Muslim Scientists Prepare for Battle With Creationists

mercurial

MyBB Legend
Joined
Jun 12, 2007
Messages
37,805
#1
The next major battle over evolutionary theory is likely to occur not in the United States but in the Islamic world or in countries with large Muslim populations because of rising levels of education and Internet access there, as well as the rising importance of biology, a scientist now says.

As with Christians and Jews, there is no consensus or "official" opinion on evolution among Muslims.

However, some of them say that the theory is a cultural threat that acts as a force in favor of atheism, says Hampshire College’s Salman Hameed in an essay in the Dec. 12 issue of the journal Science. This is the same beef that some Christians have with evolution.

A general respect for science in the Islamic world means scientists have an opportunity to counter anti-evolution efforts, such as the "Atlas of Creation," a glossy 850-page color volume produced by Muslim creationist Adnan Oktar who goes by the name of Harun Yahya.

Numerous university scientists and members of the media received copies of this book as an unsolicited gift in 2007.

"There is a standard narrative that science and Islam are compatible, but evolution is one thought that challenges this assumption," Hameed told LiveScience. "It's interesting to see how people respond to it and create their world view in response to that challenge."

Better education, the spread of Internet access and news about U.S. controversies over evolution are provoking some Muslims worldwide to start to ask whether Islam is compatible with evolutionary theory, Hameed said.

"Now is the time that these ideas are going to be solidified. We can shape it. There are positive ways to shape these ideas in which we can avert a mass rejection of evolution," Hameed said.

General confusion

Christian creationists believe God created animals, humanity, Earth and the universe in their original form in six days about 6,000 years ago, a literal interpretation of the Book of Genesis in the Bible.

Muslim creationists have similar beliefs, based on the Quran, though they tend to be open to a wider range of interpretations.

Scientists say, however, that evolutionary theory (the idea that all organisms evolved from a common ancestor) and the mechanism of natural selection explain the diversity of life on the planet.

The theory is well-supported by evidence from multiple fields of study. Evolution not only explains how early primates evolved to become human, but how one species of bird becomes two, and how viruses morph over time to resist drugs.

Scientists can only speculate on where and exactly how life began on Earth, but fossil evidence dates the earliest life to about 3.7 billion years ago.

Hameed’s essay, meanwhile, comes on the heels of an ABC "Nightline" interview this week with President Bush during which Bush said that he doesn't think that his belief that God created the world is "incompatible with the scientific proof that there is evolution," as well as a Philadelphia Inquirer story quoting EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson as saying he does not think there's a "clean-cut division" between evolution and creationism.

Now, three years after the end of the Dover trial (the upshot: U.S. District Judge John E. Jones barred a Pennsylvanian public school district from teaching "intelligent design" in biology class, saying the concept is creationism in disguise), U.S. residents remain divided on evolution.

A Harris poll conducted in November found 47 percent of Americans accept Darwin’s theory of evolution while 40 percent believe instead in creationism.

Scientists worry that those who ignore or dismiss the strong evidence for evolution might also be prone to a worrisome lack of critical thinking, and that over time, support for science and medicine in general could erode.

Muslims and evolution

The Muslim take on evolution diverges somewhat from the classic Christian creationist stance.

For instance, Muslims generally accept the scientific evidence that the world is billions of years old, rather than 6,000 years old.

Some scholars point to early evolutionary thinking among medieval Muslim philosophers who discussed common descent, Hameed writes.

These philosophers, along with Aristotle and others, were among numerous early thinkers to ponder evolution, although people should be "careful in terms of not going overboard" by crediting any of them with coming up with natural selection, the mechanism for evolution that Darwin arrived at, Hameed said.

Still, today, only 25 percent of adults in Turkey agree that human beings developed from earlier species of animals, whereas 40 percent of people in the United States agree with this scientific fact, Hameed writes. And Turkey is one of the most secular and educated of Muslim countries.

Hameed cites data from a 2007 sociological study by Riaz Hassan which revealed that only a minority in five Muslim countries agree that Darwin’s theory of evolution is probably or most certainly true: 16 percent of Indonesians, 14 percent of Pakistanis, 8 percent of Egyptians, 11 percent of Malaysians and 22 percent of Turks.

Nonetheless, evolution is taught in high schools in many Muslim countries, although this is often in a very religious environment, Hameed says.

