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Is the theory of evolution compatible with Islam?
CitationDoko, E. (2021). Is the theory of evolution compatible with Islam? Paper presented at Islam and Evolution Conference Booklet Leiden, 2021.
Perhaps the most significant problem in science-religion interaction in the Muslim world is the reconciliation of Islam and Evolution. Usually, the response of Muslims is either to reject Human evolution (or evolution in general) or try to reinterpret the scriptures to make them in accord with the theory of evolution. The first approach contradicts modern science, specifically the genetic data suggesting that humans share a common ancestor with apes. On the other hand, the second approach fails to convince the more traditionally oriented scholars who insist on more traditional readings of the scripture. In this talk, I am going to take the middle ground and try to argue that the traditional readings of the Muslim scriptures are logically compatible with the theory of evolution. I will present two possible scenarios. First, the “double creation model,” which involves scenarios at which Adam is created twice, of which one is described by scripture and the other one is described by science. As a result, scriptural creation is consistent with science. Second the “two ancestors model,”, which argues that humans have both specially created Adam as ancestor as well as beings which share common ancestors with other living things. I will not argue for these models, rather I will use them as a defense, in the sense of defenses used in the context of the problem of evil, against “the evolutionary problem for the traditional reading of the scriptures.”