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In the Name of God بسم الله
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Darth Vader

A Simple Question

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Hm well, if it helps...

 

there are various lines of evidence for a common ancestor, at least with respect to post cambrian aged living things (pretty much every animal. including 99% of fossils that are commonly found around us).

 

For example...

 

You may hear people talk about viral markers in a living organisms DNA. And these markers may be found in the DNA of related organisms (other related species).  And these various species share these viral markers because they all receive them from a common ancestor that was originally infected by the virus.

 

Things of this nature...

 

So, it sounds like youre saying, what if...

 

"what if each species developed separately from various eukaryotes.  Maybe a eukaryote develops inside of say...a snail, and the eukaryote goes on to become another snail."

 

Well, i mean, if a snail has a baby then a snail could develop inside of another snail. Otherwise, it doesnt seem likely that...an alligator for example, may develop inside of a snail.

 

Though, a snail could give birth to a mutated snail. And if that mutated snail went on to reproduce and to grow in number, then you would have a new species that could potentially be non snail, that originated from a snail.  If species were defined by individuals, then a snail could certainly give birth to a non snail or an alternate snail species. 

 

I dont know if that helps.

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...yea I think I knew the answer already, but that helped. Though what I really asked was simply eukaryotes turning into alligators just like that ;) which is obviously crazy but less crazier than full body forms landing from the heaven. I understand one needs an environment, a womb or an egg where to develop, also DNA can't progress that rapidly, you need to pass the DNA through reproduction, replication and mutation, and also that one alligator out of a eukaryote is not enough because you need a pair if they're to have kids. I'm stating the obvious problems for readers who may have similar ideas on mind... 

 

What we reach is that unless life was created by breaking the laws of nature, the current theory of evolution is by far the most valid explanation. Now, I ask this to all.. What if a person says he believe in Islam and he believes in the theory of evolution too, where is the contradiction in that ? On what grounds is evolution inconsistent with Islam or theism in general ?

 

iCambrian, I take it you're an atheist, do you think someone who regard both as true is contradicting himself ?

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Well, it looks like the Church of Rome have finalized the contradiction:

 

“The big bang, which is today posited as the origin of the world, does not contradict the divine act of creation; rather, it requires it,”
 
“Evolution of nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation because evolution presupposes the creation of beings which evolve.”
 
“When we read the creation story in Genesis we run the risk of imagining that God was a magician, with a magic wand which is able to do everything,”
 
“But it is not so. He created beings and let them develop according to internal laws which He gave every one, so they would develop, so they would reach maturity.”
 
 
A big change for a Church that was against evolution for such a long time, I wonder how much longer before Islams agrees....
 
wslm 

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Well, it looks like the Church of Rome have finalized the contradiction:

 

“The big bang, which is today posited as the origin of the world, does not contradict the divine act of creation; rather, it requires it,”
 
“Evolution of nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation because evolution presupposes the creation of beings which evolve.”
 
“When we read the creation story in Genesis we run the risk of imagining that God was a magician, with a magic wand which is able to do everything,”
 
“But it is not so. He created beings and let them develop according to internal laws which He gave every one, so they would develop, so they would reach maturity.”
 
 
A big change for a Church that was against evolution for such a long time, I wonder how much longer before Islams agrees....
 
wslm 

 

 

I was reading about this the other day, funny stuff lol

iCambrian, I take it you're an atheist, do you think someone who regard both as true is contradicting himself ?

 

I wouldnt consider myself an atheist.  For the question though, no there is nothing wrong with that.  Id say, it is even inevitable that the majority of muslims will at some point in time, accept it. I'd say youre probably ahead of the rest of the group if you do.

 

A lot of this really has to do with education as well.  Ive been doing a bit of reading and, it is far more likely that, change in how the Islamic world views things like evolution are far more likely to come from countries like Iran where people actually appear to care about science, verses far less developed countries that may be 3rd world nations, or countries that are more "fundamental" like Saudi. And this goes for, Judaism and Christianity as well, though, as we see above, the pope seems to be on board, so everyone is is catching on, slowly but surely.