Also, science foundations in 14 Muslim countries recently signed on to a statement in support of the teaching of evolution, including human evolution (it is human evolution that is often the sticking point for Muslims, rather than all evolution, he says).

The solution is for Muslim biologists and doctors to present evolutionary theory as the bedrock of biology and to stress its practical applications, Hameed writes, adding that efforts to link evolution with atheism will defeat efforts to help Muslims accept evolution.
Link
 

foozball3000

Executive Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2008
Messages
5,209
#2
RAS on the title!
The title indicates that Creationists aren't scientists. And this is a religious battle, nothing scientific about it.
 

|tera|

Master of Messengers
Joined
Mar 31, 2006
Messages
20,890
#6
Roflcopter:
Scientists worry that those who ignore or dismiss the strong evidence for evolution might also be prone to a worrisome lack of critical thinking, and that over time, support for science and medicine in general could erode.

:rolleyes:, uhm, yeah, right...
 

BCO

Honorary Master
Joined
Dec 17, 2004
Messages
13,213
#7
Roflcopter:
Scientists worry that those who ignore or dismiss the strong evidence for evolution might also be prone to a worrisome lack of critical thinking, and that over time, support for science and medicine in general could erode.

:rolleyes:, uhm, yeah, right...
Why roflcopter?

We're seeing exactly this phenomenon in the US where massive numbers of people are skeptical of science.
 

|tera|

Master of Messengers
Joined
Mar 31, 2006
Messages
20,890
#8
Why roflcopter?

We're seeing exactly this phenomenon in the US where massive numbers of people are skeptical of science.
The US is part of the world. Is there anything wrong with being skeptical about anything? If people weren't skeptical in life, we wouldn't have had space exploration or science to start off with.

Scientists try to curb or box their little world into their stupid comments such as noted in this article, when what they should be doing is expanding their knowledge and actually improve on science. The good thing is, I know that most true scientists don't give a whirl about who drinks the latest pain killer or believe he came from a primate. The real scientists try to improve the world we live in, the great ones at least.

Ever heard of choice? It's a bitch we live with :p
 

Phronesis

Expert Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2008
Messages
3,675
#9
Creationism is the position that the earth is 6000-10 000 years old.
ID essentially opposes materialism at the core and is compatible with Darwinism and methodological naturalism.
Perhaps the problem is materialism, and not evolution. Scientists use random variation and selection to design optimal systems all the time (e.g. traveling salesmen problem, design anti-biotics through molecular docking etc.). It is not impossible to view evolution as a mechanism to design optimal systems through memetic algorithms and the results is what we observe in nature... An active process.

Materialism seeks to explain mind as nothing more than blind purposeless interactions. However, it seems to default on its own as it becomes incoherent in trying to explain consciousness, agency, intentionality and free will. Also, materialism at its core is anti-teleological.
Science by its very nature is teleological as scientists plan and execute experiments in order to gain an understanding of the universe and life with the assumption and faith that we will be able to understand it. A purposeful endeavour as a means to an end... truth.
Seeing that materialism seems to default on its own logical grounds, it is puzzling that a certain segment of the population would want to force a non-teleological materialistic worldview.

So perhaps creationists should not worry to much on accepting evolution, seeing that materialism defaults on its own on logical grounds.
 

ghoti

Karmic Sangoma
Joined
Jan 17, 2005
Messages
45,555
#10
Wrong Teraside... Science expands our universe. The only "box" it requires is to be correct as possible. Without it we would not have known about the other galaxies, black holes, atoms, sub atomic particles, extra dimensions and the possibility of a multiverse.

Its opened up the sky, space and the ocean to us. It provides you with the medical resources that keep you as healthy as you can. It seeks to improve and open up your world.

It doesnt require faith, it requires you to question it all the time. The ones that care if "you came from primates" are the same one fighting the fastly evolving HIV/AIDS virus.

Im guessing you have a very queer view of the scientific world. Every bit of information counts.
 

Claymore

Executive Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2004
Messages
7,387
#12
ID essentially opposes materialism at the core and is compatible with Darwinism and methodological naturalism.
Firstly, leading ID proponents don't agree with you. (At least, not according to the stuff I've read on the Discovery Institute's web pages).
Secondly, are you saying that ID is a philosophical position rather than a scientific one?
 
