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Thread: Human Evolution and Islam

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    Default Human Evolution and Islam




    This is a thread for this topic and how Islamically we can explain it. It is only for Muslims whilst Muslim biologists are specially invited to participate.

    It is incumbent upon the Muslim biologists and those in the field to refute those who use biological ideas against Islam. Otherwise don't blame those Muslims who are not biologists yet who take on this task.

    Here's a start that i wrote elsewhere:
    Ok after having read a lot since that time, particularly from pro-evolutionists-i'm not convinced by human evolution whilst the topic of other species, it is highly probable that macro-evolution(in case some are wondering, actually some evolutionists accept the distinction) to some extent took place although current evolutionary theory is seriously deficient in its explanations and must be improved-, i've come up several observations:
    1) Evolutionists at times have used outright deception to propagate their views(such as Haeckal's embryos)
    2) Evolutionists have been very gullible at accepting "evidences" that have turned out to be wrong(the "Piltdown man," the "peppered moths", the Miller-Urey experiments etc)
    3) Evolutionists have a lot of evangelicals(atheists and agnostics) who are trying to promote their views against theists and thus have no sense of accountability for what they say-provided their not shown to be wrong- and this has been shown by their blatant lies at times.
    4) Christians opposing evolution have also used lies and shown ignorance of the topic
    5) Thus neither sides have been trustworthy(especially the atheists)
    6) Considering the methodology of Islam in accepting information,-more important in this case as the issue affects Islam- i propose that Muslim scientists don't accept information on the topic where the opinion is against Islam(especially when there's a strong bias by the kuffar) but should set stringent criteria for verifying the information and must verify it themselves.
    7) The conclusion is that the information that the kuffar provide on the topic of evolution(where is contradicts Islam i.e. human evolution) is not accepted at the current moment until it is verified by trustworthy Muslim scientists.
    8) Also Muslim scientists should aim to refute those kuffar who oppose Islamic beliefs through science. Harun Yahya(although not a scientist and i disagree with his works) however must be commended(contrary to the useless Muslim scientists who have done nothing but complain about him) as he has set the groundwork and now the real Muslim scientists should take over and modify and strengthen his arguments.


    Note that i've talked with a science teacher(who is a biologist and has a masters degree) and he basically said that there's a number of serious problems with the theory but its a developing theory so there's no guarantee on some of the things it says. And he rejected human evolution.


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    Default Re: Human Evolution and Islam

    A thought on human evolution, one thing that we expect if we're created differently to the rest of creation is that we should have unique things.
    Of course it is obvious in our intelligence(it is the highest) and other behavioural aspects but lets look at the physical aspects.

    Also why did humans supposedly ditch the trees and the tail? Before it was suggested that being bipedal involved less energy but now its shown to not be the case.

    Anyways some stuff i picked up from page 7 and onwards:
    http://www.arn.org/docs/luskin/cl_fa...gentdesign.pdf

    Sure i'm not fond of ID but they've got neat references that can be checked up.

    Another study wrote, “We, like many others, interpret the anatomical evidence to show that early H[omo] sapiens was significantly and dramatically different from earlier and penecontemporary australopithecines in virtually every element of its skeleton and every remnant of its behavior.”
    J. Hawks, K. Hunley, L. Sang-Hee, and M. Wolpoff, “Population Bottlenecks and Pleistocene Evolution,” Journal of Molecular Biology and Evolution, Vol. 17(1): 2-22 (2000).

    One commentator proposed this evidence implies a "big bang theory" of human evolution.
    New study suggests big bang theory of human evolution


    The famed late evolutionary paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould noted that "most hominid fossils, even though they serve as a basis for endless speculation and elaborate storytelling, are fragments of jaws and s****s of skull"
    A Harvard evolutionary paleoanthropologist recently stated in the New York Times that newly discovered hominid fossils "show 'just how interesting and complex the human genus was and how poorly we understand the transition from being something much more apelike to something more humanlike.'"
    Fossils in Kenya Challenge Linear Evolution

    [

    "Other paleontologists and experts in human evolution said the discovery strongly suggested that the early transition from more apelike to more humanlike ancestors was still poorly understood. "
    And see:
    Fossil find pushes human-ape split back millions of years


    "we know nothing about how the human line actually emerged from apes.”
    Ok so i went through sciencedaily.com some time ago to see what features are unique to humans apart from the soul.
    I've found out about the brain and humans walking but now i saw this:

    What Is The Cognitive Rift Between Humans And Other Animals?

