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Evolutionist Convert (revert) To Islam?

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Sallam,

 

Wondering if there are any documented reverts who have a PhD in Evolutionary Biology. Would be most interesting to hear their take. Searched for quite some time but couldn't find anything on Google. Would appreciate if someone did know.

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I don't know that you'll find any, but IMHO there's no inherent contradiction between being a Muslim and accepting evolution. Yes, a lot of Muslims will claim there is, but then so do a lot of Christians yet all the major churches have no problem with it, and I imagine that quite a lot of Evolutionary Biologists are believers in one faith or another.

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Here you go, not a revert as far as I know and I haven't yet checked his qualifications but it's a start:

 

Bridging Islam and Evolution Through the Secret World of Ants: The Socio-political and Scientific Struggles of a Muslim Evolutionary Biologist

 

Ehab Abouheif

McGill University

 

We may now be witnessing the beginning of what could become a large-scale clash between Islam and the science of evolution. I will argue that this conflict is largely based on political ideology rather than a proper understanding of the “theory of evolution†and what it represents for Islam. Most of the current discussions on evolution taking place within Islamic societies proceed in complete absence of insight from professionally trained evolutionary biologists who are also knowledgeable about Islam, or who are at least able to communicate with the Muslim world. Herein, I will focus on examples of evidence of the factuality of evolution drawn from my own research on the evolution of social behavior in ants, and I will explain that my daily scientific activities of performing evolution-centered research do not conflict with my daily spiritual activities as a Muslim. While there may remain several philosophical and scientific challenges to be addressed, I strongly believe one can practice evolutionary biology without compromising one’s faith as a Muslim. It is now clear, however, that if a genuine cultural deliberation of evolutionary theory within Islam is to occur without being entirely shaped by political ideologies, then it is imperative for evolutionary biologists of all nationalities to reach out and initiate respectful discourse and dialogue with Islamic scholars. Otherwise, it is almost certain that evolutionary theory will continue to be politically misused to deepen rather than bridge the divide between East and West.

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Dr. Ehab Abouheif

 

 

One of the greatest discoveries in biology over the last decade is that all animals use the same genes to control the development of their body plan. If all animals share the same genes then how have the diverse body plans, from jelly fishes to humans, evolved?

 

Dr. Abouheif is an evolutionary developmental biologist who has tried to answer this fundamental question by using ants as a model system in his lab for almost 15 years now. He is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at McGill University. Dr. Abouheif's publications can be found on his website.

 

Ehab is the first Canada Research Chair in Evolutionary Developmental Biology in Canada, and in 2006 became an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow for his interdisciplinary approach to Evolutionary and Developmental Biology."

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Actually, ther's a whole slew of them. This guy has a blog which I probaly can't link to yet, but it looks really interesting. It's caled sciencereligionnews and its at blogspot dot com

 

Dr. Salman Hameed

 

is Assistant Professor of Integrated Science & Humanities at Hampshire College, Massachusetts. He is currently working on understanding the rise of creationism in the Islamic world and how Muslims view the relationship between science & religion. He is also analyzing reconciliation efforts between astronomers and Native Hawaiians over telescopes on top of sacred Mauna Kea in Hawaii. He teaches “History and Philosophy of Science & Religion†and “Science in the Islamic Worldâ€, both at Hampshire College.

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there's no inherent contradiction between being a Muslim and accepting evolution. Yes, a lot of Muslims will claim there is,

 

probably in the animal world thats true...but when you compare the fact that in the Qura'an and all books of revelation we know that Allah has created Adam with his hands , it just doesnt agree with what evolutionists say, that humans ancestors were apes! at the end of the day it's just theory...not a proven fact.

 

just my thoughts, i'm curious to find out how can anyone reconcile this!

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probably in the animal world thats true...but when you compare the fact that in the Qura'an and all books of revelation we know that Allah has created Adam with his hands , it just doesnt agree with what evolutionists say, that humans ancestors were apes! at the end of the day it's just theory...not a proven fact.

 

just my thoughts, i'm curious to find out how can anyone reconcile this!

