Muslims and Evolution

Ticked off by The B. Files’ saying:

my anti-darwinism has been reaffirmed after I read “The Lost World.”

And Abez:

Evolution is bogus.

I am asking my readers, especially Muslims, to tell me their viewpoint about the theory of evolution. Do they think it is all bogus? Do they agree with the young earth creationists? Do they disagree with speciation and are ok with microevolution? I would also like to know why you have these views.

I must say that I do not know many Muslims, especially devout or fundamentalist (in the original sense of the term rather than the one common in the media) ones, who think that the theory of evolution is correct. On the other hand, evolution was not a big deal for the religious as it is in the US. The reason for that might be that evolution wasn’t talked in our Biology classes in Pakistan. (I took Biology only until my sophomore year of high school and this was about 17 years ago; I am not sure about the current textbooks.)

To start off my survey of Muslim opinion on evolution, I asked Amber. Since I can’t get her to post it herself here, I am going to describe her position. She agrees with microevolution and speciation/macroevolution. In fact, she agrees with the whole theory except for the fact about man being descended from apes. Her reason for that is it conflicts with the Quran.

Surfing the net, I found different viewpoints of Muslims on the theory of evolution. Let’s start off with Moiz Amjad.

if ‘evolution’ implies that man is actually an evolved form of a certain other creature, then Islam does not affirm such a standpoint. According to the Qur’an, Adam (pbuh) – the first man – was a direct creation of God, as a man. The Qur’an does not support that Adam evolved from another species.

However, it may be of some interest to note that in Al-Sajadah 32: 7 – 9, the Qur’an has referred to three different stages involved in the creation of man in such words that a slightly varied version of ‘evolution’ may be derived from it. The Qur’an says:

He, Who perfected everything that He created – He started the creation of man from clay then he inculcated in him [i.e. man] the potential to reproduce through a drop of humble fluid then He embellished and fashioned him in due proportion; and breathed into him of His spirit and [thereby] developed in you [the abilities of] listening, vision and feeling.

He then goes on to expound different theories which try to reconcile the fossil record of hominid species with this verse. A reader of Understanding Islam also wrote about reconciling the “blindness” of natural selection with theism.

The conservative website Islam-qa refutes that man evolved from apes and gives a religious description of the creation of man.

Nuh Ha Mim Keller uses the standard anti-evolution arguments along with some Islamic ones and declares:

In view of the above considerations of its coherence, logicality, applicability, and adequacy, the theory of the evolution of man from lower forms does not seem to show enough scientific rigor to raise it from being merely an influential interpretation. To show the evolution’s adequacy, for everything it is trying to explain would be to give valid grounds to generalize it to man.

[…]Allah alone is Master of Existence. He alone causes all that is to be and not to be. Causes are without effect in themselves, but rather both cause and effect are created by Him. The causes and the effects of all processes, including those through which plant and animal species are individuated, are His work alone. To ascribe efficacy to anything but His action, whether believing that causes (a) bring about effects in and of themselves; or (b) bring about effects in and of themselves through a capacity Allah has placed in them, is to ascribe associates to Allah (shirk). Such beliefs seem to be entailed in the literal understanding of “natural selection” and “random mutation,” and other evolutionary concepts, unless we understand these processes as figurative causes, while realizing that Allah alone is the agent. This is apart from the consideration of whether they are true or not.

As for claim that man has evolved from a non-human species, this is unbelief (kufr) no matter if we ascribe the process to Allah or to “nature,” because it negates the truth of Adam’s special creation that Allah has revealed in the Qur’an. Man is of special origin, attested to not only by revelation, but also by the divine secret within him, the capacity for ma’rifa or knowledge of the Divine that he alone of all things possesses. By his God-given nature, man stands before a door opening onto infinitude that no other creature in the universe can aspire to. Man is something else.

And finally the big guy: Harun Yahya. It seems he has made a career out of refuting evolution. Here are his books on the subject. His book “The Evolution Deceit: The Scientific Collapse of Darwinism and Its Ideological Background”, that Abez likes, is available online. In case, you are not interested in going through his books, he has a number of articles on his website on the subject.

And finally, the Hazara Society for Science-Religion Dialogue, Pakistan has some articles about evolution as well as the creation of the universe. I haven’t read these yet, but I’ll get to them soon and report if I find anything interesting.

In the end, I want to emphasize that I am not an expert myself but in general I trust scientific consensus on science questions and there has been consensus on the theory of evolution for quite some time now.

