How do I explain to a non Muslim that evolution is not right

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peaceful_soul
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How do I explain to a non Muslim that evolution is not right

Postby peaceful_soul » 26 Jan 2006, 00:32

s/a
this is what i was told by a non muslim i dotn realy know how 2 counter argue it
someone plz help

If you see chimps and humans and compare the DNA of both species we only have like a 2% difference...and that too because there was about 5 million years of evolution to occur between us. and wht about those homo erectus and homo habilus creatures...i mean if one analyzes them u can easily see ow they could have been the first forms of humans...

i know Islam says that humans are a distict species but saying i dotn belive in evolution bcoz islam says so isnt going 2 b a 2 good response 2 a non muslim

thanx
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qarrar
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Postby qarrar » 26 Jan 2006, 00:49

This bottom extract I came accross may be useful to you, it is rather long but very interesting to read.

In the name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate
Dear Suleman 'Ali:

Thank you for your fax of 27 June 1995 which said, in part:

"Recently a pamphlet has been circulated around Oxford saying that evolution is synonymous with kufr and shirk. I myself am a biologist and am convinced by the evidence which supports the theory of evolution. I am writing to ask whether the Quranic account of Creation is incompatible with man having evolved. Are there any books which you would recommend on the subject?"

During my "logic of scientific explanation" period at the University of Chicago, I used to think that scientific theories had to have coherence, logicality, applicability, and adequacy, and I was accustomed to examine theory statements by looking at these things in turn. Perhaps they furnish a reasonable point of departure to give your question an answer which, if cursory and somewhat personal, may yet shed some light on the issues you are asking about.

Coherence

It seems to me that the very absoluteness of the theory's conclusions tends to compromise its "objective" character. It is all very well to speak of the "evidence of evolution," but if the theory is thorough- going, then human consciousness itself is also governed by evolution. This means that the categories that allow observation statements to arise as "facts", categories such as number, space, time, event, measurement, logic, causality, and so forth are mere physiological accidents of random mutation and natural selection in a particular species, Homo sapiens. They have not come from any scientific considerations, but rather have arbitrarily arisen in man by blind and fortuitous evolution for the purpose of preserving the species. They need not reflect external reality, "the way nature is", objectively, but only to the degree useful in preserving the species. That is, nothing guarantees the primacy, the objectivity, of these categories over others that would have presumably have arisen had our consciousness evolved along different lines, such as those of more distant, say, aquatic or subterranean species. The cognitive basis of every statement within the theory thus proceeds from the unreflective, unexamined historical forces that produced "consciousness" in one species, a cognitive basis that the theory nevertheless generalizes to the whole universe of theory statements (the explanation of the origin of species) without explaining what permits this generalization. The pretences of the theory to correspond to an objective order of reality, applicable in an absolute sense to all species, are simply not compatible with the consequences of a thoroughly evolutionary viewpoint, which entails that the human cognitive categories that underpin the theory are purely relative and species-specific. The absolutism of random mutation and natural selection as explanative principles ends in eating the theory. With all its statements simultaneously absolute and relative, objective and subjective, generalizable and ungeneralizable, scientific and species-specific, the theory runs up on a reef of methodological incoherence.

Logicality

Speaking for myself, I was convinced that the evolution of man was an unchallengeable "given" of modern knowledge until I read Charles Darwin's "Origin of Species". The ninth chapter (The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. Ed. J.W. Burrow. London: Penguin Books, 1979, 291-317) made it clear, from what Darwin modestly calls the "great imperfection of the geological record" that the theory was not in principle falsifiable, though the possibility that some kind of evidence or another should be able in principle to disprove a theory is a condition (if we can believe logicians like Karl Popper) for it to be considered scientific. By its nature, fossil evidence of intermediate forms that could prove or disprove the theory remained unfound and unfindable. When I read this, it was not clear to me how such an theory could be called "scientific".
If evolution is not scientific, then what is it? It seems to me that it is a human interpretation, an endeavor, an industry, a literature, based on what the American philosopher Charles Peirce called abductive reasoning, which functions in the following way:

(1) Suprising fact A.
(2) If theory B were the case, then A would naturally follow.
(3) Therefore B.

Here, (1) alone is certain, (2) is merely probable (as it explains the facts, though does not preclude other possible theories), while (3) has only the same probability as (2). If you want to see how ironclad the case for the evolution of man is, make a list of all the fossils discovered so far that "prove" the evolution of man from lower life forms, date them, and then ask yourself if abductive reasoning is not what urges it, and if it really precludes the possibility of quite a different (2) in place of the theory of evolution.

Applicability

Is the analogy from micro-evolution within a species (which is fairly well-attested to by breeding horses, pigeons, useful plant hybrids, and so on) applicable to macro-evolution, from one species to another? That is, is there a single example of one species actually evolving into another, with the intermediate forms represented in the fossil record?
In the 1970s, Peter Williamson of Harvard University, under the direction of Richard Leakey, examined 3,300 fossils from digs around Lake Turkana, Kenya, spanning several million years of the history of thirteen species of mollusks, that seemed to provide clear evidence of evolution from one species to another. He published his findings five years later in Nature magazine, and Newsweek picked up the story:

"Though their existence provides the basis for paleontology, fossils have always been something of an embarrassment to evolutionists. The problem is one of 'missing links': the fossil record is so littered with gaps that it takes a truly expert and imaginative eye to discern how one species could have evolved into another.... But now, for the first time, excavations at Kenya's Lake Turkana have provided clear fossil evidence of evolution from one species to another. The rock strata there contain a series of fossils that show every small step of an evolutionary journey that seems to have proceeded in fits and starts" (Sharon Begley and John Carey, "Evolution: Change at a Snail's Pace." Newsweek, 7 December 1981).

