Over on a Facebook page that claims to be a hangout for Muslims to debunk Atheism, one guy announced his evidence for the Quran as follows…
I am not dumping the scientific inventions… or discoveries… They are more proof that Islam is the true religion and Quran is the True of Allah…MANY SCIENTIST REVERTED TO ISLAM>>> when they found the same of their discoveries to have been told 1400 years ago in Quran… which would have been possible only by the CREATOR himself.
Well, how can anybody resist, I just had to ask, so I replied …
give us just one single quote from the Quran that is a clear statement of modern science … note, the vague poetical stuff that has been twisted does not count, nor does a link to some YouTube clip … just the exact words from the Quran … if your claim is correct it should be simple to prove it.
And as you might expect, this is what came back:
The best exapmle is Professor Keith Moore http://www.quranandscience.com/human/135-dr-keith-moore-confirms-embryology-in-quran.html
This is a very old chestnut. Just in case you are not familiar with this one, the claim here is that when presented with the detailed description of embryology in the Quran, Dr Keith Moore (a real embryologist) confirmed that it was amazing, aligns with our modern understanding, and so must be from Allah.
Dr. Keith L. Moore, Ph.D., F.I.A.C. of the Department of Anatomy, University of Toronto, Canada, was at one time a favourite of Islamic apologists. He is well-known because he accepted an invitation to produce a special edition of his Embryology Text Book specifically for use by Muslim students in Islamic Universities.
To justify it all, what has happened is a very loose translation of Arabic into terms that no Arabic speaker would consider justified. It also completely ignores the timing of phases dictated by the hadith.
Why did Moore go along with this forward in his book?
Easy $$$ He was quite well paid by the Saudi government for the use of his name.
This all has a couple of interesting additional notes …
- Moore is not a Muslim and so this evidence of a miracle did not convince him, so why should it convince us?
- The Acknowledgments for this book recognize a number of “distinguished scholars” who supported the book with time or money. And number 6 on the list? Osama bin Laden. (Yikes!!)
- If you buy Moore’s sixth edition University textbook called “The developing human”, he actually directs his readers to read an essay by Basim Musallam, who shows that the Koran merely echoes what Greek doctor “Galen” wrote 450 years earlier. (B. Musallam (Cambridge, 1983) Sex and Society in Islam. p. 54)
Another interesting development on this topic concerns Hamza Andreas Tzortzis. Yep, the guy who cornered PZ Myers in June 2011 with a camera crew at the AAI conference in Dublin and made this exact same claim – embryology in the Quran proves Allah is real. When PZ dismissed all that, he was told, “Who are you to dismiss Keith Moore, a real embryologist“, and it is then that PZ explains that he is in fact an embryologist. I blogged about all that in June 2011 here. There you can still find the actual video.
OK, the latest news is that Hamza wrote a 58 page paper on all this to present his claim in great detail, and PZ read it and then blogged a few comments …
I have read the entirety of Hamza Andreas Tzortzis’ paper, Embryology in the Qur’an: A scientific-linguistic analysis of chapter 23: With responses to historical, scientific & popular contentions, all 58 pages of it (although, admittedly, it does use very large print). It is quite possibly the most overwrought, absurdly contrived, pretentious expansion of feeble post hoc rationalizations I’ve ever read. As an exercise in agonizing data fitting, it’s a masterpiece.
Here, let me give you the short version…and I do mean short. This is a paper that focuses with obsessive detail on all of two verses from the Quran. You heard me right: the entirety of the embryology in that book, the subject of this lengthy paper, is two goddamned sentences, once translated into English.
“We created man from an essence of clay, then We placed him as a drop of fluid in a safe place. Then We made that drop of fluid into a clinging form, and then We made that form into a lump of flesh, and We made that lump into bones, and We clothed those bones with flesh, and later We made him into other forms. Glory be to God the best of creators. Seriously, that’s it. You have just mastered all of developmental biology, as taught by Mohammed.”
You can go read his full take-down on it all here. It is hilarious, and truly does illustrate how completely decoupled fanatical believers can be from reality, or as PZ puts it …
Only a blinkered fanatic could turn that mush into an overwrought, overextended, overblown, strained comparison with legitimate modern science. Tzortzis’s paper is risible crackpottery.