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Thread: A Muslim journey through Creationism and Evolution

  1. #61
    Ulysses Everett McGill OrbitalDawn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wayfarer View Post
    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.
    The stuff I posted has nothing to do with human free will. It's the 'natural world' designed, formed and sustained by God, and where "God effected and selected mutations according to His Will, through "natural" processes and systems created by Him." It's this natural world that inflicts immense suffering daily, and has done so for billions of people over thousands of years.

    I say your answer (and apparently Islam and Christianity's answer, too) is a cop out, because for all the gilded words it boils down to shielding God in this cocoon by definition, where he's never responsible for anything that might be considered unseemly, and yet at the same time is praised for all that's beautiful and wonderful. It's plain double standards and special pleading. If the claim is that he's omnipotent, omniscient, as well as the Ultimate Cause, then He's responsible for all of it, not just the parts that warm your heart.
    "Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese."

  2. #62

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    An interesting and good read in contrast to the usual "just accept it because the evidence is overwelming." Just a few questions I have though. How do you reconcile it with gradual evolution through genetic mutations? I know your answer will likely be that God is all powerful and so evolution is whatever He decides. That isn't really a satisfactory answer.

    Let me clarify for you. Like a machine you can't just change one part of an organism because it won't work correctly with the other parts. As an example a lizard is perfectly adapted to walking on four legs. If you are going to gradually change its forelegs into wings it would prove an obstacle. The standard retort is that half a wing is better than no wing, but that doesn't address the fact that it's not an extra half-wing but trading it for half a leg. When we go to a molecular level it's virtually impossible to effect any small change without throwing a spanner into the machine so even with God evolution is facing an obstacle and without Him it's simply impossible. If God chose this method He would need to babysit the creature for eons until it's perfected.

    The only reasonable stance I can see you having is like Schindewolf's hopeful monster where e.g. a reptile will lay an egg out of which pops a fully developed bird. This is also the only common descent hypothesis for which the fossil record has any support. But let's face the facts here, it's no longer really evolution.

    Quote Originally Posted by porchrat View Post
    We need one of these for the Christians on the forum, who are far far worse with their rejection of evolution and the creation of this "us vs. them" mentality.
    Yeah it's always the Christians that are wrong and never the religious atheists trying to push their faith. /sarcasm
    No it's you that's fabricated this "us vs. them" mentality.

    Quote Originally Posted by porchrat View Post
    Says the guy that underwent a massive journey in order to catch up to current science thanks mainly to his religious beliefs.
    Pot meet kettle. At least he eventually caught up, something most hardliner atheists are incapable of.

    Quote Originally Posted by copacetic View Post
    Well, ultimately religion is in the hands of the believers of that religion. If you look at the history of science and religion, it has mostly been a process of scientific knowledge pushing back religious dogma. It gets to a point where reality intrudes far enough that the religion as a whole simply has to adjust its views.
    It has been a process of pushing back superstition and false ideas about the world. I explained the difference between religion and science and the roles each play before. I don't know why this is so hard to understand. True science can never intrude on true religion because they deal with entirely different categories of claims.

    Quote Originally Posted by OrbitalDawn View Post
    I say your answer (and apparently Islam and Christianity's answer, too) is a cop out, because for all the gilded words it boils down to shielding God in this cocoon by definition, where he's never responsible for anything that might be considered unseemly, and yet at the same time is praised for all that's beautiful and wonderful. It's plain double standards and special pleading. If the claim is that he's omnipotent, omniscient, as well as the Ultimate Cause, then He's responsible for all of it, not just the parts that warm your heart.
    Begging the question.

  3. #63

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    Quote Originally Posted by OrbitalDawn View Post
    The stuff I posted has nothing to do with human free will. It's the 'natural world' designed, formed and sustained by God, and where "God effected and selected mutations according to His Will, through "natural" processes and systems created by Him." It's this natural world that inflicts immense suffering daily, and has done so for billions of people over thousands of years.

    I say your answer (and apparently Islam and Christianity's answer, too) is a cop out, because for all the gilded words it boils down to shielding God in this cocoon by definition, where he's never responsible for anything that might be considered unseemly, and yet at the same time is praised for all that's beautiful and wonderful. It's plain double standards and special pleading. If the claim is that he's omnipotent, omniscient, as well as the Ultimate Cause, then He's responsible for all of it, not just the parts that warm your heart.
    Actually, the explanation says the opposite of most of the things you claim it says. Perhaps another (more careful) reading is in order.

