Theory of Evolution (2)

Theory of Evolution (2)


Reflections

English Rendition ofan episode of the TV Program "Ghamidi"

Anchorperson: Welcome to the show, Ghamidi. Viewers, we initiated a discussion on the theory of evolution in the previous episode. Today we shall continue the discussion with the participants and respected Mr. Javed Ahmad Ghamidi. We shall try to see why the Muslim scholars of the past opposed the theory of evolution while some contemporary Muslim scholars don't think it goes against Islamic teachings. If God has not created anything without purpose then what is the function of the appendix in the human body? If God has granted His creations the power to survive then why did dinosaurs and many other creatures became extinct? Did the elements of life appear in an accidental order or were they determined by the will of God? This is the discussion we are going to undertake today.

Your questions please!

Participants: How did life proceed from Adam and Eve? Was marriage with one's siblings allowed at that time?

Ghamidi: This is what people generally say. But the Qur'an has not discussed this issue. Nor does any sahih riwayah shed light on the matter. But generally people think that a man could marry the sister born after the immediate next sister. The question of sanctity of blood relations proceeded with progress in human culture. The basic objective is to give man a family. Some relations in the family should have sanctity. Man should adopt a different approach to such sanctified relations. So this consciousness has increased and decreased with progress in human culture. For example, marriage with certain women relations was allowed in the shari'ah of the Israelites. In our law those relations are prohibited for marriage. This too relates to changes in culture. Let us assume that in a certain period of human culture marriage with an alternate sibling was adopted that is not objectionable. But it is only one opinion upheld by some people. It has not been mentioned in the Qur'an. Nor does it appear in the sahih hadiths.

Participants: But sir, even if it has not been mentioned in the Qur'an yet reproduction cannot be possible without this method. Incestual relationships are strictly forbidden in Islam. Right? Did God not tell Adam that it would later on be prohibited? Was a different religion given to Adam and his children?

Ghamidi: You have a raised a very good question. We need to appreciate one thing fully. Religion originally consists of two parts: iman and ethics. The law and the shari'ah have been changed with time. They must change. The reason is that with changes in culture laws also accept change. The nature of relationships in the tribal system was different. In tribal systems, man needed as many children as possible in order to live. Therefore, you would encourage a large family in such a social system. People would contract many marriages. Without dozens of children an honourable life was not possible. Today it becomes hard even to bring up two children. So such changes have been witnessed. This is why God Almighty has been changing His law. The Qur'an has explicated that iman and ethics are eternal realities. The shari'ah, however, accepts changes overtime. Therefore, there has been a change in the law. I have mentioned the example of prohibition of some relations among the Israelites which are no more prohibited for us. Some relations were allowed to them which are no more allowable in our law.

Participants: Sir, this is too much change; we have been strictly forbidden a practice that was going on daily in those times. One would marry day by day.

Ghamidi: Look, you have been strictly forbidden to eat anything while fasting in Ramadan. But the fasts were obligatory for the previous ummahs as well. But they were not required to fast Ramadan. So due to this the expression "strictly" would mean that a new law of God has been implemented. What is the purpose of the shari'ah? Take punishments for example. Some punishments prescribed by the Torah are different to the one's Islam prescribes. This means that in a tribal system the punishment methods would be different. The sentence would be established on different bases. Today we would adopt different methods. Suppose, in one time in history, the law called for two witnesses in order to convict a criminal. Now finger prints fulfill that purpose. Would you insist calling two witnesses today? So with changes in culture laws change. This change has been witnessed. I have just presented a principle. What has happened in fact? In fact, I have told you that neither the Qur'an nor any sahih hadith says that. It is only a qiyas (analogy) people have chosen. There is no apparent point of objection in that.

