Ticked off by The B. Files’ saying:
my anti-darwinism has been reaffirmed after I read “The Lost World.”
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.