By Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam
28 August 2019
of the species homo first appeared about 2.5 million years ago. Except for the
estimated last seventy thousand years, they did not stand out from other
animals such as monkeys, cats or cows. This period before history or before
there could be a meaningful history, is mentioned in verse (76:1) of the Quran as:” Has
there not been over Man a long period of Time, when he was nothing - (not even)
mentioned? “. This long period of undistinguished existence is a story
unlike that of every other living organism.
behaviour of animals is determined to a large extent by their genes and to a
very small extent by conditioning and idiosyncrasies. Different social
behaviours found among different species and sub-species is genetically
determined. For example, chimpanzees live in hierarchical groups headed by an
alpha male. Bonobos live in more egalitarian groups dominated by female
alliances. The two closely related sub-species are incapable of learning from
the behaviour of the other or by social conditioning. Changes in behaviour that
would make a chimpanzee behave like a bonobo or vice versa can occur only if
their DNA changed. For similar reasons, pre-historic humans did not change
during the very long pre-historic period. Two million years ago, genetic
mutations resulted in the appearance of a new human species called Homo
erectus. This species distinguished itself by developing and using tools made
out of stone. Homo erectus did not undergo further genetic alterations for 2 million
years because of which its stone tools remained the same. Significant changes
in social behaviour among all other species except modern humans are possible
only with genetic mutations.
Noah Harari calls “the Cognitive Revolution “occurred 70,000 years ago with the
creation of Adam. This creation is so different from any other species that it
can be considered a new species. The progeny of Adam have been able to change
their behaviour quickly, transmitting new behaviours to future generations without
any need of genetic or environmental change. While the behaviour patterns of
pre-historic humans remained fixed for millions of years, the progeny of Adam
could transform their social, political and economic structures several times
within one’s lifetime. Yuval Noah Harari, in his book “Sapiens” gives the
following example: “Consider a resident of Berlin, born in 1900 and living to
the ripe age of one hundred. She spent her childhood in the Hohenzollern Empire
of Wilhelm II; her adult years in the Weimar Republic, the Nazi Third Reich and
Communist East Germany; and she died a citizen of a democratic and reunified
Germany. She had managed to be a part of very different socio-political
systems, though her DNA remained exactly the same.” This is how different the
progeny of Adam is from every other creation.
the social behaviour of animals is instinctive or built into their DNA, in the
case of the progeny of Adam, it is learned. Humans have enormous capacity to
transform through learning and unlike every other creation; they are not
complete slave even to their instincts. Allah’s revelations through the ages
have played an exclusive role in the learning to control instincts to behave as
“moral agents”. Humans are the only species with the cognitive ability to
choose what they believe to be right over what gives them pleasure or what
avoids pain. The transformation from the creation of Adam to reaching a level
of maturity when compulsion was no longer necessary to make man behave as a
moral agent, took roughly 70,000 years and culminated with the revelation of
the Quran to Muhammad (pbuh) the last and the seal of the prophets. The Quran
contains the “perfected and complete religion”(5:3). There are parts that are
confirmation of what came before and indeed the Quran can be looked upon as a
collection of the best practices of all its prophets and People of Virtue.
“….and guide you to
the [good] practices (Sunana) of those before you” 4:26.
Nothing is said to
you that was not said to the apostles before you 41:43.
“This Qur´an is not
such as can be produced by other than Allah; on the contrary it is a
confirmation of (revelations) that went before it, and a fuller explanation of
the Book - wherein there is no doubt - from the Lord of the worlds.” (10:37)
the Quran contains the perfected and the complete religion as per verse 5:3,
then what is found in the previous scriptures but not in the Quran is
None of Our
revelations do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, but We substitute
something better or similar: Knowest thou not that Allah Hath power over all
created Adam, distinct from every other creation, with astounding cognitive
abilities, and guided this creation through revelations, from an existence not
very different from that of animals, to a stage when the final,perfect, and
complete religion could be revealed in accordance with the full human potential
determined by the genetic make-up of this species, which has not changed since
the creation of Adam and will not change till doomsday. This is why the Quran
is eternal and unchanging and will remain so till the end of time.
is an Engineering graduate from IIT Kanpur and is an independent IT consultant
after having served in both the Public and Private sector in responsible
positions for over three decades. He is a frequent contributor to
New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in
Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In
Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women
in West, Islam Women and Feminism
GM sb is reduced to blubbering
nonsense. He contradicts himself in his comment. On the one hand he berates me
for saying that the Quran speaks of the existence of human beings for an unspecified but very long period of time before the
creation of Adam and Eve. He
also indulges in the straw man argument as if I have also said the very opposite - that Adam and
Eve were the very first human beings!
He has lost the argument and is now trying confuse everyone as he always does. A man without honour and without integrity. Shameless as he is, he will continue to argue and waste everyone's time.
This is my last comment.
