Thursday, September 13, 2007

Islamic evolution

"Animals engage in a struggle for existence; for resources, to avoid being eaten and to breed. Environmental factors influence organisms to develop new characteristics to ensure survival, thus transforming into new species. Animals that survive to breed can pass on their successful characteristics to offspring."

Encounter (ABC Radio transcript) 11 June 2006
So who wrote this? Darwin? Dawkins? No, an Islamic scholar called al-Jahiz (781–868/869) in the book Kitab al-Hayawan (Book of Animals). The Islamic golden age was surely impressive and is quite a contrast to the appalling conditions that Muslims today live under. The worst thing is that many Muslims today seem to think that the Golden Age mysteriously will come back with a little more Koran reading. But it wasn't Muhammed who made the Golden Age. He thought humans were made out of clay.

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