Thursday, November 18, 2004

Evolution & Quran's Perspective

Evolution in the Light of the Quran

Ever since man evolved into a conscious being, he had constantly wondered about his origin. In his intellectual childhood, the question was answered by biblical teachings. In the west, uptil 19th century, Christian theology formed the basis of Theory of Creationism which states:­(1) that the World is of short duration, at the most 5757 years old.(2) that the World is fixed and not changing.(3) that the created species are constant, and do not evolve into other species.(4) that the Perfect world is explicable only by omnipotent and beneficent creator.(5) that the creation of man was special and apart from other created things.

This was the view held in the west till 1859 when the modern theory of evolution was introduced by Charles Darwin, in his work, titled OnThe Origin Of Species. There are two basic points to this theory;(a) evolution is taking place on earth (b) and it is driven by natural selection.

How did he arrive at these two components of evolution? is interesting to know. From 1835-36, Darwin went on a voyage in southAtlantic and Pacific, which provided ample opportunity for him, to observe various species on land. He was struck by variety withineach specie at a particular geographical area. This gave him the idea of lack of fixity of species; rather species are changing into one another. Then he observed humans cross breeding various animals selectively to improve species. He understood that in environment,ontrolled by man, selection is provided my man; but who provides the selection process, in the natural environment of species?

In 1838, Darwin was influenced by the essay on the Principle of population, anonymously published by Malthus, in which he stated theoor’s law; Only those able to produce, deserve to survive, those who lived of rich and produced nothing, all assistance to them muststop. This gave Darwin the idea of selection of the fittest by Nature, or survival of the fittest. This evolutionary work shocked people, whoso far knew only the Creationism. Darwin was joined by Ernest Heckle and T. H. Huxley, in his atheist theory and in declared that man musthave evolved from ape like ancestor, thus putting man in the phyllogenetic tree of animal kingdom. This was the end of anthropocentrism of bible and rise of atheism in England. Prior to this Germany and France had already rejected religion. Later on Karl Marx also used Darwin’s work, to promote communism and Lenin created scientific museum on Darwinism, to completely eliminateChristianity from People’s life.

Further work by Paleontologists, Molecular Biologists and Geneticists lead us to believe that every aspect of Phenotype is controlled byGenotype. At the cellular level the genes control every metabolic activity. The biochemical basis of the gene is Deoxyribonucleic Acid,in short DNA, which is confined in the nucleus and convey its orders through messenger RNA (Ribonucleic Acid) to the site of proteinsynthesis. Hundreds of biochemical reaction are taking place simultaneously, in the cytoplasm promoted by hundreds of enzymes in the same cytoplasm, and the beauty of the system is that one metabolic reaction does not interfere with other, all under control of DNA. There is a perfect order maintained by DNA, which is just four amino acids chain, arranged in a special sequence. Scientists pondered foryears, as to where did these four Amino Acids come from for the first time? In an attempt to answer this question, Dr. Miller in 1955 did an experiment in his lab. He took a mixture of methane, hydrogen, ammonia, steam and water, and passed the electric spark through this mixture and was able to demonstrate the formation of amino acids in the water. He postulates that in the primitive atmosphere of earth,these gases were present and when atmospheric gases were charged with thunderbolt, basic amino acids were produced in water,which by chance got arranged in sequence of DNA and 1st genetic code was born, and life started in the form of unicellular structure. Over billions of years, the unicellular structure changed into multi-cellular structures, plant kingdom, then animal kingdom evolved into invertebrates, vertebrates, insects, fishes, reptiles, birds, mammals and finally man. As you can see, there are some serious flaws and gaps, in this theory of evolution. First of all no body for sure knows if those gases werepresent in the atmosphere. Secondly, how could mere chance and accident, initiate such intricate, complex, sophisticated process of life, with perfect order in function and structure of the cell? Nay it can not be, in the words of Maurice Bucaille, “It tantamount to saying that the spontaneously forming steel particles from Iron ore and coal at high temperature, could have lead to the construction of Eiffel Tower, through a series of happy coincidences, that assembled the material in proper order.” Further, no body has ever demonstrated the conversion of one species into the other; and what is the proof that man is the descendant of big apes? It is purely a conjecture and theorization based on anatomical and physiological similarities between species. This is purely an attempt to humanize the animals and animalize the humans. Look at the order of evolution, first plants, why? Because every living being consumes Oxygen and releases CO2 and plants do the opposite, therefore Allah Almighty, according to His plan, first made arrangement for O2 by creating plant kingdom first.

