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Islam and Evolution
December 17, 2008 9:31 AM   Subscribe

Bracing for Islamic Creationism (PDF). "To avoid a vast rejection of evolution in the Muslim world, scientists can present the theory as the bedrock of biology and can stress its practical applications." [Via]
posted by homunculus (47 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your point of view), it works whether one rejects it or not. The natural world is indifferent to opinion and dogma.
posted by Mapes at 9:44 AM on December 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


Hooray for kazakhstan!

borat_thumbs_up.jpg
posted by fleetmouse at 9:45 AM on December 17, 2008


it works whether one rejects it or not.

But it only works for the good of humanity if we understand it. It's like saying the Earth is round whether we believe that or not. True, but only if we believe it will we be able to have communication satellites.
posted by DU at 9:51 AM on December 17, 2008 [3 favorites]


Since Islam, Judaism, and Christianity all fork at the same point (Abraham) we always assumed the creationism dogma was inherent in all three. Were we wrong?
posted by An Infinity Of Monkeys at 9:53 AM on December 17, 2008


Judaism and Christianity forked at Jesus (or Paul).
posted by DU at 9:55 AM on December 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


Perhaps forked was the wrong choice of word. "Common ancestor"?
posted by An Infinity Of Monkeys at 9:58 AM on December 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


I don't think there are any Jewish creationists, unless if some nebbish is arguing it just to prove a point.
posted by shii at 9:58 AM on December 17, 2008


I don't think there are any Jewish creationists

Are you counting Hasids and Chabads in that broad statement?
posted by Pollomacho at 10:10 AM on December 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


oh the accommodations made to lessen the fear of shadows.
posted by mandal at 10:13 AM on December 17, 2008 [4 favorites]


Hasids and Chabads are so "nebbish" it ain't even funny.
posted by gman at 10:14 AM on December 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


Since Islam, Judaism, and Christianity all fork at the same point (Abraham) we always assumed the creationism dogma was inherent in all three. Were we wrong?

For the most part, yes. As it says in the second link:
There are subtle differences in the way Muslims and Christians approach evolution. For example, the age of the Earth is not an issue for Muslims. The account of creation in the Qur'an, like its Biblical counterpart, involves six stages or 'days'. The length of each period, however, is not specified in the Qur'an. In one passage, the period is defined as "in a day the measure of which is a thousand years of what you count" (32:5) and in another as " ... a day the measure of which is fifty thousand years" (70:4).

The resulting ambiguity leaves open the possibility of a very old Earth. Indeed, so-called young Earth creationism – which asserts that the planet is between 6000 and 10,000 years old – is wholly absent in the Muslim world and a universe billions of years old is commonly accepted.

In addition, there are religious scholars who find evolution to be compatible with Islam. For example, Dr Israr Ahmed in Pakistan believes that God works through the process of evolution. Similarly, south Asian poet and philosopher Mohammad Iqbal, writing in the early 20th century, accepted evolution and even credited the idea to Muslim philosophers of the 9th and 11th centuries. So there are voices within Islam that do not find evolution fundamentally opposed to religion.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:17 AM on December 17, 2008 [4 favorites]


Yeah, I always thought that Muslims escaped most of this by not getting all stump-fucking stupid during the Dark Ages. Though I wouldn't be tremendously surprised if the current run of yokels and cave-dwellers latched on to it, since the anti-modernist reactionary ideology is common to them and the American idjits who promote this stuff.
posted by klangklangston at 10:31 AM on December 17, 2008 [6 favorites]


I should add to the "for the most part" description by saying that if by "creationism dogma" you meant "the belief that God created the Earth", then I guess yes.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:34 AM on December 17, 2008


IIRC antisemitism and homophobia were also imports from Christianity. Clearly at some point they got concerned about at stupidity gap and felt the need to take action.
posted by Artw at 10:34 AM on December 17, 2008 [3 favorites]


