Dressed in a traditional black robe decorated with rhinestones and a white veil that she wears “only” when she comes to the mosque, Maroua admits that she has always wondered about “the dinosaurs and the origin of man…but at school, it cannot be refuted: we’re taught that man descended from monkeys. At home and in the Koran, [we’re taught] that we descended from Adam and Eve, and that God created all living beings.”
Ali Sadun Engin, Yahya’s representative in the current tour of French mosques, seems to have convinced the young girl. “I find his explanations logical,” she says. The proof for creationism is demonstrated with some perfunctory presentations of fossils, including bear, crocodile, and tortoise skulls, and can be summarized in a few brief sentences: “If fish left the water to walk, if dinosaurs were transformed into birds, then we should discover fossils of these beings in transition. However this is not the case. Science thus shows one sole truth: creation as we know it from the Koran.”….
But it starts to get really weird:
The discussion on the origins of life appears to hit its target in the audience, a mixture of “mainline” believers and devout fundamentalists. Amadou Bah, a 26-year-old student of finance, is happy to have these “clarifications.” “Like all Muslims, I am a believer in the theory of creation, but I didn’t have arguments to defend it,” she says.
“At school, we believed the teachers, but here their theses are disproved: they don’t have the truth,” adds Yanina Gelassi, a 19-year-old student veiled in black. Nouri Hamid, 28, a doctoral student in genetics, is not “totally in agreement that there is a complete lack [of evidence] for the evolution of species,” but he also declares that “science has never demonstrated the connection between homo sapiens and man.”
Similarly, the “concordist” approach to the Koran, defended by the conference speakers, is popular among young Muslims. This concept states that the recent scientific discoveries only confirm the scientific content of the sacred book. “This proves to us that, despite all of the research, God has said and written everything down in the Koran nearly 1,400 years ago,” says Najoua Oubaya, a 21-year-old saleswoman.
“These discussions are good for the people because they prove that the West has discovered nothing, and that Islam is superior, even scientifically,” explained Nidhal Guessoum, a Muslim astrophysicist, in Le Monde in 2009. The author of Réconcilier l’Islam et la science moderne: l’esprit d’Averroès (Reconciling Islam and Modern Science: The Spirit of Averroes)….
I assume that the original was in French. There really is a Nouri Hamid who is a doctoral candidate at a French University. Either the translation is really really bad, or Nouri Hamid is really not well educated in biology if he doesn’t understand the connection between “homo sapiens” and man (if people who know French are inclined to ask Nouri if he was misquoted/mistranslated, his email is Hamid.Nouri@issb.genopole.fr).
And of course Islam discovered all of science before the West. That’s why Muslims societies are so technologically and intellectually advanced, and Westerners clamor to migrate to the Muslim world to avail themselves of all its brilliant glamor. Everyone knows that the greatest scientist of all, Ishaq ibn Newton, accepted tawhid, and rejected the worship of Isa as God.