Harun Yahya - Why Darwinism is incompatible with the Qur'an - Chapter 2
Why Darwinism is Incompatible With the Qur'an

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Chapter 2
Important Truths Ignored By Muslim Evolutionists

In the previous chapter, we discussed how Muslims who have been convinced that evolution is a fact, as opposed to a theory, might be unaware of relevant and recent scientific developments that refute Darwinism. This lack of awareness leads Muslim evolutionists to continue to accept ideas and beliefs disproved by science. Furthermore, they ignore the fact that the underlying foundation of evolution reflects a pagan mentality, ascribes divinity to chance and natural occurrences, and has engendered a great deal of oppression, conflict, war, and other catastrophes.

This chapter will focus on those truths that Muslim evolutionists ignore, and calls upon them to stop supporting the pagan mentality that provides the foundation for materialist-atheist thought.


Evolution Is an Ancient Pagan Greek Idea

A picture showing Thales' (d. 546 bce) idea of a flat Earth floating on water. The picture shows air and fire, two of Earth's four basic elements.

Contrary to what its supporters claim, evolution is not a scientific theory but a pagan belief. The idea of evolution first appeared in such ancient societies as Egypt, Babylon, and Sumer, after which it passed to ancient Greek philosophers. Pagan Sumerian monuments contain statements denying creation and claiming that living things emerged by themselves as part of a gradual process. According to Sumerian belief, life emerged by itself out of the chaos of water.

As part of their own superstitious religions, the ancient Egyptians believed that "snakes, frogs, worms, and mice emerged from the mud of the Nile floodwaters." Just like the Sumerians, the ancient Egyptians denied the existence of a Creator and thought that "living things emerged by chance from mud."

The most important claim of the Greek philosophers Empedocles (fifth century bce), Thales (d. 546 bce), and Anaximander (d. 547 bce) of Miletus was that the first living things were formed from such inanimate substances as air, fire, and water. This theory posited that the first living things suddenly emerged in water and that later on, some of them left the water, adapted to life on land, and began to live there. Thales believed that water was the root of all life, that plants and animals began to develop in water, and that humanity was the end result of this process.4 Anaximander, a younger contemporary of Thales, held that "man arose from the fishes" and the source of life began with a "primordial mass."5

Some philosophers, such as Empedocles (d. fifth century bce), believed that Earth was composed of four elements: earth, air, fire, and water. In this seventeenth-century illustration, the four elements are symbolized as rings around the sun.

Anaximander's verse work On Nature is the first available written work based upon the theory of evolution. In that poem, he wrote that creatures arose from slime that had been dried by the sun. He thought that the first animals were covered with prickly scales and lived in the seas. As these fish-like creatures evolved, they moved onto land, shed their scaly coverings and eventually became human beings.6 (For further details, see The Religion of Darwinism by Harun Yahya, Abu'l Qasim Publishers, Jeddah, 2003) His theory can be considered the first foundation of the present-day theory of evolution, for it has many similarities with Darwinism.

Empedocles brought earlier ideas together and suggested that the fundamental elements (i.e., earth, air, fire, and water) came together to create bodies. He also believed that man had developed from plant life, and that only chance played any role in this process.7 As mentioned earlier, this concept of chance and its role in creation form the principle basis upon which the theory of evolution is built.

Heraclitus (d. fifth century bce) claimed that because the universe was in a process of constant change, there was no point in questioning the mythical account of its beginning and maintained that it had no beginning or end. Rather, it simply existed.8 In short, the materialist belief upon which evolution is based also existed in ancient Greece.

The idea of spontaneous development was supported by many other Greek philosophers, particularly Aristotle (384-22 bce). This idea said that animals, in particular certain worms, insects, and plants, came about by themselves in nature and so did not need to undergo any fertilization process. Maurice Manquat, well known for his studies on Aristotle's ideas on natural history, once said:


Aristotle was concerned with the origin of life so much that he accepted spontaneous generation (the coming together of inanimate substances to spontaneously form a living thing) in order to explain certain events that could not be accounted for in any other way.9

On careful inspection, one can see considerable similarities between the ideas of past and present evolutionist thinkers. The roots of the materialist idea that the universe has no beginning and no end, as well as the evolutionist view that living things emerged as the result of chance, lie in pagan Sumerian culture and were common among materialist Greek thinkers. The ideas that life emerged from water and a mixture known as "primordial mass," and living things emerge only because of chance, form the bases of these two ideas that are linked despite the passage of so much time.

