Friday, May 28, 2010

CLOUDS AND THE PROCESS OF RAIN



CLOUDS AND THE PROCESS OF RAIN


43- Do not you see that God drives the clouds, then joins them together, then piles them on each other, then you see the rain comes forth from between them. And He sends down hail from the sky, where there are mountains of it. And strikes those with it whom He will and diverts it from whomever He wills. The vivid flash of its lightning nearly blinds the sight.
24-The Light, 43

Water is life. The greater portion of water that is the basic need for the living beings on earth is in continuous motion and transformation. The uninterrupted sequence of these successive transformations is referred to as cycling. Water is always present in the air. It goes without saying that this state of water differs from its state in the seas and rivers. The formation of clouds by water in the state of vapor, the transformation of these clouds into rainwater and their falling upon the earth as precipitation are the result of God’s impeccable cycling system. More than 1400 years ago, the Quran began to draw our attention to the facts that today can be established only by the help of satellites. Scientists studied types of clouds and established that they were the consequence of well-designed systems and stages. Meteorologists examined the cumulonimbus clouds. The stages they described tallied with the process described in the sura The Light, verse 43.

1- Clouds move thanks to winds: The fact that the wind is the primary cause in the process of the formation of clouds that generates rain is depicted in the sura, The Romans, verse 46 (In the previous chapter, we saw the role played by wind in the formation of clouds).

2- Joining: Then the small clouds combine to form a single large cloud.

3- Piles them on each other: When the small clouds join together, updrafts within the larger cloud increase. The updrafts near the center of the cloud are stronger than those near the edges. These updrafts cause the cloud body to grow vertically, so the cloud is stacked up. This vertical growth causes the cloud body to stretch into cooler regions of the atmosphere where drops of water and hail formulate. When these drops of water and hail become too heavy for the updrafts to support them, they begin to fall from the cloud as rain, hail, etc.

GENIUS OF A MAN?

Meteorologists have acquired what they know about the formation, structure and function of clouds only in recent years by the help of satellites, computers and balloons. It is significant to read about the formation of clouds in the Quran. Today’s data are obtained through the use of instruments and satellites that have a panoramic view of clouds from above, otherwise, it would be impossible for men living on the surface of the earth to have an insight into the updraft in the clouds during their formation and the precipitation emerging from this cloud expanding vertically.

In the verse above, the simile of “mountain masses” is an apt one, since the cumulonimbus rain clouds at an altitude of 5-6 km present a formation like a mountain.

While the verse reveals knowledge unavailable at the time of the Prophet, there is no mention whatsoever of the misconceptions of the time. Up until the 1600s the western world was dominated by the meteorological lore of ancient Greece, itself a hotchpotch of correct and wrong data. It was believed that the atmosphere was made up of two different types of vapor, namely the dry and the moist; that thunder was the outcome of the collision of dry clouds with their neighbors, and that the flash of lighting was produced by the kindling of the dry vapor. In the verse in question no such false information has been provided, while a description is made of the flash of lightning, along with the downfall of rain and hailstones, establishing a link between them. The lightning flash in atmospheric electricity is the total observed luminous phenomena accompanying a lightning discharge, which is a series of electric processes by which change is transferred within the atmosphere along a channel of high ion density between electric charge centers of opposite sign. The water droplets within the clouds are a source of electricity. The water droplets falling down as a result of gravitation break down into yet smaller droplets with positively charged electricity while the surrounding atmosphere is negatively charged. The electric charge of droplets increases at each division into smaller units. Along with the emergence of the electrical charge as a consequence of disintegration of water droplets, the ice crystals at the upper portion of the cloud gain positive electricity charge, thus separating from the atmosphere with negative charge and increasing the electrical charge of the cloud. This process results in an electric arc, i.e., a flash of light. The verse draws attention to the connection of the precipitation with the flash of lightning, leaving out the wrong information that attributes this process to the kindling of clouds. Describing the meteorological process that creates rain accurately, while eliminating the false ideas predominant at the time successfully, cannot be explained as pure coincidence or the genius of a man.

12- It is He who shows you the lightning for fear and hope,
and raises heavy clouds.

13-The Thunder, 12

Saturday, May 22, 2010

THE SUN ALSO MOVES ALONG




THE SUN ALSO MOVES ALONG

38- And the Sun moves on to its destination. That is the ordinance of the Mighty, the Knower.

