Scientific Errors in the Quran
The Qur'an advocates creationism. It is incompatible with the thesis of human evolution from simpler life forms and natural selection. This is not very controversial as reliable statistics on the subject have shown most Muslims agree Islam and evolution are not compatible.
Human created from clay
The scientific hypothesis postulates that clay merely 'match-makes' RNA and membrane vesicles - and therefore does not form a building block. This is contrary to the Islamic faith which postulates that human beings were created from clay, implying clay was a building block.
Humans were created from a single being
Some apologists will claim this is consistent with modern scientific knowledge. The Qur'an clearly states Eve was created later than (and from) Adam. Mitochondrial Eve lived some 50,000 to 80,000 years earlier than Y-chromosomal Adam.
Creation of humans happened in an instant
Fall from paradise down to the earth
The sun set into the murky water
The Qur'an propagates the idea that the sun is smaller than the earth and assumes the sun goes to a black muddy pool.
The Qur'an mentions numerous times that the Sun and the Moon travel in an orbit, but does not mention once that the Earth does too. This is consistent with the beliefs that were prevalent prior to the 16th century that the Sun revolved around the Earth.
The moon and the sun orbit the earth.
By the Sun and his (glorious) splendour;By the Moon as she follows him;
Sun and moon orbit around the earth.
Sun orbits the earth.
The sun moves, the earth is still.
The shadow moves because of the sun's movement, not the earth's movement.
Everything in the universe goes around us.
The stars are small enough to drop on us.
Stars or planets rising and setting?
This verse clearly implies the sun goes around the earth.
Shooting stars are missiles for devils
Meteors appear to be missiles to shoot the devil away. This was a prevalent myth in Arabia. As we now know, meteors are simply masses of particle debris which brighten up after entering the earth's atmosphere.
How many planets in the solar system according to the Quran?
This verse claims there are seven planets. However, according to astronomers, there are eight ordinary planets and five dwarf planets, which leaves the grand total at thirteen.
Tafsir Ibn Abbas explains they are all flat planets
The paternal cousin of Muhammad and conspicuous expert on tafsir (interpretation of the Qur'an) writes that Allah means that all 7 are flat planets.
The Moon is further away than the stars
The moon is located in the middle of the universe.
See ye not how Allah has created the seven heavens one above another,'And made the moon a light in their midst, and made the sun as a (Glorious) Lamp
But stars are in the nearest/lowest part of the universe.
Night time cold is caused by the Moon
The Qur'an's author assumed by what he observed because the Moon does not affect Earth's temperature in any manner.
The moon is "Noor", which emits light too
The moon does not emit light. The Arabic word for reflected (in`ikaas) does not appear in this sentence.
The word "Noor" here also means an entity that emits light.
Moon split in two
There is no evidence whatsoever that the moon has ever split into two. The absence of historical record from other civilizations, contemporary of Muhammad about the moon being split substantiate to this fact.
The universe consists of seven layers
This is false. The universe consists of trillions of galaxies with billions of stars each. There's no such thing as seven layers.
The Sun is not a star
According to Islam, the Sun and stars are two completely different things. Modern science tells differently:
Where does the sun rise?
The sun rises equally upon every human on earth on a daily basis, except in the poles. However, the Qur'an advocates the geocentric idea and flat earth concept in the verse below:
Earth created in six days
The earth took billions of years to form after Big bang.
The earth existed before the universe
There was no planet during or before the Big Bang.
The earth was created prior to the heaven.
The Universe is contracting
Firstly, inanimate objects can't speak. Secondly, we have recently come to know the universe is expanding, not contracting.
The sun is a flat disk
This verse suggests that the Sun is flat and can be folded up.
Earth has invisible pillars keeping up the sky
This originated from the ancient Greek myth.
This shows a lack of knowledge of astronomy. There is nothing in the heavens or sky to "raise", with or without pillars.
Sirius as a single star
The singular form used in this verse negates the fact that Sirius is actually a double star.
The sky is concrete and impenetrable
The asteroid and meteorites penetrated the atmosphere to hit the earth throughout the course of history, there is no guardian whatsoever to prevent the incidents from happening.
