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Evolution? Answers in the Quran:
Author/Source: Fatima Shahab  (frs@sfu.ca) Posted by: Fatima Shahab
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Evolution and the Quran


Significance
Evolution, a topic beaten into the core of every biology students mind from first year university, is the most controversial topic to religious people of all faiths. Many Muslims around the world would agree that they do not believe in evolution and yet the scientific facts which are used to support evolution are not disputed. These scientific facts, which are used to explain evolution, are merely dismissed by Muslims instead of explored in order to explain the mysteries behind Allah's creation.

What is Evolution?
The biological definition of evolution is the process of change in genetic composition of a population over successive generations, caused by natural selection, inbreeding, hybridization and mutation.

What is Natural Selection?
The finches on Galapagos Island, just off the west coast of South America, are a famous example of speciation. Darwin used this famous example to propose the concept of natural selection. The finches moved from the main Island of South America to a number of small, isolated islands. These islands all bore different types of fruit: some with hard seeds, some with soft seeds, some with deep nutrient containing seeds, etc. Variations existed within the Finches own initial population, which permitted the survival of those most suited to the island they emigrated to. For example, birds with large beaks survived and propagated on the island where they had access to fruit with hard seeds. The birds with narrow beaks were capable of surviving and propagating on the island that contained fruit with deep seeds and so on.

The specific beak shapes were determined by the genome of the birds and thus passed on to their offspring. Since the birds most suited to their environment would survive to reproduce, the next generation would inherit these beneficial traits and the birds would differentiate into a new species which identified itself different from the original mainland species. Thus, the environment chose which variation of the Finches would survive on the island and throughout time the birds that were most suited for their environment would survive and have their progeny pass on the specific desired traits required for survival on the specific island. Thus the process of natural selection was understood and defined.

This concept of natural selection does not conflict with Islam, if Allah is the Bari, the evolver, where does the conflict between evolutionary theories and Islam begin?

The conflict arises when people disagree on whether or not life began randomly and whether the complex nature of the human body is simply a summation of mutations over time. The process of natural selection is exploited to explain the existence of the most adapted, best suited animal alive today: man.

Man is the only animal with written language. This amazing ability permits us to pass on previous discoveries and further our understanding of study biology, physics, chemistry, psychology and countless other fields. Man therefore is arguably the most intelligent animal on earth and we use this intelligence to ponder our very existence.


What is the Prebiotic Soup?
Prebiotic soup describes the non living inorganic substances which are believed to have existed prior to life. The way in which this prebiotic soup came to become alive is my some evolutionists believed to be a spontaneous occurrence.

The biological definition of evolution should not be confused with other theories, such as abiogenesis the process by which life began. This process involves the miraculous replication of molecules and synthesis of building blocks which support life.

The concept of life beginning from a single lifeless soup is not contrary to Islam. Allah says in the Quran "We created man from sounding clay, from mud moulded into shape." (15.26). The prebiotic soup which is believed to be the origin of life is described as muddy layers of non living substances. This muddy layer protects the molecules from the reactive elements in the environment, permitting them to somehow reproduce and become alive.

The similarity between the clay described in the Quran approximately fourteen hundred years ago and the mud used within the last century to hypothesize the conditions of the origin of life are proof of the Quran's authenticity. If we analyze the composition of clay we find that the same metals within clay can be found within a human. These metals include Carbon, Hydrogen, Nitrogen, Oxygen, Phosphorus and Sulfur, along with metals present in both man and clay in smaller quantities, such as Calcium. Therefore the scientific evidence and the holy Quran revealed 1400 years ago are amazingly similar with respect to the origin of life.

The prebiotic soup is then believed to start reproducing and becoming alive through some miracle. The only question that remains for scientists is whether this miracle is from Allah or due to random chance.
In 1953, the Miller- Urey experiment marked the controversy over whether or not life could have been initiated by applying an electrical spark to a mixture of methane, hydrogen, ammonia and water. The mixture was said to have represented the earth's early atmosphere but did not in fact. When the experiment was attempted again with the removal of hydrogen which was not present in the earth's early atmosphere, the production of amino acids was not found. The amino acids are the building blocks of proteins which are responsible for many enzymatic reactions organisms require in order to survive. The Miller-Urey experiment, a flawed and unfounded theory about the origin of life has not been able to recreate life nor will any experiment like it for with Allah alone exists the power over life and death.


