Monday 18 August 2008

How Did The Earth Evolve?

A quote for today: from the author of the book The God Delusion
"It is fine to teach children about scientific controversies. 
What is not fine is to say, 
There are these two theories:

One is called Evolution;
the other is called ‘Genesis’.

If you are going to say that, then you should talk
about the Nigerian tribe which believed that the
world was created from the excrement of ants."

- Scientist Richard Dawkins, author of the book The God Delusion.

The God Delusion is a 2006 book by British biologist Richard Dawkins, holder of the Charles Simonyi Chair for the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford.

In The God Delusion, Dawkins contends that a supernatural creator almost certainly does not exist and that belief in a personal god qualifies as a delusion, which he defines as a persistent false belief held in the face of strong contradictory evidence.

He is sympathetic to Robert Pirsig's observation in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance that:

"When one person suffers from a delusion it is called insanity.

When many people suffer from a delusion it is called religion."

As of November 2007, the English version of The God Delusion had sold over 1.5 million copies and had been translated to 31 other languages.

The book was ranked #2 on the best-sellers' list in November 2006.

In early December 2006, it reached #4 in the New York Times Hard-cover Non-fiction Best Seller list after nine weeks on the list.

It remained on the list for 51 weeks until 30th September 2007.

It has attracted widespread commentary, with several books written in response.

Creation Science:


God created the universe during 6 consecutive 24 hour days less than 10,000 years ago, precisely as a one of the literal interpretations of the Biblical book of Genesis would indicate.

*(See below for Islamic point of view)

All of the various species of plants and animals that currently exist (and that once existed) on earth are descendants of the original life forms that God created during the single week of creation.

This is the most popular belief system among the general public. It is the least popular among earth and biological scientists.

It is estimated that over 99% of such scientists believe that a literal translation of Genesis does not represent reality.

Theistic evolution view:

The universe is about 14 billion years old. The earth's crust developed about 4.5 billion years ago.

God created the first cell, and then used evolution as a tool to guide the development of each new species. The process culminated in human beings.

Scientific view:

Beliefs are identical to the theistic view, except that God is assumed to have played no part in the processes. Scientists assume evolution was driven by blind, purely natural forces.

* From the Islamic perspective:

There are many theories of evolution.

Some are acceptable according to Islam, while others are not acceptable. If by evolution one means the development and growth that Allah (God) has placed in the nature of His creation, then this is acceptable and the Qur'an itself talks about it.

Allah has power to say "Be" and everything will become. But He created the heaven and earth in six days, as mentioned in the Qur'an:-

(Al-A'raf 7:54; Yunus 10:3; Hud 11:7; Al-Furqan 25:59; As-Sajdah 32:4; Qaf 50:38; Al-Hadid 57:4; Al-Mujadilah 58:4).

The word "six days" does not necessarily mean 'six days of twenty-four hours duration each'.

It could also mean six periods whose duration is known to Allah alone.

The word "day" is used in the Qur'an for various lengths or periods of time. It could mean 24 hours, or one thousand years (Al-Hajj 22:47) or fifty thousand years (Al-Ma`arij 70:4) or even more. However, this process of time does indicate some kind of evolution that was created by Allah and directed by Him.

The theory of evolution that states that creation came about by itself and nature evolved itself by mutation, natural selection and fixation, et cetera, is not acceptable in Islam.

Scientia non habet inimicum nisp ignorantem

- Science has no enemies but the ignorants

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