Evolution: Importance and Religious Integration
1 May 2015
Salman Hameed defines and discusses the relationships between Muslims and biological evolution through natural selection. He suggests that Muslims can find inner peace from their understanding of this unity of life through biological evolution.
Hameed quotes Carl Sagan that we are all made up of “star stuff”, and briefly presents how those atoms get from stars to us. As gravity builds stars and planets, evolution is the process through which life diversifies. He then makes the analogy that our connection to the stars is not different from our connection to other forms of life on Earth.
Hameed notes that biological evolution is a fact of science. He suggests that Muslims who choose to reject it are going to lag behind scientifically in the 21st century, which he suggests will be the century of biology, as the 20th century was the century of physics.
Hameed concludes by stating that “there is something wonderful about … those atoms that are coming from stars gave shape to different types of life here on Earth.”
The video is part of a media documentary series by the Rationalist Society of Pakistan. This video was directed by Akif Khan, and the media coordinator was Anila Athar.
Islam: The material on Islam is within the bounds of what Muslims have historically understood as acceptable.
Science: The scientific discussion here is accepted by contemporary scientists.
History: There is insufficient historical material on which to base an evaluation.
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.
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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.