WASHINGTON, April 4, 2012 – This evening, AIC and Project Nur, with support from the John Templeton Foundation, will host the first event of the “Science and Islam” series entitled “Creation of the Universe: Qur’anic Concepts and Scientific Theories” at the University of Iowa. The event will feature three panel speakers, all prominent Muslim scientists from U.S. and Canadian universities.

Science and Islam is a groundbreaking series that explores the intersection and divergence of faith and reason. Tonight’s presentation, the first of six events, will examine Qur’anic cosmological descriptions and explore Muslim responses to other creation theories.

What: Creation of the Universe: Qur’anic Concepts and Scientific Theories

When: April, 4 2012 6:00pm – 9:00 pm

Where: Iowa Memorial Union, The Illinois Room (348), 125 North Madison St.


  • Dr. Ali Hasan is an assistant professor of Philosophy at the University of Iowa. His research and teaching interests include epistemology, ethics, and philosophy of mind. He is also interested in the history of early modern Western philosophy, and the history of medieval Islamic philosophy. His recent work on Islamic philosophy includes a comparison of Ibn Rush and Al‐Ghazali’s views on the nature of God. (Moderator)
  • Dr. Nidhal Guessoum is an astrophysicist; he graduated from the University of California at San Diego (USA), spent extended periods of time as a researcher at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and has had on‐going collaborations with various institutions, particularly in France, resulting in many papers, mostly in gamma‐ray astrophysics. He is currently Professor and Interim Head of Physics at the American University of Sharjah, UAE. In addition to his technical papers, Prof. Guessoum has published many articles on issues related to science, education, the Arab world, and Islam, and authored or coauthored several books. He is also a columnist, blogger and noted lecturer. (Keynote speaker)
  • Dr. Salman Hameed is the director of the Center for the Study of Science in Muslim Societies (SSiMS) and assistant professor of integrated science & humanities at Hampshire College, Massachusetts. His primary research interest focuses on understanding the rise of creationism in the Islamic world and how Muslims view the relationship between science & religion. He is currently the lead investigator of a 3‐year study on this topic, funded by the National Science Foundation. Salman also runs IRTIQA, a science & religion blog with an emphasis on scientific debates taking place in the Muslim world.
  • John Farrell is a writer and producer working in Boston. He is the author of The Day Without Yesterday: Lema.tre, Einstein and the Birth of Modern Cosmology from Basic Books, an imprint of the Perseus Books Group. A graduate of Harvard College with a B.A. in English and American Literature, Farrell has written for various publications and was a 2010 Templeton‐Cambridge Journalism Fellow in Science and Religion. As a producer, he has developed programs for various media companies and organizations and in 2009, he was a media consultant to the Academy Award nominated film director Roland Joffe for the feature There Be Dragons.

Science and Islam is a series of dialogues analyzing the intersection of Islamic faith and science. These dialogues, which address issues like creation, evolution and extraterrestrial life, are held at college campuses across the country and feature a panel of prominent Muslim scientists. Visit www.aicongress.org/programs/science-and-islam for more information or to register for the next Science and Islam event.

Project Nur is a student‐led initiative of the American Islamic Congress. It includes students from various backgrounds, cultures and faiths to work together on human rights and civil rights initiatives. Visit http://www.projectnur.org for more additional information.

The American Islamic Congress is a civil‐rights organization promoting tolerance and the exchange of ideas among Muslims and between other peoples. The 501(c)3 organization leads initiatives around the world and has offices in Washington, Boston, Egypt, Tunisia and Iraq. Visit http://aic.craftedenterprises.com for more additional information.