The purpose with this blog is to expose the claim of modern Islamic apologists that the Qur'an is miracolous in its prediction of what they claim resembles modern science.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Debunking Qur'anic Science: Was everything created in pairs and do plants have gender? If so is this another miracolous Prediction in the Qur'an?

Harun Yahya has made the claim that the Qur’an predicts the modern concept of the universe that every details within it are made in pairs; I am referring this website below:

http://www.harunyahya.com/miracles_of_the_quran_p1_05.php

Here Harun Yahya writes:

DUALITY IN CREATION

Glory be to Him Who created all the pairs: from what the earth produces and from themselves and from things unknown to them (Qur’an 36: 36)

While "male and female" is equivalent to the concept of "pair," "things unknown to them," as expressed in the Qur'an, bears a broader meaning. Indeed, we encounter one of the meanings pointed to in the verse in the present day. The British physicist Paul Dirac, who discovered that matter was created in pairs, won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1933. This finding, known as "parity," revealed the duality known as matter and anti-matter. Anti-matter bears the opposite characteristics to matter. For instance, contrary to matter, anti-matter electrons are positive and protons negative. This fact is expressed in a scientific source as follows:

... every particle has its antiparticle of opposite charge… [T]he uncertainty relation tells us that pair creation and pair annihilation happen in the vacuum at all times, in all places.47

Indeed the Scientific claim of modern science might in a number of cases be correct. On the other hand the claim that everything is in pairs is not entirely correct; check out this article of Jochen Katz that refutes such a misconception:

http://www.answering-islam.org/Quran/Contra/qe015.html

It's a fact also as Jochen Katz points out that Harun’s interpretation might be reading fairly too much information into the passage than originally belongs there. Indeed Sura 36: 36 states that everything the earth produces derives in pairs, however the matters unknown to them does not necessarily refer to anything outside our earthly globe such as matter and anti-matter, unless the Qur’an specifically makes such a statement.

But lets assume that Harun’s claim is correct, that every detail in the universe is based upon pairs and that the Qur’an refers to this cosmological system; are we then to perceive the Qur’an as miracolous in its prediction?

Interestingly sources that predate Islam, include this assumed prediction of modern scientists about the universe and its pairs, not only from what grows and lives on earth but as a system that encompasses the entire cosmological dimension; interestingly these sources are more explicit than the Qur’an.

The Jewish Talmud states:

One the verse ‘Hear, O Israel, The Lord our God, the Lord is one,’ the comment is made: The Holy One, blessed be He, said to Israel, ‘My children, everything that I created in the Universe is in pairs—e.g. heaven and earth, the sun and moon, Adam and Eve, this world and the World to Come; but I am one and alone in the Universe (Deut. R. II. 31)’ Dr. A. Cohen, Everyman’s Talmud, London: J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd: 1949: 4

Hence if the Qur’an is accurate in this matter, Harun fails to tell his readers that this was a common concept that existed among the Jews and other groups prior to Islam; hence the Qur’anic statement is not miracolous but merely a reference to the knowledge that existed in Muhammad’s time and prior to Islam.

But it does not end here, Harun Yahya continues by claiming that the Qur’an is miraculous in its statement about the pairs or sex of plants; he states:

Another example of duality in creation is plants. Botanists only discovered that there is a gender distinction in plants some 100 years ago.48 Yet, the fact that plants are created in pairs was revealed in the following verses of the Qur'an 1,400 years ago:

It is Allah Who created the heavens with no support-you can see them-and cast firmly embedded mountains on the earth so that it would not move under you, and scattered about in it creatures of every kind. And We send down water from the sky and make every generous plant grow in it, in pairs. (Qur'an, 31:10)

It is He Who made the earth a cradle for you and threaded pathways for you through it and sent down water from the sky by which We have brought forth diverse pairs of plants. (Qur'an, 20:53)

Osama Abdallah elaborates enormously on this claim; he writes:

‘Previously, humans did not know that plants too have male and female gender distinctions. Botany states that every plant has a male and female gender’.

(I refrain from posting a link to this article of Osama as the McFee system on my computer recently warned me from accessing his website)

Again this claim is greatly exaggerated; I suggest that the reader reads another excellent article of Jochen Katz that refutes this claim:

http://www.answering-islam.org/Quran/Contra/sexy_fruits.html

But let’s just assess this claim in the light of pre-Islamic concepts; firstly if the Muslim claim would be solely accurate would this render the Qur’anic statement miraculous? Secondly, is Osama correct in his claim that humans prior to the modern scientific discovery did not know about the male and female gender distinctions in plants?

In fact both statements are wrong:

I welcome you to the worlds of Anaxagoras and Empedocles:

http://history.hanover.edu/texts/presoc/emp.htm

De Plant. i.; 815 a 16. Anaxagoras and Empedokles say that plants are moved by desire, and assert that they have perception and feel pleasure and pain. . . .Empedokles thought that sex had been mixed in them. (Note 817 a 1, 10, and 36.) (p. 200)

And we continue:

‘Trees first of living beings sprang from the earth, before the sun was unfolded in the heavens and before day and night were separated; and by reason of the symmetry of their mixture they contain the principle of male and female; and they grow, being raised by the warmth that is in the earth (v. 26; 440) (p. 230)’.

Hence let it be declared, here and now that we have completely debunked these claims of Harun Yahya and Osama Abdallah.

The Qur’anic reference to pairs in the universe and plants were concepts that existed prior to Islam and hence the Qur’an does not reveal itself miraculous by conveying to its readers either of these concepts.

3 comments:

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  3. Instead of pointing out the prior errors of the ancients why not point out that many living things don't come in pairs, like bacteria and protists which constitute the majority of types of living things on the earth. Nor do fundamental particles always come in pairs, some are their own anti-particle, like photons.

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