Saturday, August 6, 2011

The miracle of embryology and the strange case of the mistranslated verse (according to iERA) pt 2

(Keen readers will notice this post has been changed. This is because Mrs Spinoza was worried that ... well, use your imagination.)

Previously.... we learned that to avoid accusations that Mohammad might have copied the incorrect facts pertaining to embryology in the Qur'an from Greek ideas that we know were being taught at a world renowned centre of learning in Gundishapur that his followers attended, (deep breath) iERA maintain that all the previous translators of the Qur'an have been misled.
They referred to a translation recently published by Professor Muhammad A S Abdel Haleem at the SOAS at the University of London.
The professor's translation is the only translation in the world (as far as I know) that has man emerging from between the backbone and the ribs instead of the spurting fluid/nutfah. I understand the professor says that one of the two reasons why he chose a translation that differs (on his own admission) from all other previous translations is so that the words of Allah "do not seem to violate ... our knowledge of biology."

If I were a Muslim, I would be concerned that academics are choosing a particular interpretation based upon our present knowledge of medicine. As Muslims (correctly) point out, our knowledge is evolving all the time, and we are apparently constantly discovering knowledge referred to in the Qur'an. Who knows whether one day we might therefore discover that there are indeed areas of the body that lie between the backbone and the ribs that can be said to be involved in the production of sperm...I think it highly unlikely personally, but there we go.

Perhaps the best that Muslims can say for now is that it appears that there is a mistake in the Qur'an but who knows what we will discover in the future. That would be an honest position to take, rather than - like the iERA- maintaining that all translations of the holy text hitherto have been incorrect.
More on this tomorrow...

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