The Instigator
Mohammad_AlSari
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Unitomic
Con (against)
Winning
17 Points

The Quran has no contradictions with Science

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Unitomic
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/8/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,359 times Debate No: 66594
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (13)
Votes (4)

 

Mohammad_AlSari

Pro

Debate Structure:

Round 1: Pro is introducing the debate structure.
Con will accept the debate and present his first example in which he thinks the Quran is contradicting Science.

Round 2: Pro will defend his stand against the first example.
Con will present his second example of a specific contradiction.

Round 3: Pro will defend his stand against the second example.
Con will present his third and final example.

Round 4: Pro will defend against the third example.
Con will have the final word by refuting Pro's defences of the three examples. (5000 characters should be enough)

For Con, please give a very specific example and not just a generalisation.

More examples can be discussed in following debates.

Good luck
Unitomic

Con

I would like to thank Pro for allowing me this debate.

As Pro desires I begin with an example, I shall start with with a short one, and proceed from there.

Case I: Quran claims the Moon has it's own light.
Quran 71.16. "And hath made the moon a light therein, and made the sun a lamp?" {1/2} The key word in this statement if "therein". That word contrasts with "Without". It implies that the light of the moon is not from a different body (the sun), but instead from the moon itself. This is in obvious contradiction with well established scientific views that the Moon does not generate light, but rather reflects the Light from the sun (Light without, rather then Light within) {3/4/5}. I would like to preempt any attempt at claiming relativity in how we defne "within". We must use the words of the book, not try to contort them into other meanings, so the definitions of the words being used is of importance.

1] http://mquran.org...
2] http://quranx.com...
3] http://www.livescience.com...
4] http://www.universetoday.com...
5] http://en.wikipedia.org...

Given that my opponent desires I present only one case at a time, I shall end it here, though I could go on for quite some time.

==Unitomic==
Debate Round No. 1
Mohammad_AlSari

Pro

I thank my opponent for engaging in this debate, and may we all come to fruitful end.

Thank you for starting with an easy one and thank you for specifying exactly the word that is the source of the contradiction ("Therein").

It will all clear up when I simply just state the previous verse: {See ye not how Allah has created the seven heavens one above another. And hath made the moon a light therein, and made the sun a lamp}. The word "Therein" simply refers to the heavens. Meaning: God has made the moon a light in the heavens. This is very clear to me (a person whose mother tongue is Arabic).

If you look at the translation in the first source you provided, you'll see what I mean. The translation in that source is as follows: "And He has set up within them the moon as a light, and has set up the sun as a lamp". It's clear in this translation "within them" referring to the heavens in the previous verse. It can't be the moon because the moon is singular and it must be the heavens because the "heavens" is plural.

Moreover, the original Arabic word in the Quran is "Feehinna" which translates to "in them (females)" not "in it". It also indicates that it is a female plurality. For if it was a male plurality, then the Arabic word would be "Feehim" (which also translates to "in them (males)"). The Arabic language makes a distinction between plural male and plural female pronouns.

Now let's compare the moon and the heavens in the Arabic language. The moon is a singular male, and the "heavens" is a plural female. They are very distant in the usage of the pronouns that replaces them.

For the moon, you would say "Feehe" = in him (there is no "it" in Arabic)
If we're talking about multiple moons, you would say "Feehim" = in them (males)
For a heaven, you would say "Feeha" = in her
For heavens, you would say "Feehinna" = in them (females)

The Quran say: { He made the moon "Feehinna" a light } which obviously refers to a bunch of females mentioned before (in this case: the heavens).

Note: In Arabic, every object has a gender, just like Spanish and some other languages.

Now you can argue that, grammatically speaking, the word "Therein" refers to the moon itself, and you may be right. But I don't need to argue against that because the original text is very clear, so why argue over a bad translation?

In conclusion, the verse does not indicate in any way that the light is coming from within, nor it states that it is a reflection. It simply states that the moon lights, without getting into whether it is generated there or reflected.

