K. (1951) One Universe or Many. Journal of the History of Ideas, 12(2): 231-255 25. Luminet, J-P. and Boudewijn F. R. (1999). Topology of the Universe: Theory and Observations. Proceedings of Cosmology School held at Cargese, Corsica, August 1998. 26. Luminet, J-P., Weeks J., Riazuelo A., Lehoucq, R. and Uzan, J-P. (2003). Dodecahedral space topology as an explanation for weak wide-angle temperature correlations in the cosmic microwave background. Nature 425: 593 27. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universe 28. Holt, J. My So-Called Universe; http://slate.msn.com/id/ 2087206/ 29. Thieffry, D. and Sarkar, S. (1998). Forty years under the central dogma. Trends in Biochemical Sciences, 23:312-316. 30. Hunter, N. (1999). Prion diseases and the central dogma of molecular biology. Trends in Microbiology, A BRIEF SURVEY OF SOME SCIENTIFIC FACTS OF REVELEATION, RATIONALITY, KNOWLEDGE & TRUTH 43The Review of Religions – July 2007 7:265-266. 31. Henikoff, S. (2002). Beyond the central dogma. Bioinformatics 18:223-225. 32. Mattick, J. S. (2003). Challenging the dogma: the hidden layer of non- protein-coding RNAs in complex organisms. BioEssays 25:930-939. 33. Rose, S. P. R. (2003). Communication: from neurons to people; from present to future. Biochemical Society Transactions 31 (Part 1):159-161. 34. Johnston, C. et al., (1993). Chiral effects in spin-dependent elastic electron scattering from molecules”. J. Phys. B: At. Mol. Opt. Phys. 26:965-985. 35. ‘Chirality of Photons and Electrons’, The Gay Group, University of Nebraska http://physics.unl.edu/~tgay/content/C PE.html. 36. ‘Polarized Electron – Chiral Molecule Scattering Experiments’, Behlen Laboratory of Physics, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, by Adam Green, Mark Rosenberry and Tim Gay. http://physics.unl.edu/~tgay/content/ Abstract.html 37. ‘Purdue Scientists Discover Why we’re All Lefties Deep Down’, Science Daily, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/ 2003/08/030806075413.htm 38. Pelzl G., Diele S., Jakli A., Lischka C., Wirth I.., and Weissflog W. (1999). Preliminary communication helical superstructures in a novel smectic mesophase formed by achiral banana-shaped molecules. Liquid Crystals, 26 (1) 39. Barlow, S.M. and Raval, R. (2003). Complex organic molecules at metal surfaces: bonding, organisation and chirality. Surface Science Reports, 50(6-8): 201-341. 40. Flack, H.D. and Bernardinelli G. (1999). Absolute structure and absolute configuration. Foundation of Crystallography. 55 (part 5) 908- 915. 41. ‘NYU chemist develops molecule with switchable chirality’, EurekAlert. http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_relea s s e s / 2 0 0 0 – 0 5 / N Y U – N c d m – 2505100.php. A BRIEF SURVEY OF SOME SCIENTIFIC FACTS OF REVELEATION, RATIONALITY, KNOWLEDGE & TRUTH