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A Muslim journey through Creationism and Evolution

OrbitalDawn

Ulysses Everett McGill
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
39,804
#41
Thanks for being the only one not too lazy to fetch the actual figures :p

See, I knew the Hindus would be cool with evolution. Hindus are so chilled in general that I expect they are cool with just about anything. :D
They have their share of crazies. But those tend to be a really small minority. :D
They're generally chilled. Unless they're these guys...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shiv_Sena

wayfarer said:
God effected and selected mutations according to His Will, through "natural" processes and systems created by Him.
Do you follow this through to its conclusion? Because that means God chose and willingly enabled the horrible genetic defects that people are born with, kills children either before they're born or shortly after. It also includes ebola, TB, flesh-eating viruses, the worm that buries itself in the eyes of children and then proceeds to eat its way out, bubonic plague, AIDS and a whole host of other diseases that has inflicted immense suffering upon millions/billions of people for millennia.
 

wayfarer

Expert Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2009
Messages
1,619
#42
Do you follow this through to its conclusion? Because that means God chose and willingly enabled the horrible genetic defects that people are born with, kills children either before they're born or shortly after. It also includes ebola, TB, flesh-eating viruses, the worm that buries itself in the eyes of children and then proceeds to eat its way out, bubonic plague, AIDS and a whole host of other diseases that has inflicted immense suffering upon millions/billions of people for millennia.
Good question.

Please see post: Facilitation of Good & Evil
 

S.Harris

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2011
Messages
111
#45
I don't know why God did it that way. There are many things I do not know about God's method. There is no doubt that science will uncover some of the mysteries.
How can you say that, when you have yet, after all these years, failed to show how you "Know" that God is real. We understand and accept that you believe God to be real, but that does not give you the right to say that you know or do not know something about someone you have not shown to be real. Your sentence would have just as much meaning as saying "I don't know why Zeus did it that way" and that is the problem.

Evolution works without the need for gods, and this is the problem that the religious acknowledge, it makes their gods unneeded, which in turn places huge cracks in their belief system and destroys the control these systems have over the lay people. This is something that the religious leaders do not want.

Starting an argument with an invalid premise or unproven assumption, that a Gods can exist, usually means the rest of the argument is automatically invalid.

Evolution is a fact, whether or not the religious believe it to be so, either show it to be false or change your religious position. Humans evolved from pond scum and not from Adam, your holy books are plain wrong, in total and on every page.
 

murraybiscuit

Executive Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2008
Messages
6,486
#46
Nice post wayfarer. From what I understand, most abrahamic faiths would probably be able to share the same philosophical underpinnings for the existence of god, origins of the universe and origins of human life.

I enjoyed the anecdotes of the op. I found your line of inquisition interesting. I can see how "Why exclude humans" and "what is you" follow, if you're working back from a presupposition. The initial question remains unresolved for me however. Because by invoking dualism, you once more invoke special pleading for humans. If you had asked a Neanderthal, or Australopithecus "what is me", you would have had an interesting conversation. Or lack thereof. In my opinion, this is because consciousness itself is an emergent phenomenon - the result of genetic and memetic inheritance filtered by the environment. I really can't reconcile evolution with a soul I'm afraid. That's possibly because I can't suffer the teleology and hubris of how humans perceive themselves a superior species (whatever that means). Our attempts to set ourselves apart really just reveals how feeble our anthropic criteria for "special" status really are from a cosmic point of view IMO.
 
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AlphaJohn

Executive Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2012
Messages
5,866
#48
murray, for the life of me I cannot imagine how you were ever a YEC fundie.
Do not underestimate the art of religious programming. I am sad to admit to also come from the YEC camp, and did not leave it till way later in my life(Way after school).
 

RiaX

Expert Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2012
Messages
4,085
#49
Im impressed at your writing skills sir bravo!

In order to pursue evolution one must do it courageously, respectfully and honestly. The problem I think with ToE, big bang and so forth is that the evidence that really drives these concepts to near accepted fact is that they are extremely complex and difficult to understand. Where as scripture is understandable to everyone and one top of that its also subjective.

I mean if you take the strongest evidence for evolution, which is the genetic sequencing of the great primates of earth viz. orangutan, gorilla, chimpanzee and human being. You have to be quite literate in genetics to grasp the evidence and understanding and if you have read the science you will understand that we have pin pointed the exact location of the evolutionary change from the common ancestors one change lead to human the other chimpanzee - that change being the head to head fusion of chromosome 2 and 13 and it can be located within 15 base pairs which is remarkable. Most people cant even understand what this means let alone grasp the power of this evidence.

Though nature is complex so anything explaining nature will be complex.
 

falcon786

Executive Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2011
Messages
9,114
#50
So I will ask, why the soul? I mean for you to consider this outside of your faith.
The idea of a soul in Islam has always been a very strong one regardless of fitting in with evolution theory,I don't have actual references but maybe wayfarer can fill us in,the way I've always understood it before I even bothered trying to figure out evolution is that this body is just an amaanah(trust) given to us to live our lives on this earth,therefore it would make a lot of sense if this body were to come from the earth be it through evolution,creation or whatever means we find in the future.

