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A Christian addresses Muslims who are asking about evolution

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I want Muslims to question creationism, says the physicist and imam who has had death threats for supporting evolution

Here , New Scientist interviews physicist imam Usama Hasan, who says that belief in evolution is compatible with belief in the Koran (Michael Bond, 19 April 2011):

Recently you retracted your views because of the outrage they caused. Could you explain?My retraction was saying that I misjudged how to go about explaining these things. Sooner or later someone will have to address the issue of evolution – it’s a no-go area, especially with the clerics – but I’m abandoning my attempt to reconcile it with the Koran until things settle down. I am not willing to risk my life over this issue.

A belief supported only by death threats against unbelievers is poorly supported indeed. It amounts to saying: We can’t convince; we just scare.

Christians like to say: “Test everything. Hold onto what is good.”

And precisely therein lies the problem: What are Muslims signing on to when they are told, “believe evolution”? Three things to know – and understand their implications clearly:

1. Much that is current “evolution” theory is in a state of great ferment, so what you are told is the assured results of evolutionary science today will be disowned by its founder tomorrow. Thus, you must agree to believe wholeheartedly things that even the most ardent supporters do not.

2. Much current evolution theory is so much at odds with any conceivable traditional religion that it is commonly greeted with ridicule even in the countries in which it took root. Darwinian evolutionists are forever wringing their hands over the fact that most of the popuation of North America steadfastly refuses to believe. Why do you think that is?

How about this, for example:  Muslim, do you believe that the best way to understand human behaviour is by studying primate apes? Or that information from such sources is useful for counselling? Make no mistake, that is the type of belief that is asked of you. Never mind the scientific misconduct that is hardly a surprise in a discipline aimed at proving that “apes r’ us and we is them” – here’s the Biggie:

3. You must believe that religion is not a revelation from Allah, rather, it evolved: For information, look here and here to start. Evolutionary psychology offers to explain how your caveman brain got so scrambled that you believe that there could even be Allah or religion. Evolutionists put some amazing efforts into trying to demonstrate that proposition.

If all you want evolution to do is explain why we have fossils of trilobites and dinosaurs but no living examples thereof, it will do your faith no harm, and probably some good. Your children will see that the Almighty has made many creatures for his own pleasure in giving life and theirs in receiving it, not just ours in seeing them.

The trouble is, that’s not what modern evolutionism is really about! You’ll soon find that you are being asked to buy into a system that props up atheist materialism. You will be expected, for the sake of advancement, to believe all sorts of nonsense that conflicts with human experience in order to prop up increasingly unbelievable propositions, advanced without shame or fear of contradiction.

So increasingly, you must make critical distinctions. You can enjoy an active and vigorous science education program without signing on to the rubbish. Remember, Test everything. Hold onto what is good.

Also, O’Leary’s maxim: If it sounds unbelievable, don’t believe it, and when in doubt, doubt. And  – when dealing with a crazy person, make no sudden movements and back out very slowly. 😉