Apeman theory?
Another conflict arises with the theory that man evolved from apes.

Lucy, the famous skeleton discovered in 1974 in Ethiopia, is used to connect humans to apes. The skeleton of Lucy was found only 40% complete and many pieces such as her knee joint were found 60 to 70 meters away as stated by Lucy's discoverer, Donald Johanson. Therefore, there is much speculation as to whether her skeleton belonged to one individual or not, disregarding the fact that scientific papers only publish findings which do not negate their hypotheses let us assume that her skeleton belonged to one individual. Scientists found that Lucy had an ape like wrist which did not rotate, indicating a knuckle walker, a unique trait in apes. Many evolutionists use her skeleton and other ape like skeletons which have been found scattered throughout the world to hypothesize that man evolved from apes due to random genetic mutations which allowed humans to develop into much more sophisticated organisms.

The Quran talks about monkey men in 600 C.E. in surah al Baqarah: “And indeed you knew those amongst you who transgressed in the matter of the Sabbath (i.e. Saturday). We said to them: ‘Be you monkeys, despised and rejected.’ So We made this punishment an example to their own and to succeeding generations and a lesson to those who are Al-Muttaqoon (the pious)” (2:65-66)

If Allah turned a group of a people into apes is it not possible that these monkey like skeletons could be a result of that situation?

Many human like traits are believed to have evolved from a gene or set of genes. One example of a trait believed to distinguish humans from apes is bipedality, the ability to walk on two legs.

The very idea a single gene or a set of genes controlling the ability to walk upright is refuted as is the uniqueness of bipedality in humans. Cases have been found in aquatic apes which stand on their two back legs to avoid drowning during floods.

If in fact walking on all fours is a primitive trait which is controlled genetically a set of genes should be found which are responsible for this. In the study done on a Turkish family which were found to walk on their hands and knees scientists were not able to find a specific gene which was responsible for this phenomenon. In fact, when given walking bars, the family were amazingly able to start walking on their two legs. This shows the flaws in the understanding of human traits such as bipedality and the flaws in the idea that genes are solely responsible for evolutionary adaptations.

Since many human like traits can be found in certain organisms, such as the ability to use tools, farm and walk upright the only strikingly scientific difference between monkeys and men is written language. No animal is capable of written language according to scientists and believe it or not Allah speaks about this in the holy Quran in the first verse he revealed to Prophet Mohammad (sallallu aleyhi wasalam). The Quran says " read in the name of thy lord who created you...who taught man the use of the pen, taught man that which he did not know." (Surah 96, V 1-5)

The mercy that Allah has bestowed on mankind by allowing us to have a written language is something we seldom acknowledge yet it is the first verse revealed to mankind through Prophet Mohammad (sallallu aleyhi wasalam). This amazing ability is not due to random genetic mutations, it is a very specific, designed trait in humans with which we are granted a responsibility: to gain knowledge and to use that knowledge to better worship and understand our creator.

What is the proposed theory of man's perfect morphology
Darwin used the theory of natural selection to explain the theory of evolution, which states that animals and plants change over time. Scientists, however, use the concept of natural selection to propose that the perfect physiology of all living creatures came about through chance. They explain this by proposing that organisms undergo random mutations in their genome, which are passed on to the next generation and those mutations which are favourable are selected for. Thus the future generation is more adapted to the environment and as the variation in the environment increases, so too does the pressure on the organisms to adapt quickly.

Why statistics disproves this
The question is do we believe that life was created randomly, without purpose and without meaning? That our existence is due to some random lucky coincidence that permits us to be so perfectly adapted to an ever changing environment?

The second law of thermodynamics states that all systems tend to go towards the disorder as this requires the lowest energy input. For example, it takes a lot of energy to keep your room neat and tidy and your room naturally becomes messy because this requires the least energetic input from you. Therefore, it makes little sense for an organism to go from a single celled organism to a multi-billion celled complex organism without any energy input. Who and what is this energy input, for Muslims the answer is Allah.


