Imām al-Saʿdī (رحمه الله) wrote a book explaining that Islām and its knowledge-based sciences have incorporated all worldly goodness and benefit and that sound and beneficial worldly sciences come within those sciences, there being no clash between Islāmic sciences and sound worldly sciences. This is contrary to what is claimed by the people of ignorance and of disbelief. The religion of Islām has directed mankind to every type of beneficial knowledge related to the world or the Hereafter.
The “scientific method” is a sequential, systematic and beneficial way of studying what is called the “natural world”, which Is the creation of Allāḥ. In this entry, we explain what the scientific method is, its correct application, its scope and limitations and how it is simply a tool, not truth in itself, which can be used for good but which can also be abused to deceive, disadvantage or harm people, in their knowledge, beliefs and/or beneficial interests.
Science—(sciens, scio means “to know”)—is any system of knowledge that is concerned with the physical world and its phenomena and which entails unbiased observations and systematic experimentation. Science confines itself to claims which are fully defined, unambiguous, testable, measurable and repeatable. In the scientific method, all events have causes.
01 The entire modern-day scientific enterprise developed out of the desire of believers in a Creator to understand the workings of creation. This enterprise has to assume order, regularity, contrivance and some degree of meaning and purposefulness in what is being studied.
Biochemist and cell-physiologist, Gilbert Ling writes:
For a long time, most practicing scientists shared the belief that the set of step-by-step procedures to find truth called the Scientific Method was invented in the West. In fact, this belief is totally wrong. The Scientific Method was invented by an Arab, Ibn al-Haytham or (its Latinized version) Alhacen, who lived in the Islamic Golden Age between 965 and 1040 (Alhacen 2013.) The West did not adopt the Scientific Method until the post-renaissance or early modern period. And then wrongly attributed its invention to Galileo Galilee, Rene Descartes, Robert Boyle and others.
The more organized truth-seeking that followed the adoption of Scientific Method has been known as modern science (or simply science)—to be distinguished from the earlier disorganized intellectual effort called natural philosophy. A unique gift that the Scientific Method has given to modern science is a way of experimentally falsifying a hypothesis. Nothing like it had existed before.
By making it possible to determine if one's own hypothesis or that from others has validity, the Scientific Method had also transformed the search for truth from one of isolated individual activities to the cooperative activities of an open-ended group of individuals or groups of individuals worldwide.
02 Science is a process of assembling an interconnected structure of descriptive claims about how nature works. It is defined as the process by which scientists, collectively and over time, endeavor to construct an accurate, reliable and consistent representation of the world. The goal of the scientific method is to ascertain the presumed cause of an effect.
The scientific method is employed to investigate apparent material cause-effect relationships within and between natural phenomena with a view to developing mechanism theories through observation, hypothesis, experimentation, logic and inference. All scientific knowledge must be based on observation and must have empirical foundations, meaning, that which is fundamentally based on, concerned with, or verifiable by observation or experience rather than speculation, theory or pure logic.
Theories which cannot be tested do not qualify as scientific theories.
Astronomy, Theoretical Physics, Epidemiology, Cosmology, Evolutionary Biology, Anthropology, by way of example, are not "sciences" because they do not involve the scientific method.
03 There is no such things as "The Science", because this word simply means "knowledge", and all we have is a method for the systematic study of what is called "nature" (creation). Thus, statements such as "I trust the Science", "I believe in Science", "I follow Science" come from ignorant people. What you can say is "The current status of knowledge or understanding of this phenomenon, or process is such and such..." Science is a method that deals in cause-effect relationships.
Science is a tool, just like a gun, knife, saw, hammer and screwdriver. Tools do not comprise truth, they are used by people with different intentions and for different purposes. Just as one man may use a gun to rob a store, another may use it to defend himself or others. In the same way, the method of science can be used to pursue and disseminate truth or to conceal, distort or obfuscate it. Intentions, motives and integrity determine how the method is used.
The word "science" is commonly used and brandished to support claims, without knowledge or understanding as to what it really is. The word "science" is not synonymous with "truth" and "fact."
