Why Anti-Evolution Religionists Will Lose Against Science

finding-darwins-godA number of you got in touch with me following my recent series of posts about evolution and asked for a good book recommendation on the topic. I picked out Prof. Kenneth R. Miller’s Finding Darwin’s God because when I read it some ten years back, I was deeply impressed with his command of science but also his faith (he is a Catholic) and the manner in which he was able to reconcile the reality of evolution with his faith in God. Miller also very convincingly obliterates Creationist and Intelligent Design arguments while urging believers in God to embrace science and not fall for ignorant misrepresentations of evolution.

Well, I am pleased to report back that those of you who went on to read Miller’s book, Finding Darwin’s God, have told me that you have been every bit as impressed and convinced by Miller’s arguments as I was all those years ago. This is heartening news and in a small way shows that the best way to defeat ignorance on the topic is better education about science and evolution.

Anyway, the positive reports I had coming back to me encouraged me to re-read the book again and it has only deepened my appreciation for Prof. Ken Miller and his outstanding book. Here is an extract I want to share from the final chapter of Finding Darwin’s God in which Miller points out the folly of those religious believers who seek to deny the reality of evolution and how they are unwittingly providing fodder for atheists.

“There is, however, a deeper problem caused by the opponents of evolution, but it is not a problem for science. It is a problem for religion. Like our priest, they have based their search for God on the premise that nature is not self-sufficient. By such logic, just as Father Murphy claimed only God could have made a flower, they claim that only God could have made a species. Both assertions support the existence of God only so long as they are shown to be true, but serious problems for religion emerge when the assertions are shown to be false.

“If a lack of scientific explanation is proof of God’s existence, the counterlogic is unimpeachable: a successful scientific explanation is an argument against God. That’s why this reasoning, ultimately, is much more dangerous to religion than it is to science. Eliot Meyerowitz’s fine work on floral induction suddenly becomes a threat to the divine, even though common sense tells us it should be nothing of the sort.

“The reason it doesn’t, of course, is because the original premise is flawed. The Western God created a material world that is home to both humans and daffodils. God’s ability to act in that world need not be predicated on its material defects. There is, therefore, no theological reason for any believer to assume that the macromolecules of the plant cell cannot fully account for the formation of the flower. Life, in all its glory, is based on the physical reality of the natural world. We are dust, and from that dust come the molecules of life to make both flowers and the dreamers who contemplate them.

“The critics of evolution have made exactly the same mistake, but on a higher and more dangerous plane. They represent no serious problem for science, which meets the challenge easily. Their claims about missing intermediates and suspect mechanisms can be answered directly by providing the intermediates and demonstrating the mechanisms. Religion, however, is drawn into dangerous territory by the creationist logic. By arguing, as they have repeatedly, that nature cannot be self-sufficient in the formation of new species, the creationists forge a logical link between the limits of natural processes to accomplish biological change and the existence of a designer (God). In other words, they show the proponents of atheism exactly how to disprove the existence of God – show that evolution works, and it’s time to tear down the temple. As we have seen, this is an offer that the enemies of religion are all too happy to accept.

“Once again, the premise of the argument is flawed. If their God exists, He acts in the world today in concert with natural laws and works His will in the present through the contingent events of human and natural history. All that evolution does is to point out that the workings of natural processes are also sufficient to explain the contingent events of natural history in the past, including the origin and extinction of species. There is neither logical nor theological basis for excluding God’s use of natural processes to originate species, ourselves included. There is therefore no reason for believers to draw a line in the sand between God and Darwin. The opponents of evolution have put their money on the wrong horse, and they fail to see that betting so consistently against science is a losing proposition – not for science, but certainly for religion.

“As a Christian, I find the flow of their logic particularly depressing. Not only does it teach us to fear the acquisition of knowledge, which might at any time disprove belief, but it suggests that God dwells only in the shadows of our understanding. I suggest that if God is real, we should be able to find Him somewhere else – in the bright light of human knowledge, spiritual and scientific.”

Impressively argued, right? You can buy Prof Miller’s book from this link and make your own minds up about evolution.

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88 Responses to Why Anti-Evolution Religionists Will Lose Against Science

  1. sajids253 says:

    Inayat Thank you for this important piece of advice.

    Would you be kind enough to let us know how you deem to reconcile your view of evolution and the creation of Adam?

    Surely you must have a view on this, most likely one that is contrary to the Islamic belief that Adam was created as the first human being without the need for humanoid precursors?

    Thanks

    Sajid

  2. Abu Haashim says:

    Inayat, what other “stories” in the Quran do you see as metaphors? The Flood? Splitting of the Red Sea by Moses(AS)? The miraculous birth of Isa/Jesus(AS)? Mohammed’s(SAW) journey to Al Quds and to the 7th Heaven, were they all metaphors? I

    • sajids253 says:

      Salam Abu Hashim

      Inayat is an example of a growing number of modern day Muslims that believe that they have cart blanche in their attitude to doubt Quranic narratives and incidents.

      The fact that he openly states that the incidents mentioned in the Quran are mere metaphoric statements not to be taken literally is compounded by his inability to come to terms to believe in the word of Allah as the absolute truth.

      In order to fit into the 21st century mold of what the quilliam foundation, the British government and other right wingers want British Muslims to be like – governments have always used ‘uncle toms’ and ‘meer sadiq’ and ‘meer jafers’ of their time to cause doubt amongst Muslim youth with reagrds their faith.

      Inayat is just an example of the tools that the governments utilize to sterilize Muslim resistance and to weaken the British Muslim affiliation to the key doctrines of their faith and Deen.

      Inayat I have one question for you, which I have asked time and time again.
      You believe that the Adam was created via a process of human evolution and that his parents were humanoid. BUT How do you account for the creation and birth of Isa?

      Sajid

      • Abu Haashim says:

        Bro Sajid,

        Asking Inayat that question is surely going to put him in a bit of a pickle. The Quran, closely compares the birth of the two Prophets- Isa and Adam(AS), and describes them as being very similar. In surah 3:59′ Allah SWT say: “Indeed, the example of Jesus to Allah is like that of Adam. He created Him from dust; then He said to him, “Be,” and he was.”
        So, as I see it, he has to except both or deny both. I’ll be interested on his thoughts.

