Religion, blasphemy and evolution 1

22 12 2009

Part 1: Creationism

In my series ”Religious Blasphemy”, (ehm, yes, still not struck down by the hand of God) it’s  high time I adress the scientific concept of evolution, versus the concept of a braindead following of a bronze-age creation myth.

Let’s go back in time. I was a very serious christan child, 8 years old, sick at home and had just picked up a stack of books from the library on: Dinosaurs. I loved it! I loved the books from the grown-up part of the library even better. I was also interested that, in principal, the emergence of life on earth seemd quite well described in the book of Genesis. So when I held a two hour lecture at school and finally finished with the Archeopterix (made a huge drawing as illustration) and the emergence of another era, I was cut off by the teacher. She said I gave out quite a pretty story but that it was of course all nonsense because the Earth was created by God in six days.

Now I am rather dim about these things and although I thought it a very weird comment from my teacher I had no clue what she meant. It took a good twenty years before I heard of ”creationists”, and that they had a problem with Darwin, dinosaurs and the fossil record. And while I was musing that that was só typical for the hysterical Americans, the bizarre episode of my lecture suddenly came to my mind: ”So thàt’s what my teacher had been going on so many years ago! How utterly stone-age!” I can’t believe my parents send me to a school where I was taught stuff by people like that! (Actually I think my parents were rather sorry too)

Anyway, I will explain it for those who haven’t heard of ”Creationists”, or ”Intelligent design” (for that is what they call themselves lately). The adherents of Creationism/Intelligent design, (from now on Creationists) think that the bible is literally true. They don’t read a lot and so they don’t kow that the Bible is not only the orally transmitted myth-collection of a very primitive tribe of bronze age goat herders, but has been substantially editted through the ages as well.

The Judo/christian/muslim creation concept was thought up by tribes who lived in a very primitive world. Would you believe in creationism if this was brought to you for the first time right now? By a tribe who live the primitive pastoral life now? Like in Africa? Would you consider this man’s myths true? And conversly, existing, tangible scientific evidence false?

The same goes for muslims, they usually don’t know that their book, the Quran, was written down long after the Prophets death, by people who sort of remembered what he had said, it was collected on shards of pottery, bones, and orally related, and thus written down mostly in Syro Aramaic, but words of many different languages are in the Quran, to keep it for posterity. A bit later again it was written down in classical Arabic, and probably a bit messed up. The earliest copies show changes being made to the texts as well. So sorry, I do not believe any one of these books was written by God personally, because there is tangible, historical evidence they were not.
But many religious people choose to believe they were, and that therefore The Earth was literally created in 6 days, and is right now a few thousand years old. Andb they call themselves ”Creationists”.
And they also believe that dinosaurs, although difficult to find nowadays, have of course co-existed with humans, as is proven by ”the Flintstones”, movies like ”Jurassic Park”,

and many paintings of Jesus riding or cuddling Dinosaurs.

I always wonder why Christians don’t use evolutionary science as the proof that the bible has got the concept of the creation of life much better than for example ”The universe has been sneezed out of the left nostril of the Great Celestial Goat”.

So what’s up with all the fossils according to Creationists?
Well, apparently God is some kind of petty practical joker who is testing our faith, by providing full proof of the universe being billions and billions years old, and we are just a part of unending evolution and then expecting us not to believe it, but to adhere to the primitive musings of an illiterate bunch of bronze age goat herders.

I am failing this test big time.

Worse: I’m telling you so loud and clear, and yet have not been struck down by lightning, however blasphemous that may be.

(For the other articles on religious blasphemy (they are really good) check the ”category” widget to the right and select ”religious blasphemy”)

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33 responses

22 12 2009
Personal Failure

That Jesus with dinosaur picture is the funniest thing I have ever seen! Jesus is all “look at the pretty baby!” while the dinosaur is clearly plotting to eat him.

LOL!

22 12 2009
susanne430

I can’t believe you have plans to one day live among us hysterical Americans! 😉

Cute pictures. I used to like watching The Flintstones. 🙂

22 12 2009
Aafke

Personal Failure, LOL! Yeah! I thought the same thing! You can see him thinking: ”Just wait until I’m big enough!”
😈

Susanne, Oops!
I liked the flintstones too! 😀

22 12 2009
MoQ

Good article. Many of us have been through similar experiences with teachers promoting their religious ideology rather than teach science.

Evolution is a scientific theory that has stood the test of time and is supported by hundreds of thousands of peer reviewed research papers. It also has support of over 99% of biology scientists. With such overwhelming support, the creationists are only left with one option, distort the theory through lies and campaigns of misinformation.

The video below is is funny, but in reality much of the distortions of the theory make as much sense as the video. I have many videos relating to evolution on my youtube channel which you can reach by clicking on my name.

