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Chapter IV

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The Qur'an and the Genetics

CAN DIFFERENT SPECIES MEET AND GIVE EVOLUTION TO NEW LIFE FORMS?

To go through the above 4th assumption of Darwin, we have to consider some scientific data on genetics. Genetics is the branch of Biology dealing with heredity and variation or inherited characteristics of an organism. The Encyclopedic World Dictionary defined that “Genetics is the science of heredity, dealing with resemblance and differences of related organisms flowing from the interaction of their genes and the environment.

With the development of electron microscope and the phase contrast microscope human knowledge jumped forward and covered a vast field of things which were undisclosed to the naked eye. Thus, the man stepped into a new branch of biology known as Cell Biology. The cell is fundamental, morphological and physiologic unit in the structure of living beings. Several scientists contributed to the knowledge of the structure of the cell in the nineteenth century.

M.J.Schleiden and Theodore Schwann (Germans) put all these developments together and formally spelled out the observation into a convincing doctrine that cell containing nuclei were the structural basis of the organization of both plants and animals. Rudolf Virchow another German scientist made a very important generalization: Cells come only from pre-existing cells, and an inanimate matter can never produce a cell. (Save divine creation) On these observations, a cell theory was developed stating:

a) Cell arises from pre-existing cells.

b) All organisms are composed of cells and cell products.

c) Cells are the structural and functional units of life.

The formation of cell theory marked a great conceptual advance and it resulted in renewed attention to the living processes that go on in the cells.

The detailed distribution of the cell division was contributed by Edward Strasburger a German botanist who observed the mitotic process in plant cells and further demonstrated that nuclei arise from preexisting nuclei.

The scientists were able to determine the components of nuclei by the help of ultra- violet or fluorescent microscopy and they found in it:

a) Deoxyribonucleic acid. (DNA)

b) Ribonucleic acid. (RNA)

c) Lipids.

d) Basic proteins.

e) Complex proteins including enzymes.

f) Some phosphorus containing organic components.

g) Inorganic components like salts.

Much of DNA is localized in chromosomes of nuclei. In fact, chromosomes are composed of about 40% DNA, 50% histone and other basic proteins, 1.5% RNA and 8.5% acidic proteins. There are 23 pairs of chromosomes in each human cell. The gene is a portion of DNA molecule containing more than thousand base pairs. Genes are linearly arranged on chromosomes. Each chromosome contains a definite group of genes known as a linkage group.

The scientists have agreed unanimously that the same chemical substance, Deoxyribonucleic acid. (DNA), in the form of genes accounts for all living matter to replicate itself exactly and to transmit genetic information from parent to offspring.

And on the basis of ubiquitous genetic code found in all living organisms on earth, the scientists have concluded that life appeared only once and all the forms of plants and animals are the result of this primitive creation by the Great Creator Allah:

For He is well versed in every kind of creation. (36/79)

A science writer Rutherford Platt says:

“These DNA specks have a similar chemical composition, are about the same size, and look very much like those in your dog, or in a housefly, a bread mold or blade of grass. Yet somehow, the specks are coded to make every living thing different from every other living thing. They make dogs different from fish or birds, bread mold from apple trees, elephant from mosquitoes.” (Reader’s Digest, Oct. 1962p.144)

Thus, these discoveries finally established that every living organism remains in its basic kind and no mutation or evolution is possible from one basic kind to another basic kind. This does away the 4th assumption of Darwin who held that evolution gives birth to new forms of life. Finally, the Quran was held supreme which said:

The nature ordained by Allah (God) in which He hath created man. There is no altering to (the laws) of God’s creation. (30/30)

DNA is a chemical compound of which genes are made. Geneticists have determined that heredity information of all species is determined by the sequence of the nitrogenous bases in the DNA molecule. It is the carrier of the inheritance code in living things. In the nuclei there exits a system by which the genes pass on the instructions that ensure transmission of the heredity characters.

Allah has constituted a build-in code in DNA, a blueprint, in every specie that keeps all forms of life within their basic kinds. It keeps the organism within the bounds originally set out for it.

A human has tens of thousand genes grouped into 23 pairs of chromosomes, each gene contains thousand or more units that makes for a fantastic possibility of variety within a kind. That is why as in the case of human family, hardly any two people look exactly alike, even though there are about 4000 million persons on earth today. Yet, inspite of all that variety, all the persons remain within the basic human kind. Similar is the case of animals and plants. We have great variety of animals and plants yet each remains in its own basic kinds.

I have already referred in Chapter II, the observations of the scientists acknowledging their failure in achieving mutation in gene and they admitted that all the mutations are bad.