UPDATE: No discussion of evolution on the internet can be complete without the Talk Origins Archive.

Talk.origins is a Usenet newsgroup devoted to the discussion and debate of biological and physical origins. Most discussions in the newsgroup center on the creation/evolution controversy, but other topics of discussion include the origin of life, geology, biology, catastrophism, cosmology and theology.

The Talk.Origins Archive is a collection of articles and essays, most of which have appeared in talk.origins at one time or another. The primary reason for this archive’s existence is to provide mainstream scientific responses to the many frequently asked questions (FAQs) that appear in the talk.origins newsgroup and the frequently rebutted assertions of those advocating intelligent design or other creationist pseudosciences.

Author: Zack

Dad, gadget guy, bookworm, political animal, global nomad, cyclist, hiker, tennis player, photographer

49 thoughts on “Muslims and Evolution”

  1. Link

    evolution is indeed a big deal in the united states. thankfully it isn’t so in canada.

    i didn’t know what to make of evolution until i took my first year bio class in university. yes, were taught about in high school, but only fleetingly. my professors in univ convinced me about the validity of evolution…

    “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution – Theoodosius Dobzhansky”

    granted, there are parts still which are unclear and debateable, but you cannot proceed in biology unless you have a firm conviction in the theory of evolution.

  2. I would say that my view is closest to Amber’s but I remain open to creative ways to reconcile the Quran and science.

    I think that many Muslims make the mistake of thinking that the Quran tells the WHOLE story. It may only mention things that are relevant to the lesson it wants to convey and not mention other things that are not relevant from a religious standpoint. The Quran is not a science textbook. It is a religious scripture. Its purpose is to provide moral guidance, not to give a complete account of the workings of the universe.

    Whether we came from apes or from mud/clay, we did not become human until God gifted us with a soul and a conscience. That I think is the most important lesson of all to take from the story of human creation.

    I also think that some scientists can be dogmatic in their own way in defending evolution against creationism. Part of science is continuing to propose and explore new hypotheses and theories. Scientists should continue to do this, no matter where it takes them. Who knows, in a century we may have a very different understanding of things.

    One of the more unusual discussions of evolution, in particular speciation, that I’ve found on the web is this one, which argues against it from the perspective of classical (Aristotleian) philosophy (more by this author including the rest of his series on rational psychology here).

  3. Hmm… big topic and I’m reluctant to make any sort of final judgement considering I’m not a scientist. I say, read the books mentioned and see if you do or don’t agree. My beef with evolution doesn’t stem from the “God said it didn’t happen” but rather, where’s the final proof? If this happened, then we’d see greater evidence in fossils and existing species. It answers only a few questions, both neo-darwinism and traditional, but asks many more for which there are no answers yet.

  4. It answers only a few questions, both neo-darwinism and traditional, but asks many more for which there are no answers yet.

    what are you questions? i am curious about your list that evolution fails to satisfy.

  5. Is evolution haram?

    The title is kind of a joke, but actually, Zack Ajmal has a post about Islam & evolution. I tend to get way too worked up by this question…so I asked a polite little question that hopefully was not laced…

  6. oh, and btw, science is never about “final proofs.” as zack nows, math is 😉 perhaps we are engaging in a stylistic tiff, but it matters on some level, scientific theories are aproximate models who only have utility as long as they explain the data at hand-they are not transcendental ideals, no matter that people (including scientists) treat them as such. as an example of what i mean, newtonian mechanics if fine for “everyday problems,” but you need the theories of relativity to really dot the last “i” when it comes to a theory of gravitation. but even then, relativity is classical, and quantum gravity, which fuses QM & relativity is seen as the most accurate description (for now), even though it is a sketchy work in progress that might never come to fruition….

  7. evolution was not a big deal for the religious as it is in the US. The reason for that might be that evolution wasn’t talked [about] in our Biology classes in Pakistan.

    In other words, the religious conservatives already got what they wanted in Pakistan 🙂

    except for the fact about man being descended from apes

    Man didn’t descend from apes. But apes and man have an evolutionarily recent common ancestor. This is obvious at the base-pair level (i.e. at the level of individual nucleotides) when you look at the sequenced genomes.

    For a random example, compare the sequence similarity of “cytochrome c oxidase subunit IV” in humans and in gorillas. You will see that the protein sequences are almost identical to each other, a clear signal of (recent) common ancestry.

  8. yaser: Agreed.