        • sajid says:

          Salam Brother Abu Haashim. I believe that Inayat will either refuse to answer that question as he prefers to pose such interrogatives rather than provide solutions for them. On the one hand he has brazenly entitled this thread as a forgone conclusion that people of a religious affiliation will lose the debate but on the other hand he has refused to engage in the current debate openly and fully by refusing to answer the question I have posed regarding Isa and his birth.

          Go on Inayat put us out of our misery and let us know what you really believe ?

          Sajid

      • Sajid: you are free to believe what you want. I am too.

        Regarding the various insults you directed towards me (I do find it funny how those who claim to be devout and religious are often the ones that are the most ready to throw insults) – do you have any actual evidence that my views on this blog are ‘a tool of the government…to sterilize Muslim resistance…’?

        As the Qur’an says: ‘Produce your evidence if you are telling the truth’. If you are unable to provide evidence for your slanderous claim, then I will be more than happy on the Day of Judgement to make a claim on any good deeds you may have done and ask God to use them to forgive me my own sins…

    • I regard many passages in the Qur’an as metaphors and allegories that are not meant to be taken literally. Eg, the description of paradise as a place with gardens and rivers and plenty of virgins (my idea of paradise would be having my own time machine); the references to the heavens and the Earth being created in ’6 days’; references to God’s ‘hands’ and ‘shin’; and yes, the birth of Jesus and the Prophet’s journey to Masjid al-Aqsa.

      I even recall that there is a passage in the Qur’an which says that it contains verses that are “mutashaabihaat” (not to be understood literally).

  3. Abu Haashim says:

    Inayat, OK, so taking just one of the examples you give above as not be taken literally – the birth of Isa (AS), are you seriously saying his birth is not as Allah SWT described in many place in the Quran, i.e. being conceived without a father being involved. Is Isa’s (AS) birth not to be taken literally? is it to be taken as allegorically? Just a fantastic story/myth? Inayat, think very carefully before you answer. And may Allah SWT guide you in your choice.

    • Yes, I do not interpret the story of Jesus’s birth literally. I prefer a more symbolic interpretation. Dr Robert Asher wrote a nice passage about Jesus’s birth in his splendid 2012 book, Evolution and Belief.

      Do you interpret the passages about paradise containing gardens, rivers and big-breasted and wide-eyed virgins literally?

  4. EurabianForLife says:

    What is the Islamic criterian for deciding what verses & narratives of the Qur’an should be understood literally or metaphorically?

    • sajids253 says:

      Salam

      @eurabianforlife, if you want a truly Islamic answer that is in accordance with the Quran itself and the Sunnah please consult a scholar face to face. Surely Inayat will only give his own views that are – as we have already seen tainted.

      Inayat has admitted dangerously that he does not believe that the Quranic narratives are to be taken literally and has consistently refused to answer my question regarding how he believes Jesus was born.

      A very sad state of affairs where Muslims are themselves unashamedly treading a path that is dangerous and asking others to follow suit behind them.

      Once again like a broken record i am forced to ask the question Inayat, how you believe that the birth of Adam and Jesus fits into your views. I.e. You have stated that Adam may have been the product of a humanoid union but how do you account for conception and the birth of Jesus?

      Sajid

      • Sajid: I have answered you – but I can’t help it if you fail to understand what I am saying. I will repeat it once more, slowly…

        I do not believe that the story of Adam or the birth of Jesus are meant to be interpreted literally. You say that I believe that Adam ‘may have been the product of a humanoid union’: that is simply untrue. I have never stated that.

        I simply do not believe that ‘Adam’ was an actual person. I interpret the story of Adam as an allegory relating to the evolution of free will and consciousness in humankind.

        And it is not only the stories of Adam and Jesus that I interpret symbolically. There are very many passages in the Qur’an that I also view in the same way: for example, the passages relating to the creation of the universe in ’6 days’; the passages mentioning the ‘hands’ of God; the description of the ladies of paradise being virgins with large breasts and big eyes etc.

        If you don’t agree with me, that is fine. I am not forcing you to adopt my views (which also seem to evolve with the years!).

        The scary thing is so many Muslims do want to force their views on others. The thought of them being in power in any Muslim country is frightening indeed. Just imagine what would happen to freedom of belief. They would hound others who did not subscribe to their own interpretation of Islam, try to get them sacked from their jobs, cut off from their families, thrown in jail for being heretics and perhaps even killed.

    • There is no ‘Islamic criterion’: there are simply multiple differing Muslim views as can be seen easily by the difference in Muslim views about the night journey of the Prophet. Some interpret the story literally ie they believe the Prophet actually journeyed from his bed in Makka on a winged horse to Jerusalem and to the Heavens; while others believe that his spirit went on the journey while his body remained in the bed in Makka etc.

  5. sunnimuslimite says:

    Why cannot God or the afterlife be interpreted figuratively? Could an atheist be Muslim in your view?

    • Whatever I do interpret symbolically or not is surely my business! I am only accountable to God, not you or any other member of the thought police. Thank God we do not live in an ‘Islamic State’ where I would have to be interrogated by extremists about my beliefs day and night…

      • sunnimuslimite says:

        I am not asking you a question of policy, of what opinions should be enforced or not. But a question of theology. Theologically, I’m sure, you regard some people as Muslims and others as non-Muslims. What if someone proclaimed belief in the Qur’an, yet rejected the resurrection, the afterlife, God, Muhammad, prophethood etc. saying they are all figurative? Would you regard this person as true in his claim of being Muslim? Again, this is a question of theology, not policy.

        • Over the years I have become less and less judgmental about whether a person is a Muslim or not. As long as they say that they believe in God and accept Muhammad as the last Prophet that is really enough for me. I think it is best to leave the rest to God.

          • sunnimuslimite says:

            Why are you being so judgmental about the one who does not believe in God and Muhammad? Why cannot they be read figuratively in your view?