Dowdeswell in “The Mechanism of Evolution” acknowledged: “Of many mutants detected in the laboratory, all are either recessive or semi-dominant and the majority cause harmful physiological effects. Hardly any have ever been observed which could possibly be beneficial to an organism under wild conditions.” (p.30)

The living cell is such a sophisticated unit that any attempt of its mutation from outside its basic kind results in its disruption and in its disorganization.

The scientific studies of living cell and its components, chromosomes, DNA, and genes etc. have finally held that there didn’t exits the remotest possibility of any evolution whatsoever. The living cell is such a compact and perfect unit of life that it stands as it was created by Allah on the first speck of life. It has such an amazing mechanism that it replicates itself and produces organisms exactly of its kind. An evolutionist Rutherford Platt in the book “River Of Life” admitted:

“So perfect is the original one-cell form of life and so potent both for body building, for activating nerves and, muscles, and for procreation, that cell has never altered its basic size or nature from the beginning of life even to this day.” (p.100)

When the cell stands as it was from the beginning of life till this day, then where does the question of evolution of new life forms arises as barked by Darwin?

The Quran referring to the built in code of every living cell stated:

Our Lord is He. Who gave everything its constitution then guided it aright. (20/50)

The Arabic word ‘kulla shain’ (everything) includes the living cell, and that He gave it, its constitution or form, i.e. He created it to His will and plan, and guided it aright means it shall follow its built-in code only and cannot deviate from it.

The Quran is very specific in stating that there can be no change in the laws of creation and that the power of creation resets with Allah only. Emphasizing this fact the Quran said:

Lo! Those on whom ye call beside Allah, will never create a fly though they combine together for the purpose. And if the fly took something, they could not get it back from the fly. (22/73)

How insensible is to talk of evolution. If all the scientists of the world get together to create the living cell of a fly, they can’t. They acknowledged the truth of the 7th century revelation in the 20th century and held that cells come only from pre-existing cells. Not only that if all the scientists attempt to get back what fly has snatched away from the food, they can’t do it.

Elaborating the heredity characters of every living thing the Quran said: There isn’t a creature but He doth grasp it by the forelock. (11/56)

Grasp of the forelock means that any and every creature cannot deviate from the course schemed in its DNA by its creator. It will move and procreate in its kind only.

Rutherford Platt said:

“All the while that DNA sits in the nuclei giving orders that will spur growth, digestion, heartbeat, thinking and feeling, it is following its built-in plan which it has carried down the corridors of time. It makes no alterations in its plan.” (Reader’s Digest Oct. 1962)

The Scientific Proof of Resurrection

The DNA’s built-in plan includes growth from mother’s womb to childhood, young age, and then to old age. Referring to this genetic code causing various stages of life the Quran said:

O mankind! If ye are in doubt concerning the Resurrection, then lo! We have created you out of dust (effigy of Adam) then out of sperm, then out of something that clings, then out of chewed lump of flesh, partly formed and partly unformed, that We make (it) clear for you. We cause what We will to keep you in the womb for an appointed time, and afterward We bring you forth as infants, then (give you growth) then ye attain your full strength. And some among you dieth (young) and some among you attain the feeblest age, so that, after knowledge he knoweth nothing. And thou (Muhammad) seest the earth barren, but when We sent down rain on it. It is stirred (to life).It swells, it puts forth every kind of growth in pairs. That is so, because God is the truth Lo! He gives life to the dead... That God will raise up all who are in the graves. (22/5-7)

The above revelation states all the stages of human life. I have partly discussed it. (see the ‘First Revelation and the Science of Creation of Man).The Arabic word ‘Nutfa’ means sperm of a man and a woman (Lane’s Arabic English Lexicon) That is to say that ‘Nutfa’ in Arabic is used for male and female cell. However, the English word sperm means male reproductive cell, gamete or germ cell. The Quran has also used ‘Nutfatul-amshaj’ (76/2). It means mingling of male and female cells. Then the Quran explains the stage of ‘Alaq’ meaning some thing that clings. The male and female cells clings each other and their union forms a zygote. The built-in code of the Creator in the genes around nucleus of the fertilized cell works and gradually it transforms into ‘Mudgha’ (chewed lump) i.e. having the identical marks of the teeth. This was discovered by the scientists in the end of 19th century and was known as somite stage. After that, the formation of organs begins. The Quran states this under ‘Mukhlaqa and ghair mukhlaqa’. In embryology, this is known as organogenesis stage. Then the Quran states the formation of the bones and flesh. (23/14) All these embryological stages are defined in the Quran and they are according to the rigid built-in plan, which God has decreed in the genes around the nucleus of the human cell. There cannot be slightest diversion from it.

