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In the Name of God بسم الله
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Interesting idea occurred to me yesterday. I'm someone who has always been of the point of view that the whole controversy over evolution is way overblown, and that evolution actually fits in very nicely with a Theistic creation point of view, as long as you look at it from the right philosophical perspective. (To simplify, God is the creator and agent of change, and evolution is the history, the details of that change.) One interesting field that comes out of evolution is evolutionary psychology. It looks at how certain psychological aspects of our behavior are linked to the history of the development of the human lifeform through evolution, particularly as adaptations to evolutionary challenges we faced over time. One of the powerful ideas is that certain psychological tendencies that are harmful today (like gluttony, the tendency to just overeat if we are provided with bounty, the tendency to distrust strangers or people outside our family or tribe, our tendency toward violence, our tendencies to be carried away by lust) are there within us because in earlier, more animalistic stages in the process leading to the modern human form, these traits helped our ancestors to survive. Those tendencies come from our lower brain areas. The more recent adaptation, the higher brain, the cerebral cortex, is sort of fighting a battle to control these lower brain elements. But there's always a struggle, because this rational brain that is needed for us to adapt to modern demands is always challenged by the animal brain pulling us towards animal urges. Meanwhile in Islam, there is the talk of different types of souls, and of the mysterious Shaytaan that serves as some voice pulling us toward an animalistic path. I wonder if what was called in the pre-science days 1400 years ago, the "Shaytaan" is actually this lower, older brain? If so, could this serve as a validation of evolutionary ideas within Islam? Discuss.
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