I would kindly ask you to follow the debate structure and give your second example in your next response. If you have something to say about my first defence, leave it till the end where you get the chance refute all three defences. Or we can chat in the comments if you need me to clear something up.

Thank you
Unitomic

Con

I would like to thank my Opponent for the responce. As per his request in the Opening Statement, I shall wait until the final round to rebut his statements, and will insead use this round to present my second case.

Case II: Barrier between Free Water and Salt Water
The Quran has made an absolute claim that there is a very distinct Barrier Between Salt water and Fresh Water. "It is He Who has let free the two bodies of flowing water: One palatable and sweet, and the other salt and bitter; yet has He made a barrier between them, a partition that is forbidden to be passed. " Quran 25.53 {1/2} The key part here is the totality presented in this Barrier, when using a word as strong as forbidden. In truth Science shows there is no barrier. There is a region between Fresh Water and Salt water called an Estuary. {3} There is no barrier here. What it is is that the fresh water slowing salinates as it moves out into the ocean, becoming Brackish Water. {4} How long the estuary is depends on the quantity and force of the water moving out into the see. If it is a large ammount of water and moving at high speeds, it will push into the ocean for a substantial distance, but if the oceans current is much stronger, the estuary actually begins before the river ends, and pushes only a short distance into the ocean. {5} This is not an objective barrier by any means, but rather a transition zone from one to the other. A barrier bars completely {6}, which is not what we see in real aquatic situation.

1] http://www.usc.edu...
2] http://quranx.com...
3] http://en.wikipedia.org...
4] http://www.princeton.edu...
5] http://oceanservice.noaa.gov...
6] http://dictionary.reference.com...

==Unitomic==
Debate Round No. 2
Mohammad_AlSari

Pro

My opponent knows this, but I'll say it to our viewers just to be clear: The Quran was revealed in Arabic. It has been preserved for centuries till the present. Nowadays, there are multiple translations of the Quran to English. The translations depend heavily on the translator's understanding of the verses for they can be ambiguous at times.

Back to our topic. Let's analyze the original text in the Quran. The verse mentions a barrier using the word "Barzakh" and described it using two following words "Hijran mahjoora (حجراً محجوراً)".

Let's first look at "Barzakh" which is an odd word to use to describe a barrier. To translate "barrier" to Arabic you can use the following words:

- Ha'el (حائل)

- Hajez (حاجز)

- Mane' (مانع)

- Sadd (سد)

- Aa'ek (عائق)

- And finally Barzakh (برزخ), which is the one used in the verse.

I put the word Barzakh in the end because it is the most uncommonly used word to describe a barrier. When I hear "Barzakh", I don't picture a brick wall. That would be thinking too literal. Actually, the word "Barzakh" is used more commonly in a different context, and this may seem strange but I assure you I'm not making this up. The word "Barzakh" is used to describe the in-between phase after death and before the afterlife. We believe the soul will be living a transitional phase before the afterlife called a "barzakh life". To be honest, I'm learning more about my religion from my opponent. I really never made this connection.

To summerize, the official definition of "Barzakh" in Arabic is: Something between two things. It doesn't necessarily mean that it's a barrier that forbids anything from crossing. Also, the model of the estuary that my opponent mentioned fits perfectly, until now, in the verse, where the estuary is the barzakh.

Now let's go to the second part, the part that describes the barzakh of being a "Hijran Mahjoora". This is the part where some translators got the "forbidding of passing of anything" idea from. To be honest, it could be a correct translation. I don't blame the translators. But the words of the verse in Arabic are not that explicit. If you want to explicitly say "the passing of things is forbidden", You would say:" Yamnaa' muroor al-ashyaa' " (يمنع مرور الأشياء). That's not what the Quran says. The Quran says "Hijran Mahjoora" which is difficult to define in one sentence. It indicates a sense of boundaries and borders in a slightly more abstract way because the context here is waters meeting so it would be stupid to think of it as an objective barrier like a brick wall. But we still need to search for some kind of bordering in the estuaries on some level. Otherwise, the verse will be false. So let's see what science really tells us about estuaries:

1- The barrier is a barrier of salt.

