Human Origins Part 4: Some Evidence for a Unique Human Origin

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بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم، وصلوات الله وسلامه على أشرف المرسلين

In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

So far (in parts one, two and three), I have analyzed the evidence brought forward to support human-chimp common ancestry. Taking a bird’s eye view of the situation, it’s apparent that the idea of common descent with chimps is essentially a hypothesis and not a proven fact. If you’re trying to answer the question of human origins, and restrict what you look at to purely materialistic explanations (i.e. that we originated from within this universe itself), then it may be the best hypothesis out there, and this is why many scientists have accepted it.

That being said, the evidence brought forward in its favor can have other explanations. Here’s a quick summary of this evidence, as mentioned in the past 2 articles, with the other explanation after the colon:

  • Human-chimp similarities: we were created for a common environment and our bodies need to carry out similar functions
  • Non-functional similarities: these are actually functional, and the above argument applies
  • The fossil record: no evidence for an ape-to-human transition
  • Population genetics: based on unprovable assumptions
  • Evolutionary psychology: anecdotes, speculation and bad science
  • Neanderthals etc: they’re either races of humans, or similarities are due to function

In the next section, I will point out specific empirical evidence which is better explained by humans having a unique origin, than by humans being descended from another species.

Continue reading “Human Origins Part 4: Some Evidence for a Unique Human Origin”

Human Origins Part 3: The Fossil Record, and Other Lines of Evidence

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بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم، وصلوات الله وسلامه على أشرف المرسلين

In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

Check out part 1 here if you haven’t already, which was an intro to this series of posts, and part 2 which is about human-chimp similarities. In this post, I’ll discuss the fossil record, population genetics, evolutionary psychology, and human-neanderthal mating.

Continue reading “Human Origins Part 3: The Fossil Record, and Other Lines of Evidence”

Human Origins Part 2: Human-Chimp Similarities

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بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم، وصلوات الله وسلامه على أشرف المرسلين

In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

Check out part 1 here if you haven’t already, which was an intro to this series of posts. In this article, I’ll dive into the evidence that is brought forward to support human-chimp common ancestry, starting with the alleged similarities that exist between us and them.

Continue reading “Human Origins Part 2: Human-Chimp Similarities”

Human Origins Part 1: Introduction

evolution

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم، وصلوات الله وسلامه على أشرف المرسلين

In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

A subject that has received significant attention and discussion is that of human evolution, and the consequences it has for our religious, philosophical, or metaphysical beliefs. I want to address this topic from a Muslim point of view. Of course, I do not claim to represent Islam or Muslims in any way; these views only represent one person and that’s me.

Continue reading “Human Origins Part 1: Introduction”

Where Should Muslims Live?

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Assalamu alaikum

Let’s assume you could move to any country in the world. Where would you go?

This is a tough question to answer. A lot of people answer this based on a cool picture they saw of a mosque in a certain country, or the alleged attractiveness of people of the opposite gender there, or something like that. In actuality, this question requires a more systematic approach.

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Artificial Intelligence and What It Means To Be Human

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Salaam,

I recently wrote this post about AI over on Traversing Tradition. Please check it out, share, and leave any questions or feedback in the comments!

Traversing Tradition

You’ve probably seen the videos. A robot walking or crawling around, sensing its environment and figuring out how to do human-like tasks, such as opening doors. They’ve even learned how to do back flips now. The videos go viral on social media every few months, along with terrified reactions about how “the robot overlords are coming,” “we might as well submit now,” and so on.

Back-flipping bots aside, it makes sense to learn more about robots, automation, and artificial intelligence (AI). The website “Wait But Why” has an in-depth article on this topic [1], which discusses how AI is catching up to humans and in fact will eventually overtake us. Others have commented on the concept of the “singularity,” which is where AI will reach a point where it can self-improve, creating explosive increases of intelligence [2].

This has naturally created concern. Elon Musk says AI represents a fundamental risk…

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Review of Ertugrul Season 1

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EDIT: March 24th, 2019

Welcome to my blog! This review has become popular and is bringing lots of visitors. After you’re done reading this post, I’d recommend also checking out one of the following:

  • Thoughts after reading The Brothers Karamazov (link)
  • My review of Dr. Jonathan Brown’s book on slavery (link)
  • My series on human evolution – starting with part 1

Anyway, continue with the Ertugrul review for now!


بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم، وصلوات الله وسلامه على أشرف المرسلين

In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

I just finished watching the first season of the Turkish TV series Dirilis: Ertugrul, which is available on Netflix with English subtitles. In this post, I’ll summarize what this series is about, who the main characters are, what I liked and what I didn’t like. I’ll end with my overall thoughts about the show and its role in the media landscape, especially for Muslims, and then I’ll list other shows people who like Ertugrul might also like.

Please note that while I will attempt to keep spoilers to a minimum, there will naturally be some spoilers in this post. If you’re going to read it, don’t complain about spoilers later. You were warned.

Continue reading “Review of Ertugrul Season 1”

Will America Become Great Again?

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم، وصلوات الله وسلامه على أشرف المرسلين

In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

Civilizations decline. And then fall. It’s happened again and again throughout history. Of course, their decline and falls don’t always follow set patterns and the course of events isn’t predictable. But what’s guaranteed is that no civilization will last forever, and everything comes to end, one way or another. This is how Allah created this world.

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Dr. Jonathan Brown on Historical Criticism of Islamic Primary Texts

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بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم، وصلوات الله وسلامه على أشرف المرسلين

In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

This blog post is adapted from my notes taken from Dr. Jonathan A. C. Brown’s lecture on the topic of historical criticism and how it’s been applied to Islamic primary texts, especially the hadith collections. Watch the lecture here: part 1part 2part 3. Note that it’s about 3 hours long including the Q&A, so be warned. It’s definitely worth a watch though, from beginning to end.

The lecture was given around the time that the UK government-sponsored documentary Islam: The Untold Story by charlatan historian Tom Holland was in the news. Basically, the documentary tries to tell a speculative revisionist story of the origins of Islam. Dr. Brown’s lecture is not a direct response to the documentary, but it contextualizes some of the assumptions being made in this documentary and other revisionist pieces that are claiming to examine Islam from a “critical” lens. Anyway, I’ll end the introduction here and start the portion based on my notes. Note that the section “My Thoughts” at the end of this post is not based on the lecture; those opinions are strictly mine.

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Is Darwinian Evolution True?

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بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم، وصلوات الله وسلامه على أشرف المرسلين

In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

A subject that has received significant attention and discussion in the modern and post-modern era is that of Darwinian Evolution, and the consequences it has for our religious, philosophical, or metaphysical beliefs. I want to address this topic from an Islamic point of view. Of course, I do not claim to represent Islam or Muslims in any way; these views only represent one person and that’s me. I hope to follow up on this with another post that addresses human evolution specifically, In Sha Allah.

Continue reading “Is Darwinian Evolution True?”