Critical Appraisal of Theories about Evolution of Darwin, the Bible and the Qur’an
By Dr. Bashir Ahmad
US


A fierce debate is in progress in America between the creationists, who now have adopted the theory of intelligent design, and those who believe in the evolution theory of Darwin.
The proponents of the intelligent design base this theory on the Old Testament.
“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”1
Professor Behe, the staunch proponent of intelligent design theory, points out the molecular complexity of the cells in support of the theory. He writes: “The elegance and complexity of biological systems at the molecular level have paralyzed science’s attempt to explain their origin.” For such systems, he writes, ‘a neo-Darwinian explanation is implausible because elements serving no function before full development of the entire system would not survive’.2

The Qur’anic Concept of Evolution
The Quran presents the firm concept of God – The Almighty, The Creator. Translation of a Quranic Verse:
“Blessed is he whose hand is the kingdom, and He has power over all things; it is He who has created death and life that He might try you – which of you is best in deeds; He is mighty, the Most Forgiving. The same who has created seven heavens in stages (Tibaqan). No incongruity can you see in the creation of the Gracious God; then look again: Do you see any flaw.”3
This verse very clearly points out that there is no contradiction in the entire universe created by God.
The word “Rabb” used in this verse in variably means someone, who continues to evolve something from a lower to a higher stage.
The Qur’an speaks of creation in a progressive step by step stages, which are well provided for, absolutely rejecting the concept of spontaneous generation – quite in contrast with the Old Testament.

Translation of Another Verse
“What is the matter with you that you expect not wisdom and staidness from Allah? While He has created you in different forms and every varying states.”4
The same theme is repeated in another verse: “That you shall assuredly pass from one stage to another.”5
It is to be noted that when the Quran speaks of some earlier forms of creations, it refers to them, as the creation of man while whatever was created at that time, had no semblance to him. Those stages were preparatory for the ultimate purpose in the creation of humans. The Qur’an is totally opposed to the biologists believing in the haphazard evolution, without a preset design.

The Qur’anic Concept in the Creation of Ancient Organisms
The Quranic verse: “And the jinn We created before that from blasts of fire.”6
This is a perfect description of bacteria which appeared about 4 billion years ago, when the earth’s surface was extremely hot, bombarded by cosmic radiation, and its atmosphere was free of oxygen. These bacteria drew their energy from heat and cosmic radiation.
According to the Hutchinson Dictionary of Science: “. . . The archaebacteria are related to the earliest life forms, which appeared about 4 billions years ago, when there was little oxygen in the earth’s atmosphere.”7
Brown T.A. writes in his book Genesis of Molecular Approach: “Since 1977 more and more differences between archaebacteria and other Prokaryotes have been found, so much so that microbiologists now favor the term archaea, to emphasize that these organisms are distinct from bacteria.”8
These bacteria appeared on the planet earth about 4 billion years ago:
Qur’anic Verses:
The verses are “and the Jinn We created before that (the creation of man) from the blast of fire (maris-samum).”9
And the Jinn He created from the flame of fire.10
Dickerson inadvertently agrees with the Qur’anic view when he observes that the most ancient organism: “ . . . would have lived on the energy of lightning and ultraviolet radiation . . . ”11
According to The Hutchinson Dictionary of Science: “. . . the archaebacteria are related to the earliest life forms, which appeared about 4 billion years ago, when there was little oxygen in the earth’s atmosphere.”12
After the end of the most ancient period of jinn, the following verses of the Qur’an stresses the point that water is essential for life:
“. . . with water did we create every living thing.”13
“He created man from dry ringing clay like pieces of pottery”14
“And surely, We created man from dry ringing clay made from stagnant blackish mud”15
Clay and silica played an important catalytic role in the concentration and polymerization of organic molecules. John Bernal writes in his book The Physical Basis of Life: “. . . The absorption of clays, mud and inorganic crystals are powerful means to concentrate and polymerize organic molecules . . . ”16
Sidney W. Fox has stressed the same theme: “. . . Showed that amino acids were capable of polymerizing fairly easily to yield peptides under various conditions simulating those which may have prevailed on the primitive earth. Polymerization may have been induced by electrical discharges, by heat (geothermal energy for example) or by contact with certain types of clay and phosphates.”17
It is worthy to note that the stagnant blackish mud described in the verse, quoted above, is the decayed organic mater consisting of dead archaebacteria which had proliferated over millions of years. This stagnant black mud, as the Qur’anic verse describes, has to be made into pottery like plates. Further drying, clay must have crystallized asymmetrically, thus becoming laminated into extremely thin layers, set one upon other, to form plates like pottery. Lamination increases the surface area of the laminated layer, with layers of water molecules separating them. This increases the surface area for absorbing molecules enormously.
Coyne, University of California, discussing the role of kaolinite clay in the early stages of chemical evolution, argues that they can gather energy from the environment (by radioactive processes), store it, and then release it when the clay is suitably disturbed, by wetting and drying.18
Through the interaction of molecules of various inorganic elements organic compounds are formed. All the amino acids are the bricks of proteins they are formed by the strecker’s synthesis, which involves two steps: the first step is the reaction of an aldehyde with a mixture of ammonia and HCN to yield an aminonitrile. The second step is the further hydrolysis of aminonitrile into amino acid.
But, the problem is that strecker synthesis is reversible, the consensus among the scientific community is that a dry stage has to be envisioned.
It is a dazzling brilliance of the Qur’an that over 1400 years ago it very accurately described this chemical reaction – which ultimately led to the creation of man. Let me repeat the translation of that verse: “And surely, we created man from dry ringing clay made from stagnant blackish mud.” Qur’an, 15:27.
Darwin failed to shed light on the limitless intricacies involved in the scheme of creation and the most exquisitely executed plan of evolution. All the same he attributed this most wonderful masterpiece to chance only.