04 In the scientific method, cause-effect relationships are determined and verified through the generation of hypotheses based on observation of phenomena. The phenomena being studied are actions, processes, interactions, and not just mere entities on their own. Observation is the collection of carefully authenticated and verified facts describing a phenomenon or group of phenomena. A general proposition is made in which a common causal connection or relationship between these facts is stated, and this is the hypothesis.
05 These hypotheses are then rigorously and systematically tested through repeat experimentation involving manipulation of what is called the independent variable, or the presumed cause. Through repeat application of the scientific method over time, a more and more accurate working knowledge of the phenomena being studied is gained.
06 A key feature of the scientific method is devising and performing experiments to confirm or reject the hypothesis by incorporating falsification. “The criterion of the scientific status of a theory is its falsifiability, or refutability, or testability.” These experiments must be empirical and inferences derived from them must be devoid of logical fallacies.
07 The word "theory" has a specific meaning in relation to the scientific method and is different to the common meaning of the word. When a hypothesis has been verified and validated, the understanding of that phenomenon then becomes a theory. You cannot have a "scientific theory" without validation of a hypothesis, or a collection of hypotheses.
08 Ambiguity detracts from the scientific nature of a claim or hypothesis. There must be zero ambiguity, or close to zero ambiguity. In the field of science, before any idea is claimed to be a theory, all ambiguity must be removed. Words, terms and phrases that have more than one meaning are ambiguous. "My car is better than yours" is ambiguous because "better" can mean so many things. "My car is faster than your car" is better, but still has ambiguity as "fast" can also mean different things such as top speed, acceleration, and speed when turning.
A nearly unambiguous claim is:
"My Ferrari 250 GTO can accelerate faster from 0 to 60 mph in a straight line than your BMW 5 Series on the Formula One race circuit in the Italian autodrome."
This hypothesis can be tested empirically because it has been stated clearly without any ambiguity or wanting in detail. Non-ambiguity is the main distinction between a scientific claim and science-fiction.
09 An important point: Pseudoscience is defined as beliefs or practices mistakenly treated as being based on the scientific method. This is a very good yardstick with which to judge how many of todays "sciences" are actually based on the scientific method and thus true sciences.
From the modern-day pseudosciences are "man-made global warming", "climate change" and "virology". Effects are turned into causes and models and simulations on computer are used to make forecasts and predictions or to generate theoretical Darwinian variants (scariants).
There is no implementation of the scientific method, only sleight of hand techniques in manipulation of data or in experimental procedures, as is the case with virology.
10 The claim that the "scientific method" is the only way to establish truth and fact is false. For this claim to be true, we would have to demonstrate that it satisfies itself. Meaning, has this claim been validated by the scientific method itself? When was this done? Where are the experiments following the steps of the scientific method proving that the only way to establish truth and facts, to arrive at knowledge, is by the scientific method? This claim cannot meet its own requirements, and thus it is false. Truth and fact can be known through other means, besides the scientific method.
11 The scientific method is distinct from the philosophy or religion known as "Scientism" in which it is claimed that science is the only route to knowledge and truth and can provide all the answers and solutions to all of life's questions, problems, including issues of ethics and morals. Scientism is a religion of Illuminists and Techno-feudalists. They believe that through science and technology, they will eventually discover secrets of immortality, as well as "hacking" and controlling nature (biology), allowing them thereby to become lords and gods over people. This is the religion of Freemasonry, these people are the worshippers and allies of Iblīs whom they consider the light-bearer (Lucifer), the revealer of hidden knowledge which the Creator kept from mankind.
12 "Science" can and has been captured by money-power and turned into a cartel and a dictatorship. US President Eisenhower warned of this decades ago:
Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.
Writing in "The Architecture of Modern Political Power" Daniel Pouzzner details the tactics used by the rich and powerful to maintain their dominance over decades and centuries, from them is:
Ostensible control over the knowable by marketing institutionally accredited science as the only path to true understanding.
Control over what is knowable has long been recognised as one of the greatest tools of power, greater than weapons such as guns and bombs. This is how the rich and powerful (sometimes presenting as "philanthropists") get away, literally, with wealth extraction from nations, embezzlement, fraud, even murder and other crimes, by disguising and marketing what they claim and what they do as "the Science", when it is in reality bought and paid for science, not genuine science.
