Help in debunking a muslim argument.
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13-12-2011, 10:31 AM
Help in debunking a muslim argument.
In the name of Allah the most gracious and merciful, who will send you to hell and torture you for eternity if you dont believe in his vague-at-best, contradiction packed scriptures.

One of the most popular arguments for Islam, that they teach us in schools to try and convert other people if they ask us, is that the Quraan predicted the stages of fetal formation during pregnancy.

Here are the verses (all part of the same chapter).
Skeptic's Anotated Quraan Version

23:12 Verily We created man from a product of wet earth;
23:13 Then placed him as a drop (of seed) in a safe lodging;
23:14 Then fashioned We the drop a clot, then fashioned We the clot a little lump, then fashioned We the little lump bones, then clothed the bones with flesh, and then produced it as another creation. So blessed be Allah, the Best of creators!
23:15 Then lo! after that ye surely die.
23:16 Then lo! on the Day of Resurrection ye are raised (again).


QuraanExplorer.com version


Verily We created man from a product of wet earth; (12) Then placed him as a drop (of seed) in a safe lodging; (13) Then fashioned We the drop a clot, then fashioned We the clot a little lump, then fashioned We the little lump bones, then clothed the bones with flesh, and then produced it as another creation. So blessed be Allah, the Best of creators! (14) Then lo! after that ye surely die. (15) Then lo! on the Day of Resurrection ye are raised (again). (16)

This is always thrown at us as indisputable proof that the Quraan knew about the growth of a fetus centuries before embryology as a science emerged and therefore must be the holy word of god.

Any thoughts on this?
Please also note that i dont know much about Embyology and dont infact know if these stages are true or not
but this is one of the most famous Quraan arguments if not no.1.
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13-12-2011, 10:38 AM
RE: Help in debunking a muslim argument.
At a first reaction, it occurs to me that it's not altogether detailed- none of these descriptions are things that could not be seen by someone physically looking at a fetus. This could easily be knowledge gathered elsewhere and included in those scriptures. Maybe it's my own ignorance, but I personally don't see how these passages show any supernatural insight.
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13-12-2011, 10:41 AM
RE: Help in debunking a muslim argument.
(13-12-2011 10:38 AM)kineo Wrote:  At a first reaction, it occurs to me that it's not altogether detailed- none of these descriptions are things that could not be seen by someone physically looking at a fetus. This could easily be knowledge gathered elsewhere and included in those scriptures. Maybe it's my own ignorance, but I personally don't see how these passages show any supernatural insight.

We were also shown this video at one point.
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13-12-2011, 10:42 AM
RE: Help in debunking a muslim argument.
(13-12-2011 10:31 AM)Jackrabbit Wrote:  In the name of Allah the most gracious and merciful, who will send you to hell and torture you for eternity if you dont believe in his vague-at-best, contradiction packed scriptures.

Let's assume that indeed, the Quraan has correctly predicted the stages of fetal formation...

Um. How is that evidence for God again?

It's like: I have a book which says that elephants are from Africa, and also says that pigs can fly. Since elephants *are* from Africa (as confirmed by independent research), therefore I can say with complete confidence that pigs can fly too? Without the other independent research?
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13-12-2011, 10:42 AM
RE: Help in debunking a muslim argument.
(13-12-2011 10:31 AM)Jackrabbit Wrote:  In the name of Allah the most gracious and merciful, who will send you to hell and torture you for eternity if you dont believe in his vague-at-best, contradiction packed scriptures.

One of the most popular arguments for Islam, that they teach us in schools to try and convert other people if they ask us, is that the Quraan predicted the stages of fetal formation during pregnancy.

Here are the verses (all part of the same chapter).
Skeptic's Anotated Quraan Version

23:12 Verily We created man from a product of wet earth;
23:13 Then placed him as a drop (of seed) in a safe lodging;
23:14 Then fashioned We the drop a clot, then fashioned We the clot a little lump, then fashioned We the little lump bones, then clothed the bones with flesh, and then produced it as another creation. So blessed be Allah, the Best of creators!
23:15 Then lo! after that ye surely die.
23:16 Then lo! on the Day of Resurrection ye are raised (again).


QuraanExplorer.com version


Verily We created man from a product of wet earth; (12) Then placed him as a drop (of seed) in a safe lodging; (13) Then fashioned We the drop a clot, then fashioned We the clot a little lump, then fashioned We the little lump bones, then clothed the bones with flesh, and then produced it as another creation. So blessed be Allah, the Best of creators! (14) Then lo! after that ye surely die. (15) Then lo! on the Day of Resurrection ye are raised (again). (16)

This is always thrown at us as indisputable proof that the Quraan knew about the growth of a fetus centuries before embryology as a science emerged and therefore must be the holy word of god.

Any thoughts on this?
Please also note that i dont know much about Embyology and dont infact know if these stages are true or not
but this is one of the most famous Quraan arguments if not no.1.

