Jump to content
Islamic Forum
fathi

Evolution Of Man

Recommended Posts

[at] QED you bring up some interesting points.  As I have said before, I by no means dismiss evolution as it is presented (even in the case of man).  But, I have to wonder if it is in fact possible that man was originally a separate species that we simply have not discovered.  As I said before I have no evidence of this. It is merely a thought. I would very much like to research it some more though and see if there is anything that points in that direction.  Sure I could argue that in Darwin's actual book The Origin of Species he says nothing of any actual tie between the theory of evolution and man.

 

While in terms of appearance it cannot be denied that there is much in common between man and ape, it can also be said that man has a great deal in common (behavior wise) with dolphins and certain other creatures.  Just as an example of what I am referring though: let us say for instance that someone came forth with an actual body of a sasquatch.  While there would certainly be some resemblance to man the question would still remain if the creature is in fact a descendant of man, the so called "missing link" or simply a spin-off of certain forms of ape that exist today. 

 

Personally I believe that everything (except God) is scientifically explainable.  I do, however, believe there are some things that we do not have the means of explaining yet because of our limited technology and understanding.  The original point of this conversation was not to debunk science as a whole but to ponder as to whether or not this is a possibility and if it is has it been investigated already?  If not it should be at least an avenue to consider.  At the very least it should be investigated in order to eliminate the possibility. 

 

I am not overly sure where I will start but I am thinking of making it a side project to research any possible links.  Naturally I will have to get some rudimentary reading under my belt first such as The Origin of Species and scientific journals and the like. 

 

As to your response to Andalusi I will say I do not think that evolution conflicts with anything in the Qur'an that I have seen.  I am a logic minded individual.  It is hard for me not to be.  Some would argue it is because of my high I.Q. or my incredible ability to learn at a fast rate (frankly I do not know).  What I do know is when I say I have always been a logic minded individual I do mean it.  At the age of like 7 I knew there was no Santa Clause, even though my parents did not realize this.

 

Admittedly my present knowledge on evolution is more fundamental than anything.  What do you want? I am an English major, not a science major.  Granted I understand more things outside of my field I by no means consider myself an expert.  But, I do believe that there is a place that we have reached as a society where many take what is presented in science as unyielding fact and this is a dangerous stance to take.  Originally science was about hard proof, not mere speculation (and sorry but along this theory, mathematical equations still qualify as speculation).  For example, the idea that water is made of two parts hydrogen and one part water is not based on theory but on the fact that scientists tested it and even were able to look at the water and see the molecules through modern day instruments.  This is true science. 

 

In closing, essentially what I believe is that I do not know what I think I know.  And I believe that doubt is a healthy part of life.  It is doubt that keeps us alive and helps to maintain a relatively decent form of life.  Do not allow doubt to consume your life but questioning (of anything) can only lead to good things.  I questioned Islam for a long time, going back and forth and round and round and I think it has in fact made me stronger in my iman.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Fathi

 

One of the things that is clear from all the evidence around evolutionary theory, and it is a point Darwin made in Origins, is that all organisms descend from older, simpler, organisms eventually they all descent from simple, single celled organisms.  In fact the majority of the history of life on earth was only single celled organisms, we multi cellular creatures are recent arrivals.  Given the amount of DNA we share with all that other life the idea that we were, none the less, a separate line all the way back running in parallel with them seems implausible I have to say.  Convergent evolution can explain characteristics shared by unrelated species but not to the extent you are suggesting not an entire unrelated line stretching back over 3.7 billion years.

 

Its true Darwin does not specifically mention man, I think that was on purpose, but he does discuss all life on this planet and that, logically, includes man.  His ideas were controversial when he proposed them, that’s why he took so many years formulating them and refining them and that is why he was so reluctant to present them because he knew they would cause opposition.  He was right as history shows us.  He was right that there would be opposition and he was right that Evolution is the driver behind life on this planet as the mountain of evidence we have since amassed has so clearly shown.

 

Sure we have things in common with dolphins, we are both mammals just for starters, we both have large brains and are intelligent and we have much in common with apes for the same reasons.  Genetically speaking we have far more in common with apes than with dolphins but we have more in common with dolphins than we do with fish or bacteria.  That is all explained, in great detail, by evolutionary theory the level of similarity is related to the closeness of our historical genetic connections.  We have more in common with apes because we share more of their DNA and we share more of their DNA because we have a far more recent common ancestor with them.  Our common ancestor with the dolphins was far longer ago so we share less DNA with Dolphins and less similarities of behaviour because of that separation in time and because of the differing environments we inhabit.