I will quote one of Wikipedia's sources on the topic speaking specifically about the salt wedge estuary ( Tomczak, M. (2000). "Oceanography Notes Ch. 12: Estuaries". Retrieved 30 November 2006. Link: http://www.es.flinders.edu.au... ). It says: " The fresh water flows out over the sea water in a thin layer. All mixing is restricted to the thin transition layer between the fresh water at the top and the "wedge" of salt water underneath. Vertical salinity profiles therefore show zero salinity at the surface and oceanic salinity near the bottom all along the estuary. The depth of the interface decreases slowly as the outer end of the estuary is approached (Figure 12.1)"

Here's the figure:http://www.es.flinders.edu.au...


In the figure, the concentrations graph is not linear. It gets very steap at one point indicating a subtle difference and therefore could be called a border. See also the vertically mixed estuary here: http://www.es.flinders.edu.au...

2- The estuary is considered to be an ecosystem that is distinctive from the ocean and the river. It has a different set of lifeforms that can only survive in an estuary. See examples here: http://www.onr.navy.mil...

So in some way it's an enclosed space for many lifeforms, not by having an objective barrier, but rather an abstract one. And this fits with Quran when God -almighty- says: { Hijran Mahjoora }. It is known that every marine creature is used to a certain level of salinity. If you take a freshwater fish and throw it in the ocean, it will die in a matter of minutes. In an estuary, there are kinds of creatures that if they left will feel very discomforted or could die.

To summerize in three points:
- The verse doesn't explicitly mention an objective barrier nor it mentions explicitly an abstract one. It is open to interpretation.
- There is some level of separation and borderlining proven in the science of estuaries. Salt and some marine life are clear examples.
- The nature of estuaries being a transitional phase can be linked to the word "Barzakh" mentioned in the verse that can easily accommodate the meaning.

Unitomic

Con

Case III: Sexual Reproduction
The Quran has quote a bit to say about reproduction, little of which is accurate. I shall now show the scientific contridictions in the Quran in relation to the steps of human Sexual reproduction.

The Quran first states that sperm originate somewhere inbetween the ribs and the backbone.
"Now let man but think from what he is created! He is created from a drop emitted, Proceeding from between the backbone and the ribs" Quran 86.05 - Quran 86-07 {1/2} Other translations use the words "Fluid, ejected" in lieu of "drop emitted".{2}

There is absolutely no denying what this is saying. The "fluid" here can have no meaning other then sperm, and there is no good way to properly justify "proceeding from between the backbone and ribs" as anything other then just that. Today we are quite aware the Sperm originates in the testicals {3}, and is in no way derived from any part of the back. Even if put into context, the passage here is rather explicit, and any attempt at re-defining the lanquage here is simple post-revisionism.
The Quran from here points out that after conception, the human embryo developes in three stages.
"Then fashioned We the drop a clot, then fashioned We the clot a little lump, then fashioned We the little lump bones, then clothed the bones with flesh, and then produced it as another creation. So blessed be Allah, the Best of creators! " -Quran 23.14 {4/5}
It also points out
"Created man, out of a (mere) clot of congealed blood" -Quran 96.02 {6}
There is very little denying exactly what this is saying. There is no symbolism here, nor is there a parable to be had, no religious meaning. It is an entirely physical description of human reproduction. These verses tell us that after conception, the sperm becomes a clot of blood, and thereafter, it forms into bones. Finally flesh developes. There is many things wrong with this. Firstly, as no stage is the human body a clot of blood. Secondly, we know very well that Flesh developes before the bone. No tricks can change what these verses show. They very distinctly tells us that the bones develope, and then (not "and" or "before", but "then") developes flesh. It also distinctly tells us in not one but two passages that we spent time as blood clot. None of this aligns with the reproductive system. In actual human reproduction, the human begins as an embryo, which is a collection of cells, but not blood. Blood is incredably distinct from embryotic cells. Skin begins to form with in the first few weeks of being a fetus, with 9 to 16 weeks. Bones become developed (though still palpable) by the 26th week. {7} At no point is there any blot clot mentioned, nor can it be shown that bone developes before the skin. I rest my case.

