Creationist Muslim Medical Students Say No to Evolution Lectures

 @AmruthaGayathri
on November 28 2011 6:36 AM

Some would-be doctors in the UK are rubbishing the worth of Darwinian theory of evolution and refusing to follow the besic principles of science, raising concern in academic circles.    

According to a Daily Mail report, Muslim medical students in one of Britain's reputed medical institutes are refusing to attend lectures on evolution claiming that Darwinism clashed with their Quranic faith. 

Medical students, including trainee doctors, at University College London have been boycotting lectures on Darwinist theories by simply avoiding scheduled hours or by sending emails and notes to lecturers saying that they shouldn't have to learn this stuff.

The professors have expressed concern over the mass boycotts, especially since the students willingly chose to study biology and become medical professionals.

The professors are bemused over the turn of events. According to the report, Steve Jones emeritus professor of human genetics at University College London asked why such students would want to study biology at all when it obviously conflicts with their beliefs.

The creation Vs. evolution controversy is one of the most prevalent debates involving Christianity in the U.S. and the rest of the Western world. But the Islamic rejection of evolution, interestingly, was inspired by American believers of intelligent design, and is not exactly rooted in Quran.

Historically, Muslim thinkers accepted Darwinism, while asserting the supremacy of God, thus creating a middle stance known as the theistic evolution. The pre-modern Muslim evolutionary thinkers proposed 'struggle for existence' as a precursor to 'natural selection,' much before the Darwinian theories came into being.

Evolutionary biology is taught in most Muslim countries except in Saudi Arabia and Sudan, which have banned the teaching of evolution in schools.

According to a Guardian report of 2006, Khalid Anees, president of the Islamic Society of Britain, said at a conference on creationism: Islam also has its own school of Evolutionary creationism/Theistic evolutionism, which holds that mainstream scientific analysis of the origin of the universe is supported by the Qur'an.

Many Muslims believe in evolutionary creationism, especially among Sunni and Shia Muslims and the Liberal movements within Islam, Anees said, adding that 18th century Islamic scholars believed 'between plants and animals there is sponge, and, between animals and humans there is monkey.'

However, the modern Islamic thought, which took shape in the 19th century, was against the theory of evolution. One of the most prominent Muslim creationists alive, Adnan Oktar, has based his campaign at the Institute for Creation Research and the Intelligent Design movement in the U.S. The lack of details of creation in Quran is probably one of the reasons why Islamic creationists' campaigns have a lot in common with the Christian intelligent design campaigns.

The modern Islamic campaign in support of creationism has turned rather absolute, that a Senior Lecturer in business information systems at Middlesex University, Usama Hasan, recently received death threats for proposing that Islam is compatible with the theory of evolution. Hasan said that story of Adam and Eve is for children and that the Islamic world achieved significant advances during the Middle Ages to understand and accept theories of evolution. He had to later retract his arguments following death threats.

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