Denyse O’Leary is co-author of The Spiritual Brain. “

Sorry Denise. The comment was: http://inayatscorner.wordpress.com/2011/03/09/usama-hasan-and-the-evolution-controversy/#comment-668 Alan
Dear Denise. I recently posted this comment on the Usama Hasan incident. Inayat Bunglawala is one of those Muslims who are clearly well intentioned, but who have taken it upon themselves to "save" other Muslims from making a fool of themselves by rejecting Darwinism and accepting ID. Despite this genuine concern, it seems that Inayat is not beyond using the spectre of extremism to promote a theory that is difficult to defend on scientific grounds and to tarnish ID through guilt by association. Mercifully he allowed the above comment to remain up (in order to promote Millers book), but all my subsequent attempts to engage in the scientific debate were swiftly censored and I was barred from posting further comments. Fortunately, I am an old hand at this, so I new to save the pages in question just in case. I then brought the whole issue of censorship to the attention of certain circles and he made a sharp exit, refusing to provide any plausible reasons for censoring my comments, or to defend his support of Darwinism and rejection of ID on scientific grounds. He also appeared to repent somewhat from using the Usama Hasan incident as a vehicle for promoting the Darwinian world-view to ordinary Muslims, but I am sure he will be back. Muslims are facing all the same problems as Christians and other ID proponents over the question of origins. At the present time, they also have the added problem of having to deal with tiny proportion of extreme Muslims who will inevitably grab the headlines. Most Muslims who clearly understand what Islam says and what Darwinism says, intuitively realise that they must choose between irreconcilable alternatives. Many still lack a scientific response to Darwinism, and in the presence of a dominant scientific orthodoxy constantly pushing the infallibility of Darwinian doctrine, The Usama Hasan incident was one of those tragic accidents waiting to happen. I genuinely believe that all traditional religions loose out from such incidents, and that part of the solution is for reasonable people from all faiths and backgrounds to cooperate and pool resources in order to advance the scientific case against Darwinism and in favour of ID, to the widest possible audience. Alan
"And for Muslims what day is this, they who deny that Christ was ever actually crucified?" You're missing the point. Of course Christians and Muslims, Jews and other ID proponents have theological and philosophical differences, but they all agree that the universe is the product of an intelligent mind. Specifically, Muslims Christians and Jews, share a great deal more in common than this basic commitment. At the same time, they have nothing fundamentally in common with the materialists who would wish to kill all religion. On the whole, practitioners of the three monotheistic faiths have managed to live side by side for centuries despite their differences. Continuing to resurrect old disagreements between religions, and to bash straw-men of other religions, in a climate that is hostile to all traditional religion is handing a victory to the materialists. They will be invigorated by this conversation. Alan
O'Leary: "As a friend of Muslims with no use for the violent extremists who are hijacking their faith, all I can say is, design offers a door to science not guarded by atheist fanatics." Yet, those "hijackers" are the *real* Moslems, and your friends are the "compromisers" in like manner to our "Christian" Darwinists. Unless, of course, your (imaginary) friends are simply engaging in taqiyya. Ilion
"This requires Christians to see past a decade of Bush’s anti-Muslim propaganda." You are not an honest man, for you are engaging in taqiyya. Ilion
"It may surprise some Christians ..." Not at all. We can differentiate between persons who are misguided (frequently, through no deliberate/conscious decision of their own) and the demonic system in which they are enslaved. Ilion
On the other hand, Moslems generally find no difficulty in believing … or, at least asserting … both ‘A’ and ‘not-A’ simultaneously. I’d say that that makes Moslems prime candidates for conversion to Darwinism It could be because Islam rejected philosophy, higher critical reasoning, reasoning about causality, western rational philosophy in general... long ago. And the same goes for Darwininsm. According to Mayr, Darwinian philosophy is not based on logic, but on narratives. Darwinism involves throwing all of classical western philosophical thought into the rubbish bin. There's a peculiar similarity betweeen scientism on the one hand, and Islam on the other. See here: Hawking and Islamic TV Vladimir Krondan
Anyway, peace to all. For Christians, this is Easter Sunday. Hi Denyse, And for Muslims what day is this, they who deny that Christ was ever actually crucified? Muslims deny the very basis of the Christian faith. Are you aware of this? For if Christ was not crucified ... Alan, am I wrong? What does Islam teach about the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ? What does Easter mean to a Muslim? Regards Mung
Hi all, Mung, Ilion, Alan, thanks for discussing these matters. As a friend of Muslims with no use for the violent extremists who are hijacking their faith, all I can say is, design offers a door to science not guarded by atheist fanatics. Who could look at the artworks produced in Islamic cultures and not see the awareness of design that permeates everything? I doubt it would be possible to seriously communicate science in such cultures without invoking design in nature. It's not necessary to continually refer to God/Allah, only to begin with the assumption that things are a certain way because they perform a certain function. Didn't we just learn that about supposed "junk DNA"? Anyway, peace to all. For Christians, this is Easter Sunday. At once time, in Europe, it was forbidden to make war or commit any violence on this day. O'Leary
I’m not intending to complain about “a decade of Bush’s anti-Muslim propaganda.”
There was no such decade, so I am heartened to hear you don't intend to complain about it. Mung