Participants: Mr. Ghamidi, I beg to differ with you on your explanation of the theory of evolution. You hold that Darwin's theory is not correct. You hold that the evolution mentioned by the Qur'an is better or is a reality. Darwin's theory, as you say, rests on fossil records. You say that it is nothing but imagination constructed on a bone for example. Such were the assumptions they followed. The reality is that Darwin's theory of evolution does not rest entirely on fossils alone. Later discoveries, like the ones in embryology and genetics, offer more evidence. This gave rise to New Darwinism. This is how the theory became an established fact. When this fact was discovered some people had claimed that it can be that way. But Darwin was a humble man. He did very careful research for six years and the book was published in 1859. How do the fossils which are studied in science form? This is a complete scientific method and approach. It is not a gossip that someone just throws a theory.

Ghamidi: (interrupting): It is a science to study fossil records. But what is the result? The result proves creation (instead of evolution). Genetics also affirm the religious stance and creation. It has come to light that the life cell is not as simple as it was considered during the time of Darwin. We have learnt that it is not possible that ears and eyes could function in a deficient form. When feathers and bones were studied we learnt how the air is pumped in them and flying becomes possible. How the function of lungs in birds changes came to light. So these were the discoveries that caused the death of the theory. In fact your claim that the theory has become a scientific fact is itself a discovery. The appearance of new facts, in genetics, in other branches of biology, and in fossil records contradicts it. I just cited an example to say that much has been written on the issue. Now one thing is proven that the creation theory upheld by religion is growing as a great reality and the theory of evolution is losing worth. Every second evidence is negating evolution.

It is claimed, for example, here a star fish fossil from four and a half million years ago. Suddenly we come to learn that the same star fish exists even today. There are in fact many types of star fish. It was held that it was the way life forms proceeded from a fish. But now we learn that the same fish exists even now in the seas. We are told that that fish always remains 180 feet below water. It belongs to water and can't be expected to survive on land. The question that arises is that if it came out of water to go through a further evolutionary process how could it live without water in the first phase?

Participants: Mr. Ghamidi, your explanation of evolution maintains that man was first raised from the womb of the earth. It came out as an egg that was formed in the mud. Sir, man is born as a baby. It is very weak when born. It cannot look after itself. In the theory of Darwin man evolved from apes. When he assumed the form nearer to the present human form he had someone to look after him. If we accept that there was a common ancestry we have more evidence. Not mere analogies. Fossils are direct evidence. Why the researchers working on genes are embracing atheism a survey in the media proves that. It is not supporting creationism. Only the big bang theory supports creationism.

Ghamidi: (interrupting). I would invite you to study all these disciplines and see what they have revealed. What did we learn when we observed DNA? What came out of the studies in human genes? What complexities came to the fore as a result of our study of the life cell? All of these things have fully clarified that it is hard to believe that this complete process has passed through different evolutionary phases. This idea is no more than imagination and assumption.

Participants: (interrupting): Sir the designer theories going against evolution have been presented by science itself not religion.

Ghamidi: (interrupting) I have not mentioned that theory. …

Participants: (interrupting) That is alright….

Ghamidi: (interrupting). I have not mentioned the designer theory.

Participants: (interrupting). Ok….

Ghamidi: (continues) I am only telling you that the evidence needed to establish the theory has not been found. Look, it is a very simple thing. You say that a complete evolution process has occurred. That is why I mentioned fossils.

Participants: That is alright.

Ghamidi: How is it possible that a creation be found in fossil as well as in perfect form? The question is if you point towards a horse cart and tell us that it turned into a buggy which went through an evolutionary process and culminated in a motor car. But where are the intermediary forms? If those phases really elapsed then why is there no fossil record? Any fossil records that have appeared are now becoming science fiction. What happens is that we are told a story. Then this story is propagated for half a century. Then suddenly we learn that it is baseless.

Participants: This means that religion has nothing to do but to oppose any discovery that comes to light. But when a theory proves to be an established fact they say that the Qur'an told us exactly the same. Your point is that there are missing links that must have an explanation.

Ghamidi: (interrupting). Why do you call it a religions debate? What I am saying is that we are criticizing scientism; don't present fiction as a scientific reality.

