The works of Harun Yahya continue to echo throughout the
world. Some of these echoes consist of reactions and responses from atheists.
The latest example of this was a piece by François Tremblay called "Harun
Yahya: An Invitation to Dogmatism." Tremblay's criticisms are both
unfair and illogical, however. An explanation of this follows below.
Criticism Regarding Islamic Morals and Perished Nations
It can be seen from the above objection that François Tremblay's
criticisms are not consistent and objective. Tremblay states that there
is reference to love and justice under the heading "True Islamic
Morals" on the Harun Yahya website, and then suggests that this is
incompatible with the heading "Perished Nations" on the same
site. In other words, Tremblay finds the fact that Muslims have to treat
other people properly inconsistent with the fact that God has destroyed
certain societies in the past.
It is quite clear that there is no inconsistency between
the two. The concepts of Muslims treating other people well and these
people being punished by God for the sins they have committed are very
different. God has commanded Muslims to treat people well, because it
is only our Lord, with His infinite justice, Who will judge them. A Muslim
behaves well to everybody, and if certain people respond to this with
evil, he hopes they will receive recompense for this in the sight of God.
It is a matter for speculation why Tremblay is unable to
grasp such a simple concept. In fact, he is probably aware of the injustice
of that criticism since he writes, "this may be a superficial assessment
on my part." Tremblay is quite right when it comes to his self-criticism,
though not to the other. His assessment is indeed "superficial."
Criticism Regarding the Argument from Design
Tremblay is evidently someone who believes in Darwinism and
materialism. He evaluates and attempts to criticize all the works of Harun
Yahya from within that framework of belief. He is subjective in other
words, and prejudiced. The following comment makes this quite clear: "The
articles are sprinkled with Qur'an verses and praises to God, and this
makes the content, once again, very uninspiring."
As we have seen, Tremblay's reaction reveals that he is
opposed to references to God and the Qur'an. This is naturally inconsistent.
It can only be regarded as an expression of an irrational reaction to
religion. As an atheist, Tremblay could at least have wondered what it
is that the faithful believe in and examined the texts from that point
of view. However, it appears that he has no wish even to hear of God and
His revelation, which far from being an open-minded attitude is actually
a dogmatic one. Moreover, this is a situation that God describes in the
Qur'an. God refers to unbelievers such as Tremblay as "those whose
eyes were blind to My remembrance and whose ears were unable to hear."
(Qur'an, 18: 101)
Following that, Tremblay criticizes all of Harun Yahya's
articles concerning nature and comes out against them by saying that they
are all versions of the "argument from design." This means nothing
more than that Tremblay has totally rejected the argument from design.
In fact, that argument is known to be a most powerful one, to which evolutionists
can give no satisfactory response. Tremblay could at least have said,
"Harun Yahya examines nature from the perspective of design, which
I do not share." The fact that he begins by regarding the argument
from design as totally invalid once again shows that he approaches the
whole subject dogmatically.
The criticism he offers actually reveals that Tremblay has
not even grasped what the argument from design actually is. After an extract
from Harun Yahya regarding the equilibrium in the universe, he writes:
But such expositions of facts do not show us a Creator,
and neither do they make obvious the necessity of a Creator: they only
show us the majesty of natural law. The burden of proof is on the religious
apologist: he must demonstrate that natural law is impotent in explaining
a particularity of nature.
The fact is however that the problem being dealt with as
the equilibrium in the universe is described in Harun Yahya's works is
not the impotency of natural law to maintain that equilibrium but rather
the fact that the natural laws which maintain this balance have been finely
tuned at just the right level for human life. If he were to read Harun
Yahya's The Creation of the Universe (http://www.harunyahya.com/create01.php)
he would see that the fact known as the "Anthropic Principle"
in the scientific world is considered there. This states that the natural
laws in the universe (the values of the four fundamental forces, for instance)
are precisely tailored to ensure human life.
Another error in the above paragraph comes with the sentence
"The burden of proof is on the religious apologist: he must demonstrate
that natural law is impotent in explaining a particularity of nature."
Yet what Tremblay demands should be shown to him is perfectly evident.
