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    Lightbulb Biological Evolution – An Islamic Perspective (OP)


    http://islamtoday.com/showme2.cfm?ca...sub_cat_id=792
    Biological Evolution – An Islamic Perspective| Prepared by the Research Committee of IslamToday.net under the supervision of Sheikh `Abd al-Wahhâb al-Turayrî|


    Many Muslims wonder about the theory of biological evolution – the theory that living species on Earth today are descended from others in the past, and that the present diversity of living species we see is a result of descent with modification over the course of numerous generations.

    Muslims also wonder about one of the main processes that evolutionary theory proposes to explain how evolution takes place – the process of natural selection. This is the idea that the individuals within a populations of living organism vary in their individual traits – they are not exactly alike – and that the organisms which are most successful at leaving descendants will pass on their unique traits to the next generation at the expense of the traits possessed by less successful organisms in the population, thereby contributing to a long-term gradual change in the suite of traits found within the population.

    We as Muslims must ask:

    Does the theory of evolution – and likewise the theory of natural selection as a mechanism of evolution – conform to Islamic teachings or conflict with them?

    Is a Muslim allowed to believe in evolution as a scientific theory as long as he or she accepts that Allah is behind it?

    Can a Muslim believe in human evolution? If not, how can we explain the fossils of upright, bipedal, tool-using apes with large brains that have been discovered?

    To start with, we wish to emphasize that our concern here is not with examining the scientific merits of the theory of evolution. What we want to know is what Islamic teachings have to say about the idea. Whether evolution is true or false scientifically is another matter altogether.

    When we look at the sources of Islam – the Qur’ân and Sunnah – we see that, with respect to human beings living on the Earth today, they are all descendants of Adam and Eve.

    Allah also says: “O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honorable of you with Allah is the one who is the most God-fearing.” [Sûrah al-Hujûrât:13]

    The Prophet (peace be upon him) identified the "male" mentioned in this verse as being Adam. He said: “Human beings are the children of Adam and Adam was created from Earth. Allah says: ‘O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honorable of you with Allah is the one who is the most God-fearing’.” [Sunan al-Tirmidhî (3270)]

    We also see that Allah created Adam directly without the agency of parents.

    Allah says: “The similitude of Jesus before Allah is as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him: ‘Be’ and he was.” [Sûrah Âl `Imrân: 59]

    We also know that Eve was created from Adam without the agency of parents.

    In the Qur’ân, Allah states clearly: “O mankind! Be careful of your duty to your Lord Who created you from a single soul and from it created its mate and from them twain hath spread abroad a multitude of men and women.” [Sûrah al-Nisâ’: 1]

    Therefore, the Qur’ân tells us that Adam and his wife were the father and mother of all human beings living on the Earth today. We know about this by way of direct revelation from Allah.

    The direct creation of Adam (peace be upon him) can neither be confirmed nor denied by science in any way. This is because the creation of Adam (peace be upon him) was a unique and singular historical event. It is a matter of the Unseen and something that science does not have the power to confirm or deny. As a matter of the Unseen, we believe it because Allah informs us about it. We say the same for the miracles mentioned in the Qur’ân. Miraculous events, by their very nature, do not conform to scientific laws and their occurrence can neither be confirmed nor denied by science.

    What about other living things, besides the human beings living on the Earth today? What about plants, animals, fungi, and the like?

    When we turn our attention to this question, we find that the Qur’ân and Sunnah do not tell us much about the flora and fauna that was present on the Earth before or at the time of Adam and Eve’s arrived upon it. The sacred texts also do not tell us how long ago Adam and Eve arrived upon the Earth. Therefore, these are things we cannot ascertain from the sacred texts.

    The only thing that the Qur’ân and Sunnah require us to believe about the living things on Earth today is that Allah created them in whatever manner He decided to do create them.

    Allah says: “Allah is the Creator of all things and over all things He has authority.” [Sûrah al-Zumar: 62]

    Indeed, Allah states specifically that He created all life forms: “And We made from water all living things.” [Sûrah al-Anbiyâ’: 30]

    We know that “Allah does what He pleases.” Allah can create His creatures in any manner that He chooses.

    Therefore, with respect to other living things, the Qur’ân and Sunnah neither confirm nor deny the theory of biological evolution or the process referred to as natural selection. The question of evolution remains purely a matter of scientific enquiry. The theory of evolution must stand or fall on its own scientific merits – and that means the physical evidence that either confirms the theory or conflicts with it.

    The role of science is only to observe and describe the patterns that Allah places in His creation. If scientific observation shows a pattern in the evolution of species over time that can be described as natural selection, this is not in itself unbelief. It is only unbelief for a person to think that this evolution took place on its own, and not as a creation of Allah. A Muslim who accepts evolution or natural selection as a valid scientific theory must know that the theory is merely an explanation of one of the many observed patterns in Allah’s creation.

