Thursday, November 2nd, Howard Hubbard Sanctuary, The College of St Rose, Albany, New York. 7:00pm

Alhumdulillah. As salatu wa salaam ala’ Rasulullah.
Before I went, I was expecting to learn the view’s of each Religion on the topic of evolution. That didnt turn out to be the case exactly. Some representatives of their religion weren’t very well versed in the view, or were just not able to convey the message across clearly enough, or it was just the 15 minute time limit on each speaker. Never the less, I’ll just note down the ideas each representative spoke about from their religious point of view.

Judaism – A women Rabbi represents the religion. She spoke from a third person point of view, so that really didnt help me to feel what she ment. She also read off a piece of paper, so you know how that feels.

  • The process of evolution in some degree has to do with God.
  • When Genesis mentions the earth being created in 7 days, some interpret that to be each day representing thousands of years.
  • In Conclusion, God has a role in the process, but that is open to debate. “There is no unity on the topic.”

Hinduism – I didnt get much out of him either on the view of Hinduism on Evolution. He spoke first of flowers and the beauty of the colors. Then it lead to a quote from a famous Philosopher: Kapila – “Destruction means going back to the cause.” Meaning that when a tree dies, it goes back to the origin – the seed. When a human dies, he goes back to the germs (he said germs, but we as Muslims know its just dust). There wasnt much else he talked about. No conclusion was given.

Buddhism – He was a scientist. Again no perspective of the religion on the issue, except that it accepts everything which is in Science.

  • Mid 1900’s -> Beginning of Biological Evolution being established
  • Events which lead to this^ include: Darwin’s discoveries. Lyal’s observation of the strata on mountains – specifically the seashells exisiting on the top of mountains, so that shows that overtime, things changed.
  • Mendel and genetics brought the next step
  • Interesting Statistic: 80% of Americans answered no when asked: “Do you agree with evolution?”
  • Main Argument: Our Advances in medicine couldnt have occured without understand evolution ( I think this was a sympathetic acceptance of evolution, sadly)

Philosophy Department Representative – She explained the philosophical aspect of evolution

  • Metaphysical interpretations are becomming more popularly accepted by philosophers
  • The Idea of God being pure, and then Creatures & world being down and dirty has often been repeated in Monotheism
  • There are Three ideas in philosophy about God interacting with the World
    • Panantheism – God changes as the world changes
    • Pansychyism – Concoiusness inovlves God being there
    • Pantheism – God is everywhere and everything

Islam – Sheikh Mokhtar first clearifies that we need to realize the hard core facts of evolution and then take from that.

  • We Need to distinguish first:
    • Between Fact and theories of evolution
    • Between Data and Hypothesis
    • Between Human and Animal Evolution
  • We have to observe firstly the 4 levels of specimens which lead to homosapiens
    • Are these four connected to each other or did they live in their own times (interdependent of intradependent)
    • Constancy of species vs. Evolution of Species – We have to define these things and understand them first.
  • There are creatures which have never evolved:
    • King crab, bacteria, jellyfish, cocaroach, mudskippers
    • This means there is a Gap in evolution
  • Darwinism does not equal evolution
  • Molecules are so beautify constructed. Simple structures at base level, get more beautifully contructed geometrically.
  • Evolution does not clash with Islam
  • Verses from the Holy Qur’an: Ayat: (sorry i dont remember the exact ayat, itll be a good research project for us!)
    • “We have created you in a beautiful construct”
    • “God created every living thing from water”
    • “God created you in stages”
    • “God in whichever form composed you”
    • Gallactic dust is mentioned in one verse: creating the heavens from dust
  • For a religious man to deny the FACTS of evolution, that is obscurity

Buddhism – He closes the discussion

  • Father Keeth – “Science is a spiritual path”
  • Sources of Science are from:
    • Sacred Scriptures
    • Nature
  • In conlusion: No conflict between mechanisms of Evolution and Religion
  • Dala Lama: ” A Significant aspect to learn about evolution is the study of evolution of conciousness”
  • Definition of spirituality according to buddhism: my life is important ->Im connected with all living beings.

Questions and Answers: I didnt get all the questions and answers down, just very interesting things I picked up from the discourses

  • Sheikh Mokhtar: As time goes on, Randomness becomes order – according to equations – Randomness violates laws of thermodynamics, because things cannot reverse order after a period of time (A hot cup in a room cools down, but cannot heat back up unless extra energy is added to it)
    • Theory: If 6 monkeys are given typewriters, they would be able to write books which are in the US congress and works of Shakespere.
  • Earth is a closed system, there is no life outside of it
  • A crucial aspect of the theories of evolution is that there is a Hault to evolution. Birds for example: ok if we agree that birds are from reptiles which are from sea creatures which are from bacteria, birds are the final result and evolution haults there.

I was expecting more from the other religion’s such as texts and actual conclusions their religions have come up with. Alhumdulillah for Islam and the Quran and the Sunnah and our Scholars and our Community.

God bless the knowledgable ones and help us to understand and learn from them that which we need to come close to God. Ameen.

Alhumdulillah. As salaatu wa salaam ala rasulullah.

As salaamu alekum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.