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Evolution and /Or Creation: An Islamic Perspective Paperback – July 20, 2005

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Evolution and /Or Creation: An Islamic Perspective + Islamic Theory of Evolution: The Missing Link between Darwin and the Origin of Species + Islam and Biological Evolution: Exploring Classical Sources and Methodologies
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 284 pages
  • Publisher: Xlibris (July 20, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1413465803
  • ISBN-13: 978-1413465808
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,049,258 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By John Matlock on September 27, 2005
Format: Paperback
Sometimes the questions of an innocent child make your thinking to off in new directions. It was his son asking why he was taught evolution in public school and creationism in Muslim school that caused Dr, Shanavas to research and then write this book. He sees it as lamentable that many Muslim imams have taken the psuedoscience of the fundamentalist Christians and are teaching it to their students. Likewise he laments that students in the sciences look at what the imams are teaching and begin to distrust or reject Islam.

His studies took him back to the Qur'an itself and further into the teachings of early Muslim scholars to come up with a view that evolution is an intelligent design in its own right. It was (I have to say 'may.') have been set up by a higher power to manifest His omniscience, supremacy, and grace in a universe constructed with creatures of limited free will. ==The rejection of science by the Muslims has to be a major part of why the Muslims, on a world wide basis, are so far behind the western countries.

This book certainly presents a view different from the fundamentalist Christians. It is to be hoped that our Government can see enough to take other religious views into mind when crafting legislation. We do have a fundamental tenant in the separation of church and state.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Hypatia on August 6, 2006
Format: Paperback
The United States (and other parts of the Western world) is currently experiencing increasing political polarization between followers of religion and practitioners of science. The current battleground for this conflict occurs in the study of the evolution of living organisms, although confusion on the role of scientific and faith-based knowledge can occur just as easily when studying the origin, age and scope of the universe (cosmology), uncertainty in quantum mechanics, and the material nature of the mind (neuroscience).

In Creation and/or Evolution: An Islamic Perspective, T. O. Shanavas challenges this notion of an inherent conflict between scientific knowledge and religious texts, revealing it to be a false dilemma, at least where Islam is concerned.

Creation and/or Evolution weaves together several themes. The first is the Quranic theology of time, space, and creation. The second is the history of Islamic science and how its legacy has been forgotten, both by Muslims ready to accept fundamentalist Christian critiques of evolutionary science, and Westerners, quick to disparage Muslims as superstitious and anti-modernity. The third strand, woven within the first two, describes secular scientific understanding of the history of the universe and its inhabitants. Since I am a biologist by training and not a theologian, the following critique will focus mainly on this third strand.

Overall, however, Shanavas does a good job describing the bridges between modern and medieval Muslim science and Quranic assertions. His best sections come at the very beginning and the end, where he discusses the role of God the Creator in terms of metaphysics of the future.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on January 5, 2006
Format: Paperback
As a thirteen year old muslim, I always asked my self, will there ever be an answer to the relation of islam and evolution. T.O. Shanavas has just completely clear and I was able to understand. He comes right to the point and I hope that this book makes a fortune
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jedidiah Carosaari VINE VOICE on December 29, 2005
Format: Paperback
Let me share my biases first. I am not Muslim, but Christian, though I have studied Islam a great deal, so my perspective is one of an outsider. I am also very much a creationist, for I believe that God used evolution to create life.

I have been waiting so long for a book like this. I was so thrilled for it to show up at Christmas time. Shanavas writes neatly and clearly, so even the least biologically inclined can understand, and yet presents some perspectives that have never before been put in print- at least, as he points out, not for the past 500 years.

There are a couple areas that could use some work- some editing; the final chapters are a bit odd; some of his understanding of Christian theology is a bit off the mark...But then, I really appreciate that he admits that he is lacking in understanding of Christianity. I can respect an author who knows what he is talking about and knows when to admit he doesn't know everything.

I wanted to read this book as I teach biology in Morocco, and have a number of Muslim students. At this point they are being taught the Intelligent Design Hypothesis as well in another forum outside my class. I showed this to them, and they were devouring it and could hardly put it down. There is already a queue to read it. I wish I could assign it, simply because it so clearly explains the process of evolution.

But in the midst of explaining it, Shanavas also gives a very Islamic perspective of evolution. I say Islamic, because he follows the standard practice of interpreting the Qur'an literally. While there is room for allegorical interpretation among the Sufis, the standard practice in ijtihad for most of the history of Islam has been literalism.
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