I have doubts that there will be rise in creationist belief in the Islamic world to the same extent as there is in this country. A rejection of evolution merely because it has its atheist proponents seems unlikely but you never know what the Salafi/Wahhabis will find to fixate on next.
posted by nikitabot at 10:36 AM on December 17, 2008


The question isn't what the fundies of a particular religion will profess to believe next. The question is how much power those fundies have to implement their beliefs politically, economically and academically. For instance, we could totally eliminate creationism in the US if we had a couple generations of unencumbered-by-mythology biology classes. But the idiots have too much control to let that happen. (They can't set the agenda most places, but by raising "doubt" and evoking "controversy" they can slow things down.)
posted by DU at 10:43 AM on December 17, 2008






I first came across Harun Yahya through this delightfully deluded book on spiders called "The miracle in the Spider", where he describes a variety of strategies that spiders use. It's actually a nice summation of spider natural history, and he then goes on to attribute everything to God's plan.
posted by dhruva at 11:11 AM on December 17, 2008


Probably we should add a general disclaimer to all statements regarding major world religions pointing out that many posses "crazy" and "non-crazy" wings and that most if not all negative statements are in general relating to the "crazy" wing, with the existance of "non-crazy" accepted as a given. My above comment very much included.

Seeing as no one runs arounds shouting LOLCHRISTIANS style complaints when a post is about muslims and all
posted by Artw at 11:21 AM on December 17, 2008


Yeah, I always thought that Muslims escaped most of this by not getting all stump-fucking stupid during the Dark Ages.

I was under the impression that Biblical literalism was actually a fairly recent development - the past few hundred years at most, really.
posted by FatherDagon at 11:47 AM on December 17, 2008


I doubt this will catch on in the muslim world. For all the crap they take, the Muslims are too smart for this. They invented alcohol, algebra, algorithms, arabic numerals, modern medicine, and they were distilling petroleum products a thousand years ago. If it weren't for the mongols sacking Baghdad we'd probably all be writing in arabic script right now.
posted by mullingitover at 11:51 AM on December 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


For instance, we could totally eliminate creationism in the US if we had a couple generations of unencumbered-by-mythology biology classes.

This wouldn't happen even if school were a perfect execution of the purist logical and scientific thinking. You underestimate the amount of stupid that can be packed into evenings and weekends.
posted by CaseyB at 11:54 AM on December 17, 2008


I was under the impression that Biblical literalism was actually a fairly recent development - the past few hundred years at most, really.

Heresy!
posted by Pollomacho at 11:55 AM on December 17, 2008


I'm a Jew and I think the world started at the moment of my birth and will end the moment I die. But I don't think many Jews share this belief. It is because I am an egomaniac and a pananoiac who thinks the whole world is an illusion just to fool me.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:02 PM on December 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


[Muslims] invented...arabic numerals...

Sorry
posted by DU at 12:08 PM on December 17, 2008


"I was under the impression that Biblical literalism was actually a fairly recent development - the past few hundred years at most, really."

Biblical Literalism and Fundamentalism are fairly recent movements, but Creationism is as old as recorded history. That Creationism was taken on authority of the Church rather than the text doesn't distinguish it functionally.
posted by klangklangston at 12:14 PM on December 17, 2008


It is because I am an egomaniac and a pananoiac who thinks the whole world is an illusion just to fool me.

I've got some bad news and some worse news.

Bad news is you're wrong about being an egomaniacal paranoic.
Worse news is you are right about us being out to fool you.
posted by Pollomacho at 12:17 PM on December 17, 2008


I'm a Jew and I think the world started at the moment of my birth and will end the moment I die. But I don't think many Jews share this belief. It is because I am an egomaniac and a pananoiac who thinks the whole world is an illusion just to fool me.

Oh yeah? I'm a solipsist myself and I resent your attempt to supplant me as the wellspring of existence.

*wills you to vanish*
posted by fleetmouse at 12:19 PM on December 17, 2008


If I were a man who was more dedicated to a joke, I would suspend my own account right now.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:40 PM on December 17, 2008 [6 favorites]


-I'm a Jew and I think the world started at the moment of my birth and will end the moment I die. But I don't think many Jews share this belief. It is because I am an egomaniac and a pananoiac who thinks the whole world is an illusion just to fool me.

