A Brand New Path

Excellent article by Diverging Thoughts, do check it out! And very relevant to the current American/Western Muslim discourse. DT is an intelligent, articulate young man and definitely worth following.

Also a quick update on the evolution post series: I’m currently working on part 5, which will probably be the final part, but it won’t be out till after Ramadan In Sha Allah.

Diverging Thoughts

INCREASINGLY, the premier voice of Muslims in the West is being filled by an unlikely group– sportsmen. It seems I cannot open my social media feed anymore without seeing a post celebrating a Muslim athlete’s success in their chosen field. Whether it’s Khabib Nurmagomedov celebrating a win by performing the prostration of gratitude (sajdat shukr), or Ousmane Dembele using his World Cup earnings to fund a masjid in Mauritania in the name of his mother; my heart swells with pride at the sight of my brothers’ success, both in this life and the life hereafter. But while these stories are frequently held up by liberals as examples of successful multiculturalism, they more often display its failures and contradictions, and the inherent tension present in being a practicing Muslim in the West. Take the example of Mesut Ozil, the Turco-German footballer who made headlines this summer after he quit…

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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.

Continue reading “Where Should Muslims Live?”

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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