36-Ya-Seen, 38

For a long time in the past men thought that the earth was stationary and that the sun revolved around the earth. Later Copernicus, Kepler and Galileo postulated the theory that the sun was stationary and that the earth revolved about the sun. It was even later, thanks to sophisticated telescopes and the accumulation of cosmological data, that it was concluded that the sun was moving as well and the earth revolved about the sun in motion. Despite the fact that it took science this long, this motion of the sun had already been told 1400 years ago in the Quran. Contrary to the assertion that the sun traced a vicious circle about the earth or that it was stationary, the 38th verse of the sura Ya-Seen stated correctly that it moved on to its destination. As in other subjects, in this one also the Quran is the source that gave a correct account of the sun’s motion.

THE METHOD OF THE QURAN AND THE METHOD OF SCIENCE

A book of science purports to demonstrate the theses it advances and the points of reference. The Quran is the message from the Creator of the Universe and describes the Universe in the word of its Creator, in a style different from that of a book on science. The fact that basic statements about the universe in the Quran were destined to come to light after the lapse of more than a millennium, that none of its statements referring to various scientific issues contained errors, shows that the Quran is the book of the Creator of the Universe. Unlike a scientific treatise that tries to find answers to such inquiries into the whys, wherefores and hows and seeks corroborative proofs to theories advanced, the Quran makes final statements. The scientific method has to follow a well-known path before it formulates the postulates toward which the Quran draws a beeline.

We see that the methodological ways of science differ from the direct communications of the Quran. Regardless of statements made, science must follow its own path consisting of stages. This is a consequence of the structure of scientific knowledge. As a matter of fact, the Quran promotes scientific research both upon the earth and in space. On the other hand, I am not trying to create a contest between science and the Quran by juxtaposing the Quranic statements and the secular scientific conclusions. What I have been trying to do is to draw attention to the fact that the straightforward statements made in the Quran tally with the conclusions of science arrived at by following predetermined stages of research, thus proving the realization of what has been predicted in the Quran. The Quran’s origin is the Creator, who is the Knower of Everything. The information directly communicated by the Quran was inaccessible through scientific methods which would have recourse to the accumulation of data, formulas, observations and technical findings. The Creator of both the universe and the rules governing it had already communicated the findings of science in the Quran.

THE SPEED OF THE SUN

The sun moves at a speed of 700,000 km/h in the direction of the star Vega, following its orbital path referred to as the Solar Apex. The Earth rotates around its own axis while revolving about the sun, moving along with the Solar System.

The sun rises every morning and sets every night. However, the points where it rises and sets are never the same. The earth travels around the sun, which moves in the universe without ever passing through the same point. To imagine that in the course of time elapsed from the time at which we started reading our book until now that we are reading this very page, the sun, along with our world, have traveled a few million kilometers, and that we have not been adversely affected by this motion in any way whatsoever, may give use a clue of God’s system.

RISING POINTS OF THE SUN

5- The Lord of the heavens, and the earth, and all that lies between them, and the Lord of the easts (places where the sun rise).
37-Who Stand in Row, 5

Because the earth has a spherical shape, the sun that rises somewhere sets simultaneously somewhere else. Night and day chase each other. Therefore we cannot speak of a given point from which the sun rises, but rather of different points. The hour of dawn is different at every single point of our sphere. Every spot on the earth expects the rise of the sun while it is “rising” at different spots in space. The sun we behold every morning is a giant nuclear reactor. This reactor, generated by the conversion of hydrogen atoms into helium, performs its task marvelously. We continue our journey in space unaware of the immense speed of our source of life toward our predestined point. God’s omnipotence and the Quran’s miracles will unfold to those who take heed, who have an inquiring mind and are truthful in their approach to the Quranic verses.

43- And such are the parables we set forth for the people, but only those understand them who have knowledge.
29-The Spider, 43 80

Sunday, May 16, 2010

MAN CREATED FROM DUST AND WATER



MAN CREATED FROM DUST AND WATER

All these constituents are obtainable at reasonable prices. The cost of all these elements is not any higher than a hundred dollars according to the New York Stock Exchange. Yes, a hundred dollars exactly is the basic price of man. God created man out of a combination of elements that costs almost nothing. The mystery does not lie in the material out of which man is made, but in the Creator...