Participants: (interrupting) Sir, I believe that your objection is not directed against the Darwinian Theory but to the atheism related to it. It is not directed at the theory of evolution itself. Therefore, your explanation of evolution……

Ghamidi: (interrupting) Please listen. I have no objection to anything. My point is restricted to the stress that you should present reality and you must not present unsubstantiated things as facts; something that has been disproved. Honesty demands that you present things as they are.

Participants: (interrupting): Sir, I don't think that…

Ghamidi: (continues) why do you present it as a doctrine?

Participants: Sir, is the disproving evidences that much? Sir, both the viewpoints exist. That is another point of view. That too has a potential favoring the theory. As for the critics of evolution, they too have substance.

Ghamidi: Why send anything to the dustbin? It is only the attitude which is being criticized. Theory is one thing. Theory should be taken as a theory. When evidence appears supporting it that should be honestly presented. But the evidence going against it should also be presented. When you show bias in favour of a theory then you will be criticized.

Participants: It is the opponents of evolution who show bias not the ones who uphold this theory; they support it in the light of the different disciplines. My second question is that the evolution you seek to derive from the Qur'an …

Ghamidi: (interrupting): Since you are discussing knowledge, may I ask the name of any such scholar who has shown bias? The fact of the matter is that putting aside the rest of the religions the majority of Islamic scholars, during the last seventy to eighty years, have accepted this theory. Where was the partiality?

Participants: They only started accepting the theory because they could not help accepting it any more.

Ghamidi: To be biased…. No. Initially a thing fascinates you. What do you mean? Something shall only be acknowledged when it becomes a reality. I mean there are thousands of questions challenging it which still have to be answered. What has yet appeared? Everything has created further complications regarding the theory and exposed the reality.

Presently I am not saying what is correct and what is incorrect. I only intend to stress keeping things where they belong. Also study what the Qur'an has offered on this issue. What you have said about the birth of a child. …. I had responded to this question. That is, apparently it seems that he was not born as a baby; rather he was sent as grown up. The process of birth of babies started in the second phase. Every creature, it apparently seems, when created out of the womb of the earth, was born such that it could handle itself to a great degree.

Participants: Correct. Sir this is an analogy you are drawing on the basis of the Qur'an. I have another question.

Ghamidi: (interrupting). You have said something very good. Let me comment on it. I am drawing analogies on the basis of the Qur'an and you are doing the same about some facts. The question is…

Participants: (interrupting) But I have evidence to support myself; fossils, genes…..

Ghamidi: Please tell us about the evidence based on fossils; enlighten the world; inform the world that we have this evidence in the fossil records. Brother, this issue has already been criticized.

Participants: Yes. It has been attacked.

Ghamidi: (Continues). Now there remains nothing (to establish it).

Participants: Sir you tell us that there is a theory of evolution in the Qur'an. Sir, I want to ask did the Arab society of the time, when the Qur'an was revealed to the Holy Prophet (sws) and the Companions, know about this Qur'anic theory? Or the explanation you are giving today has developed in the present time in response to the Darwinism? Was it there among the Arabs?

Ghamidi: The fact is that when you explain something you adopt the language of your time. The Qur'an has not been revealed to give a theory. The Qur'an explains the power of God. While describing the power of God it has referred to the process of the creation of man. It is only the allusion to the fact that we are trying to explain according to our understanding. Nobody insists on that. Every man has his understanding which he expresses. The Qur'an has mentioned a simple fact. It tells us that the process of human creation has gone through these two phases. We are just inviting you. Study it. Ponder over it. It is a viewpoint. Discuss this viewpoint too. Why should we be biased in favour of something? If you have been studying Darwin's theory of evolution for the last century and a half, trying to find evidence supporting it, why not discuss the idea of evolution referred to by the Qur'an. Please give it the same reading and the same method of analysis. If you have found an eye from four hundred million years ago no less developed than the ones found in the present day creatures it should invite your mind and reason. Also please think over the evidence for a while. And if the evidence you have presented and the estimates based on them are proving meaningless, then please tell the world that you have been wrong on this issue.

