Some Problems with Evolution

Nothing gets most secular scientists more perturbed than when they hear people denying Evolution. On the other hand, it seems that nothing makes them happier than having religious people affirming Evolution as fact and how it doesn’t clash with their belief in God. One does not have to go further than how often Theodosius Dobzhahnsky’s 1973 essay “Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution” is brought up, or believing Catholics like evolutionary biologist Kenneth Miller are promoted to tell all those irrational religionists that Evolution is not a theory, but a fact to give bolstering for its validity with the faithful.

I thought I should just address a couple of things here about this matter. The purpose of this article is simply to address a little of the confusion that is running rampant without restraint, because terms are not being defined properly by those discussing this subject.

The first issue at hand is this business with the word “theory”. On the one hand the public uses the term to mean an unsubstantiated opinion, or baseless conjecture and guesses. On the other hand, in science the term is used in a more stringent way. When we speak of a theory at the lab bench, we are speaking of a number of well-established propositions that were based on repeated observations, which have been confirmed to have predictive power when tested for their veracity. A theory in scientific terminology is not some pie in the sky idea. It is something that is used on a daily basis in labs across the world while conducting experiments to produce expected results. The stronger the predictive power of the theory, the more established it becomes.

It should be pointed out here that just because a theory has strong predictive power for observations, this does not necessarily make it true. Einstein said it best when he said, “it is the theory that determines what we observe”. This is explained through Thomas Kuhn’s acknowledgment of how much of the data generated in science is “theory-laden”, which refers to the fact that when scientists design an experiment, they are guided by their theories in mind. If an experiment is designed based on a theory, the observations cannot be truly considered objective, because the design of the theory-based experiment can drive the observations to confirm the theory itself. In logic, this is a form of fallacy called circular reasoning. Not to mention the conundrum of Hume’s Problem of Induction. This is why whether scientists, and those who worship science, want to accept it or not, despite having strong predictive powers, theories will always be a form of conjecture. Albeit, it is a stronger form of conjecture than the public would try to make it to be.

So when we speak about Evolution in a scientific sense, we are speaking about a set of propositions, which have strong predictive powers that guide biological studies to arrive at findings that seem to confirm it. I do not like the terms “prove” and “fact” when it comes to science because they are just too strong to use if one truly understands the underlying realities behind how science is conducted. I can see why those who reject Evolution despite all of this “evidence” can trouble secular scientists. How can they not when it is so “obvious” that Evolution is a “fact”? However, I think they would be less troubled if they took into account the reality of how science functions. For one thing, if it were not for anomalous findings that do not necessarily agree with Evolutionary theory, it would have been called a Law instead of a theory.

The second issue that seems to never go away when it comes to this business with Evolution is the fallacious use of authority. Just because Dr. John Doe is some big hotshot scientist who says Evolution is fact, it does not make it so. Moreover, Dr. John Doe’s being a believing religious man, does not all of a sudden give him any more authority than he had before so as to make Evolution a fact. It is foolishness to believe something simply because the scientific man in the white lab coat, or for that matter the religious man in the white robe, said it is true. The content of what is being said has to be examined, and the soundness of it must be tested before it can be accepted.

The final issue I have with how Evolution is discussed is the fallacious comparison with Gravity. The assumption underlying the comparison, which seems to go unnoticed by those making the comparison, is that each theory deals with the same type of observation. That could not be further from the truth. In Gravity, we have an immediate effect. Take a book, raise it up, let go, and it immediately drops. Take a feather and a cannon ball, go up to the roof of a building, release them at the same time, they immediately drop, make some calculations, and you get the same downward acceleration for both. These are the immediate effects that are readily observed by the experimenter. Evolution on the hand is a different story. One of the major conditions for Evolution to make it possible for it to give rise to the diversity seen is the timescale that extends to the 4.5 billion year old age of the Earth. Conveniently, or inconveniently depending on your perspective, this is not in anyway a realistic time scale for anyone to carry out an experiment that directly proves Evolution in the same way Gravity can be proven. I am talking pure phenomenology here.