Without dwelling on the facticity of scientific hypotheses raised under logic above, or that 3,300 fossils of thirteen species only "cover" several million years if we already acknowledge that evolution is happening and are merely trying to see where the fossils fit in, or that we are back to Peirce's abductive reasoning here, although with a more probable minor premise because of the fuller geological record--that is, even if we grant that evolution is the "given" which the fossils prove, an interesting point about the fossils (for a theist) is that the change was much more rapid than the traditional Darwinian mechanisms of random mutation and natural selection would warrant:

What the record indicated was that the animals stayed much the same for immensely long stretches of time. But twice, about 2 million years ago and and then again 700,000 years ago, the pool of life seemed to explode--set off, apparently, by a drop in the lake's water level. In an instant of geologic time, as the changing lake environment allowed new types of mollusks to win the race for survival, all of the species evolved into varieties sharply different from their ancestors. Such sudden evolution had been observed before. What made the Lake Turkana fossil record unique, says Williamson, is that "for the first time we see intermediate forms" between the old species and the new.

That intermediate forms appeared so quickly, with new species suddenly evolving in 5,000 to 50,000 years after millions of years of constancy, challenges the traditional theories of Darwin's disciples. Most scientists describe evolution as a gradual process, in which random genetic mutations slowly produce new species. But the fossils of Lake Turkana don't record any gradual change; rather, they seem to reflect eons of stasis interrupted by brief evolutionary "revolutions" (ibid.).

Of what significance is this to Muslims? In point of religion, if we put our scientific scruples aside for a moment and grant that evolution is applicable to something in the real world; namely, the mollusks of Lake Turkana, does this constitute unbelief (kufr) by the standards of Islam? I don't think so. Classic works of Islamic 'aqida or "tenets of faith" such as al-Matan al-Sanusiyya tell us, "As for what is possible in relation to Allah, it consists of His doing or not doing anything that is possible" (al-Sanusi, Hashiya al-Dasuqi 'ala Umm al-barahin. Cairo n.d. Reprint. Beirut: Dar al-Fikr, n.d, 145-46). That is, the omnipotent power of Allah can do anything that is not impossible, meaning either:

(a) intrinsically impossible (mustahil dhati), such as--creating a five-sided triangle--which is a mere confusion of words, and not something in any sense possible, such that we could ask whether Allah could do it;
(b) or else impossible because of Allah having informed us that it shall not occur (mustahil 'aradi), whether He does so in the Qur'an, or through the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) in a mutawatir hadith, meaning one that has reached us through so many means of transmission that it is impossible its transmitters could have all conspired to forge it. This category of the impossible is not impossible to begin with, but becomes so by the revelation from Allah, who is truthful and veracious. For example, it is impossible that Abu Lahab should be of the people of paradise, because the Qur'an tells us he is of the people of hell (Qur'an 111).

With respect to evolution, the knowledge claim that Allah has brought one sort of being out of another is not intrinsically impossible ((a) above) because it is not self-contradictory. And as to whether it is (b), "impossible because of Allah having informed us that it cannot occur", it would seem to me that we have two different cases, that of man, and that of the rest of creation.

Man

Regarding your question whether the Qur'anic account of creation is incompatible with man having evolved; if evolution entails, as Darwin believed, that "probably all the organic beings which have ever lived on this earth have descended from one primordial form, into which life was first breathed" (The Origin of Species, 455), I apprehend that this is incompatible with the Qur'anic account of creation. Our first ancestor was the prophet Adam (upon whom be peace), who was created by Allah in janna, or "paradise" and not on earth, but also created in a particular way that He describes to us:

"And [mention] when your Lord said to the angels, 'Truly, I will create a man from clay. So when I have completed him, and breathed into him of My spirit, then fall down prostrate to him.' And the angels prostrated, one and all. Save for Satan, who was too proud to, and disbelieved. He said to him, 'O Satan, what prevented you from prostrating to what I have created with My two hands? Are you arrogant, or too exalted?' He said,'I am better than he; You created me from fire and created him from clay'" (Qur'an 38:71-76).

Now, the God of Islam is transcendently above any suggestion of anthropomorphism, and Qur'anic exegetes like Fakhr al-Din al-Razi explain the above words created with My two hands as a figurative expression of Allah's special concern for this particular creation, the first human, since a sovereign of immense majesty does not undertake any work "with his two hands" unless it is of the greatest importance (Tafsir al-Fakhr al-Razi. 32 vols. Beirut 1401/1981. Reprint (32 vols. in 16). Beirut: Dar al-Fikr, 1405/1985, 26.231-32). I say "the first human," because the Arabic term bashar used in the verse "Truly, I will create a man from clay" means precisely a human being and has no other lexical significance.

