Thoughts on the ‘Science Delusion’


5 Mar 2009

Environment, History of Science

Hamza Yusuf

In this early vlog (date not given; Zaytuna monthly videocast, episode 4), Hamza Yusuf critiques scholars like Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris who he suggests select the “worst” of religion and set it against the best of science for comparison.  He then provides some examples of bad science, and discusses humans not living up to the best of themselves.  His point is that it is only through polemical use of “science” and “religion” that the two are in conflict.

Topics, people discussed:  Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, eugenics, agriculture, war, humans not acting like humans.

The quality of the video is not particularly good, but there are no better versions currently available.


There is little about Islam presented here, but what there is fits within the bounds of what Muslims have historically understood as acceptable.

The science here is not discussed in any detail, but the references to science that most would now consider reprehensible, such as eugenics, are accurate.

The historical material presented here is accurate.

About Hamza Yusuf

Born as Mark Hanson in 1959 to two American parents, Hamza Yusuf converted to Islam at age 17 after a near death experience and is now one of the most influential Islamic scholars in the world. Shortly after converting, Yusuf set off to study Islam from influential teachers around the world. He spent his time abroad divided between Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Mauritania, England, Algeria, and Morocco. Yusuf is especially popular amongst the Western world, and was a close advisor to President Bush in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. He has alienated some Muslims due to his belief that many Muslim countries are oppressive, though he allegedly states his problems are with the culture rather than the religion. Yusuf has also often come under fire for his critical views of American foreign policy.

In 1996, Yusuf helped found Zaytuna Institute in Berkeley, California, which eventually morphed into Zaytuna College, the first, accredited, Muslim university in America. As of 2015, Yusuf is still its president. A few of his major accomplishments include serving as vice president of the Global Center for Guidance and Renewal, founding the first Rihla program (a program specializing in Islamic education) in the U.K., and hosting a successful religious media program for three years.

Yusuf’s work may be found on Sandala, a website devoted to the publishing and production of his work. In addition, Yusuf operates  popular Twitter and Facebook pages, which combined boast over half a million followers.

Selected Bibliography:

Hamza Yusuf.” Sandala. Sandala, n.d. Accessed 25 May 2015.

O’Sullivan, Jack. “‘If You Hate the West, Emigrate to a Muslim Country’” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 8 Oct. 2001.

Sheikh Hamza Yusuf – Discover the Networks.” Sheikh Hamza Yusuf – Discover the Networks. Discover the Networks, n.d. Accessed 25 May 2015.

Yusuf, Hamza.  Facebook. N.p., n.d. Accessed 25 May 2015.

Yusuf, Hamza. Twitter. N.p., n.d. Accessed 25 May 2015.

Zaytuna College | Home.” Zaytuna College. N.p., n.d. Accessed 25 May 2015.