    No Easy Answers In Evolution Of Human Language

    Complexity Constrains Evolution Of Human Brain Genes


    Now fit this in with the Islamic idea of man being created differently.


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    Default Re: Human Evolution and Islam

    Quote Originally Posted by ahsanirfan View Post
    as salam `alaykum

    I shall respond, but not now. jazak Allahi khayrun for alerting me to it. Insha allah, keep adding whatever you know and I will be sure to read up on it. I took out three books today from the library:

    Behe, Michael - Darwin's Black Box - I've read this before, but I plan to read it again.
    Behe, Michael - The Edge of Evolution
    Gould, Stephen Jay - Punctuated Equilibrium - This is about how there are gaps in the fossil record

    Let me know if you have more resources that I can look up, insha Allah.


    I will Insha'Allah write up more when i have time.
    But Jay Gould's book is definitely great, he started the movement against gradualism(its weak in palaeontology) although he was an atheist. Jeffrey Schwartz has taken the lead, nevertheless they still believe in evolution(and i have no problem with it except with human evolution).
    As for Michael Behe and a lot of the IDists, they support human evolution so this stuff is of no use to us on this issue. So don't waste your time reading those two although i have the new book by him(got it today from the library called biochemical challenge).

    What we have to do is really create an Islamic perspective of this.
    For this the first thing we need is the different Islamic material(Qur'an, Hadith etc) on the creation of Adam(AS) and then we can make logical predictions from them so that we can atleast know what to look for.

    Though i might read this:
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Why-Fly-Hors...3647641&sr=8-1

    Since however you're not going to be studying biology, you might also want to read this(its simple for laymen to understand):
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Evolution-Du...3647683&sr=1-1


    There is a discussion over punctuated equilibrium and gradualism in this peer-reviewed article:
    http://www.discovery.org/articleFiles/PDFs/Cambrian.pdf
    This is only because you mentioned Gould's book. I don't the evolution of non-humans to be a discussion here.
    Remember we're not after evolution of non-humans so don't get too distracted!


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    Default Re: Human Evolution and Islam

    We have more proof of human evolution, or something akin to it, than any other people.

    Because we believe in the de-evolution (evolution running 'backwards' to the way it is popularly believed to run) of the human race from Hazrat Adam (as) and Huwwa (as) (60 cubits tall, physically perfect, incredibly long lives, no disease, etc.) to the humans of today. And it continues on.

    Everytime they 'envision' our evolved future, they're poking at the ghosts of our past. Look at the state of the world, most of humanity lives in abject poverty, we're going to continue to de-evolve into weaker and weaker creatures until the Last Day, I certainly believe.


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    Default Re: Human Evolution and Islam

    Quote Originally Posted by ahsanirfan View Post
    as salam `alaykum
    Firstly, to show that the only place where Islam is in confluct in evolution is human macroevolution i.e. from apes to humans.


    I think the belief is humans and apes evolved from a common ancestor instead of humans evolved from apes.


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    Default Re: Human Evolution and Islam

    Quote Originally Posted by Dhul-Qarnayn View Post
    We have more proof of human evolution, or something akin to it, than any other people.

    Because we believe in the de-evolution (evolution running 'backwards' to the way it is popularly believed to run) of the human race from Hazrat Adam (as) and Huwwa (as) (60 cubits tall, physically perfect, incredibly long lives, no disease, etc.) to the humans of today. And it continues on.

    Everytime they 'envision' our evolved future, they're poking at the ghosts of our past. Look at the state of the world, most of humanity lives in abject poverty, we're going to continue to de-evolve into weaker and weaker creatures until the Last Day, I certainly believe.


    Backwards evolution? Thats an idea I haven't heard before. It brings to mind a verse in the Qur'an that describes a group of people being turned into Monkeys, and another group being turned into Pigs - these two animals turn out to be the closest to human beings in terms of anatomy.

    Are there any elaborations by classical scholars on how the previous generations' size, longetivity of life etc. evolved into the characteristics of humans today?