 

The beauty of DNA analysis is that it is very mathematical.  You can see how closely related two creatures are by comparing their DNA.  You can see the order of separation of creatures in great detail.  You can even tell which of two men is the father of a child with a simple test with virtually 100% certainty.  If a Sasquatch was found a simple DNA analysis would show if it was related to man and if so how closely.  In recent years biological samples claimed to come from Sasquatch have been analysed and all of them turned out to be Human or some other known animal, none were some unknown organism such as Sasquatch.  All fakes in other words.

 

The idea that man is not related to other animals has been overwhelmingly debunked by the evidence from many disciplines.  Cladistic analysis, used to classify animals, classes humans as great apes, DNA analysis supports this in great detail.  Some of the specific examples we have found such as a large number of shared genetic errors are virtually impossible to explain except by shared genetics, by descent from a common ancestor.  The idea that god created humans separately does not fit the evidence and I’m not talking about a line ball here but mountains of evidence contradicts this idea.

 

Origins is an easy read, it’s aimed at a lay audience, but there are many more up to date books that might be better.  Origins labours the point to my mind rather than just getting in and explaining what he understood. He was trying to convince an audience who did not have the sort of evidence we have today to rely on.  Try http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/evo_01 and if you have any specific questions as you go through that please just ask here and I’d be happy to help.

 

You are right that many take what scientists say as unyielding facts but that is only people who are ignorant of science, its methods and its underpinnings.  One of the foundational premises of science is that all theories are provisional.  Gravity may seem pretty solid but our scientific descriptions of it are theories not proven facts.  Mind you I’m not about to step out of a 12th floor window because I don’t believe the theories but we may find, in future, another understanding of gravity.

 

I disagree on mathematics.  Mathematics is a logical enterprise, we can and do know with 100% certainty that 1+1=2 but we don’t know that water is actually made up of two hydrogen and one oxygen atom with the same degree of certainty.  Sure we can image the molecule indirectly but we can’t be sure of what we are seeing in the same absolute sense that we can know that mathematical proofs are true.  Some new theory may one day explain water better than our current understanding, it’s improbable I would suggest but not impossible but nothing will ever supersede the idea that 1+1=2 or other mathematical proofs.

 

Doubt is good, questioning is good but you have to be careful not to throw the baby out with the bath water here.  We have some really solid evidence that we have inherited our DNA from a common ancestor with the great apes, evidence that can’t logically be explained by “god did it”.  That’s not to say that god didn’t do it but that idea does not make sense in light of this evidence.  Why would god copy almost this entire genome into a new creature including errors and genetic damage.  Parallel evolution simply can’t explain this, the idea is completely untenable.  God did it is illogical but not impossible, maybe he wanted to build us of exactly the same DNA with just a few very minor changes but I can see no rational reason why he would other than trying to trick us.  Of course he didn’t need to because evolution could have achieved the same ends but I don’t claim to understand the mind of “god”.

 

Russell

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do believe that there is a place that we have reached as a society where many take what is presented in science as unyielding fact and this is a dangerous stance to take. 

To a certain extent, this is necessary. The majority of people taking flights do not know the details of aerodynamics and jet propulsion. Before you drive across a bridge, do you demand to see the plans and check the calculations? How many people using computers every day have the faintest idea how they work? We all just accept that the experts have done their work but in the one or two occasions where the science may bump up against belief,people suddenly need to see all the evidence and when it is presented, they range from dubious to incredulous. I wonder why this is?

 

Originally science was about hard proof, not mere speculation (and sorry but along this theory, mathematical equations still qualify as speculation).

Science has always been about both. An hypothesis begins as speculation. Observation and experiment provide evidence which either supports or refutes the hypothesis. With enough supporting evidence it can become a theory. There is no scientific theory which is mere speculation. That is the domain of evolution deniers and conspiracy theorists, not scientists.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Fathi

One of the things that is clear from all the evidence around evolutionary theory, and it is a point Darwin made in Origins, is that all organisms descend from older, simpler, organisms eventually they all descent from simple, single celled organisms.