There are no black holes
The evidence of Black Hole indicates certain degree of instability in the galaxy. Black holes absorb stars and even galaxies in regions of space where from which no entity, including light, can escape.
Allah is ignorant of the North and South Poles
In polar regions, the longevity of day and night vary during summer and winter. Muhammad didn't know about this and he only repeated earlier geocentric ideas:
Thunder is an angel
The Qur'an author was superstitious about thunder and regarded this natural phenomenon as an angel
Tafsir Ibn Abbas
When we turn to the Muslim sources which explain this verse, it is rather apparent that the author of the Qur'an believed that thunder wasn’t simply an impersonal force, but an angel:
What causes the movement of shadows?
The Qur'an says its the Sun's movement. This is false. The earth revolves around the sun and cause the movement of shadow.
The sky can fall down, the earth can swallow down
The Qur'an author thought that the sky is like a ceiling that can fall on someone while the earth can swallow someone too.
The Sky is made of rocky material
Sperm comes from between the spine/backbone and ribs
The Qur'an author was ignorant of the actual scientific knowledge except rehashing the prevalent scientific error of his contemporary. Today we know sperm comes from the testicles, not from between the spine and ribs.
Only Allah knows what gender the baby is
Current technology, such as sonography, has enabled observation of baby's gender through ultrasonic imaging. There are also sex selection clinics that allow gender determination.
Ovum contributed by female is not mentioned
The Qur'an author did not mention the role of the ovum due to his sole observation of the sperm during intercourse. This verse fails to mention the important role of the female egg in the reproduction of humankind.
Asexual creatures are absent in the Quran
Not every creature procreates or reproduces through male and female sexual relationship. The whiptail lizard in the U.S. Southwest, Mexico, and South America, which consists only of females who reproduce by parthenogenesis. Allah does not know anything about the biological process by which new individual organisms are produced. Today we know you can find an organism which creates a genetically-similar or identical copy of itself without a contribution of genetic material from another individual. There's also hermaphrodites.
The blood-clot stage in human reproduction
There was never a stage of blood clot during the formation of humans inside the womb.
Womb (belly) has 3 layers
The word butun (بطن) means belly/abdomen/midriff, though some Muslim translators like to use the more specific word "womb". There are many more layers such as endometrium, myometrium, perimetrium, peritoneum, besides the cervix uteri, corpus uteri, abdomen (with walls), placenta (with layers). Perhaps this is the idea of 3 membranes around the fetus (chorion, allantois, and amnion) taught by the highly influencial Greek physician, Galen.
Bones are formed before flesh
The Qur'an elaborates that the bones are formed and wrapped up with flesh. The first muscles are formed before the bones, and the rest are formed simultaneously though.
Milk comes from between excrement and blood
The mammary glands where the milk is produced and stored are outside the body, while the excrement is in the intestines which is way inside the body. the two are nowhere near each other. Also, certain cattle milk needs processing, pasteurization, micro-filter, creaming and homogenization.
Do humans think with their heart or with their brain?
The author of the Qur'an assumed that humans think with their heart, while in reality we utilize the brain for that purpose.
Jinns created from fire
In the past, people used to believe everything was made from 4 elements; Earth, wind, fire and water. However, fire is not a substance, but rather a reactionary chemical process.
Geology and Meteorology
Earth has seven atmospheres
In reality, there are five principal layers in the atmosphere determining temperature. Within these layers, there are four layers determined by other properties.
Earth is still
21st century astronomers tell us the Earth goes around the Sun. The Qur'an gives these views:
Tafsir Ibn Kathir
Tafsir Ibn Kathir
Different seas have an impenetrable barrier between them
Distinct salinity levels in one sea eventually become homogenized with the other sea. However, the Qur'an failed to include this subtlety.
The concept of a flat Earth
Earth is level
The Qur'an tells all mankind to face the direction of Mecca, but this would only be possible on a flat Earth. Since the Earth is spherical, it's not possible to bow down towards the direction of Mecca when you are in these places like Hawaii and LA which are on the opposite side of the earth.
Earth is flat
Note that N J Dawood's translation renders this verse as "The earth, how it was made flat?", and Tafsir al-Jalalayn agrees with him.
