Miracle of the Qur’an accepted by non-Muslim Scientists


6 Feb 2011

Miracles / I'jaz , Cosmology

Keith L. Moore

E. Marshall Johnson

This presentation suggests that there are scientific miracles that demonstrate the divine source of the Qurʾān (iʿjāz).

This video is drawn from “Miracles of the Qur’an”, which was created by Harun Yahya, but this video includes a label for “IslamAlive”. In includes clips from Keith L. Moore, E. Marshall Johnson, and T.V.N. Persuad on embryology, Allison (Peter) Palmer on geology (mountains).

Other topics addressed include the expansion of the universe and the Big Bang, plate techtonics, and the source of iron.

Date of creation of the video is not known.  The original material seems to have been shot in Saudi Arabia in the 1980s.  For a critique of these video clips, see The Rationalizer’s interview of one of the people often included, William Hay, here.


Although most of the basic ideas here are within the range found among Muslims historically, the Qurʾānic interpretations presented will not be accepted by all Muslims or Qurʾānic scholars.

Most of the discussions of science are distorted in order to conform with what are sometimes also distorted interpretations of the Quran.  The scholars commenting at the beginning of the video have suggested that these clips take their statements out of context.  See this video in the Portal that includes an interview with one of these scholars.  The discussion of embryology should be contrasted with P.Z. Myer’s refutation, on the Portal here.

The historical presentation here suggests that Arabs in the 7th century were “devoid” of science.  This is inaccurate.

About Keith L. Moore

Keith L. Moore is a professor specializing in embryology who was born in Ontario, Canada in October of 1925. He earned a bachelor’s degree (1949), Masters of Science (1951), and a Ph.D. in microanatomy (1954) all from the University of Western Ontario. Moore has held several teaching positions in universities across Canada, though has been at the University of Toronto since 1976 where he was a Professor of Anatomy, Chair of the Anatomy Department and Associate Dean for Basic Medical Sciences. Moore is now recognized as a professor emeritus at the University of Toronto.

Moore’s work revolves around embryology and writing science textbooks that are accessible to students. He has a long list of publications (his most recent publication is from 1994). He received an award from the American Medical Writers Association in 1974 for excellence in medical publications. At the intersections of Islam and science, Moore is known for having worked with King Abdulaziz University in Saudi Arabia on embryology in the Qurʾān.  This work included a special 1983 edition of his textbook co-written with Sheikh Abdul Majeed Zindani, alternating the standard material with discussions from the Qurʾān.

As of 2015, Moore operates no social media pages or personal websites, but still seems to be somewhat active in the academic field as he won the R. Benton Adkins, Jr. Distinguished Service Award in 2012.

Selected Bibliography:

American Association of Clinical Anatomists (AACA) – Keith L. Moore, Ph.D.” American Association of Clinical Anatomists. American Association of Clinical Anatomists, n.d. Accessed 03 June 2015.

“Keith L(eon) Moore.” Contemporary Authors Online. Detroit: Gale, 2001. Biography in Context. Accessed 3 June 2015.

“Keith Leon Moore.” American Men & Women of ScienceA Biographical Directory of Today’s Leaders in Physical, Biological, and Related Sciences. Detroit: Gale, 2008. Biography in Context. Accessed 3 June 2015.

Science Islam – Scientists Comment on the Quran.” Science Islam – Scientists Comment on the Quran. Islam Tomorrow, n.d. Accessed 03 June 2015.

Golden, Daniel.  Western Scholars Play Key Role in Touting ‘Science’ of the Quran.” Wall Street Journal, 23 Jan 2002.  Accessed 08 June 2015.

About E. Marshall Johnson

Born in 1930, after receiving his PhD from UC Berkeley in 1959, Dr. E. (Elmer) Marshall Johnson spent the majority of his academic career at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Named a Professor Emeritus of the Anatomy and Developmental Biology department at the university in 2003, Johnson had risen to the Chairman of the Department of Anatomy in 1972. In addition, he also acted as director of the Daniel Baugh Institute for Functional Genomics and Computational Biology and President of the Teratology Society. In 1985, he was appointed an honorary medical alumnus of the university.

Johnson is most well known among those studying science and Islam for his comments regarding embryology in the Qurʾān, which he made in 1982 at the 7th Annual Saudi Medical Meeting in Dammam, Saudi Arabia. While presenting a research paper, Johnson allegedly commented that he could not find any evidence to refute what was said in the Qurʾān about embryology and the time the Qurʾān was written, it would have been impossible to possess that knowledge, which lead him to state that divine intervention was involved in the Qurʾān. It is important to note, however, that this small section of his paper and his comments might have been taken out of context, and are now often used as ‘cherry-picked’ evidence by Muslim apologists.

E. Marshall Johnson does not appear to have any active social media pages.

Selected Bibliography:

Daniel Baugh Institute for Functional Genomics/Computational Biology.” Daniel Baugh Institute. Thomas Jefferson University, n.d. Accessed 21 May 2015.

E. Marshall Johnson.American Men & Women of Science: A Biographical Directory of Today’s Leaders in Physical, Biological, and Related Sciences. Detroit: Gale, 2008. Biography in Context. 26 May 2015.

Part II: Basic Sciences — Chapter 3: Department of Anatomy (pages 105-130)” (1989). Thomas Jefferson University – tradition and heritage, edited by Frederick B. Wagner, Jr., MD, 1989. Paper 4, pp. 128-130.  Accessed 26 May 2015.

Part II: Honorary Medical College Alumni (pages 789-792)”.  Thomas Jefferson University – A chronological history and alumni directory, 1824 – 1990, edited by Frederick B. Wagner, Jr., MD, and J. Woodrow Savacool, MD, 1992. Paper 34, p. 792.  Accessed 21 May 2015.

Prof E. Marshall Johnson.” Ideal Muslimah, n.d. Accessed 21 May 2015.

Science Islam – Scientists Comment on the Quran.” Science Islam – Scientists Comment on the Quran. Islam Tomorrow, n.d. Accessed 21 May 2015.