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    Default Re: Human Evolution and Islam

    Quote Originally Posted by SeekerOfGuidance View Post
    Are there any elaborations by classical scholars on how the previous generations' size, longetivity of life etc. evolved into the characteristics of humans today?

    I haven't run into anything yet, at least nothing calling the connection for what it is... evolution.

    I mean, Huwwa/Eve (as) didn't even have the gestation period of women today, from what I've heard from Sunni accounts about how the Earth was populated. I don't know the source of those traditions so I can't really commit to that, but they're widely known, like how they had two offspring a day, a female and a male, and the offspring from different days could mate... meaning they had different DNA somehow... none of these attributes are left in us... and even though the traditions attribute a miraculous nature or the direct intervention of Allah, most all miracles manifest in our physical reality. Natural selection in this case, was Divine selection (which most Muslims believe anyway). For instance, the bringing about of disease for death, I read in 'The Spectacle of Death' by Khawaja Muhammad Islam that "It is said the Angel of Death used to just come to people and they started to curse him and fear him. He complained to Allah who created illnesses and the like so they cursed those instead."... so though that phenomenon had a 'miraculous' origin, it stuck and was passed on, changing the species. Likewise with the gestation period of human females, our lifespans, etc. Some might have been abruptly changed via 'Divine selection' and others changed slowly (actual de-evolution).

    If people look at it that way, the important thing is that we begin to understand just how VAGUE a term evolution is, and how it cannot NOT exist, because it's just so ambiguous that we could probably interpret it from even a week to week basis. It's just that there's a concerted effort to use science's findings to attack religion because science in the West arose out of an anti-religious movement, the opposite of science in Islamic civilization. Either way though, science was science, and it's like saying the sword was Muslim or Christian, when in reality the sword is what its owner made of it. This is kind of like the idea of 'sociology of knowledge'.

    I don't know if it's possible, but it'd be a nice dream to have some Muslim evolutionary biologists explore this phenomena and rebut those European scientists who theorize that humanity is going to evolve into 'two' species, one super-human species (similar to what we as Muslims believe was the state of our ancestors) and a sub-human species (the result of all the poverty and horror in the world, where they become stunted, less intelligent, and have shorter lifespans). A Muslim evolutionary biologist could try and rebut the theory for evolution "forwards" and illustrate how in reality, based on the human population today, how it lives, and where things are headed, only the second of those two scenarios fits (the de-evolution one), and after making that point (that we are de-evolving), the foundation is laid for making the case that humanity's condition has essentially not changed but accelerated on a course that we've been on for all of our history... meaning we were ALWAYS de-evolving... from what? Then logic will dictate that in our past at sometime, we had to have been the equivalent of the accounts of Adam/Eve from the Abrahamic tradition.

    They would flip politicized science on its head. And it would throw a wrench into the workings of the 'mankind evolved from other species on Earth' theory. Because for all of our advancements (which we can always illustrate through isolated cases of improvements), we are constantly getting worse and worse. For every rich billionaire who tries to cheat death and extend their lifespan into the 100s, we have a growing number of people who are tilting the human average lower and lower... and it's always been like this. To be honest, it's just crazy and leaves one with a bigger shock than all the Intelligent Design scenarios of magically assembled watches or cleaned rooms or any of that.

    There are more possible proofs for the Abrahamic view of human 'evolution'. For instance, the fact that humanity arose from one group... and split into other 'unique' groups flung far across the planet. The old anthropological terms were caucasoid, negroid, mongoloid, etc. though they have fallen out of favor due to political correctness (just using them to illustrate a point)... and yet here we are, after that initial group of humans (who Western evolutionary biologists theorize evolved here from a predecessor species) evolved into seperate races, and after analyzing the totality of the uniqueness of those races, basically looking at how far APART humanity split up and evolved, and how balanced each result was... you would reach the conclusion that that was the peak of our 'forwards' evolution, MAYBE. When the different groups were as different and independent as possible... and now we've begun mixing into one homogeneous race again... something everyone agrees on, correct? But what is that mixing back into one 'middle' race if not de-evolving BACK to the original condition of one human group... Humanity mixing into one race like that is by biological standards, NOT 'evolution' or 'forwards' evolution. It is a step backwards. Forwards evolution would have been for all the races to continue evolving away into seperate species, perhaps competing for resources, and some dying out, some merging, but not this mass re-merging which is due to globalization and our unique human characteristics and social/technological progress (or lack thereof in the former case... because how can a species suddenly evolve or come into being with a social order that flies in the face of all social-biological behavior to come before it?)...