When one examines the process by which Gravity acts, and the process by which Evolution is proposed to act, it makes the equating of the two problematic. They cannot be grouped under the same heading, and when they are spoken about as theories, the conjecture behind Gravity is most definitely not even close to the conjecture when it comes to Evolution. For one thing, you can observe the process of Gravity happening right in front of you, whereas the same is not possible for Evolution. After a bit of reflection, it becomes obvious that this is just a clever and elaborate fallacy of equivocation. The danger here is that it relies on transferring of the granted acceptance of one concept to a different one, which may not be so readily acceptable.

The closest anyone has come to giving direct proof of Evolution, which is not even close to being called close, is Richard Lenski with his work on E. coli that started in 1988, where he grew it for 50,000 generations. It takes this bacterium 20 minutes to double by the way; so do not let the impressive 50,000 generations number impress you too much. His continuing “long-term” study has gotten E. coli to utilize citric acid in addition to taking up some other “evolutionary adaptations”. While this study is typically pushed as having shown the bacteria becoming more fit in the culture’s environment they were grown in, those who speak of it usually marginalize the fact that these “more fit” bacteria became more sensitive to other types of stress and were actually less able to survive for a longer period in stationary phase.

In fact, other experiments where normal wild type bacteria were put under a pressure that promoted the growth of particular resistant “more fit” strains, have shown that these bacteria reverted back to their wild type nature once the pressure was taken away. This is not Evolution as much as it is gene fluctuations that depend upon environmental pressures but may not necessarily result in speciation and forward progression.

Those who claim that we have direct observations of Evolution are making the same mistake the public makes when they speak about theory. Evolution is supposedly a process of progress from simple to complex, as well as a survival for the most properly adapted for an environment. It is a proposed process where new species arise from old ones, and diversity, we are assured, comes about after multiple mutations. It takes a very long time for this to take place – in the scales of hundreds of thousands and millions of years, which we can never observe in our lifespans. Any “evidence” or “observation” that is pushed as “support” for Evolution is circumstantial at best. The validity of Evolutionary theory rests on indirect inferences that were linked together to come up with its mechanism. If this is not faith, I do not know what is.

According to those who love Evolutionary theory, it is a beautiful and elegant explanation for how everything came about. However, an objective examination of the matter will reveal that it does not necessarily meet all the stringer requirements that other theories must. For one thing, it cannot even be physically tested. For its predictive power, it relies on a set of postulates that are derived from observations of gene fluctuations, which are unjustifiably, and quite fallaciously induced into an elaborate process of speciation and diversification. It is more a philosophy than it is science. This is not to say that it is definitely not true. But it is to say that it cannot be talked about as fact, and it definitely should not be spoken about as a theory in the same sense that Gravity is.

Mohamed Ghilan

UVic Neuroscience

33 thoughts on “Some Problems with Evolution

  1. As’salamu alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,

    Jazakallahu khairan. I discovered your blog recently and I am very impressed by the quality of your work.

    I had a question about your previous post but you’ve closed the comments. Can I ask it here? I promise I’m not a Quranist, haha.

    Barakallahu feek.

    • Wa’alykoum As’salam Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatu,

      Barakallahu feek akhi for the comment. Unfortunately, I had to close it due to how out of hand it got. It felt like I was getting spammed by an automated system. Otherwise, I would’ve kept it open.

      What’s your question?

      • Jazakallahu khairan.

        The tone of your article and your comment replies suggests that you believe Quranists are Muslim. On the other hand it could also be that you were playing it safe and maintaining the best of manners.

        It is my understanding that the consensus of the scholars is that those who reject Ahadeeth outright (and by extension, the Sunnah and the Messenger-ship of Mohammed sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) are disbelievers and outside the fold of Islam.

        I suppose one could make the case that some Quranists are ignorant and being misled, but every single one I’ve come across is totally unamenable to even the most simple explanation of their obligations to the Prophet Mohammed sallallahu alayhi wa sallam.

        What is your opinion on this?

      • Well, to be honest with you I’m very weary of declaring anyone to be a disbeliever. Allah has declared in the Quran in more than one instance and in no unequivocal terms that He can forgive all sings except for associating partners with Him. There are also narrations that have come down in the Tradition that don’t paint a good end in the Hereafter for those who claim the judgement of Allah to themselves.