So far, it is GM sb who has made a fool of himself with his stray man
arguments. He neither understands "The Theory of Evolution", its
strengths and weaknesses nor the Scriptures. He does not know the difference
between the Biblical version of the story and the Quranic. He uses weak
arguments of others that have been answered (for example the weak version of
creation from the Bible), while ignoring what I have said. Examine closely and
you will find that he has not answered even one of my questions although
pretending to do so, because he cannot, while I have addressed all his
questions and comments comprehensively.
Let us discuss
below why the mere existence of “Mitochondrial Eve” and the “Y-Chromosome Adam”
supports the story of creation in the Quran. If one insists on only sticking
with the Theory of Evolution, then it supports evolution of a new species in
quantum leaps that begins with one pair and propagates downwards.
the “Mitochondrial Eve” move forward in time?
Let us call the woman who occupies the
position of the present day “Mitochondrial Eve" Martha, and the "Y-chromosomal Adam”,
Jonas. Let us also assume that Martha had only one daughter who in turn had
only one daughter and who in turn had two daughters. Then all of the 7 billion
people today, trace their ancestry to one of these two great, great,
granddaughters of Martha. Now if one of these two great great granddaughters is
to become the “Mitochondrial Eve", then the lineage of the second great
great granddaughter must become extinct. What chance that a lineage that is
nearly as old as the age of the "Mitochondrial Eve" estimated to be
between 50 thousand to 500,00 years old becomes extinct? Although
theoretically, this is possible, it is extremely improbable. Lineages that run
deep also spread wide and have the least probability of going extinct. There is
therefore little chance based on probability that the position of the "Mitochondrial
Eve" and "Y-chromosomal Adam" will move forward.
Why is it more
likely that the Mitochondrial Eve and the Y-Chromosome Adam were a new species?
the nuclear DNA indicate that the size of the ancient human population never
dropped below tens of thousands. Martha
and Jonas therefore had at least 10,000 brothers and 10,000 sisters. Then what
explains that the lineage represented by the approximately 10,000 or more sisters/female
cousins of Martha, have gone extinct but
the lineage of Martha has grown to 7 billion? The only explanation is that
Martha enjoyed some great genetic superiority not shared by her remaining
sisters/cousins, or to speak plainly, the fact that Martha, the "Mitochondrial
Eve" was a different species. The more probable explanation is that every
other lineage (species) has become extinct because this lineage (superior
species) of Martha and Jonas, wiped out every other lineage (species) just like
they wiped out many of their own species also. This is true even if inter
breeding produced fertile children. In such a case, it means that only children
from the lineage of both Martha and Jonas had superior survival skills and not
other lineages including the mixed ones.
Why the Mitochondrial
Eve and the Y-Chromosome Adam can move forward in time only with the creation
of a new species starting with a single pair and propagating downward and not
through gradual and widespread evolution.
imagine that today, one couple produce a male and a female that is genetically
superior to all other humans and a new species. This new species cannot produce
offspring with other humans except between themselves although they are alike
physically and in many other ways. The siblings who we call Beth and John mate
and multiply and their progeny co-exist with other humans for say 30,000 years,
after which their population grows large enough to control the entire
population of humans. At this point, they carry out a systematic genocide over
the next 10,000 years to completely wipe out every lineage except their own.
Beth and John now become the "Mitochondrial Eve" and "Y-chromosomal Adam" of the entire
population displacing the earlier one over a short period of 10,000 years of
we assume a slow, uniform and spread out process of evolution, then every
lineage of Martha and Jonas evolve simultaneously and therefore Martha and
Jonas remain the "Mitochondrial Eve"
and "Y-chromosomal Adam" of every human being even after this
new phase of evolution that makes every human being much superior to any man
that exists today.
the Theory of Evolution
fact that the "Mitochondrial Eve" and the "Y-chromosomal
Adam" do not go as far back as the first appearance of the species of the
genus Homo or even to the first appearance of Homo Sapiens, is therefore proof
of their being a new species and the story of slow, gradual, spread out
evolution over thousands of years, simply hogwash. This is also the reason why apes
still exist even if the first man and woman evolved from them. However, what is
not explained is why did the apes escape the fate of other less evolved human
beings and not get wiped out by the more evolved human beings? Our genetic
memory also does not make us either more hostile or more compassionate towards
the apes in comparison with other animals which also belie the theory of
evolution from the ape. The very clear and categorical verses of the Quran which
say that some rebellious people were transformed into apes and swine make more
sense. The fact that apes and swine genetically resemble us the most may therefore
not be either mere coincidence or because we evolved from either of these
Mutations within a species go on continuously
without producing a new species. A new species is a quantum leap in genetic
mutation which starts with just one couple. It does not matter whether you say
this is as a result of the evolutionary process or creation by God. Even if the
story of creation in the Quran is allegorical, it points to creation of a new
species in quantum leaps and not as a result of continuous mutation, while
continuous mutation to adapt with our changing environment and for survival is
a fact. The very idea of just one pair starting a new species is anathema to
the theory of evolution as it fails to explain why the remaining stock from
which this pair evolved failed to evolve likewise or why there are apes even
today while some evolved into human beings.