01 For example: If sea voyagers repeatedly fall sick on long sea journeys and show symptoms of bleeding gums, and impaired skin and hair, and frequently die, we can suspect numerous causes and generate hypothesis statements. So here we have made an observation and would proceed to make a hypothesis.
02 We might say it is diet related and say:
Vitamin C is vital for the production of collagen and its integrity in humans. Vitamin C deficiency, therefore, will cause the symptoms of this disease, scurvy.
This is the hypothesis statement.
This is a testable statement.
If it is not testable in the real world, it is not real science.
03 To check whether this hypothesis is true or false, we have to conduct an experiment and then repeat it many times to get consistent and reliable data. Then we have to make logical analysis with sound reasoning to interpret the results correctly.
04 We have all the ingredients of the scientific method:
—Observation (of a phenomenon)
—Hypothesis: a statement that we can test and falsify.
—Testability: must be testable.
—Empiricism: must involve experimentation.
—Repetition, experimental results must be repeated.
—Sound, valid reasoning: for correct interpretation of the results/data.
05 We create two hypotheses which are opposites to each other, they are mutually contradictory and mirror images of each other:
—Null hypothesis: The lack of Vitamin C during long sea voyages will not cause scurvy.
—Alternative hypothesis: The lack of Vitamin C during long sea voyages will cause scurvy.
05 In our experiment, our aim is to falsify the null hypothesis and to prove the alternative hypothesis. This is the goal of every experiment in the scientific method of inquiry.
06 Vitamin C is an independent variable (the cause) in our experience which we will manipulate, meaning include it and exclude it. The disease called scurvy is the dependent variable (effect) whose connection to the cause is being tested. We also introduce controls into the experiment to make sure our results are reliable and are actually testing for the specific cause-effect relationship we are interested in and not confounded by other factors. Without controls everything is invalid.
01 So we will prepare two ships, each with 500 people of similar age, background and health status, and this is the aspect of control in our experiment. We are making sure other factors are not at play in producing the effect, and that we are isolating the variable that we are specifically testing for, the independent variable or the presumed cause.
02 In one ship, they are given provisions which are devoid of Vitamin C or have extremely neligible amounts. They will go on a month’s journey across the ocean to another continent. The second ship is given a very large supply of oranges, lemons, limes and the likes, or Vitamin C powder, sachets or tablets. They are told to consume a certain amount on a daily basis.
The rest of the diet is the same on both ships. They will leave at the same time, through the same route, so that they experience the same conditions at sea. So here we are controlling all other factors to make sure that we are isolating the independent factor in the experiment, which is the Vitamin C intake.
Then, our assistants on the other side of the ocean check the travellers on both ships for scurvy and its symptoms. From the data if there is a significant difference, such that on the first ship, 50% got scurvy and in the second ship, only 5% got scurvy for example, then we have falsified the null hypothesis and proven our alternative hypothesis.
However, we would have to repeat this experiment a certain number of times to make sure we get consistent results and to account for any other possible confounding factors we may not have considered.
03 From here, we can then establish a cause-effect relationship by making an “if—then” statement. “If there is Vitamin C deficiency, then scurvy will result.” So we have established a cause-effect relationship in a phenomenon that was repeatedly observed. Now, further hypotheses can be generated to keep exploring and investigating more and more aspects of the phenomenon if needed.
Through the above, we have given you the anatomy of the scientific method through an example and explained the basic terminology.
Contrary to what is claimed, the common people can very easily distinguish science from pseudoscience. The claim that there are very clever people who can say things that can't be understood or questioned by others is not true. The scientific method is easily grasped, and when scientific claims are made, it is fairly straightforward to ascertain whether these claims were verified and proven by the correct application of the scientific method.
You can ask anyone who makes “scientific” claims for the evidence they based it on.
01 Ask them: "Where can I see or read about the physical, real-world experiments that were done to justify this claim?" Ask them for the independent and dependent variables. Ask them to define exactly what they mean by the words and phrases they are using. Point out any ambiguities.