Last edited:

Zyzzyva

Executive Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2007
Messages
7,302
#13
Science is an utterly important thing which christians wholeheartedly appreciate and respect. What christians and good scientists fight against is the bad science. When bad science start being accepted as truth, everyone start to slide down the slippery slope, and its the work of good people opposing the nonsense which keeps the eye on the ball.

I would like to know how much further along we would be if the millions of hours spent on filling evolutionary impossibilities were spent on productive sciences.

Evolution is not a answer in itself, because the conditions of an open system such as nature are unable to maintain the progresses made by random progressions.

What do i mean by that?

The basic concept of evolution is that random processes coupled with enough time would eventually produce working complex organisms.

It seems logical until you start looking at what happens in reality. The best way i’ve seen it explained is with a puzzle.

If you were to take a broken puzzle, and were to shake the box, logic would tell you that given enough time and enough shacking, eventually a piece would join with another piece. Then in time a third piece would join, then a forth, and so on, until the puzzle was eventually formed. Viola, randomness and time have built the puzzle. This is just like that monkeys eventually typing a story.

The problem with this idea is. In an open system such as nature, as the first two pieces stuck together they would probably break apart by the shacking of the box before a third piece could join. If you were really lucky, maybe it could get to three pieces without breaking up, but even then it could never get to four. The only way randomness could begin to make progress is if its progressions were protected from its own destructive natures.

In a truly open system, this protection does not exist. It could only work if the two pieces which first joined were prevented from falling apart by an external source in a controlled enviroment.

If you think a puzzle is hard to build, imagine the near infinite details of our universe. Millions of books have been written on the study of nature, and trillion more are still out there to be written. To believe all this order is a mere act of random chance is a vile slap in the face to the complexity and beauty of its design.

Even if evolution is true, it could only be true if it were, protected, guided, and instituted by a God.

Romans 1:20
For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
 

ghoti

Karmic Sangoma
Joined
Jan 17, 2005
Messages
45,555
#14
Science is an utterly important thing which christians wholeheartedly appreciate and respect. What christians and good scientists fight against is the bad science.
bs... what religion and science fight about is when religion comes with a bs story... and tries to tote it as the truth.

Examples:

Religion told us the world was flat.. science called bs on it.
Religion told us that the world and life was created in 7 days... science called bs on that.
Religion told us that we were the center of the universe/solar system... science called bs on that.
Religionists told us that atoms didnt exist.. science showed them the bs on that.
Religion tells us some insects have 4 legs... religion called bs on that.

When religion and science conflict its mostly because of some bs lie coming from the religious depart.

Religionist: "oh look we found a blob on a mountain therefore its the Ark."
Scientist: "no... its a rock formation on the mountain"
Religionist: "we found a chariot wheel in the sea therefore that is proof of the Moses episode crossing the sea"
Scientist: "No... its just evidence that its a chariot wheel"

See where I am going with this? The worst kinda science comes out of the religious community:

IE: creationism (its meant to be a "science")
Examples of bs religious "science" websites: The creationist institute: http://www.icr.org/
The flat earth society: http://www.theflatearthsociety.org/

If you want science and religion to stop fighting each other.. be honest! its that easy! stop making up sciences, stop making up stories, because bs will be caught out.

You can try blame "bad science", though to be honest the real problem sits with "dishonest religious people". "god dun it" is not a scientific explanation but the explanation of someone who doesnt know the right answer.
 
Last edited:

Claymore

Executive Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2004
Messages
7,387
#15
The basic concept of evolution is that random processes coupled with enough time would eventually produce working complex organisms.
No. it's not.

It seems logical until you start looking at what happens in reality. The best way i’ve seen it explained is with a puzzle.
Evolution isn't a puzzle to be shaken up every now and again.

Analogies are useful for explaining complex concepts in simpler terms for an audience that may not understand the complex concepts. They're not of any use if you yourself don't understand the complex concepts to start with.
 

Zyzzyva

Executive Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2007
Messages
7,302
#16
Religion told us the world was flat.. science called bs on it.
Not 100% true, the bible has always contained the notion that the earth was round. Even athiest at the time felt the earth was flat, it was just the popular opinion at the time which prevented everyone from seeing it.

Isaiah 40:22 (NIV)
He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers.

The original hebrew word khoog which was translated "circle" above is also translated: circle circuit compass

Religion told us that the world and life was created in 7 days... science called bs on that.
Also not a 100% true, ever heard of the "gap theory". It's all solid biblical study and it will expand on your simplified view stated in your above sentence. But if your relying on evolution again, you still havent responded to what i said above.