Much to learn
from both Science and the Scriptures
many things to learn from the Theory of Evolution and from Noah Harari without
subscribing to their blind spots as well. These blind spots exist only because
they are ideologically and dogmatically opposed to the idea of creation and the
Creator. For a person who is open to all knowledge from Science as well as the
Scriptures, it is easy to reconcile the two. The Quran does command that we use
Science to discover the truth of what the Quran says and I am doing exactly
that. All the Prophets without exception were also ridiculed for what they said
based on the revelations. GM sb is just another shallow disbeliever in the
There is more than one verse that implies
existence of other humans. The Quranic verses regarding creation are discussed in my article:
Was Allah Unjust in Creating Adam and Favouring His Progeny
Over All His Creation?
says Quranic Adam existed 6000 years back. From where did he get this number
6000? The Quran scrupulously avoids mentioning any number - not even the number
of people in the "People of the Cave" apart from pointing out the numbers
that people speculate on.
(Some) say they were three, the dog being the fourth among them; (others) say
they were five, the dog being the sixth,- doubtfully guessing at the unknown;
(yet others) say they were seven, the dog being the eighth. Say thou: "My
Lord knoweth best their number; It is but few that know their (real
case)." Enter not, therefore, into controversies concerning them, except
on a matter that is clear, nor consult any of them about (the affair of) the
the Quran not give the precise number? Because the precise number is irrelevant
to the moral of the story and in any case, people will not cease to argue and
differ even if the Quran were to give the correct number.
estimate of the age of the “Mitochondrial Eve” and the “Y-chromosome” Adam also
differs widely from researcher to researcher and keeps getting revised based on
further research. This will go on and on and therefore there will be many more revisions
and never perhaps agreement on the final number.
leaves to man what he can discover by himself and the subjects on which he is likely
to speculate. This also includes the period it took for the Universe to come
about. Although the Quran says 2 days to create the Universe and 4 days to make
the earth habitable and support life, it also makes clear that this day is not
our 24 hour day. There are three verses that hint at different numbers to what
a cosmic day is like. In one context a day is like a thousand years and in
another context it is 50,000 years. In the context of creation it could be a
different number. So, 6 days means 6 phases of indeterminate number of years.
GM sb is mixing up stories from the
Bible and the Quran. As far as the Bible is concerned, Adam and Eve were the
first humans. As far as the Theory of Evolution and the Quran are concerned,
Adam and Eve were not the first humans. As far as the Quran is concerned,
before the creation of Adam, humans have lived for a very long time, and their
existence is not even worthy of mention. God then created Adam and Eve with Cognitive
powers not given to any other creation. Adam and Eve are the common great grandparents
of all the human beings living in the 7th Century, when the Quran
was revealed. The Quran is proved right by Science in this respect. Al human
beings at the time of revelation, had common grandparents.
The Concept of "Mitochondrial
Eve" and "Y-chromosomal Adam" (or Y-MRCA) are very well
understood. Biology relates them to the first humans that appeared 5-7 million
years ago, and to the Homo Sapiens that appeared 315000 years ago. As far as
biology is concerned, only their lineages survive to day and every other
lineage has become extinct. Theoretically, if the "Mitochondrial Eve"
and "Y-chromosomal Adam were not a new species, and could breed with other
humans, then it is not necessary for them to have ever met. Biology however
does not rule out that they could have been contemporaries and mated with each
other and produced progeny.
The estimate of the age of the "Mitochondrial Eve"
ranges from 50,000 to 500,000 years ago and that of the "Y-chromosomal
Adam" also falls in this range. Biology is not yet able to place the
numbers more accurately, but that is not necessary for my argument. Now if
humans appeared 5 to seven million years ago, and the anatomically modern
humans (Homo sapiens) over 315000 years ago, there must have been at least ten
thousand sisters of the "Mitochondrial Eve" and 10,000 brothers of
the "Y-chromosomal Adam". What
is the probability, that only one man's and one woman’s progeny have survived
today? Does biology favour survival of the progeny through such interbreeding
or does it favour the theory that the age of the "Mitochondrial Eve"
and the "Y-chromosomal Adam" should be as old as the age of the
species? Certainly, biology favours the theory that the age of the "Mitochondrial
Eve" and the age of the "Y-chromosomal
Adam" should be as old as the age of the species. The "Mitochondrial
Eve" and "Y-chromosomal Adam" are then a new
species and not the same as what appeared 5-7 million years ago or even 315000 years
ago, although anatomically the same as Homo Sapiens.
It is GM sb who understands neither Science
nor the Scriptures but blindly believes in Science and blindly rejects the
Although he is fond of quoting the exhortation of the Quran to pursue the Sciences when it suits him, he recoils as any atheist would, at the very thought that the Quran speaks facts that can be scientifically established.