2- Praise be to God, Lord of the worlds.
1-The Prologue, 2

QUINTESSENCE OF CLAY

As it is explained in the sura The Believers, Verse 12, man was created from a quintessence. God combined the elements contained in clay as a result of fine calculations. These elements are harmoniously and proportionately distributed in the body at birth; the body is programmed to make use of them in due proportion and to dispose of any surplus. The human body contains about 2kg calcium. If there is a decrease in this amount, the very act of biting into an apple may cause our teeth to break. Our body needs 120gr of potassium. A decrease of it may cause muscle cramps, fatigue, intestinal troubles, and palpitations. We need only about 2gr to 3gr of zinc. Any lowering in these values may cause loss of memory, impotence, decrease of the capability to act and weakening of the senses of smell and taste. Insufficiency of selenium may bring about the weakening of muscles, hardening of arteries and heart muscles...

All these data show that God, while making use of clay as raw material for man, combined its constituents in ideal proportions. The Quran is exact in its statements. Creating a living being such as man from such ordinary matter is one of the manifestations of the omniscience of God. Careful combination in due proportion of all the constituents of the human body demonstrates God’s matchless design. The creation of man, a masterpiece, out of a matter of simple aspect like clay, shows again the greatness of God.

WATER BECOMES ALIVE

30- ...and from water We made all living things. Will they
not believe even then?

21-The Prophets, 30

45- God created every moving creature from water...
24-The Light, 45

In the 54th verse of the sura The Distinguisher, it is said that human beings are created from water, and in the suras The Prophets and The Light it is said that all living beings are created from water. Water is the basic biological element of living matter. Cells are made of water in proportions varying between 60% to 80%. A cell whose basic element is water is a living thing. Without water there is no life. Water is composed of two hydrogen and one oxygen atoms. Water, whose chemical constituents have been arranged perfectly, is made of atoms devoid of organic life and 99% vacuum. How is it that living beings and animals are created from something of which 99% is void? How is it that an entity made of an inorganic and inanimate matter comes to life?

24- He is God, the Creator, the Maker, the Designer; to Him belong the most beautiful names. Whatever is in the heavens and the earth glorifies Him. He is the Almighty, the Wise.
59-Exodus, 24

2- Verily, We created the human from a drop of a liquid mixture in order to try him. Thus We made him a hearer and a seer.
76-The Human, 2

Analyses in detail of organs and substances in the human body could be made with the invention and development of the microscope. These analyses showed that semen is composed of spermatozoa in their nutrient plasma, secretions from the prostate, seminal vesicles and various other glands. Citric acid, prostaglandin, flavins, ascorbic acid, fructose, phosphorylcoline, cholesterol, phospholipids, fibrinolysin, zinc, acid phosphatase, and sperm are among the various constituents of the semen.
Our body is one of the best, the most beautiful and the most complicated of works. Thanks to it, we are able to see and hear, to perpetuate our lineage; thanks to the skills of this body we can design and build machines, computers, bridges and airplanes and do paintings, carve statues and compose music. Our body is the product of one of the initial stages of creation, that entailed the creation of all the constituents of the semen. This was to be followed by the physiochemical processes involved in the union of the male and female gametes to form the zygote, the fertilized ovum before cleavage. The explanation of only the sperm cord or the prostate gland would take hundreds of pages. Our Creator refers in His book to a “liquid mixture.” Our analysis of this mixture and its constituents contributes to our increasing wonder at the presence of the miraculous creation of our body.


THE UNIVERSE IN GASEOUS STATE



THE UNIVERSE IN GASEOUS STATE

11- Then He turned to the heavens, and it was in a gaseous state. And said to it, and the earth; “Come into existence, willingly or unwillingly.” They said, “We come willingly.”
41-Elucidated, 11

“Dukhan” is the word used in Arabic for smoke, vapor and gaseous matter. It appears that the universe was a gaseous mass before it reached the state - by the will of God - from which the universe and the earth came to be.

We know that our world, the sun and the stars did not come about immediately after the primeval explosion. For the universe was in a gaseous state before the formation of the stars. This gaseous state was initially made of hydrogen and helium. Condensation and compression shaped the planets, the earth, the sun and the stars that were but products of the gaseous state. The discovery of these phenomena has been rendered possible thanks to successive findings as a result of observations and theoretical developments. The knowledge of all contemporary communities during the time of the Prophet would not suffice for the assertion that the universe had once been in a gaseous state. The Prophet himself did not claim to be the author of the statements in the Quran as it often reminded, declaring that he is simply a messenger of God.

