Is ‘There is no science where there is religion and there is no religion where there is science’ an urban legend?

DOI : https://doi.org/10.32739/uha.id.44374

President of Üsküdar University, Psychiatrist Prof. Nevzat Tarhan met with students at Çapa Science High School. Prof. Nevzat Tarhan gave an interview titled "Faith and Science" and expressed that the approach ‘There is no science where there is religion and there is no religion where there is science’ is an old urban legend derived from pure materialism. Tarhan pointed out that science is a process, not a situation; “Science is not stable, it is on the road, it is a process.” Emphasizing that the belief that best describes rational belief, which is one of the 4 ways that lead people to the truth, is the belief in monotheism, Tarhan stated that it becomes easier to find the truth by using reasoning methods.

Tarhan received great interest from students in the interview held in the Çapa Science High School conference hall.

“If you look at things from a bird's eye view, you will see everything”

President of Üsküdar University, Psychiatrist Prof. Nevzat Tarhan reminded that religious sciences and physical sciences are not rivals but complements of each other. Tarhan stated that “The approach ‘There is no science where there is religion and there is no religion where there is science’ is an old urban legend of materialism. There is currently no scientific equivalent to this. It was proven after quantum physics was introduced. After quantum physics, it was understood that sciences are a whole. Every science is a whole. There is even a slightly categorized form of the integrity of the sciences. If you do not look closely at religious sciences and physical sciences right now, you cannot understand them. There is a saying: 'Looking from a military helicopter'. If you look at the events from a bird's eye view, you will see everything."

“What we call matter is concentrated energy.”

Pointing out that postmaterialist science has begun, Prof. Nevzat Tarhan emphasized that the universe is energy-based. Tarhan expressed that “Materialism was explaining it, but now it has been understood that the universe is not matter-based, but energy-based. Now it is said that the universe is actually digital-based. There is no such thing as matter, what we call matter is concentrated energy. Previously, it was said 'Digital is everything.' Now it is said 'Everything is digital.' We are digital too. We are subjective observers. What we call matter exists when we look at it; however, it does not exist when we do not look at it. When we look at it, it is a particle, when we do not look, it is a mountain. We are matter when we look at the moment, but when we do not look, when our consciousness is lost, we are energy. Quantum says so. What we call matter is just the window through which we look. In fact, we live in a universe other than matter. What we call the world and the universe is a simulation."

“Science is a process, not a situation”

Pointing out that science is not static, Tarhan emphasized that science is a process. Tarhan said that “Science is a process, not a situation. New discoveries occur, we reach new information, and we reconstruct old information with that information. Science is not stable, it is on the road, and it is a process. According to the information we have at the moment, we are telling the truth. There is Mevlana's 'Allegory of the Elephant Description of the Blind'. There they put the blind people next to the elephant and say, 'Describe the elephant.' Someone says 'It is like a long hose. Other person says ‘It is like a sail’ because the person is holding the ear...’ They all describe it, in fact, what they all say is true. However, when you look at it from a different perspective, it is not the truth. It is true but it is not the truth because we are trying to understand the universe with our little minds. According to quantum physics, matter existed first and information emerged dialectically from it. In other words, it was told that a cause and effect relationship had emerged, but in quantum physics, first there is information and a universal database. After the universal database there is mathematics and computing. After that, there is design, energy, physics. Then there is matter, chemistry, biology. Therefore, there is no project without information. A building cannot be built without knowledge. First, we need information. Currently, we call it information according to quantum physics. It is said that because digital is the one that explains that information best at the moment."

“The belief in monotheism is the most rational belief at the moment.”

Talking about the four basic ways that lead people to the truth, Prof. Nevzat Tarhan said that the first of these is experiment and observation, the second is reasoning methods, the third is rational intuition and the fourth is rational belief. Tarhan stated that “The first is experiment and observation, the laboratory. Secondly, there are reasoning methods such as reduction, induction, modal logic, you find antipathy. This is how theoretical physics and theoretical biology emerged. Thus, you theorize, then you say prove. Thirdly, rational intuition. For example, Newton discovered his apple with rational intuition. There are three apples that have influenced humanity in history. One is Adam's apple, the other is Newton's apple, the third is Apple's apple... Questions and decisions in the universe change according to the new information of time. To find the truth in the universe, human beings have embarked on a journey, and this person must also reason. The fourth is rational belief. There are 4 thousand 300 religions. It is said that 'An external power, a higher consciousness, is needed.” 'There is external will, invisible reality,'. The belief in monotheism, which I try to write about in my books, is the most rational belief now.”