  4. #64

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    Quote Originally Posted by AfricanTech View Post
    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.
    Thank you for your comments and reflections.

    Muslims are by no means a homogeneous body, but differing views on science is not sufficient to warrant being attributed a distinct flavour. Put another way, Muslims do not formally divide along the lines of scientific understanding or scientific theory/Theory adoption. Mainstream Islam has 4 schools of practice/law, and these schools agree on the vast majority of practical and legal principles in Islam, and share the same wide range of canonical texts as primary sources. There is consensus within this mainstream that all 4 schools are valid interpretations 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?
    It is unhelpful to present non-Muslims (such as yourself) with definitions/qualifications of true or false Islam. Each sect will claim to be the true one. It is more useful to speak about a traditional Muslim mainstream majority (nearly 90% of all Muslims), and the deviations from this mainstream. The mainstream comprises the overwhelming majority of Muslims, and by extension, the overwhelming majority of religious scholars (both classical and contemporary). This does not mean that it is "true" or "right", but it does make sense that this is the group referred to (along with its interpretations and views) when mentioning the term Islam without qualifying which "flavour". However, the mainstream does appear to earn the most respect externally, as the mainstream has the longest, richest and most developed scholarly legacy, as well as being the group (of reasonable size) that is socially most compatible with other ideological/religious groups or societies globally.

    The Islamic mainstream has a single doctrinal/belief system, but within this system, the Ashari and Maturidi interpretations have nuanced differences on certain matters, because of differences of approach to the Sacred Texts, but this not relevant to the ordinary practicing Muslim (i.e. these highly nuanced, advanced arguments are the domain of senior scholars of creed and philosophy).

    A truly omnipotent being would not have the need for guesswork amongst it's followers - it would simply say "be" and it would "be"
    A gross oversimplification of the reality within which we exist, don't you think? Anyway, working these things out is one of the tasks that God has honoured humankind with, and the Muslim mainstream is quite pleased with its scholarly legacy in this regard.

    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)
    This matter has been dealt with in the latter part of the post: 5.6 Facilitation of Good & Evil.
    Last edited by wayfarer; 13-07-2013 at 07:16 PM.

  5. #65

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    Quote Originally Posted by Swa View Post
    An interesting and good read in contrast to the usual "just accept it because the evidence is overwelming." Just a few questions I have though. How do you reconcile it with gradual evolution through genetic mutations? I know your answer will likely be that God is all powerful and so evolution is whatever He decides. That isn't really a satisfactory answer.

    Let me clarify for you. Like a machine you can't just change one part of an organism because it won't work correctly with the other parts. As an example a lizard is perfectly adapted to walking on four legs. If you are going to gradually change its forelegs into wings it would prove an obstacle. The standard retort is that half a wing is better than no wing, but that doesn't address the fact that it's not an extra half-wing but trading it for half a leg. When we go to a molecular level it's virtually impossible to effect any small change without throwing a spanner into the machine so even with God evolution is facing an obstacle and without Him it's simply impossible. If God chose this method He would need to babysit the creature for eons until it's perfected.
    I am sure that you are well aware that to say that "a lizard becomes a bird" misrepresents evolution. Note that while I have gained enough of an understanding in this matter to satisfy myself and feel comfortable in my views, I am far from being a scholar of this subject! But this question is indeed one that I did consider.

    Firstly, modern understandings of the ToE include the possibility of evolution, at times, being not-so-gradual, with changes being more significant and occurring at a faster rate (perhaps not in the extreme Schindelwolf sense that you mention below).

    Let's consider the traditional gradual process. I am not aware of all the scholarly explanations of limb transformation in the ToE, but I will give it a shot. Consider an organism that has a fully fledged forelimb, primarily used for locomotion. This leg evolves gradually, to also have within its scope the function of catching or grasping prey/food similar to the way in which primates use their forelimbs. In addition to movement within the vertical dimension, the forelimbs become accustomed to sideways motion, rather than mainly forward motion. Increased agility and dexterity in the forelimbs are traits that are "selected" (especially to, for example, secure small, fast moving prey). The hindlimbs play an ever increasing role in (land) locomotion, while forelimbs totally lose the locomotion function, as was the case in some pre-historic reptiles.