49- This is news of the unseen which we reveal to you, which neither you nor your people knew before. So, be patient. Surely the end is for the dutiful.
11-Hud, 49

VOLATILE GASES TO ONE DAY BE TRANSFORMED INTO MAGNOLIAS

It is evident that the aim of the scientific miracles expounded in the Quran was not only to perform miracles, or to teach us some scientific facts. The knowledge provided by the Quran is of paramount importance. The Book focuses our attention on the ingenuity of the creation full of marvels. The fact that it miraculously predicted events, the knowledge of which was unattainable at the time of the revelation of the Quran, is not the only important point. It also provides consequential knowledge. Take for instance sura 41, verse 11: the fact that the Quran revealed 1400 years ago that the universe was previously in a gaseous state is a miracle. But the fact that the universe was not confined to its original state, but expanded in the wake of the primeval explosion and from this there emerged - within the framework of laws imposed by God - the stars, the planets, human beings and the magnolias are also part of His miraculous creation. In witnessing these miracles unfolded in the Quran we must not lose sight of the level of knowledge of the time and what is concealed behind the expressions.

We witness perfect operation of the physical laws in creation as the smoke of gas compressed formed the stars. Gravitational power caused the smoke to contract and the stars to be born, but the gravitational force does not go to extremes, and prevents the star from becoming a black hole. What can be the agent behind this process involving infinitesimal calculations, if not the Creator? Natural laws that encompass the entire universe also apply to the formation of stars. The objectives were targeted by the Creator on the eve of creation. Gravitation is not something intelligent and sentient and cannot be the author of all these formations. What a grotesque sight we would behold had the Creator had recourse to a chain to hold fast all the celestial bodies instead of the gravitation he devised. The problem was solved by His ingenious creation of gravity. Isaac Newton (1642-1724), who considered gravity the natural law imposed by the Creator, was the first scientist to discover laws of gravity. But neither he nor any other scientist could discover the fact that the universe was in a gaseous state in the beginning, neither before the revelation of the Quran, nor 1000 years afterwards. The sun that warms us, the blue oceans, the musical notes, the taste of our dishes have their origin in that gaseous state.

11- Indeed this is a reminder,
12- For anyone who desires to bear it in mind.

80-He Frowned, 11-12

Friday, May 14, 2010

WE ARE CREATED OUT OF NOTHING


WE ARE CREATED OUT OF NOTHING

117- Creator of the heavens and the earth from nothingness, He has only to say when He wills a thing, “Be,” and it is.
2-The Cow, 117

The Arabic word “beda’a” means creation of something out of nothing. This word also connotes the fact that something is created not on a pattern previously designed of something but as a completely new entity having no precedence. The greatest marvel of the creation is the creation of all concepts out of nothing. Think of the spectrum of colors. None of us can visualize a color that we have not already seen, nor can we produce that color. We are familiar with colors that already exist, but we cannot possibly create a new color. God, on the other hand, created all colors at a time when the concept of color did not exist, just as the universe did not exist before. To create a concept and its range of contents out of nothing is beyond human imagination and power.


Atheists contend that matter existed from eternity, that it had no beginning and that all formations evolved fortuitously. For example, in his books, famous materialist theoretician George Politzer contends that the universe was not created; had it been so, the universe would have been the work of a God who would have created it at a given moment out of nothing, that in order to be able to accept the theory of creation, one had to posit the existence of a moment when there was no universe, as it was to emerge from the void.

Atheism is the belief that God does not exist and materialism is the belief that only physical things have reality. These two words are often used as synonyms. Atheists who refute God’s existence accept the infinite existence of matter, and are, consequently, materialists. Atheists contend that matter was not created but existed from eternity. The postulate of the eternal existence of God and that matter was created goes back to the monotheistic religions. All the monotheistic religions postulate that God existed from eternity and that matter was created by God. The fact that matter was created also proves the existence of God and that Judaism and Christianity and Islam are religions revealed by God.

