Last Update: 26 Feb 00
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REPLY #85 TO
(R) I found your site while I was searching about evolution theory. Your criticisms against Creationism seemed well-supported and firmly based. However I am strongly dissappointed when I learnt you disbelieve in God. But this is probably due to the fact that you saw the religion and God with the eyes of a corrupted religion, namely Christianity.
(MB) I've seen everything through my own eyes and not through any others. I'd be interested in hearing your reasons for declaring Christianity to be a corrupted religion.
(R) As a Muslim, I find the workings of the universe in complete accordance with the sayings of Allah in the Qur`an, which is the last holy Book revealed by the Supreme-Creator.
(MB) This, of course, is the same sort of argument advanced by those who promote the holy books of many different religions. They all uphold the superiority of their own preferred book(s) and claim that all others are flawed. However, it should be obvious that no more than one of them can be right and that it is possible that *none* are right. The religious community will have to conclusively solve the problem of which of them has the market cornered on truth before those of us who are non-believers will accept any of their arguments.
(R) Indeed it is a matter of debate if you can prove the existence of a Creator by observing the universe alone. But as a physicist, I find the concept of an All-intelligent, All-knowlagdable and All-wise Creator impossible to deny.
(MB) How would that work? The science of physics is continuously accumulating evidence to show that such a Creator is unnecessary and has uncovered absolutely no evidence to support the existence of any such Creator -- much less one specific version of that Creator.
(R) Although this is my personal view, I think I can share why I think like that with you, with the hope of explaining the rationality of my situation. In Islam, we believe that every act in the universe is created by God, none of them excluded. So God did not only start the universe but is also sustaining it.
(MB) This is the same argument advanced in favor of all versions of supreme beings. I've asked this of Christians and now I'll ask you that same question. Why is your version correct and all others wrong?
(R) Why this is reasonable and the only acceptable explanation of happenings around us lie in the complexity and simplicity of the magnificent universe.
(MB) Doesn't calling this the "only acceptable explanation" commit the circular reasoning fallacy of presupposing the existence of the same entity that the argument is trying to support? If not, why is this the only acceptable explanation?
(R) Yes, Universe is both Complex and very Simple, as it may sound paradoxical. Because it is complex in structure and simple in rules governing this structure. This is exceedingly amazing for many of the great scientists like Einstein and Newton, and also for anybody who is a bit familiar with natural sciences.
(MB) The amazement of those great scientists and any other thinking person is that the answers are, in reality, so simple. It is a vindication of how well the natural processes work and of our understanding of them.
(R) Take the example of falling of a stone. While this simple event is going on, indeed all atoms in the universe affect the motion of this stone by exerting forces on it. For this process of falling to be accomplished according to the physical laws, every atom in the universe and our poor tiny stone should know the laws, positions of all other atoms and their physical properties relevant for the particular law of physics, in our case law of gravitation.
(MB) Don't make the invalid assumption that particles have some sort of inherent knowledge or intelligence just because they behave in consistent ways. Indeed, they couldn't do otherwise!
(R) Although this simple law is well-known by everybody, for example, nobody can explain WHY the bodies attract each other instead of repelling?
(MB) Physicists *do* know why this works. Einstein proved it with his relativity theories. Space is curved by the presence of matter. The motion of matter follows the contours of curved space. Since local space only curves in one direction (i.e., towards the most massive local object), what we call "gravity" will always be observed to be an attractive force.
(R) WHY does every particle OBEY these laws? How can the mindless particles KNOW and BEHAVE according to the very specified MATHEMATICAL LAWS ? Do they know mathematics? Or do they have eyes to see all over the universe? Or do they have power to control all of the universe to make these particles OBEY their agreed laws?
(MB) Particles behave the way they do because they couldn't possibly do otherwise. If I roll a marble around the rim of a bowl, it will always end up at the bottom of the bowl. This is not because the marble "knows" how to behave. It's because it can't do otherwise.