Im impressed at your writing skills sir bravo!

In order to pursue evolution one must do it courageously, respectfully and honestly. The problem I think with ToE, big bang and so forth is that the evidence that really drives these concepts to near accepted fact is that they are extremely complex and difficult to understand. Where as scripture is understandable to everyone and one top of that its also subjective.

I mean if you take the strongest evidence for evolution, which is the genetic sequencing of the great primates of earth viz. orangutan, gorilla, chimpanzee and human being. You have to be quite literate in genetics to grasp the evidence and understanding and if you have read the science you will understand that we have pin pointed the exact location of the evolutionary change from the common ancestors one change lead to human the other chimpanzee - that change being the head to head fusion of chromosome 2 and 13 and it can be located within 15 base pairs which is remarkable. Most people cant even understand what this means let alone grasp the power of this evidence.

Though nature is complex so anything explaining nature will be complex.
I have to say I'm surprised,great post.What is important is that scientific minded people grasp this evidence and eventually it will filter down to the lay person.As wayfarer said this could take some time to happen but it is happening in the Islamic world even though people like Harun Yahya are pushing back with aid from Christian creationists.
 
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porchrat

Honorary Master
Joined
Sep 11, 2008
Messages
29,727
#51
I have to say I did not have that barrier,I live my life according to islamic principles and do my science according to mathematically and logically sound principles,I've never felt the need to always reconcile any perceived differences because I know there can be different interpretations related to the times.

I cant see Islam as a barrier to any of the scientific minded individuals I know that are science orientated and many remain devout muslims.
Yes you have a good point. This is I think the exception to the idea that religion holds back scientific progress. For me, interpretations in which people keep science and religion entirely separate, in which they see all claims about the physical world to be allegorical, would, IMO anyway, never become a barrier to scientific progress.
 

falcon786

Executive Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2011
Messages
9,114
#52
Yes you have a good point. This is I think the exception to the idea that religion holds back scientific progress. For me, interpretations in which people keep science and religion entirely separate, in which they see all claims about the physical world to be allegorical, would, IMO anyway, never become a barrier to scientific progress.
Belief in GOD is by definition belief in that which cannot be proven,so why bother trying to prove it.Unfortunately what has led many of us to this idea of reconciling religion with evolution is the opposing forces so to speak,people that are completely pro-literal interpretation of scripture camp(and some who don't like being called monkeys :p) and people who are completely pro-atheist and completely against even the possibility of GOD (which is weird for people claiming to be pro science because science opens doors not closes them).

If you've been hit by either of these sides you are suddenly forced to start reconciling your stance on the topic.
 

porchrat

Honorary Master
Joined
Sep 11, 2008
Messages
29,727
#53
Belief in GOD is by definition belief in that which cannot be proven,so why bother trying to prove it.Unfortunately what has led many of us to this idea of reconciling religion with evolution is the opposing forces so to speak,people that are completely pro-literal interpretation of scripture camp(and some who don't like being called monkeys :p) and people who are completely pro-atheist and completely against even the possibility of GOD (which is weird for people claiming to be pro science because science opens doors not closes them).

If you've been hit by either of these sides you are suddenly forced to start reconciling your stance on the topic.
Another good point.

Though at least these types of loons do make one sit back and think "well, I have my issues but at least I'm not that guy". :p
 

SoulTax

Executive Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2011
Messages
6,123
#54
The idea of a soul in Islam has always been a very strong one regardless of fitting in with evolution theory,I don't have actual references but maybe wayfarer can fill us in,the way I've always understood it before I even bothered trying to figure out evolution is that this body is just an amaanah(trust) given to us to live our lives on this earth,therefore it would make a lot of sense if this body were to come from the earth be it through evolution,creation or whatever means we find in the future.
I get that, which is why I said, "Why the soul, I mean for you to consider this from outside of your faith." All of the understanding of evolution had to be done outside of faith. Anyway, I get that it is not something that you or Way are going to drop. Because both sides of your mind have been satisfied. The critical thinking side is satisfied that you fully accept evolution, and so will not nag at your conscience to revisit it. Your faith/emotional side (I do see both of those as the same thing) is satisfied that you can find a way to keep your religious views intact.

You have reached an equilibrium and to you there is no point in taking it any further.

I simply see it is a copout though. You take the ToE and simply plug the magical onto the beginning (God's plan and will), then onto the end (The soul). In a way you perverse ToE by doing that. In the same way that a heroic fireman runs into a building and saves a woman's child while getting burnt himself in the process. He comes out, not expecting adoration because this is his service. But is met by a mother that grabs her child off of him and shouts, thank the Lord it is a miracle. All the while ignoring the completely human effort exerted by this man in saving her child.