    (Btw, the argument could be made that Indo-Europeans who took over Europe after the Roman Empire are winning the competition game and Indo-Europeans/Indo-Iranians/Indo-Aryans, whom the Bible terms as descendants of Gog & Magog, have come to genetically dominate the human race today... so that could be an argument for forward evolution... that this group has dominated the other branches of Homo Sapiens Sapiens and prevented them from evolving away... except that the competition is now OVER and it's now a culturalization/globalization phenomena, not to mention even THAT was predicted and prophesies by Abrahamic tradition, specifically Islamic... refer to the Hadith I pasted in the other thread about how many people will be going to Paradise/Hell which can be found here).
    Last edited by Dhul-Qarnayn; 17-06-2008 at 02:56 PM.


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    Default Re: Human Evolution and Islam

    Btw, let me add, there are other prophesies from the Hadith which support the Islamic view of how things would play out and as we can see now, DID play out.

    For instance, the Hadiths referring to the dire future for Arabs, such as the tradition about when the Holy Prophet woke up suddenly in the middle of the night and said Woe to the Arabs because a hole had been made in the wall of Dhul-Qarnayn which had been holding Gog and Magog back.

    What does this correspond to, historically, even if the Hadith is weak or not (I don't know)? Because that (7th century AD) was the era when the Germanic tribes (Indo-Europeans... Gog & Magog, descendants of Japheth, son of Nuh ) moved from Central Asia (the traditional home of these tribes, probably where Dhul-Qarnayn had walled them up... because several other leaders, from the Chinese emperor who set up the Great Wall to Alexander the Great's Caspian Gates, had done the same thing) toppled the Roman Empire's classical civilization and ransacked Europe and set up shop there. That was the beginning of the Indo-European's subsequent conquest (met with many initial setbacks at the hands of the Muslims... more on this later) and domination of the rest of the world, and what came with that... the genetic contribution to the rest of the world. Because this same movement entered Islam (when the Mongols destroyed the Eastern half of Islamic civilization... and then became Muslims themselves)... this phenomenon wasn't necessarily an evil thing because Gog/Magog who became civilized would become Muslim, and as other Hadiths/traditions indicate, they would rejuvenate Islam, but it did bring one 'woe'... which is the end of the Semitic races proper. The Arabs had mixed and been diluted a ton after this point, and the other children of Ibrahim , the Hebrews, were way beyond that. Some 80% of Jews are Ashkenazi (Eastern European or thereabouts... genetically Indo-European), not Sephardic, or genetically Semitic. The Semites are disappearing... we've seen it and are seeing this come to fruition before our very eyes.

    And no, I don't mean to imply that they are "fake" Jews or whatever, because many haters, so to speak, use this to promote some sort of what the media would call today, an 'Anti-Semitic' agenda. I don't see it as having anything to do with Judaism, and Jews today of course, do not either. What is ironic though is that the case for this was propounded by none other than one Adolf Hitler who made the case that 'Jewry' was really a race of the mind, or spirit, first and foremost, not just an ethnic difference because he probably knew as well as anyone else that most Jews were no different genetically than most Germans! And yet so few are aware of this. This is getting off-topic but... The way the West has simplified and unnecessarily demonized (some bit of demonization was necessary, no doubt) Hitler means we are left at a profound loss to understand what happened in World War 2, and worse... we would not see another one coming, let alone be able to stop him.