    A-M: I completely agree that “The Quran is not a science textbook.” Regarding scientists being dogmatic about evolution, I don’t like the way some people extend evolution to expound about philosophy etc. but as a biological matter, I think scientists are pretty much unanimous. OTOH no scientific theory is final as razib says in his comment.

    razib: Thanks for the Talk Origins site. I planned to put that link in the post as well but forgot.

    godless: Thanks for those details. I was just trying to keep things very simple.

    Owl: Would you like to elaborate a bit? Fell free to expound in detail or provide links on why you believe this. I’ll read the Yahya books soon when I have some free time.

    A general comment: As I mentioned, I wasn’t taught evolution in my Biology classes, so my knowledge is based on my own readings and is not extensive. I do trust general scientific consensus and the peer review process in general as I have some experience of that in my own doctoral studies.

    The point of this post and my request for comments is not to have an extensice or acrimonious debate about evolution. It is to collect ideas of ordinary people about evolution and why they have them. I encourage a healthy debate but please be civil and polite and don’t belabor your point.

  9. Harun Yahya is bad science, imho.

    What I find interesting is when religious scholars delve into science, and use ‘scientific’ arguments to refute evolution. Experts in biology they are not.

    In any case, I think the creation of man can be bellieved in literally, if one wants – but this is consigned to the realm of belief.

    The way to reconcile the two views, imho, seems to be to uphold the moral meaning of the creation narrative – for what is certainly anti-religious is the ideological baggage hanging around ‘evolution’.

  10. well-the thing is if people say, “i believe in X because my religion says so,” that’s fine. i would probably disagree (or have a concurrent opinion, i don’t think murder is OK, but not because the 10 commandments tell me so)-but that’s nothing to be worked up over.

    OTOH-you regulary have “critics” of evolution asserting to the unknowing public that there is “no scientific consensus” and that “intelligent design” is a credible alternative in the scientific world. like it or not-there just aren’t published papers that really work within in the intelligent design paradigm in non-crankish journals. that might suck, it might be wrong, but that’s the truth of it.

    the only “debate” over evolution occurs in the public forum where some perceive a conflict between their faith and the theoretical constructs of science.

  11. I was just trying to keep things very simple.

    Well, I just wanted to point out that biologists believe in evolution for empirical reasons . 😉

    Seriously, if you head down to pubmed and do sequence comparisons between humans and other species, you can reconstruct evolutionary trees. I can post more on this if you’re interested.

  12. godless: That would be very interesting. I also need book recommendations on evolution as well as genetics that are for an audience like me. That is someone who is not an expert in biology but is otherwise well-trained in the scientific arena.

    razib, Thebit: Agreed.

  13. hey zack, if you are interested in population genetics at all, i really suggest PRINCIPLES OF POPULATION GENETICS by Clark & Hartl. the math should be a breeze for you (mostly simple stats)-they should have a copy at the UG library….

  14. razib: Thanks.

    And don’t EVER call us UG 🙂 U(sic)GA are big rivals and no yellow jacket would be caught dead being mistaken for a Georgia bulldog.

  15. I know almost nothing about this subject, but here’s my humble personal opinion.

    I don’t believe in evolution, because I think it’s more of a cyclical process rather than constant progress; there have been lots of ups and downs since the creation of man.

    And frankly, I think cats resemble more in personality to a human child than apes do 😉

    About the origin of man… Yes! I do believe man was created instantly and didn’t evolve from some other species. Man might have had different physical characteristics over time as well as locations but he is surely different and separate from the animals who don’t have free will which man does possess – as narrated in the Quran.

  16. As a botanist trained in taxonomy (also called systematics), I can state that evolution is a fact. There are thousands of examples of one species evolving from another (or from two others in cases involving hybridization) which I could cite, and just reading a few examples should convince you.

    That said, there is a difference between evolution as a fact and the study of human origin, or the origin of life on Earth, for that matter. Surely, most students (scientists) of human origin depend on the theory of evolution to explain their work.

    I recommend the works of Stephen Jay Gould, a science historian and snail taxonomist who wrote extensively on the subject of evolution – and on many others. His books cover two feet of a shelf to my right. One of these books is called “Rocks of Ages: Science and Religion in the Fullness of Life”, in which he argues that religion and science are separate fields of human endeavor:

    I do not see how science and religion could be unified, or even synthesized, under any common scheme of explanation or analysis; but I also do not understand why the two enterprises should experience any conflict. Science tries to document the factual character of the natural world, and to develop theories that coordinate and explain these facts. Religion, on the other hand, operates in the equally important, but utterly different, realm of human purposes, meanings and values – subjects that the factual domain of science might illuminate, but can never resolve.

