I remember reading the book (A Brief History of Time) when it was first published in 1988 and I found it fascinating and even enthralling. It inspired in me an awe towards the immenseness of the cosmos and the insignificance of human knowledge at the same time it awakened in me a pride in the courageous nature of humans that compels them to seek solutions, both philosophical and scientific, to the deep mysteries of our universe.
So forgive me if I abstain from taking head-on Stephen Hawkings’ newfound arrogance towards God and focus mainly on the issue at hand – “Can God and Science co-exist?”. In reality, given their denial of global warming and evolution, I think we should be asking the question; can American conservatives and science co-exist? But we shall save that for another day.
As far as Muslims and Islamic intellectual history is concerned, the religious literalists who opposed logic, like Ibn Taymiyyah, and the mystics who opposed philosophy like Al-Ghazali, were few and far between. Indeed science and theology would have co-existed harmoniously in the Islamic world, as it did for centuries, if scientists and philosophers, had not taken the metaphysical turn and started reflecting on God as if God was a physical entity or a philosophical idea apprehensible through their respective epistemologies.