          • sunnimuslimite says:

            It seems you are suggesting Qadiyanis can’t be Muslims because they do not accept Muhammad as the last Prophet, and believe in a “prophet” that came after him. But they do so based on interpretations of words in the Qur’an. Why can they not be Muslim? Why do they not have the right to have their own non-literal figurative reading of the Qur’an?

            • Whether they are really Muslims or not will ultimately be judged by God, not me. With each year that passes, I am becoming less and less concerned about judging on such matters…

              It is interesting that in a blog about a Christian writer who laments the failure of many believers in God to appreciate science, you have ignored the whole topic of this blog and instead seem obsessed about interrogating me about my religious beliefs!

              How about actually dealing with the science?

              Is it any wonder that so many Muslim countries are in the pits educationally?

              • sunnimuslimite says:

                It is because it would be difficult for Muslims to take you seriously as a Muslim with the so many concessions you have had to make to accept this theory. How can any Muslim seriously consider it when they pretty much have to throw their religion out their window according to what your saying.

                To most Muslims denying the existence of Adam is just as heretical as denying the existence of Muhammad. But for some reason you have issue with the latter and not the former. Why the inconsistency?

                • Why do you think I would care whether some Muslims take my views seriously or not?

                  Whether you regard my denial of the actual existence of Adam as heresy or not – and my preference for a more symbolic interpretation of the story of Adam in the Qur’an – is really of little concern to me. After all, I am not living in an ‘Islamic state’ where religious loonies could call for me to be sacked from my job etc.

                  I write in order to share my views. Some will agree with me and some will not. That is fine by me.

      • sajids253 says:

        Salam

        Come on Inayat, please stop adopting such a child like defensive attitude.

        You cannot have your halwa and eat it as well…..

        On the one hand you publicly try to admonish Muslims and openly challenge people by stating that the ‘anti evolution religionists’ – will lose the debate and when you are asked to engage in a debate you go on the defensive quoting the ever ancient article “I am answerable to God alone , hence do not question me and my beliefs”

        If you don’t want people asking you questions then you should not go around deriving your own conclusions from the Quran without any research and appreciation of the scholarly work done by academics that have come before you

        You also make the mistake in associating such a dialogue to ‘interrogation by extremists’ – stop being so melodramatic.

        Sajid

        • Am I really being ‘melodramatic’? Earlier in this very thread you alleged that that my views on this blog are ‘a tool of the government…to sterilize Muslim resistance…’? When I challenged you to provide evidence for this claim – you failed to respond.

          You then falsely alleged that I “stated that Adam may have been the product of a humanoid union”. When I asked you where exactly I had made that claim, you again failed to respond.

          It seems you are in the habit of throwing false allegations at people. Do you think I would just accept that and fail to pull you up on that?

          You really do remind me of those narrow-minded extremists who try and hound Muslims out of their jobs in Muslim countries by claiming that they are heretics etc.

  6. sunnimuslimite says:

    Mr Bunglawala since you asked me to appreciate the science of it, I wondered what you thought of this.

    You said in one post: “Umer made a very odd claim ie he claimed that convergent evolution means that two species can have very similar DNA/genetic make up but come from very different evolutionary pathways. Now this is just scientifically nonsense as I pointed out when I invited Umer to give an actual example of this. Convergent evolution actually refers to how similar traits can evolve in very different species eg wings in birds and bats due to them occupying similar ecological niches.”

    Now there are examples of where organisms have “independently” acquired the very same genes, despite those genes not existing in their so-called “common ancestor”. This is what is known as “convergent genetic evolution.” Take a look at this article for an example: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121025130922.htm This article describes some research that many insects experienced parallel, independent identical mutations in their genes. Of course, the idea that these originated as mutations are all assumptions on an evolutionary framework. What the authors are claiming now is that evolution is repetitive and limited in the genes it can evolve to face a diverse set of problems.

    Hence, your claim that this happens is “scientifically nonsense” is scientifically nonsense.

    The problem now is that if it is shown that organisms distantly related, even according to evolutionary theory, share similar genes that were not in their common ancestor, which arose independently, genetic similarity can no longer be used as a proper proof for evolution; because that similarity could have independently arisen or by descent.

    Do you not find this to be one good example of scientific evidence that in fact goes against the conventional ideas of evolution, and discounts one of its important proofs? I know the authors of that article try to find some “evolutionary” explanation of this fact, but that’s what they always do: if something goes against them, they just tweak the theory slightly to suit them, making the conventional evolutionary theory unfalsifiable.

    I am sure you were unaware of this example, and recent scientific development.

    Do you not think that if some people assess the scientific data and come to a different conclusion, not that of Ken Miller and others, why cannot they be scientifically justified when they have many evidences supporting them that do not support Ken Miller and others? How do you know others are not scientifically justified in their claims of rejecting standard evolutionary theory?

    Just something to think about.

    • I actually took the time to read that link you provided and far from denying Darwin’s theory of evolution, the scientists involved make clear that they are supporters of the theory.

      All the rest in your lengthy note is worthless and ignorant padding from you – it is not from the actual article which no doubt is why you failed to actually quote from the article itself but provided a very embellished version instead!

      Hope you don’t mind if I ignore you from now on…

      • sunnimuslimite says:

        Let me ask you something. Do you believe in standard evolutionary theory because the scientists support it, or on the basis of the evidence you have seen?

        • I believe in Darwin’s theory of evolution because I have read numerous wonderful books by scientists and have found them to be very convincing (as well as hugely enjoyable and enlightening). They have been far more convincing than the anti-evolution books and pamphlets of Harun Yahya, Nu Ha Mim Keller, Shaikh Abdul Mabud and other Muslims. I wrote an article some years back describing my own evolution in beliefs.

          http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2006/jul/03/darwinismmuslimscientistsha

          • sunnimuslimite says:

            If it is based on the evidence, then you must surely have questioned one of your assumptions and beliefs about the standard account based on reading that article?

            You said convergent genetic evolution, that is, genes with similar DNA sequences arising independently, doesn’t happen. And that article shows convergent genetic evolution does happen. Do you at least accept that this aspect of your assumptions and beliefs regarding evolutionary theory was incorrect?