    I know this has gotten way political, but I see evolution in this same context as another one of those historical 'proofs'. Islam is more or less the response from the 'Great Beyond', to use an agnostic term, to humanity... the response from the Abrahamic God to humanity that basically says... you're at the end of your pattern, at the end of your run, things are changing, and are going to end. Humanity's forwards evolution probably peaked during the prophets Musa and Isa and by prophet Muhammad humanity was definitively collapsing back in upon itself. And the differences between Islam and earlier revelation illustrate this. Islam is more 'strict' than the revealed religions of earlier prophets, a lot of the path to bidah and shirk has been cut out and forbidden whereas the paths to these things in the past traditionally were not (see the Ma'ariful Qur'an's tafsir on the Yusuf and Zulaikha story). This would correspond to the fact that Islam is the traditional Abrahamic message wrapped up in a package for the coming worst of times, humanity's de-evolution, whereas the previous nations were kind of insulated and better balanced, and not subject to the sort of trials we at the end of times (or leading up to them) would be experiencing. And this is really shown in no better way than in how Islam is what I like to call the 'urgent' religion. The Qur'an, compared to what we know of the Ahl-e-Kitaab Scriptures from their traditions and ours, has an underlying sense of urgency throughout. The very essence of what makes Islam unique from the others is this sense of urgency. And this is why Allah saved the best prophet for last. Everyone is who they are, and this is shown in who they appeal to. For instance, a good example is Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, one of the most popular scholars today. Why? Because he doesn't talk about (always) what the scholars from traditional Muslim lands talk about. Why? Because he's an American and his message, or his own spin on it, represents who he is, and that's for Americans (or you can include Westerners). Most of his best interviews/lectures that people love are thus about Western civilization. But the reason they appeal to so many is that because of globalization, we've all been touched by Western culture, but Muslims from traditional lands (the ones who aren't completely Westernized with no connection to their old cultures) have no idea that he appeals incomprehensibly more to actual non-Muslims and revert/convert Muslims from the West than he does to them. As much as you like him, his message is earth-shattering to the rest of them if they would open their hearts enough to listen. And this principle can be applied to not just every scholar, every Shaykh, every intellectual.... but to the prophets as well... and then we see how the Arab prophet not only appealed to the Arabs in this way... but his message was immediately appealing to EVERY people that Islam came in contact with, Persians, Romans, Indians, Hebrews, Egyptians, Berbers, whatever! This is as true and definite as to nearly be tangible proof of the prophet's (saw) at least, historical, supremacy over the rest of the anbiya, and thus the 'seal of the prophets'.


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    Default Re: Human Evolution and Islam

    Ok people lets not diverge from the topic.

    Can someone find all the threads on evolution and link them in this thread?


    Not much has been discussed on this that is useful or even serious so lets just leave that.


    [QUOTE]I'd disagree. I've read Black Box and I know that it has some very relevant discussions. Even Edge has interesting relevant discussions. Whether or not these guys believe in human evolution is irrelevant. What's relevant are their arguments and whether or not they can be used to construct a useful super-argument.

    QUOTE]

    Well we'll have to see if such things can be pertinent but if it was, it'd be likely that Michael Behe would then reject human evolution. So far i haven't seen it though i've read up on "irreducible complexity" in another book.

    On a side note the claim that IDists are creationists is also shown to be a lie since some of them even believe in human evolution and macroevolution and i don't know which of them believe the Earth to be 6000 years old but i certainly know that a lot of the major ones of them don't. Also IDists include agnostics and maybe Jews(i'm not sure here).

    The evolutionists have made a lot of lies against them(and i've observed this considering i'm a neutral spectator), just like that of "peer-review" and "experimentation" and "testability" etc.

    But honestly i don't think ID will last long.

    My approach is going to be such: Firstly, to show that the only place where Islam is in confluct in evolution is human macroevolution i.e. from apes to humans. Secondly, to show why the theories on human macroevolution are indecisive and thus not admissable as an argument against religion. Thirdly, to show where the theory of evolution, as whole, is in conflict with the agreed upon principles of the philosophy of science.[/
    I agree with that mate.


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    Default Re: Human Evolution and Islam

    Ok so i'll launch another explanation in this thread of human evolution. Its also the easiest in terms of explanation as it doesn't have to refute a lot of the evidences for human evolution.
    Basically it is the idea(and it is a possibility not guarantee) that when Allah Most High sent the Angel of Death, DNA from an ape-like ancestor was mixed with the clay and Allah changed the DNA to that of humans when fashioning Adam(AS).
    The Hadith goes:
    "So he took clay from the face of the earth and mixed it. He did not take from one particular place, but rather he took white, red, and black clay from different places..."

    Abu Hurairah narrated that the Prophet Muhammad () said: "Allah created Adam from dust after He mixed the clay and left him for some time until it became sticky mud, after which Allah shaped him. After that Allah left him till it became like potter's clay."

    Thus we see the different evidences of evolution appearing like humans evolved.

    Insha'Allah i'll write later on other Islamic explanations.


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