1] http://www.usc.edu...
2]
http://quran.com...
3] http://en.wikipedia.org...
4] http://www.usc.edu...
5] http://mquran.org...
6] http://www.usc.edu...
7] http://en.wikipedia.org...

==Unitomic==
Debate Round No. 3
Mohammad_AlSari

Pro

You’ve bombarded me with many examples that are under one big umbrella (Sexual Reproduction). I will try to answer all of them, but please excuse me if I couldn’t answer all of them.

I will start with verse 96:02

The translation you’re quoting from mentions a clot of congealed blood. Again, I don’t blame the translator because one of the word’s metaphoric meanings is congealed blood and this has been under debate between Arab linguists for centuries. They proposed many different interpretations for “Alaq” and only one of them is congealed blood.

I have to go deep explaining “Alaq” to clear things up. “Alaq” originates from the verb “Alaqa” (Meaning: to suspend and stick to something). So the verse can be technically translated in the following: Created man out of a substance that sticks and suspends. So what does that mean? Sticks to what and suspends from what? The answer is so obvious: That substance sticks and hangs on to the womb.

But hold on!! There’s another use of the word “Alaq”. It’s used to name a sucking worm called a “leech” in English. What’s amazing to me is that the human embryo resembles very much a leech. To see the resemblance, please refer to this link: http://islampapers.com...

Even if you don’t see the resemblance (because sighting resemblance is a subjective matter), it’s not a big deal, because the embryo at this stage does exactly what a leech does: Exploiting the habitat to feed and grow. So there's your full interpretation of "Alaq": a leech like thing that adheres and suspends from the womb.

Finally, blood in Arabic is “Damm”. It is mentioned numerous times in the Quran in other verses. If the Quran wanted to say blood in this verse, it would’ve said it loud and clear because there aren’t any commonly used synonyms for blood.



Now let’s move on to the next example:

You claim that science says the flesh develops before the bones. While the Quran clearly says: “We have covered the bones with flesh” indicating that bones came first and then flesh comes after.

First, the Quran really does make that claim and I don’t disagree at all. There’s no other interpretation whatsoever. Second, you said (and I quote): “we know very well that Flesh developes before the bone… Bones become developed (though still palpable) by the 26th week “. Your source for this claim was a Wikipedia article on the fetus (http://en.wikipedia.org...). I went and looked at the source to check if the bones really develop by the 26th week, and I found the following statement under the title “Weeks 26 to 38”: Bones are fully developed, but are still soft and pliable.

My friend, you have dropped a very important word while quoting from the source and that word is “FULLY”. Between weeks 26 to 38, bones become FULLY developed, not start to develop like you tried to frame it. Bones can develop at a very early stage and then at a later stage become "FULLY" developed. Do you see where I'm getting? This source does not mention the beginning of bone development and whether flesh came before or after.

Bones develop much earlier than that, before the flesh forms for sure. Do you know why? Let’s first define flesh. Flesh according to a dictionary is the muscles and fat between the bones and the skin. The key thing here is the muscles. Muscles cannot exist without bones. Otherwise, what would muscles be attached to? This is a very important question. Muscles are attached to bones through an intermediary string called a tendon. Muscles are attached to tendons and tendons are attached to the bones. Muscles are not attached to each other in a large network of muscles. each muscle is attached to two bones or more, and that’s it. So it’s impossible to imagine a being with muscles but no bones. In that case, muscles will float around and could mix since they’re not attached to any solid.

But hey!! Don’t listen to me. Listen to Dr. Kieth L. Moore, a well known Canadian professor emeritus in the division of anatomy. He says that bones develop first and then muscles form around the bones. You can hear him talk in this youtube video

https://www.youtube.com...