 

Its all about education.

Edited by iCambrian

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I was reading about this the other day, funny stuff lol

I wouldnt consider myself an atheist. For the question though, no there is nothing wrong with that. Id say, it is even inevitable that the majority of muslims will at some point in time, accept it. I'd say youre probably ahead of the rest of the group if you do.

A lot of this really has to do with education as well. Ive been doing a bit of reading and, it is far more likely that, change in how the Islamic world views things like evolution are far more likely to come from countries like Iran where people actually appear to care about science, verses far less developed countries that may be 3rd world nations, or countries that are more "fundamental" like Saudi. And this goes for, Judaism and Christianity as well, though, as we see above, the pope seems to be on board, so everyone is is catching on, slowly but surely.

Its all about education.

Yes, people are slowly but surely becoming more and more ignorant. That is something we know to be sure as the world progressively becomes less spiritual and more materialistic. They may think they are becoming more knowledgable but this just compounded ignorance (when one does not know that he does not know but thinks he knows). You imagine that since the beginning of time till just a recently people have been ignorant about life's origin but it took some guy like Darwin are to awaken all of mankind from their deep slumber? Very interesting.

If the pope accepts evolution this is actually part of the prophecy that there will come a time where ignorance and misguidance will very prevalent.

Edited by eThErEaL

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^ Refuting "evolution" was not really the intended purpose of this thread. It was about searching out how life began on this planet and if the theory of it has been or can be put into practice.

 

"Evolution" is a slippery word and each have their own definition and belief regarding it. Just a reminder if you wish to use it further.

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I appreciate the long reply.  I'm going to try and list the different reasons you have for evolution being philosophically impossible.  btw Im skeptical about the standard evolutionary accounts but Im not convinced by your arguments.

 

1.  Violation of principle of proportionate causality. 

- What do you make of Thomist accounts of this and how they reconcile it with evolution?

- Why can't the potential for evolution not be placed in the sum total of the existent beings plus the laws of nature and non-living matter?

(salam)

 

Sorry for the delay.  I had written the reply a week a ago but as soon as I was about to send it through the content got deleted because I hit the back arrow by mistake!  I decided to then continue the task later but on a word document!   :)

 

 

-       Can you explain what kind of modern interpretation of Aquinas you have in mind that reconciles Causality with Evolution?  I read something by Edward Feser on Causality and Evolution and I don’t remember exactly what he said but I do remember not being convinced by it.

 

-       Because then there wouldn’t be distinct species (there would just be the sum total of existent beings + the laws of nature).  There wouldn’t be anything to account for the universal and intelligible ideas that make dogs different from humans.    

 

2.  Transformation of one species into another contradicts the whole idea of species.

-Why?  Why couldn't one species give birth to another?  God could make changes in the DNA of sperm and egg of species x to lead to the development and birth of a new species y.  This is conceivable

 

 

Just because we can imagine one species giving birth to another species doesn’t mean we can conceive of its logical possibility.  I can imagine a ball appearing out of nothing or out of thin air.  This doesn’t necessarily mean it is possible for the ball to come into existence through nothing or through thin air.  In fact, one cannot conceive of a species giving birth to a different species because that is simply not what species do!  It is not within their nature to give birth to a different species of a different nature.  The only way out of this for you is to deny that species has any universal or intelligible reality (by saying that what we mean by “species” is in fact nothing but a conventional term and a man-made creation that is used for practical purposes—the only way out of this is to say as Dawkin’s says, that “species” is really nothing but a shifting cloud of statistical averages.              

 

3.  There is no alteration in God's creation

-This verse has many interpretations.  You need to validate yours.

 

It has many valid interpretations (perhaps we can say infinite because the words of God can never be exhausted) but I wasn’t using that as a proof for anything.  It was just something that inspired me at the moment. 

 

4. Tranformation from one species to another shows that there is no boundary

-This is clearly incorrect for things like colours and rocks/mountains, so why think it correct for species? 

 

I am not here to deny that there is such a thing as “transformation”.  Transformations are everywhere.  Night and day transform, sunsets are a transformation, melting ice.  Etc etc.

