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Random thoughts

July 9, 2018

Theories of evolution


July 9, 2018

In 1859, British naturalist Charles Darwin proposed a theory of biological evolution in his book ‘On the Origin of Species’. This later became known as the Darwinian Theory and originally included the broad concepts of the transmutation of species – evolution – which soon gained scientific acceptance.

Originally, the term referred strictly to biological evolution. But creationists have since appropriated it to the origin of life. It is this aspect that I would like to discuss in light of Quranic verses. The concept has now also been applied to cosmic evolution. Neither of the latter two theories are connected to Darwin’s work, but are now considered to have emerged from the belief and acceptance of Darwin’s work (and that of others) rather than the acceptance of other theories, including the theories of the divine design or extraterrestrial origins.

Scientists, anthropologists and biologists etc have since proposed many modifications and new additions to Darwin’s theory. What the common man has come to understand from this theory is that originally we were monkeys and we evolved into what we are now over time. This, of course, is not what the theory propounds. We have common descendants with monkeys, but then each species branched off and evolved in its own way. This is indicated by the fact that 99 percent of our DNA matches the DNA of a chimpanzee, 95 percent to other monkey species, 79 percent to a mouse, and 26 percent to even a fruit fly etc.

There are many mentions in the Quran that the Almighty created the heavens and the earth, and all that is in between. In 42:11 it is mentioned that: “The Creator of the heavens and the earth. He has made pairs of yourselves”. Creation in pairs has also been mentioned in 36:36, 43:12 and 42:11. In 53:45 it has specifically been mentioned that He created us in pairs – male and female. The Almighty has told us that: “We have made every living being from water” (31:30), and that: “We have created every animal from water. Of them there are some that creep on their bellies, some that walk on two legs and some that walk on four legs” (24:45).

In 25:54 it is stated that He created man from water and then He established relationships of lineage and marriage. It is common knowledge that 70 percent of the body weight is made up of water. We have also been told that we have been created from sperm, developed into a leech-like clot and then born as a child.

The Quran also tells us that Adam and Eve were abolished from Paradise (another planet) for disobeying the command of the Almighty, which brings me to a recently published, very interesting book written by Dr Ellis Silver, titled ‘Humans are not from Earth’. Dr Silver is a well-known ecologist and has given many reasons to prove his theory. He points out that the surroundings of where humans were originally created were very comfortable – the soft structure of the human body reflects this. There was an ideal climate – no rigours of excessive heat or cold. Then there was a blunder and they were expelled from that environment (the story of Adam and Eve).

This was done by a Creator who was all powerful and mighty and who could command everything. Earth was probably a place of punishment and banishment – a ground surrounded by water on all sides. Dr Silver has given nine reasons as proof.

These reasons include: i) varying gravities between the two planets; ii) different diseases between human beings and other creatures on earth; iii) differences in accommodating the sun’s heat between humans and other creatures on earth (the latter don’t feel such harsh effects of heat); iv) illness due to change of weather (humans suffer, animals don’t); v) differences in the DNA and genes (humans have developed many more); vi) lack of efficient automatic body temperature regulation in humans; vii) humans need to produce their food while animals survive on what is available; viii) humans need soft beds to sleep in, whereas animals don’t need such comforts – inferring that humans were used to a more comfortable surrounding; and ix) humans are completely different from other living beings on earth, proving that they are aliens here.

Dr Silver further points out that the change in human habits indicate that they have not been here long enough to have developed all the gadgets they need for personal comfort.

Muslims have always had difficulty in accepting the Theory of Evolution. The reason that gorillas and monkeys have so many genes similar to ours lies in what has been stated in the Quran under 5:63. “Say (O Muhammad), shall I point out to you something much worse than this (as judged) by the treatment it received from Allah? Those who incurred the curse of Allah and His wrath, of some whom he transformed into apes and swine, those who worshipped evil, these are (many times) worse in ranks, and far more astray from the even path.”

Postscript: In my last column I mentioned that the family of Khalil Bhai (Khalil Nanitalwala) had donated Rs100 million to set up the noble KN Academy. In fact, they had donated Rs 250 million.

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