I find it very tasteless to be honest.

But I take solace in the fact that there are more people on the planet that believe in the ToE, even if you guys believe it with a copout caveat.
 

wayfarer

Expert Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2009
Messages
1,619
#58
I enjoyed the anecdotes of the op. I found your line of inquisition interesting. I can see how "Why exclude humans" and "what is you" follow, if you're working back from a presupposition. The initial question remains unresolved for me however. Because by invoking dualism, you once more invoke special pleading for humans.
The Quran informs us both of the dual nature of the human (see post on Jesus Christ), and of the station of humanity as Stewards of the Earth (see post on Stewardship). Therefore, within the Islamic paradigm, it is neither a case of an extraordinary invocation of dualism or special pleading.

If you had asked a Neanderthal, or Australopithecus "what is me", you would have had an interesting conversation. Or lack thereof. In my opinion, this is because consciousness itself is an emergent phenomenon - the result of genetic and memetic inheritance filtered by the environment.
Perhaps a lack thereof. With an animal spirit, but not a soul, their self-awareness and sentience would be limited. However, along with all other creatures, they would still be included within the definition of Islam according to the first type.


I really can't reconcile evolution with a soul I'm afraid. That's possibly because I can't suffer the teleology and hubris of how humans perceive themselves a superior species (whatever that means). Our attempts to set ourselves apart really just reveals how feeble our anthropic criteria for "special" status really are from a cosmic point of view IMO.
Evolution does not have to be reconciled with the soul. Evolution is the process by which God produces diverse creatures on Earth, including human beings. Islam offers meaning - or Purpose. Atheists generally do not speak of Ultimate or Transcendent Purpose (more on this in future in the Intro to Islam thread). Nevertheless, evolution produces a myriad of species, all serving various purposes within the biosphere, but Homo Sapien would serve a very specific specific purpose because it would be intellectually (and mechanically) sophisticated enough to accommodate the Divine breath, called the soul, which is the true self.
 
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wayfarer

Expert Member
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Nov 17, 2009
Messages
1,619
#59
...All of the understanding of evolution had to be done outside of faith.
For a Muslim, science is far from being outside of religion; nothing is outside of faith. Learning about God's method and creation is a Quranic and Hadith imperative. Science knowledge and its pursuit is necessarily a matter connected with the Islamic faith, and is understood via the faith paradigm.

Anyway, I get that it is not something that you or Way are going to drop. Because both sides of your mind have been satisfied. The critical thinking side is satisfied that you fully accept evolution, and so will not nag at your conscience to revisit it. Your faith/emotional side (I do see both of those as the same thing) is satisfied that you can find a way to keep your religious views intact.

You have reached an equilibrium and to you there is no point in taking it any further.
Where further? To atheism? God instructs us to study the how's and why's, and when we acquire some of this knowledge, we are to reject Him? That does not follow.

I simply see it is a copout though. You take the ToE and simply plug the magical onto the beginning (God's plan and will), then onto the end (The soul). In a way you perverse ToE by doing that.
No, but what the explanation does in fact amount to is stipulating meaning for ToE - answering a "why" of ToE. Another person here also referred to the mainstream Muslim understanding and explanation of Divine Will and human free will as a cop out. Could it be that when constructs or views that are perceived as contradictory are shown to actually be compatible or even complementary, that it necessarily has to be called a cop out? These matters are only ostensibly contradictory/inconsistent, and that is why reconcilement is inevitable.

In the same way that a heroic fireman runs into a building and saves a woman's child while getting burnt himself in the process. He comes out, not expecting adoration because this is his service. But is met by a mother that grabs her child off of him and shouts, thank the Lord it is a miracle. All the while ignoring the completely human effort exerted by this man in saving her child...
The child is safe, thanks to the Lord and the "agent" through which He worked. I doubt Muslims would call it a miracle, though.
 

AfricanTech

Honorary Master
Joined
Mar 19, 2010
Messages
33,648
#60
Very well written by Wayfarer. Thank you sir.

That said, you prove through your post that just as there are many different interpretations and flavors of other religions, so are there of Islam.

So the question is, which is the true Islam and when people here attack and defend Islam, which flavor are you talking to?

And if you admit to the reality of different flavors, how do you know who is right?

A truly omnipotent being would not have the need for guesswork amongst it's followers - it would simply say "be" and it would "be"
Pain, murder, disease, injustice, the whole Pandora's box would have no need to exist, and, if these are indeed the necessary tools for life to evolve according to the divine plan, then individuals don't matter i.e. you and I are irrelevant to an omnipotent deity in the same way that an individual ant's / human's beliefs are irrelevant to the scientist / deity studying or directing the growth of an ant colony / human civilization.

If you don't matter as an individual to the Divine, why bother believing in and defending the existence of the Divine (except if you're honest enough to say that religion only exists in order to provide a framework for the establishment of an orderly society)
 
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