So I am not here to deny such things.  I am here to claim that just because you can imagine a certain transformation does not imply that it is possible or conceivable.  Just because you can imagine the colors blue and red mixing and transforming into pink does not necessarily mean that it is possible or conceivable.  When you mix blue and red paint you cannot possibly get pink because there is a certain boundary or restriction on what can be produced based on the potentiality of mixing the colors blue and red together.  The reason why we see transformations occurring around us is because they have that potential!  Why don’t species have that potential?  Because if they did there wouldn’t be any truly distinct species in the real sense of the term (there would just be individuals which look more or less the same or different).  A species is not the sum of individuals who look similar (this is a materialistic understanding of species).  A species is not the sum of individuals which share the same physical properties of weight, size, shape, height, and color etc (note: these are measurable and quantifiable).  A species is rather an eternal, universal and intelligible reality and is therefore not quantifiable.                       

 

5.  Evolution implies only quantitative differences between things

-I am rational, whilst rocks aren't - that's a qualitative difference.  Now you can make the case that atheistic/materialistic evolution can't account for that, but what is the argument that this is due to evolution per se rather than the atheism/materialism?  If evolution is your only account of living things then that is problematic and I am with you.  But it doesnt have to be just evolution.

 

 

The inability to account for the qualitative difference between species is due to evolution per se because evolution traces the origin of things horizontally (not vertically) within the matrix of time itself (a matrix which can at least be imagined --whether by a theist or an atheist-- to be self-contained and independent of other more subtle and immaterial realities beyond itself).  A true account of origins cannot allow even for the possibility of imagining the material world to be self-contained.   The reason for this is that the material realm (the realm of forms) and heavenly realms (the realms of meaning and knowledge)  are inextricable bound together and interpenetrate each other through what is known as a “barzakh (a subtle intermediary reality which is a fusion of form and meaning)” and are therefore not like two separate worlds.  Each species originated not from another species but in fact materialized or “solidified” from its more subtle form in the barzakh.  In fact the material world as a whole (and as we know it) has been “progressively/or degressively” materializing more and more and in fact had its origin not in the material and horizontal matrix of time (like a “Big Bang” narrative) but in and from the barzakh.                

       

So you're saying that each species descended from immaterial realm to material realm but that is a philosophical way of explaining things, whereas I was asking about the actual material process that took place. I know that everything is made by God, but then everything has a certain way of how it comes into being, for example babies come through the whole process of reproduction and pregnancy and birth, here you can say that they 'descend from immaterial realm to material realm' and would be philosophically correct when you say that but all I am asking is what theory do we have for the actual process that created life on earth.

 

As for you saying that there are no boundaries between different living beings from the viewpoint of evolution, I can understand what you mean, but we do know that most things are created from other things. Elements make compounds and once they're compounds they have different chemical and physical properties and since anything is defined by the properties it possesses, therefore, it serves as a good enough boundary.

 

Coal can turn into diamond after millions of years but to say that coal and diamond are the same thing and no boundary exists between them is incorrect because coal is coal and diamond is diamond. If God creates diamond from coal, then why can't frog be created from fish ? Just a question.

 

 

Read my last response to Inshallah please.

 

Thanks.

Edited by eThErEaL

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In fact the material world as a whole (and as we know it) has been “progressively/or degressively” materializing more and more and in fact had its origin not in the material and horizontal matrix of time (like a “Big Bang” narrative) but in and from the barzakh

 

 

Do you think that everything on the universal timeline is the result of barzakh moving forward and manifesting itself more and more ? Such as stars and galaxies solidifying out of barzakh rather than forming due to cosmological processes ? Or do you think the new additions such as existence of life are brought by barzakh ?

 

Even then, there's nothing about the bodies of living things which makes them special, but their bodies are entirely material, the difference is only the ability to move and think, this ability though can be brought on or solidified inside of us through barzakh, but why do you think that the bodies themselves must also solidify out of barzakh ? Since the bodies due to being material are not a new addition in universal timeline, only their liveliness is.

