Embryology vs Koran
30 May 2018
Embryology, Miracles / I'jaz
This video blog by Stop Spamming addresses a video by a relatively new group, There Is No Clash, which discusses embryology in the Qurʾān. (See also our evaluation of the same video.)
Stop Spamming uses this video as a platform to comment on his perception of Islam as well as to place this video in a context by contrasting it with iERA discussions of embryology and their debunking. He correctly places it in the context of “Bucailleism”, iʿjāz ʿilmi, sometimes referred to as “scientific miracles of the Qurʾān”, although this construction has a much longer history than its connection to Maurice Bucaille (1920-1998).
Only the final third of the 25-minute video actually discusses this particular video by No Clash. The first third discusses There Is No Clash and their videos generally, praising production values while pointing out problems and misspellings. He also points out in this section that other videos use inaccurate information about “the universe steadily expanding”.
The second third of Stop Spamming’s vlog discusses the topic of embryology and how it has been read out of the Qurʾān, frequently referring to Keith Moore’s The Developing Human, 8th ed. (2008), although without any page citations. In this section he provides a basic definition of embryology.
In the final third, Stop Spamming mocks comments on the videos as well as the iERA-linked videos that warn about No Clash and iʿjāz generally. He also points out some of the wilder re-interpretations of the Qurʾān through which “sentences from the Qurʾān are re-interpreted and re-translated until they appear to use a word that they can use, which resembles a word used in a textbook.”
He closes the video by mocking Islam and Muslims.
Islam: Stop Spamming makes a number of claims about Muslims and “Islam” that are unverifiable, such as the total number of Muslims. He is quite sarcastic about Islam as a religion, and often essentializes both the religion and its followers. With that said, however, his representation of There Is No Clash as creating meaning by matching up words in the Qurʾānic text and scientific material is accurate. No Clash’s Qurʾānic translations and “analogies” are not those accepted by Qurʾānic scholars, historical or contemporary.
Science: Although the speaker relies on somewhat dated sources, the science he presents is accurate. One might note that he did not directly address the science as presented in the original video.
History: The only historical material here is the oblique reference to Maurice Bucaille as somehow starting the construction of iʿjāz ʿilmi, which is incorrect. Although Bucaille greatly popularized it in the final third of the 20th century, other interpreters had been using it before.