The modern science of embryology didn't have to exist for people to have noticed the various stages of foetal development in humans and livestock by observing miscarriages (spontaneous abortion). And besides, the order of events isn't particularly accurate.

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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13-12-2011, 10:42 AM
RE: Help in debunking a muslim argument.
(13-12-2011 10:38 AM)kineo Wrote:  At a first reaction, it occurs to me that it's not altogether detailed- none of these descriptions are things that could not be seen by someone physically looking at a fetus. This could easily be knowledge gathered elsewhere and included in those scriptures. Maybe it's my own ignorance, but I personally don't see how these passages show any supernatural insight.

This. To me it seems like the knowledge of how things grow is gathered from plants. This seems like a plant cycle transliterated to a human growth cycle... which wouldn't be a far stretch for the understanding at the time.

But, hey... I'm a Christian... people think my beliefs are equally loony.

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13-12-2011, 11:33 AM
RE: Help in debunking a muslim argument.
(13-12-2011 10:42 AM)kingschosen Wrote:  But, hey... I'm a Christian... people think my beliefs are equally loony.

Personally, it's not just your beliefs that are loony. Big Grin

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13-12-2011, 11:38 AM (This post was last modified: 13-12-2011 11:43 AM by kineo.)
RE: Help in debunking a muslim argument.
Woops, double-post...
(13-12-2011 11:33 AM)Erxomai Wrote:  
(13-12-2011 10:42 AM)kingschosen Wrote:  But, hey... I'm a Christian... people think my beliefs are equally loony.

Personally, it's not just your beliefs that are loony. Big Grin

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13-12-2011, 11:54 AM
RE: Help in debunking a muslim argument.
Ok, there are many YouTubers who adressed this quite thoroughly, and have been arguing with many muslim apologists on this issue. If you have access to YouTube, then you can look up Klingschor, AlmightyAtheismo and TheRationaliser. PZ Myers is an embryologist who runs the blog Pharyngula, and has also been arguing about this recently.
The issues with this claim include the fact that the quran is wrong. Just plain wrong, which is a problem for muslims making this argument obviously. 23:14 gets the order of development completely wrong, what you have to realise is that all tissue is made of cells. The cells that we are made of actually differentiate (turn from a kind of neutral cell to a specific cell) at the same time. You know what Hamza T said about this, 'oh, well the quran is still correct'. Science discovers, religion follows. You may have noticed that religion has no predictive value. We never hear of specific insights into the way the world works until science discovers it.
Another problem is that Aristotle already came up with all this information centuries before. And he was wrong. Aristotle was a smart guy for his time, maybe even for this time, but like all people, he can get things wrong - and in this case, he didn't have access to good information because of the era he lived in, and so he got it wrong. So did the quran.
The other verses tell of how we are made from wet earth, or a seed (which is the literal greek translation of 'sperm' - we used the word even though we have a better understanding, why not..). These are hardly insights, anyone living at that time could see that. This is hardly revealed scientific knowledge.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QRBrl02tnnY - a lengthy video on why Hamza and co. are incorrect.

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13-12-2011, 12:10 PM
RE: Help in debunking a muslim argument.
(13-12-2011 11:54 AM)daemonowner Wrote:  Ok, there are many YouTubers who adressed this quite thoroughly, and have been arguing with many muslim apologists on this issue. If you have access to YouTube, then you can look up Klingschor, AlmightyAtheismo and TheRationaliser. PZ Myers is an embryologist who runs the blog Pharyngula, and has also been arguing about this recently.
The issues with this claim include the fact that the quran is wrong. Just plain wrong, which is a problem for muslims making this argument obviously. 23:14 gets the order of development completely wrong, what you have to realise is that all tissue is made of cells. The cells that we are made of actually differentiate (turn from a kind of neutral cell to a specific cell) at the same time. You know what Hamza T said about this, 'oh, well the quran is still correct'. Science discovers, religion follows. You may have noticed that religion has no predictive value. We never hear of specific insights into the way the world works until science discovers it.
Another problem is that Aristotle already came up with all this information centuries before. And he was wrong. Aristotle was a smart guy for his time, maybe even for this time, but like all people, he can get things wrong - and in this case, he didn't have access to good information because of the era he lived in, and so he got it wrong. So did the quran.
The other verses tell of how we are made from wet earth, or a seed (which is the literal greek translation of 'sperm' - we used the word even though we have a better understanding, why not..). These are hardly insights, anyone living at that time could see that. This is hardly revealed scientific knowledge.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QRBrl02tnnY - a lengthy video on why Hamza and co. are incorrect.

I think this sums up what I was getting at, and more. Good post. Just at a very high level, this scripture doesn't seem like any knowledge that a human couldn't get just by looking at the physical world (i.e. studying a fetus). It's no surprise that since they didn't have more advanced technology on their side that they didn't have a full understanding and they got some of it wrong.

This set of scriptures is simply not a prediction, just a vague and very rough explanation of a growing fetus that could have been examined in the real world at the time.
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