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When we get older there is no age where we say right away we are old. We feel it gradually. We are aging. The exact point of time of being old doesn't have to be agreed upon by language to have a concept of old.

 

God doesn't need precise language definitions to see what he sees. Language is something we use and it's not always concrete.

 

While everything has a relation to the divine, there doesn't need to be these limits as to what God can create or have knowledge of. Slight changes and variations are possible. 

 

Nothing is eternal but God. When God has knowledge of the eternal aspect of things, it's knowledge of his own descent/molding from his light to what he infinitely is not, the what he is of course infinitely less then what he is not in the creation, but it's not that things have separate eternal perfect existences. The one perfection which all things get their reality from is One, and there doesn't need to be these eternal concrete divisions.

Edited by StrugglingForTheLight

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Ethereal what is logically impossible about the following scenario:

 

There is a species of dinosaur.  This dinosaur gets pregnant.  But God alters the DNA and development of the baby to make it a bird.  So the dinosaur gives birth to a bird.

 

If it helps, ethereal made a statement about "statistical averages" with respect to species (species arent generally considered to be individuals).

 

So it may help if the question were "There is a species of dinosaur. A dinosaur of this species gets pregnant.  God alters the DNA and development of the baby to make the baby a bird. So the dinosaur gives birth to the bird."

 

Hopefully i dont add to any confusion, but before ethereal comments, i figured it wouldnt hurt to point that out.

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Ethereal what is logically impossible about the following scenario:

There is a species of dinosaur. This dinosaur gets pregnant. But God alters the DNA and development of the baby to make it a bird. So the dinosaur gives birth to a bird.

For God to create a bird by altering a dinosaur into it (i.e. the bird) is ontologically impossible because:

1) God does not create in time. He created everything all at once in an ever present and eternal "now". The alteration of a baby dinosaur into a bird involves time. Birds do not become birds. Birds are what they are from eternity (whether we have in mind a potential bird or an actual bird).

2) God creates everything perfectly. To create by altering a baby dinosaur (or dinosaur egg, i.e. a potential dinosaur) into a bird means that the dinosaur egg which turns into the bird is an imperfect and useless creation since it had to be changed into something else.

Edited by eThErEaL

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Well...

 

I just pulled out a frozen lamb out of the freezer to defrost it. While washing it in the sink I clearly remembered the nice and affectionate looking animal it was, looking into my eyes the day the butcher paid it his visit. And I was wondering how about or what if it would be possible to reanimating the thing, or perhaps its cells? By passing variable high frequency HV electricity or electrostatic shocks of some kind in a "sweet spot" environment in some high tech lab? Kind of like in that movie, Frankenstein, hehe. What a breakthrough would that be. May be they can do it in the currently obscure, post fascistic, "evolved" and "human" future people that mankind dreams of? :)


Forgive all the typos. I'm short on caffeine.

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Bro I'm not very knowledgeable about the semantics of the evolution theory. I'm also not very good at theory crafting. Who can say for sure what method was used to create birds and reptiles and how they came into being the way they are now. I have read popular and authentic earliest Islamic historians' books that God indeed created very large and strange creatures from both animal and plant kingdoms first, in order to terraform and stock the planet and make it suitable for human society. How birds and fish appeared doesn't really interest me to be perfectly honest.

 

He says and all Muslims will acknowledge that He created us human beings "from dirt and some water". The wet clay was reportedly kneaded. How the body came into being is therefore not very clear for a man of my limited understanding nor is it that important either. The most important part, what brought this statue to life is the spirit which He "blew into it from Himself". This spirit is also the eternal part and the essence that is said to move on and is basically indestructible. It is removed and preserved at death and the body returns to dust. New bodies will be created on the Judgment day for all spirits. With things like cloning at least science has shown us that replicating a body is kind of trivial even for us creatures. This used to be a matter of great contention in ancient times. How will the body be created again once the bones have turned to dust, they asked. Science tells us about DNA and genes.

 

Then there are also interesting matters like twins. And children who know too much as if they have lived again. So on and on. I believe its not so simple to envelop and explain everything.