22 12 2009
sabiwabi

OMG, you can never go wrong with South Park!!!!

Thank you so much MoQ, that MADE my day!

Anyways, here is my whole take on it…..WHO CARES?!!! Seriously, religion is/was supposed to be a vehicle for changing the hearts and spiritual lives of humans, it certainly wasn’t intended to come and turn us all into budding paleontologists!

The Prophets of old must be rolling in their graves.

Well, why care? Because the adherents of religious creationism don’t stop there, they want to change to curriculum at schools, claiming their pet-myth is of equal value as scientific truth, and thereby corrupt the minds of children and keeping them ignorant, they are allready partially succeful doing that in MAerica of all places! They don’t stop there either, they will want to change other sciences they don’t like, and eventually not only stop scientific progress but throw us all back into an untechnological dark age filled with superstition and the ruling of a theocracy. Something like Saudi Arabia.
Would you like to live in such a world? I don’t!

28 12 2009
Aafke

Well, why try? Because the adherents of religious creationism don’t stop there, they want to change to curriculum at schools, claiming their pet-myth is of equal value as scientific truth, and therefore corrupting the minds of children. They don’t dtop there either, they will wnt to change other sciences they don’t like, and eventually not only stop scientific progress but throw us back into an untechnological dark age filled with superstition and the ruling of a teocracy. Something like Saudi Arabia.
Would you luike to live in such a world? I don’t!

23 12 2009
Abu Sinan

The original Bible said the world was created in 6 periods of time, not six days. Who is to say what a “period of time” is? 10 billion years? 30 billion years? So God created the earth in six periods of time, totaling 180 billion years.

Where these people go wrong is that they equate the begining of modern man in the Bible (over 5,000 years) with the entire creation of the world (billions) of years. If they thought outside of their preconceived boxes it would be an easy concept to understand.

I believe in dinosaurs, my 3 year old would KILL me if I didnt. I believe God set into motion what we call evolution today. As a person with an engineering background I realise everything in creation is governed by a set of rules. God set these rules into play, whether physics or life form creation and evolution.

The Bible and the story of creation as understood by Islam, Judaism and Christianity can make perfect sense as long as people dont stick dogmatically to ideas set thousands of years ago and take another look from a position of reason and logic.

Evolution, logic, God and creation can all work together perfectly. Physics, evolution, nature………all God’s laws and all motivate me to belief even more.

Abu Sinan, that is my problem too. Don’t forget, the creationists do firmly insist it is 6 days. And moreover in consequence corrupt all science in favor of a bronze age creation myth. I am glad you believe in dinosaurs!

23 12 2009
MoQ

Abu Sinan,

You sound like your are trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.

I am assuming by original bible you mean the books of the Christians and the Jews, that they modified when they lost their way away from God (as Islam claims). Since such books do not exist by definition, I will just use a passage from the Quran. This will form a good basis for rebutting your argument, since the Quran is supposed to replace the current bible forgeries as the true and final word of God under your faith.

“(007:054) Your Lord is the one GOD, who created the heavens and the earth in six days, then assumed all authority.”

Now, even if we ignore the contradictions of the Quran where Allah’s days range from 1000 years to 50,000 years and take the high one (verses 22:47 and 70:4 respectively). That will make the earth 300,000 years old. Far short of the 4.5 billion years estimated by science.

There are more problems when it comes to fitting the story of creation with science in all three religions. I will state a couple more here: 1) the order of creation of celestial objects and the order of creation of groups of animalss. Examples: Earth was created before the stars and sun. Birds created before land animals (birds are descendants of dinosaurs who were land animals) 2) Noah flood which under the religious stories would have wiped out all plants, fungi, insects, bacteria and other small organisms (even if we give liberty to the concept that Noah and a small band of helpers were able to collect all animals on earth and cared for and fed them for a prolonged period of time). Even if you accept evolution into a religion, it will be impossible for all these organisms to re-evolve in the short period following the flood.

I think arguing this is very important. Religions try to adopt to science. Your attempt and the attempts of progressive clergies of all religions are commendable as they close they gap to some degree. However, I think the three religions are hindered by having Books that make adoption of scientific ideas too slow a process. We saw that through out history and it continues to this day. Islam is the slowest adopter. This is proven by the case of many Islamic countries not even allowing evolution to be taught 150 years after the theory was founded.

I think the better method is to separate religion from science completely. Spirituality, does not create issues for the common good. However, when you try to fit science into a religious context you have nations that deny their kids a proper scientific education and even in free countries parents home school their children to save them from the blasphemy of science.

Moq, it is very interesting to read your take on this, I want to know, do you read classic Arabic? Can you read the Quran in the original language?
oops, you put up a good order, yes: birds evolved out of land animals, therefore land animals were first. I did not know that many Islamic countries do not teach evolution? I am strongly against homeschooling!

