Evolution, Atheism and Islam
2 Jul 2011
Evolution, Miracles / Ijaz
Yusuf Estes in an undated lecture entitled “No Brainer: Scientific Proofs for the Scientists” from Peace TV. He defines science as “proving things with testable evidence” (2:29), and then works through a variety of iʿjāz / miracles suggesting that they provide evidence for proving Islam and the Qurʾān.
The folksy representation of science presents misunderstandings. For instance, evolution is presented as “it’s at one stage and then it evolves to another stage” (7:21), and “according to your testable evidence, you have no brain” (48:10).
Topics addressed include: evolution, cosmology, physics, mountains as pegs for the earth, embryology, neurology, mixing of fresh and salt water.
There is nothing here that controverts the bounds of what Muslims have historically understood as acceptable, although the presentation, probably in South Asia, assumes a certain negative attitude about Islam and Muslims that is meant to be funny, but in some ways merely reinforces the stereotypes.
The science presented is apparently poorly understood by the speaker and does not correspond to what contemporary scientists (evolutionary biologists, neurologists, geologists, etc) would consider accurate in their fields.
There is insufficient historical material on which to base an evaluation.
About Yusuf Estes
Yusuf Estes, born Joseph Edward Estes in 1944, is a Muslim convert who became a popular Islamic speaker. Born into a fiercely Protestant Christian and musical family, Estes became a part of the Disciples of Christ Church in 1956 and worked as a musical minister and owner of several music stores from the 1970s through the early 1990s. He also delved into local politics with his father in Texas. In 1991, a few months after meeting an Egyptian Muslim and watching a family friend who was a Catholic priest at the time convert to Islam, Estes himself converted to Islam.
Estes is now known for traveling the world and giving lectures on topics relating to Islam. According to his autobiography, he served as a chaplain for prison inmates and as the Muslim delegate to the United Nations World Peace Summit for Religious Leaders in August 2000. Estes claims to have received higher education in Islamic theology, a Ph.D. specifically, and to have studied under various Islamic teachers, yet it is unclear where he received this degree, and no information about his education has been corroborated. Estes frequently appears on Peace TV, Guide Us, and various other Islamic TV channels.
“Biography of Yusuf Estes.” Yusuf Estes And the Quran. WordPress, 25 Aug. 2012. Accessed 18 June 2015.
Estes, Yusuf. Facebook. Facebook, n.d.
Estes, Yusuf. “Yusuf Estes Biography.” Yusuf Estes Blogspot. Blogspot, n.d. Accessed 18 June 2015.
Estes, Yusuf. Yusuf Estes. N.p., n.d. Accessed 18 June 2015.