 

 

Sallam. Thanks for your input. The best discussion I have found is from Nuh Ha Mim Keller:

grandestrategyDOTCOM/2009/02/6666699948838-Islam-evolution.html

 

but basically I wasn't looking for arguments and so forth about Islam and evolution and so forth but rather an evolutionary biologist who reverted to Islam. Btw, Nuh Ha Mim Keller was also an evoutionist before he converted to Islam but my search was of someone holding a PhD in evolutionary biology. I am pretty sure there has been, just missed the public radar.

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also, scienceislamDOTCOM is a pretty awesome site, has all kinds of scientists and doctors attesting to Islam and on how they rationalized to Islam. While biologists are there, not an evolutionary biologist.

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Mhussain, why do you want a revert? Are you assuming that an Evolutionary Biologist who reverted would also stop accepting evolution? That's an unwarranted assumption.

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probably in the animal world thats true...but when you compare the fact that in the Qura'an and all books of revelation we know that Allah has created Adam with his hands , it just doesnt agree with what evolutionists say, that humans ancestors were apes! at the end of the day it's just theory...not a proven fact.

 

just my thoughts, i'm curious to find out how can anyone reconcile this!

 

 

I have my own opinion on this (eg, is 'with His own hands' really a problem? Don't Muslims believe that everything that happens - every baby born - is individually created by Allah?) it might be a better idea to read what Muslim Evolutinary Biologists say about it. Try googling Dr Abouheif or visit the blog of the other Muslim scientist I mentioned.

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al salamo alaykom

 

MHussain i read the article it does make sense and it is exactly what i was thinking and sorry for going off topic

 

Rubida i tried to open the bridging Islam and evolution link but i have to install something, but i am interested to hear what it says..and yes Allah did create adam with his hands from clay and breathed into him from his spirit ,as for babies in the womb they are created by the word of Allah "be", anyway can you sum up what abouheif has to say? and if you wanna discuss it, a new topic can be started to discuss it.

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I had the same trouble - I installed it but the video didn't load. I'll keep trying and I'll email the uni if I don't have any luck.

 

Actually, I have no idea what he has to say - I just know that he's an Evolutionary Biologist who says "I strongly believe one can practice evolutionary biology without compromising one’s faith as a Muslim", and that he is concerned that "this conflict [between Muslms and evolution] is largely based on political ideology rather than a proper understanding of the 'theory of evolution' and what it represents for Islam".

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erm, and how does one read MHussein's article? I can get to the grande strategy blog but I get a 'page not found' for the article.

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Reading the first page in the scienceislam site I am not at all impressed. It seems to exemplify the problem of anti-evolutionists being unaware of current research - or even the Scientific Method.

 

This paragraph:

 

"There is no DNA research pointing to a connection between apes and humans as was supposed by the scientists and those who had financed them over the years. In fact, the barnyard pig is closer to humans in many aspects, than a monkey or a gorilla. Consider the fact, doctors use the skin from pigs to replace needed tissue on burn victims and the famous movie actor, John Wayne had a pig's heart valve installed in his own heart in a 1977 operation to save his life. It worked, too - until his smoking caused him to die of cancer."

 

... is factually incorrect. There is a great deal of DNA evidence that humans and modern apes share ancestors. Evoltionists say (and prove to the satisfction of the vast majority of scientists qualified in the field) that we are related to modern apes, not descended from them: we share common ancestors. Mentioning the use of pig tissue in humans is a red herring and adds nothing to the argument.

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erm, and how does one read MHussein's article? I can get to the grande strategy blog but I get a 'page not found' for the article.

 

try this link

 

(you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetmasud.co.uk/Islam/nuh/evolve.htm"]you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetmasud.co.uk/Islam/nuh/evolve.htm[/url]

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Can't say about animals but Allah [sWT] created man in its best form.

 

In most of the evolution cases old species lost after developing into better one but in the case of human being Apes are still in existence and we don't see them changing anymore.

 

There is a great difference between Apes and Human being, so where is the lost chain? Why there is no species of Apes who are very much similar to human being?

 

Does evolutionist want to argue that it was sudden development?

 

If evolution takes place gradually then there should be a missing chain and until evolutionist find that lost chain it is futile to discuss evolution on the basis of conjectures.

