Islam and Science

CIMS COnvention 2021 item 5: islam and science

2nd-3rd October

In the late morning of the second day, the convention hosted a presentation from The University of Birmingham’s Dr. Stephen H. Jones.

Dr. Jones presented a paper on ‘Islam and Science’, which drew on previous research on perceptions of evolution by the research team for the project ‘Science and Religion: Exploring the Spectrum’, as well as new research being conducted on views of Islam and science among Muslim religious leaders. He spoke about the findings of a survey of British Muslims on science and evolution, highlighting that British Muslims are marginally more likely to identify with science than the wider British public but remain both sceptical and uncertain about biological evolution. Muslims’ evolution scepticism varies significantly depending on how questions are asked, while they are also considerably more likely to suggest that they do not know how to respond.

Following this, the presentation gave way to a discussion about if, and how, Islamic scholars should engage with science. The conversation was lively, with a range of views on varied subjects including how Dar al-Ulums and similar institutions should bridge the gap between teaching science and teaching Islamic history and beliefs, and whether the study of science and the natural world can be regarded as a form of worship (ibadat). Dr Jones’s project will be running from 2021 to 2023 and he will be researching these questions with colleagues from the University of Birmingham and Cardiff University.

Dr. Stephen H Jones a sociologist specialising in the study of Islam and Muslims in the UK and religious and non-religious publics’ perceptions of science. His research has focused on themes including Islam and liberalism; Islamophobia in contemporary Britain; Muslims’ perceptions of science; and religious diversity and inclusion in STEMM institutions and disciplines.

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