  7. Please can you quote from a leading mainstream scientist who actually says that ‘convergent genetic evolution, that is genes with similar DNA sequences, arising independently, doesn’t happen’ and then quote from that article where it actually says the opposite.

    As I said earlier, the actual article was supportive of Darwin’s theory – your embellished summary was not. So, I would rather you quote from the original sources than trust your summary.

    If you cannot quote from actual sources from leading scientists then please go away and stop wasting my time. I find anti-evolutionists to be very tedious and ignorant and you are turning out to be no exception.

    • sajids253 says:

      salam Inayat

      Please don’t be so rude. The brother is asking a question in a respectful and dignified manner.

      Either respond in kind or ignore him.

      Sajid

      • Sajid: earlier in this thread you made a slanderous comment about me and when I challenged you to provide evidence for it, you went silent.

        You then falsely alleged that I had said Adam was the product of a humanoid union. When I challenged you to show me where exactly I had said that, you went silent.

        So, please don’t go all holy on me – I don’t find it convincing!

    • sunnimuslimite says:

      I am not arguing against scientists. I am arguing against you. You said that it doesn’t happen. And that article says it does. It is as simple as that. I am just trying to get you to admit that you are not really as clued up about the scientific issues as you make out to be. Why do you not just admit that this fact does falsify one of your previously held assumptions?

      • I am happy for you to believe I am not clued up about scientific issues. I am really just a student. I am certainly no scientist – just someone who hugely admires scientists and is trying to learn from them after being so misled on scientific issues by numerous Muslim writers.

        • sunnimuslimite says:

          So how do you know that you are not wrong on the science? There are many scientists who reject the standard evolutionary view, though certainly a minority. One highly qualified scientist I have come across is Douglas Axe from Cambridge University. You have no reason to reject their views as unscientific as you really have no grounds of testing it. How do you know that many of your assumptions and suppositions about evolutionary theory are not incorrect? Your claim to certainty therefore is very misguided. I hope you don’t take this personally. I’m just stating the facts as they are.

          • I may well be wrong. I will find out on the Day of Judgment.

            Until then, I can only state with openness and as honestly as I can that I find what mainstream scientists say about evolution to be far more persuasive and compellingly argued than what their opponents have to say.

            • sunnimuslimite says:

              Check this book out, and tell me if it is compellingly argued or not. Read at least half the book before replying:

              http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=H8yn0iaRRfoC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false

            • sunnimuslimite says:

              Also, see if you can acquire this book, as I found it an excellent and balanced summary of both sides of the argument:

              • Oh dear. Both those books are by members of the Intelligent Design movement. Intelligent Design is not science as was conclusively established in a famous US court ruling in 2005 when some of the most eminent scientists in the USA spoke out against Christian creationist attempts to promote religion in US classrooms under the guise of Intelligent Design.

                http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1142625,00.html

                Over five years ago, I did take the time to read the flagship ID book, Darwin’s Black Box, by Michael Behe but I found it to be very poorly argued and full of ‘God of the Gaps’ type reasoning.

                If anyone wants to read genuine scientific arguments about evolution and see ID comprehensively debunked they can read this fabulous book “Intelligent Thought: Science Versus the Intelligent Design Movement”. The book consists of papers by leading scientists and philosophers including Richard Dawkins, Steven Pinker, Dan Dennett etc.

            • Abu Mus'ab says:

              You fall deeper into the pit of kufr by the day.

              You can yap on all you like about “islamic extremists” but let me tell you this, you are nothing more than a glorified atheist, and you will end up joining them in hell for all eternity, then you will see just how “figurative” all those things really are.

              • Well-intentioned advice :) says:

                My dear brother, be careful! Are you not aware that you will be responsible for your words and that, by calling someone a ‘glorified atheist’ – which, I assure you, Inayat is not! – you are digging your own grave, as per authentic ahadith! Here’s a very conservative take on the issue: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqZpNj76HtI.

                You need not agree with Inayat – and that’s alright! – but please, a bit of civility is surely warranted:

                And it was by God’s grace that thou [O Prophet] didst deal gently with thy followers: for if thou hadst been harsh and hard of heart, they would indeed have broken away from thee. Pardon them, then, and pray that they be forgiven. And take counsel with them in all matters of public concern; then, when thou hast decided upon a course of action, place thy trust in God: for, verily, God loves those who place their trust in Him. (3:159)

                Good luck and meassalamah!

    • sunnimuslimite says:

      Here is another article showing similar findings of convergent genetic evolution:

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130219172155.htm

      Quote from the article:

      seeing the same genetic changes in different populations showed that selection can be deterministic.

      “There are about 4.5 million nucleotides (i.e. DNA molecules) in the E. coli genome,” he said. “Finding in four cases that the exact same change had happened independently in different populations was intriguing.”

  8. azhar says:

    Do you believe in miracles?
    Like Musa (AS) parting the Red Sea?

    • I used to believe in them when I was much younger. Since I started reading more books on science I have become increasingly skeptical about ‘miracles’.

      In all honesty, my position now is probably much closer to that of Professor Ken Miller who says (as I mentioned in the extract above) that God “acts in the world today in concert with natural laws and works His will in the present through the contingent events of human and natural history.”

      Hence, I now tend to view all such passages about ‘miracles’ in a non-literal manner.

      • sajids253 says:

        Salam

        Then you go onto complain why Muslims might label you as such and such.

        Why are you allowing non Muslims to guide you through the holy texts as if they are the only true and reliable sources available?

        Sajid

        • As I have already said, I really don’t care what some Muslims might say about my beliefs. It is more important to me how God will judge me. I can only hope and pray that He accepts my sincere attempts to study and learn about the world around me. I am confident in His Mercy and forgiveness.

          What I find terrifying is that some Muslim fanatics would readily persecute those Muslims who do not agree with their favoured interpretation of Islam and will try and hound them out of their jobs and even get them killed. Some – like you it seems – would happily lie about them and will accuse them of being ‘tools of the government’ to undermine Islamic belief. What twisted people!