23 12 2009
radha

I’d take the blasphemy of science any day over creationist theories. Good job Aafke. Every religion has a version of god creating the world a certain way in a certain time. In my opinon and mine only , i insisted on my kids being taught the scientific theory and then at home telling them what the religious texts say.
I’d say they should be exposed to both theories.

I know a few of my homeschooling friends who kept away from evolution but again they let their kids go to college so i guess they were enlightened there .

Radha, I think you are right. Except that one is a scientific theory and the other is a myth. I will expand on the term ”Theory” in my next post because that is important when discussin this subject!

23 12 2009
Abu Sinan

@MoQ,

See, you are the one putting squares into round holes. A day for God could be any measure of units. The basic theory of science, physics, you name it, is that you CANNOT get something from nothing. It isnt possible. Yet those who want to believe in a creation without God always suspend that rule because they cannot explain how creation happned from a blank slate.

They just say “it is”.

Let’s keep this easy, I believe in science, I believe in maths and all of the rules that we have learned. At the same time, I believe God created these rules. There is no contradiction.

I dont have all of the answers, no one does, not even yourself.

You mention “the flood” yet there is scientific evidence such a flood did happen, yet it was much more localised than what some thing the Bible claims. You continue the fault of the religious extremists who want to follow extreme literal translations and understandings of what is in the religious texts, this is where you and the religious extremists go wrong.

The problem is that you, and those on the religious spectrum, take things far too literally. Making such a straw man makes it rather easy to knock it down.

Your comments about Islam show a profound lack of knowledge about Islam and the sciences. Until a few hundred years ago Muslim countries lead the world in almost every science you can name, so if Islam itself was the issue, that would have never happened. The Muslim domination of the sciences ended hundreds of years ago, so it is VERY clear Islam itself isnt the issue, rather it is some even or series of events in the Muslim world that has caused the issue, not the religion itself.

As always, the truth is in the middle. Those religious extremists wont get it. The “scientific extremists” dont get it either. Two peas in a pod really.

The answer is in the middle, and for those of us in the middle, it is a lonely place.

Abu Sinan, but then you are presuming that ”at the beginning” there was nothing. maybe there never was a time when there was nothing… And religious people also claim that ”it is” or ”they believe” or ”have ffaith” and that counts as proof for them. Now that is their own choice, what I object it that they don’t give others the freedom to make their own choice. and that they want to impose their self-choisen blindness for proof onto their children and other people’s children!

I have the impression that Moq knows quite a lot about religion, especially Islam, but as we don’t know much about him/her yet, he/she is new to my blog, I don not think one should presume.

/em>

23 12 2009
Achelois

I love the photo of Jesus with the dinosaur!

Great post.

A bit short Suroor! Don’t think I don’t remember your post about having too little time and just comment on your buddies’ blogs ”Mashallah, good points raised”….. Well, at least you’re commenting…

23 12 2009
MoQ

Aafke, sorry this will be long, but Abu Sinan raised a few points that I need to address.

Abu Sinan,

You raised many arguments here that are out of topic. I will try to address them non the less.

The Paragraph ending in “……they cannot explain how creation happned from a blank slate.”

Regarding the unit thing. You also discounted the argument that the Quran is written by man/men and they just simply did not reconcile the verses, Further, If it is truly the word of god then what method do you use to figure out when god actually means what he says and when he is just talking in metaphoric terms. If you cannot come up with a method then how can any verse in the Quran be taken seriously since we cannot distinguish the two.

The later part of the paragraph is a strwman argument. You made the position the attacked it. The position I take is that the explanation is not known by our current knowledge, but resting all of it on a hypothetical god does not advance our knowledge any. The God explanation is not dismissed, but it does not get beyond a hypothesis stage, since it has not been proven. If you believe in science and the scientific method as you claim then you should not have an issue with this position.

“Let’s keep this easy, I believe in science, I believe in maths and all of the rules that we have learned. At the same time, I believe God created these rules. There is no contradiction.

I dont have all of the answers, no one does, not even yourself.”

Now, you contradicted yourself in 2 sentences during a short sequence. In one statement you said you have the answer and that answer is God (without proof for such a deity). Then in the next one you say you do not have all the answers. Which one is it?

The paragraph starting with: “You mention “the flood” yet there is scientific evidence such a flood did happen,”

Where there are rivers there is evidence of local floods, so there is nothing special about your evidence for a local flood say in the area of Euphrates river. So now let’s get to the topic of whether the Quran was talking about a localized flood or a flood that covered the earth. 1) if the flood was localized then why would Noah need to take all the animals into the arch. 2) if saving the animals is important for a reason for local survival, then wouldn’t it be even more important to save plants that these animals will depend on to feed. 3) Noah and his animals would have stepped out of the arch into a dysfunctional ecological system incapable of supporting life 4) Verses in the Quran indicate that the flood eliminated all the non-believers. That assumes everyone dies in the flood even the people that are not local.