    He goes on to propose the “Principle of NOMA”, or Non-Overlapping Magisteria, wherein science and religion are distinct fields of human endeavor, neither trumping the other, neither trying to explain events in the other realm.

    The way I see it, some of the events described in the Abrahamic religious scriptures were early attempts at explaining natural phenomena. For example, the Flood may have been an attempt to explain why seashells could be found in rocks 5,000 feet up the sides of Mount Ararat (assuming that there are seashells in rocks 5,000 feet up the side of Mount Ararat – I’m speaking apocryphally).

    Munira Ajmal:And frankly, I think cats resemble more in personality to a human child than apes do 😉

    Speaking as a father and a friend of cats, I agree. But then, I haven’t been exposed to apes at all, beyond a few trips to various zoos, so don’t think I could back up my statement scientifically.

    You don’t think cats have free will? I know, by watching my cats trying to get at birds and lizards through a closed window that they do seem hard-wired for predation, but then I see the same sort of behavior in humans, regarding several of our behaviors concerning food, sex and social acceptance. But I also watch cats stare at me like I’m a fool when I smile sweetly, wiggle my fingers and say, “Here, kitty kitty!” A Puritan credo declares, “Beasts abstract not”. Sorry, but cats abstract. So do apes, according to Jane Goodall.

  17. Zack, this is a cool topic. You’ve inspired me to actually THINK about what I believe. I honestly have never really thought about in more detail neyond convenient adoptions of a side to refute people who try to bludgeon me one way or the other. 🙂

    I’m going to reflect on what I believe and post to UNMEDIA this weekend…

  18. Munira: We already had a long discussion on IM, so I am not going to repeat that. Let’s just say I disagree.

    Steve: I agree. Gould is probably the most well-known among laymen for his books on evolution theory. His own work (punctuated equilibrium??) is somewhat controversial among scientists from what I understand.

    Aziz: Thanks.

  19. Steve: Thanks for your post, it was quite informative.

    Let me rephrase me stance….I agree to evolution to some extent (I surely have seen examples of evolution in animals as well as plants), but I disagree with the part of it that deals with the origin of man.

    I know very little about the subject, so am not refuting anything, however I have some issues about biology in general and evolution in particular. May be in a 1000 years when more is known and phenomena are explained better, I’ll come to terms with it 😉

    I have a lot of questions to which either I haven’t found the answers or the answers aren’t convincing enough for me.

  20. Somehow, it is very difficult to talk about this topic for people in general. I am glad there is a bit of sense and moderation here.

    It is easy to refute scientifical models of the universe based on their incompleteness. And that’s what manipulative people always try to do. Fortunately, as Science progresses with time, those clinging to a textbook to support their faith will find it more and more challenging to reconcile their conflicting ideas about the world.

    After all, what if God created the universe to be constantly evolving?! eh?
    I find this pretty divine, don’t you?
    What do I care that there are litteral conflicts against a textbook that is not supposed to be scientific in the first place?

    Anyway, as many of you probably would agree, the Coran can be a great guide on ethics/morals and human values in general. Same for the Bible. Depends on who reads them really 😉

    All of you that provided some references on evolution, many thanks.

    Peace.

    PS: razib mentionned that maths was about final proof. Well, not really, (as I understand it) because of the Theorem of Incompleteness of Godel you can’t even have absolute certainty in maths. Anybody sweating about that? 😉

  21. dear author or editor or whatever of this article,
    i myself am a muslim. i have curently taken evolution in science class for the fist time in 7th grade. while i go to an islamic school (granada islamic) i have heard the opinion from my teacher as a muslim and from the textbook as a nonmuslim. if the world came from a single cell (and by the way darwin said had one in a million chance of growing) grew, and grew, and grew then every man would have to look exactly the same. i mean that is what happens to eggs of babies if they divide. they look the same. so if this cell divided and all creatures were created then how come my nieghbor has a bigger nose? darwin himself was not a bioligist. he made his wonderful theory up that blinded people into thinking we are from apes. maybe the guy he compared with apes was a bit harry?
    something for you to think about.