The Greek philosopher Aristotle

Thus, Muslim evolutionists support a theory whose roots are embedded in ancient ideas that have been shown to have no scientific basis. Moreover, such ideas were first proposed by ancient materialist thinkers and contain pagan meanings.

Actually, evolution is not restricted to ancient Sumerian culture or ancient Greek philosophers, for it forms the essence of such major contemporary belief systems as Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. In other words, evolution is no more than a theory that is completely opposed to Islamic belief.

Some Muslim evolutionists, despite scientific evidence to the contrary, claim that the Qur'an supports this supposed "creationist theory of evolution" and try to find the source of evolution in the Muslim world. They assert that this idea first emerged from Muslim thinkers and, when their works were translated into foreign languages, evolutionist thought appeared in the West.

However, the few examples given above clearly reveal that evolution is no more than a primitive belief dating back to ancient pagan societies. It would be a great mistake to try and show that evolutionist thought, built upon materialist foundations, can be ascribed to Muslims when there is absolutely no clear scientific and historical basis to support such a claim.


Chance Conflicts with the Truth of Creation

Those who maintain that there is no contradiction between evolution and creation ignore one important point: Such people believe that Darwinism's main claim is that living species emerged by evolving from each other. However, this is not the case, for evolutionists claim that life emerged as the result of chance, by unconscious mechanisms. In other words, life on Earth came about without a Creator and by itself from inanimate substances.

Such a claim rejects the existence of a Creator right from the start, and thus cannot be accepted by any Muslim. However, some Muslims who are unaware of this truth see no harm in supporting evolution on the assumption that God could have used evolution to create living things.

Prof. Fred Hoyle

Yet they ignore one important danger: Although they are trying to show that evolution is parallel to religion, in reality they are supporting and actually agreeing with an idea that is quite impossible from their own point of view. Meanwhile, evolutionists turn a blind eye to this situation because it furthers their cause of having society accept their ideas.

Looking at the matter as a devout Muslim and thinking about it in the light of the Qur'an, a theory that is fundamentally based upon chance clearly cannot have anything in common with Islam. Evolution sees chance, time, and inanimate matter as divine, and ascribes the title of "creator" to these weak and unconscious concepts. No Muslim can accept such a pagan-based theory, for each Muslim knows that Allah, the sole Creator, created everything from nothing. Therefore, he uses science and reason to oppose all beliefs and ideas that conflict with that fact.

Evolution is a component of materialism and, according to materialism, the universe has no beginning or end, and thus no need for a Creator. This irreligious ideology suggests that the universe, galaxies, stars, planets, sun, and other heavenly bodies, as well as their flawless systems and perfect equilibrium, are the results of chance. In the same way, evolution claims that the first protein and the first cell (the building blocks of life) developed by themselves as the result of a string of blind coincidences. This same ideology claims that the wonders of design in all living things, whether they live on land, in the sea, or in the skies, are the product of chance. Although surrounded on all sides by evidence of creation, starting with the design in their own bodies, evolutionists insist upon ascribing all of that perfection to chance and unconscious processes. In other words, their main characteristic is to see chance as divine in order to deny God's existence. However, such a refusal to accept or to see God's evident existence and greatness changes nothing. God's infinite knowledge and matchless art reveal themselves in everything He creates.

As a matter of fact, recent scientific advances definitively reject the evolutionists' baseless claims that life emerged by itself and by natural processes. The superior design in life shows that a Creator Who has superior wisdom and knowledge created all living things. The fact that even the simplest organisms are irreducibly complex places all evolutionists in an impossible quandary - a fact that they themselves often admit! For example, the world-famous British mathematician and astronomer Fred Hoyle admits that life could not have come about by chance:

Once we see, however, that the probability of life originating at random is so utterly minuscule as to make it absurd…10

Evolutionists claim that the first living cell came about in the conditions of the primitive Earth, from inanimate substances and the chance effects of natural events.

The evolutionist Pierre-Paul Grassé confesses that ascribing a creative force to chance is pure fantasy:

Yet the Darwinian theory is even more demanding: A single plant, a single animal would require thousands and thousands of lucky, appropriate events. Thus, miracles would become the rule: events with an infinitesimal probability could not fail to occur… There is no law against daydreaming, but science must not indulge in it.11

Those words make the evolutionists' ideological dilemma perfectly clear: Even though they see that their theory is untenable and unscientific, they refuse to abandon it because of their ideological obsession. In another statement, Hoyle reveals why evolutionists believe in chance:

Indeed, such a theory (that life was assembled by an intelligence) is so obvious that one wonders why it is not widely accepted as being self-evident. The reasons are psychological rather than scientific.12

What Hoyle describes as a "psychological" reason has conditioned evolutionists to deny creation. All of these reasons are sufficient evidence for Muslim evolutionists to consider evolution as nothing more than a theory designed to deny God.