Participants: Mr. Ghamidi you have not yet agreed to the fact that man has evolved from chimpanzees. Even if we accept it for a while that humans issued from Adam and Eve then why are there differences in the different human races; differences of form and colour. If you turn to Africa you face an entirely different race. If you come to this part of the world you find humans with an entirely different form. Why is there this much difference? If only one….

Ghamidi: (interrupting). Face and figure is an external thing. This kind of difference is still going on and results in great changes. Notice how Darwin has been misled by faces and figures. The changes in the external form of man may result from man's circumstances, they may be caused by the environment of man and they may be due to the profession of man. The climate in which one lives also has a part in this. How does this relate to evolution? What difference can you find in mental abilities, thoughts, consciousness and human nature of a black man and a European? This theory of evolution, a deep analysis would show, is based on racism. It leads to the superiority of the white nations which is passed on in the garb of the theory. What is its reality? The way you demand from the religious folks that when a new research comes to light….

Participants: Correct.

Ghamidi: (continues) …. They should study it impartially. Similarly, we demand that that the Qur'an should be studied without bias. Ponder over this viewpoint. It is a new view. To what I have drawn the attention of the people is that there is a story about the Qur'an; people believe that the Qur'an says that the Almighty created a human form out of clay and then blew spirit in it. This is a man made story. The Qur'an on the other hand is saying something very scientific. It says that the same process was initiated in the womb of the earth. The same process has been condensed and put in the human body and the creation is going on accordingly. Why is this idea not worth consideration? One should study it, ponder over it and then try to collect evidence in its support.

Anchorperson: Mr. Ghamidi, before the advent of the evolution theory the Muslim, Jewish and Christian scholars considered creationism as perfect. But now some scholars of Islam and even the Pope have declared that theory of evolution is in line with the religious stance. Why do religious circles change their viewpoint whenever science changes its stance? The religious schools never faced the issue of evolution before the appearance of the theory of evolution.

Ghamidi: The reality is that we can only start deliberating over a viewpoint once it has appeared. It is only then we make a positive or negative judgment about it. The Qur'an is not a book of science for the Muslims to base themselves on it and then conclude a scientific view. Science is a completely different discipline. It studies biology and physics. These are human sciences. Human knowledge has great importance. Muslims were studying the Qur'an for religious guidance. It takes up the issue of human death and guides men about it. When this issue shall be discussed we will see if it goes against the Qur'an. We will see it contains something that affects the Qur'anic view and philosophy. We shall analyze everything in its light. When you invent something we will see whether it contains some moral problem. When you play a drama or write fiction we will again see whether there is a moral issue with it not. So when something comes before us we respond to it and analyze it.

Anchorperson: Sir, at one place the Qur'an says that the heavens and the earth were joined together in the beginning. Then the Almighty set them apart. At another place the Qur'an says that God created the earth. Then He turned to the heavens and established seven heavens. It seems that the earth was created before the creation of the heavens. How do you reconcile these things?

Ghamidi: When you build a house you start with erecting the structure. Then you turn to one room at one time and to another later on. The Qur'an is telling us something of the sort. At one place it has mentioned all these things in a set order. At other occasions it says how the creation process was completed. In these different phases of creation we see that at one time work is under process on the heavens and at another time it is the earth that is under creation. This is what the Qur'an highlights in relation with the explanation of the power of God. It does not broach these topics in order to reveal a scientific fact. The Qur'an does not take up these issues primarily. We must fully appreciate what is the real subject matter of the Qur'an. It is however absolutely correct that when the Qur'an presents something it uses such lofty diction that you get a brief picture of the reality. But it is not the objective of the book or a subject to detail things. For this you have to refer to human knowledge; present theories and then offer supporting evidence.