Transformation of Man:

According to Science Mankind has undergone four transformation as listed below.
Australopithecus: These are the earliest ancestors who resembles today’s human beings, 1.5 meter in size, smaller than today’s average man. Cranial capacity is about 500 cubic centimeters, capable of thought and using tolls designed by himself, the quality that is not seen in apes. Time wise about 3.5 million years ago. Subsequently replaced by; Pithecanthropines: This is the second wave of hominids, estimated to have lived about 500,000 years ago, survived for about 350,000 years. Their size had grown between 1.58 cm to 1.78 meter. Cranial capacity had grown to 900 Cu. Cm. And intellectual power had grown, invention, creation, and reasoning have developed. Again replaced by; Neanderthals (Paleanthropians): is third wave of hominids appeared about 100,000 years ago and lived for 60,000 years. They were medium sized, perfectly bipedal, low forehead, rudimentary chin, cranial capacity reached 1300 cc. Lived in caves. They used to bury their dead with horns antlers and tools indicating some spirituality, replaced by;

Homo Sapiens: is today’s man; started about 40,000 years ago. Height increased to 1.80 cms, cranial capacity reached 1350 cc, skull became more spherical, ridge above the orbits disappeared, psychic activity much superior than predecessor. These are the four stages of human evolutions, where one group of people were replaced by subsequent group with progressive increase in the size of brain and increase in the intellectual capacity. The size of the brain of man 40, 000 year ago was as large as it is today, while mankind was primitive and did not even need that sized brain. Think about, why? Robert Ornstein raises this question in his book “Evolution of consciousness”. There is some purpose behind it, it is not created in vain. Why do we have a highly evolved visual system. Why creator gave us sophisticated hearing mechanism. Does nature have a future plan for us.

Quran and Evolution:

Origin of Life:Science tells us now that the life on earth originated from water. Even today while we are exploring the galaxies and actively searching for life on other planets, the 1st question we ask; is there any water on that planet to sustain life, because without water life is impossible.Quran has told us about this reality some 1400 years ago, before the discovery of science, said the same thing in
Surah Al Anbiya verse 30 (Out of their sheer ignorance some people take natural phenomena as deities or divinities. This is despite the fact the entire continuum of the universe has been created by Allah Almighty and remains fervently in action according to His given programme. At present various phenomena in the universe appear to them as functioning separately from one another, but) Do they not seriously understand that in the initial stages of creation all of them were one mass which We then parted, so that the various celestial bodies started floating in their own orbits (21:33. 36:40). (Take for example the planet earth. In its initial stages it separated from the original mass, just like a stone thrown out from a catapult - 79:30). Later (when the earth became ready to bear or produce living things) We started life from water. (All living things are created from a mixture of water - 24:45. And over this fountain of life Allah Almighty has kept His own control - 11:7). It is strange that even after all this explanation, they do not believe that only Allah Almighty wields absolute sovereignty over everything in the universe.

First living thing was algae in plant kingdom then animal kingdom started. Quran makes reference to plant kingdom in;
Surah Taha verse 53 He is the One Who has stored means of nourishment for all of you everywhere on this spacious earth. made and traced out ways for your movements. and sends down water from the sky and with which He grows various vegetation and plants .The Ayah also points out the sexual reproduction in plant kingdom, much before science discovered it. In Surah Raad verse 3 male and female fruit plants are described. Similarly reference is made to the water origin of animals in Surah Nur verse 45 And according to His Law, Allah Almighty has created every living being out of water (in that the process of life was initiated from water and its survival also depends on it - 21:30). Among living objects there are some which crawl on their bellies, some walk on two legs and some on four. Allah Almighty creates whatever He likes according to His Law of creation. He has set measures for everything; and He has absolute control over everything .
Creation Of Men : You just read Aya, that every living thing came out of water as a matter of fact 60% of human’s body is water. There are number of verses in
Quran that refer to the earthly origin of man, which the Science found later. Let us go through verses.
Allah Almighty caused you to grow from earth. Surah Hud verse 61 We fashioned you from soil. Surah Hajj verse 5