In his book, The Developing Human, he says: "The shape of the skeleton determines the general appearance of the embryo in the bones stage during the 7th week; muscles do not develop at the same time but their development follows soon after"

I’d like to mention one more thing that might make everything clear. Bones of the fetus are called cartilages when they first form. It takes time for them to ossify and become bones in the way we normally know them.This ossifying process will complete after the muscles are formed. Maybe that’s where the confusion arises: on a labelling technicality.

I hope I made myself clear in defending my claim. I ask my opponent to forgive me for not replying to the first verse he mentioned. I ran out of characters. I hope he forgives me because I managed to defend two examples instead of one like we agreed.

Peace

Unitomic

Con


I largely concede on the first argument. Though there could concerns with the contridictive nature of there being seven heavens, I will not be supporting it, given the spiritual nature of the other heavens, and the inability of Con to refute it afterwords.




Counter-Case I: The Barrier between Freshwater and Saltwater


Con points out that Barzakh was the actual word in the arabic texts. Barzakh translates as "obstacle", "hindrance", "separation", or "barrier".{1} The Quran does in fact mention it as a spiritual place between life and death. However it is only used that way once in Quran 23.99-100. {2} In most examples it is given as a place name, which is treated differently from the actual definition. Certainly Greenland isn’t green, despite the name. Similarly a place named Barzakh may not fit it’s actual definition perfectly. That said, there are two cases where it’s describing the barrier between fresh and saltwater, {3/4} both of which use strong language, implying a more definitive definition. Con then lists a single type of Estuary. In reality there are several kinds of estuaries, most of which have far larger regions of brackish water rather than thin layers, including Vertically Homogeneous and Partially Stratified Estuaries. {5} The fact that we technically call it a separate ecosystem is irrelevant. It’s simply for clarification. The estuary, regardless of what we determine it to be, is a mixing point between Freshwater and Saltwater rather the a barrier.




Summarization


- It is technically open to interpretation, however it is in reference to a scientific fact, thus we have no reason to change the interpretation to an informal definition only used once in a religious situation (exactly not spiritual).


-Con accepts that estuary is not a barrier where salt is forbidden to pass.


- The informal definition is only used once, and many translations show it as a place name rather then a descriptive noun. Occams Razor says we must assume it is using it’s legitimate definition rather then assuming it is using a definition being used to show something spiritual as opposed to this scientific statement.




1] http://en.wikipedia.org...


2] http://quran.com...


3] http://quran.com...


4] http://quran.com...


5] http://en.wikipedia.org...




Counter-Case II: Sexual Reproduction


Con tries again to give a different translation. One can’t simply explain away all inconsistencies as the translators not doing their job right. Numerous professional translators have looked over the word and chose that specific definition, and many if not the vast majority of scholars accept the definition. In this case, “Blood Clot”. We can’t just assume they are all wrong because the passage suddenly seems to be wrong. Con tells us though that these professionals all chose the wrong word, and that it actually has a definition which is has no similarity to the definition the translators chose


ose. Con says they would have used the word “damm”, except language doesn’t always work that way. Just because a blood-clot involves blood doesn’t mean that name they used for it must have the word blood in it. To say that it is an invalid translation because “blood” is not directly used it simply arguing sematics.




Con in the next example accepts the translation about bone forming first. Con ignores that the issue with the Qurans description was that it claims the flesh forms after the bones. Even the most lenient definition of the two will have bone and flesh forming at the same time, {5} whereas stricter definitions will have the flesh developed before the cartilage becomes bone. That is important as cartilage is not bone. They are quite distinct. Yes the cartilage becomes bone, but until then, it is not bone. {6}




I end by fogiving my opponent for not responding to the first verse, given the small character limits. Up until this point the arguments have been short so I wasn’t aware of the character limit.