        I also can’t speak to what’s in people’s hearts. The possibility that only 1 of these Quranists might be sincerely ignorant and confused due to these confusing times we’re living in, is enough for me to hold my tongue about the Quranists’ status with Allah. Besides, Allah has declared guidance as something Him alone can give, while at the same time commanding us to engage in debate in the best of manners, which I admit I sometimes lose my composure and don’t uphold properly.

        It is difficult as you’ve already seen to have such an approach with people who for the most part are not even persuaded with direct verses that are not open to other interpretations. But we must be patient. I’m just worried about Muslims who haven’t really looked into the matter and out of lack of knowledge might be persuaded by the Quranists misguidance. They do have a pernicious methodology of persuasion that might work on those who are vulnerable.

        May Allah guide us all.

  2. Aslamo Alaikum

    Its a good work and well written article dear brother. Evolutionary theories has been one of the elements which have made difference between the faithful and the faithless of our society. When you discuss such topics with these people you can sense that their is somewhere in them evolutionary concepts about human species progress is saved and they firmly have their belief around them.

    I don’t know how can they even make logic out of illogical phenomenon where as Allah Him self said

    (2:31)- ‘I am about to place Khalifa on earth’.

    Can HE have put monkeys as Khalifa on earth? If it would have been the case then the world would have been banana republics from the starting.

    However I do believe in evolutionary theory where human has made them selves as animals with constant hard work of arrogance and faithlessness.

  3. hey mo, can you point me towards some of these anomalous findings you refer to? i’d be interested to read/see them.

    also, the article begs the question: do you find the theory of evolution on firm enough scientific ground to buy into it?

    • Hey Cam,
      I’ll have to dig around for you to give examples. The problem is in that you won’t find a scientific paper that gathers all kinds of evidence to refute evolution. When I was referring to anomalies, I was talking about the collection of findings that get shoved a side and barely glanced at because they don’t fit the pretty picture. Case in point is with the E. coli example that I listed above. It’s hailed as a great display of evolution, while at the same time it has the curious finding about the reduced fitness of the newly adapted cells, which would undermine the very thing it’s trying to prove. This is what Thomas Kuhn talks about with respect to how scientific revolutions occur. We may not live long enough to see it, but at some point all these studies will have gained enough anomalies that the scientific community at that time will have to take a look at Evolutionary theory as an unlikely mechanism for how things have been developing. They will later look back at us and laugh at how ridiculous we were just the same way we look back at our predecessor scientists and laugh at some of their unreasonable notions.

      My personal take on the theory of evolution is that from a scientific perspective it doesn’t really cut it. As I mentioned above, we’re not talking about something I can go and directly test an immediately observable cause and effect relationship. It’s a perceived one at best. Hence, I really don’t see it as a genuine scientific theory in the same way we attribute enhanced learning and memory to improved synaptic plasticity. I think it should be called the philosophy of evolution rather than the theory of evolution. I can see why many people would have a problem with that. But when you look at the big picture, and step out of reductionist science mode for a minute, you might see why I have a non-religiously-based problem with it.

      • i wasn’t aware that those newly adapted cells had a reduced fitness. maybe i missed something in that paper? or maybe it was in a previous one?

      • It’s a bit challenging for me to accept your rejection of one of the most well-accepted, well-established, (reasonably) well-understood scientific theories in existence today. To suggest, as you have above, that the theory of evolution would be better dubbed a philosophy is to profoundly neglect the fact that the predictions made by the theory’s fundamental ideas have been borne out time and time and time again. Decades of modern inquiry have not only fit within the framework of evolutionary theory, they have fleshed out and greatly enhanced our understanding of the natural world. If a theory is as good as its predictive power, evolution has proven to be very robust, indeed. Of course there will be fine-tuning, tweaking, and anomalies. And of course, aspects of natural selection may not hold up in all instances. No self-respecting scientist would claim otherwise, I’d suspect. But to throw out a theory on account of an anomaly is to throw the baby out with the bath water. Certainly quantum physicists do not throw out Newtonian mechanics or Einstein’s work. Rather, as you say, theories are explored until the anomalies at their edge overwhelm their predictive power, then our understanding is refined. I am not suggesting that evolution and natural selection are immune to Kuhnian paradigm-shift – they aren’t. They will be fine-tuned, tweaked, and modified as any other. But to suggest that this merits the rejection of a theory, especially one with such spanning reach (regardless of the claim that theory informs findings, which is noteworthy), one whose findings laid the groundwork for the very science that you perform today, is a little hasty. To add to that, I would say that evolution has endured as the unifying theory in biological sciences in the face of intense criticism and scrutiny. We can easily summon to mind a long list of people whose causes would benefit immensely from the abolition of this theory, as it would give their own claims far more legitimacy. They have and still continue to try. The internet is certainly rife with attempts to dismantle darwinism, including the mathematician’s at the Wistar Institute whom I believe you reference in a previous article (those mathematicians were subject to severe criticism for methodological shortcomings that essentially nullified their results, as I understand it).