  22. Dear Zack,
    What I can see from the facts in this world is that evolution happens to all systems.

    For example, computer’s evolution, car’s evolution, etc. Same thing also applies to living beings. We might see ape’s evolution, bee’s evolution, human’s evolution (from their fossils).

    But there is general law which I believe here. Improvement in the functionalities of systems come from design.

  23. Dear All.

    Ahem.

    Fact 1: Judging from what many of you say, you have never read Harun Yahya’s books on evolution.
    Fact 2: No intermediate species have ever been found in the fossil record i.e. half-bird, half-reptile. Infact, the fossil record shows that each species appeared all of a sudden.
    Fact 3: Variation occurs within a species, but does not create new species. Think of this example. A herd of deer, get chased by cheetahs. The slower ones get eaten. Therefore, the next generation will be of faster deer. Never will these deer develop wings and fly.
    Fact 4: Wings, eyes, a single biological cell etc. is irreducably complex. i.e. if they were less complex they would not work and hence would not be useful and hence would not be passed on to subsequent generations. They are made up of several parts working together, where if one were missing the organ would cease to work. An eye without a lens is not an eye. An eye without a retina is not an eye. So the eye must have come about all at once. But i suppose if u will dogmatically believe in darwinism, u will say it was a great coincidence. Oh, there are animals which are completely unrelated, according to the evolutionist tree, that have eyes that work in the same way. So this great coincidence would have had to happen more than once. In exactly the same way.
    Fact 5: Evolution relies on the basis that a random mutation occurs and it happens to be useful to a certain environment change, and thus this gene is propagated down to further generations. example: a lake dries up, but by random mutation and coincidence, a fish happens to have a lung that works out of water, which is useful for this environmental change, and so that gene (for the lung) is passed on to its offspring. Now, DNA is a highly organised complex structure. No random reorganisation of any highly structured code can result in useful code. The probability is next to nothing. If you believe in it, then you can believe that a hurricane blowing through a scrap heap can make an aeroplane out of it. I mean, sure, there is a probability it could happen, mathematically i cannot deny it. But you’d be crazy if you thought so!

    Oh, and to my friend who states evolution is “fact”. The fact is, you only believe in evolution because your 1st port of call is to deny god. You had already decided there was no room for god before scientific observation, as oppose to unprejudiced scientific observation followed by a conclusion.
    Do not confuse variation within a species, with evolution into another species. It’s like the story of the moths in the Industrial Revolution. I remember being taught it in Biology. I got an A in my Bioloigy exam because i knew the text book answer:

    White speckled moths rested on lychen covered trees. Thus they were camoflaged. The Industrial Revolution (UK) created smoke/soot, which stripped the trees of lychen and blackened the barks. At the same time, a random mutation made black moths, which were camoflaged against the newly blackened bark. The white speckled moths could be clearly seen against the black trees and were eaten by birds. Thus, the moths evolved from white speckled, to black ones.
    That was the text book answer.

    Now, here is the truth, and you can apply it to all your “proofs” of evolution. There was no random mutation, all the genetic information was already present and it is simply variation.
    Here’s what really happened:
    The moth population consisted of white speckled moths and black moths. There was a lot more white-speckled ones than black, because the black ones couldn’t camoflage themselves very well against the lychen covered tree bark i.e. most of the black moths got eaten by birds. When the soot covered the bark and made it black, the black moths had the advantage, and thus the proportions changed. The black moths became the prominent ones in the population, as white speckled ones were no longer camoflaged and it was their turn to get eaten!

    I’m afraid the muslim friend you mention is misguided and I pray she be guided to the truth. There is no room in Islam for evolution, and, infact, there is no room in science for it. When i was younger, I was misguided and believed evolution was true, so i figured that god made evolution happen and perhaps Adam was created by god evolving monkeys. But no, science shows otherwise. Fossil skulls of “modern man”, older than our supposed pre decessors have been found.

    I am just touching on the subject of disproving evolution. Harun Yahya’s books “The Evolution Deceit” and “Darwinism Refuted” go into much detail and are completely referenced with western, atheist sources.

    And the answer I can give to my fellow botanist who is an expert in taxonomy or systematics, here, read this about taxonomy:

    http://www.harunyahya.com/refuted5.php

    May the light of God reach you all.

    Salam.

  24. I do not believe in the theory of evolution, at all. Primarily because it lacks the scientific evidence.

    Of course, you get the “peer-review process” which is just a bunch of evolutionists professors patting each other on the back representing their thoughts as “fact”, but this isn’t backed up by well defined examples. It is what Mohammed rightly called the “text-book answer” regurgitated as unchallengeable fact by arts students and pseudo intellectuals whose motivation is political more than scientific.