It is true that there are still some people today who worship the sun, the moon and fire. They carry on their practices and rituals without any logical, scientific or philosophical justification. It is futile to logically or scientifically refute beliefs that do not value reason, logic and science. Such people need evidence that would break down their prejudices and relieve them of their obsessions. Throughout history there have been three separate viewpoints that allege to be in conformity with reason and science. These viewpoints at least declare that they accept reason, logic and science as criteria. In the present book, I shall try to expound on these ideas and analyze their relevancy.

These three views are:
1) Monotheism: There is but one God, He that created this magnificent physical universe and everything in it, living or inanimate.

2) Atheistic materialism: Matter has been in existence since eternity. Everything is made of matter from a chain of fortuitous events.

3) Agnosticism: We cannot know which of these two viewpoints is correct. Both may be justified in their postulates. Essentially there are two fundamental alternatives. For the third announces that none of these views can be proved rather than propounding a new view. The agnostic point of view contends that we cannot know whether matter and things were created or not. For instance in his Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, David Hume’s (1711-1776) three interlocutors exhibit contrasts, namely “the accurate philosophical turn of Cleanthes” with “the careless skepticism of Philo” and “the rigid inflexible orthodoxy of Demea;” the words of Philo reflect the agnostic attitude. Kant (1724-1804) in The Critique of Pure Reason asserts that we cannot know whether matter was created or not. (Although his ideas were agnostic in character, Kant believed in God.)

THE BIG BANG INVALIDATES BOTH AGNOSTICISM AND ATHEISM

The agnostic’s assertion may be expressed by the sentence, “We cannot know whether there is a God or not, and we cannot know whether the universe has been in existence since eternity or not.” He believes that nothing is or can be known. If the hypothesis “Matter had a beginning” is confirmed, the assertion that “Matter had no beginning” would be refuted and the contention “We cannot know whether it had a beginning or not” will be proved wrong. Thus, demonstration of the fact that matter had a beginning is a blow not only to atheism but also to agnosticism and skepticism. Once the hypothesis of the beginning and creation of matter has been confirmed, the atheists should abandon their disbelief and the agnostics their skepticism. If you remember the words in the sura The Prophets, verse 30, “Will they not believe even then?” this statement in the verse that described the Big Bang is a sign according to which the unbelievers will stick to their own convictions, or lack of conviction. It has become clear that an agnostic is no different than a man who worships the cow and the denial of the atheist is tantamount to the adoration of fire; these people base their philosophies on absolute lack of evidence, sheer delusion, total lack of logic and scientific reasoning.

The claims of rationality and the so-called scientific approach of the atheists and agnostics have been debunked. In the coming pages we shall see that both in the creation of the universe, in things created within the universe and in the creation of living beings, an intelligently designed process is going on, and we shall demonstrate that the objections of agnostics and skeptics to this assertion are merely delusions.

BEFORE THE BIG BANG

It was understood that time existed in relation to the movements of matter. As matter and its movements did not exist prior to the Big Bang, time did not exist before the Big Bang. Matter and time came into being after the Big Bang. Their existence depends on each other. Roger Penrose and Stephen Hawking conclusively proved in mathematical terms that the universe had had a beginning. The Big Bang theory confirmed the hypothetical alternative suggested by atheists that the universe had to have a beginning if it had been created. In brief, the claims of atheists have been proven wrong in scientific terms and in terms of logic and reason; and yet the atheistic attitude is still prevalent today due to reasons like stubbornness, delusion and arbitrariness. If there are two theses that negate each other, the substantiation of either of them disproves the other’s argument. The contention of atheists that matter existed from eternity having thus been falsified, the fact that it was created becomes the incontestable truth, discrediting the conviction of unbelievers. Insistence of denial of this proven fact is a gross mistake and an example of inexcusable dogmatism.

49- To the contrary, these are clear signs in the hearts of those who are granted knowledge. None deny Our messages except the unjust.
29-The Spider, 49

TEACHINGS OF THE BIG BANG

The Big Bang theory confirmed that the universe and time had a beginning and that matter did not exist from eternity but was created. The assertion that the universe existed from eternity was thus debunked. The Big Bang not only demonstrated that the universe was created by the Creator, but at the same time the false beliefs like the distribution of sovereignties among divinities, each having under his command the earth, the sun, the moon and the mountains respectively, were proved wrong. It became clear that whoever He was Who had devised the initial composition of the universe, having recourse to the Big Bang, was the Creator of everything. Thus the universe was under the exclusive control of One Single Power and this power was not shared. The universe evolved from a single point; the Author of that point was also the Originator of men, rivers, stars, butterflies, supernovas, colors, suffering and happiness, music and aesthetics. Since everything came into being emerging from the oneness, He must be the Author of that “oneness.

