The Instigator
Pro (for)
6 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

Theory of Evolution was first introduced by Muslims.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/15/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 6,182 times Debate No: 58986
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (10)
Votes (1)




First round is for acceptance.
The sources must be cited.
All claims must be based on evidence.


I accept.
Debate Round No. 1


I thank Con for accepting this debate. My job is very easy, all I have to do is to show that the idea of evolution was present in Islamic world before Darwin, and it was acknowledged by Western thinkers.

Ibn Khaldun (1332 - 1406 AD) [1] - Everyone have heard about Ibn Khaldun, he is great scholar and historian and one of the founding fathers of modern sociology, economics, and histiography. He wrote in his book Al-Muqaddimah (The Introduction) :
"One should then look at the world of creation. It started out from the minerals and progressed, in an ingenious, gradual manner, to plants and animals. The last stage of minerals is connected with the first stage of plants, such as herbs and seedless plants. The last stage of plants, such as palms and vines, is connected with the first stage of animals, such as snails and shellfish which have only the power of touch. The word "connection" with regard to these created things means that the last stage of each group is fully prepared to become the first stage of the next group." [2]
Then he goes to say : "The animal world then widens, its species become numerous, and, in a gradual process of creation, it finally leads to man, who is able to think and to reflect. The higher stage of man is reached from the world of the monkeys, in which both sagacity and perception are found, but which has not reached the stage of actual reflection and thinking. At this point we come to the first stage of man after (the world of monkeys). This is as far as our (physical) observation extends." [2]

Now, there are other (many) Muslim scholars who acknowledged the evolution, I will talk about them in next rounds, but I will touch on Nasir al-Din al-Tusi (1201 - 1274) [3] who first time used word "takamul" meaning perfection, regarding evolution of species. More info at [4] and [5].

In west, this theory was known as Mohammedan Theory of Evolution From Lower Forms (West still was ignorant enough to call Muslims Mohammedans). John William Draper (1811-1882 AD) [6] in his book History of Conflict between Religion and Science, he wrote : "Theological authorities (Church authorities*) were therefore constrained to look with disfavor on any attempt to carry back the origin of the earth to an epoch indefinitely remote, and on the Mohammedan theory of the evolution of man from lower forms, or his gradual development to his present condition in the long lapse of time." Reason was Church believed Earth (or Adam pbuh) was created 5,000 years before Jesus pbuh, and Adam pbuh was created perfect, so if they were to endorse evolution then they have to contradict age of Earth and perfect creation.

Thank you for reading, I will post list of Muslim scholars who endorsed the evolution before Darwin and their reasons, in next rounds.

[1] -
[2] - page:137-138
[3] -
[4] -
[5] -
[6] -
[7] - page:188 (page 212 in pdf document)

*My note



I like my opponent for offering this debate.

However Muslims did not introduce Evolution. Darwin did.

Example: One could say that the person who made the horse buggy, introduced the Model T instead of Henry T. Ford just becase Mr.Ford studied designs of horse buggies.

Next I refute your arguement totally because Theistic Evolution is a silly oxymoron. Jews, Christian, and Christian say God created beings and the earth, which is a weak excuse to ease God out = EGO = Pride.

Everyone has not heard of Ibn Khaldun I alse refute your assertion.

I say Muslims are following the rest, blind leading the blind.

Evolution is the gradual change in the inherited characteristics of biological populations over successive generations. Evolutionary processes give rise to diversity at every level of biological organisation, including species, individual organisms and molecules such as DNA and proteins.[1]

All life on Earth is descended from a last universal ancestor that lived approximately 3.8 billion years ago. Repeated speciation and the divergence of life can be inferred from shared sets of biochemical and morphological traits, or by shared DNA sequences.[2] These homologous traits and sequences are more similar among species that share a more recent common ancestor, and can be used to reconstruct evolutionary histories, using both existing species and the fossil record. Existing patterns of biodiversity have been shaped both by speciation and by extinction.[3]

Charles Darwin was the first to formulate a scientific argument for the theory of evolution by means of natural selection. Evolution by natural selection is a process inferred from three facts about populations: 1) more offspring are produced than can possibly survive, 2) traits vary among individuals, leading to different rates of survival and reproduction, and 3) trait differences are heritable.[4] Thus, when members of a population die they are replaced by the progeny of parents better adapted to survive and reproduce in the environment in which natural selection takes place. This process creates and preserves traits that are seemingly fitted for the functional roles they perform.[5] Natural selection is the only known cause of adaptation, but not the only known cause of evolution. Other, nonadaptive causes of evolution include mutation and genetic drift.[6]