    Then there are “experts” who frequent these forums who claim first knowledge of these occurrences, but always fail to cite any, while maintaining the all-knowing voice of “wisdom” in their “narrative”.

    Well, I will go you on better, I will give you a couple of examples where evolution has failed. Since 1923 there have been millions of experiments on the fruit fly, and even in tightly controlled conditions not one has produced a new species through mutation, neither did the bombs dropped on Nagasaki, or the Chernobyl disaster. Did the endless characteristics of all living things happen by chance? Give me a break! The probability is next to zero so is the credibility of anyone who peddles that idea.

    Evolution reminds of the UFO stories in fact….it always happens in darkness, on a lonely stretch of road, in the middle of nowhere, and always alone…why not in the middle of New York, in rush hour? In other words, let’s bring all this “evidence” out to the open to be critically scrutinised.

    Now, because we have the testimony of so many evolutionary scientists, and Darwin himself, we can safely say the argument is not creationism vs evolution, but science vs evolution.

    Stu

  25. Stu: you get the “peer-review process” which is just a bunch of evolutionists professors patting each other on the back representing their thoughts as “fact”, but this isn’t backed up by well defined examples.

    Wow, with that statement you blew away all scientists everywhere. So who are the real experts if not the biologists?

  26. Biologists aren’t experts if they cannot substaniate their claims, and something isn’t made fact because it is reinforced by like-minded people in a “peer-review process” in the closed world of university. So, what specific evidence do you have that evolution is factual?

    >Wow, with that statement you blew away all >scientists everywhere. So who are the real >experts if not the biologists?

    Stu

  27. Stu: If given a choice to trust all eminent biologists or a random guy on the Internet, I know what my choice would be.

    I sense anti-intellectualism in your comment. Why is that?

  28. What evidence do you have that evolution is fact?

    >Stu: If given a choice to trust all eminent >biologists or a random guy on the Internet, I know >what my choice would be. I sense anti-intellectualism in your comment. Why >is that?

  29. Stu: This is not a discussion I want to get into since I haven’t really studied biology since high school. However, you seem to think that all the experts are wrong. That seems very unlikely to me.

  30. While reading your post, I was building a response to it in my mind until I came upon this quote from your post:

    “…but in general I trust scientific consensus on science questions and there has been consensus on the theory of evolution for quite some time now”

    So, basically, this is your proof of evolution. There is no need to discuss the scientific evidence for or against evolution in your case, so I will start to discuss with you from what you beleive in i.e. scientific consensus.

    What is the definition of scientific consensus? 95% of the scientists have to agree? or more? Do the scientists in question have to have a PhD? If so, does the word evolution have to be in their PhD dissertation? I don’t think we can have a consensus on what scientific consensus is. So why depend on it. I think everyone must chew and digest all the evidence and come up with an answer that suits his intellect. Anything other than that for me is not an intellectual disscussion.

    I also find your post difficult to respond to because you are timid about voicing your views. After reading your post I don’t know what your position is regarding this topic.

  31. ayman: everyone must chew and digest all the evidence and come up with an answer that suits his intellect.

    Can we apply the same to religion?

    I don’t know what your position is regarding this topic.

    My position is that the theory of evolution is well-developed and well-supported by evidence and the question of existence of God does not depend on creationism or evolution.

  32. zack: Can we apply the same to religion?

    I don’t see what relevance your question has to the discussion at hand.

    There are only three assumptions or possibilities that you might have here:

    1. I am religious and I DON’T APPLY what you quoted(…chew and digest…) towards my religion.

    2. I am religious and and I APPLY what you quoted (…chew and digest…) towards my religion, or,

    3. I am not religious.

    That being said, I did not understand how my answer to your question, regardless of your assumptions or which one you wish were true, is going to support your point that evolution is well-developed and well-supported by evidence.

    In any case, I believe that evidence for everything in this world has to be chewed and digested intellectually and foremostly, with respect to religion.

    It will be foolish of me to believe in something, like a religion, that has rules and regulations, without knowing for sure if it is a true religion. Otherwise, I have wasted my time and effort and have lived in a jail all my life.