(R) Where do these laws come from? And how are they so fine-tuned that everything around us with such complexity and diversity follow from these few simple and elegant laws? Why there are any laws at all? None of these questions are answerable in terms of scientific methods or inquiry.
(MB) Yes, they are and they have been answered in those terms. Linde's chaotic inflation and multiverse theories provide many of the answers.
(R) Since they contain the question why? You may choose to accept that Physical Laws are the ultimate explanation, as many scientisits do. But this position seems silly and nonsense because laws are conceptual beings that show the regularity and the order of the universe.
(MB) Not at all. The "Why?" questions could easily be answered "Why not?". Since the universe is so inherently simple, there's little reason to think that its creation would have required the intervention of any sort of deity. And, of course, any such claim begs the question of the existence of such a deity. If one can't accept that an inherently simple universe could always have existed or could have been created exclusively through natural and knowable processes, how can that same person then accept the eternal existence of an infinitely-complex deity?
(R) Saying that laws do these things means indeed saying that atoms or particles have the power and knowledge to act harmoniously and intelligently, as intelligent as an All-Intelligent God.
(MB) Not at all. It is a far more coherent explanation to understand that particles behave in simple and consistent ways since they can't do otherwise.
(R) So instead of worshipping countless gods, as much as particles in the universe, Islam invites us to believe One God and not any other gods. This means you have to belive in some gods whether or not you know.
(MB) Why must we believe in any Gods whatsoever? If we must, why must that God be Allah (or any other specific deity)?
(R) You can choose the nature or yourself as god, but in the Hereafter when we see the real and only God, we will remember the eternal words of Allah saying:
(MB) We don't have to choose *anything* as "God". We can rationally believe that the Universe is here on its own and that there are no such things as any "hereafter" or "God".
(R) [bani Isra'il 17:70] We have honoured the sons of Adam; provided them with transport on land and sea; given them for sustenance things good and pure; and conferred on them special favours, above a great part of our creation.
[bani Isra'il 17:71] One day We shall call together all human beings with their (respective) Leaders: those who are given their record in their right hand will read it (with pleasure), and they will not be dealt with unjustly in the least.
[bani Isra'il 17:72.10] But those who were blind in this world, will be blind in the hereafter, and most astray from the Path.
(MB) Why should these verses be accepted when similar verses in other religion's holy books must be brushed aside? It is a logical fallacy to claim that any such book is self-referentially true. I've pointed this out on numerous occasions to Christians who support all of their claims by quoting Bible verses. The same reasoning applies to Muslims who quote the Qu'ran, to Hindus who quote the Bhagavad Gita, to Zoroastrians who quote the Avesta, etc.
(R) Because not to see these signs are a sign of blindness:
[al-Baqarah 2:164.74] Lo! In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the difference of night and day, and the ships which run upon the sea with that which is of use to men, and the water which Allah sendeth down from the sky, thereby reviving the earth after its death, and dispersing all kinds of beasts therein, and (in) the ordinance of the winds, and the clouds obedient between heaven and earth: are signs (of Allah's Sovereignty) for people who have sense.
(MB) What "signs" are being proposed here? Are you claiming that Allah exists simply because rain falls and wind blows?
(R) And there are signs in the Qur`an for the scientifically minded people too:
[adh-Dhariyat 51:47] We constructed the sky with our hands, and we will continue to expand it. ( expansion of the universe, Hubble law, etc.)
(MB) In this sense, to "expand" something means to add more to it. It does not mean that the sky itself is expanding. By the way, who is "we" in this verse? I thought that Allah was a one-and-only deity?
(R) [al-Anbiya' 21:30] Do not the disbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were a closed up-mass, then WE opened them out ? And WE made of water every living thing. Will they not then believe ? (Big-Bang, theory of evolution, importance of water for life, etc.)