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Can't say about animals but Allah [sWT] created man in its best form.

 

In most of the evolution cases old species lost after developing into better one but in the case of human being Apes are still in existence and we don't see them changing anymore.

 

Did you even read my post? Here it is again: evolutionists do not claim that we descended from modern apes, they say (and have proven to the satisfaction of the vast majority of scientists) that humans and modern apes share a common ancestor.

 

 

There is a great difference between Apes and Human being, so where is the lost chain? Why there is no species of Apes who are very much similar to human being?

 

All the mdern apes are very similar to humans. Our common ancestors have become extinct (not terribly surprising), and so have some of our cousins, such as Neanderthal Man, Homo erectus and others. We have found their remains. No doubt there are more species whose remans we haven't yet found - Great Apes do not and homainoids apparently did not never exist in great numbers so it isn't surprising that there are gaps in the fossil record.

 

Does evolutionist want to argue that it was sudden development?

 

No idea.Wiki will give ouy a good summary of the current state of play.

 

If evolution takes place gradually then there should be a missing chain and until evolutionist find that lost chain it is futile to discuss evolution on the basis of conjectures.

 

The expression you want is "missing link", not "chain". Whether or not evolution of humans happened rapidly or slowly, it is agreed that there were intermediary species. We know about some of them (google lucy +evolution for one of the most famous). It's pure chance whether or not we will find the fossilised skeletons of all of them. Luckily biochemistry has advanced to the point where we don't really need them.

 

It is not futile to discuss evolution unless all the intermediary species have been found. That would be like saying it was impossible to agree with the hypothesis that the world was a sphere before cosmo/astronauts had actually seen that it was.

 

Evolution is the hypotheseis which best fits the current evidence. You can deny evolution on religious grounds if you want. However if you want to deny it on scientific grounds you will need to actually discuss the science. Unless you are a highly qualified scientist working in the appropriate fields you (and I) are in pretty much the same position as a Muslim who is not an Islamic scholar - you are not really qualified to say that an Islamic scholar is wrong. You will need to take on trust that the worldwide scientific community (this is definitely not just 'the west', and includes many Muslims) is mostly honest and competent, and that the consensus of that community does in fact reflect the current state of human knowledge. The consensus of that community is that evolution is the best hypothesis to fit the current evidence.

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Did you even read my post? Here it is again: evolutionists do not claim that we descended from modern apes, they say (and have proven to the satisfaction of the vast majority of scientists) that humans and modern apes share a common ancestor.

 

OK you mean according to evolutionists our ancestors were same who was neither Apes nor Human Being lol. Where are those common ancestors? And what does it mean? Did those common ancestor give birth to Apes and Human being at the same time? If this is the case then evolution is not the correct word. It should be called MIRACLE lol.

 

 

 

All the mdern apes are very similar to humans. Our common ancestors have become extinct (not terribly surprising), and so have some of our cousins, such as Neanderthal Man, Homo erectus and others. We have found their remains.

 

lol so Apes are our brothers? ROTF

 

 

The expression you want is "missing link", not "chain". Whether or not evolution of humans happened rapidly or slowly, it is agreed that there were intermediary species. We know about some of them (google lucy +evolution for one of the most famous). It's pure chance whether or not we will find the fossilised skeletons of all of them. Luckily biochemistry has advanced to the point where we don't really need them.

 

Thanks for correcting. Btw according to evolutionists evolution is always for betterment, so how is this possible that better transformed being is not in existence while Apes are still found in great numbers? Isn't it strange that evolutionists are unable to find the missing links? Unless you argue that development was rapid I'm not going to accept your hypothetical explanation.

 

So evolutionists have to find two missing links

 

1. Common Ancestors

2. Missing link between human and Apes.

 

It is not futile to discuss evolution unless all the intermediary species have been found. That would be like saying it was impossible to agree with the hypothesis that the world was a sphere before cosmo/astronauts had actually seen that it was.

 

What is the sense in discussing / studying evolution? Scientist are unable to record even minor changes in human being since thousands of years.

 

Evolution is the hypotheseis which best fits the current evidence.