        On the evidential note, after reading that article and the cited PNAS paper, I saw no sign of any findings which would suggest any undercutting of any evolutionary principle. What were you referring to there? It seems to be an excellent example of the reality of evolution.

        I hope this inspires some debate! As you said, it’s fun to exercise the intellect in any case. Look forward to your response, respectfully yours, -C.

      • to be clear, though, this doesn’t mean I think evolutionary theory is flawless, nor do I subscribe to the notion that science can satisfactorily explain everything.

        what the heck is our experience, anyway? tell me THAT, science.

      • Well, I don’t base my rejection simply on anomalies. Speaking strictly in a philosophical and scientific sense, there are multiple reasons why I have a problem with it. Evolutionary theory is nothing like anything else in science not because it’s well-understood, or well-supported, or has very strong predictive power. If you examine the qualities of this theory deeply, you’ll find that how it’s framed makes come as close as possible to being unfalsifiable. It’s attractiveness is in that it only comes close to being unfalsifiable but not completely, and so that allows for its survival as a theory in science.

        I can see why you might have trouble accepting my rejection if you’re only going to examine it from one perspective. I’m viewing this theory from different angles and I’m looking at it from a birds-eye perspective. I’ve only mentioned Einstein, Kuhn, and Hume in this article just to give examples. It seems that the difficulty in accepting my position is in being entrapped in the reductionist mode, which from a scientific perspective has been shown to fail to explain systems. But that’s another topic. My point here is that I’m not the one being hasty in rejecting it. Rather, it’s the other side who is being hasty in accepting it.

        I disagree that evolution lays the groundwork for the science that I do. If you notice with any paper you read that spans the whole field of biology, evolutionary is not necessarily the one being tested. As I’ve already mentioned, even if one wanted to, they couldn’t really test evolution directly due to timescale limitations. It’s all inferences and explanations. But it doesn’t stop my work if I reject it. Even if I were to accept it, I still don’t use evolutionary theory in my work. If I bring it up, it’s an afterthought more than anything else, which is added to the discussion section of the papers that I need to read.

        By the way, having a great number of people that would benefit from its abolition or that would benefit from its acceptance doesn’t say anything about the merit of the theory.

        Finally, I have a contention with the blanket Feynmanian “fine-tuned/tweaked/modified” approach to defending any theory in science. I do agree that some theories are indeed modified and tweaked. But there are others that have been completely thrown out. Furthermore, many theories are established not based on evidence as much as they are based on a way of thinking about things.

        I’ll be writing more about this subject down the road. By the way, Lenski’s work is not limited to one paper. He started the experiment in 1988 and it’s ongoing. The reduced fitness is brought up but quickly, and I think conveniently, ignored. It happens during stationary phase. This is what I mean by the difficulty in locating anomalies. They’re not made blatantly obvious for everyone to see.

      • Hey Mo,

        I may be wrong here, but I have to make the suggestion that you won’t find a scientific paper that gathers all kinds of evidence to refute evolution because there are simply not enough legitimate and unexplained anomalies out there to provide even the beginnings of a challenge to the theory. If you tend to disagree with me here, as I suspect you do, I would suggest that a very important work to be done – if, indeed your problems with evolution are purely secular – would be the query and presentation of empirical objections to the theory’s claims and predictions. It would add serious legitimacy to your arguments, and provide the evidence you’d need to win skeptics like myself to your point of view.

        Your problems with evolution (aside from your point on authority and comparison with gravity, which I haven’t heard and have no stance on) as mentioned above seem to boil down to two points. Well, one, really, with regards to evolutionary theory itself, and one which is more of a critique of the scientific method at large. I have responded to them in turn.