I'm not intending to complain about "a decade of Bush’s anti-Muslim propaganda." My main point is that buying into the above stereotype may appear to some Christians and Jews as an easy opportunity to discredit a major monotheistic religion. The down side of this is that failing to work with reasonable Muslims on ID will hinder the wider acceptance of ID. It will also provide ammunition to those who claim that ID is really about promoting Christianity, rather than science. Meanwhile, the opponents of ID will have no difficulty tarnishing all believers, whether Muslim, Christians or Jews, with extremist label. They rarely distinguish between which religion is committing the extreme acts, and of course, the materialists always delight in exposing differences between religions. In the long term, there is more to be gained by building bridges in areas we can agree on,such as ID, rather than working for the materialists, by amplifying our dissagreements and differences. Alan
This requires Christians to see past a decade of Bush’s anti-Muslim propaganda.
Bush handled "the Muslim problem" with kid gloves. He repeatedly told us how wonderful Islam is and how nice the followers of Mohammad are, while at the same time carrying on wars in two Muslim countries. Has to make you wonder. Mung
I am speaking as a Muslim who has been promoting ID to the Muslim community since before it was recognized as such. While the majority of Muslims are naturally inclined to ID, few realize the importance of this debate, and how it is central to the theistic worldview. While Muslims are generally inclined towards ID, they also have a strong religious and historical commitment to reason and science. Unfortunately bat the moment, the better educated, (though not necessarily better practicing or theologically literate) Muslims are learning their biology from the Darwinist propaganda machine. Suitably reassured by the likes of Kenneth Miller,they feel it is their duty to inform other Muslims, that evolutionary science (i.e. Darwinism) and Islam are fully compatible and that ID is non-science. Sadly, the fanatics who attacked the deluded but well meaning Usama Hasan, provided an excellent PR victory for the Darwinists, with the educated, civilized Muslims who understand and support Darwinism pitted against the fanatical extremists who doubt the power of random mutation and natural selection. It may surprise some Christians, that the vast majority of ordinary Muslims do not want to blow up buildings or kill 'infidels', but might instead prefer to become a useful ally to ID, in the greater conflict against materialism. This requires Christians to see past a decade of Bush's anti-Muslim propaganda. Muslims,Christians and Jews) have had their flashpoints over the centuries, but they also have much in common by way of their shared monotheism. In my own experience, Christians have been reluctant to face up to these shared monotheistic roots and have tried to maintain ID as a strictly Judeo-Christian affair. While this is understandable at present, given the extent to which the word "Muslim" has been associated with the word "terrorist", it is also unsustainable. Given that the Muslim world is simply not up to speed in the ID vs Darwinism debate, Christians have to decide between one of two alternatives: 1. To invite Muslims in from the cold and even assist them in learning that Darwinism may be opposed on scientific grounds i.e. while maintaining the Islamic commitment to science and reason. 2. Allow the extremists to grab the headlines and the Darwinists to make the link between opposition to Darwinism and Muslim extremism. The first option will help to sideline those rare extremists who will certainly be used as another reason to reject ID. The second option will provide one more reason why ID must be resisted at all costs. Alan
But Ilion, in fairness, Muslims have been slow to adopt Darwin nonsense that various sections of the Christian community have so thoroughly imbibed that they actually preach a God who had no idea how the world or humanity would turn out (cf Karl Giberson and Francis Collins discussed elsewhere here). Big whoop for God, in that case. And that's supposed to be an improvement on traditional beliefs? As a minor free speech journalist in my own country I have stood like a rock against Islamism and related anti-Semitism, but always with the sense that my own religious and cultural community has failed badly. Indeed, we are in the throes of another disgraceful episode I haven't even had time to write about (big Nanny = big Boots). We have some wonderful Muslims here who DO get it. They could have invented algebra or zero, but they'll have to settle for helping with quantum teleportation of light or ... . O'Leary
Islam asserts that God can (and does) lie. Islam asserts that if God were to decree tomorrow that 2+2=5, then that would be "true," despite that today his decree is that 2+2=4 -- which is to say, Islam asserts that there is no such thing as truth, but only the raw exercise of force and compulsion. Moslems are thus natural students for the sort of post-modernist Orwellian "thought" with which Darwinism is advanced and defended. Ilion
O'Leary at @2 ... yes. Moslems do it all the time. Just one example: After the Attrocity of September 11, Moslems (frequently, the *same* individual Moslems) asserted: 1) The Moslem terrorists who brought down the towers were wholly innocent; 2) It was actually done by the Mossad; 3) It was nonetheless a "great victory" for Islam against "the Great Satan." Ilion
Ilion at 1, but does anyone other than quantum particles ever do that in matters where reality is involved? How about: Animal welfare officer: Is your cat lost? Citizen: Yes and no. AWO: What do you mean? Do you know where he is? C: ... uh ... Well, now what? O'Leary
On the other hand, Moslems generally find no difficulty in believing ... or, at least asserting ... both 'A' and 'not-A' simultaneously. I'd say that that makes Moslems prime candidates for conversion to Darwinism -- they are already past experts in the requisite mode of "reasoning." Ilion

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