Sorry, but the idea of local flood does not add up.

” The problem is that you, and those on the religious spectrum, take things far too literally. Making such a straw man makes it rather easy to knock it down.

Your comments about Islam show a profound lack of knowledge about Islam and the sciences. ………”

I am very disappointed in this part, because you went into a personal attack using a strawman argument again. If you expect people to respect your ideas and have a civil debate with you, then you must focus on the concepts. You do not know much about me, but you took the liberty to evaluate my knowledge and capabilities. Those do not sound like positions that will be taken by a person that claims to be rational and in the middle.

Note I never discussed the Islamic nations of 500 years ago, so how can you judge my knowledge on such topic?

Moq, there actually is strong evidence that an enormous flooding did take place in prehistoric times, though by no means the whole world. Also or consequently, there are many floodmyths in around this area.

24 12 2009
Lat

I’ve wondered about the 6 days creation before.But never thought deeply into it.To me it doesn’t matter whether it was 6 days or 600 days. If God wanted to create the universe and all that exists, that’s his business.Who are we to argue about something when we obviously do not have a hand in it’s creation? You know if God truly doesn’t exist,then why did the notion of worship ever took root in the 1st place?
Just a thought.

Lat, hum… read my blasphemous post about superstition and religion….

I think we have to learn to agree to disagree in the most healthy and dignified manner.

That is always a wise choice!

24 12 2009
Abu Sinan

@MoQ,

The Qur’an was not written by men, but recorded by men. The true meaning is only really known to God, because as you say, sometimes it is not clear what is metaphor and what isn’t. We just do our best as imperfect beings.

Of course we don’t have a precise explanation of creation, but the one offered by science devoid of a higher power is nonsensical and actually violates some of the basic rules of science and math itself. Interesting when scientists are forced to violate their own laws when they try to remove a higher power from the question of creation.

To a certain extent I find the whole argument to really be a moot one. Either you believe in God and His creation, or you don’t, but everything else after that cannot be argued, at least not in my world. Evolution is a FACT! Earth being billions of years old? Fact. Man as we know it being a rather new thing on earth? Fact! Dinosaurs walking with me? False. And as a person believing in God and His creation, I find no contradictions between these facts and my faith.

To me the whole creation issue is just a distraction from other things that we can prove. There will never be an answer to this question, at least not in current reality. Scientists who reject the idea of God cannot show how something came from nothing and those who believe in God will never be able to prove that God exists in a scientific manner………..so why waste time trying?

It is entirely possible to believe in God and NOT have all of the answers, just as a person who believes in science doesn’t have all of the answers. As a thinking human being I would be rather disappointed if we DID have all of the answers. It would make life rather boring don’t you think?

As to Islam, you wrote “However, I think the three religions are hindered by having Books that make adoption of scientific ideas too slow a process. We saw that through out history and it continues to this day. Islam is the slowest adopter.”

You wrote that Islam is the “slowest adopter”. First this is wrong in that there is no civilisation, society or community that is “Islam”. I guess maybe you meant to say “Muslim communities or societies”, but historically that would be wrong as well. Muslim communities and societies far outpaced Christian ones for almost a thousand years. So there is nothing in the religion of Islam that makes it the “slowest adopter” so this means it must be something else in the Muslim communities, besides the religion, that causes the current issue with this. History is clear that Islam, in and of itself, is no barrier to the learning and dissemination of scientific knowledge and learning. As a matter of fact, historically Muslim socities have a very rich history of maths and sciences that offered a large chunck of what we know today to science, maths and medicine. The stagnation of this in the last 500 years or so owes nothing to Islam as a religion, or it’s book The Qur’an.

24 12 2009
Aafke

Radha, I think that as religions have developed so long ago in a time when many things we now know as kids were not understood we cannot take non-spiritual elements literally.
For me the argument that ”God knows all” doesn’t hold, because religions so clearly represent the knowlege of their time. Not wat we know now to be true.

Abu Sinan and Moq, love the discussion, no need to curtail comments.

24 12 2009
MoQ

@Abu Sinan,

My original argument was that science and religion are incompatible, unless you constantly refine religion. That is a slow process. In the past that had slowed scientific discoveries and even today it slows the adoption of scientific concepts into school curriculum in parts of the world. Under this practical context, religion is what the majority of followers believe, because that is what matters for adoption. Yes there will be people like yourself who will accept ideas, but that does not speed up the process of adoption. The text books are important, because the believers will not accept any new concept that runs against their interpretation of the text. Hence, I do not think science should comply to religion and vise versa.