Molecular Structure of the Genes
Structure of DNA (Doxyribonucleic acid) was deciphered by Watson and Crick. DNA together with RNA constitutes the fundamental bricks of life. It is challenging to envision the formation of these highly complex compounds, vital for the sustenance of life.
In a recent issue of Science, 7 April 2006, Jamie T. Bridgham et al have demonstrated the step-by-step progression in the creation of new molecular structures by modifying the existing one.
Charles Darwin wrote in his book on the origin of species: “If it would be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have formed numerous, successive, slight modification, my theory would absolutely break down.”
Dr. Thorton, Professor or Biology at the University of Oregon and the lead author of the article, focused on two hormone receptors, one is a component of stress response and the other, similar in shape is involved in the kidney function.
Hormones and hormone receptors are one, like a pair of keys and locks. The researchers found the modern equivalent of stress hormone receptor in lampreys and hogfish, two surviving jawless primitive species. They also found two modern equivalents of the receptor in skate, a fish related to sharks. On closer examination the genes that produced these receptors, it became evident that they were produced by a single common gene 450 million years ago, before animals emerged from oceans onto land, before the evolution of the bones.
The kidney-regulating hormone is Aldosterone and in-stress hormone is cortisol.
It turns out that the receptor for Aldosterone existed before Aldosterone. Aldosterone is found in land animals, which appeared tens of million years later. The same is true about cortisol hormone, which appeared much later.

Evidence for and against the I.D. Concept
Dr. Thornton said the experiment refutes the notion of “irreducible complexity” put forward by Michael J. Behe, a Professor of BioChemistry at Leigh University.
Holden Thorp Chairman of the chemistry department at the University of North has refuted the Intelligent Design Theory on the molecular basis. He writes: “Since evolution has been the dominant theory of biology for more than a century, it is a safe statement that all of the wonderful innovations in medicine and agriculture that we derive from biological research stem from the theory of evolution. Recent exciting examples are humanized antibodies like Remicade for inflammation and Herceptin for breast cancer, both initially made in mice. Without our knowledge of evolution of mice and humans and their immune systems, we would not have such life saving and life improving technologies….”22

Intelligent Design is Religious
A federal judge dealt a major setback to backers of the idea that some forms of life are so complex that they must be the products of an “intelligent designer.” Judge John Jones ruled that it is unconstitutional to teach the concept in public school science classes because it is a “religious view.”23
The challenges to evolution that go back to the 1925 trial, when a Tennessee high school science teacher was convicted of teaching Darwin’s Theory that humans and apes evolved from a common ancestor. Professor Stephen Macedo of Princeton University in his book titled “Does God Belong in Public Schools?” writes the following: “Teaching creationism in the full-blown Genesis version is teaching religion, even if the material is taught as creation science, scripture is not mentioned, and terms like abrupt appearance are substituted for divine creation. The difficulty is not that the theory has implication for some religious propositions, it’s the absence of any real scientific basis for the theory…..”24