 

Then, those "single celled organisms" descend from what?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Then, those "single celled organisms" descend from what?

The Miller-Urey experiment proved that all the complex amino acids needed for life can be produced from basic, inorganic chemicals under early-earth conditions. The next step, forming those into "life" has not yet been shown but to say that it could never happen is merely committing the fallacy of "argument from ignorance".

 

Here's a simple experiment that anyone can do.

Get a sheet of paper.

Draw a line down the middle.

On one side, make a list of all the things that were once attributed to supernatural causes but have since been shown to be completely natural (you may need more than one sheet!)

On the other side, make a list of all those things that were once attributed to natural causes but have since been shown to be due to the supernatural.

I will leave you to form your own conclusions but feel free to share them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Miller-Urey experiment proved that all the complex amino acids needed for life can be produced from basic, inorganic chemicals under early-earth conditions. The next step, forming those into "life" has not yet been shown but to say that it could never happen is merely committing the fallacy of "argument from ignorance".

 

My question is not about the next step. And do not expect reply from ignorant.

 

One of the things that is clear from all the evidence around evolutionary theory, and it is a point Darwin made in Origins, is that all organisms descend from older, simpler, organisms eventually they all descent from simple, single celled organisms.

 

Then, those "single celled organisms" descend from what?

 

The Miller-Urey experiment proved that all the complex amino acids needed for life can be produced from basic, inorganic chemicals under early-earth conditions.

So, those basic inorganic chemicals can be produced from what?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My question is not about the next step. And do not expect reply from ignorant.

Yes it is. You asked where the first life came from. The answer is that it came from the essential amino acids which we know could have beed produced. We don't know how yet, but it cannot be claimed that it is impossible.

"Argument from ignorance" does not imply that the person making the argument is ignorant. It describes a logical fallacy which says that because something is not proved it therefore did not happen (or conversely, that something is true because it has not been disproved).

 

Then, those "single celled organisms" descend from what?

There will have been a point, before which there were only the amino acids needed for life and after which there will have been the very first, most primitive form of "life". This almost certainly happened in more than one place, at more than one time, with a possibly different result, and failed to evolve beyond a certain point.

 

So, those basic inorganic chemicals can be produced from what?

They form naturally from the combination of elements. Basic chemistry. It only needs water (H2O), methane (CH4), ammonia (NH3), and hydrogen (H2).

The elements were formed within certain types of star, the stars formed...etc, but we are talking about evolution here, not the origins of the universe. Two very different things, and I have no problem accommodating both an initial creator and the proven process of evolution.

 

Just wondering if you conducted my little experiment yet? What were your results and how do you explain them?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes it is. You asked where the first life came from. The answer is that it came from the essential amino acids which we know could have beed produced. We don't know how yet, but it cannot be claimed that it is impossible.

. . . . .

They form naturally from the combination of elements. Basic chemistry. It only needs water (H2O), methane (CH4), ammonia (NH3), and hydrogen (H2).

The elements were formed within certain types of star, the stars formed...etc, but we are talking about evolution here, not the origins of the universe.

Two very different things, and I have no problem accommodating both an initial creator and the proven process of evolution.

oh i see, i thought if talking about evolution we should start from zero.

 

Just wondering if you conducted my little experiment yet? What were your results and how do you explain them?

sorry, i dont know how to do it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

oh i see, i thought if talking about evolution we should start from zero.

In evolutionary terms, zero is the first life form, as evolution through natural selection can only work with life forms that reproduce.

 

In creation of the universe terms, who knows? I have a suspicion that God may be the collective consciousness of the intelligent lifeforms of a previous but now extinct universe, and is therefore Himself a product of evolution. However, this does not help with the infinite regression problem.

 

sorry, i dont know how to do it.

Get a sheet of paper.

Draw a line down the middle.

On one side, make a list of all the things that were once attributed

to supernatural causes but have since been shown to be completely

natural (you may need more than one sheet!)