The same interpretive considerations (of Allah's transcendance above the attributes of created things) apply to the words and breathed into him of My spirit. Because the Qur'an unequivocally establishes that Allah is Ahad or "One," not an entity divisible into parts, exegetes say this "spirit" was a created one, and that its attribution to Allah ("My spirit") is what is called in Arabic idafat al-tashrif "an attribution of honor," showing that the ruh or "spirit" within this first human being and his descendants was "a sacred, exalted, and noble substance" (ibid., 228)--not that there was a "part of Allah" such as could enter into Adam's body, which is unbelief. Similar attributions are not infrequent in Arabic, just as the Kaaba is called bayt Allah, or "the House of Allah," meaning "Allah's honored house," not that it is His address; or such as the she-camel sent to the people of Thamud, which was called naqat Allah, or "the she-camel of Allah," meaning "Allah's honored she-camel," signifying its inviolability in the shari'a of the time, not that He rode it; and so on.

All of which shows that, according to the Qur'an, human beings are intrinsically--by their celestial provenance in janna, by their specially created nature, and by the ruh or soul within them--at a quite different level in Allah's eyes than other terrestrial life, whether or not their bodies have certain physiological affinities with it, which are the prerogative of their Maker to create. Darwin says:

"I believe that animals have descended from at most only four or five progenitors, and plants from an equal or lesser number. Analogy would lead me one step further, namely, to the belief that all animals and plants have descended from some one prototype. But analogy may be a deceitful guide" (The Origin of Species, 454-55).
Indeed it may. It is the nature of the place in which Allah has created us, this world (dunya), that the possibility exists to deny the existence of Allah, His angels, His Books, His messengers, the Last Day, and destiny, its good and evil. If these things were not hidden by a veil, there would be no point in Allah's making us responsible for believing them. Belief would be involuntary, like the belief, say, that France is in Europe.
But what He has made us responsible for is precisely belief in the unseen. Why? In order that the divine names--such as al-Rafi' or "He Who Raises," al-Khafidh "He Who Abases," al-Mu'ti "He Who Gives," al-Mani' "He Who Withholds," al-Rahim "the Merciful," al-Muntaqim "the Avenger," al-Latif "the Subtlely Kind," and so on--may be manifest.

How are they manifest? Only through the levels of human felicity and perdition, of salvation and damnation, by the disparity of human spiritual attainment in all its degrees: from the profound certitude of the prophets (upon whom be peace), to the faith of the ordinary believer, to the doubts of the waverer or hypocrite, to the denials of the damned. Also, the veil for its part has a seamless quality. To some, it is a seamless veil of light manifesting the Divine through the perfection of creation; while to others, it is a seamless veil of darkness, a perfect nexus of interpenetrating causal relations in which there is no place for anything that is not material. Allah says,

"Exalted in Grace is He in whose hand is dominion, and He has power over everything. Who created death and life to try you, as to which of you is better in works, and He is the All-powerful, the Oft-forgiving. And who created the seven heavens in layers; you see no disparity in the creation of the All-merciful. Return your glance: do you see any fissures?" (Qur'an 67:1-3).

The last time I checked, the university scene was an atheistic subculture, of professors and students actively or passively convinced that God was created by man. In bastions of liberalism like the University of California at Berkeley, for example, which still forbids the establishment of a Religions Department, only this attitude will do; anything else is immature, is primitivism. The reduction of human behavior to evolutionary biology is a major journalistic missionary outreach of this movement. I am pleased with this, in as much as Allah has created it to try us, to distinguish the good from the bad, the bad from the worse. But I don't see why Muslims should accept it as an explanation of the origin of man, especially when it contradicts what we know from the Creator of Man.

Other Species

As for other cases, change from one sort of thing to another does not seem to contradict revelation, for Allah says,
"O people: Fear your Lord, who created you from one soul [Adam, upon whom be peace] and created from it its mate [his wife Hawa], and spread forth from them many men and women" (Qur'an 4:1),
and also says, concerning the metamorphosis of a disobedient group of Bani Isra'il into apes,
"When they were too arrogant to [desist from] what they had been forbidden, We said to them, 'Be you apes, humiliated'" (Qur'an 7:166).
and in a hadith, "There shall be groups of people from my community who shall consider fornication, silk, wine, and musical instruments to be lawful: groups shall camp beside a high mountain, whom a shepherd returning to in the evening with one of their herds shall approach for something he needs, and they shall tell him, 'Come back tomorrow.' Allah shall destroy them in the night, bringing down the mountain upon them, and transforming others into apes and swine until the Day of Judgement." (Sahih al-Bukhari. 9 vols. Cairo 1313/1895. Reprint (9 vols. in 3). Beirut: Dar al-Jil, n.d., 7.138: 5590). Most Islamic scholars have understood these transformations literally, which shows that Allah's changing one thing into another (again, in other than the origin of man) has not been traditionally considered to be contrary to the teachings of Islam. Indeed, the daily miracle of nutrition, the sustenance Allah provides for His creatures, in which one creature is transformed into another by being eaten, may be seen in the food chains that make up the economy of our natural world, as well as our own plates.

If, as in the theory of evolution, we conjoin with this possibility the factors of causality, gradualism, mutation, and adaptation, it does not seem to me to add anything radically different to these other forms of change. For Islamic tenets of faith do not deny causal relations as such, but rather that causes have effects in and of themselves, for to believe this is to ascribe a co-sharer to Allah in His actions. Whoever believes in this latter causality (as virtually all evolutionists do) is an unbeliever (kafir) without any doubt, as "whoever denies the existence of ordinary causes has made the Wisdom of Allah Most High inoperative, while whoever attributes effects to them has associated co-sharers (shirk) to Allah Most High" (al-Hashimi: Miftah al-janna fi sharh 'aqida Ahl al-Sunna. Damascus: Matba'a al-taraqi, 1379/1960, 33). As for Muslims, they believe that Allah alone creates causes, Allah alone creates effects, and Allah alone conjoins the two. In the words of the Qur'an, "Allah is the Creator of everything" (Qur'an 13:16).