Evolutionists' claim that life formed by itself by chance from inanimate substances is as irrational and illogical as claiming that America's Statue of Liberty was formed by the coincidental coming together of sand and rocks when lightning struck the sea.


Natural Selection and Mutations Have No Power to Cause Evolution

Muslim evolutionists who ignore the fact that science has disproven evolution face another dilemma as well: the claim that the 1.5 million living species in nature came about as the result of unconscious natural events.

According to evolutionists, the first living cell emerged due to chemical reactions in inanimate matter. (Let's recall here that a considerable amount of scientific evidence shows that this is impossible. In addition, researchers who carried out experiments by bringing together the gases that made up Earth's initial atmosphere, as well as the appropriate atmospheric conditions, have been unable to "produce" even the smallest building block of life, the protein.13) Since they have failed to bring about a living organism despite all of the technology and scientific knowledge available to them, it is naturally irrational and illogical to claim that blind chance could have succeeded.

Evolution also claims that life began with that first cell, grew ever-more complex, and assumed an ever-greater variety until human beings were produced. In brief, the theory goes, unconscious mechanisms in nature must have continuously developed living things. For example, one bacterium contains the genetic code for some 2,000 proteins whereas a human being contains the genetic code for some 200,000 proteins. In other words, an unconscious mechanism "produced" the genetic data for 198,000 new proteins over time.


Even a single cell, the building block of life, possesses an enormously complex structure. The above picture shows just some of the parts that go into making up a cell. There is an extraordinarily complex and flawlessly planned organization between all of these components. To claim that all of this could have come about by chance flies in the face of logic and scientific discoveries.

That is what evolution claims. Yet does nature really contain a mechanism that can develop a living thing's genetic data?

The modern theory of evolution - also known as neo-Darwinism, the updated version of Darwin's original theory that takes into account recent discoveries in genetics - proposes two such mechanisms: natural selection and mutation.

The evolutionists' imaginary tree of life

Natural selection means that the strong and those who can adapt to changing natural conditions survive the fight for life, while the rest are eliminated and disappear. For instance, a continual fall in a region's temperature means that certain animal populations that are not resistant to low temperatures are weeded out. Over the long term, only those animals who are resistant to cold temperatures survive and eventually make up the whole population.

There is enough information in one human DNA molecule to fill 1,000 books. This giant encyclopedia has been shown to consist of 3 million letters. The flawless creation in DNA is proof of Allah's infinite power and might.

Alternatively, in the case of rabbits who live with the constant threat of predators, only those who best adapt to the prevailing conditions (e.g., those who can run the fastest), survive and thus pass their features on to subsequent generations. However, careful examination reveals that no new feature actually emerges here, for these rabbits are not turning into a new species or acquiring a new characteristic. Thus one cannot say that natural selection causes evolution.

This being the case, evolutionists are left with mutation. In order for evolution's claim to be acceptable, mutations must be able to develop a living thing's genetic data. Mutations are defined as errors in a living thing's genes that arise either as the result of external influences (e.g., radiation) or copying faults in DNA. Of course mutations may give rise to change, yet such changes are always destructive. To put it another way, mutations cannot develop living things; rather, they always harm living things.

Genetics made major advances during the twentieth century. By examining genetic diseases in living things in the light of rapidly developing science, scientists showed that mutations were not biological changes that could contribute something to evolution. This contradicts the evolutionists' claim. Advances in genetics, in particular, resulted in the acknowledgement that some 4,500 supposedly hereditary genetic diseases actually were caused by mutation.

In order for mutations to become hereditary, they must occur in the reproductive organs (sperm cells in men, ovaries in women). Only this type of genetic change can be transmitted to later generations. Many genetic diseases are caused by such changes in just those very cells. Mutations, on the other hand, form in other bodily organs (e.g., the liver or the brain), and so cannot be transmitted to subsequent generations. Such mutations, called "somatic," cause many cancers through degeneration in the cells' DNA.

According to natural selection, the strong and those able to adapt to their surroundings survive, while the rest disappear. Evolutionists propose that natural selection caused living things to evolve and resulted in new species. However, natural selection has no such effect; all of the supposed "evidence" presented so far confirms this.