Allah Almighty is the one who fashioned you from clay.
Surah Al Anam verse 2
Allah Almighty the creation of man from clay. Surah As Sajdah verse 7
We fashioned them from sticky clay. Surah As Saffat verse 11
Allah Almighty (God) fashioned man from a clay, like pottery. Surah Ar Rahman verse 14
We fashioned man from the quintessence of clay. Surah Al Muminun verse 11

Quintessence means gist or extract of some thing. All the chemical components of human body can also be found in earth as well, that is what the aya implies. So, long before the science discovered earthly origin of man, Quran said it before.

Transformation of Man:

We have seen four waves of humans, transformed over a period of time, accepted in Science. Is there any thing in Quran about these transformations. Following verses refer to that: Ingratitude produces disorder in the land. This is illustrated by the story of Adam which has been narrated earlier (2/30-38). We created you and fashioned you and then We asked Malaika to bow before Adam, the representative of humanity. They all bowed, but Iblees did not ...
Surah Al Araf verse 11 The Rabb (Who according to His law of creation) took you through various evolutionary stages one after the other; and fashioned you by removing unnecessary elements, thereby creating excellent balance, proportion and symmetry in you.Thereafter, according to His Law of Mashiyyat, He gave you a suitable form.. Surah Al Infitar verse 7-8

This tussle occurs because We have bestowed man with the ability to nourish and develop his self and lead a balanced life in a dignified manner
Surah At Tin Verse 4 The word taqwiym means to organize something in planned way, implying therefore an order of progress that has been strictly defined in advance. Evolutionists use exactly the same expression while describing the transformation of man in evolution. Further evidence of transformation comes fromSurah Nuh Verse 14 How can you attain this state of life? For this you should ponder over the Divine Law of Creation, according to which you have passed through various evolutionary stages to attain human form." In this evolutionary process each step took you forward and made you better and superior. All this happened without your effort, knowledge or discretion, but the moment you started exercising your discretion, you went astray and started slipping downwards Surah Dahr verse 28, Allah Almighty refers to men as a group, and how groups of people were replaced. (They are very proud that they are mighty and strong; but they forget that). We have created them; and We have endowed strength and stability to their countenances. If they oppose Our Laws, then according to Our Law of Mashiyyat, it is not at all difficult for Us to wholly replace them with another nation Same thing is repeated in verse Surah Al Anam verse 133, about the groups of men.

If (Allah Almighty) wills He destroys you and in your place appoints whom He wills, as your successor, just as He brought your forth, from the descendants of other people.” These two ayah talk about the disappearance of certain comminutes and their replacement with others, according to the laws of Allah Almighty. Today’s human could very well be the result of these phenomena and events .

Have you ever wondered why so many verses are in Quran about origin of life in general and man is particular, while it is not even a book of Science? The reason for that is, the Quran had condemned the existing wrong opinion, at the time of its revelation, and then dictates the right opinion. Bible also had the description of origin of life and man, which is not only rejected by Science but also rejected by the second Vatican council in 1960s: “Saying that there are many things in bible which are proved wrong by the Science” I will end this paper with the statement, that Quran is the word of God and creation around us, is the work of Allah Almighty (God). If the source of both is same, then there can not be any discrepancy in the two, one has to confirm the other. One is theory and other is the practical, therefore nothing in Science is against Quran. As we have seen today science actually confirms what Quran had already said. Scientists are only discovering the laws of the creator, because everything in nature is caused, by secondary causes, regulated by the primary cause, the creator. To serve best his creator,human beings should read and abide Allah Almighty laws and their cause and effect. It is regretable that the task that was asigned to the Muslims that is being done by non Muslims, why Muslims are not on the fore-front, while they have the guidance of Quran in their hand. Earlier Muslims made scientific discoveries, as a matter of fact they are the pioneers of today’s Science. Karen Armstrong, the author of “Holy War”, says, “This fact has never been acknowledged in the west that all the scientific and technological development that we have today, we owe it to the Arabs and Muslims”. Therefore let the Muslim youth today, persevere to regain the lost position, and work for the betterment of mankind, which is the greatest Ibadat (always act according to the laws of Allah Almighty with 100% believe in its authority).


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