        1) The theory of evolution is essentially non-falsifiable, or at least so close to it that it is not practically disprovable – it is based solely on a set of circumstantial evidence and linked inferences which, at the end of the day, require a complete leap of faith for one to accept.

        I’d need to hear some further discussion from you on this, but at its outset I think this is demonstrably untrue. It is important here to define exactly what you’re disposing of when you reject evolution, which you haven’t as of yet. The theory of evolution provides a set of mechanisms by which evolution happens, mechanisms which began as Darwin’s natural selection and have been refined by anomalous observations, the likes of which you mention and can be seen in neutral theory, for example. Rejecting evolution’s proposed mechanisms – or what would be more akin to the “theory” behind evolution – is different still than rejecting the factual and very testable statement “evolution occurs”. There are many documented incidents where speciation and mutation-based change has occurred, both in longer-lived organisms like plants and fish and in rapidly growing and replicating bacteria and viruses. Consider the fact that the same virus can infect you twice, despite the human body’s ability to form specific antibodies. Viral and bacterial evolution is a perfect example of the fact of evolution. Change does occur during self-replication, which causes change within an organism. I know you TA genetics, so I’d assume you would at least accept this. Am I correct here?

        Perhaps the theory of evolution is less easily tested, but again, I would make the argument that runs exactly counter to yours – that much of the theory behind the fact of evolution is so vastly predictive that it is, for all intents and purposes, falsifiable. It is this because of both the broadness of its scope – integrating across disciplines of scientific disciplines – and because of the specific predictive requirements made by the theory. It could be that I have simply never come across a severe problem or inconsistency with evolutionary theory because of the extent of my indoctrination into its framework and my subsequent blindness to the external world, but I think this is rather unlikely. In every case I know of where evolutionary theory provides a predictive requirement for its vindication, one is found, from biogeography to archeology to genetics. In this way, the theory unifies the history of our planet. To say that its attractiveness is in its near-unfalsifiability is to do the theory itself a serious injustice. You have conveniently ignored an overwhelming body of cross-disciplinary empirical observations that, while bearing no direct allegiance to the theory of evolution in their own right, attest to its veracity.

        At this juncture I would like to address you’re writing: “having a great number of people that would benefit from its abolition or that would benefit from its acceptance doesn’t say anything about the merit of a theory”. This is misrepresenting me. Of course, the interests of people have no impact on a theory’s worth or explanatory power. However, people are rather stubborn and self-righteous creatures, wouldn’t you agree? When our views our significantly challenged, there is a very natural tendency to become defensive and to seek to reaffirm the correctness of our precognitions. We do this vigorously and go to great lengths to protect our beliefs, especially those we hold closest to heart and soul (this debate is a case in point). So you can see how these tendencies, when combined with a serious, evidential, and rationally-based challenge (evolution) to the explanatory power of non-rational and faith-based belief systems (religions) held very dear, would yield the massive backlash against science and evolution that we see throughout history and today. My point was to say that the massive interests against this theory provide in their own way a validation of its quality, as those interests have mobilized and been stymied, forced to either reject or criticize the shortcomings of the scientific method or cede, as the catholic church has, that evolution does indeed exist (in some form at least). On a personal note, I have relatively little emotional attachment to evolution itself. It is a somewhat cold process, I’d say, and my accepting of it came slowly as my theism ebbed through my teenage years. I have begrudgingly accepted its tenets based on the above, and I and many others would most certainly welcome a substantiated evidential claim that some major facets of evolutionary theory are false. Wouldn’t it be grand if it all wasn’t just natural selection? But, my doubts are strong that this will be provided, and as such I’ve constructed a non-theistic and agnostic view of the world. In any case, on to your second point.

        2) Evolution has been a defining theory with strong predictive power and that any data collected which seems to corroborate evolution is, in fact, a potential victim of theory-confirming circular reasoning due to the inescapable predispositions which a researcher held whilst designing her experiment and collecting said data. Moreover, reductionist science is lacking in its explanatory power (at least at the systems level), which seems to cast a shadow of doubt on the entirety of the scientific discipline for you.

