Sunday, January 24, 2021 12:27:58 PM
Dr. Mohammad Tariqur Rahman :
Who would have thought that the Masajid-al-Haram in Makkah and Medina will be closed for believers for so long? Who would have imagined the Pope giving a lecture standing alone in St. Peter's Basilica or in St Peter's Square without any audience? Who would have expected to celebrate the Passover (Pesach) in a lockdown?
The common answer for all three questions is "none".
Yet those happened, much to our sorrow. Had those been due to the impartiality of the deadly virus SARS-CoV-2 causing the COVID-19 pandemic that knows no difference in race, religion or nationality? Or because everyone, irrespective of race, religion or nationality, wants to stop the spread of the deadly virus?
Unlike the previous answer, this time the common answer is affirmative - "yes".
The common measure to stop the spread of the virus taken by all is primarily based on pieces of evidence provided by doctors, epidemiologists, and scientists. Here, science indeed has played an important role to "guide" to close Masajid-al-Haram, made the Pope speak deprived of an audience, and made Jews celebrate the Passover amidst lockdown.
Does it mean science and religion are compatible?
An imperative question - do we really have to find any link or gap between science and religion? As such, that comparative "analysis" would do no benefit during this pandemic of COVID-19. Yet social media often is flooded with viral messages to show the supremacy of science over religion to fight COVID-19 and vice versa.
Which of those viral claims is meaningful?
Perhaps, it could be answered if the differences between science and scientists, as well as religion and believers, can be drawn.
Given the reality, we know that to a good number of believers, science and religion are compatible. While there are others who have an opposing view. Yet there are individuals who choose to maneuver the middle path.
While no one would differ in defining what "science" is; scientists might differ to accept what "scientific" is. A bit confusing statement indeed! By definition, as long as anything can be presented and proved to be rational, organized, and empirically valid - it falls under science. However, from that perspective, not everything can be accepted as scientific by all scientists.
A good example of this is the human embryonic development described in the Quran. The verses in the Quran describe the stages of embryonic development exactly in the same way as it is proven empirically. Yet mainstream scientists will never cite those Quranic verses as references in scientific articles. On the other hand, there are scientists who would advocate those verses as the "scientific" miracles of the Quran.
The same goes with religion. Believers are broadly divided into believing different religions. Even within the same religion, believers differ in their beliefs as well as in their practices.
In summary, science and scientists do not necessarily always speak the same language. At the same time, all believers also do not have faith in or practice their religions in the same way.
At the time, being "scientific", scientists can be inconsistent (or contradictory). And being "religious", believers too can perceive and practice their religion differently.
Let me illustrate with a few examples from scientists:
SARS-CoV-2 was initially thought to be susceptible to high temperatures and more fatal in cold temperatures. Later this view was revised. Initially, the same virus was thought to be fatal only for aged people, however, the current data shows the inconsistency in that observation. The SARS-CoV-2 was initially thought to survive outside the host, such as, on hard surfaces or in the air for not more than 72 hours. The revised version of the view says the virus can survive until 10 days outside the human host. Some have proven hydroxychloroquine to be effective to treat COVID-19, while others have rejected that view. More ironically, to some scientist lockdown is critical to control the spread and fatality of the COVID-19, while other scientists expressed their opposing views.
Such inconsistencies (or contradictions) are inevitable due to the limitations in time, ability, and resources to amass an appropriate amount of data to arrive at any conclusive observations. Added to those is the difference in opinion an perspective which is part of human nature.
Believers too have their limitations in understanding the divine commands equally. Consequently, they differ in their practices.
From the remote past until today, humans have survived/tolerated these inconsistencies, be it within and between scientific or religious perspectives.
Scientific minds with no faith in religion will confer sole credits to the knowledge and advancement in science for the understanding of the nature of a disease and in developing medicines to fight it - COVID-19 will not be an exception.
Religious minds, with or without conviction in scientific theories, will continue to acknowledge and gratify divine control over a disease and its cure.
No matter how a scientist or a believer perceives science or religion, rational thinking must be at the core of both worldviews.