A Muslim should pay careful attention to this point, and distance himself from believing either 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. Both of these negate the oneness and soleness (wahdaniyya) of Allah, which entails that Allah has no co-sharer in:

(1) His entity (dhat);
(2) His attributes (sifat);
(3) or in His acts (af'al), which include the creation of the universe and everything in it, including all its cause and effect relationships.
This third point is negated by both (a) and (b) above, and perhaps this is what your pamphleteer at Oxford had in mind when he spoke about the shirk (ascribing a co-sharer to Allah) of evolution.
In this connection, evolution as a knowledge claim about a causal relation does not seem to me intrinsically different from other similar knowledge claims, such as the statement "The president died from an assassin's bullet." Here, though in reality Allah alone gives life or makes to die, we find a dispensation in Sacred Law to speak in this way, provided that we know and believe that Allah alone brought about this effect. As for someone who literally believes that the bullet gave the president death, such a person is a kafir. In reality he knows no more about the world than a man taking a bath who, when the water is cut off from the municipality, gets angry at the tap.

To summarize the answer to your question thus far, belief in macro-evolutionary transformation and variation of non-human species does not seem to me to entail kufr (unbelief) or shirk (ascribing co-sharers to Allah) unless one also believes that such transformation came about by random mutation and natural selection, understanding these adjectives as meaning causal independence from the will of Allah. You have to look in your heart and ask yourself what you believe. From the point of view of tawhid, Islamic theism, nothing happens "at random," there is no "autonomous nature," and anyone who believes in either of these is necessarily beyond the pale of Islam.

Unfortunately, this seems to be exactly what most evolutionists think. In America and England, they are the ones who write the textbooks, which raises weighty moral questions about sending Muslim students to schools to be taught these atheistic premises as if they were "givens of modern science." Teaching unbelief (kufr) to Muslims as though it were a fact is unquestionably unlawful. Is this unlawfulness mitigated (made legally permissible by shari'a standards) by the need (darura) of upcoming generations of Muslims for scientific education? If so, the absence of textbooks and teachers in most schools who are conversant and concerned enough with the difficulties of the theory of evolution to accurately present its hypothetical character, places a moral obligation upon all Muslim parents. They are obliged to monitor their children's Islamic beliefs and to explain to them (by means of themselves, or someone else who can) the divine revelation of Islam, together with the difficulties of the theory of evolution that will enable the children to make sense of it from an Islamic perspective and understand which aspects of the theory are rejected by Islamic theism (tawhid) and which are acceptable. The question of the theory's adequacy, meaning its generalizability to all species, will necessarily be one of the important aspects of this explanation.

Adequacy

Of all the premises of evolution, the two that we have characterized above as unbelief (kufr); namely, random mutation and natural selection, interpreted in a materialistic sense, are what most strongly urge its generalization to man. Why must we accept that man came from a common ancestor with animal primates, particularly since a fossil record of intermediate forms is not there? The answer of our age seems to be: "Where else should he have come from?"
It is only if we accept the premise that there is no God that this answer acquires any cogency. The Qur'an answers this premise in detail and with authority. But evolutionary theory is not only ungeneralizable because of Allah informing us of His own existence and man's special creation, but because of what we discern in ourselves of the uniqueness of man, as the Qur'an says,

"We shall show them Our signs on the horizons and in themselves, until it is plain to them that it is the Truth" (Qur'an 41:53).
Among the greatest of these signs in man's self is his birthright as Khalifat al-Rahman, "the successor of the All-merciful." If it be wondered what this successorship consists in, the ulama of tasawwuf, the scholars of Islamic spirituality, have traditionally answered that it is to be looked for in the ma'rifa bi Llah or "knowledge of Allah" that is the prerogative of no other being in creation besides the believer, and which is attained through following the path of inward purification, of strengthening the heart's attachment to Allah through acts of obedience specified by Sacred Law, particularly that of dhikr.
The locus of this attachment and this knowledge is not the mind, but rather the subtle faculty within one that is sometimes called the heart, sometimes the ruh or spirit. Allah's special creation of this faculty has been mentioned above in connection with the Qur'anic words and breathed into him of My spirit. According to masters of the spiritual path, this subtle body is knowledgeable, aware, and cognizant, and when fully awakened, capable of transcending the opacity of the created universe to know Allah. The Qur'an says about it, by way of exalting its true nature through its very unfathomability:

"Say: The spirit is of the matter of my Lord" (Qur'an 17:85).
How does it know Allah? I once asked this question of one of the ulama of tasawwuf in Damascus, and recorded his answer in an unpublished manuscript. He told me:
"Beholding the Divine (mushahada) is of two sorts, that of the eye and that of the heart. In this world, the beholding of the heart is had by many of the 'arifin (knowers of Allah), and consists of looking at contingent things, created beings, that they do not exist through themselves, but rather exist through Allah, and when the greatness of Allah occurs to one, contingent things dwindle to nothing in one's view, and are erased from one's thought, and the Real (al-Haqq) dawns upon one's heart, and it is as if one beholds. This is termed 'the beholding of the heart.' The beholding of the eye [in this world] is for the Chosen, the Prophet alone, Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace). As for the next world, it shall be for all believers. Allah Most High says,
'On that day faces shall be radiant, gazing upon their Lord' (Qur'an 75:22)."
[I wrote of the above:] If it be observed that the term heart as used above does not seem to conform to its customary usage among speakers of the language, I must grant this. In the context, the term denotes not the mind, but rather the faculty that perceives what is beyond created things, in the world of the spirit, which is a realm unto itself. If one demands that the existence of this faculty be demonstrated, the answer--however legitimate the request--cannot exceed, "Go to masters of the discipline, train, and you will be shown." Unsatisfying though this reply may be, it does not seem to me to differ in principle from answers that would be given, for example, to a non-specialist regarding the proof for a particular proposition in theoretical physics or symbolic logic. Nor are such answers an objection to the in-principle "publicly observable" character of observation statements in these disciplines, but rather a limitation pertaining to the nature of the case and the questioner, one that he may accept, reject, or do something about (Keller, Interpreter's Log. Manuscript Draft, 1993, 1-2).
Mere imagination? On the contrary, everything besides this knowledge is imagination, for the object of this knowledge is Allah, true reality, which cannot be transient but is unchanging, while other facts are precisely imaginary. The child you used to be, for example, exists now only in your imagination; the person who ate your breakfast this morning no longer exists except in your imagination; your yesterday, your tomorrow, your today (except, perhaps, for the moment you are presently in, which has now fled): all is imaginary, and only hypostatized as phenomenal reality, as unity, as facticity, as real--through imagination. Every moment that comes is different, winking in and out of existence, preserved in its relational continuum by pure imagination, which constitutes it as "world." What we notice of this world is thus imaginary, like what a sleeper sees. In this connection, Ali ibn Abi Talib (Allah ennoble his countenance) has said, "People are asleep, and when they die, they awaken" (al-Sakhawi, al-Maqasid al-hasana. Cairo 1375/1956. Reprint. Beirut: Dar al-kutub al-'ilmiyya, 1399/1979, 442: 1240).
This is not to denigrate the power of imagination; indeed, if not for imagination, we could not believe in the truths of the afterlife, paradise, hell, and everything that our eternal salvation depends upon. Rather, I mention this in the context of the question of evolution as a cautionary note against a sort of "fallacy of misplaced concrescence," an unwarranted epistemological overconfidence, that exists in many people who work in what they term "the hard sciences."

As someone from the West, I was raised from early school years as a believer not only in science, the practical project of discovery that aims at exploiting more and more of the universe by identification, classification, and description of micro- and macro-causal relations; but also in scientism, the belief that this enterprise constitutes absolute knowledge. As one philosopher whom I read at the University of Chicago put it,

Scientism is science's belief in itself: that is, the conviction that we can no longer understand science as one form of possible knowledge, but rather must identify knowledge with science" (Habermas, Knowledge and Human Interests. Tr. Jeremy J. Shapiro. Boston: Beacon Press, 1971, 4).

It seems to me that this view, in respect to evolution but also in respect to the nature of science as a contemporary religion, represents a sort of defeat of knowledge by an absolutism of pure methodology. As I mentioned at the outset, the categories of understanding that underly every observation statement in the theory of evolution arise from human consciousness, and as such cannot be distinguished by the theory from other transient survival devices: its explanative method, from first to last, is necessarily only another survival mechanism that has evolved in the animal kingdom. By its own measure, it is not necessary that it be true, but only necessary that it be powerful in the struggle for survival. Presumably, any other theory--even if illusory--that had better implications for survival could displace evolution as a mode of explanation. Or perhaps the theory itself is an illusion.

These considerations went through my mind at the University of Chicago during my "logic of scientific explanation" days. They made me realize that my faith in scientism and evolutionism had something magical as its basis, the magic of an influential interpretation supported by a vast human enterprise. I do not propose that science should seriously try to comprehend itself, which it is not equipped to do anyway, but I have come to think that, for the sake of its consumers, it might have the epistemological modesty to "get back," from its current scientistic pretentions to its true nature, as one area of human interpretation among others. From being the "grand balance scale" on which one may weigh and judge the "reality" of all matters, large and small--subsuming "the concept of God," for example, under the study of religions, religions under anthropology, anthropology under human behavioral institutions, human behavioral institutions under evolutionary biology, evolutionary biology under organic chemistry, organic chemistry (ultimately) under cosmology, cosmology under chaos theory, and so on--I have hopes that science will someday get back to its true role, the production of technically exploitable knowledge for human life. That is, from pretentions to 'ilm or "knowledge," to its true role as "fann" or "technique."

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. In this respect, it is a little like Sigmund Freud's Interpretation of Dreams, in which he describes examples of dreams that are wish fulfillments, and then concludes that "all dreams are wish fulfillments." We still wait to be convinced.

Summary of Islamic Conclusions
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.