    As for the fossil remains of bipedal apes and the tools and artifacts associated with those remains, their existence poses no problem for Islamic teachings. There is nothing in the Qur’ân and Sunnah that either affirms or denies that upright, brainy, tool using apes ever existed or evolved from other apelike ancestors. Such animals may very well have existed on Earth before Adam’s arrival upon it. All we can draw from the Qur’ân and Sunnah is that even if those animals once existed, they were not the forefathers of Adam (peace be upon him).

    And Allah knows best.
    Biological Evolution – An Islamic Perspective

    The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
    "Surely I was sent to perfect the qualities of righteous character" [Musnad Ahmad, Muwatta Mâlik]


    Visit Ansâr Al-'Adl's personal page HERE.
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    Re: Biological Evolution – An Islamic Perspective

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    You disapoint me Root, I nevre thought you'd drop so low to defend a theory against better knowledge just to make a point.
    I am defending the Sphagetti Monster as a serious contender of ID. You have Allah, I have the sphagetti monster they are "BOTH" equally valid under Intelligent Design...........

    Unless of course you can prove otherwise.

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    Re: Biological Evolution – An Islamic Perspective

    Root, I know you don't believe in it and that the only reason you defend it is as an argument ad absurdum. And quite frankly that disapoints me from you. Now you an try and rephrase that in any way you want,... But that won't make any difrence.
    Biological Evolution – An Islamic Perspective

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    Re: Biological Evolution – An Islamic Perspective

    Root, I know you don't believe in it and that the only reason you defend it is as an argument ad absurdum. And quite frankly that disapoints me from you. Now you an try and rephrase that in any way you want,... But that won't make any difrence.
    Double jeapardy! But alas, you cannot refute it as a serious viable ID alternative to evolution, that is the point being made, we have controversy have we not. Should we warn our kids that this controversy exists when we tech them biological evolution in the classroom.

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    Re: Biological Evolution – An Islamic Perspective

    Hi Steve,

    I have been meaning to get back to you on the point of adaptation as a driving force behind evolutionary change and the seemingly linked way that you view mutational change to be the sole force. For a reminder here is your full comment:

    This is one of the bigest misconceptions among supporters of the evolution theory. Evolution theory does not speculate that species evolve out of adaptation. A mutation is the result of a malfunctioning. It is not (unless you believ in ID) purpose-minded. Species don't mutation in order to adapt. They adapt because they have mutated. It is a fluke. Adaptation only comes in after mutation. The mutated specie can sometimes adapt to it's new charesteristics so they find their mutation a benefit rather then a downside. Their customs and ebhavior can adapt but their DNA does not "adapt" to new enviroments. In fact their enviroment cannot have any effect on their Dna, the Dna is well confined within the cells of our bodies and therefor undisturbed by the enviroment.
    The theory of evolution for a very long time made a prediction that when species becomes isolated in an environment where the species is too big to survive then the species would adapt by literally shrinking. Where food sources are scarce, the advantage given to same species with less overall mass obtain a survival edge over the larger same species. Subsequent survival (selection by less mass) would trigger evolution by adaptation without any apparent mutational change of DNA which is termed "Island Dwarfing". This is simply because the species is being selected by smaller mass. This concept does not require a "lucky mutational change" and has been shown to be correct in both the natural world & under scientific experimentation, both of which consistently show this prediction as being correct.

    Island Dwarfing in the natural world

    For this, I will give an example from a recent scientific discovery. However, before doing so I would like to provide a link for Island Dwarfing where a greater number of examples and more indepth information is available:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Island_dwarfing

    Now for the newest discovery;

    A new species of mini-dinosaur has been unearthed in northern Germany. The creature was of the sauropod type - that group of long-necked, four-footed herbivores that were the largest of all the dinosaurs.

    But at just a few metres in length, this animal was considerably smaller than its huge cousins, scientists report in the journal Nature.


    The fossils were found in Late Jurassic carbonate rock (about 150 million years old). At this period in Earth's history, much of what is now central Europe was under water. Dr Sander and colleagues suggest the dinosaurs could have lived on one of the large islands around the Lower Saxony basin.

    "Such islands would not have been able to support large-bodied sauropods," they write in Nature.

    "The ancestor of the Europasaurus would have dwarfed rapidly on immigrating to the island, or as a response to shrinking land masses caused by rising sea levels."


    Source:http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/5055128.stm

    Now, for some scientific experimentation.

    Adaptation, for this is via artificial selection. By this I mean the domestication of the wolf and/or wild dog by early humans and the genetic effect on the species changing over time without "Mutational Luck".

    By comparing foxes selected for tameness with others that have not been selected in this way, researchers have found evidence that dramatic behavioral and physiological changes accompanying tameness may be associated with only limited changes in gene activity in the brain.

    The researchers found that although there were many differences in the gene-activity profiles of the wild and farm-raised foxes, foxes selected for tameness showed relatively limited changes in brain gene activity when they were compared to non-domesticated farm foxes. Because the selected and non-selected foxes live in an identical environment, the authors point out that the differences in gene activities that do exist between these two groups probably reflect the consequences of behavioral changes accompanying tameness,



    Atheism

    Steve - The summary above does not sound like mutational DNA influencing the distinctive change that the above fox's went through. How do you account for this if you beleive mutational change is the sole driving force behind evolution?