Cancer is one of the best examples of the damage caused by mutations. Many carcinogenic factors, such as chemical substances and ultraviolet rays, actually produce mutations. Following the recent discovery of oncogenic and tumor-preventing genes that, when they malfunction, particularly effective in causing cancer, researchers realized how mutations lead to cancer. These two types of genes are necessary in order for cells to multiply and for the body to renew itself. If one of them is damaged by mutation, cells begin to grow in an uncontrolled manner and cancer begins to form. We can compare this situation to a stuck gas pedal or a non-working brake in a car. In both cases, the car will crash. In the same way, the cells' uncontrolled growth rate leads first to cancer and then to death. When mutations damage these genes at birth, as in the case of retinoblastoma, the affected babies soon die.

Chance mutations are always harmful to humans and all other living things. The horrifying results of the 1986 nuclear accident at Chernobyl show the effect of mutations.

The damage done to living things by mutations is not limited to these examples. Almost all mutations observed so far are harmful; only a few are neutral. Despite this, however, evolutionists as well as Muslim evolutionists still try to maintain that mutation is a valid evolutionary mechanism. If species had evolved into one another, as evolutionists claim, millions of advantageous mutations would have had to occur and be present in all reproductive cells.

Just as an earthquake destroys a city instead of developing it, chance mutations lead to sickness, deformity, and handicaps in living things.

Science, as it continues to advance, has discovered millions of harmful mutations and has identified the resulting diseases. However, evolution faces a terrible quandary: Evolutionist scientists can cite no mutations that actually increase genetic data. Pierre Paul Grassé, one of France's best-known zoologists, editor of the 35-volume Traite de Zoologie, and former president of the French Academy of Sciences, has compared mutations to the incorrect letters made while copying a written text. And just like incorrect letters, mutations do not increase information; rather, they damage the already existing data. Grassé states this fact in the following manner:

Mutations, in time, occur incoherently. They are not complimentary to one another, nor are they cumulative in successive generations toward a given direction. They modify what persists, but they do so in disorder, no matter how... As soon as some disorder, even slight, appears in an organized being, sickness, then death follow. There is no possible compromise between the phenomenon of life and anarchy.14

Given this fact, mutations, as Grassé puts it, "no matter how numerous they may be,they do not produce any kind of evolution." We can compare the effects of mutations to an earthquake. Just as an earthquake does not help develop or improve a city but actually tears it down, mutations always have negative effects in exactly the same way. From this point of view, the evolutionists' claims regarding mutations are completely unfounded. (For further details, see The Evolution Deceit by Harun Yahya, Taha Publishers, London, 1999).


4. David Skjaerlund, Philosophical Origins of Evolution, (http://www.forerunner.com/forerunner/x0742-philosophical-origin.html)
5. http://www.candleinthedark.com/anaximander.html
6. http://buglady.clc.uc.edu/biology/bio106/earlymod.htm
7. David Skjaerlund, Philosophical Origins of Evolution, (http://www.forerunner.com/forerunner/x0742-philosophical-origin.html)
8. http://buglady.clc.uc.edu/biology/bio106/earlymod.htm
9. Maurice Manquat, Aristote naturaliste, Paris: Librairie Philosophique, J. Vrin, 1932, p. 113
10. Sir Fred Hoyle & Chandra Wickramasinghe Prof of Astronomy, Cambridge University Prof of Astronomy and Applied Mathematics University College, Cardiff Evolution from Space, J. M. Dent, 1981, pp.141, 144
11. Pierre-Paul Grasse, Evolution of Living Organisms, Academic Press, New York, 1977, p.103
12. Fred Hoyle, Chandra Wickramasinghe, Evolution from Space, Dent, London, 1981, p.130
13. The evolutionary scenario related to the origin of life is called the theory of chemical evolution. Countless experiments conducted during the twentieth century failed to support this theory. Stanley Miller's experiment, the most famous case, consisted of his alleged "creation" of a primitive atmosphere and the subsequent synthesis of a few amino acids. However it was later recognized that the primitive atmosphere was far more hostile to organic compounds than Miller had assumed. No one has ever been able to duplicate the assembling of proteins, the real building bock of life, in any "chemical evolution" experiment. For details, see Harun Yahya, Darwinism Refuted, Goodword Books, New Delhi, 2003.
14. Pierre-Paul Grasse, Evolution of Living Organisms, Academic Press, New York, 1977, p.97