The Big Bang showed that the matter idolized by atheists, and the matter that makes up the entire universe is but an insignificant speck of dust, so to say. Those who witnessed that from that insignificant speck there have emerged men, beasts, plants, and the universe in its glowing colors understand that the genius was not inherent in the matter itself but in something exterior to it, i.e., in the Creator. Close your eyes and try to imagine the void and open them to behold the trees, the seas, the heavens, your own image reflected in the mirror, the food put at your disposal for your consumption and the works of art. . . . How could all these glorious things have emerged all by themselves from the dark and from one single point in the void? For intelligent minds, the creation unfolds itself not only in artistic aesthetics but also in mathematical terms. The velocity of expansion of the universe is of such a critical point that, according to the expression of a scientist, had the velocity been different at the primeval explosion less than 1/1018, the universe would have collapsed, sinking unto itself and never coming into being as it is. Likewise had the quantity of matter been less than it actually was, the universe would have scattered around, rendering the formation of the celestial bodies impossible. The force applied in the disintegration of the initial composition at the moment of creation is not only incommensurably great, but the design behind it is infinitely ingenious. Thus everything was designed by our Creator to make possible the existence of the universe. All these events are meant to show the blindfolded the infinite power of our Creator and the fact that He designed everything to the most infinitesimal detail perfectly. We are witnessing another fact through these phenomena: impossibility does not exist in the vocabulary of the Creator; it suffices Him to wish that something come about, and there it is.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

DIFFICULTY OF ASCENDING TO THE SKY

DIFFICULTY OF ASCENDING TO THE SKY



125- ...And whomever He wills to send astray, He makes his bosom narrow and strained as if he was ascending into the sky.
6-The Cattle, 125

A person subject to spells of dejection and who feels strained is likened to a person who is ascending to the sky. We know today that during ascension, atmospheric pressure gradually decreases, rising blood pressure causing strain on the functioning of heart and veins topped by lack of oxygen, which in turn influences the lungs, making one feel constricted. If one persists going even higher, there comes a moment when the individual loses his life.

There were no airships or aircraft at the time of the Prophet. Torricelli was the person who in 1643 invented the mercury thermometer with which he demonstrated that the atmosphere exerted a pressure. To speak of a decrease of pressure at the time was out of the question. Nor was there reliable information about circulation of the blood or lungs. One can guess that men climbed heights and had difficulty breathing as they went higher and higher. In the verse, however, ascension is toward the sky. A person experiencing difficulty of respiration on top of the mountain he has climbed may attribute this difficulty not to the lack of sufficient oxygen at the high altitude to which he has climbed. The verse speaks of a process that takes place as one rises to the sky. The question is not of the experience one has on the top of a hill. Ascension to skies has a much wider connotation.

OPTIMUM PRESSURE AND OXYGEN FOR PERPETUATION OF LIFE

The oxygen and pressure ratio being ideal, a man’s bodily functions run across no difficulty from sea level up to a height of 3000 meters. At altitudes ranging from 3000 to 5000 meters, elevated blood pressure and difficulty breathing are experienced. At an altitude of 7500 meters, the tissues are badly in need of oxygen. Above this height, a person experiences a blackout; the blood circulation, the respiration and the nervous system begin to falter. Changes in atmospheric pressure affect the circulation, increasing the pressure of the blood running through the veins and arteries. The balance of gases in the vacuums of the body and the distribution of gases in the blood and tissues (in particular of the nitrogen) is upset. The mechanical effect of a sudden rise and fall in blood pressure results in the rupture of blood vessels. Effects of the changes in gas volumes may be grouped as follows: eardrum ruptures, inflammation of the middle ear, sinusitis due to change in the volume of air in the sinuses, toothaches (dental carries), difficulty passing gas, and colic...

Thanks to the ideal proportion of oxygen, we can comfortably breathe and our circulation functions properly. Prof. Michael Denton says that if the density of the air had been a little higher, the air resistance would reach great proportions and it would be impossible to design a respiratory system to supply enough oxygen for a breathing organism. Between the possible atmospheric pressures and the possible oxygen proportions, looking for an optimum digital value for life, the bracket we come across is a highly limited one. The fulfillment of so many requirements for survival within this narrow bracket certainly points to perfect design.