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    Re: Biological Evolution – An Islamic Perspective

    Quote Originally Posted by root View Post
    Double jeapardy! But alas, you cannot refute it as a serious viable ID alternative to evolution, that is the point being made, we have controversy have we not. Should we warn our kids that this controversy exists when we tech them biological evolution in the classroom.
    I think it's ofensive to suggest this is an equally valuable alternative next to theism. Although theoretical all loose ends might have been tied up, this doesn't even come close to to other religions. The point of the inventor of it was to show that difrent interpretations of ID are all possible. I don't think it was his intention to degrade religions as something simular to this. And clearly there are many difrences between the classical religions and between this story. I'm not going to be lured into a vain discussion to show you that. I'm not going to try and show you why this isn't in the same lague while you very well realise it is made up and nothing more then a lie. Either you rely on your own intelligence and judgement to understand that or the discussion ends there.
    Biological Evolution – An Islamic Perspective

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    Re: Biological Evolution – An Islamic Perspective

    I think it's ofensive to suggest this is an equally valuable alternative next to theism. Although theoretical all loose ends might have been tied up, this doesn't even come close to to other religions.
    Why are you working on the assumption that ID is only validated if it has a religous origin?

    The point of the inventor of it was to show that difrent interpretations of ID are all possible. I don't think it was his intention to degrade religions as something simular to this. And clearly there are many difrences between the classical religions and between this story.
    I would agree with you, to teach an "intelligent Designer" without giving due consideration to who the intelligent designer is would implicate many religions and non religions too.

    I'm not going to be lured into a vain discussion to show you that. I'm not going to try and show you why this isn't in the same lague while you very well realise it is made up and nothing more then a lie. Either you rely on your own intelligence and judgement to understand that or the discussion ends there.
    I suspect because like current ID the use of the supernatural as a means of an explanation will be an impossible hurdle for you just like ID, and thus the main reason ID should not be accepted into the science classroom and held for Religous Education only............

    PS. Will you answer the question on Island Dwarfing in the natural world that seems to conflict with your understanding of evolution?

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    Re: Biological Evolution – An Islamic Perspective

    Quote Originally Posted by root View Post
    Why are you working on the assumption that ID is only validated if it has a religous origin?
    Because ther's a big difrence between those two. If Id comes from a religion it works like this: A person uses his knowledge (on religion) to try and explain events. You might question wheter religion is qualified as base for that. But obviously a believer believes his religion to be sufficient base to search for the truth. However if his religion is full of holes and unanswered questions, that takes down the strenght of his theory. In the other case, where a religion origenates from an attempt to explain events, it is most likely the result of imagination. A person answering a question he cannot solve with his imagination.

    I would agree with you, to teach an "intelligent Designer" without giving due consideration to who the intelligent designer is would implicate many religions and non religions too.
    Idd, I'd lke to point out I'm also against teaching ID in biology class. It belongs in religious class. However I do think that when teaching evolution, they should make it clear that it is not a certainty, and a theory on thin ice.

    I suspect because like current ID the use of the supernatural as a means of an explanation will be an impossible hurdle for you just like ID, and thus the main reason ID should not be accepted into the science classroom and held for Religous Education only............
    no the reason I do not wich to indulge the FSM argument is because I already see your point before you made it so I do not believe discussing will grant me any new knowledge. As for your part, I believe you also realise this is an argument ad absurdum and therefor debating it won't grant you much knowledge either. So in the end we'll probably end up both frustrated in a gridlock-discussion for no apearant reason.

    PS. Will you answer the question on Island Dwarfing in the natural world that seems to conflict with your understanding of evolution?
    Yes well I don't see how this conflicts with my understanding of evolution, which is: I accept the posibility of some species to have mutated spontainiously, but don't accept common descent. I do see ID as a possible alternative for my viewpoint. And I can understand you see these island dwarfing as contradicting to "unintelligent" design.
    However I would like to point out that unintelligent design is a very dificult argument to make. It's hard to judge something as unintelligent. Do we know all the benefits and downsides of this? Do we know what the results would have been if this phenomena did not occur? Can we honestly say we are knowledgable enough to speculate on which design would have been more desirable? Can we imagen a more desirable design without any hidden flaws in it that we fail to see?
    Last edited by Abdul Fattah; 06-08-2006 at 01:31 PM.
    Biological Evolution – An Islamic Perspective

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    Re: Biological Evolution – An Islamic Perspective

    Yes well I don't see how this conflicts with my understanding of evolution, which is: I accept the posibility of some species to have mutated spontainiously, but don't accept common descent.
    If we may can we look closer to the quote you actually made early on:

    Evolution theory does not speculate that species evolve out of adaptation. A mutation is the result of a malfunctioning. It is not (unless you believ in ID) purpose-minded. Species don't mutation in order to adapt. They adapt because they have mutated.
    I would like to ask you the question again now that I have more closely identified the conflict that I am talking about.