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For God to create a bird by altering a dinosaur into it (i.e. the bird) is ontologically impossible because:

1) God does not create in time. He created everything all at once in an ever present and eternal "now". The alteration of a baby dinosaur into a bird involves time. Birds do not become birds. Birds are what they are from eternity (whether we have in mind a potential bird or an actual bird).

2) God creates everything perfectly. To create by altering a baby dinosaur (or dinosaur egg, i.e. a potential dinosaur) into a bird means that the dinosaur egg which turns into the bird is an imperfect and useless creation since it had to be changed into something else.

What about the human embryo?

And what about diversity of human looks and races?

And what about creating earth and skies in 6 days?

There is a had it أن الله خلق الأشياء باسبابها Allah created things with its causes. I'm aware that there is some talk about casualty and how to define it but the had it and generally in Islam accepts that there are natural processes for things to change from dust to stars, from seed to tree, from semen to human etc. Some of these processes are mentioned in Quran.

Changes in animal shapes is mentioned also in hadiths.

I think it is ridiculous attempt by both scientist to disprove religion using evolution and by believer to disprove science using religion....

Edited by Chaotic Muslem

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Do you think that everything on the universal timeline is the result of barzakh moving forward and manifesting itself more and more ? Such as stars and galaxies solidifying out of barzakh rather than forming due to cosmological processes ? Or do you think the new additions such as existence of life are brought by barzakh ?

Even then, there's nothing about the bodies of living things which makes them special, but their bodies are entirely material, the difference is only the ability to move and think, this ability though can be brought on or solidified inside of us through barzakh, but why do you think that the bodies themselves must also solidify out of barzakh ? Since the bodies due to being material are not a new addition in universal timeline, only their liveliness is.

I am sorry I didn't come across your last post. Thanks for reading my post.

To answer your first question, everything which exists in the material world is nothing but a reflection of what exists in the more subtle and immaterial realms. So everything here below depends on everything above. This includes stars and galaxies of course. I do not believe in stellar evolution only because stellar evolution is another kind of reduction of quality to quantity. For a stellar evolutionist, stars are nothing but very hot balls of gas particles. That may be part of the material properties of a star but it certainly has nothing to do with the essence of a star. The essence of a star is intimately connected to what it reflects in higher and more subtle realms of existence. Whatever the formation of stars was, it should not contradict the principle of causality which states that nothing can give what it does not have and that the qualitatively lesser cannot cause what is qualitatively greater than itself. So to say that this "awesome" and magnificent galaxy evolved from something qualitatively simpler is wrong.

To answer your second question about bodies and souls. You are imagining that the soul is here below. Our soul lives in the barzakh and remains there. It doesn't have to go there after we die because it is already there right now. The body is nothing more than a reflection of our soul. The body is not an independent entity but is more like a reflection. This is why there is a whole science called "ilm-al-firasa" where one can see your character of soul by examining your facial features. Nothing at all is accidental. The reason why you have brown eyes and not blue eyes, or the reason why your nose is shaped this way and not shaped that way all has to do with what they are reflecting in the higher worlds. To say, "no no it is because you had genes from such and such a parent" is missing the point because I wouldn't deny that you have such genes but what I would say is "why do you think you even have genes of such parents", why do you have such parents to begin with"? All these have a reason which have to do with the higher realms of existence.

Hope I made sense.

Thanks

What about the human embryo?

And what about diversity of human looks and races?

And what about creating earth and skies in 6 days?

There is a had it أن الله خلق الأشياء باسبابها Allah created things with its causes. I'm aware that there is some talk about casualty and how to define it but the had it and generally in Islam accepts that there are natural processes for things to change from dust to stars, from seed to tree, from semen to human etc. Some of these processes are mentioned in Quran.

Changes in animal shapes is mentioned also in hadiths.

I think it is ridiculous attempt by both scientist to disprove religion using evolution and by believer to disprove science using religion....

What about the human embryo? The human embryo is a "human embryo" not a non-human embryo which then turns human later on.