    If the organism is tree-dwelling, webbing would be a favourable development, for gliding between branches or trees. A feathery body covering is a favoured mutation, as the air resistance it produces would facilitate maneuvering in midair (via various postures), especially in the midst of a glide or a jump. Forelimb agility and dexterity are also indispensable in these "airborne" moments. The forelimbs therefore start playing a more active role in the movement of the organism midair, in three-dimensional space. At this stage the head/mouth once again becomes the main structure for capturing/holding prey, as the agile and dextrous forelimbs are able to quickly move the organism around for favourable positioning of the head. The organism rarely needs to grasp with the forelimbs, as the head/mouth now fulfills this role. Forelimb digits fuse, as they become more active in (airborne) locomotion. Hind legs are depended on less for locomotion (as land locomotion is no longer the only form of locomotion) and they start also being involved in holding/grasping food.

    I do not see why this is not possible, given the mechanisms and principles of evolution, and a really great amount of time.

    The only reasonable stance I can see you having is like Schindewolf's hopeful monster where e.g. a reptile will lay an egg out of which pops a fully developed bird. This is also the only common descent hypothesis for which the fossil record has any support. But let's face the facts here, it's no longer really evolution.
    Given that the above proposition is somewhat fantastical, do you not think that creationism is even more so. It is a fact that all acts are equally "easy" for God, why then do you feel that it is preferable to create something from nothing, than to mutate an existing design. If God can create something entirely from nothing, which He certainly can (direct creation, or creationism, is within His Power), why can He not then effect a modification of an existing organism (even if it is a radical modification)? While being a creationist, should you not at least concede that effecting evolution is within God's Power, and that evolution is a possible method that God can use for creation.

    God initiated life (abiogenesis). And God evolved and diversified it (evolution).

    Please watch the video linked in the original post. It is a Muslim conference, not a Christian one, but the scholars debate exactly the same questions that Christians ask regarding this subject.
    Last edited by wayfarer; 13-07-2013 at 07:14 PM.

  6. #66
    Ulysses Everett McGill OrbitalDawn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wayfarer View Post
    Actually, the explanation says the opposite of most of the things you claim it says. Perhaps another (more careful) reading is in order.
    Er, no. It says exactly that. Let me quote you.

    Quote Originally Posted by wayfarer
    God Himself is beyond such judgements, and what He decrees and enacts is not subject to the specific notions of morality that He has ordained for humanity.
    This is the part where you place him, by definition, beyond any kind of criticism or responsibility. I maintain there's no justification for it, and no one has ever provided me any good reason to think otherwise. It's always simply 'God works in mysterious ways', or 'God isn't subject to our moral notions'. Well, that's just incredibly convenient, isn't it?

    It's the ultimate 'do as I say, not as I do' mentality. Not something I admire or consider worthy of worship by a long stretch.
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  7. #67

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    Quote Originally Posted by wayfarer View Post
    I am sure that you are well aware that to say that "a lizard becomes a bird" misrepresents evolution. Note that while I have gained enough of an understanding in this matter to satisfy myself and feel comfortable in my views, I am far from being a scholar of this subject! But this question is indeed one that I did consider.
    Well, to be technical here it would be tetrapod or reptile. More specifically some would designate it as dinosaur. But it's the idea of 4-footed to 2-footed and winged that I'm interested in.

    Quote Originally Posted by wayfarer View Post
    Firstly, modern understandings of the ToE include the possibility of evolution, at times, being not-so-gradual, with changes being more significant and occurring at a faster rate (perhaps not in the extreme Schindelwolf sense that you mention below).

    Let's consider the traditional gradual process. I am not aware of all the scholarly explanations of limb transformation in the ToE, but I will give it a shot. Consider an organism that has a fully fledged forelimb, primarily used for locomotion. This leg evolves gradually, to also have within its scope the function of catching or grasping prey/food similar to the way in which primates use their forelimbs. In addition to movement within the vertical dimension, the forelimbs become accustomed to sideways motion, rather than mainly forward motion. Increased agility and dexterity in the forelimbs are traits that are "selected" (especially to, for example, secure small, fast moving prey). The hindlimbs play an ever increasing role in (land) locomotion, while forelimbs totally lose the locomotion function, as was the case in some pre-historic reptiles.

    If the organism is tree-dwelling, webbing would be a favourable development, for gliding between branches or trees. A feathery body covering is a favoured mutation, as the air resistance it produces would facilitate maneuvering in midair (via various postures), especially in the midst of a glide or a jump. Forelimb agility and dexterity are also indispensable in these "airborne" moments. The forelimbs therefore start playing a more active role in the movement of the organism midair, in three-dimensional space. At this stage the head/mouth once again becomes the main structure for capturing/holding prey, as the agile and dextrous forelimbs are able to quickly move the organism around for favourable positioning of the head. The organism rarely needs to grasp with the forelimbs, as the head/mouth now fulfills this role. Forelimb digits fuse, as they become more active in (airborne) locomotion. Hind legs are depended on less for locomotion (as land locomotion is no longer the only form of locomotion) and they start also being involved in holding/grasping food.