Earth is like a couch
The earth was shaped like a couch while the sky shaped as dome, this substantiate the flat earth concept in Qur'an:
Tafsir Ibn Kathir
Earth is like a carpet
Earth shaped as "wide"
Earth spread out
Earth is flatter without mountains
Earth without mountains.
Mountains prevent earthquakes
Plate tectonic boundaries usually situated at the mountainous areas are highly unstable. The landmass of the earth has changed throughout history. But the Qur'an propagates the idea that mountains are crucial in stabilizing the earth.
Allah dropped down/cast mountains
Mountains are usually formed and produced by the movement of lithospheric plates, either orogenic movement or epeirogenic movement. They are not thrown downward like pegs.
Breasts contract with height
This verse says that your chest cavity gets smaller with higher altitude when in reality the opposite is true.
Earthquakes are for non-Muslims only
Some of the highest death tolls from natural disasters this millennium were in Muslim countries. In fact, natural disasters do not differentiate between Muslim or Non-Muslim nations.
Hurricanes/blizzards are punishments for Non-Muslims
Two of the deadliest blizzards in history happened in Muslim countries. However, the Qur'an regards those natural disasters as violent punishment from God.
The Qur'an says rainwater is pure, even though it has an average PH of 5.6. In some industrial areas rainwater can also be toxic.
Rain from the sky grows plants
The Qur'an fails to mention evaporation or the photosynthesis process because the Arabs uttered what they observed on the desert in which the plant will grow immediately after raining.
Allah didn't know about Water Cycle
Every verse about rain in the Qur'an implies that rain comes either directly from the sky or from God. The evaporation of water into the air was conveniently not mentioned because the author of the Qur'an was unable to observe it.
If Allah sends rain in "due measure" then how do you explain floods? Or perhaps, living in waterless deserts, the author of the Quran has been unaware of the concept of torrential and destructive rainfall.
Hail comes from mountains on the sky
Hail forms in cumulonimbus clouds when supercooled water droplets freeze on contact with condensation nuclei. However, the Qur'an mistakenly ascribed the hail's formation to the imaginary mountains on the sky.
There's an extreme east and west
Dhul-Qarnayn went to the most extreme corner of the earth on one edge, and then moved to the other edge. This attested to the flat earth concept propagated by the Qur'an. Tafsir Qurtubi also accepts this interpretation and even claims only Zul Qarnayn has seen the "supporting pillar mountains".
According to Allah, all animals will join us in the hereafter to be judged for their sins. So basically, in the hereafter, chicken, mankind, insects, and lions will stand side by side waiting our trial from the All Mighty lord Allah. This despite the fact that animals are not as self-aware as humans and work on instinct.
Bees eat fruit
Bees feed on nectar and pollen. However, Muhammad and his companions thought that bees consume fruit.
Horses created for our transportation
It took thousands of years of domestication, evolution and cross-breeding. Horses were domesticated approximately 4,000 years ago in East Europe or Central Asia. Prior to this, horses were wild and need to be tamed, the Qur'an apparently neglect this important fact. Never mind the fact that we create our own transportation now with cars, planes etc.
Allah makes the bird fly
The aerodynamic shape of the bird's wing function as an essential factor so that the difference in the air pressure between the lower and upper part of its wing able to push the bird upward. The wings evolved over millions of years to acquire this feature. But the Qur'an described this ability in the simplest religious way.
Quranic science on classification of creatures
The Qur'an author observed creatures of the desert using their bellies (snake) or two legs (human) or four legs (lizard) to move. However, he failed to include creatures such as Millipedes that have a thousand legs.
There are only eight types of cattle
In actual fact, there are more than a dozen kinds of cattle. The word "of cattle" in 39:6 is al-ana'ami, meaning pasturing (i.e. grazing) animals. The word azwajin ("kinds" in the translation of 39:6 below) generally means mate or member of a pair. Quran 6:143-144 clarifies that these refer to male and female pairs of sheep, goats, oxes and camels. This neglects other types of cattle from the regions outside of Arabia such as reindeer, which are important to people in northern latitudes.