02 Ask them what the controls were, if any, and how the cause-effect relationship was proven through proper isolation of the independent variable, and how all confounding factors were eliminated in the experiments.
03 Likewise, ask whether it was repeated and confirmed by others, and if the interpretation of the data is subjective or objective, is based on sound reasoning and logical principles and so on.
04 Likewise, you can ask for all the assumptions that have been made in the experiment and which have not themselves been verified through the scientific method. A lot of the deception in the use of scientific studies and claims, in astronomy, or evolution, or other fields, is hidden right here, where lots of assumptions have been made, but not fully disclosed in reporting and interpretation.
01 There are some problems and limitations to the scientific method which are acknowledged and discussed in the philosophy of science. These include the problem of induction and the use of logical fallacies such as affirming the consequent. Also, predictions, rather than falsification tests are given emphasis. This is because theories are much more vulnerable to falsification tests and can be invalidated by a single test. On the other hand, they can be propped up by hundreds of successful predictions. Conjectural cosmology and evolution beliefs rely heavily upon the affirming the consequent logical fallacy in the field of prediction testing.
02 Induction is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as: “The process of inferring a general law or principle from the observation of particular instances.” In inductive reasoning, generalisations are made from a limited number of observations. There is a movement from the specific to the general. As a result, inductive reasoning is susceptible to false conclusions.
03 Science and the Fallacy of Affirming the Consequent
To illustrate this fallacy consider the following argument:
- If P (it is raining) is true [the condition], then Q (it is wet) is true [the consequent].
- P (it is raining) is true [affirm the condition].
- Therefore Q (it is wet) is true [affirm the consequent].
- If P (it is raining) is true, then Q (it is wet).
- Q (it is wet) is true [affirming the consequent first].
- Therefore P (it is raining) [affirm the condition].
If you affirm the consequent Q (it is wet), the condition P (it is raining) is not necessarily true because the ground being wet can have many other explanations besides rain. This is the most common logical error in evolution and cosmology beliefs and is the route through which non-scientific conjectures are foisted upon people as “facts”.
Here is an illustration of the fallacy:
- If I eat pizza I will feel full (this is the antecedent, hypothesis).
- Let me test my hypothesis by checking whether I feel full or not. - Yes, I feel full (the consequent, the test result).
- Therefore, I ate pizza (my conclusion, validating my hypothesis).
This reasoning is fallacious because I am claiming to have eaten pizza simply by affirming that I feel full, but without having empirically proven this through direct observation or evidence. I have not proven anywhere that my instance of feeling full was uniquely tied to consumption of pizza exclusive to other foods such that feeling full can be used to support the claim of having specifically eaten pizza. I have assumed that feeling full necessarily follows from eating pizza exclusive to other foods. Rather, feeling full can be due to consumption of a range of other things besides pizza, such as a steak, or a large sandwich.
04 It would be useful to illustrate how this fallacy is used in cosmology and evolution.
In cosmology: If the Big Bang is true, we should see cosmic background radiation. We have detected cosmic background radiation permeating the universe. Therefore, the Big Bang is true. The error here is that detection of background radiation permeating the universe does not prove the Big Bang as other explanations are plausible which have not been exhausted and empirically ruled out. Further, no empirical evidence has been shown that the Big Bang is actually true.
In evolution: If biological evolution (natural selection acting on random mutations in DNA) is true, we should see homology (physical and genetic similarities in biological organisms). We see homology. Therefore, natural selection acting on random mutations in DNA is true. No empirical proof has been established here that natural selection acting on random mutations actually produced the homology. It is simply being asserted through a logical fallacy and the claim has not been empirically proven.
The two illustrations above are textbook logical fallacy arguments. In both these cases it is proposed that background radiation was caused by the Big Bang and homology is caused by natural selection acting on random mutations (the antecedents, the hypotheses or predictions), and then the detection of background radiation and observance of homology (the consequents, the test findings) are used to prove the causal effect, when in fact, no causal effect has been proven at all and no empirical evidence has been presented for the hypothesis whatsoever. It is assumed by simply “affirming the consequent”, a logical fallacy. There could be other explanations, none of which are eliminated by the reasoning in this logical fallacy.