        In some ways the point is well-noted. Reductionism provides an explanation of component parts, and there seem to be emergent properties which are not explicable by reductionist means. Consciousness, obviously, comes to mind. But even here, there are clear and demonstrable links between the reductionist mechanistic view of the brain and the experience that stems from it. Certainly, this is how our knowledge of brain areas has come about (Broadman’s experiments and traumatic brain injuries come to mind). The fact that understanding the components does not equate to understanding the machine is a challenge for science, and I agree with you – there is far more to this experience of ours than can be explained by zapping in vitro slices of dentate. That being said, I feel you’re giving short shrift to the leaps and bounds made from the pursuit of understanding the components. Furthermore, I think it is worth noting that understanding the whole may come quite naturally from understanding the parts, were we able to completely understand the parts. That we may never achieve this is, for me, what makes your point. However, to imply as you seem to at times in your writings, that reductionism’s failings are grounds to embrace other, far more evidence-lacking and faith-based movements which make claims fundamentally incompatable with good science on a matter is problematic for me. I’d be interested in your take on this, as I think the philosophy-of-science debate and the issue of where one should draw one’s information about the nature of existence may the true heart of this discussion.

        Here I just want to address a couple statements you made. First, about my perspective. Stating your view as a bird’s-eye’s and calling mine limited to a reductionist mode is, from the above perhaps fallacious, but certainly assumptive on your part. I’d be interested in gaining a little more understanding of the other angles of this debate you are adopting, as perhaps this would allow me to understand more your rejection of evolutionary theory. As for my perspective, I would make the analogy that my accepting of evolution is similar to my accepting the theory I have that the sun will rise in a few hours. I currently have no way of testing it, but I am almost entirely certain it will happen. I’m not 100% certain, because the sun could be imploding as I speak. But I have pretty damn good evidence to believe that it’ll light the sky again.

        Last, when I made the comment that evolutionary theory laid the groundwork for your work, I had in mind your work with knock-out mice, which relies heavily on genetics, a field I’d contend bears out the most fundamental facets of evolutionary theory.

        I apologize for the excessive nature of my response. I couldn’t sleep, haha.

        تصبح على الخير

      • Hey Cam,

        I really appreciate the critique you made. But know that every single thing you’ve mentioned can be responded to. If you don’t mind, in working with some of my readers’ advice, I’d like to reserve it for an actual article. This subject is intriguing and I realize that I’m going against the grain with some of what I’m saying. The tradition I come from requires one to reflect and condemns blind following. It’s because of this that I ended up questioning the merit of evolutionary theory. I’ll respond to your contentions in the near future inshallah.

      • Just to add another thought for consideration in your future work on the subject, I think it would be necessary or at least hugely helpful to your arguments to provide an evidential alternative hypothesis – one that stands up to criticism at least as well as evolution does, and ideally better (at least on the grounds that which you are criticizing it upon).

        Happy thinking, buddy.

  4. Asslam O Aliakim wa Jazakallahu khairan. I regularly read ur articles and really admire ur grip on the subject. This article too carrying very profound information about evolution. I have a quest in my mind and needs ur clarification about it; When we talk about evolution, its all about the gradual imrpovement either it is biological or heritical, but how can we narrate it once it comes to Islamic teachings. I mean to say that how Islam tells its followers about the evolution in Quran & Sunnah.

    • Wa’alykoum As’salam Wa Rahmatullah
      Jazak Allah khair for the comment. I’m not sure I completely understand what you’re asking about. Could you please rephrase your question if you don’t mind? 🙂

    • Unlike other religions, Islam doesn’t really say much about material sciences. Rather, Allah says in the Qur’an that He brought us into this world knowing nothing and gave us the necessary tools for observation so that we can learn all that we would like about the world. The only thing that we are told is that mankind was a unique creation brought into this world with special qualities that make it distinct. That doesn’t mean we don’t share other qualities with animals. After all, we were created using elements from the Earth. But when it comes to the part of evolutionary theory that says humans are actually advanced apes, we find Islam rejecting that notion because the creation of humans is mentioned as a specific instant that is separate from the rest of animals. When it comes to the rest of life on this planet, anything is possible, including evolution. However, from a scientific and philosophical point of view, evolutionary theory is nothing like any other theory in science and it is not on solid grounds to be taken on face value.