The perfection of God’s creation becomes once more manifest in the course of our study of the atmospheric pressure, in harmony with the oxygen content of the air, suiting our biological makeup.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

WE LIVE IN AN EXPANDING UNIVERSE

WE LIVE IN AN EXPANDING UNIVERSE


47- With power did We construct heaven. Verily, We are expanding it.
51-The Dispersing, 47

Is the universe infinite? Or is it finite in a steady state? From the very beginning this has been a subject of debate between great minds. Hot debates and ratiocination of all kinds failed to clarify this dilemma. This had once been the subject of philosophical speculations before it yielded its place to the science of physics. Some of the great minds argued that the universe was not a confined space, while others contended that its boundaries were drawn. The Quran describes it as a continuously expanding and dynamic universe. According to this description, the universe has a new aspect every instant that deviates from the concept of an infinite space; its perpetual expansion defies the concept of a confined and steady state universe. Thus, the Quran propounds a third alternative, leaving the heated controversy of thinkers in abeyance.

This may contribute to the formulation of a judgment for the inquiring minds, probing whether the Quran is God’s revelation or not. We have, on the one hand, Muhammad in the desert, neither a philosopher nor a physicist, and, on the other hand, the assumptions of great thinkers and philosophers such as Aristotle, Ptolemy,Giordano Bruno, Galileo Galilei and Isaac Newton, to name but a few. The greatest minds in history, basing their arguments on observations and formulas they had ingeniously devised, claimed either that the universe had its confines or that it was an endless space, but it occurred to none of them to think of a dynamic expanding universe, until the 20th century when Edwin Hubble, by means of a telescope, demonstrated that the universe was expanding. The theory of expansion of the universe was first advanced in the 1920s. Until the descent of the Quran no other source had made such an assertion!

MUHAMMAD’S TELESCOPE

Unbelievers contended that the Quran was Muhammad’s own fabrication and not the revelation of God. How then would these dissenters explain the fact that Muhammad had been the only person who was aware of the expanding universe long before the 1920s.

Could it be that in the 600s he had invented a telescope similar to the one contrived in the 1900s? Could it be that he had been familiar with the handling of such a telescope and acquainted with the motion of stars and that he had concealed it from his fellow men? If those who accused the Prophet of lunacy and alleged that in his delusional states he imagined himself the messenger of God were justified in their claims, how would they account for the fact that he knew facts not known to his contemporaries, facts that were to be discovered 1300 years after his revelation of them? If those people assert that the Prophet had devised a religion to serve his own ends, how can they explain that his so-called delusions materialized after a lapse of 1300 years? His pronouncements at the time did not promote his interests in any way; quite the reverse was the case, since he unwittingly gave his enemies a hint they might take advantage of. Can a person whose own interests prevail over the interests of others declare something not to his own advantage that was sure to be bitterly censured and much derided by those whose naked eyes failed to observe the expansion of the universe? If, despite this, a person came up with the contention that Muhammad was an intelligent man who might have perceived this truth, what sort of an intelligence might this have been?

And, instead of boasting of having been the depository of such knowledge, why would he have preferred to tell an untruth and claim that this was not his own discovery but the revelation by God? While the inventor or discoverer of a pin is inclined to brag about his breakthrough, why on earth would Muhammad choose to be modest and categorically declare that the Quran was not his own production, but the revelation of God? Was this due to humility? Would these people - who had denied his prophethood and accused him of having been an impostor - have dared qualify him with the laudable attribute of “humility?”

DISCOVERY OF THE EXPANDING UNIVERSE

There was a gap in Newton’s physics. Newton believed in an endlessly vast and static universe. His law of gravity encountered a problem. How was it that the physical bodies, in the course of eons, defied their mutual attractions and did not collapse into a unity? The formula that Einstein devised abandoned the absolute notions of space and time as reference points for all objects in the universe. Basing his studies on Einstein’s formulas, Alexander Friedmann, a Russian physicist, discovered that the universe must be expanding. Georges Lemaître, a Belgian cleric, astronomer and cosmologist, formulated that the universe had begun in a cataclysmic explosion of a small, primeval superatom, like the growing of an oak tree from an acorn. This theory explained the recession of galaxies within the framework of Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity. This idea was so incredible that even Einstein had problems accepting it, despite the fact that this all had originated from his own formulas. Einstein, rather, countered that physics was not the forte of Lemaître, and the universe was an infinite expanse and in a steady state.