    Given the examples of adaptation I have provided with Island Dwarfing & scientific experiment. How do you account for "lucky Mutational Change" being a predictive phenomena, if it's predictive (as I have shown) then it cannot be lucky and visa versa.

    I do see ID as a possible alternative for my viewpoint. And I can understand you see these island dwarfing as contradicting to "unintelligent" design. However I would like to point out that unintelligent design is a very dificult argument to make. It's hard to judge something as unintelligent. Do we know all the benefits and downsides of this?
    I am not going to comment on this, unintelligent design could be seen as the theory of evolution. No point rebranding something to suggest it is something else, that is what the creationists did with ID.

    Do we know what the results would have been if this phenomena did not occur?
    I suppose we do. We would never find any dwarfed species isolated on small islands.

    Can we honestly say we are knowledgable enough to speculate on which design would have been more desirable?
    Design or consequences of a species being isolated on an island of limited resources?

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    Re: Biological Evolution – An Islamic Perspective

    Quote Originally Posted by root View Post
    I would like to ask you the question again now that I have more closely identified the conflict that I am talking about.
    I still see no conflict with what I said. The reason the animals mutate into smaller ones is not a product of adaptation but rather by luck. Otherwise all island animals in all islands would undergo this proces. Adaptation only steps in after some evolved into smaller animals. Then teh smaler ones have an advantage over the bigger ones, thus increasing there chances of survival. Evolution does not place any cause corelation between the benefit of a mutation and the mutation itself. Evolution suggests the mutation is by luck, and the advantage of species that evolved makes them "lucky". Only ID suggests that the mutation is purpose minded (A deity made for this mutation because he knew it would give these animals an advantage.)

    Given the examples of adaptation I have provided with Island Dwarfing & scientific experiment. How do you account for "lucky Mutational Change" being a predictive phenomena, if it's predictive (as I have shown) then it cannot be lucky and visa versa.
    I fail to see how you've shown predictivity between the mutation and the adaptation afterwards.

    I am not going to comment on this, unintelligent design could be seen as the theory of evolution. No point rebranding something to suggest it is something else, that is what the creationists did with ID.
    Fair enoug. Does that mean you do not believe the argument of unintelligent design disproofs ID?

    I suppose we do. We would never find any dwarfed species isolated on small islands.
    LOL
    that's a good one, hope you did get my point though?

    Design or consequences of a species being isolated on an island of limited resources?
    Yes even in an isolated island with limited resources there's still numerous things to consider. We simply don't know if a specaluted design would be more preferable to the way species ended up being now.
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    Re: Biological Evolution – An Islamic Perspective

    I still see no conflict with what I said. The reason the animals mutate into smaller ones is not a product of adaptation but rather by luck.
    OK, so large species unexpectadly find themselves trapped on a small island where they cannot sustain their sheer body mass. Evolution predicts the species will shrink in size over the coming generations, further science shows many species where this has occured time and time and time again. And you put this shrinking down to lucky mutational change as opposed to a species adapting to it's new environment as natural selection brings the advantage that smaller mass will survive longer live longer and thus reproduce with other reducing same species evolving over generations a reduction in size as a direct consequence of the environmental changes which have enforced a limited food and water supply.

    Further, the wolves in the example happened to have a lucky mutational change that caused them to change colour, obtain floppy ears and a whole host of other changes were "lucky mutations" as opposed to the consequences of simple selection for tameness.

    Fair enoug. Does that mean you do not believe the argument of unintelligent design disproofs ID?
    What is unintelligent design?

    LOL
    that's a good one, hope you did get my point though?
    No I don't get your point. It's flawed as I showed.

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    Re: Biological Evolution – An Islamic Perspective

    Quote Originally Posted by root View Post
    OK, so large species unexpectadly find themselves trapped on a small island where they cannot sustain their sheer body mass. Evolution predicts the species will shrink in size over the coming generations, further science shows many species where this has occured time and time and time again.
    You are wrong. evolution does not predict these animals will evolve into smaller species. The only thing evolution predicts is that IF one of them suddenly has a gene for "smaller" size, THEN they will have a higher survival change and eventually take over trough the proces of survival of the fitist. Note that out of the thousands of the hudreth of animals that live on each of thousands of islands there are only a few species that followed that process.

    And you put this shrinking down to lucky mutational change as opposed to a species adapting to it's new environment as natural selection brings the advantage that smaller mass will survive longer live longer and thus reproduce with other reducing same species evolving over generations a reduction in size as a direct consequence of the environmental changes which have enforced a limited food and water supply.
    No what I said, (and not just me, but every well learned evolutionist will tell you the same thing) is that adaptation is a process that only takes place once there are already animals with this altered form. Adaptation does not cause a single animal to change charesteristics. The changes are made by shere luck (according to classical evolution that is). Small food suplies do not cause animals to mutate or attain new charesteristics (unless of course the animals are small because they are underfed, in which case there is no evolution but simply a deficiency). The small suplies only make for teh survival of the fitest to work after the new charesteristics have manifested in some of them.