Anchorperson: Mr. Ghamidi, science tells us that the modern man, Homo Sapiens, appeared about two hundred thousand years ago. But, Mr. Ghamidi, the first monotheistic religion, Judaism, which we can trace in history, appeared three thousand years ago. Why has been God at distance not offering any guidance to His creation?

Ghamidi: I am inclined to think that it is the first phase of human creation which you extend to two hundred thousand years. In this phase the human body was finalized.

Anchorperson: Ok.

Ghamidi: Thenceforth, entered the second phase in which spirit was blown into man which gave him human consciousness and human personality. The history of religion, rather the history of man, starts after the conclusion of that step.

Anchorperson: (interrupting). It means human….

Ghamidi: (continues). When did it start? It is not necessary that our estimates based on biblical explanations are correct. It might possibly have started much earlier. The genealogy mentioned in the Scripture follows the primitive method. It involved naming only prominent figures in the ancestry line.

Anchorperson: (Interrupts): That means…

Ghamidi: (continues) So, on the basis of the Bible we cannot determine the age of man on earth.

Anchorperson: Has man gone through intellectual evolution along with physical evolution?

Ghamidi: There are two phases. Look, the fact of the matter is that one phase of man's life is the one, as I told you, when he was born of the womb of the earth. It was there his body was set; his animal form was brought to perfection. This is what the Qur'an has explicated. After the completion of the physical body man entered the second phase. In this phase man was given the ability to reproduce. About this occasion the Qur'an says that God blew His soul in man and granted him the honour of being man. Now how long the first phase went on we can't say. The Qur'an has not mentioned the duration of the period. However, it has pointed out the two phases clearly. That is, in one phase the human body was prepared; it brought to perfection the animal existence. Even now this continues to happen. The Qur'an tells us that human body has life. Life is there even when the sperm begins developing. But the Qur'an says that after passing through different stages it is after about four months that spirit is blown into it; it is given human personality. Thus, even today human personality is given after four months of inception. In the first stage it might have been given after thousands of years.

Anchorperson: Great. You ask please.

Participants: Sir, we can take religion as an intangible creation of God, study its process and try to relate it to the theory of evolution. To me this would reveal three things. First, there is the basic potential which God granted man and that is the mind. The second thing is man's will power based on probabilities. It is through it that man progressed in different fields of knowledge and became clear on the idea of God to some extent. Third, God broke the limitations of time and space and sent down his revelation to man intending to control the evolution process through it. So this is the process of the religion of God which started from Adam (sws), gradually proceeded and culminated with Muhammad (sws). If we apply this theory upon human physical form then can I say that there was a primary matter in which God put potential and it contained chances and accidents possibly leading to different outcomes which God tested one after the other and finally God broke the law of time and space and created him?

Ghamidi: When you adopt a viewpoint you must first see what the Book of God offers on the issue. The Qur'an itself mentions a history of religion. It tells us from where it started. It tells us that He granted the first man prophet hood. Religion was, in its reality, put in the heart and mind of man. The Qur'an tells us that man has been sent to the earth with innate guidance about the basic teachings. It tells us that men were firm in monotheism. They had absolutely correct understanding of religion. Religious differences were created later. When the differences occurred the Almighty initiated a chain of prophets who would come and warn them time and again. This exactly is the stance of the Qur'an. If you analyze it in the light of knowledge we have today you would find it very probable. A Messenger has appeared during known history; the Prophet Muhammad (sws) stands in the light of history. He is not a pre-historic personality. He presented monotheism; propagated tawhid; presented the idea of an afterlife. Even then the groups and sects arising in Islam have gone down deep. What grave differences they have created? This we are witnessing with our eyes happening in the last century and a half. Why not see the early periods analogical to it? Is this theory more probable or that one? We must study.

Participants: Sir, supposing that the first man was born as an infant and had a relative consciousness, can you please tell the nature of that consciousness? A man gets consciousness when he passes childhood and enters maturity. Was he already mature enough?

