Q: How is it related to the Big Bang Theory?
Dr. Shabir: The Big Bang Theory basically proposes that some 14 billion years ago the universe started out as a massive explosion from basically a “singularity”.
It was a thought in 1964, proposed by Peter Higgs, that there must have been in the few seconds following that Big Bang the existence of these particles, and hence it came to be called the Higgs boson, that would have given mass to other particles that did not have mass.
Q: What do you think are the implications of this discovery?
Dr. Shabir: This discovery helps to solidify and explain one of the aspects of the “Standard Model”, the theory of the expansion of the universe from the initial Big Bang explosion, but in terms of religion, I see it’s a confirmation of what we’ve always believed.
We believe that God created everything out of nothing and this is a theory that helps to explain how this could have been physically possible.
Scientists are explaining things looking at it from the physical perspective, and religion explains things by looking at it from the spiritual perspective. From the physical side, things are explained it terms of atoms and subatomic particles, such as Bosons. But from the spiritual perspective, things are explained by including God, and saying that “God did it this way. God created the universe.”
So the faith perspective says that God created the universe, while the scientific perspective is explaining the manner in which the universe was created, regardless of who created it, or whether there is a “who” to begin with.
Q: So you think there is no contradiction there between science and religion?
Dr. Shabir: No, to me they are two alternative ways of looking at the same thing, like the two sides of the same coin, and to me the person of religion looks at it from both sides, now as a scientist and now as a faith believer, and scientists only look at it from one side.
Of course, the scientist himself could be a faith believer, and the scientist can, when he’s not in the midst of explaining to a scientific community what his findings imply, whether in a church or a mosque, be explaining the same thing but from a spiritual perspective, and say “these findings of mine help to confirm in a way my belief in God.”
Q: Some people might say, “Well, this sort of shows the irrelevance of God. So, what do we need God for?”
Dr. Shabir: Science can only explain how these particles interact with each other. But, how for example do we get the scientific law that explains this interaction, whether it be Bosons or Protons or Photons or Electrons or whatever subatomic particles we’re speaking about?
They all operate according to some pre-defined scientific laws. That does not come from the mode of nowhere. This is embedded in the universe.
You look at a triangle and you can describe it by saying, the square of the hypotenuse of a right angle triangle is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides. That’s a property of the triangle by itself, but how did such a mathematically precise property emerge? And this is not only a triangle; this is like embedded in the entire universe.
Things are working according to precise scientific laws, and things happen in a predictable and routine manner as if they’re following a program that was there before even the existence of these subatomic particles.
From the perspective of faith, this is easily understandable. God is the source of all of this direction of the universe.
The Qur’an says: [Who created and proportioned. And Who destined and [then] guided]. (Surat Al A’la: 83:2-3). He created and fashioned and He determined how things are going to operate.
Q: Should individuals of faith, be just as excited about this discovery as scientists are?
Dr. Shabir: Of course, the discovery was propelled by scientific interests, not so much by faith interests. For the faith believer, one rests assured that God created the universe without necessarily needing to know how. Nevertheless, believers can be excited about this, as lay people are excited about any sort of discovery. As lay persons are now excited about this as a modern phenomenon, something that really makes the news as result from a massive endeavor, $10 billion of investment, many years of research, labor from some of our top scientists in the world, and the Large Hadron Collider which has been dug under several countries used as atoms smasher; all of this has suddenly led to something.
It’s an exciting discovery in that we do have some results from that massive scientific endeavor. I think everybody should be excited about this, that our knowledge of the world and its origins is increasing as it goes, and the more we develop science, the more we are able to cooperate with God in doing the things that He desires to be done in our world.
Q: Thanks for that Dr. Shabir.
Watch the full interview with Dr. Shabir Ally:
This article is from our archive, originally published on an earlier date, and now republished for its importance.Pages: 1 2