Debate Round No. 2


I would like to thank Con, for the argument, but after reading it, I chose not to. Reason is simple – intellectual dishonesty. If I want to read Wikipedia article on Evolution, I would visit Wikipedistan. And the topic is “before Darwin” not “before Dawkins”. If you resurrected Darwin and cited the two definitions ([1] and [2]) given by Con, Darwin would reply, “What the hell is DNA, and why did you violate my right to remain dead?” And this debate is not about what Evolution or Natural Selection is, how Darwin formulated his theory, so [3], [4], [5], [6] are irrelevant. And you not knowing who Ibn Khaldun is, is your ignorance (I hope at least you know who Al Jabri, and Al Kharezmi are).

9th century Muslim scholar Al Jahiz {1} in his book “Kital Al-Hayavan” (The Book of Animals) wrote:


All animals, in short, cannot exist without food, neither can the hunting animal escape being hunted in his turn. Every weak animal devours those weaker than itself. Strong animals cannot escape being devoured by other animals stronger than they. And in this respect, men do not differ from animals, some with respect to others, although they do not arrive at the same extremes”. Al Jahiz also was quoted by Conway Zirkle in his writings about history of Natural Selection {3}.

Dr. Edip Yuksel, in his review of “Islamic Theory of Evolution – The Missing Link between Darwin and the Origin of Species” by T.O. Shanavas, he writes, “In addition to these, Muhammad al-Haytham (965-1039), who is known in the West by the name Alhazen, defends human evolution starting from minerals, plants, and animals in Kitabal Manazer, his book on optical science. Prominent leaders of Sufism such as Ibn Arabi (1165-1240) and Jaluluddin Rumi (1207-1273) also had no problem in accepting the idea of creation through evolution, an idea which was commonly held among Muslims. The Muslim Geologist al-Biruni (973-1048) in his book Kitab al-Jamahir also asserts that humans are created after long periods of evolution from simple organisms through natural selection.” {4}

You can find the list of Muslim scholar wrote about Evolution in “Pre-Darwinian Muslim Scholars’ Views on Evolution” by Dr. Muhammad Sultan Shah.

{1} -

{2} , {3} - Natural Selection before the "Origin of Species", Conway Zirkle, Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, Vol. 84, No. 1 (Apr. 25, 1941), pp. 85

{4} -



I say the question is, who started Islam?
My opponent calls anyone ignorant, that does not study his Islamic role models.
My opponent called Genesis a myth, means Abraham was a myth as well. Means Islam is a myth as well, let my opponent babble on.

The BoP has not been met. My opponent posted work from Islamic students, guessing about the organ of life.

I say evolution originated with Satan not Islam. And Islam was started by the Vatican to control Arabs.
So I refute your argument.

Debate Round No. 3


1. Who started Islam?
Well, that is irrelevant. But if you must know, God started it.
2. Ignorance and role models (?)
Being ignorant about something is not an insult. For example, I am ignorant about dark matter. And you should study English grammar.
3. Genesis, Abraham (pbuh), Islam.
What has Islam to do with Biblical Genesis.
4. BoP
That is for voters to decide.
5. Islam, Satan, Evolution, Vatican.
Where is your evidence?!

For people who are still interested in debate or topic -
I couldn't find English translation of Al Biruni's and Tusi's works, but I am still looking for it.
Anyone who wants to debate the topic, can contact me.
I will only post my argument if Con posts his argument on topic.

Thanks for reading.


How the Vatican created Islam - Red Ice Creations

I refute my opponent's attempt to credit away from Darwin and glorify Islam.

Example: A designer may get ideas from reading work done by others, however the prize/copyright/credit goes to the guy who's name is on the bottom of the book, or design. Even if the master's servant actually came up with and idea without the master's money or employment the servant could do nothing. And the credit goes to the employer/master/owner not, the guy who thought and never acted, or did not have the ability to act on their own. Again my opponent did not meet any BoP. Darwin may have read their work because of the subject was of interest to him, after he was already working on his own thesis/theory. It is very common to seek out and exchange material from other when theorizing a unproven subject.

Next I again refute any religion embracing evolution. That is just dumb. All religions claim that God did it. Yes religion teaches poof their you are! The problem is that nothing is evolving now. Monkey stay monkeys they do not even turn into apes.