“Of course we don’t have a precise explanation of creation, but the one offered by science devoid of a higher power is nonsensical and actually violates some of the basic rules of science and math itself.”

I think you are misrepresenting the science position here. Again a strawman argument (you defined a position then attack it).

1) Scientist do not violate the rules of math. Math is a man made language for building models of the world around us, therefore the rules are facts. Any violations of mathematics rules will be detected by other scientists easily and the work will be discredited. Also, you have to understand the scientific method when you say they break the rules of science. The scientific method is the process by which we allow the expansion of our knowledge in the sciences. Each research goes through multiple steps before acceptance: observation, hypothesis, research and testing to prove the hypothesis, peer reviews before papers are published, other scientists repeating the tests to insure the results are accurate, etc. Only results that pass all these steps can be accepted. This is called the scientific method and it has been in place for 200 years and it is the reason why science has built-in assurance that bad research is discovered.

2) Science does not discount the idea of a deity as a possible solution to some of the issues. Nor does science claim to have all the answers. What science says is we only understand some of the pieces of the puzzle and we are still trying to figure out the rest. That was a position you misinterpreted (hence your strawman). What the deists want is for scientists to say “let’s just fill that missing piece with the concept of a deity giving the universe a kick start”. The issue with that is not whether it is possible or not, but what you are asking for is to skip the hard work to prove the concept and move from hypothesis to acceptance.

That last part highlights why religion and science are incompatible. I really do not have an issue with people having faith in a superior being. That is their business, but trying to justify it with science just does not work unless you are willing to go through these steps of proof. So far no one has done that.

The paragraph ending in: “The stagnation of this in the last 500 years or so owes nothing to Islam as a religion, or it’s book The Qur’an.”

Note I never argued against Islam being a civilization that accepted and advanced science for a period, but let me expand. Muslims like other civilization before them were keepers of scientific knowledge and preserved it for next civilization. During periods in these 1000 years they were ahead of others around them (especially in Spain). They advanced technology (key point here).

However, what you seem to miss is that it was a 1000 year time-frame and there were not many scientific discoveries in comparison to the length of the period. What I am talking about here is real game changing discoveries like theory of gravity, orbital theories, electricity, evolution, DNA, etc. How many discoveries of that level of magnitude have Muslims had to deal with in the 1000 years. Most what happened in these years is advancement in technology, good stuff, but not huge advancement in science.

We have had hyper science, over the last 200 years. Religions cannot keep up. The solution in the West has been secularism, without which these discoveries would not have been accepted. The issue is that the Muslim world for the most part has not adopted secularism (they want science to fit the religion).

Now before you go, that is not real Islam again, I want you define what real Islam is? Then tell me what percentage of Muslims agree with you on that. From my perspective, you keep bringing concepts that are held by you and some enlightened minority, but these are not supported by the great majority of clerics and Muslims. Hence, you are beginning to define your own religion. I am all for that, now get the rest of the Muslims to join you and we will have the first science accepting Abrahamic religion.

I agree that religions make a lot of trouble and are very adverse to adapting to new scientific discoveries and developements. Thereby holding advancement in science back.

Yes, muslims were keepers of more advanced science in Spain many hundreds of years ago. That was the fault of religion too: Christianity dumped the whole of Europe backwards into a dark age of ignorance, theocracy and ignorance!

25 12 2009
Haleem

To MoQ and Abu Sinan, I think Christianity had long fought with science, and thus Christians and scientists have a mutual hatred of each other. Today’s science, led by Christians, therefore has removed anything ‘religious’ from science. Then when they look to the Muslim world, they get frustrated when they see Muslims have no problem with science. To us, science confirms religion, and when there is a conflict, it’s either our understanding of religion that’s wrong, or science itself.

I believe that Quran is a book of God. I don’t think it can be proved to anyone, it’s a matter of belief. Yes, I can urge you to think, I can point to various scientific facts mentioned in the 1400 year old book, but at the end of it, I BELIEVE what I believe.

I believe evolution exists, but I don’t believe man came from monkeys, because Allah said in the Quran He created Adam and then Adam and Eve came into this world. There was a long article on Muslim Matters recently clarifying evolution with the Muslim beliefs. I also believe God has some set rules for this universe to follow. Maybe man has started to slowly evolve as he as come down to this world. Maybe other organisms are evolving. That doesn’t contradict Quran. However Quran says man was sent down to this world and not descended from monkeys. I believe that.

At the end, does it matter? To me, Islam still has most of the answers and the correct solutions to our problems. And whatever flaws are there in muslim societies, it is due to muslims themselves – be it whatever reasons (illiteracy, poverty, colonialism, personal freedoms etc.)

Haleem I don’t quite agree, I think science disgards religion because it is incompatible with modern science.

