Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Just The Evidence: An Argument for Islam

Its time for another "Just the Evidence" post, in which I share the evidence for a point of view without indicating whether or not I agree with the argument. There is a time and place for that, but right now, its just the evidence.

One argument in favor of the Qur'an is that it holds divine knowledge--knowledge that humans could not have know, but is nonetheless present in the text. Many holy texts claim to contain similar miracles. The basic idea is that if the information included could not have been written based on human understanding, there must have been a higher intelligence either writing the text or guiding someone else to write it. If there are numerous examples of this type of evidence within a single text, the odds of a supernatural explanation overcoming a natural one increases.

Here is an introduction to one such claim to divine knowledge found in the Qur'an, courtesy of

In the Holy Quran, God speaks about the stages of man’s embryonic development:
“We created man from an extract of clay.  Then We made him as a drop in a place of settlement, firmly fixed.  Then We made the drop into an alaqah (leech, suspended thing, and blood clot), then We made the alaqah into a mudghah (chewed substance)…” (Quran 23:12-14)

Literally, the Arabic word alaqah has three meanings: (1) leech, (2) suspended thing, and (3) blood clot.
In comparing a leech to an embryo in the alaqah stage, we find similarity between the two[1]  as we can see in figure 1.  Also, the embryo at this stage obtains nourishment from the blood of the mother, similar to the leech, which feeds on the blood of others.[2]
Figure 1: Drawings illustrating the similarities in appearance between a leech and a human embryo at the alaqah stage. (Leech drawing from Human Development as Described in the Quran and Sunnah, Moore and others, p. 37, modified from Integrated Principles of Zoology, Hickman and others.  Embryo drawing from The Developing Human, Moore and Persaud, 5th ed., p. 73.)

Read full article here:

And there it is. Read the whole article, and add it to your pile of evidence when considering the religion of Islam. What do I think about it? For now, no one gets to know.

Happy searching.


1 comment:

  1. The following paper from 2012 is a bit more up-to-date on Qur'anic term alaqah.
    Embryology in the Qur’an: A Description of The ‘Alaqah Stage

    The section on the internal anatomy of the leech is quite interesting.

    What is also interesting to note about the paper is that it just gives the facts without pushing religion or making any claims of divine authorship.