Statistically the chances of our being created randomly are slim to null. We say in statistics that we reject the null hypothesis that our existence is due to chance events and accept the alternative hypothesis that we are all created by an intelligent creator. Modern physics looks at the laws of the universe and agrees that it all points to intelligent design. The likelihood that a perfect functioning robot could simply have come about by a wind storm of metal and dust is impossible, thus too is the probability that random mutations can make a man out of a simple prebiotic soup.

As well, many supposedly evolved traits have no clear purpose. For example why do we have fingertips? Is it an evolutionary advantage to be able to identify one another by our prints? In the theory of evolution, every acquired trait is maintained solely for the purpose of survival, and yet our fingertips have nothing to do with obtaining food or reproducing.

The mystery behind the purpose of our fingertips is spoken about in the Quran in Surah Al Qiymah: "Does man not think we can reassemble his bones, nay we are able to put in perfect order his very fingertips." (75:3-4). In 600 CE a time where fingertips could not possibly be understood or appreciated, Allah reveals to mankind his power by creating every man unique from one another and identifiable through basic dusting techniques.

As well, animals we would expect to be extinct today are surviving despite having apparently primitive traits. Sloths, the slowest animal surviving today, are able to survive by eating plant vegetation. One of the wonders of evolutionary theory is that such an animal can survive today, despite its obvious inability to compete with other faster animals. Evolutionists claim they do not yet understand the morphological benefits of these things nor why such a slow animal can survive amongst better competitors. The mysteries of this world remain despite our seemingly vast knowledge of biology.


This inspiration for life is by many evolutionists believed to a random event. Is the complexity and perfection of the human body simply a summation of chance mutations which occurred over millions of years?

Evolution is so widely loved by scientists as the main reason for man's complex and little understood physiology and yet it is flawed in every aspect and improvable. The theory of evolution is given credit to the work of Allah and the perfect sophistication of the plants, animals, microorganisms and non living elements, which work together to recycle and renew all the compounds of this planet, enabling life. Is it not time to give credit to Allah's creation of the heavens and the earth and to recognize that he is the supreme creator who cannot be mimicked or truly appreciated?

.


References:
Biology Online. Retrieved Dec 30, 2008. Updated Nov 7, 2008
http://www.biology-online.org/dictionary/Evolution

Darwin's Finches. Rothman, Dr. R. Retrived Dec 30., 2008.
http://people.rit.edu/rhrsbi/GalapagosPages/DarwinFinch.html

Lucy's Story. Institude of Human Origins: Arizona State University. Retrieved Dec 30,. 2008.
http://www.asu.edu/clas/iho/lucy.html

Speed of a Sloth: The Physics Factbook. Weinberg. I. Retrieved Dec 30, 2008. Updated 1999
http://hypertextbook.com/facts/1999/IvyWeinberg.shtml

Holy Quran.
From Soup to Cells- the Origin of Life. Schopf. W. Retrieved Dec 30, 2008.
http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101/IIE2aOriginoflife.shtml

http://toarchive.org/faqs/knee-joint.html, Retrieved Jan 5, 09. Leppard Jim. Last updated, 2003.

http://www.rae.org/lucy.html Buckna David, Lucy. Retrieved Jan 05, 09, last updated, Feb 98.

http://users.jyu.fi/~mikvapa/ClayWater.doc Retrieved Jan 05, 09. Clay Water. Gomes et Silva. Updated 2008.

http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/Hangar/2437/thermo.htm Retrieved Jan 05, 09 Flank Lenny, updated 1997. Does Evolution Violate the Laws of Thermodynamics.

http://restoringtruthministries.org/images/ScienceTearSheet15.pdf Retrieved Jan 05, 09, the origin of life the miller urey experiment and biochemical evolution.

http://www.riverapes.com/Me/Work/BipedalismThesis.htm Retrieved Jan 05, 09. Bipedal Wading in Hominoidae: Past and Present. Kuliukus Algis. Updated 2001.


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