      • Salam brother, there is actually a problem with your assertion that Islam rejects the notion that humans are advanced apes. See Yasir Qadhi’s answer on Why-Islam:

      • Salam brother,

        I don’t see where the contradiction is here with my statement. He also said that the Adamic story is not a metaphor for Muslims. That goes against the evolutionary narrative that says we’re the latest version of ancient apes.

      • I think Yasir Qadhi was suggesting that it’s possible Adam and Eve were the pre-evolved species of modern day humans.

      • No he was not. He was referring to humans being a unique creation that was started with Allah creating Adam and Eve peace be upon them and we are the descendants of them.

  5. Pingback: The Theory… I Mean Hypothesis of Evolution « Mohamed Ghilan

  6. Salam,

    You mentioned that the bacteria that were placed under pressures in some tests evolved, but reverted once the pressure were removed. I would love to see the actual data on this because bacteria undergoing evolution has always been a “fact” to me.

    In addition, can’t we accept evolution as Muslims? I mean, Allah created the universe as we know it, maybe he created it like that? Maybe what we perceive as what the 4 billion years it took to get to the point we are right now was the time it took Him to create the world as we know it. Allah’s perception of time and space isn’t like ours is it?

    Jazaak Allah khair, Abe

    • Salam Abe,

      The bacteria reverting is a very simple experiment that is done in undergraduate microbiology courses. Epidemiologically speaking, if you want an antibiotic that became ineffective due to increased bacterial resistance to work again, all you need to do is stop prescribing it for a period of 6 months and it will be effective again.

      Regarding time and space, these concepts don’t apply to Allah because He’s beyond all that. These are dimensions that we experience and perceive. It might be true that evolution in the macro sense of the word took place. But as I’ve already addressed it here in this article and elaborated a little further in my other article “The Theory… I Mean Hypothesis of Evolution“, from a scientific and philosophical perspective, I find accepting it problematic. Microevolution is there and it takes place and we can observe it and test it. It’s the reverse-induction where problems come in. Furthermore, if you want to bring in the religious perspective, I go back to Richard Dawkins when he rightly said that the logical conclusion of Darwinian Evolution when you push this proposition to its final end, is that Mankind will just be another accident of nature that was just lucky enough to gain intelligence along the way and God and religion would really be nothing but a product of our own imagination. Freewill will just be addressed as a delusion and having an objective basis for morality wouldn’t make much sense under this worldview. This would be a direct challenge to how Islam describes the position of Mankind on this earth and in direct contradiction with the Qur’anic verses that clearly state that man was created from clay as a new creation and that we’re all the children of Adam. If one blindly accepts Darwinian Evolution, which is the philosophically and scientifically problematic and rationally unjustified reverse induction from experiments showing microevolution and adaptation strategies, it would be somewhat of an issue to just say that an exception is made for Mankind. The question posed to one who would make such an exception is “why?”, especially if they accept the so-called “evidence”, which in reality can’t be called as such.

      I hope that answers it for you.
      Mohamed

  7. Pingback: The Imperceptiveness of Science Worshipping Minds « Mohamed Ghilan

  8. Assalamu Alakum Mohamed,

    You are doing some great work here. Even if someone doesn’t agree with your thoughts or observations, its people like you (i.e. that are extremely critical of presently accepted “facts”) that help students of science (we are all students) force themselves to re-examine or at least think about what they believe.

    Ive read a few of your articles regarding evolution so far, but surprisingly I havent seen any mention of Michael Behe and his work critiquing the theory of evolution based on a biochemical level. Did you purposefully leave out mentioning his work because you dont agree with his approach or simply because you didnt feel like it was necessary to go into such details at this point? Maybe it would make a good addition to a future study composing alternative approaches to the theory of evolution as mentioned by @attunetohum?

    Jazak Allah Kheir for your writings.

    Omar

    • Wa’alykoum As’salam Wa Rahmatullah Omar,

      Jazak Allah kheir for the encouraging comment. Regarding Michael Behe or others, I only leave them out out of space limitations. It’s not that easy to write about this subject and keep it short enough so people will read it, and at the same time say everything. That would need a whole book to be written out. But for now, I’ll mention different things in each article while leave somethings out.

      Was’salam
      Mohamed

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