Posted by anon (184.108.40.206) on February 20, 2002 at 11:13:14:
In Reply to: LAWH-I-HIKMAT (Tablet of Wisdom) posted by Munir A. Qureshi on February 19, 2002 at 10:45:39:
Some thoughts about the Lawh-i-Hikmat, and whether or not modern scientists are inspired by God. And, as to why Baha'u'llah didn't describe other scientists as masters of knowledge. And, if Aristotle was so great, why did his theories get thrown out by scientists that came after him?
First off, prove to me, if you can, that modern scientists are not inspired by God. How can we possibly know, even if we are the scientists themselves, that we are not being inspired? It is impossible to say that modern science isn't inspired by God. And, think about this: If God created us, why did He create us with a brain and a way of gaining knowledge? He created science, for us to discover the hidden mysteries inshrined in all things. In that way, we draw closer to Him. I'm doing my degree in Biochemistry, I'll tell you right now, not a day goes by that some aspect of the science, whether it be protein folding, the mechanisms of metabolism, or the ideas of free energy and transition states, doesn't fascinate me and make me contemplate the complexity and seeming "order" in the biochemical universe. Indeed, in Genetics class one day, a friend of mine (who is not a Baha'i) commented as to how ordered and structured everything that we had learned seemed to be. This reminded me of statements from Baha'u'llah and Abdul'Baha along the same vein.
And, as to why Baha'u'llah didn't describe other scientists, such as Galileo or Kepler as great masters of knowledge: Does anyone realize how many scientists there are in the world today? Does anyone know (without going to the website) how many scientists have won the Nobel Prize since its inception? Does the general public know names such as Merrifield, Avery, Boltzmann, Heisenberg... the list goes on and on. The truth is, there are thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of extremely gifted and intelligent scientists and "masters of knowledge" out there. Baha'u'llah, I believe, in his Tablet, was mentioning those masters of knowledge that both the recipient of the Tablet, as well as the general readership of His time, would know and could understand. Persia in the 19th century was in such a sad state of affairs that I doubt scientific progress was very alive at the time. And I doubt that many of the readership would have known much about scientists that are, by Western standards, famous.
And, one other thing I'd like to address: If Aristotle was so great, why did he receive so many accolades from Baha'u'llah? And, Kepler disproved Aristotle, why wasn't Kepler mentioned in the Tablet? I think i've already answered the second part of that in the previous paragraph. But, as to why Aristotle is even mentioned when his theories were debunked... keep in mind what science actually is. Science is a process of learning. It is constant theorizing, experimentation, learning, trial and error, making a statement, learning more a few years down the road, changing the statement, learning more, throwing out the statement, learning more, making a new statement.... THIS is science. Newton's laws stood the test of time for centuries, until folks like Planck and Einstein came along. For the purposes of this Tablet, Baha'u'llah isn't praising Aristotle for proposing a theory we still hold true today. He praised him because the knowledge he received was gained through the influence (possibly almost direct influece) of the Prophet of God. This is Baha'u'llah's theme in this Tablet, is it not? Baha'u'llah praises scientific investigation and knowledge. And, since Baha'u'llah wanted to show that our knowledge comes from the Divine, He used a few examples (good, solid examples) as evidence. This is my understanding of the Tablet. I could be way off the mark, as I am typing this without having had time to think and contemplate... but, I digress.
OK, i've said more than enough :) Take care...
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