Religion, Science, and Maurice Bucaille
By Syed Kamran Mirza
Maurice Bucaille in his dishonest attempt tried to establish science in Quran. I myself read the book written by Maurice Bucaile, but could not agree with him at all. I have no clue why Islamists dishonestly claim science in Quran! There are serious scientific problems when Muslim apologists attempt to claim the presence of authentic scientific theories in Qur'an. For 1300 years, Muslim mullahs, Maulanas, Qur'ane Hafez etc. could not see any scientific theory in Qur'an. I never heard that before. It was only in eighties suddenly we heard some mullahs are widely disseminating the EUREKA' of Quranic science.
Why, Who and Where?
All Mullahs are pointing their fingers to one person- Maurice Bucaille. We are sick and tired of hearing about Maurice Bucaille again and again. Who is this Maurice Bucaille? I will answer this question later in this essay. In early eighties, I talked to one Islamic scholar (for privacy his name will be kept secrete) who is mastered in three languages (Bengali, English and Arabic). He thoroughly read and memorized entire Qur'an. I asked him if there was any real scientific theory in Qur'an. He answered, "No, there is nothing that we can call it a theory of science." I asked him if there is any medicine given by God in Qur'an. He answered, " Not really, only medicine we can think about is the HONEY." Then, in the mean time, on hearing mullahs hue & cry' about that Bucaille's EUREKA, I asked the same Islamic Scholar the same questions I asked him before. To my astonishment, this time his answer was quite different. He said, yes there are scientific theories in Qur'an and then he suggested me to read the book written by Maurice Bucaille. Then I read this book of Maurice Bucaille in English and in Bengali (translated by Akhterul Alam) couple of times. Then I read Qur'an entirely several times (both in English and in Bengali). Alas! I found nothing in the Qur'an that should be termed as science. Unfortunately, I could not agree myself with even one word that Dr. Bucaille tried to explain with his wishful thinking. Not because I did not like to agree, but could not agree, because of clear & fundamental flaws in his quest of matching things with modern science. Maurice Bucaille, not only tried to make ‘Ka' as Kalikatta, but he also some times made ‘Ka' as Bombay, Madras, Delhi etc. in his wishful quest of matching science.
Yes, there are verses that tried to answer some questions belonged to science mainly: Embryological and Astronomical field. Because, 7th Century people must have asked about the mystery of creation of human beings, Earth, Sun, moon, Stars etc. BUT, were those answers/theories fit present day science? Maurice Bucaille said it fits, so it fits for sure! Maurice Bucaille said, "I could not find a single error in the Qur'anic scientific theories", so there is no error in Qur'anic sciences, and World has to believe it?
Actually, what I found and other scientists found are: Qur'anic scientific verses matches with Aristotle and Galenic theories of Embryology and Ptolemic Geo-centric theorie of Astronomy which were prevailing almost thousand years before the arrival of Qur'an. HOWEVER, ALLTHESE THEORIES WERE PROVEN MOSTLY WRONG BY MOEDRN SCIENCE TODAY.
Who was Maurice Bucaille? Was he a world famous scientist? Or, Was he a Nobel laureate? Or, was he an authority in theology, Embryology, or Astronomical science? ANSWER IS NONE OF THE ABOVE. Maurice Bucaillle was an ordinary French Physician and lived in Saudi Arabia as an expatriate doctor to Saudi King Family. He was not a better doctor than any of those hundreds of Bangladeshi or Indian expatriate Physicians working in Saudi Arabia. But because, he was the Physician for Saudi King Family he developed a special relation with Saudi King. To keep Dharma Bebosha' (religious trade) booming, Saudi king asked him to write a book highlighting Qur'anic science for which the King offered him $6 million dollars. Clever French Doctor wrote the book "The Bible, The Quran and Science", got $ 6 millions (from the Saudi King) and got another $ 2 millions by selling his book (according to Dr. Campbell). This book was sold in Islamic World like a hot cake. It was told that, this doctor distorted the actual translation of Holy Qur'an by intentional/selective choosing of various meanings of Arabic words in order to match his theory of scientific explanation
DR. WILLIAM F. CAMPBELL
Who is Dr. William F. Campbell? William Campbell is an American Physician who was an expatriate doctor for the family of the King of Tunisia for 20 years. After learning about the book of Dr. Bucaille, he wrote a book of 300 pages categorically rebutting Dr. Bucaille's book. I urge readers to read Dr. Campbell's book and see for themselves.