A rational believer will not deny the importance of scientific efforts to prevent and cure a disease. In the same stance, a rational scientist must not invalidate the existence of divine command on natural laws that are beyond scientific observations.
A scientist can make an effective antiviral drug, but it will not work if thousands of other events inside the living cells do not coordinate and cooperate. And most of those are still beyond any scientific explanations and beyond the control of any scientist.
While a believer must have utmost faith on the divine control on "cause and effect"; yet must not expect that an antiviral drug will come to their hands without it being or prepared by somebody - the scientists.
(Prof. Dr. Mohammad Tariqur Rahman, Faculty of Dentistry, Malaya Jalan Universiti, Malaysia)
Prolonged school closure continues to take its toll on the adolescents as many of them think they may not go back to school anymore for learning gap, economic crisis and early marriage. Nine-month closure of educational institutions made the adolescent girls more vulnerable to early marriage. A recent survey showed ...
Reuters, Washington :Larry King, who quizzed thousands of world leaders, politicians and entertainers for CNN and other news outlets in a career spanning more than six decades, has died at age 87, CNN reported on Saturday, citing a source close to the family.King had been hospitalized in Los Angeles with ...
Agency :Paris Saint-Germain scored three goals in a four-minute blitz in the second half as they demolished 10-man Montpellier 4-0 on Friday to go three points clear at the top of Ligue 1.Kylian Mbappe bagged a double for his first goals of the year with Neymar and Mauro Icardi also ...
Sheikh Arif Bulbon :Shakila Parvin is a model and actress. Before appearing on the screen as a model in different TV commercials, she came into limelight to perform as model in a music video of song titled Tor mon parai. According to her, Shakila’s parents call her Mukti, while friends ...
REPORT in a national daily on Friday said Bangladesh Bank is in a quagmire sitting on huge excess liquidity from escalating remittance along with implementation of over Tk 2 trillion stimulus packages in one hand while private sector credit demand is quite for lack of investment and lower import bills ...
Agency :Champions Liverpool suffered a shock 1-0 defeat to lowly Burnley on Thursday, ending their 68 match unbeaten home record in the Premier League as their title defense continued to fade.An 83rd minute penalty from Ashley Barnes, after he was brought down by goalkeeper Alisson Becker, decided the contest after ...
Sheikh Arif Bulbon :Within very short time Ziaul Faruk Apurba and Sabila Nur-starrer drama Exchange, directed by Rubel Hasan, crossed 1 crore views. To cast them again, this time Mohidul Mohim has made a special drama titled Tipu Sultana on the occasion of coming Valentine’s Day. Mohim also wrote story ...
Bangladesh is still at risk of losing the European Union's (EU's) generalised system of preferences (GSP) plus as the latter has again warned about its readiness to launch the procedure for withdrawal of preferences in case of the country's failure to produce sufficient results. A news report in a national ...
Reuters :Mongolia's Prime Minister Khurelsukh Ukhnaa submitted his resignation to parliament on Thursday after protests in the capital Ulaanbaatar over the government's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state news agency Montsame reported.Khurelsukh said in his resignation statement that he should "assume the responsibility upon himself and accept the demand ...
Shraddha Kapoor being a wonderful actor and a wonderful person, she adds meaning to the word empathy every time she does something in support for the speechless and needy. Recently, the actress has raised her voice to show support for the voiceless animals by asking people to sign a petition ...
A STUDY showed distance learning programmes through television, radio and internet, adopted after the school closure due to Covid-19, remain by and large ineffective. The interim Education Watch Report 2020-21 said the prolonged closure results in growing monotony and boredom in millions of children who are confined to their home, ...
Agency :Barcelona captain Lionel Messi has escaped a lengthy ban for lashing out at Athletic Bilbao's Asier Villalibre in Sunday's Spanish Super Cup final defeat and will only serve a two-game suspension.The Spanish soccer federation (RFEF) said on Tuesday Messi had been banned for two matches, meaning he will miss ...
Times of India :West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday called the BJP more dangerous than the Maoists and accused the saffron party of making false promises to the people of the state before elections.The TMC supremo, whose party is witnessing an exodus ahead of the assembly elections due ...