Books
I realized after writing the above that I had not talked much about the literature on the theory of evolution. Books that have been recommended to me are:
Evolution: A Theory in Crisis. Michael Denton. Bethesda, Maryland: Adler and Adler Publishers, 1986. Originally published in Great Britain by Burnett Books Ltd. This would probably be the most interesting to you as a biologist, as it discusses molecular genetics and other scientific aspects not examined above.
Enclyclopedia of Ignorance. Ed. Duncan Roland. Oxford: Pergamon Press, 1978.
Thinking About God (Exact title?). Ruqaiyyah Waris Maqsood. Bloomington, Indiana. American Trust Publications.
Thank you for asking me this question, which made me think about my own beliefs. I remain at your service,

by Nuh Ha Mim Keller.
How does he, whose guardian is Allah, get perished? And how can he, who is being pursued by Allah, get salvation? (Imam Mohammad Taqi (as))
minhaal2000
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Postby minhaal2000 » 26 Jan 2006, 19:06

check out Harun Yahya's e-books audios and even Documentary trhat will proove that evolution untrue.. and a propaganda

http://www.harunyahya.com/

the documentary on evolution is exellent and needs to be downloaded

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Postby minhaal2000 » 26 Jan 2006, 19:09

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Postby peaceful_soul » 28 Jan 2006, 01:16

s/a thank u all 4 ur reponses they were very helpful
i actully asked this same question 2 a couple of ppl n the one response i think is very good so i though i would post it here 4 any one who would like 2 read

first a simple answer to yr friends statement that dna in us and apes is similar so we conclude that we came from apes.
1) using the same evidence and logic, why cant we conclude that apes came from us?

2)when we compare two things and they are very similar, it does not necesarily mean they came from the same common ancestor: for example when we compare a toyota corolla and a toyota camry, they are very similar..., yet we know that toyota camry did not evolve from toyota corolla, rather they are similar because they were made from a common plan, common company, (common creator)
3) The above is aldo proof that there is only ONE creator. i.e when u c similarity in nature over som many different species, u coonclude they all came from the same Designer...

ok here are some of the articles i wrote:

Letters to the editor:

I am a BS in Biology major and a senior at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA.

Last semester I had the privilege of taking Biochemistry 1 with a world renowned proponent of the theory of Intelligent Design: Professor Michael J Behe and simultaneously taking an upper level Biology Course called Evolution with a prominent evolutionist. Hence I feel sufficiently qualified to make a value judgment on the two theories.

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind, that Darwinian Evolution lacks evidence. The entire focus of evolutionary biology has been on "natural selection" a process, critics of Darinism do not doubt. The real nitty gritty "speciation" however is largely bypassed. I beleive popular evaluation of Evolution is very different from the scientific view of the same and the popular debate has been more about whether the process of Darwinan Evolution can explain 1) how life arose, and 2)the complexity and diversity of life as we see it.

The reason why Darwinian Evolution continues to occupy such a prominent role in the Western scientific tradition, despite glaringly obvious evidence to the contrary dates back to circumstances surrounding resurgence of the Western Scientific tradition (the Renaissance and Reformation). I will inshallah write more about this in later issues if permitted to contribute a few articles on the subject by the WF.

In the meantime, Prof. Behe has written an interesting book titled "Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to evolution " which I strongly recommend to anyone interested in the debate. The website http://www.crsc.org/ is also a good source. Lastly the books by Harun Yahya are also good, however there are a few problems with some of the evidence he cites.

Aunali Khaku
Bethlehem, United States

Evolution or Scientific Dogmatism
In today's ultramodern hi-tech sophisticated society, everyone acknowledges the pivotal position of science and appreciates its contribution to the betterment of human life. However this has also subconsciously made us trust scientists a bit too much. To illustrate, try to recall how many times have you heard an argument which refers to science as an authority. So common has this practice become that even zakirs sometimes explain the Islamic position on something and then qualify it with a statement such as "Even science has proved this." Thus it would not be an exaggeration to state that the scientists today command an authority akin to the priests of yester years. Yet in this very field, whose pursuers characterize themselves as seekers of truth, a growing corruption has largely gone undetected. In this essay I hope to expose a few examples of this corruption in evolutionary biology, with the hope that we will be more vary of swallowing everything with the label "scientific' and more aware of the scientificness of the theory of evolution.
One of the standard arguments that evolutionary biologists advance to support their view, is the story of the peppered moth Biston betularia. This famous example can be found in almost all introductory biology textbook as evidence for evolution. However, what evolutionists leave untold is the fact that this oft repeated story is actually a farce. The study in brief is as follows: In the 70's British scientist Kettlewell carried out an experiment whose results suggested that moths in England had over time changed from the lighter to the darker variety in response to changes in their environment brought about by the Industrial revolution. For two decades this experiment remained the gold standard for all evolutionary biology experiments.
In the 90's however, Michael Majerus challenged this study demonstrating it to be a complete hoax. Majerus showed that the moths neither rest on tree barks as previously thought, nor do they have an innate preference for any particular bark color. Furthermore modern genomic studies have revealed that the gene system for peppered coloration is also not as simple as was previously believed. Most importantly however, it is now known that the relative preponderance of these moths does not correlate with areas of high pollution at all. Hence, Kettlewell's hypothesis has been disproved and ideally his study should be discarded. However this is not the case. The story of the peppered moth continues to be published in almost all biology textbooks that get published.
This study however is not the only fuzzy science that is passed of as truth. Another infamous example is that of Haeckel's embryos. Ernst Haeckel forged and fudged pictures of human embryos claiming that they were of different species in an attempt to show that embryonic development is nearly the same in all these different species. His study had absolutely no scientific credulity and he was in fact charged with fraud in the 70's. Despite his study being rejected decades ago, the figures he forged continue to decorate major biology textbooks as evidence for evolution. In fact even the current president of the National Academy of Science, the most prestigious scientific body in the United States, Bruce Alberts, has not been spared from this malicious practice. Albert's latest textbook "Cell Biology", which is widely acknowledged as the best textbook on cell biology, still contains elaborate references to Haeckels embryos.
Although this may seem surprising, it has been standard practice for a long time. What this demonstrates is that scientists like any other people are susceptible to mistakes and prejudices and have in fact been influenced by their preconceived notions. This is not to assert that all scientists are bad and willfully mislead people, but rather it is to make us aware that everything labeled scientific or sanctioned by the consensus of the scientific community is not necessarily scientific or truthful. Just like all of us, scientists too are subconsciously biased by the views and beliefs that they hold to be true and by social influences. As conscientious Muslims, we have to be aware of this and ensure that our aqeedah is not shaken by the great variety of wishy-washy theories out there. Inshallah in my next essay I will delve further into the evolution debate and demonstrate how Darwinism is fatally flawed.