Allah is negligent about disabled creatures
Apparently Allah is unaware that he creates disabled animals and humans too.
Allah left out poisonous sea creatures in his dietary advice
A lot of sea creatures are deadly for example the puffer fish, poison dart frog, marbled cone snail, blue ringed octopus and stonefish. But Allah says we can eat all types of seafood.
Birds fighting elephants
Birds and elephants have never been recorded fighting each other in nature.
Christians worship Mary
Mary was never worshipped by Christians as part of the Trinity. On the other hand, the Qur'an reiterated Muhammad's misunderstanding on the concept of the Trinity:
Noah's Ark for every species
How was it possible to accommodate each species of male and female from all over the world inside an Ark?
Pharaoh or Pharaohs
Geographically, the Coptic land of Egypt was adjacent to Arabia. Thus, most Arabs were aware of the preservation method applied by the ancient Egyptian to their Pharaohs. There were so many Pharaohs ranging from numerous dynasties, many of them were preserved intact. But the Qur'an merely narrated one Pharaoh that was preserved.
Jews say Ezra is the son of Allah
Historically, there was not a single Jew who held such a view. The Jews were historically strict monotheists. But the Qur'an accused them of polytheism. Maybe the Sahaba couldn't think of anything wrong with Judaism so they made something up.
Destroyed cities are punishment from Allah
The Qur'an author thought that outside the vicinity of Arabia there were cities and tribes destroyed by God. He acquired this hearsay from Arabian folklore as well as Jews and Christians sources. Those cities and tribes probably were destroyed by natural disasters or wars. For Muhammad, it's always God's way to deal with human.
Humans sleep for three-hundred years
A human never sleeps for more than two days, unless he or she is in the state of comatose. However, the Qur'an incorporated this myth from Arabian and Christian folklore of the Seven Sleepers.
Humans living for a thousand years
There has never been recorded in actual history about human with such massive age. Moreover, science has never attested to this based on the fossil records. Nevertheless, the Qur'an is replete with this unsubstantiated myth.
Muhammad sees an imaginary mosque?
Muslims claim that Al-Aqsa mosque is mentioned in the Qur'an as the furthest mosque. Even though there was obviously no mosque in Jerusalem during Muhammad's time.
Allah was not aware of the Eskimos
Muhammad was apparently unfamiliar with polar regions in which there are six months without sunlight and six months perpetual night during winter and summer. This injunction is arguably not observable by Eskimos. Could it be that God is ignorant about the night and day inequality phenomenon in the poles? The Qur'an claims that one should fast from sunrise till sunset.
Same circumstances with the five daily prayers. How are Eskimos going to pray sunset prayers all year round? Allah forgot to mention it or Muhammad and the Sahaba didn't know? The universality of the Islamic message is debatable here.
Muslims are protected in Mecca
False promise by Allah. Juhayman al-Otaybi and Abd-Allah ibn al-Zubayr, and Abu Tahir al-Janabi killed thousands of Muslim pilgrims in Mecca. Moreover, Yazid Bin Muawiya sent a battalion of army to attack Mecca and desecrated the Kaaba. The safety of Mecca is debatable here as there is no historical evidence pointing to that effect.
There was no "Abaabil" bird to strike and halt them when they perpetrated bloodshed in Mecca.
Non-Muslims are deaf, dumb, and blind
Muslims call non-believers "deaf dumb and blind" but all the science and technology in the Muslim world is almost exclusively purchased from the non-Muslim world. Computers, TV's, space shuttles, helicopters, media players, nuclear bombs, cameras, satellites, birth control pills, vaccination for smallpox, telephones, radios, light bulbs, microchips, CDs, games consoles, refrigerators, microwaves, stainless steel, plastic, aluminium, x-rays, polio-vaccine, anti-biotics, heart-transplants etc. were all invented by non-Muslims.
All animals live in communities
Some animals or living beings such as the jaguar or leopard or spiders are well known for being solitary loners. They are certainly not in communities.
Islam is only for people who speak Arabic
The total number of languages in the world is between 5,000 and 10,000. However, It is incumbent upon Muslims to pray in Arabic, recite the Qur'an in Arabic and understand hadith and tafsir in Arabic.