          • sajids253 says:

            Salam

            Firstly, what do you expect people to think. You are promoting yourself as a well educated individual who after having read some books of Islam, science and evolution has the right to make audacious and outrageous claims regarding the birth of two of the most holy personalities in human history whilst casting doubt on their very existence! Along side this you claim that you don’t believe in the miracles of the prophets as outlined in the Quran thus opening the door for other less informed Muslim to follow in your misguided footsteps.

            Secondly, you continue to mention that i am (and other Muslim brothers are) extremists simply for having the nerve and ‘bottle’ to inform you of your mistakes regarding the theological foundation stone that the birth of Adam and Jesus have have in Islam and your erroneous and heinous beliefs with regards their birth.

            Finally i would suggest, you take a deep look at what you have said and that you think of your afterlife – rather than the focusing on some standing ovation you might receive after being perceived as some spiritual heir to Galileo!

            Your brother

            Sajid

            • Sajid: I really don’t care what people think – as long as they don’t try and persecute others for their beliefs or lie about them as you clearly did on this thread without any apparent shame. I am happy to be accountable to God for my beliefs, not people like you.

      • azhar says:

        It’s fair enough you have your own personal view,on Adam (as) which makes sense to you but if you are propagating it – then please bring some evidence. It’s not fair on the Ulema or the community – they spend their lives on this work. I fully understand the anger of Neo Atheists such as Dawkins when they come up against anti evolutionists especially when they are non scientists trying to influence the science curriculum. Please understand the anger of Islamic scholars and muslims in general when people who are uneducated in the Islamic sciences make such bold claims without backing it up.

        Also, you say thank god we do not have an Islamic state where people can be persecuted yadda yadda…

        I would like you to take note, that in many Islamic countries scholarly battles would be fought on such matters as these by qualified people. Also, most recently you may know of Ahmad Riddha Khan Barelvi who made halal the asking of assistance from dead people if it is done in a pure manner. As, you may know the vast majority of Ulema regard this as Kuffar. However, A.R.K.Barelvi managed to get cooperation and possibly ijazza from the leading Ulema from Medina and Makkah. people who are staunchly against such practices which he advocated. They did this because they respected his intelligence and his work. On the other hand people in your camp i.e. uneducated would be insulted and persecuted, because you cause such great fitna and sects and cults. Not that you personally are but you get my gist.

        You seem to keep falling for absurdities whether it is Yahya Khan, Khomeini’s fatwa, gay marriage and now this theory on Adam (as) nonsense.

        The British prime minister William Ewart Gladstone (1898) once stated “We cannot dominate the Mohammedans until we separate them from their love for the Koran”
        This was at a time when the British were fighting the Ottomans. Looks like they are winning.

        • My views on evolution are based on the science books I have read on the topic. This has led me to modify the way I view certain verses of the Qur’an. It is as simple as that.

          I could not care less what certain ‘Muslim scholars’ might think about my views. As I found during my studies about evolution, many of them are not really ‘scholars’ in anything.

          I believe that with the growth of the internet and access to better and more accurate teachings more and more Muslims will come to accept Darwin’s theory of evolution and this will lead them to also reinterpret passages of the Qur’an. We shall see…

          • azhar says:

            “I could not care less what certain ‘Muslim scholars’ might think about my views. As I found during my studies about evolution, many of them are not really ‘scholars’ in anything.”

            I think you will find that many hundreds of ulema are actually scholars in the “Islamic Sciences”. To be honest i wouldn’t trust your judgement in studying anything especially as you were duped by Harun Yahya et al. I’m sure the scientists and people on their methodology would have insulted you down to ground if you brought up H.Y as evidence for your previous views. Similarly, your getting trashed now for your reinterpretations because you fail to take into consideration the work of the many ulema on these issues.

            You actually haven’t changed much because you fail to even consider the other side of the argument which tends to make sense more then your own. But hey Allahhu Alam.

            • I am not asking you to trust my judgement! In my blogs on evolution I have merely encouraged people to read books by actual mainstream scientists before making up their minds on the topic. That is all.

              You are free to believe that humankind does not share a common ancestor with other primates. I am free to believe that we do. I am confident that better education about evolution will help resolve many misunderstandings.

              • azhar says:

                Its not your beliefs i am interested in really. I dont care if you believe we were descended from pink elephants. Its quite clear that evolution is pretty much fact within the scientific framework and i except that and find the works of extremist Christians and HY to be silly. Rather, i believe your interpretation of core Islamic beliefs and narratives to be irresponsible, shabby and disrespectful just as your previous views favoring Intelligent Design.was irresponsible, shabby and disrespectful to science.

                The sensible thing would be to except evolution on its scientific merit and believe that we share a common ancestor with primates and not make up stories about Adam (as) because you see gaps in reconciling the two.

                This disrespect we have when it comes to the texts of the Quran and Sunnah and general learning is a real sickness in our Ummah – whether it be extreme fanatics or modernists such as yourself. Your bad as each other and you invite blame.

                • However I personally interpret the Qur’an is between me and God. If I choose to interpret the passages about Adam in the Qur’an in a manner that for me helps reconcile it with the evolution narrative then it is really nobody else’s business. That is one of the great attributes of a secular state. The state does not care what you believe as long as your beliefs do not cause actual harm to others.

                  Imagine what would happen to people like me in an ‘Islamic state’ – it is really quite terrifying.

                  • azhar says:

                    If its between you and god that’s cool. But your “views” are quite silly in the Islamic and historical framework, like the views of I’D’s are dangerous to the teaching of science. And, this silliness can get quite dangerous when it becomes a sect (cult) and that’s where the Islamic state would get involved – that would be terrifying. You have given up on the state because of the reactionary nature of Islamist. That’s a poor way to judje what the state could be and will be inshallah.

                    Can i ask if you believe in moral relativism or objective morality (whatever that is based on)?

                    • I have no idea what moral relativism is. If you are asking whether my views on what is right and wrong changes over time, then yes, some of my views have changed. Certainly in the case of gay rights, freedom of expression etc.

          • Abu Mus'ab says:

            So you’ve thrown the qur’aan aside and now follow your new gospel, the gospel of darwin.

            After all, according to you Allaah could be mistaken and make tons of pointless “metaphors” but not darwin, oh no, he was always 100% on the mark.

            Like i said, you’re just a glorified atheist.