“The one who created this universe is not from the species of this universe.”

Mentioning Surah Al-Ikhlas as evidence of Tawhid, Prof. Tarhan stated that “We are saying that it cannot be from the species of the universe that created this universe. For example, you say, "Make a cake." When I asked, 'Who made the cake?', the baker did this and that. If you say, 'So who made the baker?', well, the baker is not a type of cake. The creator of this universe is not from the species of this universe, it is a separate species. Therefore, the best definition of this is that it is unique, not being born, and extraordinary, everything needs that creator, but the creator does not need anything. This is something defined in the Surah Al-Ikhlas. This is the evidence of monotheism in the Holy Quran. It is the most important surah in terms of explaining Tawhid. Therefore, if we want to understand this universe, if we want to understand the creator, what quality should the creator have? If we want to understand with our minds, we say that such an entity can only be the creator.”

“Finding the truth becomes easier with the method of reasoning”

Pointing out that the real truth can be found through reason, Prof. Tarhan stated that “Truth is not found through the five senses; however, it is found through reasoning. God gave man reason. He had many exams. If the stars in the sky wrote 'Allah is one' during the exam, it would not be an exam. Whether or not it is with one’s mind, but it will be noticed. A person who believes in the metaphor that this world is a test thinks, ‘If this world is a test, there must be a difference between those who find themselves with their minds and those who do not.’ We came from eternity and if we are going to eternity, if this world is also a test, there must be a separation between those who do good things and those who do bad things. Then this is very rational information. When you see the world as an exam, you understand the question of why evil exists. Therefore, when you act with the method of reasoning, it becomes easier to find the truth.”

“5% difference makes a person human…”

Explaining the need to believe with Maslow's pyramid of psychosocial needs, Prof. Tarhan expressed that “At its base, there are physiological needs such as eating, drinking, reproduction, and shelter. At the second level is the need for security, the need to love and be loved. After that, he put it at the top of the pyramid because of one’s need to realize himself, but later he changes the top of the pyramid and says 'Self-transcendence'. In other words, he says, the need to transcend oneself. The most important need of man is the need to transcend oneself. 4 genes in humans are being talked about. Metacognition genes. One of these metacognition genes is the novelty seeking gene. This gene is present in hyperactive people. Think of a bee, a spider, an ant, they build their nests the same way they built their nests a thousand years ago, but for the humans, the house of a year ago is not the same as the house of today because people have the gene of seeking innovation. The second gene is the search for meaning gene. No living creature other than humans searches for meaning. The third gene is the time perception gene. No living creature other than humans can perceive the past and future. For example, go to slaughterhouses. The animal will be slaughtered shortly. It continues to graze because it has no concept of time. There is no before and after. The fourth metacognition gene is the death detection gene. In other words, humans are the only beings who know that they will die. When we look at the genetic codes of chimpanzees and humans, they are 95 percent identical. There is a 5 percent difference between chimpanzee and human. This 5 percent difference makes a person human. It causes people to produce philosophy. It develops symbolic thinking, conceptual thinking, and abstract thinking skills. Humans have such genetics. All these people need to search for meaning. This need of humans does not exist in other living creatures."

“Humans seek to meet their unlimited needs.”

Emphasizing that religion is a psychosocial need of human being, Tarhan said that “Man's power, talents and intelligence are limited; however, one’s needs are unlimited. People seek to meet these unlimited needs because if a person has a need, this need creates desire in the person. If it arouses desire, it activates itself. It is the most important thing in the pyramid of needs. If you want to make a horse drink water, you cannot make it drink by hitting its head. If you make it thirsty, it will drink on its own. Humans also have such a need. Man has a need to search for meaning.”

“One needs a mental shelter”

Talking about tertiary psychotherapies, Tarhan said that “As one of the steps of tertiary psychotherapy, the person needs a mental shelter. We use it in trauma treatment. There are things that traumas can control, and there are things they cannot control. There are things one can afford, there are things one cannot afford. The feeling of being a part of a meaning, of being a part of a whole, of taking refuge in a mental shelter in things that one cannot control or cannot afford, consoles one. If there is no sense of being part of such a meaning, one becomes depressed. A person feels the need to commit suicide. Therefore, a person tends to create their own religion even if religion is not communicated to them im to meet the human need to search for meaning.”

At the end of the event, Çapa Science High School Principal Fatih Boyracı presented a plaque to Prof. Nevzat Tarhan.

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Üsküdar News Agency (ÜNA)