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The scientistic worldview that has emerged out of this process has reduced nature to dead matter and divested the natural world of any intrinsic qualities.It has rejected the creationist account of traditional religions and purged all teleology from scientific nomenclature.Religious, cosmological, and metaphysical ideas provide a context of justification for the scientific study of the order of nature.
But it is not only governments and bureaucrats who think this way; the public at large is also fascinated by the power and magic of science and technology, which has penetrated all aspects of our lives.
By will or by necessity, the vast majority of Muslims use science and technology in ways indistinguishable from the rest of the world.
Contrary to the claims of positivists and scientific purists, scientific inquiry is shaped by socio-historical circumstances and preferences.
Long before the publication of Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions in 1962 and the postmodernist critiques of science that followed it, a number of studies—including Edmund Burtt's The Foundations of Modern Physical Sciences—had begun to probe into the tacit and explicit presuppositions of modern natural sciences.
A famous historian of religion and devoted positivist of his time, Renan argued that Islam was inherently irrational, militantly intolerant, and essentially incapable of producing science and philosophy.
Lacking the "scientific outlook" that made the scientific revolution possible, Islam prevented the development of science and the kind of "free thinking" that is independent of all metaphysical and religious notions.But this is not simply a religious philosophy superimposed upon a material entity.Rather, it is an integrated and holistic notion of the universe in which man and nature are placed as complements to each other.These two perspectives represent not just two separate domains, i.e., religion and scientism, but rather different ways of looking at reality and the universe, with radically different and often opposing premises.The world-picture that emerges out of these approaches has far-reaching consequences for the theory and practice of science in any civilization.Scientism seeks to supplant the religious view of the universe and reduce religion to ethics without a claim over the nature of reality.This explains in part why modern atheism makes frequent use of scientism to substantiate its claims against religious faith.The debate over Islam and science covers a wide range of issues and extends from political leaders and experts to the public at large.Revealing the ever-present tensions between theory and practice, this debate takes place at two levels: practical and intellectual.The Darwinian theory of evolution, for instance, has come to symbolize the epic battle between religion and science in the West and has caused considerable consternation in the Muslim world, since the majority of Muslims maintain the creation story as the explanation of life on earth.It is therefore not easy to reconcile the philosophical assumptions of modern scientism with the religious view of the universe espoused by the Qur'an and the Islamic intellectual tradition.