  9. sunnimuslimite says:

    Mr Bunglawala, do you accept that the authors of those books, like Jonathan Wells, Scott Minnich and Ralph Seelke, are well qualified scientists from respected institutions?

    Secondly, I would have hoped you would address the scientific arguments against Darwinism discussed in those books.

    I am not all that interested in the arguments for intelligent design. In fact, the second book (Explore Evolution) doesn’t even discuss intelligent design.

    Do you have the courage to challenge your strongly-held beliefs by reading those books, and then question your views on the standard theory of evolution?

    I am sure you base your views on evolution on the many evidences – fossil, genetic, anatomic, geographic etc. – that are explained. What if these evidences are wrong or misused, and what if the evidences show something entirely different? You have encouraged people to read some books. I am encouraging you to read Explore Evolution, without bias and without prejudging it.

    Why don’t you give “Explore Evolution” a chance? I sincerely request that you do. It’s less than £10 on amazon I believe.

    • Wells, Minnich (I don’t know about Seelke) are both associated with the discredited ‘Discovery Institute’ which is the USA’s main ID propaganda outlet.

      I really don’t see myself taking anything by the Discovery Institute after they were so badly discredited in the 2005 Court ruling which declared ID to be unscientific.

      There is a really interesting (and very funny) clip of Professor Ken Miller exposing the deceit of the Discovery Institute. Watch from 51:40 onwards…

      • sunnimuslimite says:

        I am very disappointed by your answer. Surely, you know how easy it is to “smear” and “discredit” a group, but that doesn’t alter the validity of their arguments. There are some people associated with the Discovery Institute that are not religious, but non-believers, like David Berlinksi and Michael Denton. What if someone said he refuses to read the books you are promoting because they are written by “white people” who have a notorious track record of lying and killing innocent people? It will be silly of course. And I’m sure even you will agree that what is “scientific” or not is not “decided” by a court ruling, but by the scientific literature, and there is a growing number of peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals explicitly supporting intelligent design. See here: http://www.discovery.org/a/2640 and here: http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/11/why_intelligent1066741.html

        Anyway, as I said – this is not about intelligent design! But about the arguments for and against the standard theory of evolution.

        Let me ask you a simple question. Do you accept that Wells, Minnich and Seelke (just do a google search) are equally as well-educated in the fields of biology as Miller? If so, then what does it matter about who they are “associated” with? Surely what matters is the validity of their argument, right?

        • Your analogy of the Discovery Institute with ‘white people’ is just disingenuous. The Discovery Institute has been repeatedly discredited as a propaganda outlet for creationism and Intelligent Design.

          Did you actually watch the Ken Miller lecture from 51:40 onwards to see what he exposed about the dishonest tactics of the Discovery Institute? Do you really think I would read a book published by those who engage in the type of deceit that the Discovery Institute has been constantly engaged in?

          I don’t mind if you did not watch the Ken Miller clip. At least some of those reading this thread will take the time to watch that clip and within 5 minutes they will realise that the Discovery Institute is a waste of time and that they should rather listen to genuine scientists, not Christian extremists.

          • sunnimuslimite says:

            Yes I did listen to the clip, and no I do not believe they engaged in deceit. It is merely a diversion from the real issues.

            I don’t think the example is disingenuous because it could be claimed white people also engage in deceit. Furthermore, there is in fact a real parallel here because some have documented “deceit” and misrepresentation from Ken Miller himself e.g. http://www.discovery.org/a/8561 – so why should we trust anything he says?

            What is the real reason that you are so afraid to read the article I linked below and to read Explore Evolution?

          • sunnimuslimite says:

            Also if they are Christian extremists, you did not answer my point that they have members who aren’t even Christians like David Berlinksi. Why would a non-believer be part of a religious organisation that only has the aim to promote religious ideas?

            • Berlinski is not a “non-believer” as you state. He is a Jew while the DI is overwhelmingly Christian (of the narrow-minded science-denying very tiresome variety).

  10. sunnimuslimite says:

    One more thing: Explore Evolution is written in very simple language, although it has extensive references to the scientific literature. So it is very accessible. You can cross-examine to check if the information it offers is accurate. It gives both sides of the argument, so you can read the other books like Finding Darwin’s God etc. to see if it is accurate, and to see if the counter-arguments hold any value.

  11. sunnimuslimite says:

    Also, for Mr. Bunglawala and others reading this discussion, if you want a snapshot of the types of counter-arguments explained in a lot of detail in Explore Evolution, see this article of Jonathan Wells where he refutes quite a popular book defending Darwinism: http://www.discovery.org/a/10661

    By the way, intelligent design is hardly touched upon in this article.

    You can see the strength of Wells’ arguments, and these arguments and counter-arguments are explored with fairness and balance in more detail in Explore Evolution.

    Mr Bunglawala, do you find Wells’ arguments in this brief article “persuasive and compellingly argued”? If not, why not?

    Thanks

  12. sunnimuslimite: “…see this article of Jonathan Wells where he refutes quite a popular book defending Darwinism: http://www.discovery.org/a/10661 …”

    Nonsense. The Discovery Institute has for years been publishing creationist and ID propaganda claiming to debunk evolution. The only conclusion we can draw is that either the scientists are right about evolution or that the Discovery Institute is right and therefore there is a worldwide conspiracy amongst scientists to lie to the public about evolution.

    For myself, I have come to the conclusion that the lies and deceit are coming from the creationists and ID propagandists – as that astonishing and very funny clip from Ken Miller so clearly showed.

    • sunnimuslimite says:

      So why do you not answer the arguments present in that article? Why do you not bring up those arguments with Ken Miller by email and see what he answers? And then check if what Johnathan Wells says makes more sense or Ken Miller?

      Why are you afraid to challenge your beliefs on the theory of evolution?

      Now all you’re asking us to do is blindly follow a particular group of scientists and ignore others, and completely turn a blind eye to the evidences!! Is this the so-called free-thinking and intellectual maturation you seek?

      Am I correct in summarising your views as follows: you must follow what the majority of scientists say and ignore what a minority says, despite what the evidence suggests to you?

