What is science according to the data obtained from the history of science?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,


Science is a purely relative activity; it is not absolute.

Açıkgenç says that science is a “full human activity” and makes the following definition in the light of the data obtained from the history of science:

The regular set of knowledge that is formed by denotation with the scientific awareness of the integrity of the theories obtained by a certain method about a clearly and precisely defined subject in a process in which knowledgeable people are effective is called science.1.

     The importance of this definition related to our issue is clear in three aspects:

  • Religion can make significant contributions to scientific knowledge by initiating a process that results in the formation and birth of sciences,
  • Science cannot be handled independently of the society it is in (sociology of knowledge),
  • Science is a purely relative activity; it is not absolute.

It is important to consider those definitions in the discussions of Religion and Science. For, the healthy understanding of religion-science discussions that emerged in the Western Civilization and then affected other cultures and civilizations with the spread of this civilization to the world for imperialist purposes depends on it. It is clear that the definition of religion in the Western Civilization is not the same as the definition we have made above.2

The contemporary Muslim thinker Naquib al-Attas (d.1931) points to the distorted “understanding of religion” of Western civilization, which considers knowledge to be the sole authority by absolutizing it and destruction it caused through secularization, and states that secularism causes people to lose their Islamic identity and social integrity. He states that knowledge, which is the product of this methodology and which is presented as absolute knowledge, brings about crisis rather than peace.3

1.Açıkgenç, ibid p. 20.
2.Tümer, ibid
3.Birekul, M. (2012). “Bilginin Toplumsal İnşası: Bir Sosyal Gerçeklik İnşası Olarak Bilginin İslamileştirilmesi’ni Yeniden Düşünmek”, Milelve Nihal, Vol. 9, pp. 49-74.

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