    Conversely, it will be foolish of me to disbelieve in a religion that says ‘I am going to hell if I don’t follow it’, IF it turns out that indeed it is the true religion. Without intellectual chewing and digesting I might ‘miss’ the true religion.

    zack: My position is that the theory of evolution is well-developed and well-supported by evidence

    This is NOT what you said initially and this is why I have a problem understanding where you stand. First, you said that your evidence regarding evolution is the CONSENSUS among scientists that evolution is well-developed and well-supported by evidence. Now, YOU say that evolution is well-developed and well-supported by evidence.

    There is a HUGE difference between the two. If you do not know this difference, your beliefs about evolution are irrelevant by default.

    Regarding the original question to your post, I believe evolution to be bogus for two reasons. The first, is that I believe in Allah and I believe the Quran is irrefutable and therefore I believe in Islam. I believe Islam negates evolution and therefore I negate evolution. What I mean by belief is 100%. The second, is that the evidence brought forth by evolution is incosistent and self-contradictory. If you wish I can discuss any of these points.

    Sorry for the long post but I think this is an important topic.

  33. ayman: I asked not because of the 3 assumptions you list, but because it seemed to me that you wanted intellectual challenge for the theory of evolution but were unwilling to accept any intellectual challenges to your religious beliefs.

    I don’t see any difference between “well-developed and well-supported by evidence” and “consensus among scientists.” Such a consensus indeed exists.

    Your first reason for disbelieving evolution does not really use any intellectual reasoning, rather you are using faith, which is fine but very different.

    I don’t have time to waste on your second objection. Too many people on the Internet have debated what you call “inco[n]sistent and self-contradictory” and not many minds have been changed.

  34. Harun Yahya

    Continuing my previous post about evolution, I want to just let you know who Harun Yahya is. HarunYahya is a pen name used by Mr. Adnan Oktar. Born in Ankara in 1956, Adnan Oktar is a prominent Turkish intellectual. Completely…

  35. There is another way of looking this issue. It involves assessing what is meant by the symbolic nature of the creation story, or as some call it myth. There is some wiggle room as well to adopt a different way of looking at this.

    The word ‘theory’ essential derives from the Greek word ‘theoria’ I think, which means something like ‘to have the look’. As we know the more modern word theory is an ‘explanation’ derived from ‘hypothesis’ and for a theory to be valid, it must be tested out. Therefore it is possibly illogical to compare a theory from the biological sciences with an explanation from theology. We can call this a ‘logical fallacy’ when a theory regarding one dimension is held up to scrutiny using a different dimension.

    Also there is another theory of evolution which was advanced by the biologist, Lamarck. This theory involves an assessment of how organisms change their environments, and thus precipitate change for other organisms to adapt new behaviours and mechanisms. Certainly humans have changed the environment on many continents, and in Africa perhaps the longest. Most of the large megafauna there have not be made extinct, as a result of adaptation.

    The other way to look at this is to try to understand what the symbolic content of the creation myth is and how that would factor in comparing to theories of evolution. Although the creation story indicates that adam was created from mud, it is not exactly certain what is meant by Adam. I think there is another interpretation revealed in the traditions of the historical jews or hebrews. Something to the effect of the meaning of the original letters in the words, Adam Kadmon found in the Torah.

    The original Genesis was written in Hebrew, a language which became dead approximately 2500 years before present. The Hebrew of today is not the same language. Migene Gonzalez-Wippler, in A Kabbalah for the Modern World writes that the original hebrew language was not translated accurately until about 1810 when a copy of The Polyglot of Paris was discovered. This was a translation into three languages of the Book of Genesis. One of the languages was the latin, and the greek compared to the original Hebrew. The Polyglot of Paris was originally written in 1510 by Cardinal Ximenes, with permission of the Vatican.

    Anyway Gonzalez-Wippler writes:

    “The cosmological concepts that are such an intrinsic part of Genesis can be seen, in the light of the original Hebrew text, to have a significant correlation with modern theories on the creation of the universe and the evolution of man.”

    In The Book of Genesis [which in ancient Hebrew is Berashith] the literal translation is ‘in the beginning’. Adam Kadmon is not the human species apart from other creation, but rather is the ‘body of God’. Each Hebrew letter represents a principle of the divine creation so that for instance the translitteration of Bearshith ‘In the beginning’ means:

    Using the letters and their meanings [Beth, Resh, Aleph, Shin, Yod, and Teth] we have: “The ‘spirit’ of God brought into continuous expression the dual principles of life and death, the pulsation of existence, by containing and realizing it in an infinite array of cosmic manifestations.