      What if I came to the conclusion that the arguments presented by Wells and the authors of Explore Evolution were stronger scientifically? On what basis would you consider me mistaken?

      To be honest, it sounds more and more that you are a “religious” dogmatist in terms of Darwinism, just like the religious people you are attacking!

      • sajid says:

        Salam

        Mashallah a very robust, erudite and wonderful response sunnimuslimite.

        sajid

      • I have already explained that the reason I have no intention of reading ‘Explore Evolution’ is because the main authors are associated with the ID movement and the Discovery Institute. ID and the DI were comprehensively exposed and their ideas debunked in the 2005 Kitzmiller trial by mainstream scientists.

        What you are asking me to do is the equivalent of asking someone to read the writings of the mad Christian leader David Koresh. Why would I bother? Seriously.

        Remember that I have already read the flagship ID book, Darwin’s Black Box by Michael Behe and found it to be very unimpressive and full of ‘God of the gaps’ type reasoning. So why would I really want to read any more ID propaganda?

        Thankfully, there is already a full chapter by chapter refutation of ‘Exploring Evolution’ by the good people at the National Centre for Science Education (a genuine credible group of mainstream scientists as opposed to the ID’ers that you follow) published here:

        http://ncse.com/explore-evolution

        You are free to follow the ID’ers if you wish. I do not wish to do so. I find the arguments presented by mainstream scientists to be far more convincing and persuasive.

        Now please go away. I do not wish to spend any more time arguing with an ID devotee.

        For those that are reading this thread and are confused by ID just pick up any ID book and compare it with a book on evolution by a genuine scientist (eg Finding Darwin’s God by Ken Miller or The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins) and you will see for yourself that the difference is like night and day.

  13. Abdullah says:

    Inayat;
    I advise you to read the Qur’aan, which is the speech of you Creator that you will return to, and the best explanation of that is the sayings of the best of mankind, Muhammad (Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam), and his way and methodology was best followed by his companions and the first three generations of Islam; surely that way is better than all these theologists and scientists that have come after.
    Allah says:
    “And whoever opposes the Messenger after guidance has become clear to him and follows other than the way of the believers – We will give him what he has taken and drive him into Hell, and evil it is as a destination.”
    He, the Most High also says:
    “This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion.”
    He also says: “So if they believe in the same as you (the Prophet and his Companions) believe in, then they have been [rightly] guided; but if they turn away, they are only in dissension, and Allah will be sufficient for you against them. And He is the Hearing, the Knowing.”
    The Messenger of Allah said: “I have left you upon clear guidance; its night is like day; and none strays from it after me, except he is in destruction.”
    He also said: “Verily I have left for you that which if you hold on to you will not be misguided; the Book of Allah and my Sunnah (creed, methodology and way).”
    He (Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said:
    “Whomsoever among you lives after me shall see many differences, so it is upon you to follow my Sunnah (creed and methodology) and the sunnah of the rightly guided caliphs, hold on to it and bite on to it with your molar teeth! And beware of newly invented matters (in the Religion and in beliefs) for every innovation (in the religion and in beliefs) is a misguidance.”
    So it is upon us to follow the Religion which has come from Allah the most High in the way it was understood by the best of mankind, Muhammad (Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) and the best of generations, his companions (may Allah be pleased with them) and those that were upon their methodology. And Allah gave this Religion to unite us upon the Truth, because nothing else can unite people other than the truth as Allah says: “And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided. And remember the favor of Allah upon you – when you were enemies and He brought your hearts together and you became, by His favor, brothers. And you were on the edge of a pit of the Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus does Allah make clear to you His verses that you may be guided.”
    The reason for the division of the Muslims today and their weakness in faith is because of their lack of returning to the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger as it was understood by the people of virtue and knowledge from the best of generations. As Allah also says: But no, by your Lord, they will not [truly] believe until they make you, [O Muhammad], judge concerning that over which they dispute among themselves and then find within themselves no discomfort from what you have judged and submit in [full, willing] submission.”
    And He, the Most High says:
    “O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you. And if you disagree over anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you should believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is the best [way] and best in result.”
    Allah has not left us to our whims and desires to follow what we want from His message to mankind, because if that was the case, then all of the people will be in disarray, as everyone will have their own beliefs and opinons. Rather Allah has made clear the Truth as is in the Qur’aan and Sunnah, and anyone who states otherwise has disbelieved in what the Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) came with.
    This is sincere advice to all of us, including myself, and I have no intention to belittle you or attempt to disgrace you, rather just to clarify the truth which is from Allah and not from myself.
    A side note, I am a a student at the Islamic University of Madinah, if you ever happen to visit, feel free to contact me and we can perhaps meet to discuss these matters in a pleasant manner.
    May Allah guide us all to follow His Religion, His Book and His Messenger upon the way of the early rightly guided Muslims.

    • sajids253 says:

      Asalamu alaykum.

      Brother Abdullah Mashallah you have given sound advice and good reasoning to Brother Inayat although i doubt he will change his views.

      Brother Inayat has made known his skewed view that he does not believe in a key foundation stone of Islam and component of Islamic belief i.e. the creation of Adam and the birth of Jesus.

      His lack of knowledge and willingness to live in an alternate reality is further compounded by the fact that he continues to believe in the idea and fantasy that Adam and Jesus were both fantastical creatures that are to be envisioned as being simple metaphors rather than actual people.

      La Howla Wa la quwatha….

      Sajid

      • Abdullah says:

        May Allah bless you brother Sajid. I think sometimes people do not come across the correct principles of Islam, and because of the actions and statements of a few, they resent the correct methodology of Islam, but it is up to all of us to correct each other with the Religion of Allah as our criterion, and to do so in a respectful manner and in accordance with the teachings of our beloved Prophet. We don’t intend to disgrace people or look down on anyone, rather we wish to make clear the Truth, as it came from Allah as one of the pious predecessors said:
        ‘The Truth is not attached to men; rather men are attached to the Truth.’
        None of us, neither me nor brother Sajid or anyone else for that matter can claim a monopoly over the Truth, as it is from Allah. We all make mistakes and guidance is only from Allah, so we ask Allah to guide us and correct each other when we see one another fall into error as Allah says: “And help one another towards righteousness and piety.” And the Messenger of Allah said: “The religion is sincerity… for Allah, His book, His messenger, the leaders of the Muslims and the general folk.”

