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Scientific Errors in the Quran

1,267 bytes added, 17:03, 30 October 2018
The Heavens can be Rolled Up
Till, when he reached the rising-place of the sun, he found it rising on a people for whom We had appointed no shelter therefrom. }}
Centuries after Muhammad lived, people with better astronomical knowledge than him started had to come up with invent creative interpretations of these verses to say that Dhu'l-Qrnayn only traveled until he reached "the west" or to a spot "at the time" when the sun set and not the "place" where the sun set. Unfortunately, these alternative interpretations are severely undermined by the [[Dhul-Qarnayn_and_the_Sun_Setting_in_a_Muddy_Spring_-_Part_One#First_interpretation:_He_reached_the_west_and_east|context and Arabic words]] used in these verses, which instead point to a physical locationlocations where the sun did its setting and rising. There is plenty Plenty of evidence showing shows that the early Muslims understood the verse in this straightforward way. Again, we must ask why an all-knowing being would use such misleading verses that mimic the misconceptions and legends prevalent at the time if one of these the alternative explanations is correct.
===Meteors are Stars Shot at Devils===
The Qur'an says that stars (kawakib ٱلْكَوَاكِبِ) / lamps (masabih مَصَٰبِيحَ) adorn the heavens and guard against devils.
The author of the Qur'an does not seem to know the difference between stars (giant balls of gas thousands of times larger than the earth) and meteors which are small rocky masses of debris which brighten up after entering the earth's atmosphere. Many ancient people confused the two, as meteors look like stars that are streaking across the sky; this is why there they were often called [[w:Meteoroid|shooting stars]] or falling stars. In the following verse, the Qur'an claims that Allah uses stars as missiles to ward away devils. This repeats a common Arab myth at the time the Qur'an was first recited.
{{Quote|{{Quran-range|37|6|10}}|
We have indeed decked the lower heaven with beauty (in) the stars, (For beauty) and for guard against all obstinate rebellious evil spirits, (So) they should not strain their ears in the direction of the Exalted Assembly but be cast away from every side, Repulsed, for they are under a perpetual penalty,Save him who snatcheth a fragment, Except such as snatch away something by stealth, and they are pursued by a flaming fire, of piercing brightness.}}
The same Arabic words are used at the start of verse 67:5 as in 37.6 (زَيَّنَّا ٱلسَّمَآءَ ٱلدُّنْيَا), except the stars are described as lamps. Clearly the lamps that 'beautify the heaven' refer to stars (and perhaps also the 5 visible planets), which are always there. Meteors are generally not much larger than grains of sand and are only visible for a second when they burn up, generating light in the Earth's atmosphere after millions of years in darkness, but the author of the Qur'an believes that meteors (the 'missiles') are a kind of star.
The Earth first formed around 9 billion years after the Big Bang. The Qur'an, however, repeats the prevailing Middle-Eastern myth that the Earth and universe were formed in six days.
In the hundreds of other Qur'anic verses where the Arabic word 'yawm' appears, everyone understands it to mean day. Yet Islamic websites try and rescue the Qur'an by pointing to an alternative meaning of yawm, which almost always means 'day', but can sometimes mean 'time period'. Curiously, and rather conveniently, yawm is only claimed to mean time period rather than day in the verses about the creation of the world. Clearly, the predominant meaning of the word is day and when a specific number is used, in this case six, the word almost always means a literal day. Again, nothing in the context of the verses, nor the Qur'an in general, suggests awareness that the universe or Earth were formed over long time periods. The author makes precisely zero attempt to distingish his description from the prevailing Middle-Eastern creation myths in this regard, which feature six literal days of creation (for example in the Bible we have, "Evening came and morning came: The first day." - Genesis 1:5).
Secondly, neither the universe nor Earth were formed in six distinct long periods of time. It would have been trivial for an all-knowing diety to have poetically indicated the vast duration in which the universe has developed, which has taken place over the past [[w:Age of the universe|13.8 billion years]].
{{Quote|{{Quran|50|38}}|
{{Main|Cosmology of the Quran|l1=Cosmology of the Qur'an}}
The universe consists of hundreds of billions of galaxies, each with hundreds of billions of stars. There While the Qur'anic notion that the heaven of stars is no such thing as seven layers to covered by six further heavens might currently be unfalsifiable, the universe. This myth of [[w:Seven Heavens|seven heavens ]] was a common idea prevalent in the Middle East during the time when the Qur'an was first recited.