    Bera: [created] There are three letters in this word, Beth, Resh, and Aleph. Its intrinsic meaning is creation, but in a perpetual, infinite sense.

    Elohim: [God] This word is composed of Aleph, Lamed, He, Yod, and Mem. It symbolizes a process by means of which the cosmic energy can be brought into realization.

    As we can begin to see, there is a consistent scientific account of creation. In the beginning there was darkness just prior to the ‘Big Bang’ when all energy was condensed into a single microparticle the size of a proton, and of which no light could escape from. Gonzalez says there is no contradiction therefore with the 6 days it took to create the universe and the earth. This happens to be in conformity with current scientific theory because the creation of the universe from a single dense point took place in 6 stages. With respect to light, within light there is no time. All things occur simultaneously within light.

    And so on….

  36. In the name of Allah the compassionate the merciful.

    do u all debate regarding this evolution!!!!

    Allah has brought in this quran means of everything!

    blessed be god if we indeed were evolved from apes god would let it known to everyone in the quran.

    god has described many times about the creation of man, but never joined apes or any other animal with the creation of mankind.

    Allah would have known about the debates that would happen in the future regarding mankinds creation and if mankind was really related to apes then god would indeed let it known to all the prophets first.

    ALLah never mentioned apes or anyother animal that were involed in the creation of mankind in TORAH, or the BIBLE.

    god created every living thing from water and diverted them all in their different form.

    Blessed be god who chose us mankind the best among all his creatures.

    We mankind should be greatful.

    All evolution brought was corruption and rascism

  37. Evolution: Another Viewpoint

    Following up on my critique of Muslims not accepting evolution and after finding out that Harun Yahya, one of the opponents of evolutionary theory, is not a scientist, I discovered a lecture by a Saudi geologist (specializing in micropalaeontology) Dr…

  38. The theory of evolution does not mean there is no God. It does not even say God did not create all these living things in the world. What it says is that by evolution all living things came about in this world.

    God says in the Koran ” I have created all living things from water” 21:30
    This is the theory of evolution which Darwin claimed he originated the theory. It is already there in the Koran 1400 years ago.

    Is it logical and rational to think that the God dropped a male elephant and a female elephant from the sky on the same spot and so the mated and millions elephants came about ? This idea is irrational, illogical and unacceptable. God created all living things from water. Science found out that in the beginning there was some bacterias. So God created through these bacterias and water all living things on earth. Is it hard for Him? This theory of evolution is more logical and more koranic.

    When God himself said He created all living things from water we got no point to argue. Rememer not to believe in the theory of evolution is a sin as God said Himself that He did through the theory of evolution. And if we do not believe it then it will be a great sin.

    Please comment.

    mahmood_c@hotmail.com

  39. A lot of the confusion arises from lack of proper knowledge of Islam. Before you delve into proving or disproving evolution you need to start with a base. For example:

    Is what I can percieve all that there is? in other words do I believe in a materialistic philosopy?

    or Is there more to reality than what I can percieve? i.e. do I believe in the unseen? Which is the Islamic point of view of reality.

    One is based on human conjecture and the other is based on revelation.

    The two above questions are outside of the realm of science because science can neither disprove them or prove them. However, how you interperet results and arrive at conclusions depends on what your answer is to those questions.

    As Muslims we believe in the Qur’an and the unseen. Islam doesn’t say that it is impossible for one species to have evolved from (or to) another species. This is totally in the realm of possibilities. Therefore, science can be used as a tool from species to species with two exceptions:

    1) Man was specially created by God and all men are descendents of adam. Man is still susceptible to the forces of natural selection physically starting with adam. Man is also endowed with a soul which is not susceptible to the forces of natural selection and “random” mutations because science can’t even determine what a soul is.

    2) New species can come into existance without having evolutionary ancestor. If God can make a camel out of a rock it is easy for him to create new species from scratch. Which is why a Muslim shouldn’t fall into the trap of: “religion and science are in separate fields in life…” For a Muslim religion encompases all aspects of life and sets the boundaries of scientific endeavor.

    Another fundamental problem with evolution (for a Muslim at least) is the definition of one of its main (I believe critical) driving forces, namely “random” mutation. For a Muslim random events do not and can not happen. God makes all events happen and also God knows the future and the results of every action. There is no problem in modeling seemingly random events as random so long as a Muslim understands that in reality randomness doesn’t exist.

    This is what I believe in and of course God knows best.

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