    I do not see why this is not possible, given the mechanisms and principles of evolution, and a really great amount of time.
    Ok so, in this example you have gradual development of different parts. Well let me point out something. My issue isn't how the beak and wings relate to each other but rather how any changes to either would result in what I call "devolution."

    As the forelimbs for instance become adapted to movement in air the beak would have to adapt to catching prey and doing other tasks. The problem I see with this scenario is that it would always involve becoming less adapted before becoming more adapted. Suppose the limbs start developing first. That would make it harder to use them for any purpose resulting in a net negative effect. This would continue to the point where beak development starts catching up but all the while increasing the negative effect. Now if we reverse it and start with the beak developing first you may think it solves the problem. Only in this case the beak is changing from something else so in essence adding a net negative effect.

    The only way I could see it working is for one trait to offset another. While one's development is having a negative effect another would have a positive effect. Only I can't see any functional structure develop like that. It would either have to be a new one or an existing one with not much of a purpose. I don't know if you've read any of Michael Behe's work. He presents the same problems on a cellular level. For example the blood clotting cascade that's nonfunctional if any of the stated components are removed so they would all have to evolve at the same time.

    Quote Originally Posted by wayfarer View Post
    Given that the above proposition is somewhat fantastical, do you not think that creationism is even more so. It is a fact that all acts are equally "easy" for God, why then do you feel that it is preferable to create something from nothing, than to mutate an existing design. If God can create something entirely from nothing, which He certainly can (direct creation, or creationism, is within His Power), why can He not then effect a modification of an existing organism (even if it is a radical modification)? While being a creationist, should you not at least concede that effecting evolution is within God's Power, and that evolution is a possible method that God can use for creation.

    God initiated life (abiogenesis). And God evolved and diversified it (evolution).

    Please watch the video linked in the original post. It is a Muslim conference, not a Christian one, but the scholars debate exactly the same questions that Christians ask regarding this subject.
    In my view all propositions are equally fantastical so I rather prefer to look at the evidence. If we start with traditional gradual development, I have previously listed Answers in Genesis with biologists supporting the fact that no positive gain mutations have ever been witnessed. Only negative ones and possibly neutral ones with the qualification that any neutral mutation also comes with some tradeoff so their neutrality is somewhat debatable.

    I know where you are going with all acts being equally "easy" for God. The fact is that while this is true not all acts would necessarily have a good outcome. With gradual development God would have to effect mutations so that they have a positive effect. With my above problem in mind I can't see much room for such mutations to exist. I concede that it may be possible but I reject it for the reason I'll get to in a moment. True God also knows the outcome of any event so would know if a mutation would result in extinction or not. I find this unsatisfactory because, if I can use an analogy here, it would be like writing a buggy program where the bugs are only made into working code later on. Atheists are actually right in saying evolution would be a cruel process. But I reject both these possibilities because the fossil record doesn't show gradual evolution where it would if it happened.

    Stephan J. Gould recognised this but was ambiguous in saying the taxonomic phyla shows such development. It does but only if we consider the gaps not sufficient enough to link species sufficient enough to link phyla. In essence it can only support a somewhat lesser version of Schindewolf's at most. But why is such explanations more incredible when even creation ex nihilo (which I don't believe in btw) is possible?

    I don't know if you are familiar with the work of Periannan Senapathy who came up with the theory that all life arose from the primordial soup not from a common ancestral cell but from common independent genes in essentially the same forms we have today. It fits the evidence of gaps in the fossil record, lack of complexity producing mutations and contradictory lines of evolutionary descent much more elegantly. Others have expanded on it with a top-down model of evolution where specialization is gained through loss of complexity and information.

    I would have liked to watch the video, but it's 4 hours.

  8. #68

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    Quote Originally Posted by OrbitalDawn View Post
    This is the part where you place him, by definition, beyond any kind of criticism or responsibility. I maintain there's no justification for it, and no one has ever provided me any good reason to think otherwise. It's always simply 'God works in mysterious ways', or 'God isn't subject to our moral notions'. Well, that's just incredibly convenient, isn't it?
    I still find it mind boggling that you can judge a higher being as yourself, who made you no less, by the same human standards.