Ghamidi: Adam (sws) and Eve had full consciousness. God Almighty talked to them, blessed them by addressing them. He put them at a specific place and told them their nature. They were given necessary teachings. Then the life of the world was started. The Qur'an (4:1) tells that God has created entire humankind from a single soul. It is Adam and Eve whose progeny is there in the whole world. It was a couple, a mother and a father, from whom issued all mankind and spread in the world. This is what the Qur'an tells. No evidence against this view appeared so far. Rather all the evidence that appears supports and strengthens this viewpoint.

Participants: If we generalize the discussion going on here we can say that faith and reason are under discussion. It is said that the Islamic faith is against reason. It is proved by the fact that during the Abbasid period Mu'tazilahs were snubbed. It was actually murder of rationalism. Due to this Muslims could never attain material progress again. They regressed. My question is: Does Islam snub reason in general? Or does it snub only that sort of reasoning and science which are sought to apply to each other and where Islam is proved by science and science is proved through Islam? So what is the status of this issue in Islam? Is use of reason not allowed in Islam? Or it is not allowed where there is a question of mutual application of Islam and science?

Ghamidi: When you study Islam don't study it with reference to the Abbasid or Umayyad or Ottoman periods. Islam should be studied in the light of the Book of God. You study the Qur'an. In every other verse it asks why men do not use reason, why they don't ponder over facts, why they don't think. We should therefore study Islam in the light of the Qur'an. Reason and arguments are the final source of judgment while accepting or rejecting something. If you abandon reason and reasoning then what would you rely on while deciding and judging issues? It is upon this principle the Qur'an argues for the existence of God, establishes prophet hood, and proves the Last Judgment. To what do those arguments appeal? Certainly, to human reason. What is the mistake? The mistake is that at times we get overwhelmed by a certain discipline and take what it says to be reason itself. There are many spheres of reason where it functions. Reason has different stages in its functioning. Reason has different sources upon which it bases its judgment. For example I find there is a moral consciousness in me. There is an awareness of good and evil. But it is only my reason that appreciates these things. Yet it is not subject to logical reasoning. Logical reasoning is a different thing. Reasoning is a completely different thing. Both of these should be appreciated clear of each other.

Religion cannot go against rational reasoning. Nor has any such thing been said in the Qur'an. However, what is iman which you refer to as faith? It shall be explained by God Almighty. There are five beliefs; belief in God, belief in Books, belief in angels, belief in Prophets and belief in Hereafter. The Qur'an has argued for each one of these beliefs.

Participants: Adam and Eve were humans? I ask this because we are told that children were born to them every day. Were they real humans? In relation to normal human beings they can be called mutants; they are not human beings. In this perspective they were not humans, as science says. They were apes; another creature. Doesn't it make that right?

Ghamidi: Who told you that Adam (sws) and Eve gave birth to children every day?

Participants: Sir, it is mentioned everywhere.

Ghamidi: What do you mean by everywhere? The Qur'an does not mention it anywhere.

Participants: Sir, the gestation period was less than nine months. Nine month gestation is normally required in humans.

Ghamidi: No. I say that there is the Qur'an. It does not mention that. Then we can refer to the Hadith of the Holy Prophet (sws). There is no such hadith either. So the questions is about the stories; we read stories in science; we read stories in religion. When we discuss scientific knowledge we have to base ourselves on facts. Theories are always many. Look, how does scientific knowledge progress? Theories are presented as hypotheses. Then research is carried out. You have to see the hypothesis as a hypothesis.

If we need to discuss religion we have to see what the Qur'an says. What the Almighty has said in the Qur'an completely negates what you said. Allah Almighty says that humans were created from the womb of the earth in the first phase. We can't say anything whether it took thousands or millions or billions of years. Concerning the second phase of creation process too God has not determined a time period. But our observations show that nine or ten month period is taken in human reproduction process. If there is something that goes against it then we shall accept that. However, in absence of any such proof we shall take the fact for granted that nine or ten month gestation has been the norm since then. Any acceptable evidence should be brought from the word of God or the historical proofs.