Religion told us that we were the center of the universe/solar system... science called bs on that.

Religionists told us that atoms didnt exist.. science showed them the bs on that.

Religion tells us some insects have 4 legs... religion called bs on that.
In reality the Bible was not disproved at all. The misguided interpretations that men had attached to certain scriptures were discredited. It was not the Bible that stood corrected, but man's assumptions about what the Bible said.

When religion and science conflict its mostly because of some bs lie coming from the religious depart.
You still havent responded to what i said about evolution. Or is it that you dont have an answer for me.

Examples of bs religious "science" websites: The creationist institute: http://www.icr.org/
The flat earth society: http://www.theflatearthsociety.org/
Quoting those websites proves nothing. You can't take the stupid ramblings of a few idiots like the flat earth society as proof of anything. I could find you a million non religious websites which are just as idiotic.

As for the creationist 6 days stuff, well that is a hotly debated issue in christian circles. You can't make the claim they represent everyone. I think there is alot of bad science being expressed by them. My reading of scripture tells me the universe is alot older than the the 6 day event. I think there was stuff which happened before it. How long the legth of time was before adam is not said, so it could quite easily be billions of years.

If you want science and religion to stop fighting each other.. be honest! its that easy! stop making up sciences, stop making up stories, because bs will be caught out. You can try blame "bad science", though to be honest the real problem sits with "dishonest religious people". "god dun it" is not a scientific explanation but the explanation of someone who doesnt know the right answer.
Thats exactly my point, when people accept something which isnt true as truth, it has a knock on effect. But in this case i believe the athiests view of evolution is an impossibility, and its worrying it's accepted as fact. Thats bad science.
 
Last edited:

Claymore

Executive Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2004
Messages
7,387
#17
But in this case i believe the athiests view of evolution is an impossibility, and its worrying it's accepted as fact. Thats bad science.
What is the "atheists <sic> view of evolution"? How about we stick to the scientists' view of evolution? That good enough?
 
Joined
Oct 23, 2005
Messages
10,690
#18
How long the legth of time was before adam is not said, so it could quite easily be billions of years.

You have to be kidding? Do you really believe that there was MAN 1, and he got de-ribbed to make Woman 1? That is your science ? :D
 

ghoti

Karmic Sangoma
Joined
Jan 17, 2005
Messages
45,555
#19
Not 100% true, the bible has always contained the notion that the earth was round. Even athiest at the time felt the earth was flat, it was just the popular opinion at the time which prevented everyone from seeing it.

Isaiah 40:22 (NIV)
He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers.

The original hebrew word khoog which was translated "circle" above is also translated: circle circuit compass



Also not a 100% true, ever heard of the "gap theory". It's all solid biblical study and it will expand on your simplified view stated in your above sentence. But if your relying on evolution again, you still havent responded to what i said above.



In reality the Bible was not disproved at all. The misguided interpretations that men had attached to certain scriptures were discredited. It was not the Bible that stood corrected, but man's assumptions about what the Bible said.



You still havent responded to what i said about evolution. Or is it that you dont have an answer for me.



Quoting those websites proves nothing. You can't take the stupid ramblings of a few idiots like the flat earth society as proof of anything. I could find you a million non religious websites which are just as idiotic.

As for the creationist 6 days stuff, well that is a hotly debated issue in christian circles. You can't make the claim they represent everyone. I think there is alot of bad science being expressed by them. My reading of scripture tells me the universe is alot older than the the 6 day event. I think there was stuff which happened before it. How long the legth of time was before adam is not said, so it could quite easily be billions of years.



Thats exactly my point, when people accept something which isnt true as truth, it has a knock on effect. But in this case i believe the athiests view of evolution is an impossibility, and its worrying it's accepted as fact. Thats bad science.
You have selective reading disorder... :( now I understand...
 

Phronesis

Expert Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2008
Messages
3,675
#20
You have selective reading disorder... :( now I understand...
Are you able to debate without insulting others and pretend you know more? Others have pointed out your misrepresentations about religion (ask PeterCH) and lack of scientific understanding (you are unable to hold your own in any scientific discussion e.g. telomerase, but you are welcome to show you can without resorting to insults and your usual monotonous anti-religious tone), yet you continue on our same old boring anti-religious posts.

Oh well, keep up with the pretenses.
 
Top