    Further, the wolves in the example happened to have a lucky mutational change that caused them to change colour, obtain floppy ears and a whole host of other changes were "lucky mutations" as opposed to the consequences of simple selection for tameness.
    yes mutations are always lucky according to the classical evolutiontheory. Adaptation only steps in after the mutation. If you seem to think that such a mutation cannot be the result of luck then you are yourself opposing clasical evolution and your point of view is to be considered as ID

    What is unintelligent design?
    Unintelligent design is an argument meant to counter the ID-movement. It states that the design of certain creatures and of humans is not the best imagenable design. Basicly it's some people who claim: "We could have designed better."
    However it is debatable as to wheter there suggested alternative designs are in fact possible or beneficial in practise.

    Do we know what the results would have been if this phenomena did not occur? I suppose we do. We would never find any dwarfed species isolated on small islands. It's flawed as I showed.
    That is only one of the results, the result for us. But what would be the results for the animals on that island? The argument is not flawed. My point is that we do not know wheter a step in evolution was intelligent or stupid and you also seem to agree with me that this step of evolution was beneficial to these species so I really don't see why you object to what I say.
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    Re: Biological Evolution – An Islamic Perspective

    You are wrong. evolution does not predict these animals will evolve into smaller species. The only thing evolution predicts is that IF one of them suddenly has a gene for "smaller" size, THEN they will have a higher survival change and eventually take over trough the proces of survival of the fitist.
    Island dwarfing - is a biological phenomenon by which the size of animals isolated on an island shrinks dramatically over generations. It is a form of natural selection in which smaller size provides a survival advantage.

    Source:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Island_dwarfing

    It's strange you'd dispute a well observed biological phenomena:

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/eden/giants.html

    Note that out of the thousands of the hudreth of animals that live on each of thousands of islands there are only a few species that followed that process.
    It's not about this, it's about a large land animal that becomes "ISOLATED" on an island and then dwarfs due to selection presure

    Foster's rule (also known as the island rule) is a principle in evolutionary biology stating that members of a species will get smaller or bigger depending on the resources available in the environment. This is the core of the study of island biogeography. For example, it is known that pygmy mammoths evolved from normal mammoths on small islands. Similar evolutionary paths have been observed in elephants, hippopotamuses, boas and humans.

    All these observations Elephants, Pygmy Mammoths Elephants Hippopotamus, Boas and humans have all been demonstrated to have undergone this evolutionary process when they have become isolated where limited resources are available:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foster%27s_rule

    Then, trapped in their new home, erectus began to shrink. 'Island dwarfing is well-known,' says Professor Adrian Lister of University College London. 'With limited resources and lack of predators on islands, large mammals get smaller

    The rest of your post is misleading so I thought it best we concentrate on this.

    You claim adaptation is only possibble when a gene mutates, I say that is nonsense and draw your attention to island dwarfing which as I pointed out is well observed and a predicatable phenomenam........

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    Re: Biological Evolution – An Islamic Perspective

    Quote Originally Posted by root View Post
    Island dwarfing - is a biological phenomenon by which the size of animals isolated on an island shrinks dramatically over generations. It is a form of natural selection in which smaller size provides a survival advantage. Source:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Island_dwarfing
    It's strange you'd dispute a well observed biological phenomena:
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/eden/giants.html
    I know perfectly well what it is and I'm not disputing it. I am simply explaining you how you've got it wrong. Adaptation causes groups of animals to become smaller. But evolution happens on an individual level. It's not like a whole group suddenly mutate. A single animal is born with difrent charesteristics, and due to that he has a larger chance of survival. Over generations due to survival of the fittist the whole group will have these charesteristics. However when you loko at the mutation responsible for this, from the point of view of classical evolutionists, "adaptation" has nothing to do with that. the mutation is the result of luck. Adaptation is the process that occurs after this fluke.

    Foster's rule (also known as the island rule) is a principle in evolutionary biology stating that members of a species will get smaller or bigger depending on the resources available in the environment. This is the core of the study of island biogeography. For example, it is known that pygmy mammoths evolved from normal mammoths on small islands. Similar evolutionary paths have been observed in elephants, hippopotamuses, boas and humans.
    No, you got cause and effect wrong. The rule only tells you that in an island with with these conditions the smaller mutated animals will have a large benefit and therefor over generations the whole group will have these charesteristics. But the initial mutation has to occur first. And it is not linked with adaptation. It is the result of a malfunctioning in the devisions of either the spermcells or egcells of the father or mother. It is according to classical evolution a fluke, the result of mere luck.

