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ISLAMIC MEDICAL EDUCATION RESOURCES-04

0608- CREATION OF THE UNIVERSE: RELATION TO SCIENCE AND ETHICS:

Background reading material for Year 1 Medical students for PPSD session on 16th August by Professor Omar Hasan Kasule Sr.

THE UNIVERSE

Everything in the universe was created. The universe consists of the earth, the sky, the space that encloses them both, and the space between them. It includes the stars, the planets, comets, galaxies, meteors, empty space, human and other all forms of life. The earth and its contents were created before creation of humans. About 70% of its surface covered with water. Only a very small part of the earth’s surface, called the biosphere (soil and atmosphere), supports life. The universe is expanding. The galaxies are moving away from one another at a speed of thousands of miles a second.

 

ULTIMATE QUESTIONS

There are ultimate questions that are: start of creation, end of creation, purpose of creation, and the ultimate destiny of the human. Answers to these questions are found in metaphysics (understanding ultimate reality by reason), various religious beliefs, folklore, and empirical science.

 

SIGNS IN THE CREATION

Study of science especially medicine is part of observation and reflecting on creation. It enables us discover many secrets of creation and many signs in the universe for education, intellectual growth and development. The creation of everything in pairs, the creation of opposites, symmetry, and harmony are some of the constant features of the universe that convince the human that there must be a grand design behind all this creation.

 

PHYSICAL LAWS

The physical laws such as the law of gravity accurately describe phenomena that appear complicated and very detailed. They serve as a reminder that the empirical world is simple and straightforward running on a few basic principles and paradigms. They serve as a basis for predictability of empirical phenomena. They explain the consistency, repetition, parity, symmetry, harmony, co-ordination, and purposive ness of physical phenomena in the universe. Even apparent differences and exceptions follow some fixed laws. The purpose of all scientific investigation is to find these laws, understand them, and use them for the benefit of humans.

 

ORDER

The universe is orderly, systematic, harmonious, and predictable. The human body in its gross and microscopic anatomy is a reflection of a high level of order. There is organizational order in all physiological functions. Existence of orderly relationships is the basis of medical treatment. If the chemical reactions were not predictable and orderly, each instance of disease would require new research to discover the right medicine for it. Scientific research would not be possible if there was no order in the universe. The universe has a stable state to which it returns after temporary disturbances. This state is referred to as homeostasis in physiology.

 

CHANGE:

Only the Creator is permanent. Everything else changes continuously abd change is a constant phenomenon in the universe. Changes are regulated and are co-ordinated. They follow a system. Changes are not chaotic. They follow a fixed predictable order.

 

BALANCE and EQUILIBRIUM

Even with changes the universe maintains a balance or equilibrium which is the average or the normal expectation. The law of action and reaction is necessary to restore and maintain order. Being objective allows humans to maintain order. Minimizing changes and maintaining constancy is desirable in some physical phenomena in order to maintain order. The Creator allows changes because rigid constancy would not allow response and adjustment to changing circumstances.

Professor Omar Hasan Kasule Sr. August 2006