Modern day science and the Koran (part one).
Some time ago I read a pamphlet on science in the Koran and it was aimed at the young Islamic students. The problem I found with the claims that selected verses in the Koran were expanded to suit the needs of the Cleric’s of the Islamic group that published the indoctrination Pamphlet. Over the years I have seen new claims on the meanings of other selected verses.
On research I found an interesting Web Site that is dedicated in matching verses of the Koran to science. I thought it would be a good idea in placing a center line balance on the Cleric’s claims http://www.quranmiracles.com/.
I am an atheist that respects the religious but queries the beliefs and the indoctrination, I do try to be fair and balanced of which I mean to illustrate here in this article.
Seemingly some years ago a group of clerics thought that the Koran should be at one with modern science and uses that oneness to prove God exists and the great knowledge given to Muhammad a simple desert merchant and trader, the first claim.
47- With power did We construct heaven. Verily, We are expanding it.
51-The Dispersing, 47
Is the universe infinite? Or is it finite in a steady state? From the very beginning this has been a subject of debate between great minds. Hot debates and ratiocination of all kinds failed to clarify this dilemma. This had once been the subject of philosophical speculations before it yielded its place to the science of physics. Some of the great minds argued that the universe was not a confined space, while others contended that its boundaries were drawn. The Quran describes it as a continuously expanding and dynamic universe. According to this description, the universe has a new aspect every instant that deviates from the concept of an infinite space; its perpetual expansion defies the concept of a confined and steady state universe. Thus, the Quran propounds a third alternative, leaving the heated controversy of thinkers in abeyance.
This to me shows the great knowledge gathered about the universe be ancient scholars, the stars of course provided navigation through the wilderness of the deserts and at sea for merchants and traders. The fact that heavenly bodies move and records where kept by ancient scholars and that knowledge had not been completely lost at the time of the writing of the Koran. Tells me such information would have been passed to Muhammad on his trade related journeys and of course later he would have been an attraction to scholars having created a new religion and as a leader of the new culture of Islam. One would certainly not need a telescope to relate that space is expanding, such a revelation could be made on positions of stars over a very long period of time. It also could be a good guess or theory. Or the verse could mean something completely different such as the expansion of the new faith or space for the new believers in heaven. The later make sense to me.
30- Do not these disbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were an integrated mass, which We then split, and from water We made all living things? Will they not believe even then?
21-The Prophets, 30
We deduce from the contents of this verse that it admonishes the unbelievers for ignoring the apparent miracles. The atheists’ basic contention is that matter has no beginning and that it is the matter that has generated everything, both living and inanimate things, by fortuitous act. The Big Bang theory refutes the basic assertion of atheism in positing that the universe and time had a beginning. “Do not these disbelievers see that...?” is significant. And as it is implied by this verse, the fact that the heavens and the earth were in a state of unity before they were rent asunder was something indeed conceivable by the human mind. The 1900s were the years during which scientific discoveries succeeded each other. Those were the years in which some people tried to point out the contradiction between science and religion. It was presumptuous of them as their whims had been indulged by the prosperity generated by the industrial revolution to idolize matter, daring to substitute it for God. The fact that matter was created - that it had had beginning - as proven by the Big Bang theory, was a blow for unbelievers. The concluding sentence of the verse “Will they not believe even then?” is significant in that history confirmed the truth of this and the unbelievers remained adamant despite evidence produced.
The verse bemuses me, well at least the clerics explanation does. In my opinion the verse means.
Non believers do not realize the ties between heaven an earth, at first heaven was part of the earth then God split heaven away from earth and then created living beings to live on earth, that God made everything on earth. Why can’t the non believers believe.
It has nothing to do with modern scientific discoveries what so ever, I can not understand how the cleric match this to modern science its thread is a very thin one and that’s for sure.
117- Creator of the heavens and the earth from nothingness, He has only to say when He wills a thing, “Be,” and it is.
2-The Cow, 117
The Arabic word “beda’a” means creation of something out of nothing. This word also connotes the fact that something is created not on a pattern previously designed of something but as a completely new entity having no precedence. The greatest marvel of the creation is the creation of all concepts out of nothing. Think of the spectrum of colors. None of us can visualize a color that we have not already seen, nor can we produce that color. We are familiar with colors that already exist, but we cannot possibly create a new color. God, on the other hand, created all colors at a time when the concept of color did not exist, just as the universe did not exist before. To create a concept and its range of contents out of nothing is beyond human imagination and power.
Atheists contend that matter existed from eternity, that it had no beginning and that all formations evolved fortuitously. For example, in his books, famous materialist theoretician George Politzer contends that the universe was not created; had it been so, the universe would have been the work of a God who would have created it at a given moment out of nothing, that in order to be able to accept the theory of creation, one had to posit the existence of a moment when there was no universe, as it was to emerge from the void.
