In recent times, the theory of evolution’s cogency has become too ubiquitous for me to deny its veracity. When I was younger, I was indoctrinated, to an extent, to believe that the evolution theory was wholly incompatible with my belief in God and therefore some sort of anathema. What I have found, however, is that the people purporting such things not only had a very pejorative and regressive interpretation of their religion, but were also ignorant of science.
Many sects of Christianity have adopted evolution into their religious beliefs but, within the religion of Islam, it has largely been ignored, often dismissed. Of course, there have been many intellectual Islamic exegetes such as, Nuh-Ha Mim Keller, who have written fascinating commentaries of the compatibility of Islam and Evolution. In fact, it is because of his insightful exegesis that I have written this, and I therefore owe him my gratitude. Below is a brief summation of why I believe a belief in God and evolution is compatible.
First, let me clarify something. Natural selection and random mutation-both facets of the materialistic idea of evolution- cannot, in my opinion, be conciliated with a belief in theism; deism perhaps.
To say that causes and effects happen in and of themselves is to associate others with God and therefore a form of disbelief. It is God, and God alone who creates the cause and effect and conjoins the two. This leads to my second point, which is that God does not place the capacity within a cause and effect which then make them independent of God.
Seeing that evolution does occur-according to substantiated scientific research-what role does God have in it? God is in complete control and has complete knowledge of everything-significant or minor-that takes place within the universe. It is therefore by God’s will that evolution occurs and not through autonomous nature or random mutation.
Indeed, it is possible that human beings may have evolved from something else, we may have had a different form when we first existed. But have we evolved from animal primates or do we share a common ancestor? I would say no. Why? First, there is inconclusive scientific evidence , and secondly, the creation story of Adam and Eve, I believe, is not a myth but a true account of the first two human beings, not monkeys. What did these two original human beings look like? We don’t know and there’s no point trying to guess.
I’m not going to pretend I have extensive knowledge about science, because I don’t, but to summarise: a belief in macro-evolutionary evolution and variation of non human species can be reconciled with a belief in God.
And God knows best.
By Omar Shahid