Does Islam Stand Against Science?

By Steve Paulson

We may think the charged relationship between science and religion is mainly a problem for Christian fundamentalists, but modern science is also under fire in the Muslim world. Islamic creationist movements are gaining momentum, and growing numbers of Muslims now look to the Quran itself for revelations about science.

Science in Muslim societies already lags far behind the scientific achievements of the West, but what adds a fair amount of contemporary angst is that Islamic civilization was once the unrivaled center of science and philosophy. What’s more, Islam’s "golden age" flourished while Europe was mired in the Dark Ages.

This history raises a troubling question: What caused the decline of science in the Muslim world?

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Does Islam Stand Against Science? 1

Bridgeman-Giraudon, Art Resource

Water-pump system, Seljuk dynasty, 1206. A group of Muslim scholars says there is no inherent conflict between Islam and science.

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