SCIENCE IS NOT PROPERTY OF ANY RELIGION
No Religion (Islam, Christian, Judaism, Hinduism etc.) can claim Science as their property. Religion should never claim any credit whatsoever, for the advancement of science. Einstein was a great scientist because of his own quality, not because of his Judaism. Ibne sinna was a scientist by virtue of his quality and not because he was a son of Muslim. Al-Razi was the greatest freethinker and greatest scientist not because he was a son of Muslim, but by virtue of his freethinking quality. Galileo was a great scientist by his knowledge and perseverance, and not because he was a son of Christian. During the reign of General Ziaul Hoque of Pakistan, this ultra Islamic General in his bid to turn the Country's clock backward, he established one Academy known as ISLAMIC SCIENCE ACADEMY. There he invited all Muslim "educated ignorant" scientists (Gun-pappi) to illustrate Qur'anic sciences. To see this madness (Pagla'mi) of this fanatic General, Dr. Parvez Hoodboy (M.I.T. educated Nuclear Physicist) wrote a book ridiculing Islamic Science Academy's caricature with pure science. In this book's forwarding letter, Pakistani Nobel laureate Physicist DR. ABDUS SALAM wrote: "There is only one Universal Science ; its problems and modalities are international and there is no such thing as Islamic Science just as there is no Hindu Science, nor Jewish Science, no Confucian Science, nor Christian Science".
Was Dr. Bucaille a greater scientist than Dr. Abdus Salam? Many Muslims sometimes claim/mention the names of Arab-Muslim scientist's achievement but they fail to mention from whom scientific knowledge were carried over to those Arab Nationals. I do not consider these Arab Muslim scientists as Mullah. Mullahs with their utter closed mindsets can never be a scientist. Nobel laureate Dr. Abdus Salam was not a Mullah. Among those ancient Muslim scientists, most of them were secular-freethinkers, and many of them were non-Arab (Central Asian) Muslims. Quite obviously they did not get science from the Religion. BECAUSE RELIGION AND SCIENCE IS LIKE OIL AND WATER, NEVER CAN MIX TOGETHER. History does not testify that any of those Arab scientists got scientific theory from Quran at all. Lots of scientists lost their lives for telling the truth. Even today, Religion is like a clutch in the neck of Science, and frequently tries to stop advancement of science. Religious Orthodoxy always confronts Science. For the last 100 years or so, biological science galloping advancement is purely on the basis of EVOLUTION THEORY OF Darwin and definitely not on the basis of CREATION THEORY of Religion. Science does not believe in CREATION theory and Religion does not believe in EVOLUTION theory. Am I correct folks?
Truth is, if Religion wants to mix-up with evolution then, we shall have to consider Adam as Ape-like Neanderthal or Homo-erectus early human, and not a perfect human having all the intelligential qualities, as the Bible or Quran described.
Some Examples of Quranic science:
In the early 1980s, Prof. Keith Moore, formerly an anatomist at the University of Toronto, Canada produced a special edition of his embryology textbook, known as ‘The Islamic edition’ which was available only in some Middle Eastern Countries. Critics think, he wrote this Islamic version of his book to make quick money by selling it to the Islamic world. This Islamic edition is not available in the western world presumably because he is aware that not only do the Islamic contributions in it contradict known science, but they also contradict what he has written in the standard version of his text book. However, his standard version of embryology text book has been widely used in medical schools of the west
Man are created from Clotted blood ?
