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Researcher discusses modern Islam relative to science

By: Pablo Albilal / Staff Writer

Posted: 4/18/08

Nearly 150 people gathered to hear a lecture on the highly debated topic of the origins of life, and the scientific justification of creation Wednesday evening, as part of Islamic Awareness Week hosted by the Islamic Society of Rutgers University.

Ali Engin from the Science Research Foundation in Istanbul, Turkey delivered the lecture, which sought to disprove Darwinism and shed light on the creation of life as it is viewed in Islam.

Engin said Islam is in line with modern science, even providing revelation that relates to the big bang theory.

"In various verses [in the Qu'ran], it is stated that God created time and matter out of nothingness," Engin said. "God says the universe was only one point and he expanded it. It directly refers to the big bang [theory]."

The Outreach Coordinator Amina Essighir, a Douglass College junior, elaborated on the Islamic view on the origins of life.

"Muslims do believe in God creating man and woman," Essighir said. "We don't believe in the whole ideology of evolution in the sense that human beings have evolved from animals. We believe in direct creation but there is the concept of adaptation. An animal can adapt to its climate and changes in its environment, but the individual creatures don't evolve from one another."

After the lecture, as with all other nights after lectures during Islam Awareness Week, Muslims and non-Muslims gathered together to eat and discuss Islam.

Douglass College Junior Ryan Barton listened to the lecture yet describes herself as an atheist.

"Muslims, at least the ones I have met so far, are so much more free in their thinking," she said. "When you think of religions, you think they are steadfast in their beliefs and very old fashioned, and this is a very modern notion which I didn't expect from such an old religion." 

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