Darwinism in the Islamic world in the context of the comparative reception of Darwinism


13 Nov 2009


Thomas Glick

Salman Hameed

Thomas Glick, a professor of history and geography at Boston University (Boston, Massachusetts USA) presents a short history of the reception of Darwinism in the Muslim world based on textual sources.  He notes that modernization and/or modernism is always a subtext in places where anti-evolution rhetoric is being used.  He compares it to the ways Darwinism was received in Latin America’s many political and social contexts.

This lecture was the opening lecture of a conference held at Hampshire College (Amherst, Massachusetts USA) on 2-3 October 2009 entitled “Darwin and Evolution in the Muslim World”.  For a program of the conference, click here.

The speaker is introduced (approximately the first 30 seconds) by Salman Hameed.


The limited material on Islam is within the bounds of what Muslims have historically understood as acceptable.

The limited science presented is accepted by a majority of contemporary scholars.

The historical presentation reflects contemporary understanding of the people and events involved.

About Salman Hameed

Salman Hameed trained as an astronomer and teaches about the intersections between religion and science. He received his undergraduate degree in physics and astronomy from State University of New York, Stony Brook (1994) and a Ph.D. in Astronomy from New Mexico State University (2001). Hameed went on to become a fellow in the astronomy department at Smith College and University of Massachusetts Amherst before he settled at Hampshire College in 2005. As of 2015, Hameed is an Associate Professor of Integrated Science and Humanities and an endowed chair, in addition to being the Director of the Center for the Study of Science in Muslim Societies at Hampshire.

Hameed’s publications include articles in The Guardian newspaper, the Zygon Journal of Religion and Science, and Religion Dispatches. He also frequently writes on subjects concerning science and religion in his blog, Irtiqa (the Urdu word for evolution). A collection of some of Hameed’s work, including videos, may be found as part of his biography on the Eqbal Ahmed website. His academic profile can also be found through the Hampshire College website. Hameed is also active on Twitter and other social media as of 2015 and has a personal website.

Selected Bibliography:

About Salman Hameed.” Eqbal Ahmad Centre for Public Education. EACPE, n.d. Accessed 13 June 2015.

Dr. Salman Hameed.” American Islamic Congress. American Islamic Congress, n.d. Accessed 13 June 2015.

Hameed, Salman. Irtiqa. N.p., n.d. Accessed 13 June 2015.

Hameed, Salman. “Salman Hameed Profile.” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, n.d. Accessed 13 June 2015.

Hameed, Salman. Twitter. Twitter, n.d.

Salman Hameed.” Hampshire College. Hampshire College, n.d. Accessed 13 June 2015.