(MB) This is a good example of "retroactive prophecy" that is analogous to many Christian claims on behalf of the validity of the Genesis creation account.
(R) [al-Mu'minun 23:12] We created the human being from a certain kind of mud.
(MB) Who believes that humans are made from mud of any kind?
(R) [al-Mu'minun 23:13] Subsequently, we reproduced him from a tiny drop, that is placed into a well protected repository.
[al-Mu'minun 23:14] Then we developed the drop into a hanging (embryo), then developed the hanging (embryo) into a bite-size (fetus), then created the bite-size (fetus) into bones, then covered the bones with flesh. We thus produce a new creature. Most blessed is GOD, the best Creator.
(MB) Nomadic people who raise domesticated animals are well aware of how the process of breeding works. Its description is hardly any evidence of divine intervention or action.
(R) The comments for these verses are from the famous embryologist Keith L. Moore.
"When we asked Professor Moore to give us his analysis of the Quranic verses and prophetic statements, he was amazed. He wondered how the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam), fourteen centuries ago, could describe the embryo and its development phase in such detail and accuracy, which scientists have come to know only in the last thirty years. Very quickly, however, Professor Moores amazement grew into admiration for this revelation and guidance. He introduced these views to intellectual and scientific circles. He even gave a lecture on the compatibility of modern embryology with the Quran and Sunnah where he stated:
`It has been a great pleasure for me to help clarify statements in the Quran about human development. It is clear to me that these statements must have come to Muhammad from Allah, or God, because almost all of this knowledge was not discovered until many centuries later. This proves to me that Muhammad must have been a messenger of Allah.` "
(MB) How does a recognition of a process that has been witnessed billions of times prove anything about any revelation of Allah to Muhammad? Also, since Christians can offer similar claims in favor of Yahweh and the Bible that have been made by Christian scientists, what makes those claims wrong while ones made in favor of Allah and the Qu'ran are right?
(R) Allah said in the Quran: Soon will we show them our signs in the (furthest) regions (of the earth), and in their own souls, until it becomes manifest to them that this is the truth. Is it not enough that thy Lord does witness all things? (Quran 41:53).
(MB) The Bible quotes Jesus as saying similar things. Needless to say, none of these signs has yet materialized. If they had, there would be little left to debate.
(R) After having realized through examples of scientific miracles in the Qur'aan as well as knowing the related comments of the objective scientists on them, let us ask ourselves these questions: a) Could it be a coincidence that all this recently discovered scientific information from different fields was mentioned in the Qur'aan which was revealed 14 centuries ago?
(MB) No more so than all similar "revelations" that were written into the Bible upwards of 30-40 centuries ago. I'd be far more impressed if these revelations were in unmistakeable language instead of in vague terms and broad generalities which require favorable interpretations.
(R) b) Could this Qur'aan have been authored by Muhammad (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam) or by any other human being?
(MB) Why not? Man has written many wonderful, insightful, and far-reaching books in his history. Why isn't the Qu'ran just another example?
(R) The only possible answer to that is that the Qur'aan must be the literal word of God (Allah) revealed by Him. The Qur'aan is the literal word of Allah which He revealed to His Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam) through the Angel Jibreel (Gabriel). It was memorized by Muhammad (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam) who then dictated it to his companions. They in turn memorized it, wrote it down, and reviewed it with the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam).
(MB) Once again, what is the difference between this claim and all similar claims made by other religions concerning their particular holy books? No such book or claim is "true" simply because believers swear to it.
(R) When you believe in Islam, you will not have the problems like contradicting science or restricting yourself, etc, because true religion and true science never contradict. Conversely, they assist each other, because universe and man is the creation of the same God who revealed His eternal message, Islam.
(MB) One more time. This is exactly the same claim made by Henry Morris and the other pushers of Fundamentalist Christian Creationism. They claim that there is not the slightest chance that science could ever contradict the Bible. I assume that you don't accept that claim. Why, then, should your similar claim be accepted?
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