On the other side, make a list of all those things that were once

attributed to natural causes but have since been shown to be due to the

supernatural.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

sorry, but my english and my knowledge don't help. I joined this forum especially to discuss about hajj. As it is what we can not do by ourselves in indonesia. Hajj should only be done in Makkah and in the month of dzul hijjah.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi MarineLiner

 

In “Origins…” Darwin stated that evolution from the very first life proceeded from a few of the most simple forms that may have been created by a god, just one or maybe a few, and the rest was down to evolution.  For evolution to occur reproducing life must exist.  How we get from chemicals to life is currently an unsolved issue though we have many pieces of the puzzle including the creation of organic compounds with nothing more than chemicals and electricity both of which existed on the early earth.  We also have some very simple self replicators including one that uses just 45 or so of those simple organic compounds created in the Urey Miller type experiments and produces endless copies of itself.

 

Because life of the size we are talking about does not fossilize we will probably never know directly how life got started on this planet but, as I said, that is a field outside evolutionary theory.  The most we can hope for are plausible scenarios.  The earth is a very large test tube and it has lasted for a very long time.  We have little hope of reproducing the sorts of events that would occur in millions of years in a test tube the size of a planet.

 

We have, however, some amazing evidence that all life evolved from just one original progenitor.  Maybe life started a few times, maybe many, on this planet but only one of those initial kinds survived till today but today we see that all life shares our basic DNA / RNA coding scheme even though any number of other schemes are possible.  The replication engines for that system are, with only minor various, universal to all life on this planet.  That makes no sense from a ‘creation’ point of view, why stick to one scheme when there are so many options but it does logically fall out of a system such as evolution from one common ancestor.  Bacteria, fungus, plans and animals all share this code.

 

Russell

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

. . . . .

We have, however, some amazing evidence that all life evolved from just one original progenitor.  . . . . .

Thank you very much.

Now I can see how complicated it is.

And from my limited knowledge, I prefer to "jump" into how to solve the killing of thousands of camels in australia.

Do you have time to read it in : Camels In Australia in General Chat · Started by zukiful, 30 Jan 2006 · ¿ ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi MarineLiner

 

Yes it is a complicated field but one that we have found mountains of evidence for which gives us a very deep understanding of how life has evolved over time and some details of how it got started.

 

I’m aware of the wild camel culls in outback Australia and I’m a supporter of it.  Camels are an introduced species who displace our native wildlife.  Many of our natives are in decline heading for extinction because of the introduction of such species including rabbits, foxes, various birds, insects, camels, water buffalo, goats, dogs, cats and many many more.  In my opinion this country would be far better off if every single one of those animals, that was not domesticated and managed, was killed but I doubt it is possible unfortunately.

 

Russell

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks again.

 

And, I appreciate your reply at Camels in Australia.

I regret that I "miss the boat" when that thread started. That days I was in Makkah doing hajj. Though, just kidding, it's better than if I miss the boat to back to Indonesia.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi MarineLiner

 

On a different topic do you hear much about the boat people trying to sneak into Australia from Indonesia and the arguments between our governments over it?

 

Russell

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, many of them died because the boat (wooden boat) were sinking. I think mostly if not all of them are muslims.

I am not sure about how is the legal immigrant procedure. If there should be a restriction to enter Australia, then it should be only aborigin live there.

Both governements give press release that I don't know which is true or false.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi MarineLiner

 

Yes that’s the issue.  As far as I know there were quite a mix of religions though many were muslims yes.  We have procedures that people who wish to emigrate must follow, they apply at the embassy and submit their paper work and after a while they are told if they can or can’t come to this country.  These people have traveled a long way illegally entering country after country and finally arriving in Indonesia illegally then paid a great deal of money to people smugglers who put them on very overloaded old boats and send them off towards Australia in the hopes of jumping the legal queues into this country.  We still accept the same number of people into this country, these people simply replace the people who legitimately apply to come, but these people seem to believe that they should be able to push in in front of other people to increase their chances of being able to stay here and yes many died in the attempt as these boats often sink with many deaths.

 

The question today is that our government is meeting these boats at the edge of Indonesian waters and turning them back, not one has successfully made it to Australia since this policy started but Indonesia is complaining that we are breaching their Sovereignty by returning these boats.  My question is, how can it breach Indonesian Sovereignty to return an Indonesian boat with an Indonesian crew back to the country it started from, Indonesia?  That makes no sense to me.

 

Russell

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for explaining. I don't know what to say as I don't have enough knowledge about migration.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×