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.

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Refuting Qur'anic Science: The Expansion of the Earth

In my rebuttal of numerous speculative assertions of modern miracles discovered in the Qur’an we are going to refute a fairly common interpretation (of typical conjecture) of Sura 79: 30. Osama Abdallah and other Islamic speculators have asserted that Sura 79: 30 predicts a modern theory of the global expansion of the earth.

The passage reads:

'And after that He spread the earth (Wal'arda ba'da dhalika da-ha-ha)'

Another translation reads:

'And the earth moreover hath he expanded'

The interpretation of Osama Abdallah and others is found here:

http://www.answering-christianity.com/egg-shaped_earth.htm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNfvO_FcGC8

The idea is as some scientists postulate that the globe itself expanded to almost the double of its size which caused the separation of the present continents.

Notice that the article of Answering-Christianity and its 'egg-shape claim' is of the speculative type and involves incredible conjecture and has been effectively debunked by the Answering-Islam team:

http://www.answering-islam.org/Quran/Science/earth_egg.html

My focus here is mainly on the claim of Osama’s page that the Qur’an is miracolous in its claim that the earth has expanded.

Firstly, however, the claim that the reference is to the actual expansion of the earth is not entirely verified, in fact early respectable Islamic commentaries, such as Tafsir al-jalalayn would not agree with the proposition of Osama’s website. This is what we read in the Tafsir al-Jalalayn:


‘...and after that He spread out the earth: He made it flat, for it had been created before the heaven, but without having been spread out;’

http://altafsir.com/Tafasir.aspMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=74&tSoraNo=79&tAyahNo=30&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0
Hence according to Jalalayn the passage describes the spreading of the earth, a description also found in the Bible and which Muslims are quick to describe as the earth’s flatness; hence in all fairness Muslim apologists by attacking the Bible have concluded that the Qur’an itself describes the earth to be flat. But lets leave this matter for now.

Our brother Sam Shamoun and written an excellent detailed article on the matter of Sura 79: 30 and its description:

http://www.answering-islam.org/Shamoun/whale_nun.htm

But lets assume for a moment that Osama’s website is correct in its interpretation, would this provide evidence that the Qur’an is miracolous?

Not really!

The idea that the earth expanded was well known long before the arise of Islam. Eusebius of Caesarea recorded some centuries prior to Islam that Democritus the Greek philosopher proposed the idea that the earth changed its place in the stellar system due to its growth, density and increase of weight (Tr. E.H. Gifford, Eusebius of Caesarea: Praeparatio Evangelica (Preparation for the Gospel), Chapter LVIII----Of the Earth’s motion, book 15: 1903: 849).

http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/eusebius_pe_15_book15.htm

4 comments:

  1. I've found that quite often some Muslims reinterpret Quranic verses that contain potential scientific errors; after a verse is reinterpreted, they say it's a scientific miracle and that it's proof that the Quran is from God. They expect everyone else to accept the scientifically correct interpretation over the erroneous one. We will not do that...

    By the way, have you noticed yet that "hello" replied to your last article on this blog? (It took up, like, twelve posts.)

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  2. Hi Greek,

    Sorry I have been awfully busy lately and still am. Yeah I notice that Hello has responded, but as usual there is nothing of significance to reply to, the content of his arguments and replies are not merely weak but lead virtually nowhere, and he continually appears inconsistant and resorts mainly to personal attacks and insult. He stated that this blog was not worth responding to, but obviously it has touched a nerve; I will get to him as soon as I find the time to do so.

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  3. The Hebrew word "eretz" has many meanings, which depend on context.
    God created the dry land (eretz) and called it earth (eretz) - Translation from Hebrew of Genesis 1:10. Most of the time, when the Bible writers use the word "eretz", they are taking about the land and not about the globe. Job 26:7 is very clear that the globe is round.

    As for the Quran, the context of chapter 79 shows that God is creating the universe (heavens/galaxies and planet Earth); therefore, to state that the earth is flat and the heavens are a ceiling is wrong.

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