 

I know it is hypothesis. How evolutionist dare to challenge anything on the basis of hypothesis?

 

 

You can deny evolution on religious grounds if you want. However if you want to deny it on scientific grounds you will need to actually discuss the science.

 

We need not to. Scientist themselves are confused already. Let them bring some concrete proofs first.

 

Unless you are a highly qualified scientist working in the appropriate fields you (and I) are in pretty much the same position as a Muslim who is not an Islamic scholar - you are not really qualified to say that an Islamic scholar is wrong.

 

 

Qur'an is clear on this and one need not be A'alim [expert] to understand this. Adam Alehisalam was first human being who was in very much perfect shape. Let the Highly Qualified Scientist come out from his Lab and argue with me on this.

Edited by Muhammed Shadab

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OK you mean according to evolutionists our ancestors were same who was neither Apes nor Human Being lol. Where are those common ancestors? And what does it mean? Did those common ancestor give birth to Apes and Human being at the same time? If this is the case then evolution is not the correct word. It should be called MIRACLE lol.

 

No-one says that homo sapiens and modern apes had the same parent. They had the same ancestor, as I said. There have been many species of human-like animals which have gradually evolved into us. Did you google lucy +evolution?

 

lThanks for correcting. Btw according to evolutionists evolution is always for betterment, so how is this possible that better transformed being is not in existence while Apes are still found in great numbers? Isn't it strange that evolutionists are unable to find the missing links? Unless you argue that development was rapid I'm not going to accept your hypothetical explanation.

 

No, evolutionists do not say that it is always for betterment. Evolution is not "for" anything. It is just a description of the way different traits appear and are propagated (if they aid survival). If conditions change then a trait that once helped survival might hinder it.

 

We have found "missing links" - lots of them.

 

 

What is the sense in discussing / studying evolution? Scientist are unable to record even minor changes in human being since thousands of years.

I know it is hypothesis. How evolutionist dare to challenge anything on the basis of hypothesis?

 

Everything that science says is a hypothesis. It's "just" a hypothesis that the earth is spherical. Because the hypothesis fits the known facts better than any other hypothesis (so far), and because you can make predictions from this hypothesis and they have all worked, it's a strong hypothesis. Evolution is also regarded as a strong hypothsis by the vast majority of scientists.

 

And science isn't actually "challenging" anything - that isn't how science works.

 

We need not to. Scientist themselves are confused already. Let them bring some concrete proofs first.

 

Who is "we"? People who don't understand science? "We" isn't all Muslims, as there are many Muslim scientists, including Evolutionists.

 

Qur'an is clear on this and one need not be A'alim [expert] to understand this. Adam Alehisalam was first human being who was in very much perfect shape. Let the Highly Qualified Scientist come out from his Lab and argue with me on this.

 

What will he or she argue about? There's no argument that the Koran says it. As I said, you can reject evolution or any other theory on religious grounds, but if you are going to reject it on scientific grounds you'll need to actually know something about science and the way it works.

 

If you really want to argue with a scientist, send an email to a Muslim scientist working in a field related to evolution.

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Here are some non-muslim top scientists who reverted to Islam:

 

Dr. Gerald C. Goeringer is Course Director and Associate Professor of Medical Embryology at the Department of Cell Biology, School of Medicine, Georgetown University, Washington, DC, USA. During the Eighth Saudi Medical Conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Professor Goeringer stated the following in the presentation of his research paper:

 

“In a relatively few ayahs (Quranic verses) is contained a rather comprehensive description of human development from the time of commingling of the gametes through organogenesis. No such distinct and complete record of human development, such as classification, terminology, and description, existed previously. In most, if not all, instances, this description antedates by many centuries the recording of the various stages of human embryonic and fetal development recorded in the traditional scientific literature."