Quran-23:14: Then fashioned We the drop (semen) a CLOT, then fashioned We the Clot a little lump, fashioned We the little lump into bones, then clothed the bones with flesh, and then produced it another creation. So blessed be Allah, the Best of Creators.
Quran-75:38: Then he becomes a CLOT; then (Allah) shaped and fashioned…
Quran-96:2: Created man, out of a mere clot of congealed blood
Blood clot can not grow into anything. This idea also came from the Greek. Aristotle erroneously believed that, humans are originated from the action of male semen upon female menstrual blood which is absolutely an incorrect assumption. Quran’s assertion on Clot (alaqa) is completely wrong about human development, since there is absolutely no stage during which the embryo consists of a clot. The only situation in which an embryo might appear like a clot is during a miscarriage, in which case the clotted blood which is seen to emerge (much of which comes from mother) is solidified and by definition no longer alive. Therefore, if ever an embryo appeared to look like a clot it would never develop any further into a human; it would be a dead mass of bloody miscarrying flesh. Since Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had some thirteen wives it is entirely possible that he would be very familiar with miscarriages.
Modern science tells us that, the formation of human embryo is a seamless continuation from conception to birth; hence there is no hard- and- fast boundary of stages as Quran described. Quran described 4 stages which matches exactly with Galenic description of development of human embryo.
Some Islamists often try to ridicule about evolution in order to protect the obvious fallacies of the creation theory of religion. EVOLUTION is the greatest triumphs of human discovery. Evolution is not a peripheral subject but the central organizing principle of all biological science. So no one ignorant of evolution can understand science. Secondly, evolution is as well documented as any phenomenon in science, as strongly as the Earth's revolution around the sun rather than vice versa. Therefore, we can call evolution a "Fact". Today’s biological sciences are directly propagating on the basis of evolution theory of Darwin. Without believing in evolution one can not understand and agree with the modern miracles of organ transplanting, test tube bay, cloning, and sperm cells/eggs making from stem cells.
Life from WATER:
Hindu Religious book Veda' (8000 B. C.) described origin of Earth and life from WATER of the SEA. The Great Greek Philosopher and Scientist THALES (640-546 B. C.) was the first Humankind who theorized that, everything in this Universe was created from WATER OF THE SEA. Problem was, Thales could not provide any scientific proof. After that, ARISTOTLE (384-322 B.C. the pupil of Plato and Tutor of Alexander the Great) concluded: "Because of the fact that, Plants & Animal body contains plenty of WATER and life needs WATER that was why THALES thought WATER WAS THE ORIGIN OF LIFE". Therefore, Mankind did not have to wait until 7th Century for Allah to say importance of WATER for life.
Wish full Islamists demand that Quran predicted Honey as the good medicine. Honey although it is not a great medicine by today's context, was used by Ancient people as medicine and food for tens of thousands of years. Physicians of Pharaoh King used to prescribe Honey for diseases. In pre-Islamic Arab, PAGANS used to use HONEY widely as medicine. In India, Ayurbedic medicine widely used HONEY as the ingredients of medicine thousands of years before the arrival of Qur'an. Honey was known as Grandma's Medicine' throughout the Ancient World for thousands of years.
1. William F. Campbell: The Quran and the Bible in the light of history & Science.
2. The World Book Encyclopedia: Volume 19, world book, inc., Chicago, London, Sydney, Toronto
3. Time Magazine: Evolution Vs. Creationism: Up From the Apes.; August 23, 1999
4. Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy: Islam and Science; Zed Books Ltd., 1991, ISBN
5. A History of the Arab peoples, by Albert Hourani, the Belknap press of Harvard University press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1991
6.Roots of the Western Tradition, (a short history of ancient world) by C.Warren Hollister, Library of congress cataloging-in-publication data, 6th edition, 1996
7.Bible, Koran and Science, Dr. Morice Buchaile, translated by Akhterul Alam, Published by the Rangpur Publications, Bangladesh, 1986.
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