    You claim adaptation is only possibble when a gene mutates, I say that is nonsense and draw your attention to island dwarfing which as I pointed out is well observed and a predicatable phenomenam........
    In the link you yourself provided is a list of such cases. If you count them you'll have 11. Now ponder upon this. Why has this only happened with 11 animals. There are thousands of islands on earth and each one of them has hundreds of difrent species. Yet those eleven are the only cases. If these conditions would trigger the sudden creation of smaller creatures then why hasn't this happened for all the thousands of other creatures who live in such circumstances? Very simple, because they need an initial step. Be it a mutation, the creation of a new gene, a miracle, whatever you wish to call it. Animals don't just grow smaller due to their enviroment. the size of an animal is decided by it's DNA. And an enviroment cannot have any influence on the bleurpint of your DNA. the only case animals can have fysical charesteristics due to their enviroment is in teh case of malnutrition or disfunctioning. and then we are'nt speaking of evolution, because such charesteristics aren't passed on to new generations.
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    Re: Biological Evolution – An Islamic Perspective

    I know perfectly well what it is and I'm not disputing it. I am simply explaining you how you've got it wrong. Adaptation causes groups of animals to become smaller.
    OK, what causes the species to get smaller when isolated on a small island. You say lucky Mutational DNA, I say hogwash.

    Do you still stand by your original consensus that a lucky mutational change causes the species to shrink. if so SOURCE PLEASE........... because non of the sources I have provided use lucky mutational change to explain this phenomenam, in fact non of them include mutational change.

    Source please?

    Or is this another "assumption" mixed with philosophy and religion plugging the rest of the gaps that we have come to learn about your defence.

    Source please.......

    I need you to provide a source that states island Dwarfing is dueto random lucky mutational change of DNA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Re: Biological Evolution – An Islamic Perspective

    Come one Root. Your own source says:

    Island dwarfing:
    Island dwarfing is a biological phenomenon by which the size of animals isolated on an island shrinks dramatically over generations. It is a form of natural selection in which smaller size provides a survival advantage. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Island_dwarfing

    So it's a form of natural selection:
    Natural selection is the process by which individual organisms with favorable traits are more likely to survive and reproduce. Natural selection works on the survival of individuals, and thus the survival of their individual traits within populations, but only the heritable component of a trait will be passed on to the offspring, with the result that favorable, heritable traits become more common in the next generation. Given enough time, this passive process can result in adaptations and speciation (see evolution).
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_selection


    Evolution:
    The modern understanding of evolution is based on the theory of natural selection, which was first set out in a joint 1858 paper by Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace and popularized in Darwin's 1859 book The Origin of Species. Natural selection is the idea that individual organisms which possess genetic variations giving them advantageous heritable traits are more likely to survive and reproduce and, in doing so, to increase the frequency of such traits in subsequent generations. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution

    Genetic variation:
    Genetic variation refers to the variation in the genetic material of a population or species, and includes the nuclear, mitochodrial, ribosomal genomes as well as the genomes of other organelles. New genetic variation is caused by genetic mutation, which may take the form of recombination, migration and/or alterations in the karyotype (the number, shape, size and internal arrangement of the chromosomes). Genetic drift is a statistical measure of the rate of genetic variation in a population. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_variation

    The only reason the article of NOVA doesn't mention it is because they take that for granted. And the article does not intend to explain how the mutation took place but how the enviroment influenced the process of adaptation after the mutation.

    Ironic isn't it, that I -a theist- have to explain you -an evolutionist- how the theory of classical evolution works. But you don't have to take my -or wikipedia's- word for it. Ask any scientist in the field of evolution and he/she 'll tell you.

    You want proof? To bad, the theory of evolution is not based on proof. It's based on assumptions. We weren't there, there were no camera's taping it, no eye witnesses. In the end we have to result to educated guesses. Evolution does not have any proof. You don't have to accept it for all I care. But how can you accept it in one topic and deny it in the other?
    Last edited by Abdul Fattah; 06-09-2006 at 11:21 AM.
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    Re: Biological Evolution – An Islamic Perspective

    Sorry root but I don’t recognize how Island Dwarfing in the natural world can assist the theory of evolution

    Island gigantism is a biological phenomenon by which the size of animals isolated on an island increases dramatically over generations. It is a form of natural selection in which bigger size provides a survival advantage (see Bergmann's Rule). Large size in herbivores usually makes it harder to escape or hide from predators, but on islands, these are often lacking. Thus, island gigantism is not an evolutionary trend due to fundamentally new parameters determining fitness (as in island dwarfing), but rather, the removal of constraints.
    Root you should read this

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/eden/giants.html

    And examine the nagging questions section too

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/eden/giants2.html

    I hope you comprehend this.

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    Re: Biological Evolution – An Islamic Perspective

    Idris - Sorry root but I don’t recognize how Island Dwarfing in the natural world can assist the theory of evolution
    Albeit Island dwarfing or Island giganticism, it is a species evolving over-time. Wether you choose to accept that this evolution is how Allah intended it to be or as a result of chance is for this thread neither here nor their. The point remains that a species that becomes isolated will go through a period of natural selection sometimes with mutation, but mostly with genetic variation due to recombinant genes, etc. Keep in mind that this typically applies mostly to large warm-blooded species. Reptiles and small mammals often show the opposite trend, increasing in size, such as komodo dragons, giant geckos and tortoises, and giant island rats.