Also Islam has no place in science at all. You can not mix the two. So what if a few religious men of Islam went to school, and learned from others (Who may have gotten ideas from non Muslims.) and had a theory, wrote a paper but never, followed through, like Darwin did!

Debate Round No. 4
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by tahir.imanov 2 years ago
"Also Islam has no place in science at all. You can not mix the two. So what if a few religious men of Islam went to school, and learned from others (Who may have gotten ideas from non Muslims.) and had a theory, wrote a paper but never, followed through, like Darwin did!" - CON. It is very hypocritical for someone who uses Arabic numerals, Algebra, Algorithms, Hygiene, and etc. Did you know that before Christians went to crusades, they used to throw their sh!t out of window to the streets. And do you know the history of the idiom "Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater".
Posted by tahir.imanov 2 years ago
Adaptation to environment is also discussed in Muslim Scientific Community, I will mention them later. And it is not tune with Genesis, Muslims always regarded Genesis of Bible as fairy tale. The reason of you are not being fully apprehend it, may be due to the style of author, the eastern (Muslim) style differs from western. When author says creation, it doesn't mean popping out from nothing into existence. It means coming to existence through some mechanical (or other) progress. The example which comes to my mind is, God created you (just make an assumption) is true, but it doesn't mean you just popped out from tin air.
Posted by Supernova805 2 years ago
From your argument, that doesn't sound like the theory of evolution.

The quotes you've used:

"The word "connection" with regard to these created things means that the last stage of each group is fully prepared to become the first stage of the next group."

"The animal world then widens, its species become numerous, and, in a gradual process of creation, it finally leads to man, who is able to think and to reflect."

sounds more in tune with the genesis version of creationism. Where animals were created, then man was created.

I can see where this is similar to the Darwinian version of evolution but nowhere in that first round did you mention or site survival of the fittest or adapting to one's environment or promoting of one trait over another over generations to help exploit the niche in which the species are adapting to. These are the fundamental ideas of the theory of evolution as Darwin wrote it.

I don't see any evidence you've used to showcase the ideas of Darwin was first proposed by Ibn Khaldun therefore, I don't think you have proved that the theory of evolution as we understand it today was first introduced by Muslims.

Maybe in your next round I will be convinced but not yet.
Posted by tahir.imanov 2 years ago
I used Wikipedia only for people I used in my argument, so anyone who reads it could get information about them. But I used their books as source and gave page numbers.
Posted by vhunkler 2 years ago
Though many haven't heard of the theory of evolution before Darwin, it's probably because you haven't read much on it. Just because you didn't hear about Sushutra, doesn't mean surgery did not exist before John Hunter. I believe that Darwin was credited with the theory of evolution because he lived in the more Western countries, where it was popularized with the modern scientific community of his time and was taught to generations. In the Muslim world, there were no such scientific communities that spread the entire word of evolution to the world because it was just always integrated into the culture (such as in the Quran). In some scripts of the Muslims there is mention about evolution, such as the evidence that tahir.imanov gave. Even though I do not think that Wikipedia is a reliable source. In all, Darwin was credited as the founder because he had more support from a scientific community. On a personal belief (and a fact also), Muslims were drastically ahead scientifically in facts and theories than the West ever was when Darwin became famous.
Posted by ArcTImes 2 years ago
The problem is that theories are the last step of the scientific method. In other words, being science doesn't mean it's a theory. I might be wrong but I never heard of the "theory of evolution" before Darwin.
IIRC Darwin is its founder.
Posted by Preston 2 years ago
im pretty sure you're wrong, Muslims funded the progression of science and introduced the theory of evolution.
Posted by ArcTImes 2 years ago
Well, that's not a fact. I mean, the person who accepts can play with the word theory.
The idea of evolution is older tho.
Posted by Preston 2 years ago
That's a fact, what are you trying to debate
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Samreay 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Semantically, I am not sure Pro fulfilled his BoP as rigorously as possible - as the idea of evolution/change is different from a "theory of evolution" as per scientific nomenclature. However, the context of the word is unspecified, and Con did not raise this point, so I shall have to assume that the debate thesis was to look at in what culture the idea of organisms changing from one species into another originated. Pro showed precedent by Islamic writers far before Darwin, the only figure con uses. Conduct to Pro as well, who tried to debate on topic, instead of going off track (Islam/Vatican/Evolution originating with Satan, etc). Sources also easily to Pro.