-Oh yeah? I'm a solipsist myself and I resent your attempt to supplant me as the wellspring of existence.


Guys, relax. We're all characters in some alien's simulated universe game. Just keeping being interesting and you'll get rezzed.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:47 PM on December 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


And I really hope I don't get prawned for that typo. SPARE ME, ALIEN SUPERGENIUS
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:50 PM on December 17, 2008


Yeah, I always thought that Muslims escaped most of this by not getting all stump-fucking stupid during the Dark Ages. Though I wouldn't be tremendously surprised if the current run of yokels and cave-dwellers latched on to it,

There is a reasonable argument to be made that the few couple of hundred years are, in much of the Islamic world (certainly the classical Islamic world on the Middle East and North Africa), the Dark Ages.
posted by rodgerd at 1:17 PM on December 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


From the second link: How should scientists respond to the rising challenge of creationism in the Muslim world? Despite surveys showing hostility towards evolution, there is also an overwhelmingly pro-science attitude.

I would like to think that in this area Islam would go back to it's roots. A lot of people criticize the Muslim culture for living in a modern version of the middle ages, yet they accomplished a bunch of cool stuff back then, so I would sincerely hope that they can see that their religion can (and has) easily co-exist(ed) with science, and not fall prey to the stupid that says things like the only people who believe that evolution can be right must be atheists.
posted by quin at 1:58 PM on December 17, 2008


Science and religion are not tribal flags you can rally behind and fight each other over. Actually, they can be, and you can do that, and as long as you don't advertise you are doing it, I don't care. Whether you believe one is more 'true' than the other has 0 real world effect. If we're going to be trying to influence other people we should be influencing them to like read fucking books, and not suck dick when they're 12 years old.
posted by norabarnacl3 at 2:04 PM on December 17, 2008


We get both science and wingnut "science" books in my office occasionally. One day, we were sent a copy of what was some kind of Muslim literalist science book. I sort of assumed it would follow the same model as the Christian "science" books we're sometimes sent ("Science is wrong on such and such a topic, because the Bible says..."), but as I looked at it later, it turned out I was wrong: the overwhelming pattern was "Science? No prob. The Koran predicted that." I mean, from genetic engineering to climate change: "Here's the surah. It's all God's will."

Now, it looked like there was quite a bit of textual contortion going on to justify everything, but it did make me see that it's possible to have a pretty literal interpretation of your holy book and still accept the science that's happening all around you.

In some ways, it made the anti-evolution sort all the more reprehensible.
posted by Amanojaku at 2:09 PM on December 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


What
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:12 PM on December 17, 2008


Well that's quite a nuanced position.
posted by Artw at 2:17 PM on December 17, 2008


I think that if we encourage people to read fucking books, and not suck dick when they're 12 years old, we might be a little bit hypocritical.
posted by Lemurrhea at 2:17 PM on December 17, 2008


I think we need clarification as to whever "fucking" is descriptive or just used for emphasis there, tbh.
posted by Artw at 2:33 PM on December 17, 2008


Metafilter: reading fucking books and sucking dicks when we were 12 years old
posted by R_Nebblesworth at 3:37 PM on December 17, 2008


If we're going to be trying to influence other people we should be influencing them to like read fucking books, and not suck dick when they're 12 years old.

How about giving handjobs on the first date?
posted by homunculus at 4:46 PM on December 17, 2008


That was a reference to the original Nora Barnackle's first date with Joyce, btw. I just realized how bad that must sound without context.
posted by homunculus at 11:19 PM on December 17, 2008


Sure it was homunculus.

Want to grab a coffee?
posted by Pollomacho at 4:18 AM on December 18, 2008


Only if you promise to keep your hands off my creamer.
posted by homunculus at 1:58 PM on December 18, 2008




The 'first true scientist'
posted by homunculus at 11:25 AM on January 5, 2009


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