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:

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:

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;’
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:

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).