Split between Human and Chimp Lines Suggested
It is based on the comparison of the human and chimp genomes.
The analysis was done by David Reich and Nick Patterson and colleagues at the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Mass. Based on the study of the fossil skull, the split was estimated to have occurred 7 million years ago, but by genetic analysis, the split period was moved closer to 5.4 million years ago.
Dr. Reich’s team suggests in an article published on May 18, 2006, in the highly acclaimed scientific journal Nature, that there were in fact splits between the human and chimp lineages, with the first being followed by interbreeding between the two populations, and then a second split.
Dr. Daniel E. Lieberman, a biological anthropologist at Harvard, said the following:
“If the earliest hominids are bipedal, it is hard to think of them interbreeding with the knuckle walking chimps -- it is not what we had in mind.”25 & 26
Olivia Judson, a research fellow at The Imperial College, London, writes the following under the caption - Affairs to Remember. “. . . By tint of evolutionary forensics, complex statistical analyses of DNA sequences, the researchers revealed that the ancestors of human and chimpanzees exchanged genes -- they had sex -- a million or so years more recently than we had thought.
Prudence aside, our ancestors’ antics are of no particular note. The claim that humans and chimpanzees started to become different species but then some individuals got back together for a final fling –- well, such shenanigans go on in nature all the time….”27
The story of evolution is fascinating, replete with struggle and survival, fun and frolic.

Bibliography

1. Old Testament 2 Chapter Genesis Ver 7.
2. Michael J. Behe, “Darwin’s Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution”
(New York: Touchstone Books 1998)
See also Michael J Behe “Molecular Machines; Experimental Support for the Design
Inference,” in Pennock, Intelligent Design Creationism,
3. Translation of the Qur’anic Verses 67:2-4.
4. Translation of the Qur’anic Verses 71: 14-15.
5. Translation of a Qur’anic Verse 84:20.
6. Translation of a Qur’anic Verse 15:28
7. The Hutchinson Dictionary Of Science (1993) Helicon
Publishing Ltd. Oxford, Page 37
8. Brown, T-A (1992) Genetic Tloecula v approach.
Champman & Hall London, P. 245
9. The Translation of The Qur’anic Verse—15:28
10. Translation of the Qur’anic Verse 55:16.
11. Dickerson, R.E. (September 1978) Chemical Evolution and the of Life.
( Scientific Anerica page 80)
12. The Hutchinson Dictionary of Science
( 1993) Helicon Publishing Ltd. Oxford Page 37.
13. The Translation of the Qur’anic Verse 21:23
14. Translation of the Qur’anic Verse 55:15.
15. Translation of the Qur’anic Verse 15:27
16. Barbieri (1985) The Semantic Theory of Evolution,
Harwood Academic Publishers, page 86.
17. Olomucki, M. (1993) The Chemistry of Life
McGraw-Hall, Inc. France, Page 55
18. Carins Smith A.G. June (1985) The First Organism.
Scientific America; page 100
19. Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species By Means of Natural Selection.
20. Jamie T. Bridghan, Sean M. Carroll, Joseph W. Thorton,
Evolution of Hormone-Receptor Complexity by Molecular Exploitation
Science Volume 312; 7th April 2006 page 97-100
21. Kenneth Chang Study in a First, Explains Evolution’s Molecular Advance.
The New York Times, April 7, 2006 Page A19.
22. Holdon Thorp. Evolutions Bottom Line.
Written by Holdon Thorp. New York Times, May 12, 2006
23. Title; Intelligent Design is Religious, Judge Says,
U.S.A. Today, 07347456, December 21, 2005.
24. Stephen Macedo, Princeton University,
Does God Belong in the Public Schools? 2005 Princeton University, Page 116
25. Patterson ET al. (2006) Genetic Evidence for Complex Speciation of Human and Chimpanzees,
Nature (advance on line publication) DO1:10-1038/Nature 04789.
26. Nicholas Wade, The Split Between Human and Chimp Lines Suggested.
The New York Times, May 18, 2006
27. Olivia Judson, Affairs to Remember, New York Times, May 28, 2006

 


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