Natural laws are unable to account for the origin of life. There is no
natural law that can explain how the first living organism on earth came
into being, nor how its genetic information and the enzymes that translate
and use that information came into existence. No physical or chemical
law can account for the emergence of this "'information," the
essence of life, came into being. That being the case, it is clear that
this information came not from natural laws but from an "intelligence."
Fred Hoyle, one of the most important 20th century scientists, emphasized
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
Tremblay's reaction is also "psychological." We
invite him to be a little more rational.
Embryology and the Qur'an
Another imaginary inconsistency put forward by Tremblay
is that between the Qur'an and modern embryology. Tremblay objects to
the following verses:
We created man from the purest kind of clay; then
made him a drop in a secure receptacle; then formed the drop into an embryo
and formed the embryo into a lump and formed the lump into bones and clothed
the bones in flesh; and then brought him into being as another creature.
Blessed be Allah, the Best of Creators! (Qur'an, 23: 12-14)
What Tremblay fails to understand here is that the "creation
from clay" described in the first verse refers to the creation of
the first human being. Other verses of the Qur'an in fact state that the
first human being was created from clay (6/2, 15/26, 55/14). When one
considers that just about all the elements that comprise the human body
are also present in the earth, it can be seen that this account is most
compatible with the scientific facts.
In the continuation of the verses human development in the
mother's womb is described, and this is fully in line with the scientific
facts: A description is given of the sperm reaching the womb, the way
it is kept there, how it grows there and turns into tissue, how bones
form within that tissue and how the bones are covered with muscles. Tremblay
objects to that chronology, saying that bones begin to form after the
40th day. These objections are meaningless, however. As stated in the
verse, the embryo is a "lump" until the 40th day. Bone formation
starting after the 40th day and other tissues forming around them is quite
compatible with the facts in the Qur'an.
One person who has carried out a detailed study on this subject
is the Canadian Professor Keith L. Moore, formerly of the Toronto University
Anatomy and Cell Biology Department. Moore lived in Saudi Arabia for a
time, where he studied with various Muslim religious scholars the facts
about embryology given in the Qur'an, and established that these were
strikingly compatible with the discoveries of modern science. Moore also
studied in some detail the verses that Tremblay attempts to criticize,
and showed that these were fully compatible with the scientific findings.
Another of Tremblay's objections aimed at the Qur'an is
that various Christians have written suras similar to the Surahs of the
Qur'an. Everyone is definitely free to write what he wishes; yet no one
can produce an "imitation" that anywhere approaches the extraordinary
literary worth of the Qur'an and the spiritual effect it awakens in people.
Moreover, the Qur'an contains many miracles. For instance, a lot of information
that God provided in the Qur'an 1400 years ago could not have been known
to people of the time. (http://www.harunyahya.com/miracles_of_the_quran_01.php)
It is quite clear that the Qur'an is the word of God and is inimitable,
and the latter is accepted by many Western experts on Islam.
We can respond to Tremblay's other objections by setting
them out as follows:
Article 1: The Claim that Darwinism is Not Based
Another of Tremblay's objections is directed towards Harun
Yahya's analysis of Darwinism basing the origin of life on chance.
Tremblay offers two objections here. The first is that there is no such
thing as "chance" and that this merely stems from the fact that
we do not know everything. We agree with him on this point. There are
indeed no coincidences in the universe, since everything is included
in God's infinite knowledge and design. From human beings' point of
view, however, there is a difference between planned actions and spontaneous
ones, and that is what we call "chance."
Tremblay's opposition to the concept of chance on scientific grounds,
and his representation of the mechanisms of neo-Darwinism as mechanisms
far removed from being coincidental is a surprising piece of absurdity.
The two fundamental mechanisms of neo-Darwinism are natural selection
and mutation. Since the production of new genetic information is only
expected from mutation, this is the critical mechanism, and mutations
are based on chance. In fact, the term "chance mutation"
is generally employed in scientific literature. Tremblay's objection to
this is really rather surprising:
"Even mutations have definite properties, dictated
by genetic processes and natural law: there are germ mutations, point
mutations, frame-shift mutations, and so on."
In the above list, Tremblay categorizes mutations according
to their effects. Yet this arrangement does not change the fact that mutations
are random. People could categorize traffic accidents according to their
effects, but that would not show that these accidents are not "coincidental."
It is no easy task to understand Tremblay's rules of reasoning.