  14. Shahoor says:

    Salam. Inayats corner. I read the first couple statements and the discussion captivated me instantly. I hastily scrolled all the way down to leave a comment and didn’t read most of the comments that followed. I apologize if this comment is a bit out of sync from the developments of this discussion. I also apologize on behalf of any Muslim who has personally insulted you (know that it was purely emotional) while this forum should only hold intellectual capacity.

    I personally love science, I love the frameworks of life and how science attempts to explain them. I am deeply impressed with the developments of technology and the overwhelming mechanics of the Universe (the list goes on). Having read the Miller excerpt you displayed above, his arguments seem to be shiny on the surface but does not really address the fundamental arguments. I have debated with many many Atheists in the past and have spotted a trend. A lot of it is based on their childhood and their personal ‘bad’ experiences with Religion. I do not want to advocate on behalf of Religion in general, I want to advocate on behalf of Islam as this is the only truth. Thus is makes sense if a teenager finds that Christianity does not make senses and then opts for Atheism (as is the prevalent decision nowadays). However, Atheism has its own history, it first emerged from Europe and was born from the conflicts with the Christian power at the time, which were fairly oppressive and suppressed scientific truths. I do not think that science is contradictory to Islam, science is a means of exploration and we should embrace it as humans. Unfortunately many people out of emotion or weak intellectual thought think that this negates the fact that there is a Creator. Many Atheists that i have debated with and the debates i have attended tend to ignore a certain argument, their mouths become dry, they gulp out of scepticism, and their eyes become bewildered… the argument is one of rationality, the infinite regression. It irritates me when random Atheists assume intellectual superiority and think they have achieved enlightened thought when in reality they behave like sheep and parrots, follow and repeat without understanding. Be assured, this is not an insult, it merely reflects reality.

  15. Shahoor says:

    The theory of evolution is still dubbed a theory. Those who truly reflect on evolution would find that it is more about interpretations of evidence rather than clear evidence. The truth is there is no clear evidence. Many scientists approach this theory with a pre-bias of ‘no Creator mentality’ so it makes sense that this theory would just conveniently fit in to their current beliefs. Scientists have the tendency to approach evidence with their own biases. A good example of this is the infinite Multiverse theory. There is no basis for this theory, rather the scientists how attribute themselves to this theory realize the true intricacies of the Universe and its precision so they realize they have to inflate the possibilities, i.e. if they say that there are many many universes then at least one of them could be perfect right? A very childish bias approach to Science, they will opt for every alternative but would never sincerely and rationally think twice about the existence of a Creator.

    As for your saying of Qur’an is metaphorical. ALL of the Scholars of Islamic Jurisprudence will disagree with you. This is a discussion within jurisprudence where there are terms such as ‘Haqiqi and Majazi’ Literal and metaphorical respectively. As fort he narrations and legislation in the Quran these are literal and real life. You have just took it upon yourself to conform the untruths of science rhetoric with Islam. Please do not allow yourself to be indoctrinated. You also mentioned the ayah of ‘mutashibihat’ These are ayahs that only Allah knows the knowledge of and not for us to delve into, you however say we should delve into it. Let me share some ayahs with you:

    “It is He who has sent down to you, [O Muhammad], the Book; in it are verses [that are] precise – they are the foundation of the Book – and others unspecific. As for those in whose hearts is deviation [from truth], they will follow that of it which is unspecific, seeking discord and seeking an interpretation [suitable to them]. And no one knows its [true] interpretation except Allah . But those firm in knowledge say, “We believe in it. All [of it] is from our Lord.” And no one will be reminded except those of understanding” (Quran 3:7)

    “Indeed, those who disbelieve in Allah and His messengers and wish to discriminate between Allah and His messengers and say, “We believe in some and disbelieve in others,” and wish to adopt a way in between -” (Quran 4:150)

    “Those are the disbelievers, truly. And We have prepared for the disbelievers a humiliating punishment” (Quran 4:151)

    May Allah guide us.

  16. oogenhand says:

    Reblogged this on oogenhand and commented:
    Theistic evolution is the most powerful position, I think.

  17. Salaam says:

    Salam alaikum brother Inayat,

    I would like to thank you for writing this and sharing your opinion. I also would like to apologise for these people who personally insulted you.

    I’m myself a Muslimah, and I work in molecular biology. I work with the theory of evolution as a framework (that’s the only scientific framework we humans have at the moment to explain many molecular phenomena and it has helped us discover cure for various diseases), and I have done experiments that validate this theory, in front of my own eyes.

    Taking the story of the creation of Adam a.s. as a metaphor actually strengthened my Emaan, rather than made me “fall deeper into the pit of kufr”, like some people here claim :)

    And I am not the only person who thinks so. More and more people are seeking to reconcile science with their faith, and many have come to this very same conclusion.

    I truly applaud your patience and good akhlaq in dealing with terribly rude people!
    May Allah bless you brother Inayat for helping other Muslims in their Emaan, and please keep on doing what you do.

    P.S. Those of you who think that Inayat is leading other Muslims astray and insult him, don’t you realize that it might actually be *yourselves* who are leading other Muslims astray by insulting him / doubting his Emaan, and showing examples of terrible akhlaq (calling him Kaafir)? There are SO many evidence in Quran hadiths forbidding you to do that, guys! May Allah give guidance to your hearts.

    “How bad is it, to insult one’s brother after having Faith [i.e. to call your Muslim brother (a faithful believer) as: "O sinner", or "O wicked", etc.]. And whosoever does not repent, then such are indeed Zalimun (wrong-doers, etc.).” [QS Hujuraat: 11]

    “It is reported on the authority of Ibn `Umar that the Prophet (may peace and blessings be upon him) said: Any person who calls his brother: O Unbeliever! (then the truth of this label) would return to one of them. If it is true, (then it is) as he asserted, (but if it is not true), then it RETURNS to him (and thus the person who made the accusation is an Unbeliever). [HR. Muslim]“

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