Aunali Khaku is a Senior Biology Major at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA.
--------
HIV Conundrum
This is the second in a series of articles about the Evolution controversy. As the title indicates, It mainly focuses on the HIV virus. In order to make it readable I have tried to make the science behind it as simple as possible.
One of the standard examples that evolutionary biologists advance as evidence for evolution is drug resistance in HIV. The example revolves around the fact that HIV positive patients treated with 3TC, a nucleoside inhibitor, within days show 3TC resistant viruses. According to evolutionists this demonstrates evolution in action. They assert that the process that took place in the patient's body in a few days mimics the process by which the diversity of life as we see it arose. Undoubtedly the feat of these viruses is amazing. However does this really mimic the fantastic theory of evolution advanced by Darwinists? In my essay, I will try to explore this example and analyze the challenges that it poses to Darwinian evolution.
First and foremost, the process by which the 3TC resistant HIV proliferated was natural selection-a process which skeptics of Darwinism have no problems accepting. The mutation that causes resistance is a simple recurrent mutation and hence there are always a few resistant viruses present within HIV populations. When the drug 3TC was given to HIV positive patients, the 3TC resistant virus present in them survived and proliferated whereas the normal ones died off. Hence no new variation was introduced into HIV but rather existing variation was chiseled away at. Thus as exciting as this may sound, this example makes a marvelous case for natural selection but not for evolution. Secondly, although we may be tempted to think that a permanent improvement has been made to the HIV genome, what really occurred is transient. When the drug is removed, the resistant virus is now at a disadvantage as it reproduces slower than the non-resistant one and soon the normal HIV reasserts its dominance. Hence this variant is only advantageous in the presence of 3TC. This is kind of like the argument that a man without a leg is better because he will not suffer from polio. Obviously in an environment controlled and manipulated by humans, the 3TC resistant strain is at an advantage, but whether this process could have occurred in the harsh world of nature when humans were absent is highly doubtful.
However the most important challenge that this example poses to evolution is not about natural selection but rather mutation. Everyone agrees that natural selection can only weed out the weaker organisms. It can not introduce new variation. The Darwinian view is that new variation is introduced by random mutation. The HIV virus has a phenomenally high mutation rate and Darwinists often tout it as an example that mutation is really a force capable of introducing new variation. In fact they assert that it is through this process (random mutations and selection) that complex life arose. However as we shall soon see, this example actually disproves the ability of mutation to induce favorable variation.
If random mutations can bring in new variation, an organism with a phenomenally high mutation rate and a fast reproduction rate will evolve very fast. At a mutation rate of 1012 per second the HIV virus should technically have produced many new species. However no scientist in his right mind ever suggests that the HIV virus has given rise to any new species. Why? Because it is ludicrous to think that higher life forms can arise from lower life forms by this simplistic process. Thus if the HIV virus, a very simple organism with a high mutation and reproduction rate can not give rise to a new species by random mutation and selection, how could life as we know it, given that most of the other higher organisms actually have lower mutation and reproduction rates, have arisen by this simple process. The simple answer is it couldn't. Thus the next time you read about the HIV virus as evidence for evolution think again!




It Takes Two to Tango
In his textbook titled "Evolution", Mark Ridley, an acclaimed evolutionist, starts chapter thirteen with the sentence: "The existence of sex is an outstanding, unsolved problem in Evolutionary biology." After explaining why he thinks sexual reproduction is problematic for evolution, Ridley proposes four hypotheses by which sexual reproduction could have arisen. He however concludes the argument by declaring: "It is uncertain how sex is adaptive." In my essay I hope to delve further into the problem of sex and challenge the current evolutionary explanations for it.
Ridley and other evolutionists think sex is problematic because it is less efficient than asexual reproduction. They reason that with everything else being equal, an asexual organism will proliferate twice as fast as a sexual organism. Hence in a population where both asexual and sexual individuals exist, the asexual organisms will have higher fitness than sexual organisms and hence sexual organisms would be eliminated. While I have no problem with the idea that sexual reproduction is too expensive and maladaptive to be explained by evolution, I think that sexual reproduction poses an even larger challenge ignored by most evolutionists. How did sex arise in the first place?
Since sex is absent in primitive organisms, it must have been a new innovation. Hence sex either arose by evolution or it was designed. The theory of evolution suggests that new variations arise in nature by mutations. Hence, according to the theory of evolution, a mutant must have arisen in a population of asexual organisms that had the ability to reproduce sexually. The problem however is that sexual reproduction is not simply a matter of a particular gene mutating to form a new protein. Sex, like many other biochemical phenomena, requires numerous new proteins arranged in novel ways. It is very unlikely that a single mutation event would be able to convert an asexual organism into a sexual organism. Yet gradual mutations to existing proteins could not have developed proteins required in sexual reproduction as intermediate organisms which such mutations would have no advantage over others.
Nevertheless, for the sake of argument let us assume that somewhere along the line a sexual organism did arise. How would it proliferate? As the saying goes: "it takes two to tango" so without a complimentary sexual partner, the new mutant would die off without any offspring. Thus in order to accept that sexual reproduction arose by chance we have to believe that a minimum of at least two sexual organisms arose simultaneously in the same community and that they managed to find each other and engage in sexual reproduction. In fact since life is a biochemical phenomenon, we have to further realize that for this sexual pair to be able to produce an offspring, the minimum requirement would be that their sexual structures (assemblies of proteins) be exactly complimentary not only in the physical, but also in the biochemical sense. That is to say that apart from the fact that the strictures would have to fit together, the gametes (think egg and sperm) would have to be such that they attract each other and by a biochemical process, penetrate and give rise to a viable zygote. For all practical purposes, the probability that two organisms evolve such strikingly complimentary structures and gametes simultaneously is nil.
But even if we assume that somehow all this did happen, the problem still remains. For sex now to become fixed, it would have to displace asexual reproduction which as demonstrated by Ridley is a big problem facing evolutionary biologists. Despite all these issues, in the presence of overwhelming evidence to suggest the contrary, evolutionary biologists continue to promulgate the outdated and fallacious ideas of Darwinism in the name of science.

