Questionable Motives

February 7, 2010

How compatible is the Koran with medical knowledge?

Filed under: Argument,belief,Faith,God,Islam,Medicine,Religion,Science — tildeb @ 4:51 am

The Koran gives the heart functions now known to belong to the brain, such as an organ of psyche, intelligence, and emotion, as well as an important body of the organ that can be harmed such as [by] exhibiting thrombi. Many who use the Koran as an authority but wish to compromise the literal meaning of its writings with contrary scientific knowledge call this description of the heart metaphorical, but I suspect that the writers of the Koran did not think of it as metaphorical at all. In other words, the Koran, like the Bible, is a potpourri of sense and nonsense, fact and fiction, history and allegory. Many religious believers, it seems, cannot tell the difference, but will insist that in spite of glaring evidence to the contrary, this text is truth. And that is why the conclusion from this article found in the respectable International Journal of cardiology is so bizarre:

As new advances in technology and medicine continue
to grow at an exponential rate today, there is time to reflect and
appreciate the Islamic contribution to medicine. It is for this reason
that the discoveries and medical revelations in Qur’an should not be
ignored or forgotten

The editors of medical journals should know better than to allow their publications to pander to religious beliefs in matters of medical science. This apologetic article allowed into a reputable scientific journal continues to represent the ongoing assault on science by those who wish to support archaic religious beliefs. Sacrificing medical knowledge in order to uphold these islamic texts is too high a price to pay. So, too, is sacrificing professional integrity. It must stop because contrary claims between faith and knowledge are not compatible when in conflict: one is right and one is wrong.  (Borrowed in part from a similar review over at Panda’s Thumb)

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