  9. #69
    Super Grandmaster AfricanTech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wayfarer View Post
    Thank you for your comments and reflections.

    [snip] - fair enough

    A gross oversimplification of the reality within which we exist, don't you think? Anyway, working these things out is one of the tasks that God has honoured humankind with, and the Muslim mainstream is quite pleased with its scholarly legacy in this regard.



    This matter has been dealt with in the latter part of the post: 5.6 Facilitation of Good & Evil.
    Read it - don't buy it.

    You cant have omnipotence with qualifiers - you're either omnipotent and responsible for everything or you're not.

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  10. #70
    Ulysses Everett McGill OrbitalDawn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swa View Post
    I still find it mind boggling that you can judge a higher being as yourself, who made you no less, by the same human standards.
    And yet the religious continue to do it. Mind boggling, indeed.

    'God is good', 'God is love', 'God is merciful'. These are human concepts and values, and good ones at that. They freely get applied to God, but never any of the bad stuff.

    So you use human standards when it suits you and makes God look good, but not when it makes him look bad.
    "Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese."

  11. #71

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    Those who don't want to understand will never understand so I'll just leave you to that.

  12. #72

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    Quote Originally Posted by Swa View Post
    Those who don't want to understand will never understand so I'll just leave you to that.
    Indeed. I don't understand your reluctance to answer my question?

  13. #73

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    Quote Originally Posted by AfricanTech View Post
    Read it - don't buy it.

    You cant have omnipotence with qualifiers - you're either omnipotent and responsible for everything or you're not.

    Peace
    Omnipotence implies a being that is All-Powerful, as God certainly is. All good and evil is from with God, and He is the Supreme Enactor of absolutely everything.

    It is well within His Power to create beings with free will. We are responsible for what we will. God does not determine what we will, we have been granted the freedom to determine it ourselves.

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by wayfarer View Post
    Omnipotence implies a being that is All-Powerful, as God certainly is. All good and evil is from with God, and He is the Supreme Enactor of absolutely everything.

    It is well within His Power to create beings with free will. We are responsible for what we will. God does not determine what we will, we have been granted the freedom to determine it ourselves.
    On mobile so I'll keep it short.

    I am god - I create 10 beings with free will - the ability to do good and evil.

    I notice that some of them are doing evil to the good ones (free will right)

    I am a good god - I am all powerful - I take the evil ones and ensure they can't exercise the free will to be evil on the good ones.

    I care about individuals

    I am a good god.
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    Quote Originally Posted by wayfarer View Post
    The following is an account of my own journey through creationism and evolution (ToE)

    My journey starts back in my primary school days, when, during a lesson, the teacher commented about a certain junior science book, "Look how stupid these people are! Perhaps their parents were monkeys, but mine certainly were not!" That was how I was inducted into that debate. And that was a phrase I was to repeat time and time again, through most of high school, to any peer who dared to give the ToE even the slightest consideration.

    This phrase was also my "redeeming" remark at a high school extra-mural activity. When I was in grade 11, ours was one of the first non-white schools to ever join a white debating league. Other than that "honour", it was not a very affirming venture, as the whites out-dressed us (with their blazers and all), out-vocabbed us, out-accented us, and ultimately, out-competed us. There I was, engaging in informal chit-chat with a white chick (who was officially declared "best debater of the night") after I had been pronounced "most promising debater". I felt somewhat shy and intimidated by this blue-eyed, blond-haired girl, averting my gaze and instead casting it down on to the dog-eared pages on which my "promising" rebuttal was written, when she remarked, "Is it not amazing that while we stand here as strangers, we all come from ancestors that were not even the same species as us." To which I triumphantly replied, "Perhaps your parents were monkeys, but mine certainly were not!" This eloquent "debater of the night" was at a loss for words, and after a stuttering frenzy, all she could say was, "I don't know." I am not sure what exactly her thoughts were, but in retrospect, I do not think that she was particularly impressed.

    Anyway, some further high school reading on evolution, as well as the discovery that so many people supported the ToE, led me to a slightly more compromising position: I was still a pretty hardcore creationist, but evolution might just be the method by which God created humans.

