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I love watching paleontology related documentaries. But, last time, I had some problems accepting that scientists proved that, by finding craniums and different parts of the bodies, we are the descendants of ardipithecus, australopithecus, etc.

Because above all, Qur'an said that we are the children of Adam and Eve.

Questions:

  • Those species were here before Adam and Eve? Are they their children?
  • What do think Islam about Sahelanthropus (a 7 millions years old cranium) or Lucy (a 3.2 millions years old 40% skeleton?
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It is important to understand the difference between scientific hypothesis, such as "Humans are descended from animals that lived millions of years ago," and metaphysical truth, such as "The first humans were created miraculously, with no ancestors, a few thousand years ago."

Nothing in science can be said to be true, in any fundamental sense. Consider: any scientific hypothesis/theory is falsifiable, meaning, we must always allow that it could be disproved. Newton's theory of gravity is a perfect example: it's wrong, and we've known it's wrong for over a hundred years. Einstein's relativity could also be wrong. Nothing that could potentially be proved false can be called truth. A hypothesis/theory is a proposed explanation for what we observe, not a truth-claim.

We use science because it is useful; the truth of the underlying reality is irrelevant. For all we know, from a scientific standpoint, we could be a computer simulation. From a scientific standpoint, there would be no way to know. Science cannot tell us the truth about reality, and it cannot prove anything.

The Qur'an, the Bible, all holy books, and all religions are not about hypothesis or theory. Religions are about truth. They do not provide explanations, but rather make truth-claims, that is, assertions. For example, the assertion that Adam and Eve were the first humans. It is not an explanation. It could be considered an answer to the question, "where do humans come from?" But it's not an explanation in any scientific sense. As mentioned above, a scientific explanation is open to falsification; a metaphysical assertion is not. Any apparent disproof of the Adam and Eve assertion could always be met with another assertion, perhaps that Shaytan and the Jinn planted the human-like fossils to lead mankind astray.

Science and metaphysics are two fundamentally different endeavors. The only answer to your questions, from the standpoint of Islam or any other religion is, "God knows."

  • First, thank you for your post. Then, I'm sorry but I have never mentioned hypothesis or theory : paleontology is one of the most accurate sciences in the sense that found fossiles are real and can be dated. Please, refer to the examples I gave. I don't refute your sayings at all because you are completely right but, I'm talking about concrete science revelation. I'm only looking for the missing link between Adam and Eve on the one hand, and those fossiles on the other hand. – michel varonskjd Jul 1 '16 at 22:10
  • Sorry if I wasn't clear. The statement from your question, "we are the descendants of ardipithecus, australopithecus, etc." is a hypothesis: it is a proposed explanation for the fossils we have found. This hypothesis could be wrong. As I say, we could be a computer simulation, in which case we are not descended from anything. I am indeed referring to your specific examples: Adam and Eve are metaphysical characters, created by miracle; science cannot comment on miracles, so science cannot comment on Adam and Eve. More... – SaganRitual Jul 1 '16 at 23:05
  • Sahelanthropus is a fossil; we can formulate a hypothesis about it. But Islam (or any other religion) cannot, because religion does not formulate hypotheses. Religion can only make metaphysical assertions. The point of my answer is that your question cannot be answered. You are looking for a missing link, but there is none; there is no link between science and miracles. If you like, we could discuss it further in a chat room. Let me know. – SaganRitual Jul 1 '16 at 23:06

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