Finishing Statement: That being said, remember Con's argument is built on an absolute, and as such if the voter determines that any part of my cases still stands, or gives noticable doubt to the scientific validity of the Quran's verses, he should vote Pro.




5] http://www.scienceclarified.com...


6] http://www.majordifferences.com...

==Unitomic==
Debate Round No. 4
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Mohammad_AlSari 2 years ago
Mohammad_AlSari
Thank you Unitomic for a bringing this debate to life. I just want to comment on one thing you said in the last round. Yes, there are many kinds of estuaries, but it's almost impossible to describe them all in one verse. So if the verse describes only one type of estuary, then that's enough to prove that there's no contradiction. The Quran doesn't make the claim that what it described in the verses is a rule that applies to all.

Thank you, and please tell me if you're ready to engage in part 2 of this debate.
Posted by Unitomic 2 years ago
Unitomic
yes, vote con. I keep forgetting I'm Con.
Posted by donald.keller 2 years ago
donald.keller
Con... At the end, you said vote Pro. You mean vote Con, right?
Posted by Unitomic 2 years ago
Unitomic
I agree with Pro. Focus on my examples and Pro's refutations, not your examples. Pro cannot rebut your examples in the debate. I give examples A B and C. Focus on those three. Don't give X Y and Z in your RFV. I will report a vote that gave contradictions I didn't use, or Rebuttals Pro didn't give.
Posted by Mohammad_AlSari 2 years ago
Mohammad_AlSari
I hope voters will assess the debate based on the specific examples discussed in the debate and not by the general claim by "Pro". It can be that pro wins this debate and another of its kind but at the third battle loses because he failed to defend against one accusation (example of a contradiction), therefore he loses the entire war).

So please, vote for pro if you think he did manage to defend successfully against only the three examples in the debate, even if you believe that there are other examples that prove the contradiction. Because those other examples can be accommodated in following debates.

Thank you for your interest in the debate
Posted by Vajrasattva-LeRoy 2 years ago
Vajrasattva-LeRoy
Islam is apparently based on the teachings given in the Quran.
The idea that everybody has to learn & understand Arabic
in order to understand Islam doesn't make sense.

Islam, by definition, means submission to the will of God.
There is no such religion as submission to the will of God.
Since people have been Refusing to submit all along,
Islam has to be False.
Posted by Mirza 2 years ago
Mirza
dtaylor971, I find your early conclusion to the debate suspicious; perhaps you ought to consider giving Pro time to respond, do you not think so?
Posted by Unitomic 2 years ago
Unitomic
I hope the voters have the dignity to not allow the "it's symbolism" excuse fly.
Posted by SNP1 2 years ago
SNP1
I cannot believe that there are still people that think the Qur'an is infallible...
Posted by dtaylor971 2 years ago
dtaylor971
Con has already won...
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by dhardage 2 years ago
dhardage
Mohammad_AlSariUnitomicTied
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Reasons for voting decision: All of Pro's arguments were fairly transparent attempts to reinterpret the texts to fit his argument. They could not actually show that Con was incorrect.
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
lannan13
Mohammad_AlSariUnitomicTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con get's sources for having an extensive number of sources to back his argument. Pro takes a tough position here by defending ALL, but I feel that Con, in the end, won out with the bones argument so he thus gains Convincing arguments and wins the debate.
Vote Placed by Leo.Messi 2 years ago
Leo.Messi
Mohammad_AlSariUnitomicTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Excellent debate-However I was more convinced by con. Good job though.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 2 years ago
bladerunner060
Mohammad_AlSariUnitomicTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro did a pretty good job here on most of the points. He had the burden of there being NO contradictions, but I felt that the contradiction had to be absolute or unambiguous. On some of the points, Pro at least successfully got ambiguity. In the end, the biggest points here are that the bones don't form and then become clothed with flesh, and that sperm doesn't come from the ribs. Pro never really addressed the latter, and the former was quibbled over somewhat, but fundamentally just doesn't work with embryonic development. As always, happy to clarify this RFD.