Difference between revisions of "Photosynthesis in the Quran"

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Revision as of 09:31, 17 November 2019

Photosynthesis is not mentioned anywhere in the Quran. The Quran in the verse 18:45 talks about plants that absorb water from rain and some Quranic miracle propagandists are claiming that this is a description of photosynthesis, although it is not a description of photosynthesis.

The verse

And present to them the example of the life of this world, [its being] like rain which We send down from the sky, and the vegetation of the earth mingles with it and [then] it becomes dry remnants, scattered by the winds. And Allah is ever, over all things, Perfect in Ability.


Photosynthesis

Photosynthesis, the process by which green plants and certain other organisms transform light energy into chemical energy. During photosynthesis in green plants, light energy is captured and used to convert water, carbon dioxide, and minerals into oxygen and energy-rich organic compounds.


Photosynthesis defined by Encyclopedia Britannica [1]

If the Quran really described photosynthesis, then we should find in it the most important parts:

  • light
    • This is the most important part. The name photosynthesis is derived from photo-, which means light.
  • water
  • carbon dioxide
  • minerals
  • oxygen
  • energy-rich organic compounds.

The only part the Quran mentioned is water. So the Quranic verse is definitely not an explanation of photosynthesis. And all Muhammad had to know about is that plants need water, which was nothing new and it was already mentioned in the Old Testament:

It had been planted in good soil by abundant water so that it would produce branches, bear fruit and become a splendid vine.


Ezekiel 17:8 (6th century BC)

Transpiration

Propagandists of "miracles in the Quran" also claim that the Quran talks about transpiration.

Most of the water evaporates while less than 3% remains inside the plant in the form of sugar by photosynthesis. Photosynthesis converts carbon dioxide and water into oxygen and sugar. Most of the water evaporates back into the atmosphere but a very small amount remains inside the plant as sugar. Sugar is then used by the plant. However this was portrayed in the Quran 1400 years before it was discovered.

"Hasheem هَشِيمً" means old plant. Here water becomes old plant and scattered by the wind (both). Today we know that most of the water evaporates (scattered by the wind) while a small amount is stored in the plant as sugar.


miracles-of-quran.com [2]

Water becomes an old plant? Water is stored as sugar?

Does the rain (water) or the vegetation (plant) become an old plant ("dry remnants") in the verse?

And present to them the example of the life of this world, [its being] like rain which We send down from the sky, and the vegetation (plant) of the earth mingles with it and [then] it becomes dry remnants [plant] (هشيما, hasheema), scattered by the winds. And Allah is ever, over all things, Perfect in Ability.


Two possibilites:

  • a plant becomes an old plant
    • makes sense
    • fits into the context, because it is a parable about life that comes and goes
    • the becoming of old plant is mentioned after mentioning "the vegetation" (plant), so most probably the becoming of old plant is about the plant that is not old, becoming old and dry.
  • water becomes an old plant
    • doesn't make sense at all
    • doesn't fit into the context
    • is unscientific

It can be also seen in tafsir, that it is the plant that becomes an old plant and not the water becoming an old plant:

...which We send down out from the heaven and the vegetation of the earth mingles with it the vegetation multiplies by the sending down of the water; or it is that the water mixes with the vegetation such that it is nourished and flourishes; and it then becomes the vegetation becomes chaff dried up its various parts broken up in fragments scattered strewn and dispersed by the winds which then blow it away. The import is the life of this world is likened to flourishing vegetation which then becomes dry is broken up and scattered by the winds


Tafsir al-Jalalayn on 18:45

Final question:

How could an illiterate man who lived 1400 years ago have known that water becomes old plant?
miracles-of-quran.com [3]

If he "knew" it then he was wrong, because water does not become an old plant. But the verse actually says that a plant becomes an old plant. All Muhammad had to know is that plants can become old. Which was practically always known.

See also

External:

References