On the Vatican Observatory Faith and Science pages there is a really cool entry that readers of The Catholic Astronomer should take a look at. The entry consists of an excerpt from the Tahāfut al-falāsifa, or The Incoherence of the Philosophers, of Abu Hāmid Muhammad Ibn Muhammad al-Tūsi al-Ghazālī. (The excerpt is fully downloadable in PDF format.) Al-Ghazālī, who lived in the eleventh century, is one of medieval Islam’s best-known religious intellectuals.
Al-Ghazālī says that disputing matters of science on the basis of religious texts or ideology is a waste of time. Moreover, he says the atheists love it when people of faith do such things, because, he says, “then the atheist’s path for refuting religion becomes easy”. He says that once something is scientifically well-established (for example, the mechanism by which eclipses occur), then
whoever inspects them and is convinced by their evidence, deriving for himself information about the extent, times of occurrence, and duration of these two kinds of eclipses—and who then is told that this is contrary to religion—will grow suspect of religion, not of science.
Al-Ghazālī notes that people who defend religion badly do more damage to religion than even those who attack religion effectively!
Click here for Al-Ghazālī – from The Incoherence of the Philosophers, on the Vatican Observatory Faith and Science pages. It is worth a look!