Article 2, 10 and 11: Fossils and the Cambrian
In his article, Tremblay defends Eldredge and Gould's
theory of punctuated equilibrium without providing any evidence whatsoever,
and says that there is no "fossil fiasco." The fact is, however,
that it is a manifest truth, accepted by many paleontologists, that the
fossil record conflicts with Darwinism and fails to back up its expectations.
Robert Carroll, for instance, one of the sources cited in Tremblay's article
writes (in the new 1997 edition, not the old 1988 edition cited by Tremblay):
Despite more than a hundred years of
intense collecting efforts since the time of Darwin's death, the fossil
record still does not yield the picture of infinitely numerous transitional
links that he expected. 2
Tremblay's objection on the subject of the Cambrian Explosion
is also most inconsistent. More than 50 animal phyla suddenly emerged
during the Cambrian Explosion, and no evolutionary account can be given
of this. The comment Tremblay makes to cover this fact up shows just how
desperate he is:
"Should we be surprised that phyla suddenly appear
at a certain era? Not any more than we should be astonished that the major
branches of a tree start growing around the same time."
Tremblay's analogy ignores a most important truth, however:
A tree splits off into its branches at specific points, because there
is a genetic program describing these branches. Tremblay's comparing this
to the Cambrian Explosion shows just how superficially he looks at the
whole subject. It is believed that before the Cambrian Explosion there
were two or at most three phyla on earth. More than 50 phyla emerged all
of a sudden during the Cambrian Explosion, and there is no evidence to
suggest that these had a common ancestor.
The way he tries to represent the sudden appearance of phyla as a very
simple phenomenon is another piece of sleight of hand. He writes that:
"The so-called 'explosion' is the consequence of our classification
of animals in groups and sub-groups, not of any creative action."
Every paleontologist with a knowledge of the subject is well aware, however,
that the explosion is real and it represents a serious problem for the
theory of evolution. For example, the evolutionist paleontologist Jeffrey
S. Levinton says the following about the Cambrian Explosion in an article
in Scientific American called "The Big Bang of Animal Evolution,"
Therefore something special and very mysterious
- some highly "creative force" - existed then. 3
Article 3: Objection to Design
Tremblay suggests that there is no design in living
things, for which reason it is wrong to ascribe it to a Creator. Since
"there is no design in living things" is an evolutionist claim
lacking any scientific proof, rather than an objective fact, Tremblay's
analysis has no other meaning than simply repeating the premises of theory
of evolution once again.
Article 4: Religion and Science
Tremblay claims that Harun Yahya employs an argument
along the lines of "Darwinism disrupts the natural harmony of science
and religion, proof that it is false." This is incorrect. The thing
which proves Darwinism to be false is the way it contradicts scientific
findings, and Harun Yahya employs scientific proofs to criticize the theory
in all his books and studies.
On the other hand, Tremblay's attempt to equate science with materialism
and religion with "the occult," is an outdated piece of propaganda
which has long since lost any credibility. We suggest that he abandon
his belief that science is the same thing as materialism and instead attempt
to grasp the rational nature of religion. (For further details, he can
turn to Harun Yahya's article "Distinguishing Between Science and
Materialism" at http://www.harunyahya.com/refuted16.php)
Article 5: Instincts
Tremblay objects to the analysis that animal instincts are
actually the inspiration of God. According to Tremblay, "we cannot
distinguish between a behavior motivated by the brain and a behavior inspired
by Allah." Since Tremblay possesses materialist views, he prefers
a materialist explanation. Yet he is ignoring two points:
a) Some animal instincts are so complex
as not to be reducible to the brain. In other words, there is no complex
nervous system to respond to the information the living things in question
must possess to exhibit this instinct. Hoïmar von Ditfurth, one of Germany's
most eminent evolutionist natural scientists, admits this fact in commenting
on the most rational method of concealment employed by the emperor moth:
Who is the real owner of the idea that
it may be possible to hide from predators by placing in front of them
deceptive resemblances (other dried leaves), this intelligent discovery
which astounds people? Whose work is this extremely interesting discovery
to discourage and disappoint birds by reducing their chances of finding
anything amongst dry leaves to a certain extent, and from whom has the
caterpillar taken it at birth? . . . We have to accept that all these
things are ways that would only be resorted to by a very clever human
being in order to stay alive. In fact, when we examine both the primitive
nature of its nervous system and its other behavior, it is out of the
question for the Attacus moth to be able to devise such a purpose or to
utilize its intelligence to carry it out. 4
Since the animal has no intelligence with which to design
such behavior, then that behavior must clearly have been "given"
to it. (The analysis in Harun Yahya's works is an expression of this evident
truth.) Ditfurth explains why they cannot accept this:
So how does it come about that despite
all these characteristics the caterpillar is able to protect itself by
this method? . . . When faced with occurrences of this type, the natural
scientists of the past did not stop at believing in the existence of a
miracle; they could not prevent themselves from thinking that a supernatural
Creator, that is God, provided His creations with the necessary information
for such devices in order to protect them, whereas this type of explanation
is suicide for a natural scientist…5
Why suicide? Because this means the rejection of Darwinism.