What about the Saudi scholars then? They want a say in what is being taught at KAUST, and if it agrees with their version of religion, this is exactely where it goes wrong. Religious people should be more humble and realistic and modify their religions where and when they are proven wrong by factual truth. Which, you can argue, has been placed by God.

Men do not come from monkeys, (although that is hard to believe at times) Nor does evolution claim so. What evolution claims is a common ancestor for which there are many proofs. Now if we want to discuss evolution and science and religion I do expect a better understanding of the different subjects on discussion!

25 12 2009
Haleem

To the gorgeous Aafke, can I ‘fisk’ your post? 🙂

‘Creation’ is not a myth, because, clearly we see things around us that is, um, created. Present theory of evolution still doesn’t say how it all started, who is controlling it, who has written down the laws for it, etc.

Second, I guess Bible says the world was created in 6 days (haven’t read it thoroughly). Quran has said ‘sitta ayyam’. Even if you take it as 6 days and not 6 time periods, in another place Allah says He says Be and it is. So He could also create the whole world in 1 moment!

Going back to science, there is no fixed definition of time! Einstein hypothesised, and it’s now proven, time passed differently if you are on earth and if you are in space. Think about the famous theoretical experiment, two twins, one on a space ship and one on earth (huge gravity body). Time passes slowly for the guy in the space ship. Now think, God, space, 6 days, how much is 6 days for those on earth?

As for me considering the African tribal man’s myths as true, all myths usually have some basis in reality. For me to evaluate his myth, I will not discount it just because it’s from an African tribal man. That would be classic Ad hominem fallacy. We would have to evaluate what he says by rigorous scientific analysis. Reading, understanding, reflecting, observing and then concluding.

the Quran, was written down long after the Prophets death,

Not true. You can read up on it, but the full Quran was present before the Prophet was dead, as his official Scribes (one of them being Muawiyah) used to write them when it was revealed. A copy was present with one of his wives as well. Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman (first three caliphs) all knew this Quran. Uthman compiled all of them together (around 20 years after the death of the Prophet) and the Quran he was reading still exists, containing his blood as he was murdered WHILE reading the Quran. it’s in Tashkent and it’s the same as today’s Quran, word for word.

As for dinosaurs and man, that’s is a Christian right wing ideology and I won’t go into that because I don’t believe that and I cannot defend that.

Happy Holidays! 🙂

Hmmm, well this post is about the right wing christians mostly. I was only using the Agfrican example because the Abrahamic religions are coming from similar primitive cultures. A fact most people do not seem to realise.
But the Quran has been changed and messed about with, Many words in the Quran were of foreign extraction, a fact which early Quranic experts never denied, but even catalogued. Moreover, The earlu Qurans found in Sanaa do show pages which have been wiped and rewritten. The obscurity of many passages are made clear if one realises they were first written in Syriac and clumsily translated into Classic Arabic. but this is getting very off-topic.

Thank you I had a very nice time 🙂

25 12 2009
coolred38

The fact that WE are here at this place and time should be enough to keep people busy….there really is no way to ever prove how we came into existence…so why do we spend copious amounts of time arguing about it. I have bills to pay and a crappy job..thats what keeps me up at night…not whether I sprung from a distant monkey…or whether God said “be” and our first two ancestors poofed into existence.

How does that affect me right here and now? Not at all.

It is whatever it is…and that should be quite enough for people over something they cant change…cant prove…and cant argue without using the words “I believe”.

So say I.

What I say that this is the reason extremists can take over the world. If the generality of the populace does not fight insanity, then insanity will be victorious. Weather it is the reliquishing of scientific truth to ancient bronze world views, or suicide bomber murdering hundreds of innocent people.

Again: if anybody is not conversant with Darwin’s evolution thesis, then there is no intelligent discussion possible in the first place, and they should not comment on this thread.

28 12 2009
aerinndis

Great post! I cannot imagine how anybody can be so silly as to take the 6 days literally! And ignore real proof!
I am not sure what you yourself are now, are you muslim, christian or atheist?

You are putting your foot in a wasps nest though!

@ AbuSinan, The ”books” of the abrahamic religions are all written by men, and are therefore to be taken with a pinch of salt. There will be mistranslations, misspellings, mistakes and wilfull altering of the texts to suit a current leader.
The Quran is no exception. In my opinion the Quran allready contains forgeries.

@ Moq, love the southpark video. I will check out your channel as well.
Moq, that is why the dinosuars are extinct: They didn’t have enough food on the ark, and therefor fed the dinosaurs to the other animals 😀

This whole blog is about me: you can find out soon enough what I am! 😉

28 12 2009
MoQ

@Haleem,

“I believe evolution exists, but I don’t believe man came from monkeys, because Allah said in the Quran He created Adam and then Adam and Eve came into this world.”

