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Evolution vs Darwinian Evolution
First thing we need to do is to make a distinction between evolution and Darwin’s theory of evolution also known as Darwinism or Neo Darwinism. On a public level these terms are thought to be the same, however academically they are not. So what is the difference? Evolution as a general concept means ‘biological change over time’. On the other hand Darwinian evolution has two parts, the history of life being represented by a tree, where all the organisms that have ever lived go back to one common origin and secondly that natural selection is the primary driving mechanism behind all this biological change. (OneReason.org).
Although the difference is clear, the public thinks they are one and the same. They think the evidence for the apparent evolution is evidence for the Darwinian evolution. Clarifying this distinction is important because the one who claims they are the same and uses this to argue for Darwinism is actually committing a fallacy of equivocation
Popular Narrative vs. The Academia
In this essay we are going to challenge the popular view that Darwinian Evolution is as certain as planetary motions by shedding light on what the academics have to say about this inshaAllah (God willing). We are going to show that Darwinian evolution is based upon a probabilistic framework and its core concepts are disputable.
Richard Dawkinds, the famous Atheist, says that Darwin allowed them to be intellectually satisfied Atheists. Because of this there is a deliberate campaign to miseducate the public on this topic. For example, James Shapiro, who is a Cambridge educated Evolutionary biologist in the University of Chicago says that this has become a religion. Lynn Margulis, Atheist evolutionary biologist who won the national medal of science, called it Anglo Saxon sect. Masatoshi Nei, who is an expert in the population of genetics which is a subfield of evolutionary biology, has said that Darwin in our field is god so you can't challenge him. Furthermore, he doesn't believe in Darwin's theory of evolution but rather he believes in Mutation Driven Evolution. He has formulas which are taught at an academic level in libraries across the world. So these are Atheist Evolutionary biologists who are testifying that Darwinian evolution is more than science. There is a book published by Oxford University written by Atheist biologist Micheal Ruse called Darwinism as Religion. He argues that Darwin's theory is a valid scientific theory but it has moved to a religion.
Darwinian Evolution is Disputable
Evidence and Evolution, by Cambridge university written by the philosopher Elliott Sober who is an atheist, is a book stating Darwinian evolution is based upon a probabilistic framework and he talks about the multiple assumptions that are in there. Likewise, Peter Godfre-Smith, another philosopher of biology, published a book with Princeton University called Philosophy of Biology and he speaks about biologists moving away from the tree of life which the public has been told is a
fact to a web of life. Mainstream secular universities, individuals, and academics admit to three facts about Darwinian evolution:
- Probabilistic Framework
- Multiple Assumptions that are being challenged
- Its core concepts are disputable
Darwin's Work Misrepresented
Darwin in his book The Origin of Species right in the beginning of his book says that one can use the facts he has in his book to come up with conclusions that are opposite to his. He understands the Philosophy of Science which which explains that
- One can have observations in the future to challenge the previous conclusions
- You can always have the same data giving rise to multiple conclusions
Later on, he speaks about the problems with his own theory! Darwin was an honest person. He puts together a theory and then he puts a chapter about the problems of the theory.
In fact Darwin made a ‘falsification’ condition to his entire framework: “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down. But I can find no such case”. Unbeknownst to the general public gradualism has always been controversial among paleontologists yet only in the last couple of decades did some of them come out in the open and express their doubts. (OneReason.org)
Doesn't Fossil Records, Genetics, Anatomy proves Darwinian Evolution?
First, to claim that biochemistry, genetics, anatomy, psychology, sociology, linguistics, biogeography, fossil records, bioinformatics, and every other sphere the subfield of biology are congruent and lead to one conclusion is false. Science does not proceed like that, there can be multiple conclusions from the same data as explained earlier. Second, if we delve into the data, we realize that there is evidence contrary to Darwinian evolution. For example, orphan genes in genetics, saltation evolution in fossil records, natural genetic engineering in random mutations are all contrary to the mainstream belief. To simplify, the data we have can be used to have alternative conclusions to Darwinian evolution. Science give you workable models about reality which can be falsified but it does not give Truth. It keeps changing as we get new data. This is the main area of confusion because people conflate science with Truth.
Homology is the assumption that all the similarities in the animal kingdom is due to common descent. This foundational basis for Darwinian evolution itself is an assumption and cannot be proven because it is a circular argument. Let me illustrate that:
- Similarities are due to common descent
- Similarities exist in the animal kingdom
- Therefore similarities are due to common descent
Ronald Brady, mainstream secular academic who is a philosopher of biology, has published a paper in a journal called Cladists by the name of
On the Independence of Systematics. He explains why Homology is an assumption due to circular reasoning. Homology is one of the foundation of Darwinian evolution. This proves just how contrasted are the popular view from the academia.
We have to always keep in mind that new observations can challenge our previous conclusions and that same data can give rise to multiple conclusions. We must also keep in mind that the apparent evolution is different from Darwinian evolution and conflating the two will lead to the fallacy of equivocation. Furthermore, Darwinian foundations are based upon assumptions:
- Naturalism (Everything has to be explained naturally. So even in the absence of fossil records, Darwinian evolution would be a working model because of the assumption that everything can be reduced to nature and materialism)
- Homology (We explained earlier why it is an assumption)
- One common ancestor in the animal kingdom (There is no proof for this and this is why Chimps and Humans has to be put together with common ancestry)
- Natural Selection
Natural Selection is the most important assumption that is used in Darwinian evolution. This is challenged by a host of academics and experts in the field and there are alternatives to it such as Evolution by Self Organization, Neo Mutationism, Neo Lamarckism, and Evolution by Natural Genetic Engineering. So in conclusion, Darwinian evolution cannot be used to discredit Islam at all when realizing what the academics has to say about the subject.
Sources and Credit
Most of the content of this article is from our beloved brother in Islam, Subboor Ahmad, who is a researcher in iERA and he has beneficial content in his YouTube mashaAllah so please subscribe to it here. Furtheremore, credit also goes to OneReason.org organization, they have done a lot of beneficial works so make sure to check that out too inshaAllah!
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