{{Quote|{{Quran|71|15}}|
See ye not how Allah has created the seven heavens one above another}}
Some Islamic websites claim that these are seven layers of the atmosphere, despite the fact that verse 37:6 (see next section) says that stars are in the nearest heaven. There are only 5 not 7 principal layers to the [[W:Atmosphere of Earth|Earth's atmosphere]], and likewise only 5 not 7 major layers to the Earth itself. ===Stars are Located in the Nearest Heaven=== Stars are spread throughout the Universe and there is no such thing as the "nearest" heaven or layer. Also, this verse is in keeping with the author's claim (Quran 71:15 as described above) that the seven heavens are arranged one above the other.
{{Quote|{{Quran|37|6}}| Surely We have adorned the nearest heaven with an adornment, the stars}}
===The Heavens can be Rolled Up===
This verse implies These verses imply that the heavens have two dimensional surfaces.
{{Quote|{{Quran|21|104}}|The Day when We shall roll up the heavens as a recorder rolleth up a written scroll. }}
 
{{Quote|{{Quran|39|67}}|No just estimate have they made of Allah, such as is due to Him: On the Day of Judgment the whole of the earth will be but His handful, and the heavens will be rolled up in His right hand: Glory to Him! High is He above the Partners they attribute to Him!}}
===The Stars Will Fall===
At length, when they came to a (lowly) valley of ants, '''one of the ants said: "O ye ants, get into your habitations, lest Solomon and his hosts crush you (under foot) without knowing it." So he smiled, amused at her speech;''' and he said: "O my Lord! so order me that I may be grateful for Thy favours, which thou hast bestowed on me and on my parents, and that I may work the righteousness that will please Thee: And admit me, by Thy Grace, to the ranks of Thy righteous Servants." }}
===Only Four / Eight Types of Cattle===
While the Qur'an states that there are eight Allah has provided four kinds of cattle (eight including male and female) for use by humansand for eating, In in fact there are more than a dozen kinds of cattle. The word "cattle" in 39:6 is [http://www.studyquran.org/LaneLexicon/Volume8/00000289.pdf al-ana'ami], meaning pasturing (i.e. grazing) animals. The word [http://www.studyquran.org/LaneLexicon/Volume3/00000432.pdf 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 this refers to male and female pairs of sheep, goats, oxes and camels, so in fact the author of the Qur'an is aware only of four kinds of cattle useful for humans(horses, mules and donkeys are considered distinct from cattle in {{Quran-range|16|5|8}}). This neglects other types of cattle from the regions outside of Arabia such as reindeer, which are important to people in northern latitudes.
{{Quote|{{Quran|39|6}}|
===Coat of Mail was Invented during the Reign of David===
There is no evidence that Coats coats of mail chainmail (as distinct from scale armour) existed during the time of David (10th century BCE). The earliest example of a coat of mail was Celtic and its invention is commonly credited to the Celts in the 3rd century BCE.<ref name="books.google.com">Richard A. Gabriel, [http://books.google.com/books?id=HscIwvtkq2UC&pg=PA79 ''The ancient world''], Greenwood Publishing Group, 2007 P.79</ref>. Mail has also been found in a 5th century BCE Scythian grave, and there is a cumbersome Etruscan pattern mail artifact from the 4th century BCE.<ref>Robinson, H. R., [https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=BaDMDAAAQBAJ&pg=PA10 ''Oriental Armour''], New York:Dover Publications, 1995, pp.10-12</ref> Such artifacts would have been easily preserved and found by archeologists if they had existed much earlier. Some older translations of the Bible mention Goliath and David wearing a "coat of mail" in 1 Samuel 17:5 and 17:38 respectively. This is a [http://myarmoury.com/feature_mail.html#Origins well known mistranslation] for a word meaning armour in general.
In the Qur'an, David is taught by Allah how to make coats of iron chainmail ([http://www.studyquran.org/LaneLexicon/Volume4/00000022.pdf sabighatin] سَٰبِغَٰتٍ) and to measure the chainmail links ([http://www.studyquran.org/LaneLexicon/Volume4/00000071.pdf as-sardi] ٱلسَّرْدِ) thereof. It says people should be thankful for this knowledge which has been passed down from him.