    I later did some very basic university studies in biology (and physics), and it appeared that the ToE was a neat way to explain the development of life and diversity from the onset of life to the present. I also spent some years teaching Life Sciences at a faith based Islamic high school. I periodically screened biology video clips in class which showed how various aspects of (and phenomenon within) nature demonstrated the Greatness and Mercy of God (also being consistent with the Quranic narrative on this topic). These clips were produced by Harun Yahya's foundation (Adnan Oktar). However, while I was probably still a creationist, I felt too uncomfortable to play any clips that completely condemned the ToE. The ToE eventually became an essential part of the grade 11 syllabus. Biology teachers at faith-based schools were in opposition to this. Some conspired to teach creationism instead, while others would teach it as a "false theory of those who rejected God". This really troubled me, and I redoubled my efforts at learning about the ToE, as well as what veteran classical and contemporary Islamic scholars had to say about this matter (which was not very much). I also immersed myself in science and philosophy literature that deconstructed and criticised the ToE.

    My research led me to a 1995 "academic letter" by a contemporary Islamic scholar/philosopher, who is well respected in the Muslim world. He explained, from a philosophical and Islamic theological perspective, that the ToE may have some applicability, but that because of the way in which God created Adam, the ToE was not likely to be applicable to human beings. Quranic verses suggest that God took very special care in Adam's creation, and it did not seem befitting that millenia of random mutations and natural selections would fashion Adam. As a result, he opined that Muslims could either reject the ToE or accept it on the condition that it excludes Adam. I decided to play it safe. When teaching my students the grade 11 level of the ToE, I put it to them that they could either adopt it as their prefered understanding of the origin of life (excluding humanity from the process), or reject it entirely in favour of creationism (which was still fairly popular with the parents of learners). Personalities such as Richard Dawkins did the ToE no favours either in terms of selling it to religious communities. He promotes himself as an evolutionary biologist, but is publicly more actively anti-God than he is pro-evolution. As a result, many lay religious people are enclined to, without much thought, reject this "anti-God" theory. The biggest creationism influence on Islam, no doubt, comes from the organised creationism within Christianity. The Christian Institute for Creation Research was formally approached by the Turkish government in the 1980s for guidance on this topic, which gave the Turk, Harun Yahya, exactly what he was looking for.

    Personally, I had come to adopt the "all life evolved, other than humans" theory. I set about trying to understand the nature of this exception, and to grapple with a possible logical and scientifically sound explanation for having both of these methods co-exist, i.e. ToE for non-humans, and creationism for Adam. After leaving the teaching profession, I started working on my own "small hypothesis", which I refined post by post, right here on MBB! I also posted some of my later, more refined, explanations on various Islamic forums internationally. I was wholly surprised when small numbers of Islamic scholars and also Muslim scientists made contact with me regarding this "small hypothesis". Some were very supported and even excited, while others were quite scathing in their criticism (though none were directly confrontational), but this afforded me the opportunity to further refine the mini-theory, and repost it to the forums.

    All the while, I had been engaging in dialogue about this hypothesis with a devout Muslim friend who lectures in microbiology at a local university. "Why exclude humans?" my friend asked, and "What is you? (what is your essence?)" These types of questions led me to do further research into classical Islamic philosophical explanations on the nature of the human. The "why exclude humans" question had also earlier been posed to me on MBB. As to the "what is you" question, Islamic scholars would answer, "The soul." The body is nothing but a vehicle, an earthly, mammalian, primate vehicle. Its honour is contingent on its relationship with the soul. This explains the dual nature of the human being: part earth (animal, material, carnal) and part divine spirit (the soul, purest essence).

    Although there are some who say otherwise, the dominant Islamic view is that Adam was created from Earth's clay brought to Paradise, and then the soul entered him. Is it then unthinkable that God raised Homo Sapien Sapien (evolved from the soil of the Earth) to Paradise to receive his precisionly crafted soul (and conscience)? Remember that mainstream Muslims are by no means scriptural literalists; we accept that allegory exists within the Quran. Is this a reasonable metaphor? My body is an animalian mechanism. It is of this earth, and will return to it. It is composed of Carbon-based compounds just like all other life on Earth. It is a vehicle for my soul. I had gone 180 degrees. God likely created the human vehicle through the process of evolution. God effected and selected mutations according to His Will, through "natural" processes and systems created by Him.

    I am not a scientist, and I do not understand these things on the level of scholars. I do not have absolute certainty in this matter, but I am enclined to accept that evolution produced the diversity of life on earth, including the vehicle of Homo Sapien Sapien.
    Can I replicate this? Would like to post in on my blog. Its awesome.

    Almost all us that accept evolution today (and who are over 20) started out this journey as creationists. Myself included. Congrats dude. Your mind and thoughts evolved.
    Schrodingers immigrants : Simultaneously stealing your job and too lazy to work.

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