Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Islamic Creationism

Gaaaaghh... And you thought Christian creationism was maddening.

“At school, we believed the teachers, but here their theses are disproved: they don’t have the truth,” adds Yanina Gelassi, a 19-year-old student veiled in black. Nouri Hamid, 28, a doctoral student in genetics, is not “totally in agreement that there is a complete lack [of evidence] for the evolution of species,” but he also declares that “science has never demonstrated the connection between homo sapiens and man.”

Similarly, the “concordist” approach to the Koran, defended by the conference speakers, is popular among young Muslims. This concept states that the recent scientific discoveries only confirm the scientific content of the sacred book. “This proves to us that, despite all of the research, God has said and written everything down in the Koran nearly 1,400 years ago,” says Najoua Oubaya, a 21-year-old saleswoman.

“These discussions are good for the people because they prove that the West has discovered nothing, and that Islam is superior, even scientifically,” explained Nidhal Guessoum, a Muslim astrophysicist, in Le Monde in 2009. The author of Réconcilier l’Islam et la sciecne moderne: l’esprit d’Averroès (Reconciling Islam and Modern Science: The Spirit of Averroes), he describes the methods of Yahya as “do-it-yourself,” and defends the search for connections between science and faith, just as has been done in Christianity. In 1996, John Paul II confirmed that the theory of evolution was “more than a hypothesis,” but the Catholic Church maintains that science is not the sole contributor to the explanation of the origin of life, as Benedict XVI recalled in 2007.

“The scientific manipulations of Haroun Yahya are alarming for the Muslim community,” says Saïd Branine, who runs the site Oumma.com, and organized a training on the topic.