Modern day science and the Koran - part two.
Recap – from part 1…
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.
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.
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.
ATOM AND SUBATOMIC PARTICLES
3- Not even an atom’s weight in the heavens and the earth, or something smaller or greater than it is hidden from Him, but all are in a clear record.
The atom is the smallest particle of matter. God drew attention to the existence of the atom, laying emphasis on the importance of its knowledge. A naked eye looking at a table, a carpet, a wall or a stone cannot fully grasp the importance of the atom and the knowledge it contains. While the Quran stresses the importance of the atom, it emphasizes also the subatomic particles, “Or something smaller or greater than.” In the expression “greater than” is comprised the knowledge of the greater compositions like molecules, the entirety of which is within God’s ken.
Men contemporary with the Prophet could not possibly have known that in the atom and subatomic particles and their compounds different types of knowledge were comprised. The Quran asserts the omniscience of God. Drawing attention to the existence of the atom and the subatomic particles is relevant to the present day information that physics has discovered.
The knowledge obtained today by means of cosmological physics studying the science of the origin and structure of the universe are interrelated with the data of atomic physics. Another miraculous sign of the Quran is its referring to the weight (miskale in Arabic) of the atom wherever the word “zerre” (atom) is mentioned.
In my mind this is simply answered by the fact a non believer had already created the atom theory, as denoted by the following link. It would be reasonable to think an intelligent man though one that could not write would of heard of many Greek Philosophies on his travels as a merchant. I really don’t think Muhammad had a clue about sub particles and can not glean such from the short poetic verse.
Democritus believed that all material in the universe is made up of atoms, and that they are indivisible. The word "Atom" comes from the Greek word "atomos", which means indivisible. Democritus worked with Leucippus.Together they came up with the theory about the atom. Democritus was also the first philosopher to believe that the universe is expanding. Democritus’s works did not live through the Middle Ages; instead Aristotle had to keep them around. Democritus’ model was the first model of the atom. Democritus was smashing up sea shells one day and thought that you can break down the shell to tiny pieces, but it can not be completely destroyed. He thought that the shell, along with everything else was indivisible. This of course was proved wrong years later. But it took almost 2000 years for anyone else to even think of changing this. Important Dates Democritus lived from around 470 and 380 B.C. Democritus proposed the theory of the atomos in the year 400 B.C.
BLACK HOLES:MIGHTY OATH
75- So, I swear by the place where the stars fall.
76- And that is indeed a mighty oath, if you but knew.
56-The Inevitable, 75-76
The expression “place where... fall” (mawqi) also mentioned in the sura, The Cave (Kehf), verse 53, means the place where the sinners fall, i.e., hell. The root of this word is “WaQa’Aa” and it means the action of falling, a happening and an incidence. Stars perpetuate their existence with hydrogen bombs exploding in them. During these explosions a portion of matter is transferred into energy, emitting heat of immeasurably high temperature. Conversion of one gram of matter into energy may be obtained by burning two million kilograms of coal. For instance, in our sun-which is but a star of medium size-four billion kilograms of matter are converted into energy every second. A star uses but a small portion of its matter as fuel, and when this fuel is exhausted, it dies off. The lifetime that God designed for the living had also been apportioned for the stars. As new stars are born somewhere in the universe, the old ones bid farewell, as if saying: “We pass away, but our Creator is for ever abiding and his Creation is perpetual.”
I can not glean from this short verse any relationship to black holes however shooting stars maybe. Many ancient cultures thought that meteorites (shooting stars) were stars that fell from heaven. I am sure that the verse has nothing to do with black holes.
1- By the heavens and The Knocker.
2- How will you comprehend what the The Knocker is?
3- It’s a piercing star.
86-The Knocker, 1-3
The word “Tariq” stems from the root “TaRaQa” meaning “knocking, striking.” In many translations of the Quran this word was taken for a name and left untranslated. The word may also mean “to pulsate” like a beating heart, from which the word “pulsar” is derived, denoting an object that is far away in space, and like a star produces a regular radio signal.
Actually I find substance in the fact that some stars do pulse in the night sky and it an obvious sight than can be seen by the human eye. I place no value concerning this verse other than Muhammad like to watch the night sky like I do my self and made a similar observation I had made when I was five or 6 years old. I boldly asked my older brother “why does that star shine brighter and then dimmer other stars don’t”.
ATTRACTION AND MOTION
15- I swear by those that recede
16- By flowing that goes to nest
81-The Rolling, 15-16
To gain clearer insight into the meaning of these verses, let us see first the signification of the words used in Arabic. The Arabic word “hunnes” that we translate with the expression “Those that recede” also has the connotation of “shrinking,” “sinking,” “retrogression” and “regression.” On the other hand, the Arabic word “kunnes” means “to follow a definite itinerary,” “to return home” and also “nest of a moving object.” And the word “flowing” in the 16th verse is expressed by the word “jariye.”
