How many Muslims work at NASA

Theory of Evolution: Incompatible with the Koran?

Transmission date: 02.02.2018 3:20 pm | archive

Did God create man or is man descended from the ape? Not only in the USA, but also in Turkey the answer is not so clear-cut. Because even 160 years after Charles Darwin first published his theory of evolution, the majority of Muslims find it difficult - also in this country.

Who Made the World? In contrast to the Judeo-Christian tradition, the Koran does not have a coherent story of creation.

"Today, the vast majority of Muslim scholarship is of the opinion that the theory of evolution is so wrong and there are many adoptions from American creationism, the 'intelligent design'", says the religious scholar Michael Blume. This creationism of Christian fundamentalists tries to somehow integrate indisputable facts of evolution into the belief in creation. Although Islam actually has it easier than Christianity, said Blume. Creation myth and evolution theory are better to reconcile in Islam, because the Koran - in contrast to the Judeo-Christian tradition - does not know a coherent history of creation: "The creation doctrine in the Koran is less specific than in the Bible. It says that man was created in stages or that it was formed from a drop of blood. "

A taboo for many Muslims

In 1858 Charles Darwin published his groundbreaking theories on evolution.

References to the doctrine of creation appear in the Koran in very different suras. But over the past centuries there has been a broad rejection of the Enlightenment and thus also of the theory of evolution in the Islamic world, says Blume: "If you advocate the theory of evolution in the Islamic world, it means that you are under suspicion Expose you are a secret atheist. Any Islamic scholar who speaks out on this is in danger of being trapped, and it is therefore difficult to discuss these issues freely in the Islamic world. "

No more evolutionary teaching in Turkish schools

In Turkey, the theory of evolution was even removed from the curricula of all schools last year. And in the Muslim community in Germany, too, distrust of the theory of evolution is widespread, says Engin Deniz Yorulmaz: "The story of creation really prevails, which has to do with general education in Turkey. So in Germany there are people who live were socialized here as well as those who enjoyed their education in Turkey. And there it is clear that the story of creation definitely predominates. "

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Engin Deniz Yorulmaz is a research associate at the Georg Eckert Institute in Braunschweig for international textbook research. He points out that in this country in the Koran schools of the mosque communities and even in so-called Turkish consulate lessons in German schools, the children and young people only learn something about the creation doctrine of the Koran. These lessons by Turkish teachers are also given in Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg. According to Yorulmaz, "the mother tongue lessons should serve to ensure that the children who grow up here learn their mother tongue, but it was more of a religious-nationalistic teaching. It is so that this religious orientation was very present in the schools in Germany." That should change soon.

Big challenge for students

German politicians place great hopes in the training of future Islamic religion teachers. The students, who mostly come from traditional families, often experience a critical examination of the Koran for the first time at universities. But many students still perceive the break between the doctrine of creation, which understands man as created by God, and the theory of evolution, for which man is a chance product of development, as a great challenge. And they need more support for that, says the student Enez. He is studying Islamic religious education at the University of Osnabrück: "There is still room for improvement in Islamic theology, where the theory of evolution would also have to be commented on, and what could still be worked on."

The religious scholar Michael Blume is also betting on the expansion of Islamic theology at universities. For the future of Islam it is crucial to make the leap into the modern age: "Of course in popular Islam you have the same conspiracy myths against evolutionary theories, but you have a large part of the quiet retreat who have no problem with evolutionary theory. And you have a small part of the theologically educated who actually reconcile Islam and the theory of evolution with one another. "

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NDR culture | Friday Forum | 02/02/2018 | 3:20 pm