What about the diversity of human looks and races? The diversity of human looks and races is part of the potentiality of humans. I am not against micro evolution. A Black is just as human as a Chinese or a White. One of the pitfalls of evolution theory is that one has to say that some races are more human than others because some are more evolves than others.

What about the six days of creation? These 6 stages of creation are the hierarchy of creation. Each level depends on the level above it. These stages or periods are not temporal but ontological. Each period precedes another not in time but in existence.

I am all for causality. Causality states that nothing can give what it does not have. The qualitatively lesser cannot cause the qualitatively greater. Evolution is in flat contradiction with the principles of causality.

Edited by eThErEaL

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I am sorry I didn't come across your last post. Thanks for reading my post.

To answer your first question, everything which exists in the material world is nothing but a reflection of what exists in the more subtle and immaterial realms. So everything here below depends on everything above. This includes stars and galaxies of course. I do not believe in stellar evolution only because stellar evolution is another kind of reduction of quality to quantity. For a stellar evolutionist, stars are nothing but very hot balls of gas particles. That may be part of the material properties of a star but it certainly has nothing to do with the essence of a star. The essence of a star is intimately connected to what it reflects in higher and more subtle realms of existence. Whatever the formation of stars was, it should not contradict the principle of causality which states that nothing can give what it does not have and that the qualitatively lesser cannot cause what is qualitatively greater than itself. So to say that this "awesome" and magnificent galaxy evolved from something qualitatively simpler is wrong.

To answer your second question about bodies and souls. You are imagining that the soul is here below. Our soul lives in the barzakh and remains there. It doesn't have to go there after we die because it is already there right now. The body is nothing more than a reflection of our soul. The body is not an independent entity but is more like a reflection. This is why there is a whole science called "ilm-al-firasa" where one can see your character of soul by examining your facial features. Nothing at all is accidental. The reason why you have brown eyes and not blue eyes, or the reason why your nose is shaped this way and not shaped that way all has to do with what they are reflecting in the higher worlds. To say, "no no it is because you had genes from such and such a parent" is missing the point because I wouldn't deny that you have such genes but what I would say is "why do you think you even have genes of such parents", why do you have such parents to begin with"? All these have a reason which have to do with the higher realms of existence.

Hope I made sense.

Thanks

What about the human embryo? The human embryo is a "human embryo" not a non-human embryo which then turns human later on.

What about the diversity of human looks and races? The diversity of human looks and races is part of the potentiality of humans. I am not against micro evolution. A Black is just as human as a Chinese or a White. One of the pitfalls of evolution theory is that one has to say that some races are more human than others because some are more evolves than others.

What about the six days of creation? These 6 stages of creation are the hierarchy of creation. Each level depends on the level above it. These stages or periods are not temporal but ontological. Each period precedes another not in time but in existence.

I am all for causality. Causality states that nothing can give what it does not have. The qualitatively lesser cannot cause the qualitatively greater. Evolution is in flat contradiction with the principles of causality.

You said Allah dose not create in time or within limits of time then you applied that to evolution.....

Evolution at best cannot be anything different from the embryo growth process. Changes in chromosomes, changes in cells, growing into varying shape of human etc.

So far, this is what evolution has proved.

Evolution has nothing with creation from nothingness.

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Chaotic:

You said Allah dose not create in time or within limits of time then you applied that to evolution.....
Evolution at best cannot be anything different from the embryo growth process. Changes in chromosomes, changes in cells, growing into varying shape of human etc.
So far, this is what evolution has proved.
Evolution has nothing with creation from nothingness.

 

 

 

An human embryo becoming an adult human is just something potential becoming actual.   It is like a seed which is nothing but a potential tree.  In both cases, a tree is always a tree and a human is always a human.  In the case of macro-evolution horses are not always horses, humans are not always humans.  In macro-evolution there are no species in any real sense.  In macro-evolution species become nothing more than "a shifting cloud of statistical averages".  This is because in macro-evolution there is no particular point when a human (for example) actually became a human and not an ape.  

Edited by eThErEaL

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