We are inextricably bound by an indefinite number of scientific laws in our daily life, among which are the law of gravitation, the law of motion, the law of thermodynamics, etc. While we eat or relieve ourselves we are subject to the law of gravitation. When astronauts eat and relieve themselves in space, they have to take recourse to special arrangements in order to satisfy their demands, because their bodies were created according to the standards of the earth gravitation. Discoveries of scientists are not discoveries of the nonexistent, as their function is to throw light on those things that already exist.
Gravitational force has always existed in the universe. But it fell to the lot of Isaac Newton (1642-1727) to clarify it by describing it with mathematical formulas. Newton demonstrated by the law of gravitation that God’s creation was based on the law of gravity, which governs the stars, the earth, the moon, and that man’s erect posture was not a haphazard development, but was related to the gravitational force inherent in matter.
I can see motion in the verses but I have the feeling it does not mean what the cleric tries to suggest out of a few words that mean something completely different than he purveys. To me it mean I swear by those that retreat and go back home. Nothing scientific in that and gravitation is not mentioned what so ever.
ALL AFLOAT IN ORBITS
33- It is He who created the night and the day, and the sun, and the moon; each of them floating in an orbit.
21-The Prophets, 33
The word expressing totality in the Arabic language is “kullu” while the Arabic expression “tasniya” refers to any two objects. In the verse reference is made to the motion of two celestial bodies, namely the sun and the moon. However, the reason why “tasniya” is not used indicates that there should be more than two objects. If we suppose that the night and the day take place on the earth, the other object should be the earth. The Arabic word “falak” is used in Arabic to denote the orbit traced by stars and planets.
I noted with in the short verse that the sun is included in floating in an orbit of course at that time it was thought the sun orbited the earth. Hmmm cant see the verses as a revelation from god however I can see some Greek influences to Islamic Astrology
Hipparchus was born in Nicaea (now Iznik, Turkey) and probably died on the island of Rhodes. He is known to have been active at least from 147 BC to 127 BC. Hipparchus is considered the greatest astronomical observer, and by some the greatest astronomer of antiquity. He was the first Greek to develop quantitative and accurate models for the motion of the Sun and Moon. For this he made use of the observations and knowledge accumulated over centuries by the Chaldeans from Babylonia. He was also the first to compile a trigonometric table, which allowed him to solve any triangle. With his solar and lunar theories and his numerical trigonometry, he was probably the first to develop a reliable method to predict solar eclipses. His other achievements include the discovery of precession, the compilation of the first star catalogue, and probably the invention of the astrolabe. Claudius Ptolemaeus three centuries later depended much on Hipparchus. However, his synthesis of astronomy superseded Hipparchus's work: although Hipparchus wrote at least 14 books, only his commentary on the popular astronomical poem by Aratus has been preserved by later copyists. As a consequence, we know comparatively little about Hipparchus.
I feel that Hipparchus work and publications had a great deal with influencing Muhammad’s friends and advisors such as:
Umar ibn al-Khattāb who was Muhammad’s companion, military advisor and a very intelligent man that had consulted with various scholars and analyzed the Roman and Persian societies closely. I think that Umar also shared the love for poetry would of also known about the theories and work of Claudius Ptolemaes
Ptolemy was the author of two important scientific treatises. One is the astronomical treatise that is now known as the Almagest (in Greek Η μεγάλη Σύνταξις, "The Great Treatise"). It was preserved, like most of Classical Greek science, in Arabic manuscripts (hence its familiar name) and only made available in Latin translation (by Gerard of Cremona) in the 12th century.
In this work, one of the most influential books of Antiquity, Ptolemy compiled the astronomical knowledge of the ancient Greek and Babylonian world; he relied mainly on the work of Hipparchus of three centuries earlier. Ptolemy formulated a geocentric model (see: Ptolemaic system) of the solar system which remained the generally accepted model in the Western and Arab worlds until it was superseded by the heliocentric solar system of Copernicus. Likewise his computational methods (supplemented in the 12th Century with the Arabic computational 'Tables of Toledo') were of sufficient accuracy to satisfy the needs of astronomers, astrologers and navigators, until the time of the great explorations. They were also adopted in the Arab world and in India. The Almagest also contains a star catalogue, which is probably an updated version of a catalogue created by Hipparchus. Its list of 48 constellations is ancestral to the modern system of constellations, but unlike the modern system they did not cover the whole sky.
To be continued….
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