Lemaître’s theory posited that the universe was expanding. This was a statement that no philosopher and no scientist had ever before set forth. Kant had said in his Critique of Pure Reason that this was an enigma unsolvable by human intelligence. This theory fit everything and explained the reason why the universe did not collapse in spite of gravity. The key had fit into the lock. It was the correct explanation of the enigma. However, this statement met with the usual adverse reaction: “No, it is not the truth...”

Remaining outside the sphere of theoretical controversy, American astronomer Hubble was, about the same time, making observations with his sophisticated telescope in the Mount Wilson observatory. He observed that galaxies were receding from each other, which proved that the universe was expanding. In answer to those who said they could not believe in things their eyes had not witnessed, Hubble’s discovery led to the following declaration: “Now that you see it, you have got to believe it.” Hubble showed this by the Doppler Effect. Thus the wavelengths of receding bodies prolonged in the spectrum of light waves would shift to red, while, if the bodies approached each other, the wavelengths would shorten, shifting to blue. The light that came from galaxies that shifted to red showed that the galaxies were receding. In line with this observation, Hubble discovered a striking law: the speed of galaxies that receded was directly proportional to the distance between galaxies. The farther away a galaxy stood, the more its speed of recession accelerated. The result was tested again and again. In 1950, a high-magnification telescope was installed on Mount Palomar in the USA, the largest instrument of its kind. The new tests and controls justified this observation. The measurements made pointed to the fact that the creation of the universe occurred about 10-15 billion years ago.

Both Einstein and Lemaître took an interest in Hubble’s work; Einstein, who did not agree with Lemaître at first, eventually acknowledged during a conference that Lemaître was right after all. He confessed that his failure to endorse these findings had been the gravest error in his life. Thus it was that the fact that the universe was of a dynamic nature and expanding, confirmed by observations, was also validated by the great physicist Einstein.

In the examples presented by Hubble and Lemaître, we see illustrated how a physicist arrives at a conclusion both in theory and through observation. While Lemaître demonstrated how he had made inferences from Einstein’s formulas to substantiate his theoretical discoveries, Hubble presented the data of his observations and his conclusions.

As we see, the result obtained by physicists is the consequence of cumulative and collective bits of knowledge and research. The Creator of physical laws provides the answer in the Quran to the issues of towering importance throughout human history. The Quran’s presentation of scientific facts is clear, direct, and concise; it is different than the presentation of scientists, which tends to be complicated by scientific methods and procedures. The provider of this answer does not have to go through all the labyrinths a scientist has to. The Quran’s method is perfectly straightforward, unswerving and explicit.

If we had the possibility of looking at the universe from above and somebody asked us to describe what we saw, our answer would be that it was expanding. To achieve the Quran’s revelation of this fact 1400 years ago, man would have needed access to the assistance of accumulated scientific data acquired throughout long years and to sophisticated telescopes. When people claim that science and religion oppose each other, the Quran furnishes answers to the most complicated scientific problems. Observations made by sophisticated telescopes today confirm the statements of the Quran.

The Quran, perfectly aware of the human psyche with its prescience, states that nonbelievers will insist on their convictions regardless how many miracles are presented to them. Some ask: “Why did the people also not believe in Jesus, who had performed miracles and healed the sick and the blind?” This example demonstrates why the majority of people did not believe in Christ and the other prophets, despite their miracles. Miracles change in fact as time goes by, but the negative attitude of most humans remains unchanged.

REASON FOR THE USE OF THE ROYAL PLURAL

I think it advisable to explain the reason for the use of “We” in the verse analyzed in this chapter. God uses both the royal plural “We” and the first person singular “I.” Some languages use the first person plural “we” to express grandeur and exalted rank.

In the hundreds of references addressing God in the second person, the pronoun used is “Thou” and never the plural “You” or “Ye.” The thousands of references made to Him as a third person always use the pronoun “He” and never “They.” References in the Quran to God always use either the second or the third person, and none of them as a second or third person plural. Thousands of times in the Quran, God is referred to as “Allah,” “Gracious (Rahman),” Merciful (Raheem),” and “Lord (Rab)” and all of these words are in the singular, never the plural.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

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