The Battle of the Titans
This is the last in a series of essays on evolution. In the past few essays, I demonstrated how the careful study of various different disciplines of science such as biology, mathematics, physics, and biochemistry prove that Darwinian evolution is practically impossible. I gave evidence from different fields and specialties within biology that showed that Darwinism is not only fallacious but has often been perpetuated by fraudulent means. However, despite all this, Darwinism still reigns supreme and has in fact become a hallmark of the Western scientific tradition. In this essay I will endeavor to explain, using historical evidence, why I think this has been the case. In order to understand why Darwinism occupies such a pivotal role in Western civilization, one has to understand the social circumstances prior to the renaissance and reformation in Europe. In the middle Ages, while Muslim scientists were forging ahead making important discoveries, Europe was languishing in ignorance. Unlike in the Islamic tradition, where science was actually a divinely sanctioned response to the constant commands to seek knowledge, science was denounced as heresy in Europe. The Church of England held complete sway over the masses and any ideas that questioned pre-existing beliefs about the natural world were not only frowned upon, but were often violently crushed. Many scientists even paid the ultimate price and were burnt to the stake.
Unfortunately for the church, this did not fare too well. As the powerful forces of revolution and change swept over Europe, the balance of power shifted from the Church to science. Today, although science has triumphed, the historical battle between science and religion in the west has not disappeared. The scars that remained after the battle have pitched the two in a perpetual sense of enmity and many educated people (scientists, clergy, and laymen alike) still carry this historical baggage. To many in the West, science is and will always remain diametrically opposed to religion and vice verse and "never shall the twain meet."
It is prudent to understand that it was in this social climate of intense rivalry and saber rattling over authority that Charles Darwin proposed his idea. His historic paper titled "The origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life" was widely accepted in scientific circles, because it had important philosophical implications for the battle between religion and science. His powerful idea was the first scientific idea to theorize that life itself could arise without a conscious being behind it and hence it had the potential to forever turn the tables on religion. This was because, despite the many advances that scientists made, religion still made intuitive sense. The more scientists found out about nature, the more proof there seemed to be that an intelligent designer was behind the wheel. Darwin's idea however, was going to put an end to that and forever claim a victory for science.
Thus the reason that Darwinism is and remains so prominent in the Western scientific tradition dates back to this age old enmity. Just like global politics, and other human enterprises, science too is often about power and authority. If Biologists today were to unite and discard Darwinism, it would be tantamount to admitting defeat to religion. Hence despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, biologists will not simply give up the power they have enjoyed. They will in fact leave no stone unturned to preserve their power. And thus they have. They have invested millions into refuting any ideas that challenge evolution. Prominent biologists who dared question evolution have often been castigated. Some have lost their jobs, and others socially ostracized. The dogmatic theory of evolution however has been preserved at all costs. Call it dogmatism or call it science, this is something biologists on the other side of the fence have learned to live with.

As noted earlier, this is my last essay on evolution. Inshallah, I hope that my essays have provided some food for thought especially to young Muslims heading off into the world of Academia.




once again i would like 2 thank u all 4 taking ur time 2 respond
wasalaam
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Postby Muhammad Mahdi » 28 Jan 2006, 10:27

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The educated man has the right to manipulate the ignorant, if the ignorance of the of the ignorant is due to his own ignorance.
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Postby marhum » 21 Feb 2006, 17:01

this whole evolution thing is just simply over-rated. see, they argue that species evolve and acquire or dispose off some traits so that they may be better suited to survive in a particular environment at a particular time - conforming with charles darwin's theory of natural selection. so for instance, the giraffe grew a long neck over a long period of time when it had to start chewing grass off of trees that were relatively high. so here's my question: how come humans haven't yet grown wings? to be able to survive naturally in todays day and age, man needs to be able to fly around the globe for various reasons such as better business deals, education, medicine, and the like. so why do i still have to buy a ticket so i can travel somewhere when our buddy darwin has already predicted that i'll be growing wings soon... ?
"Be like the flower that gives fragrance even to the hand that crushes it." ~ Imam 'Ali ibn Abi Talib

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