The revelation draws similarly in between human life and plant life. the human cell is nourished in the womb of the mother. The scattered scattered living cells are nourished by rains. The earth is the womb for them. Both originate from one cell and the genes in the cells dictate the characteristic, structures and heredity traits that are passed on from parent to offspring. Then they direct the functioning of body till it passes from different phases of life. Few among the men reach to the feeblest age of their lives and lose their memory.

This similitude between man and plant life is drawn to make mankind understand their resurrection. Take the example of water. Water though fluid has a body. The heat and wind vapourise water. It melts. The vapours go up in the atmosphere. They change into clouds and then clouds rainwater. (See ‘Rains in the Quran’). Thus, we can say that in rain the water changes its shape but finally it reverts into its fluid body as it was. Similarly, the man after completing the cycle of life melts into the earth. Its soul is taken away and kept to the time of resurrection. As God revives the dead earth with rains, in the same way a special rain will resurrect all the dead bodies and their souls blown into them. As water after melting is made to regain its fluid body, in the same way the human bodies after melting into the earth will be raised on the Day of Resurrection, for a great judgement. The faithful will be rewarded with everlasting pleasures and the wrong doers will be punished. The infidels and the polytheists will settle in Hell for eternity.

It is not amazing that the Quran embodied all this knowledge on genetics? which the scientists could discover in 19th and 20th century.

Herein below, the 7th century revelation quite amazingly describes, the three animals of one family. First, it specifies their usefulness saying:

And they bear your loads for you unto a land Ye could not reach save with great trouble to yourselves.

Lo! Your Lord is full of Pity, Merciful. And horses and mules and asses (He hath created) that ye may ride and use for show. And He has created (other) things of that ye hath no knowledge. (16/7-8)

The desert of Arabian Peninsula including the barren land of Makkah and that of Hedjaz is well known. The animal used here for carrying loads and travelers is camel. But the above verse mentions horses, mules and asses. Had it been for Muhammad (Sallallaho alaihi wasallem), to write the Quran as is held by non-Muslims, he would have certainly made mention of camels. But only God could know the animals of one specie in those pre-scientific days. A horse and a donkey can produce a hybrid mule, but certainly, a slightest change in the gene code between horse and ass made hybrid mule sterile. Hybridization is possible only in the same kind. The cat and dog have separate families. Their genes cannot mate and produce offspring. It is impossible to transgress the limit of the species.

The above verse also mentions that God has created other things, which you do not know. Certainly, the men of those days knew nothing of those things which vision could not grasp like germs and small organisms. This revelation enlightens the reader his faith, (if he has) and knows that the knowledge of the Quran is directly coming from the Most Omniscient, God the Creator.

The Quran specifying the quality of a green tree states:

Who hath appointed for you fire from the green tree and behold! ye kindle from it. (36/80)

The green tree is known for its moisture. It does not kindle easily save some chemicals are used on it. But yet Allah made among the green trees, a kind of tree (Cynanchum Viminale) which is known for burning in itself. Lane in his ‘Arabic English Lexicon’ writes:

“Sometime these trees are clustered and tangled together, and the wind blowing and striking one part of them against another, they emit fire and burn the valley.”

Why this one kind is quite different from other kinds. Does evolution has any answer? Never. Who has given its cell a different genetic code. The Quran answers:

Have ye observed the fire which ye kindle? Was it ye who made the tree (that kindles fire) or We the grower? (56/71-72)

No doubt, Allah creates as He wills. Not only this but also He created flesh eaters among the plants and trees (mostly found in Burma forests and the monkeys are trapped in them). They are entirely variant in nature. Can evolution bring change in the genes around nucleus, the cell is as it was in its primeval origin.

‘Look’ magazine declared in its Jan. 16th, 1961 issue. “The cell is as complicated as New York city.”

L.Eisely in his book “The Immense Journey” admitted:

“To grasp in detail the physio-chemical organization of the simplest cell is far beyond our capacity.”

An evolutionist John Tyler Bonner in his book “The Ideas of Biology” observed: “The cell is really such an astounding clever unit that when we think of it from the point of view of evolution it seems easier to imagine a single cell evolving into complex animals and plants than it does to imagine a group of chemical substances evolving into a cell...The study of early evolution really amounts to educated guess work.” (p.18.1962)

As above the evolutionist themselves had to admit the complexity and flawlessness of the cell which is far beyond the scope of evolution. They acknowledge that the evolution is a “guess work”.

When the basic unit of life, the living cell, is “an astounding clever unit” not allowing slightest mutation of a gene of another kind, then where does the question of evolution arise? Therefore, it could never give vent to new life forms.