Islam and Science and Evolution

QUESTION: Islam and Science – Evolution


Though some modern Muslims have been persuaded that evolutionary theories accurately describe the history of the world and the origin of species, the majority of Muslims reject evolutionary theories on both religious and scientific grounds. Orthodox Muslim scholars lament that other Muslims have adopted evolutionary theories and attempted to merge them with Islam. “For a notable segment of modernized Muslims evolution remains practically like a religious article of faith whose overt contradiction of the teachings of the Qur’an they fail to realize,” writes Seyyed Hossein Nasr. “Those who think they are rendering a service to Islam by incorporating evolutionary ideas into Islamic thought are in fact falling into a most dangerous pit and are surrendering Islam to one of the most insidious pseudo-dogmas of modern man, created in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to enable men to forget God.”1

Islam and Science – Intelligent Design
By and large, it seems that Muslims who have adopted evolutionary theory have done so due to the influence of humanist education in the West or the importation of such theories into Muslim lands. In this regard, Muslim evolutionists have been influenced much like Christian evolutionists have been. But as we have shown, there are compelling reasons (biblical, scientific, and philosophical) to reject such theories, based as they are on atheistic premises.The contemporary Intelligent Design movement, (ID) movement, comprised of Christians and non-Christians, has drawn the attention of some Muslims scientists and theorists. Mustafa Akyol, a Muslim writer based in Turkey, writes
    “ID presents a new perspective on science, one that is based solely on scientific evidence yet is fully compatible with faith in God. That’s why William Dembski, one of its leading theorists, defines ID as a bridge between science and theology. As the history of the cultural two civilizations. The first bricks of that bridge are now being laid in the Islamic world. In Turkey, the current debate over ID has attracted much attention in the Islamic media. Islamic newspapers are publishing translations of pieces by the leading figures of the ID movement, such as Michael J. Behe and Phillip E. Johnson. The Discovery Institute is praised in their news stories and depicted as the vanguard in the case for God…. Now, for the first time, Muslims are discovering that they share a common cause with the believers in the West….2
Akyol goes on to say, “Of course, Darwinians have the right to believe in whatever they wish, but it is crucial to unveil that theirs is a subjective faith, not an objective truth, as they have been claiming for more than a century. This unveiling would mark a turning point in the history of Western civilization, by reconciling science and religion and letting people become intellectually fulfilled theists.”3


Rendered with permission from the book, Understanding the Times: The Collision of Today’s Competing Worldviews (Rev. 2nd ed), David Noebel, Summit Press, 2006. Compliments of John Stonestreet, David Noebel, and the Christian Worldview Ministry at Summit Ministries. All rights reserved in the original.

1 Rodney Stark, For the Glory of God (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2003), 228—230.
2 Mustafa Akyol, “Under God or Under Darwin? Intelligent Design could be a bridge between civilizations,” National Review Online, December 02, 2005, Mustafa Akyol is a Muslim writer based in Istanbul, Turkey, and one of the expert witnesses who testified to the Kansas State Education Board during the hearings on evolution.
3 Ibid.

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