And people like Ditfurth have made Darwinism the greatest dogma of their
lives. Tremblay too…
In fact, it is most consistent to accept that the behavior
exhibited by animals, which far surpasses their own intelligence, is inspired
b) Instincts may have genetic bases. Yet the existence
of such a basis is no obstacle to our accepting that they are inspired
in living things. That is because it is clear that natural effects (in
other words natural selection and mutation) cannot account for the origin
of the genetic information in question. (The two mechanisms of neo-Darwinism
in question have never been observed to build genetic information). That
being the case, the inspiration of God emerges as genetic information
encoded in living things.
Article 6: "Beneficial" Mutations and
the Tragedy of Sickle-Cell Anaemia
Neo-Darwinism requires that mutations add new genetic
information to living things and provide advantages for them. Yet not
one example of "beneficial mutation" has ever been observed
anywhere in the world! This fact alone is enough to demolish the theory
So, what do evolutionists have to say on this subject? All
they are able to do is trying to rescue their position by citing a few
examples of so-called beneficial mutation. Heading the list of these few
"beneficial mutations" are those that cause resistance to antibiotics
and a mutation which causes sickle-cell anemia.
It is explained in Harun Yahya's works just why these two
examples do not represent "beneficial mutations." (See "Bacterial
Resistance to Antibiotics" http://www.harunyahya.com/refuted11.php)
We shall be concentrating on sickle-cell anemia here.
This disease is caused by the deformation of the red blood cells. The
cells contain an abnormal hemoglobin type known as "Hemoglobin S."
This hemoglobin collapses in the red blood cells in the form of long crystals
when deprived of oxygen, and the red blood cells come to resemble sickles.
This change of shape in the red blood cells causes them to transport insufficient
oxygen, and soon afterwards the number of red blood cells begins to go
The effects of the disease are very serious. Severe pains and attacks,
which can last for days or weeks, develop in the bones, muscles or stomach.
Vision defects and even blindness can result from the red blood cells
being unable to carry sufficient oxygen to the retina. Loss of function
in the liver can lead to jaundice. Children's growth is retarded. The
body becomes liable to infections, and, most important of all, damage
may occur in certain regions of the brain due to blockages in small vessels
in the brain.
Evolutionists, however, regard the mutation responsible for sickle-cell
anemia as "an example of beneficial mutation."
The basis for this claim is the fact that
the mutation in question in the hemoglobin molecule protects against another
disease, malaria. The characteristic of the malaria virus is that it attacks
round, healthy blood cells. It does not, therefore, attack deformed, sickle-shaped
cells. If the malaria virus enters the bodies of such people it does not
give rise to the disease. 6
The fact is however, that the harm caused to human beings
by this mutation, which causes serious and even lethal sickness, which
can kill because of insufficient nutrients reaching certain organs and
tissues in the body, and which spreads by being transmitted to subsequent
generations, is evident. Using that logic, one could claim that people
blind from birth stand a reduced risk of having traffic accidents since
they are not able to drive. Regarding the sickle-cell mutation as "beneficial"
is nothing more than an expression of the despair suffered by evolutionists.
So, what kind of examples of "beneficial mutation"
are given by François Tremblay, who objects to Harun Yahya's saying, "There
are no beneficial mutations"?
As one might expect, sickle-cell anemia!
That is because there are no other "beneficial mutations"
for him to put forward. This is, in fact, another demonstration of the
fact that there are no "beneficial mutations."
