By Hwaa Irfan
For many of us, the fact that currently there is a raging battle between creationists (we all evolved from God), and evolutionists (we all evolved from nature), has nothing to do with our personal lives. After all we have far too many other priorities to consider. Even the word ‘creationist’ is a word that will automatically turn a person off, because “what does it mean anyway”, and besides “what has it got to do with me”. One either believes it or not, and with that thought, many would just like to get on with their lives.
However, what if I was to say that the reason why it is such a raging debate at the moment is because secularists after years of having the world their way are up in arms, and using all means to squelch the growing religious tide. Yes, with a lot of help from Islamophobics vis-à-vis 9/11, religion has been put back on the agenda, and plain and simple, the secularists do not like it.
New websites dedicated to bringing down religion have been popping up within the last couple of years, and witch-hunts have begun for people like Harun Yahya – a self proclaimed creationist. Muslims of a lesser rank have been arguing in both camps, and the enforcement of the teachings of the theory of evolution throughout Europe has been on the agenda of the European Union for a while. Children of faith are being challenged in schools and places of higher learning, and therefore so is their right to believe, and to practice. Does this matter to you?
To add diversity to the debate, we have ‘intelligent design’. The emotionally volatile and not so scientific evolutionist reaction to the original document may have done more to inflame the debate than creationists themselves. The argument all began as a reaction to the Wedge Document, a fundraising proposal for the Centre for Renewal of Science and Culture – Discovery Institute, U.S. The fundraising proposal stated that:
• “God is the bedrock of Western civilization”
• Scientists and philosophers who debunked the traditional view of man as a moral spiritual being for being an animal who is influenced by “unbending forces” have created a materialistic sense of reality which has had devastating effect in the social, economic, political and psychological spheres of our existence.
• “Materialists undermined personal responsibility by asserting that human thoughts and behaviors are dictated by our biology, and environment”
• “…materialism spawned a virulent strain of utopianism. Thinking that they could engineer the perfect society through the application of scientific knowledge , materialist reformers advocated coercive government programmes that falsely promised to create heaven on earth”
Then within the goals of the fundraising document the purpose was:
• To defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral , cultural, and political legacies
• “To replace materialism explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and human beings are created by God”
• “To see intelligent design theory as an accepted alternative in the sciences, and the scientific research being done from the perspective of design theory”
• “To see Design Theory permeate our religious, cultural, moral, and political life”.
The emphasis was on the Christian doctrine, but the above summarize points of the document applies to any religion.
Life as We Know It
Secularists and evolutionists have become rather nervous as religion raises its unwanted head. The result of their organizing the world around their beliefs, has unleashed a materialistic interpretation of the world that has lead to the understanding:
• That man can determine what is perfect
• The concept of the ‘perfect’ human being, and therefore it’s opposite
• Terms of reference for perfection and an intolerance for what does not come under those terms of reference
• That all that is perfect in the world, is the rightful ownership of the ‘perfect’
• That if those who suffer from imperfection due to being denied access resources is as a result of their imperfection
• That what is ‘perfect’ for the perfect, is more important even if it is ‘imperfect’ for the imperfect.
• That what the ‘imperfect’ regard as ‘perfect’ is not tolerable, especially if it questions the ‘perfection’ of the perfect.
What does this mean in real terms? It means never being satisfied with what one has, and in so doing :
• What is desired becomes a blindly focus in one’s life, instead of what is needed, and what is for the common good
• One refrains from the common good in favor of what is of personal benefit
• There is a continual need to acquire land, wealth, resources (even it is not one’s own ). Work becomes a means to covet, not to give or share
• One is easily swayed by anything that promotes self Interest
• Avoids anything that reminds one of the imbalance which one is creating/living
• Uses science as a means to justify the good of a few
• Is addictive, and so thus reduces anything to an object. i.e. it has to serve the desires of the materialist (including lifestyle)
• Feels empowered only b y what is an addiction (i.e. materialistic approaches to life), will do anything to feed that addiction, and when not empowered by the addiction mental health is compromised
• Reduces creativity and cognition, and so all systems of learning are affected unless spiritually or religiously endowed
• Makes life mechanistic and predictable
• Demonizes anything that does not reflect its self image
• Is only able to relate to others exists only on a materialistic level
• Diminishes true individuality e. creativity, imagination and experience)
• Believes that there is no true alternative
• Is goal orientated, and can not live in the present
• Is never satisfied
• Likes to control others
If the Big Bang, Chaos Theory or the Theory of Evolution lies at the base of our socio-cultural economic, political, and philosophical belief systems then naturally all the above effects of materialism makes us worse than animals. If man is the only reference of who we are and how we came into being, secularists and evolutionists have very little to be proud of. Creationists (with the exception of American creationists) are more generous than that, for it is yet to be disproved that God is not behind The Big Bang, Chaos Theory or the Theory of Evolution. God is surely Great, at least in Islam, for having the intelligent design to make our greatest war to be the struggle with the self. So who would you rather be created by God or man, not that we have a choice in the matter.
Back to Evolution?
Dr. Stephen Meyer, a geophysicist, and one of the original Intelligent Designers, to the question as to whether life could have evolved without a greater intelligence referred to Darwin and said the obvious, Darwin was not around to witness evolution like himself. This question was addressed to Meyer while performing a demonstration to church goers at McClean Bible Church in Viginia, U.S. Members of the congregation were astounded as he applied their cognition on plausible causes to how a string of amino acids can come up with 10 trillion combinations. Even as people of faith we blindly belief in the religion of theory of evolution without cognition.
When we ask questions do we stop at the answer that suits:
• What we already believe?
• What is within our limitation of belief?
The Big Bang happened, and we evolved from apes, and that is that! No thought to what caused the Big Bang, or what caused us to evolve from apes if we evolved from apes at all. There is only 2% difference between human DNA, and that of apes, yet we as humans talk, think, invent, create, re-shape the world (so we would like to think), and change lifestyles; how long did these developments in humans take to evolve? Did you know that we as humans have in common with the laboratory mouse 85% of our DNA? A great similarity also exists with kangaroos, yet the scientific gamble remains on the ape. Then there is the banana, banana? So far 60% of the DNA of a banana is common to human DNA. Fact or fiction might be running through one’s mind right now, but how long as it taken us to accept by inference (not fact) that we are related to apes? However, another question could be asked: Is it not possible that all creation came from one source? Am I jumping the gun by calling in all of creation? The Unity that is in God, and the full meaning of this Unity has more to reveal I am sure!
What we make sense of now, will, if evolution allows (i.e. by virtue of the development of our higher intelligence – jihad an nafs), be dwarfed by what we are able to make sense of in the future. In the meantime the understanding of who or what gave life to us is important whether we like it or not, because it determines how we choose or not to live our lives!
Written in 2009
Irfan, H. Banning God From the School Curriculum. http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?c=Article_C&pagename=Zone-English-Family%2FFYELayout&cid=1193049191450
Russell, S. Of Mice and Men. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2002/12/05/MN153329.DTL&type=science
Chimps and Humans Evolved from a Common Ancestor. http://www.sciencefindsgod.com/blog/2006/10/chimps-and-humans-evolved-from-common.html
The Science Museum the Double Helix. http://www.makingthemodernworld.org.uk/stories/defiant_modernism/01.ST.02/?scene=6&tv=true
Zeitlan, M. Intelligent Design’s Latest Sneaky Assault on Science. http://www.alternet.org/belief/141423/intelligent_design%27s_latest_sneaky_assault_on_science