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The Myth of Science in the Quran

The Myth of Science in the Quran

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Published by Doctor Jones
A Critique of the work of Dr Maurice Bucaille and claims that there are Scientific Miracles in the Koran.

1. The Water Cycle
2. The Two Sea’s
3. The Solid Sky
4. Earth is Spherical
5. Geocentric Cosmology
6. Origin of Semen within Ribcage
7. Milk Production
8. God holds flying birds aloft
9. Solomon talking to Animals/ Islamic Doctor Dolittle
10. Ants understand Human language

The author argues that there are many scientific errors in the Koran and that Mohammed was its author rather than God.

Bucaille did not convert to Islam because he did not believe his own book.
A Critique of the work of Dr Maurice Bucaille and claims that there are Scientific Miracles in the Koran.

1. The Water Cycle
2. The Two Sea’s
3. The Solid Sky
4. Earth is Spherical
5. Geocentric Cosmology
6. Origin of Semen within Ribcage
7. Milk Production
8. God holds flying birds aloft
9. Solomon talking to Animals/ Islamic Doctor Dolittle
10. Ants understand Human language

The author argues that there are many scientific errors in the Koran and that Mohammed was its author rather than God.

Bucaille did not convert to Islam because he did not believe his own book.

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Published by: Doctor Jones on Sep 05, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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11/06/2012