Anchorperson: That is ok.

Participants: Sir, in response to his question, you have just said that the religion has not mentioned anything about the gestation period of the children born to Adam and Eve. On the other hand you also say that we must not believe in what science tells us and what research reveals to us. Then how can we quench our thirst for knowledge found in our thought and mind?

Ghamidi: When have I asked you not to rely on research? Do research. But present something as a fact only when it is proven to be a fact. As long as it remains a hypothesis and a theory present it as such. This is one thing. Secondly, you may not accept what has been said in the Book of God about certain matters but it is the viewpoint of God. That viewpoint too should be given importance and accepted as such in your research. I have drawn your attention to that which is being compared. At one side there is a theory of evolution and on the other side there is a story which tells you that a human form was carved out of clay and then spirit was blown into it. I pointed this out that the Qur'an is given a different picture. Please consider that as well. It says that evolution has happened. But such is the nature of evolution.

Man has been created in these two phases. In the first phase this process of creation has been followed and in the second phase that creation process has been adopted. This is a very rational, very scientific and very reasonable view. Please consider it too for a while.

Anchorperson: Evolutionists hold that the appendix and many other vestigial organs in the human body have lost relevance with time. Doesn't this argument offer evidence in support of Darwinian evolution?

Ghamidi: It is the same thing which I already said. It is a very insignificant thing upon which you have not yet run a full research. It is possible that as time passes you learn the use of these things. How many things are there about whom man does not know much but may learn tomorrow.

Anchorperson: (interrupting): Mr. Ghamidi, if the appendix is cut off even then man lives a perfectly healthy life.

Ghamidi: Look, the fact of the matter is that even the heart is transplanted, kidneys are changed, one kidney is removed; even then man lives his life.

Anchorperson: (interrupting). No. Mr. Ghamidi. Medicine has to be taken in those cases. Whereas, in case of the removal of appendix, one does not need any medication.

Ghamidi: (continues) No. What I am saying is that why do you keep the concept of use to health alone? There could be many aspects of usefulness. It is possible that we have not yet discovered any of these. I mean let life go on; let research continue. Merely the presence of this gland does not necessarily prove that man has evolved from apes; or man has been fish; or has grown out of a horse. This is very insignificant evidence. You can at best say that this warrants that the theory should be further pondered over. I say that keep it in its original position. A crime has to be considered a crime. You have to hang someone. You need evidence. It is possible that at times you base yourself on circumstantial evidence and feel that someone is a murderer.

Will you hang the man on the basis of that feeling? What I mean is that both the sides are offering evidence. The argument should be presented the way it is. The argument in favour of creationism should be kept at its original stead. What is being said in favour of evolution should also be taken as it is. If evidence is found against the evolution theory that too should be honestly presented to the world. Today when I study scientists especially the upholders of evolutionists I feel as if they are extremely saddened when evidence appears against the theory of evolution. We should at least study the theory of evolution and creationism equally. What is this bias? You start presenting a theory as a scientific fact. The other thing you fully reject and are not ready to ponder over it a bit?

Anchorperson: Mr. Ghamidi don't you feel that creationism is a very easy way to explain the universe. We just say that God has created all the things this way. Whereas, the theory of evolution is the inheritance of the scientists of the whole world. It is a fruit of their combined efforts. This is a more difficult path; a harder course is the theory of evolution and not the theory of creationism.

Ghamidi: You have oversimplified the theory of creation very much. God has created. I have told you that the Qur'an details the process of creation. It tells us how the creation process unfolded. That should be pondered over. A man just passing by offers a theory. You feel it is probable and start researching it. God too has revealed some facts. Why not do a little research on them too? At least put both the ideas on equal stead and then research. What is the reason to be biased? Bias is condemnable even if it is found in the religious sphere. It is equally condemnable when shown in sciences. You must study both at an equal level. That man is a unique creation; that these creations we can see; they contain an extraordinary wisdom; this too has unfathomable meaningfulness. This too points to something. Is it not something worth considering? Take this thing worth appreciating as worth understanding and then discuss the issue.

