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Scientific Errors in the Quran

1,349 bytes added, 17:03, 30 October 2018
The Heavens can be Rolled Up
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.
{{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. While the Qur'an anic notion that the heaven of stars is covered by six further heavens might currently be unfalsifiable, the 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.
===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 [ 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 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.
===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="">Richard A. Gabriel, [ ''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., [ ''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 [ 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 ([ sabighatin] سَٰبِغَٰتٍ) and to measure the chainmail links ([ as-sardi] ٱلسَّرْدِ) thereof. It says people should be thankful for this knowledge which has been passed down from him.
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. However, the Qur'an tells of crucifixions at the time of Joseph (approximately 2000 BCE) and Moses (approximately 1500 BCE).
Ancient Egypt has been extensively studied in archaeology. While there is hieroglyphic evidence of people impaled on through upright stakes in ancient Egypt, this is a distinct execution method from the crucifixion on palm trees in the Qur'anic story. Palm trees are far too thick to be used as upright stakes for impaling a personfrom above, so no-one would choose palm trees for such a purpose. Rather, the Egyptians would have to impale the victim to the side of the palm tree trunk in the Qur'an's anachronistic tale.
===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.
===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.
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