the lies about science told by iERA and Islamic evangelists
OP - May 21, 2014, 10:08 AM
Science and Islamic Evangelism
In their evangelical material iERA have made claims of scientific miracles being contained in the Quran.
The dialogue between science and religion is a topic of immense interest to many philosophers, theologians and scientists. While academics debated over the boundaries of science or the validity of religious experience, a much cruder relationship between the two fields began to trend in Muslim communities across the developing and developed countries in recent decades. Many Islamic proselytizers began to widely publicize the belief that the sacred Islamic text, the Qur'an, contains scientific information that had only been discovered recently.
As a proselytizing tool, claims of scientific foreknowledge are found in the evangelical practices of many major religions. However, this belief has gained much mainstream acceptance in the Muslim world, with adverse effects.
The claim is that Islam’s supremacy and mission is validated by scientific proof, and that the veracity of the Qur'an as God's direct command has been "proven" due to its (alleged) scientific foreknowledge. This tool has been the default argument for Islam by many major apologists such like Harun Yahya, Zakir Naik, and most recently iERA.
The fallacious line of reasoning behind the belief of scientific foreknowledge in the Qur'an is particularly easy to demonstrate.
First and foremost, many of the claims are based on an ignorance of history. For example, some apologists claim that theQur'an foretold a round earth while being ignorant of the fact that the knowledge of a spherical earth can be found even among the Ancient Greeks.
Secondly, many claims are based on semantics whereby ancient words are given novel or modern connotations. For example, some apologists claim that the Qur'an foretold the existence of atoms while not acknowledging the fact that the particular word in question merely acquired the meaning of atom in modern times. In other cases, apologists rely on mistranslations to achieve their goals. For example, a Qur'anic word used in association to the Earth is often translated by apologists as round or "egg-shaped" while academic lexicons of Arabic clearly demonstrate the word is actually used to denote flat surfaces.
A few other claims, that are neither based on historical ignorance or semantics, commit the fallacy of equivocation or the fallacy of undistributed middle. For example, some apologists claims that the Qur'an foretold the 'expansion of the universe' while failing to acknowledge that they have merely equivocated a modern scientific discovery on to a word the describes the 'vastness of heavens'.
Similarly, some apologists claim that the Qur'an foretold the implantation of a blastocyst with the words "safe place" while failing to acknowledge the fallacy of the undistributed middle since the words "safe place” could easily refer to a mother's womb.
There are yet other claims that are based on misunderstandings of scientific information where by apologists have claimed that the Qur'an "foretold" non-existent scientific phenomenon. For example, some apologists claim that the Qur'an foretold the existence of impenetrable barriers between seas when in fact no such barriers exist.
Ironically, the apologists, in their zealous attempt to implant science in the Quran, unwittingly plant errors in the text instead.
Skeptics who have examined much of the claims of scientific foreknowledge have not found a single genuine case in the Qur'an. Even a few Muslim scholars have come forward criticizing the methodology and misinformation touted by the advocates of such claims. Despite the intellectual bankruptcy of this phenomenon, proselytizing organizations like iERA continue to push this trend through books, videos, lectures, websites, advertisements and billboards.
Members of iERA have been known to engage in disingenuous methods in order to exploit the religious sentiments of people and have used unethical behaviour in their evangelism. Hamza Tzortzis staged a debate in Pakistan with Dr. Pervez Hoodhboy, a well-respected physicist and an activist for science and education in Pakistan. Despite the fact that Dr. Hoodhboy was a Muslim and that he even affirmed the Islamic dogma of the divinity of the Qur'an, Hamza Tzortzis characterized him as an atheist during the debate and incoherently censured Dr. Hoodhboy of having failed to prove atheism. If such dishonesty was not sufficient, Hamza later stated that Dr. Hoodhboy hated the Muslim world; a remark that can have deadly consequences in a country like Pakistan.
The assertion of scientific verification for the ideas of a group like iERA services hatred.
By suggesting that their version of Islam is an example of scientific truth, they assert an authority that they suggest is bolstered by science. With that authority, their version of Islam is unquestionable. And thus the views they project through speakers and clerics towards gays, women, non Muslims, ex Muslims and liberal dissenting Muslims are depicted as part of a rational, scientific authority.
The wider effect is to claim that science verifies the foundational prejudices of a Hate Group.