===Crucifixions in Ancient Egypt===
There are no references from any culture anywhere in the world to crucifixion as a method of execution before 500 BCE, where they started to appear in several middle eastern cultures, and it is not clear that their crucifixions were the same as what we know (the Roman crucifixion)/they are the same type. Ancient Egypt has been extensively studied in archaeology as well. However, the Qur’an Qur'an tells of crucifixions at the time of Joseph (approximately 2000 BCE) and Moses (approximately 1500 BCE).
Not only thatAncient Egypt has been extensively studied in archaeology. While there is hieroglyphic evidence of people impaled through upright stakes in ancient Egypt, but crucifixions are often mentioned in this is a very casual way distinct execution method from the crucifixion on palm trees in the QuQur'rananic story. Palm trees are far too thick to be used as upright stakes for impaling a person from above, so no-one would choose palm trees for such a purpose. Rather, the practice must Egyptians would have been widespread enough to be understood by common people, as common people are being addressed impale the victim to the side of the palm tree trunk in these surasthe Qur'an's anachronistic tale.
{{Quote|{{Quran|12|41}}|
O two companions of prison, as for one of you, he will give drink to his master of wine; but as for the other, he will be crucified, and the birds will eat from his head. The matter has been decreed about which you both inquire." }}
{{Quote|{{Quran-range|721|123|12471}}|Said (Pharaoh) said: "Believe ye Ye put faith in Him him before I give you permission? Surely this leave. Lo! he is a trick which ye have planned in the city to drive out its people: but soon shall ye know (the consequences)your chief who taught you magic. Be sure Now surely I will shall cut off your hands and your feet on opposite sidesalternately, and '''I will cause shall crucify you all to die on the crosstrunks of palm trees''', and ye shall know for certain which of us hath sterner and more lasting punishment." }}
===Noah's Flood===
===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. They were preserved intact using methods such as salt to dry the body (hence salt in the body of Ramesses II is not evidence that he drowned in the sea). There were so many Pharaohs ranging from numerous dynasties, many of them who were preserved intact. But in this way, but the Qur'an merely narrated one un-named Pharaoh that was who would be preservedas a sign.
{{Quote|{{Quran|10|92}}|
===Requirement to Learn in Arabic===
There are over 5,000 languages and dialects in the world, with less than 4% of the world's population being native Arabic speakers. Moreover, even native speakers of modern Arabic in its various dialects need additional study to be able to understand well the Qur'anic Arabic from which the modern language developed. Even then, both Muslim and non-Muslim scholars acknowledge that the meaning of certain words, and historical allusions in the Qur'an have become lost or have always been uncertain (as indeed anyone familiar with the discussions of competing interpretations in the tafsirs will be aware). However, it is incumbent upon Muslims to pray in Arabic, recite the Qur'an in Arabic, and understand commentaries and the traditions of Muhammad in classical Arabic. We are left wondering why an all-knowing being would not provide a more efficient way to send his message to all people on earth and why he does not account for the immense diversity of languages.
{{Quote|{{Quran|43|3}}|
{{Quote|{{Quran|20|88}}|So he brought forth for them a calf, a (mere) body, which had a mooing sound, so they said: This is your god and the god of Musa, but he forgot.}}
===Tribe Tribes Trapped Behind a Wall===
{{Main|Dhul-Qarnayn}}
The story of Dhul-Qarnayn says that a tribe is two tribes are trapped behind a massive wall of Iron. According to the Qur'an, these two beast tribes concealed themselves were trapped by Dhul-Qarnayn behind this metal wall and will only be let free on the day of Judgement. Obviously, no such wall has ever been found nor is are there a tribe tribes somewhere on earth trapped behind it.
{{Quote|{{Quran|21|96}}|
The Qur'an states Mary received food sent down from heaven. There have never been any scientifically verified accounts of fully cooked food falling from the sky.
{{Quote|{{Quran|5|115114}}|
Jesus, son of Mary, said: O Allah, Lord of us! '''Send down for us a table spread with food from heaven, that it may be a feast for us''', for the first of us and for the last of us, and a sign from Thee. Give us sustenance, for Thou art the Best of Sustainers.}}
Then We subjected the wind to his power, to flow gently to his order, Whithersoever he willed }}
{{Quote|Tafsir Ibn-Kathir, a commentary on the verse 21:81 | A flying carpet made from wood, on top of which he could carry everything in his kingdom including chairs, to wherever Solomon wants to go, whilst flocks of birds would fly over to give shade }}
===A Dead Man Testified against his Killer===
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