There are many issues with this statement.

First, Humans did not come from monkeys. We have common ancestors with apes and that was about 5 Million years ago. The reason this point is important is that it is the distorted position Intelligent Design/Creationists make against evolution. I suggest you look up some credible scientific sources for your information.

In the second point you indicated that you only believe in science until such a point it interferes with your faith. This is regardless of all the mounting evidence of human evolution including discoveries in many fields like genetics. anthropology and archaeology. The point you mentioned about the creation of Adam is exactly why evolution is attacked by religious fundamentalists and it is the reason why it is not taught in some Muslim countries. You have provided a clear example why Science and Religion are not compatible. One works on evidence and detailed study while the other works on faith. They both should have their place and let’s not continue to pretend they are compatible.

“Yes, I can urge you to think, I can point to various scientific facts mentioned in the 1400 year old book, but at the end of it, I BELIEVE what I believe.”

Ok this is a huge claim. Find me one of those facts that was not known at the time and is stated in a clear way in the Quran. And please non of those vague references that can be interpreted in 10 ways. Note Christians can also sight 100’s of those vague scientific discoveries in their 2000 year old books. Sorry, for the challenge, but you really made a tremendous claim here with no back up.

“…… And whatever flaws are there in muslim societies, it is due to muslims themselves – be it whatever reasons”

I have seen this statement repeated so many times. I think Muslims have started taking it at face value and repeating it without examination. It sounds very similar to the Christian concept of original sin. It is always the problem of the followers, if they can just follow the rules of God more, pray more, etc., God will deliver them from all the earthly problems. Note Muslims are the most devout of all people on earth and yet they seem to suffer from these problems the most. Is it a coincident that these problems increase the more religious you are? There is certainly a correlation between increased progress and Secularism. Don’t you think you should consider other alternative explanations to this issue?

@aerinndis, that clip is one of my favorite. I hope you will enjoy the other clips.

29 12 2009
Achelois

No, I actually read the whole post and even the comments. And I didn’t say “Mashallah good points raised” Haha!

I’m just avoiding arguments because I believe in Science but I’m also not an atheist and believe in God, and explaining that is too long and complicated.

29 12 2009
Aafke

Achelois, I was just kidding! 😦

29 12 2009
Achelois

So was I! Honestly. But mashallah you do have good debates on in comments 😉 Haha!

And that hairy ancient man in the second photo is such a turn-on – NOT! 😀

29 12 2009
Aafke

Hahahahaaaa.

Oh, I should have been more discreet in placing pictures of men with hairy legs! I am well aware of your proclivities! 😈

30 12 2009
coolred38

I would gather from your reply to me that you think Im not up to speed on the whole Darwin breakdown of the evolution of man? Well…Ive read him…read others…Im up to speed…my point was…we are here…and then? What does it matter how or why…it changes nothing at all about the fact that WE ARE.

If we discover as fact that we sprang from monkies…shall we all celebrate with a bunch of bananas and practice our tree climbing skills just to keep in touch with our ancient tradions?

If we can in some way prove that we poofed into existence because God said “Be” and by God we were…THEN?

My POINT of my comment was…and then what? How does it change anything at all about the human race right here and right now?

Its your blog for sure…but your ability and desire to constantly talk down to people, here and on other blogs, gets tiring.

You don’t present yourself as somebody who is knowledgable about the science of evolution. You keep making the same comments about how we are descended from apes, which is not what evolution is about. So if you do know what evolution is about you’re being really silly acting as if you don’t and still insist you should betaken serious.

I love eating bananas and searching for flees btw.

As there is nothing to prove that a God created the universe, the question is moot. If, as a speculation, it would get proven scientifically, it would not suddenly be in confict with scientific evolutionary proof. So teaching a faulty, unlogic, unscientific, bronze age creation myth again has no place in a classroom

I am sorry if you can’t deal with me being fairly blunt and outspoken. If you are tired of that I suggest you either don’t comment or try to make more intelligent comments

30 12 2009
MoQ

@coolred38,

Let me first correct the monkey comment. Again humans did not spring out from monkey’s. I do encourage you to research this more since you have started already.

Regarding how does this impact your daily life here and now. Evolution theory is a framework that supported the development of many sciences impacting your life in many ways. Sciences like genetics, agricultural engineering, medicine, etc. would not be advanced or in some cases would not have existed without this breakthrough for man kind. These sciences impact you in the foods you eat, the medicines you take to live longer and healthier life, the clothes you wear, etc.

Just one single fact about impacts of these sciences. The agricultural lands of the world, even if used at its best efficiency, would not be able to support more then a 5 Billion population without modern crops that have high yields and are resistant to diseases. Those high yield crops were developed through breeding techniques which would not have been possible without the understanding of how species can evolve. How many lives would have been lost in a world with a population approaching 7 Billion without these products.