Prediction testing is relied upon heavily in the scientific method, especially in conjectural sciences such as cosmology and evolution whilst falsification tests (of the primary axioms and core elements of these theories) are never carried out.
One can make a hundred successful predictions (through the use of the affirming the consequent logical fallacy) but a single falsification of the primary axiom or core theoretical element can render the entire theory false and obsolete. Evolutionists and cosmologists mischaracterise their theories or reframe them when it comes to falsification tests, to avoid falsifying the primary axiom(s) that everything rests upon.
Much of what is alleged to be science relies exclusively on prediction testing in order to validate hypotheses or theories. Coupled with the fallacy of affirming the consequent, this approach can lead people to believing things which are far removed from actual reality, while deceiving themselves all along that they are gaining more and more certainty.
05 Science, as in the scientific method of inquiry, is not the private domain or monopoly of any one individual, scientist, body, institution or government. As this pertains to the beneficial interests of mankind and is universal in its scope, no one can claim to "have" and "own" the science, and all claims are subject to scrutiny, falsification and invalidation. Ultimately, it is the evidence that remains supreme.
In a way, it is a bit like the science of validating and authentic Prophetic traditions and reports (ʿilm al-ḥadīth). There is an objective standard and set of criteria through which all claims (of authenticity) can be evaluated. This science is not owned by anybody, by no individual, institution or government, and criticism, scrutiny is an ongoing affair. This ensures error and falsehood continue to be eliminated from our knowledge and understanding.
However, keeping in mind what was mentioned earlier, control over what is knowable brings with it tremendous power as it allows falsification of reality, among other things. There was a time when enough people were independently doing science, using the scientific method, to enable claims and theories to be scrutinized and evaluated. However, since that time a monopoly system has been erected, where philosophy, ideology, business and profits determine the nature of "scientific truth". "Science" is mostly in the hands of money power, which in turn controls business, education and politics.
06 Thus, one has to remain highly skeptical about the "accepted science" in various fields of knowledge. In fact, rigorous skepticism is actually a fundamental component of the scientific method itself. Tibbetts writes in "How the Great Scientists Reasoned", under the chapter heading.
Elements of Scientific Thinking: Skepticism, Careful Reasoning, and Exhaustive Evaluation Are All Vital
Skepticism has an even more important role to play than helping us unravel deliberate lies; it arms us to question the honest errors that are so lamentably prevalent in the books, newspapers, electronic media, and the well-meaning words we hear every day. A careful researcher quickly learns that even the scientific literature, despite heroic efforts of editors, reviewers, and authors, is filled with oversimplifications, overgeneralizations, and mistakes.
A healthy skepticism is the necessary forerunner of truth. The fields cannot be sown with productive crops unless the worthless weeds are first uprooted.
07 Further to the above, the famous physicist and scientist Richard Feynman said:
As a matter of fact, I can also define science another way: Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts. When someone says, “Science teaches such and such,” he is using the word incorrectly. Science doesn’t teach anything; experience teaches it. If they say to you, “Science has shown such and such,” you might ask, “How does science show it? How did the scientists find out? How? What? Where?” It should not be “science has shown” but “this experiment, this effect, has shown.” And you have as much right as anyone else, upon hearing about the experiments–but be patient and listen to all the evidence–to judge whether a sensible conclusion has been arrived at.
08 Paul Feyerabend, one of the most influential philosophers of science in the 20th century, said:[ref]In his book "Against Method" (viii, 3rd edition).
...science should be taught as one view among many and not as the one and only road to truth and reality.
In his book, Feyerabend presents the argument that there are no universally valid methodological rules for scientific inquiry. Shaykh al-Islām Ibn Taymiyyah (رحمه الله) said something similar in relation to evidence and argument in his refutation of the logicians and philosophers. He said that what constitutes evidence does not lie in any one particular thing or form of argument. He explained the error of the logicians when they claimed that truth can only be decided by and is restricted to a particular method or form of argument.