    Steve - Ironic isn't it, that I -a theist- have to explain you -an evolutionist- how the theory of classical evolution works. But you don't have to take my -or wikipedia's- word for it. Ask any scientist in the field of evolution and he/she 'll tell you.
    The difference in our two opinions based on the assumption of a large warm blooded mammal becoming isolated is that you seem to suggest that "mutational Change" will be the driving force where I am suggesting not, as genetic variation will already be in place natural selection will be the driving force, you don't seem to make a distinction between the processes and to all tense and purpose you see mutational change and natural selection as the same process. Unless I have misundertood you.

    Change in genetic variation can be brought about be mutation, which generates new variation, and natural selection, which selects which of these variations shall propagate. The rate of change is able to happen much faster with natural selection. The rate of mutation is generally fairly stable. The rate at which natural selection can change the genetic variation in a population is highly variable, and there's essentially no limit to it. So under conditions which don't favour any individuals within the population, natural selection will have no effect and mutation will be the driving force of change in genetic variability. Under conditions that greatly favour the survival and reproduction of certain individuals natural selection will become the driving force.

    It's also important to realize that size is governed by a lot of alleles, and is *highly* variable between individuals; it's one of the fastest things to respond to natural selection. So short and sweet, mutation and recombination create lots of genetic variation in size in all populations. If selection acts against large animals (or for them), then average animal size changes, often quite rapidly.

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    Re: Biological Evolution – An Islamic Perspective

    The difference in our two opinions based on the assumption of a large warm blooded mammal becoming isolated is that you seem to suggest that "mutational Change" will be the driving force where I am suggesting not, as genetic variation will already be in place natural selection will be the driving force,
    Can the term genetic variation suffice to account for this proces?
    you don't seem to make a distinction between the processes and to all tense and purpose you see mutational change and natural selection as the same process. Unless I have misundertood you.
    Yes you have I never said they were the same thing they are two difrent processes, but they are also two consecutive steps. It's not like some animals evolved out of mutations and other out of natural selection. All evolutions are the result of a coincedential change according to classical theory. Once that change occured, the proces of natural selection manifests itself naturally. But you can't have one without the other.

    Change in genetic variation can be brought about be mutation, which generates new variation, and natural selection, which selects which of these variations shall propagate.
    This is what Wiki says:
    Genetic variation refers to the variation in the genetic material of a population or species, and includes the nuclear, mitochodrial, ribosomal genomes as well as the genomes of other organelles. New genetic variation is caused by genetic mutation, which may take the form of recombination, migration and/or alterations in the karyotype (the number, shape, size and internal arrangement of the chromosomes). Genetic drift is a statistical measure of the rate of genetic variation in a population.
    The rate of change is able to happen much faster with natural selection. The rate of mutation is generally fairly stable. The rate at which natural selection can change the genetic variation in a population is highly variable, and there's essentially no limit to it. So under conditions which don't favour any individuals within the population, natural selection will have no effect and mutation will be the driving force of change in genetic variability. Under conditions that greatly favour the survival and reproduction of certain individuals natural selection will become the driving force.
    Not exactly. In situations where there's no natural selection, (since there's no benefit to either one). Mutation will not be a driving force. Mutation rarely happens. If such a situation occurs, then there simply is no driving force of change in genetic variation; and the domination of one over the other is only by luck.

    It's also important to realize that size is governed by a lot of alleles, and is *highly* variable between individuals; it's one of the fastest things to respond to natural selection.
    Yes I do not deny the importance of size in teh proces of natural selection.

    So short and sweet, mutation and recombination create lots of genetic variation in size in all populations. If selection acts against large animals (or for them), then average animal size changes, often quite rapidly.
    Then that means you agree and for an animal to evolve there has to be an initial mutation which is the result of mere luck?
    If so, then you also accept that there's no such thing as an animal "adapting" to it's enviroment. That the evolution is a result of a lucky change in the DNA?
    That seems contradicting to you previous statement:
    OK, what causes the species to get smaller when isolated on a small island. You say lucky Mutational DNA, I say hogwash.
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    Re: Biological Evolution – An Islamic Perspective

    Root - The difference in our two opinions based on the assumption of a large warm blooded mammal becoming isolated is that you seem to suggest that "mutational Change" will be the driving force where I am suggesting not, as genetic variation will already be in place natural selection will be the driving force,
    Can the term genetic variation suffice to account for this proces?
    I don't think we can really. Genetic variation of the genome will already be in place prior to the species becoming isolated thus genetic variation has no direct link through cause & effect from becoming isolated, please bear in mind we are discussing Island dwarfism as an example of "Natural Selection" and not the whole evolutionary theory. I do understand the point you are making in that natural selection cannot itself work unless you have genetic variation in the first place which occures as you suggest by mutational change and indeed genetic variation will indoubtably continue upon isolation, but again natural selection will be the driving force under conditions known as island dwarfing.