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http://www.butterfliesandwheels.com/articleprint.php?num=337
The Myth of Science in the Quran
By Adrian Reddy
Introduction
In 1976, a book was published which claimed that the Quran “..does not contain a singlestatement that is assailable from a modern scientific point of view”. The book: ‘The Bible,the Quran and Science’ [1] had been written by a French doctor, Maurice Bucaille, whobecame interested in Islam after he was appointed family physician to King Faisal of Saudi Arabia. In the early chapters, Bucaille proclaims articulately, enthusiastically andwith apparent sincerity that the scientific accuracy of the Quran is such that “I could notfind a single error…“ and that “…there can be no human explanation” for its contents.Such a claim was not new. Something similar had been expressed in the 13th centuryby the Islamic scholar Al-Qurtubi (see e.g. [2]), but here was an educated Western non-Muslim putting forward a detailed and, seemingly, carefully argued case that, more than700 years after Al-Qurtubi, the science in the Quran still stood up to scrutiny. To theIslamic world, frustrated by centuries of failure to convince the non-Muslim world that theQuran was miraculous, the book was enthusiastically received. It became a best seller and its existence fuelled the growth of the ‘Science in the Quran’ movement, amovement that is supported today by the enthusiasm of countless individuals on theInternet, each endeavouring to push the claim even further and to publicise new‘discoveries’ of scientific predictions in the Quran’s enigmatic verses.As summarised above, the book itself does not make a feature of claiming that theQuran contains new information. It mostly promotes only the weaker claim that there isno contradiction between the Quran and modern science and so falls short of the claimsof Bucaille’s many successors. Nevertheless, it is perhaps a surprise that such a claimcan be made at all for a book nearly 1400 years old, so it is worth attempting todetermine how at least the illusion of scientific compatibility came about. This articletherefore presents a brief review of Bucaille’s approach and an assessment of selectedQuranic statements. It is by no means the first critique of Bucaille’s work (e.g. [3,4]), buthas been compiled without reference to previous reviews, so the thoughts below are atleast original, if not particularly profound. This review also discusses the evidence in thebook for Bucaille’s guilty secret, of which more later.
Water 
The Quran contains many statements urging people to be grateful to (or fearful of) theBiblical God (‘God’) for various natural phenomena. Not surprisingly, given the desertlocation of Mecca and Medina, where Islam began, the Quran emphasises theimportance of water in such verses as (Q39: 21) (i.e. Quran, Sura (Chapter) 39, Verse21):
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“Have you not seen that God sent water down from the sky and led itthrough sources into the ground? Then He caused sown fields of differentcolours to grow.”and (Q50: 9-11):“We sent down from the sky blessed water whereby We caused to growgardens, grains for harvest, tall palm-trees with their spathes…”With further references in (Q23: 18,19), (Q36: 34) and (Q56: 68-70). It is evident thatsuch verses remain true by being expressed as straightforward qualitative observationalstatements. Bucaille nevertheless contends that the work of a mere mortal wouldinevitably reveal errors, but that“In the passages from the Quran, there is no trace of the mistaken ideas[concerning the water cycle] that were current at the time of Muhammad”Nevertheless, consider the following:(Q25: 53)"(God) is the One Who has let free the two seas, one isagreeable and sweet, the other salty and bitter. He placed a barrier between them, a partition that it is forbidden to pass."(Q55: 19) "He has loosed the two seas. They meet together. Betweenthem there is a barrier which they do not transgress.”The two verses, taken together, show that the ‘two seas’ refers to bodies of fresh and of salt water. Although the first of the verses suggests that the ‘barrier’ may refer to theland, the second shows that this is not so: it is located where the two seas ‘meettogether’. Bucaille interprets this meeting as taking place at the mouths of rivers, a viewthat is consistent with the translations of Shakir, Yusufali and Sarwar [5]. However, whatpoint is being made by the verses? It is surely noting the singular fact that the sea doesnot turn the rivers salty, nor do the rivers turn the sea fresh.However, there is neither a physical nor a virtual barrier. The fresh water mixes fully withthe sea and the status quo is maintained only because a similar quantity evaporatesfrom the sea and falls as rain upstream. Therefore, the statement that a barrier exists issimply incorrect and disproves, if further disproof were needed, the notion that an all-knowing deity authored the Quran. In addition, Bucaille’s favourite get-out argument: thatGod adjusted his descriptions so as to be comprehensible to 7th century Arabs, isparticularly inapplicable in this case, for there were then, as there are now, no rivers (atleast, no permanent ones) in Arabia. Most of Muhammad’s compatriots must thereforehave been mystified by the reference to the ‘two seas’.The lack of Arabian rivers explains why the description of the ‘two seas’ is so muddledfor, surely, even an unschooled riverbank dweller would realise that the separationbetween fresh and salt waters exists because of the continuous downstream flow.Muhammad’s meagre knowledge must therefore have been based entirely on hearsayfrom travellers familiar with (for example) the huge deltas of major rivers such as theNile and the Tigris-Euphrates. The Quran therefore does not demonstrate scientific
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knowledge of the water cycle; quite the opposite: it demonstrates nothing but a naiveignorance, an ignorance consistent with its authorship by an uneducated 7th centurydesert-dweller.
The sky
Though never unambiguously stating that the earth is flat, the Quran adopts aconventional pre-scientific geocentric stance and fails to distinguish adequately between‘Heaven’ (where God is alleged to reside) and ‘the Heavens’ (space), so that a crypticverse can be proclaimed as ‘scientific’ if it possesses an oblique resemblance to somefinding within astronomy or cosmology, yet remain unassailable as ‘theology’ if it doesnot.On many occasions in his book, Maurice Bucaille displays considerable inventiveness inperceiving the poetic imagery of the Quran as divine wisdom, but this inventivenessreaches its peak in the chapters dealing with ‘the Heavens’. A number of verses arehelped along by scientific-sounding translations, such as that of the sun and the moon‘travelling in an orbit’ where the Arberry translation refers to them as ‘swimming in thesky’ (Q21: 33) which, incidentally, the Quran verses below imply is some sort of physicalobject:(Q22: 65) “(God) holds back the sky from falling on the earth unless by Hisleave . . .”(Q13: 2) “God is He who raised up the heavens without pillars you cansee…”As stated above, Bucaille takes the view that God expressed his concepts within thelimited vocabulary of 7th Century Arabia and that therefore these concepts can now befreed from these constraints by means of the replacement of the original vocabulary bymodern scientific terminology. This is a highly dubious process, and not just from asecular point of view. The idea that God was somehow prevented from expressinghimself properly does not seem compatible with the Islamic notions that the Quran isperfect and that God is unlimited in his power. Furthermore, since (according to Islam)God chose both the time and the place for his revelation, it seems somewhat insolent toimply that this choice impaired the effectiveness of what he had to say. From the non-Islamic perspective, the manipulation of the wording in this way just looks like cheating.In addition to giving God a helping hand with the terminology, Bucaille makes the mostextraordinary interpretations of some fairly vague statements, such as:(Q31: 29) “Have you not seen how God merges the night into the day andmerges the day into the night?”(Q39: 5) “. . . He coils the night upon the day and He coils the day uponthe night.”Bucaille states, obscurely: “This process of perpetual coiling, including theinterpenetration of one sector by another is expressed in the Quran just as if the concept
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