Participants: They say that the mud scrapper falls between fish and amphibian. The duckbill platypus lies between mammals and fish. Don't these types of animals support the theory of evolution?

Ghamidi: What do you mean by falling between? If you mean to say that an animal is like this species and also that one. Such likeness is the beauty of the universe. What does it mean to fall between? The theory of evolution demands that a creation should be seen travelling from one form to another. There is no such thing. The creatures you have mentioned have been proved to have existed in the old times as well as in the present time. I submitted that the upholders of the theory of evolution were presenting facts claiming that those were the things which indicated evolution. For example fossils of some animals having two teeth were taken to indicate that perhaps they were about to evolve into birds. But the same structure has now been discovered in some existing fish species. This is how evidence continues to come rendering the creation theory stronger and reliable and making evolutionism more doubtful. To be falling between two creations needs to be appreciated. One can apparently say that the chimpanzee falls below humans in form. But what does this mean? There is a gulf of difference between man and chimpanzee. The chimpanzee is an animal in every manner. Man is a conscious reasoning being. He has a moral sense. He has the abilities to understand. See how beautifully the Qur'an presents this fact. We created man out of mud. In the second phase we put in him the ability to reproduce. We proportioned him. Then we blew in him the spirit which made him a knowing and understanding man and thus reached the state of conscious reasoning.

Participants: Scientists claim that the DNA of man and chimpanzee is 95% similar. DNA of man and that of a dog is 75% common. Based on this we can say that man evolved from chimpanzees. This fact too supports evolution.

Ghamidi: The only thing that would support evolution is that you prove that there are fossil records of the intermediary links just as there are fossils of the two creatures in perfect form. The evolution theory requires that just as there are perfect beings there must be the ones that existed in intermediary forms. It is not possible that the intermediaries are lost forever. You would say that they got annihilated due to the principle of survival of the fittest. But there must be fossils proving their existence in the past. Therefore, evolution is a theory. It should be presented as a theory. Keep researching it. But present the theory as a theory. And please ponder over what the Qur'an says in this regard. If the scientists are claiming that they have established a scientific fact that is worth consideration. But if they are presenting a theory then it should be taken and studied as a theory alone.

Anchorperson: The scientific circles of the entire world accept the evolution theory as a fact. The religious circles of the world are not unanimous on the question of evolution. Why are they not united?

Ghamidi: Your first claim needs evidence. Who is the scientist who says that it has turned into a fact? What I am vociferously claiming is that none of them is ready to claim that it is a fact. It is only presented as a fact. It will turn into a fact when we have evidence proving it demonstrable; able to be experienced and analyzed. This is not the case. All the tests carried out in the laboratory so far fully negate it. New information about the things analyzed and studied so far has changed the whole scenario. During Darwin's time the microscope was not well developed. During his time the study of the life cell was not very detailed. How do we explain the complicated system functioning as eyes and ears? Why are these faculties so developed in the creatures which you consider so lower down in the evolution process? Such are the questions that have arisen. These questions should be analyzed. We must not apply the term fact for evolution. It is only a theory. It should be presented as it is. We claim that the Qur'an gives a counter theory. Please consider that too.

Anchorperson: Viewers, an interesting discussion on the theory of evolution between Mr. Ghamidi and the panel has concluded today. Mr. Ghamidi's argument that religious scholars and scientists should not abandon honesty needs to be appreciated and pondered. That is why opposing and irreconcilable religious and scientific theories can co-exist in a pluralistic society. This is a sign of life of a society. Good bye from your host Awais Iqbal and the entire team of the presentation, Ghamidi. Khuda Hafiẓ.

(Translated by Tariq Mahmood Hashmi)

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