    Root - you don't seem to make a distinction between the processes and to all tense and purpose you see mutational change and natural selection as the same process. Unless I have misundertood you.
    Steve - Yes you have I never said they were the same thing they are two difrent processes, but they are also two consecutive steps. It's not like some animals evolved out of mutations and other out of natural selection. All evolutions are the result of a coincedential change according to classical theory. Once that change occured, the proces of natural selection manifests itself naturally. But you can't have one without the other.
    OK, we agree that genetic mutational change which leads to genetic variation is different to natural selection as an evolutionary process.

    Root - The rate of change is able to happen much faster with natural selection. The rate of mutation is generally fairly stable. The rate at which natural selection can change the genetic variation in a population is highly variable, and there's essentially no limit to it. So under conditions which don't favour any individuals within the population, natural selection will have no effect and mutation will be the driving force of change in genetic variability. Under conditions that greatly favour the survival and reproduction of certain individuals natural selection will become the driving force.
    Steve - Not exactly. In situations where there's no natural selection, (since there's no benefit to either one). Mutation will not be a driving force. Mutation rarely happens. If such a situation occurs, then there simply is no driving force of change in genetic variation; and the domination of one over the other is only by luck.
    How strange! Genetic Mutation will have occured everytime a species reproduces! Yet your claiming it's a rare event, your own Wiki quote acknowledges this:

    Steve - This is what Wiki says:
    Genetic variation refers to the variation in the genetic material of a population or species, and includes the nuclear, mitochodrial, ribosomal genomes as well as the genomes of other organelles. New genetic variation is caused by genetic mutation, which may take the form of recombination, migration and/or alterations in the karyotype (the number, shape, size and internal arrangement of the chromosomes). Genetic drift is a statistical measure of the rate of genetic variation in a population.
    Quote:Root
    So short and sweet, mutation and recombination create lots of genetic variation in size in all populations. If selection acts against large animals (or for them), then average animal size changes, often quite rapidly.
    Steve - Then that means you agree and for an animal to evolve there has to be an initial mutation which is the result of mere luck?
    If so, then you also accept that there's no such thing as an animal "adapting" to it's enviroment. That the evolution is a result of a lucky change in the DNA?
    This can lead us up the garden path, firstly I am quoted as saying "mutation and recombination". If we accept your wiki definition that recombination is a process of DNA Mutation then recombination is either going to result in slightly smaller, or slightly larger off-spring and natural selection will favour the smaller over generations the overall size of the species will be reduced. I really don't see the "luck" angle here and natural selection shows to be the driving force of which your stating above there is no such thing!

    Steve - That seems contradicting to you previous statement:
    Quote:Root
    OK, what causes the species to get smaller when isolated on a small island. You say lucky Mutational DNA, I say hogwash.
    I can't see how my position is contradictory. Natural selection would be the evolutionary force at work here and not Mutational DNA as I just demonstrated.
    Last edited by root; 06-19-2006 at 03:56 PM.

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    Re: Biological Evolution – An Islamic Perspective

    How strange! Genetic Mutation will have occured everytime a species reproduces! Yet your claiming it's a rare event, your own Wiki quote acknowledges this:
    Well words as "rare" always have a relative meaning. Let me answer your question with the following question: have we documented a single case of mutation in the human body ever since the discovery of DNA; despite the billions of people that have been born ever since?

    If we accept your wiki definition that recombination is a process of DNA Mutation then recombination is either going to result in slightly smaller, or slightly larger off-spring and natural selection will favour the smaller over generations the overall size of the species will be reduced. I really don't see the "luck" angle here and natural selection shows to be the driving force of which your stating above there is no such thing!
    First of all you are assuming that the genetic variation already existed outside the isolated island. I'm not certain about that, then again I'm not inclined to believe otherwise. Either way, my point was without the mutation wish is entirly based on luck, theer would be no evolution once so ever.

    Remember how this whole discussion began:
    Steve: Evolution theory does not speculate that species evolve out of adaptation. A mutation is the result of a malfunctioning. It is not (unless you believ in ID) purpose-minded. Species don't mutation in order to adapt. They adapt because they have mutated.

    Root: I would like to ask you the question again now that I have more closely identified the conflict that I am talking about.
    Given the examples of adaptation I have provided with Island Dwarfing & scientific experiment. How do you account for "lucky Mutational Change" being a predictive phenomena, if it's predictive (as I have shown) then it cannot be lucky and visa versa.


    In this text "the question" refered to:
    PS. Will you answer the question on Island Dwarfing in the natural world that seems to conflict with your understanding of evolution?

    So I take it the misunderstanding is now cleared and you no longer see Island dwarfing as contradicting with my understanding of evolution?
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