Link #5: Charles Darwin Wasn’t the First to Promote the Idea of Evolution

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Link #5: Charles Darwin Wasn’t the First to Promote the Idea of Evolution

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There is a lot of proof for the theory of natural selection and evolution on the whole. In fact, in the last post, we spoke about how the existence of human beings can be traced back to the need to have a better sense of smell in the first mammals on the planet. However, if someone were to ask you who discovered the concept of evolution, what would you say? You’d promptly say Charles Darwin, right? Most of us would, but we’d be wrong.

Evolution Was Discovered by the Muslims Years Before Darwin!

Evolution By Travis cc2.0

Evolution is rooted in the theory of natural selection, which Charles Darwin wrote about in the 19th century. The concept of natural selection, itself, is fairly simple to understand. It’s like a story, in fact.

Consider one particular type of species, living in one particular type of environment. The genetic material (genome) of this species will undergo random changes (mutations) as individual animals genes interact with the changing conditions of the environment.

Some random mutations will end up making the animals stronger, while others will make them weaker. Some may have no effect at all. As the animals’ environment will consist of challenges, and resources to overcome those challenges, the animals whose mutations make them stronger will survive better than the weaker animals.

Now, when animals have babies, these genetic mutations are passed on to them too. Thus, the animals that survive will further their species by passing on the mutation to their offspring. In contrast, the weaker animals would be unable to do this (because they’ll be dead).

It Was Taught During the Islamic Golden Age

The idea of evolution was actually studied during the Islamic Golden Age, which spanned the period between the 9th and 12th centuries. In fact, one of the earliest writings on evolution was produced by Al-Jahiz, in the 9th century. Scientific learning during this time included the idea of evolution along with a number of other subjects, such as psychology, sociology, geography, ophthalmology, chemistry, physics, medicine, astronomy and mathematics.

Islamic science, during that period, was a collection of knowledge drawn from the four corners of the planet, including places like the Middle East, India and Greece. Such was the level of progress during the Islamic Golden Age that even devout Muslim scholars believed in the idea of evolution.

Science of Evolution with an Islamic Twist

the creator
In the Eyes of the creator by Malinda Rathnayake cc2.0

There was a minor difference in how Muslims viewed evolution. They believed that the concept of evolution was true, but that God was behind the whole idea. They thought that the whole process was supervised and personally handled by God.

The same belief system exists today in Islam. For instance, the Big Bang Theory says that the universe came into existence at one random moment. Muslims believe that the universe did come into existence, though it wasn’t because of a random event but because God decided that the universe needed to exist.

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  1. re: Darwin’s theory of evolution – according to the Hindu mythology, there are ten important incarnations of Lord Vishnu – the preserver. 1) mathsya – the fish (totally water being) 2) koorma – tortoise (amphibian) 3) varaha – wild boar (totally land being) 4) narasimha – half animal and half man (first mutation towards human) 5) vaamana – human being but dwarfed 6) parasuraama – physically developed human being, but thought process like differentiation between good and bad etc not fully developed 7) raama – complete human being, physically as well as mentally – the ideal human being 8) krishna – this is when man’s thinking starts to get warped, emotions like jealousy, anger, greed take over and to control the effects of such negative emotions, Lord Vishnu incarnates as krishna to save mankind 9) Buddha – when man starts to rethink and cleanse himself mentally and 10) kalki -the final incarnation marking t he end of mankind, when man has reached the nadir in all aspects and violence takes over. Incarnations 1 to 3 represent evolution of life whereas incarnations 4 to 10 show the evolution of man.


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