Dr. William W. Hay is a well-known marine scientist. He is Professor of Geological Sciences at the University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA. He was formerly the Dean of the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science at the University of Miami, Miami, Florida, USA. After a discussion with Professor Hay about the Quran’s mention of recently discovered facts on seas, he said:

 

“I find it very interesting that this sort of information is in the ancient scriptures of the Holy Quran, and I have no way of knowing where they would come from, but I think it is extremely interesting that they are there and that this work is going on to discover it, the meaning of some of the passages.â€

And when he was asked about the source of the Quran, he replied: “Well, I would think it must be the divine being.â€

 

Dr. T. V. N. Persaud is Professor of Anatomy, Professor of Pediatrics and Child Health, and Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences at the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. There, he was the Chairman of the Department of Anatomy for 16 years. He is well-known in his field. He is the author or editor of 22 textbooks and has published over 180 scientific papers. In 1991, he received the most distinguished award presented in the field of anatomy in Canada, the J.C.B. Grant Award from the Canadian Association of Anatomists. Professor Persaud has included some Quranic verses and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad in some of his books - and presented these verses and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad at several conferences. When he was asked about the scientific miracles in the Quran which he has researched, he stated the following:

 

“...Muhammad .. could not read, didn’t know to write. - You have someone illiterate making profound pronouncements - amazingly accurate about scientific nature. [so] many accuracies - I have no difficulty in my mind that this is a divine inspiration or revelation which led him to these statements.â€

 

See more here:

scienceislamDOTCOM/scientists_quran.php

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No-one says that homo sapiens and modern apes had the same parent. They had the same ancestor, as I said. There have been many species of human-like animals which have gradually evolved into us. Did you google lucy +evolution?

 

AND what's the difference brtween common ancestor and common parents?

 

 

 

No, evolutionists do not say that it is always for betterment. Evolution is not "for" anything. It is just a description of the way different traits appear and are propagated (if they aid survival). If conditions change then a trait that once helped survival might hinder it.

 

In most of the cases evolutionists explain evolution as a battle to survive on earth. According to them it also depends upon change in circumstances and living conditions.

 

Everything that science says is a hypothesis. It's "just" a hypothesis that the earth is spherical. Because the hypothesis fits the known facts better than any other hypothesis (so far), and because you can make predictions from this hypothesis and they have all worked, it's a strong hypothesis. Evolution is also regarded as a strong hypothsis by the vast majority of scientists.

 

Hahahaa but it will remain hypothesis subject to change after some time. That's why I prefer to learn from Qur'an which is perfect and not subject to change.

 

And science isn't actually "challenging" anything - that isn't how science works.

Who is "we"? People who don't understand science? "We" isn't all Muslims, as there are many Muslim scientists, including Evolutionists.

 

There are many Muslims who doesn't know Qur'an and Islam.

 

 

but if you are going to reject it on scientific grounds you'll need to actually know something about science and the way it works.

 

I'm not student of science dear. I'm a profesional lawyer where hypothesis does not work. Either provide the proofs or loose the case.

 

If you really want to argue with a scientist, send an email to a Muslim scientist working in a field related to evolution.

 

I don't argue on the basis of conjectures. Unless scientists comes with a solid proofs there is no sense in arguing with them on evolution.

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And there are scientists who have converted to Christianity, Buddhism, Shintoism, paganism and other religions. It might be intersting sociologically but if you are presenting it as an argument that evolution is wrong, it achieves the opposite - if you are saying 'Look, these scientists have reverted and no longer accept evolution', it invites the answer 'The vast majority of scientists have not reverted and do accept evolution.

 

By the way, is Goeringer a revert? I can find a zillion sites quoting the paragraph that you did, but none with any current information on him. I also can't find anything that says he has reverted or that he rejects evolution. As we have seen, it's possible for a scientist to accept evolution and be a Muslim.

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AND what's the difference brtween common ancestor and common parents?

 

Lots. Think about it. And even Muslims who don't accept the evolution of humans accept the evolution of plants and animals, so they accept that (say) all mammals other than humans have a common ancestor. Evolution has been observed in the laboratory, in bacteria and in insects.

 

In most of the cases evolutionists explain evolution as a battle to survive on earth. According to them it also depends upon change in circumstances and living conditions.

 

They say that evolution describes the way in which traits are selected for ("natural selection") and they study the mechanisms by which these traits arise and are able to be passed to offspring.

 

Hahahaa but it will remain hypothesis subject to change after some time. That's why I prefer to learn from Qur'an which is perfect and not subject to change.

