Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Two Islam and science related events in London next month

by Salman Hameed

There are two events in London next month that might be of interest to the readers here. One is a workshop titled, Islam and Science - a reasoned approach, for students and young researchers to be held from January 18th-20th. This is by invitation only and you have submit an application to get in. You can find out more information about the event here. It looks interesting and the workshop will be lead by a number of well known people in the field, including Nidhal Guessoum (you know him from Irtiqa as well), Jean Staune, Bruno Guiderdoni, Ehsan Masood and Dr. Usama Hasan:
This event will be the latest in a series of educational workshops that have previously been held in Algiers, Paris and other locations. A “reasoned approach” will be taken to Islam and Science: one that is well informed, balanced and constructive. The general themes of the workshop will be: Islam and the History & Philosophy of Science, Islam & Modern Physics/Cosmology, Islam & Modern Biology, Science & Islamic Ethics, Islam & New Paradigms of Science. The workshop will represent a unique opportunity for Muslim students and young researchers to discover the contemporary field of ‘science and religion’ through lectures by, and in-depth discussions with, internationally-recognised thinkers and experts in this field, including Prof. Nidhal Guessoum, Prof. Jean Staune, Prof. Bruno Guiderdoni, Ehsan Masood and Dr. Usama Hasan.
Also, if you are interested more specifically on the issue of Islam and evolution, then you can attend a conference on Have Muslims Misunderstood Evolution? on January 5th. This one includes a scientific and a theological session.  Dr. Usama Hasan will also be part of this, and it is fantastic that evolutionary biologist, Ehab Abouheif will also be there (he is an outstanding researcher and he also participated in the Boston Evolution and Islam event last month). However, it is unclear how much science will be in the scientific session, as one of the speakers is from the Harun Yahya group (wait - are there still people around who take Harun Yahya seriously??). Here are the details of the conference:

The Deen Institute proudly announces its first ‘Dialogue within Islam’ event. The conference titled: Have Muslims Misunderstood Evolution?, will for the first time in the UK, to witness prominent Muslims tackling the controversial topic of evolution in a public forum. 
“Dialogue within Islam” events seek to engage with challenging ideas of concern to Muslims, in a setting that allows for critical dialogue. 
Historically, Muslims have held conflicting opinions on the theory of evolution and whether science and Islamic theology share a point of convergence. In recent years, a polarised debate on the topic has left many Muslims confused as to what Islam does, or doesn’t say, about human evolution. 
The Deen Institute will therefore provide a platform to different viewpoints so that the topic might be debated and examined in an honest, respectful and tolerant environment.
The conference will elucidate the issue of human evolution from an Islamic viewpoint, in order to provide the audience with a clear understanding of the points of convergence between contemporary scientific theories and Islamic theology.
There you go. The next year is starting with a bang.

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