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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.
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.
The notion of worldview is where Islam's holistic view of the universe runs into conflict with the secular, materialistic, and reductionist notions of the natural world.
The latter is not science in any proper sense of the term but what some have called "scientism," an ideological construction of science as an alternative worldview.
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.When there was progress, it was despite Islam's religious dogmas, not because of them.Renan's quasi-racist attack was not an invitation for a conversation on religion and science or on Islam and Europe, but a verdict that was to generate a flurry of responses from several generations of Muslim scholars, scientists, and activists.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 as to whether Islam and science can be reconciled is not so much about science as it is about the unsubstantiated claims of scientism and its dubious philosophical arguments.The secularization of the world-picture has been one of the most important outcomes of the scientific revolution.Published in book form as L' Islam et la science, Renan's lecture was a triumphalist announcement of the final victory of Eurocentrism and its new scientistic worldview over the Muslim world and, in fact, the rest of the globe.Spearheaded by Jamal al-Din Afghani in Persia and Namik Kemal in the Ottoman Empire, Muslim men of letters took it upon themselves to respond to what they considered to be the distortion of modern science at the hands of some anti-religious philosophers, producing a sizable discourse on modern science and how it can be reconciled with Islamic faith.It is quite telling that a verse of the Qur'an is also called an ayah, i.e., sign.It deals with issues that are also studied by the natural sciences: creation, life, heavens and earth, animals, causality, order in nature, the argument from design, and the relation between the natural and human orders.