 

As I said, everythng that science says is a hypothesis. It's a hypothesis that the earth is a sphere. And as I said, if you want to argue against evolution on religious grounds, fine, but if you are aguing against it on scientific grounds you need to know how science works.

 

There are many Muslims who doesn't know Qur'an and Islam.

 

Agreed, however, if someone says that being an evolutionary biologist is not in conflict with their being a Muslim, and delivers a lecture on this subject at a major university, it's reasonable to suppose that they might have considered the question.

 

I'm not student of science dear. I'm a profesional lawyer where hypothesis does not work. Either provide the proofs or loose the case.

I don't argue on the basis of conjectures. Unless scientists comes with a solid proofs there is no sense in arguing with them on evolution.

 

You've made it abundantly clear that you are not a student of science. So you do not want to argue that evolution is wrong on the basis of science? That's your choice. But I would ask that you stop presenting quasi-scientific arguments if you are not willing to discuss the matter scientifically.

 

If you did know anything about science you would know that "solid proofs" do not have to be fossils. There are "solid proofs" that humans and modern apes split from their common ancestor around 8 million years ago. Just because these proofs depend on biochemistry/genetics rather than old bones does not make them less "solid".

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By the way (and I know that this is a side-track) here's an intersting bit of information. The Koran's "embryology" isn't even original:

 

Galen formulated his theory of four states in AD 150, long before Muhammed. His stages were almost identical to those described by Muhammed.

 

"But let us take the account back again to the first conformation of the animal, and in order to make our account orderly and clear, let us divide the creation of the foetus overall into four periods of time. The first is that in which, as is seen both in abortions and in dissection, the form of the semen prevails (Arabic nutfah). At this time, Hippocrates too, the all-marvelous, does not yet call the conformation of the animal a foetus; as we heard just now in the case of semen voided in the sixth day, he still calls it semen. But when it has been filled with blood (Arabic alaqa), and heart, brain and liver are still unarticulated and unshaped yet have by now a certain solidarity and considerable size, this is the second period; the substance of the foetus has the form of flesh and no longer the form of semen. Accordingly you would find that Hippocrates too no longer calls such a form semen but, as was said, foetus. The third period follows on this, when, as was said, it is possible to see the three ruling parts clearly and a kind of outline, a silhouette, as it were, of all the other parts (Arabic mudghah). You will see the conformation of the three ruling parts more clearly, that of the parts of the stomach more dimly, and much more still, that of the limbs. Later on they form "twigs", as Hippocrates expressed it, indicating by the term their similarity to branches. The fourth and final period is at the stage when all the parts in the limbs have been differentiated; and at this part Hippocrates the marvelous no longer calls the foetus an embryo only, but already a child, too when he says that it jerks and moves as an animal now fully formed (Arabic "a new creation")."

 

The first stage, geniture, corresponds to [nutfah], the drop of semen; the second stage, a bloody vascularised foetus with unshaped brain, liver and heart ("when it has been filled with blood") corresponds to [alaqa], the blood clot; the third stage "has the form of flesh" and corresponds to [mudghah], the morsel of chewed flesh. The fourth and final stage, puer, was when all the organs were well formed, joints were freely moveable, and the foetus began to move. (Source: Corpus Medicorum Graecorum: Galeni de Semine (Galen: On Semen) (English trans. Phillip de Lacy, Akademic Verlag, 1992) section I:9:1-10 pp. 92-95 )

 

If the reader is in any doubt about the clear link being described here between the Galenic and the Qur'anic stages, it may be pointed out that it was early Muslim doctors, including Ibn-Qayyim, who first spotted the similarity. Basim Musallam writes

 

"The stages of development which the Qur'an and Hadith established for believers agreed perfectly with Galen's scientific account... There is no doubt that medieval thought appreciated this agreement between the Qur'an and Galen, for Arabic science employed the same Qur'anic terms to describe the Galenic stages". (B. Musallam (Cambridge, 1983), Sex and Society in Islam, p. 54)

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You could just say that God works through evolution, as many religious biologists say...

Edited by Puget Sound

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