Article 7: The Myth of Vestigial Organs
Another of Tremblay's pieces of sleight of hand to rescue
Darwinism is the subject of vestigial organs. He claims that vestigial
organs are not "non-functional" but organs "with reduced
functions," and even suggests that Harun Yahya misinterprets this
That fact is, however, that it is he who misinterprets the
concept. It is plain that vestigial organs are generally interpreted as
"non-functional organs." In The Origin of Species Darwin
refers to these organs as "rudimentary organs," and compares
them to letters which are written but not pronounced and thus have no
Rudimentary organs may be compared with
the letters in a word, still retained in the spelling, which become useless
in the pronunciation, but which serve as a clue in seeking for its derivation.
Darwin described these organs as "organs in a rudimentary,
imperfect and useless condition" and clearly referred to them as
organs which are unable to completely fulfill their function or
else which are completely non-functional.
For that reason, Tremblay's criticism of Harun Yahya on the
subject of vestigial organs is unfair.
The real inconsistency lies in Tremblay's own account. He
writes, "A vestigial organ is only an organ with reduced functions
compared to its previous uses in evolutionary ancestors." Yet how
does he know that any present functional organ assumed another function
in a hypothetical "evolutionary ancestor"? By that logic, all
organs could be claimed to be vestigial: it could be claimed that our
eyes were, instead of being organs of sight, "sacs of water"
in our "earlier ancestors," or that our arms actually served
as fins. In other words, Tremblay's interpretation leaves no definition
of "vestigial organs" at all. This, in turn, is an expression
of evolutionists' defeat in their argument on "vestigial organs".
Articles 8 and 9: Proteins, DNA and the Origin
of the Cell
Does Tremblay really fail to understand certain facts, or does he believe
that he can rescue his position by appearing not to understand them? This
question arises in the context of his comments on proteins, DNA and the
origin of the cell in particular.
The fact that Tremblay prefers not to understand is "irreducible
complexity." The formation of only 10%, 25% or 50% of the protein
Cytochrome-C will serve no purpose. In the same way, there can be no question
of life in the absence of genetic information, the DNA sequence to encode
that information and the enzymes to decipher that code. This fact, known
to all, is one of the greatest dilemmas facing the theory of evolution.
(For more details, see
Objections on Social and Religious Matters
In addition to these, Tremblay produces criticisms on
social and religious matters, to which we can respond in brief:
The events in history known as "the clash between
science and religion" stem from the mistakes of people and institutions
which were fanatical in religious matters, or else (as is the case with
Tremblay himself), from the dogmatism of those who equate science with
In fact, when they are properly understood and applied, there
is no conflict between the divine religions and science, but rather a
The negativities in the Islamic world listed by Tremblay
stem not from the essence of Islam, not from the Qur'an in other words,
but from mistaken traditions accepted instead of the Qur'an.
Tremblay rejects the connection made by Harun Yahya between
lack of faith and immorality, but this is a mistaken and superficial objection.
Moral degeneration begins with people wishing to satisfy their passions
in an unrestricted manner. The divine religions teach us to rein in those
passions. In a society which is not shaped by these religions it is quite
probable that selfishness will become the norm, bringing with it degeneration
Tremblay suggests that Social Darwinism is not an influential
idea, and writes,
"There is no necessary relation between the behavior
of lower animals and ours, and no serious philosopher would propose it.
I have never heard it being used as a serious argument by anyone: it is
simply a non-issue."
This is an obvious mistake. It is a known fact that Social
Darwinism, in other words the attempt to account for human behavior in
terms of animals' behavior, was most influential between the end of the
19th century and the middle of the 20th. The term Social Darwinism has
lost popularity since then, although the same view was still expressed
in different forms. This is the essence of the thesis of "Sociobiology,"
which has been defended since the 1970s and of evolutionary psychology,
which is becoming ever more popular in the present day. If Tremblay has
really "never heard" of these, he needs to study the subject
in a little more depth.
François Tremblay's objections to the works of Harun Yahya
are, as he himself suspected, "superficial," and also wrong.
His greatest error is the unconditional acceptance of the theory of evolution
and materialism as a dogma, and then passing all findings through that
ideological filter. We suggest he think a little more open-mindedly and
rationally in the future.