The heavens and earth rejected the "Trust"
Heaven and Earth were afraid of the "Trust", in contradistinction with human. But mountains are just geological physical features without emotions.
Humans supernaturally transform into apes and pigs
Sabbath breakers are transformed into apes.
Mythical werewolves will roam the Earth
The modern satellite GPS system failed to trace the location of Ya'juj and Ma'juj. According to the Qur'an, these two beast tribes concealed themselves behind a metal wall.
Delicious buffet magically appears from the sky
No human ever experience food falling from the sky to feed their hunger.
A stick miraculously transforms into a serpent
Solomon with his army of genies and birds
Throughout history, kings and emperors had commanded huge and small amount of armies. None was ever recorded to possess armies that entirely consists of birds and genies. This is unique to the Qur'an.
He spoke with a Hoopoe bird and wanted to punish it for a small error.
The Hoopoe bird was in fact busy eavesdropping on a beautiful female ruler, Queen Sheba.
Jonah performs repentance prayer inside a fish
How can a human lived inside a fish and perform prayer of repentance in the stomach? Prophet Jonah according to the Qur'an did just that.
Humans and ants can communicate with each other
In fact, ants communicate with each other using pheromone, a chemical signal. However, King Solomon was able to do so.
Muhammad flies on a winged unicorn called Buraq to heaven
It took one week to travel from Mecca to the Farthest Mosque by camel. But the Buraq did that in a matter of minutes:
Body parts can rebel against the host
The limbs are controlled by the brain that conveys electrical signal through the nervous system. But the Qur'an believes that the limbs can talk and testify against the host:
The ocean split into half
Moses and the Israelis crossed the split ocean.
Solomon can control the wind
King Solomon had the authority to manipulate the wind at his command.
Ibn Kathir translation
A dead man testified against his killer
Scientifically, a man who has died for a few days can never be resurrected. But with scripture, the supernatural overrules the natural world.
A monster speaks to humans
Beastly creatures advising human about the truth.
Magical Hand in the Qur'an
The hand that possesses shining power.
Mountains and birds can sing human song
Prophet David the singer and metal welder.
Mathematical error in hereditary laws
4.11: Allah (thus) directs you as regards your Children's (Inheritance): to the male, a portion equal to that of two females: if only daughters, two or more, their share is two-thirds of the inheritance; if only one, her share is a half. For parents, a sixth share of the inheritance to each, if the deceased left children; if no children, and the parents are the (only) heirs, the mother has a third; if the deceased Left brothers (or sisters) the mother has a sixth. (The distribution in all cases ('s) after the payment of legacies and debts. Ye know not whether your parents or your children are nearest to you in benefit. These are settled portions ordained by Allah; and Allah is All-knowing, Al-wise.4.12: In what your wives leave, your share is a half, if they leave no child; but if they leave a child, ye get a fourth; after payment of legacies and debts. In what ye leave, their share is a fourth, if ye leave no child; but if ye leave a child, they get an eighth; after payment of legacies and debts. If the man or woman whose inheritance is in question, has left neither ascendants nor descendants, but has left a brother or a sister, each one of the two gets a sixth; but if more than two, they share in a third; after payment of legacies and debts; so that no loss is caused (to any one). Thus is it ordained by Allah; and Allah is All-knowing, Most Forbearing.
- wife: 1/8 = 3/24,
- daughters: 2/3 = 16/24,
- father: 1/6 = 4/24,
- mother: 1/6 = 4/24,
- total = 27/24=1.125
The total does not equal to 1. This error can never be reconciled in any way. For more detail, please see the Answering-Islam website.
People use the forehead to lie
Brain wave technology shows us electrical activity happens in the entire brain when deceitful. On the contrary, Muslims ascribed scientific knowledge even to this verse of torture below.
Space flight is impossible
Space travel was pioneered by Non-Muslims fifty years ago. With current technology, mankind has already explored the end of the solar system. This verse however, implies that space travel is impossible without the consent of Allah. With dozens of atheist astronauts, you have to ask why an omniscient Deity made such an erroneous prophecy.