It is a shame that one of the most important human discoveries receive so much resistance.

Nice comment MoQ, although I have serious doubts about genetically engeneered vegetables.

30 12 2009
sabiwabi

MoQ

Agricultural engineering is some very scary shit and if you dig a little deeper it is not hard to see why. Before I go on, I suggest everyone take a look and do a little research for themselves. I am not even coming at this on a religious level (at least at this juncture, maybe I’ll get back to that), but on a scientific level. To allow corporations to tamper with the genetics of plants and spread those dominating strains of seeds all over the world (which eventually, over time will MAKE IT IMPOSSIBLE TO GROW A CROP ON YOUR OWN WITHOUT HAVING BOUGHT A “MAGIC BEAN” FROM MONSANTO”) is a dangerous thing and I am certainly not dancing in the isles over it. Talk about the scary prospect of turning food into a weapon! And on top of all that, we have yet to have any solid research on the SAFETY of these foods on the human body. I shudder at a the thought of a future full of bio engineered crops. Feeding a world of 5 billion IS possible. But, nobody wants to look at the healthier, organic, and yes, a bit more labor intensive solution. The fact is that current the problems with agriculture are SO deep that using the GMO solution as the answer is akin to putting a band-aid on a hemorrhage (except I would liken it more to a band-aid soaked that was soaked in poison). Because we have RAPED the land and the soil for far to many years and then on top of that decided to dump CHEMICAL fertilizers onto everything; plants today have become weaker, therefore making them MORE prone to destruction by pests and disease. Change in agriculture can come about, the hunger crisis can be solved and hopefully it will happen without the final call coming from a maniac in a suit in a Dupont boardroom. I prefer the more natural solutions and I think that with proper education, most other people would prefer it too. There are good changes happening, albeit slowly, but they are happening. I suggest you take a minute to look at Will Allen of Growing Power, for one. He has ideas that can change the world (especially in urban areas) and in fact, he just won a MacArthur Foundation Genius Award. If people only realized what they could grow in their OWN backyards and with their OWN compost made from their very OWN garbage….I don’t think they would put their seal of approval on genetically engineered crops for a second.

Of course, going back to the age old, cherished tradition of SHARING the blessings that you have been given and putting an end to selfishness and GREED would help as well. Too bad Monsanto isn’t able to engineer a seed that would cure that problem.

I couldn’t agree more sabiwabi! Genetically engineered crops don’t do half as well as advertised, have a lower yield as natural crops while using up more water, quite the opposite as advertised. The only object they do succeed in is engineering crops which cannot perpetuated, in other words they cannot be seeded, the seeds for next year’s crop have to be brought from the manufaturer at high cost. And that is another reason for Big Business; these seeds can be patented, thereby making simularly indecent high profits for companies as pharmaceuticals.
If we want to feed the world we should stop eating massive amounts of meat!

30 12 2009
MoQ

@sabiwabi,

I you’re referring to bio engineered crops, This is a newer development. Not all Agricultural Engineering is based on bio engineering and certainly this area is much older and had it’s success without genetically engineering crops. Norman Borlaug for example won the noble prize in the 70’s based on his research in improving crop production in third world countries. Saving hundreds of millions of life. No one was bio engineering then.

Regarding the hunger crisis, we have more food than we can eat thanks to better crops. We certainly can argue the point on whether pesticides are over used, but you cannot argue their impact on increased production. There is hunger in the world, but that is not due to lack of food. Famines exist in areas of civil war where relief organization cannot deliver food effectively or in countries like North Korea where the government blocks access completely.

Regarding the latest trends in Bio-Engineered crops. The jury is still out on these and their impact. I do think there are many sci fi scare tactics being deployed from the opposition. I also do not trust corporations, so I am still on the fence on the topic until I see more research. In any case the gene is already out, you may already be eating a bio-engineered tomato without knowing it 🙂

I am quite sure I am not, luckily there are strickt laws and rules for genetically engeneered produce in Europe. Thank God! And much to the chagrin of the big American companies.

30 12 2009
sabiwabi

*cough, cough…spit, spit*

😉

30 12 2009
coolred38

MoQ…the monkey comment was in jest…as many do believe we sprang from monkey’s…or at least share a common heritage.

30 12 2009
sabiwabi

Coolred, the older I get and the more I see from humanity, the more I am convinced we really are descended from chimps (violent and aggressive) and bonobos (who solve all their problems and frustrations by having sex with whatever moves).

Looking at state of the world, often it’s not too hard to understand where the evo’s are coming from.

😉

From reading some of your “behind the counter” observations, I am sure you’ll agree with me. LOL.

31 12 2009
Aafke

Sabiwabi, we are certainly not the nicest branch on the primate tree. :mrgreen:

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