Well this claim has to be logically true, but I disagree with the cleric as I have my own view of creation and there is no God or Gods involved. But it is easy to see how this verse was formulated and its not some fantastic claim other than that a God is involved and that leads to the question Who made this God?
I rather like my own theory much better its much more logic
The actual theory is that prior to the existence of atoms nothing exists but an empty very dense void. But voids have to be filled as they can not contain complete nothingness, something has to exist. This meant the very material of the void split asunder (the big bang) into matter and antimatter. Both products and their energies can be seen in the universe anti matter and dark energy are attracting interest within the science community.
At the time of writing I did not know that my theory extended beliefs of other theorist so I correct my article
I thought I hit on a very new idea but what I really have done is extended the theories and philosophy of some very incredible thinkers, scholars of ancient history. I thought I had invented new word the terms Atomism and Atomist but I was wrong.
But my theory really answers the question of how the universe was created out of nothing ( beda’a)
11- Then He turned to the heavens, and it was in a gaseous state. And said to it, and the earth; “Come into existence, willingly or unwillingly.” They said, “We come willingly.”
“Dukhan” is the word used in Arabic for smoke, vapor and gaseous matter. It appears that the universe was a gaseous mass before it reached the state - by the will of God - from which the universe and the earth came to be.
We know that our world, the sun and the stars did not come about immediately after the primeval explosion. For the universe was in a gaseous state before the formation of the stars. This gaseous state was initially made of hydrogen and helium. Condensation and compression shaped the planets, the earth, the sun and the stars that were but products of the gaseous state. The discovery of these phenomena has been rendered possible thanks to successive findings as a result of observations and theoretical developments. The knowledge of all contemporary communities during the time of the Prophet would not suffice for the assertion that the universe had once been in a gaseous state. The Prophet himself did not claim to be the author of the statements in the Quran as it often reminded, declaring that he is simply a messenger of God.
I disagree with the cleric we should not disregard the understanding of the universe by Arab scholars and we must realize that Muhammad had collected many scholars with in his court of advisors. The verse shows to me that astronomy was truly at a very advance state at the time of the writing of the Koran. We must also relate to the fact that Mohammad did not write the Koran and it was wrote after his death, in fact the standardized version was not wrote until 21 years after his death. The verses are said to have been memorized by chant and that’s why the Koran is in a poetic format. There are stories that chants were wrote on leafs and stones etc as well as being memorized. I am certainly not in awe by a God but the correctness of the theory of the scholars in astronomy at this time. Much of this learning was lost and destroyed in later Islamic history.
7- By the Sky with its ingeniously devised paths (orbits).
51-The Dispersing, 7
The Arabic expression “zat-ul hubuk” means ingeniously devised paths (orbits). The expression connotes beautifully designed formations. The scintillating brilliance of the stars that has enchanted us ever since the beginning of our existence, the incomparable sight unfolded across the sky has always attracted our attention, overwhelming us. Numerous poems and prose works describe the charming sensations that the sky generates in the human breast. The rising and setting of the sun, the phases of the moon, the sky studded with stars give the picture of a steady state universe. The universe full of its orbits is not visible to the naked eye. Stars that move at incredible speeds seem stationary to us. The fact that all stars and heavenly bodies are in motion was only scientifically established after the discovery of the telescope and the advance of science. The number of galaxies in the universe exceeds hundreds of millions, each comprising more than one hundred million stars, some larger and some smaller than the sun. Our sun is comparably of middle size. These stars have many planets like the earth and the planets have their satellites like our moon. All these have come about after having detached from one single point. All these stars and planets and satellites have their respective orbits. The omnipotence of God is conspicuous in His creation. God who originated everything from a single point demonstrated that the skill involved was not inherent in that point; having generated from it billions of celestial bodies displayed the endlessness of His power and facility. Every one of these bodies moves in its own orbit so that the state of the universe changes every second. This variation takes place by the motion within the respective orbit of every star, planet and satellite. Every moment in the universe is a new occurrence: so is every instant of a star, a planet and a satellite.
To much has been made of concerning this small verse, here again I am in awe by Arab astronomy but this was accumulated down the ages and we must take in account the interest in the stars and planets have a very interesting history that goes back many, many more centuries.
The first five claims are made on small fragmented verses; some could have completely different meanings other than scientific ones. However I have balanced off the claims with my personal opinion and I would be interested to know the opinions of my readers. Please do not offer red herrings such as other scientific claims concerning the Koran as these claims will be published in a series of articles over the next few weeks.
17:36] Do not follow anything without knowledge. I have given you the hearing, the eyesight, and the brain, and you are responsible for using them.
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