Saturday, April 3, 2010

Debunking the Qur'an and Modern 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 philospher believed 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)

Read more:


GreekAsianPanda said...

Good article, Hogan =)

By the way, what do you think of those passages in the Bible that say that the earth is "spread out"?

leviMichael said...

Many months ago I demonstrated to the Muslims, especially Osama, that, even if the quran was scientifically accurate that would not prove it’s divine bcos:
1) we don't know everything that the ancients knew; OOPARTs have shown time and time again that "ancient" man knew a lot, even more than "modern" man; unless we discover every single ancient civilization and what they knew, we can never say that the quran or the Bible was the first to mention it; furthermore, Adam must have been very smart! He could have known a lot about the natural world.
2) Satan knows more about the natural world than we do! Satan could have easily given Muhammad these scientific insights.

But of course, Satan can deceive in many ways except for PROPHECY!!! Only God can tell the future! That’s why the God of the Bible is the true God! That's why scientific knowledge is never used by many Christian Apologists; they only use it when people claim that the Bible is inaccurate when It talks about the natural world...Jesus said if we don't believe Him when it comes to natural things, how can we believe Him when it comes to supernatural things.

The stupid quran isn't scientifically accurate anyway.

Osama’s response was hilarious; he said that the reason why ancient man knew all these things was bcos allah revealed it to them...

in other words...this is what Osama claims:

i) the quran is the word of God bcos it makes scientific claims that no one knew about at that time; how could Muhammad know about them?
ii) even if we discover that the ancients already knew about these things, it doesn't matter bcos allah revealed these things to them, so the quran is still the word of God.

luckily there's no law against stupidity

Hogan Elijah Hagbard said...

Hi Panda

An excellent article on the matter and other related issues is found here:

These are metaphorical terms that can mean a number of things.

Hogan Elijah Hagbard said...

Take for example Psalms 136: 6 which reads:

'who spread out the earth upon the waters, His love endures forever.'

Now if we are gona play little bit speculative and utilize this passage to describe modern science and how it does not contradict modern science, this is possible indeed.

It is possible to spread something upon a ball or sphere right. Furthermore, there is water and liquied under the earth.

But is this the way the passage is to be interpreted? In metaphorical language it probably only describes the earth above the surface of the water.

GreekAsianPanda said...

Thanks =) I understand better now.

The Fat Man said...

i was thinking about this today. The bible has remarkable scientific miracles that were revealed 2000 + years before Mohamed revealed his scientific miracles.

Western scientist have only recently discovered that all the matter that exists in the universe is all that exists, no new matter is being created. This remarkable discovery was already known to bible believing Jews and Christians.

It was written in the book of Ecclesiastes 1:9 ... "there is nothing new under the sun."

How would a Jew living thousands of years before another JEW made this remarkable discovery.

So the Bible must be the word of GOD :)

minoria said...

I congratulate you Hogan on contributing to this aspect.It's impressive because you have researched about ancient history.In my research I have read that the NT has 15,000 verses of which only 50 are in dispute,and NONE affect doctrine at all,99% of the NT is not in dispute.

I saw a bit of a Shabir Ally-Gilchrist debate on the crucifixion of Jesus.He said Q(the 230 verses common to Mark-Luke,but absent from Mark,written in 50 AD)says nothing about 3 days and 3 nights.
Wow,talk about not being erudite.But it has the SIGN of JONAH where Jonah had an experience of 3 days.Also,Q has the SON of MAN would be "in the HEART of the EARTH".That means to be dead,buried.But Shabir doesnt say it.Hmmm,a very erudite man,Shabir Ally.So goes the world.I am glad the Jewish rabbis,atheists arent like that.

Shabir holds to it.But it has been rejected by scholars due to DAVID STRAUSS,in the 19th century,a non-Christian,skeptic,by the way.He said if Jesus had survived his disciples would not have accepted him as a resurrected person,since for them RESURRECTED meant really healed,healthy.They would have seen it as being that he escaped death,never died,but not that he had resurrected.Here is what goes against Shabir:almost all scholars accept that the original disciples of Jesus believe he had PHYSICALLY resurrected.
Even those who say that they,the disciples, believed Jesus had a SPIRITUAL resurrection(a few do,like Richard Carrier)still say the original disciples believed Jesus had actually died.Shabir is no erudite in search of where the evidence leads,just a person who pretends to be one,but really only wants to win a debate.At least the atheists,Jewish rabbis REALLY believe their position is based on authentic and impartial research.