Scientific Miracles? Not quite

Many educated Muslims are struggling to waft their Quran from its Medieval fossil form to fit into the 21st century age of science and technology. To this end, they are boldly asserting that their book foretold modern scientific findings 14 centuries ago. These portions are dubbed “scientific miracles” of the Quran. We will see if these claims hold up.

The following rebuttals were drawn out from dialogues with several Muslims on this topic. When I asked them to present their strongest “proofs” for the Quran’s divine inspiration, their favourite trump cards were the “scientific miracle” passages. But as it often turns out, the cards quietly slips back into their pockets and the propaganda backfires.

(I) Quran 24:40 says “(The unbelievers’ state) is like the depth of darkness, in a vast deep ocean, overwhelmed with a great wave toppled with (another) great wave, toppled with (dark) clouds, darkness one above another; If a man stretches out his hand, he can hardly see it; for whom Allah gives no light, there is no light.” It’s a miracle that the Quran described layers of darkness in the ocean 1400 years ago. This has now been recently confirmed by marine scientists stating that the ocean becomes progressively dark at very distinct layers of its depths.

Reading through the various English translations of the Quran, it’s clear that this passage is referring to darkness covering the surface of sea, not dark layers within it.

Arberry: “Or they are as shadows upon a sea obscure covered by a billow above which is a billow above which are clouds, shadows piled one upon another…”

Palmer: “Or like darkness on a deep sea, there covers it a wave above which is wave, above which is a cloud – darknesses one above the other…”

Rodwell: “Or like the darkness on the deep sea when covered by billows, above which are clouds; darkness upon darkness…”

Sher Ali: “Or, their deeds are like thick layers of darkness spread over a vast and deep sea, on whose surface rises waves, above which are clouds…”

Pickthall: “Or as darkness on a vast, abysmal sea. There covereth him like a wave, above which is a wave, above which is a cloud. Layer upon layer of darkness…”

There are no clouds within the sea, certainly this verse refers to darkness above the sea. One would have to be so desperate to force oceanography into this banal allegory.

(II) Sura 21:30 says “Have they not who disbelieve seen that the heaven and earth were joimed together (as one piece), then We parted them.” Here, Allah explained a mystery unknown to the greatest physicists and astronauts for centuries. It described the creation of the universe by joining together heavens and the earth and separating them. This harmonizes with Big Bang Theory of the creation of the universe which holds that about 20 million years ago, the universe began with an explosive expansion of a single condensed matter.

I appeal to all Muslims who don’t wish to be exposed to ridicule to read up about the Big Bang theory before including it in their dawah memo. This theory stipulates that about 13.7 billion years ago, a tremendous explosion started the universe. Prior to this, the energy that transformed the matter was contained at one infinitely small point, thus, the explosion supposedly gave rise to the particles that became matter as well as space and time. It proposes that the galaxies were not all clumped together, so the claim of heavens and earth “being separated” as the Quran says is false.

Even more than a point, the Big Bang theory excludes Creationism, so the term “Big Bang theory of creation” is ludicrous. The Big Bang is just that – a theory – not a scientific fact. If it’s true, that means God didn’t create the earth and there were no Adam and Eve. Most believers in the Big Bang theory are atheists and agnostics. Appealing to speculative theories in place of facts is self-defeating.

(III) Sura 78:12-13 says “We have built above you seven strong (heavens) and placed therein a blazing lamp.” It’s clear from this verse that the sun is the only light for our solar system. Astronomers have now established that the moon merely reflects the light of the sun. The Qur’an stated this fact centuries before the astronomers could establish this by their findings

These verses actually prove that the Quran is not from an all-knowing Allah. The idea of “seven solid (heavens)” built up like some storey buildings is absurd. No astronomer will buy such gobbledygook. And finally, the sun is not “a blazing lamp,” that’s what an illiterate 7th century cave man would say. It would have been scientifically accurate if the Quran said that the sun is the star at the centre of the solar system around which the earth rotates.

(IV) Sura 16:68-69 “And your Lord inspired the bee, saying: Take your habitations in hills, on trees, and in (men’s) habitations. Then eat of all fruits, and follow the way of your Lord made easy (for you); There comes forth from their bellies, a drink of varying colours wherein is healing for men; Verily, in this indeed a sign for people who think.” The Quran in this verse used the female form of the verb, thus is stating that the female bee is entrusted with the task of collecting food and making the honey. Muhammad wasn’t an expert entomologist, so he couldn’t have known this 14 centuries ago

There are a number of problems with these verses. One, bees have a more complex navigation, communication and social mechanism. They live in a wide variety of environments and are certainly not restricted to hills, trees and houses. The Muslim who wrote this obviously has a poor information about bees at his disposal. For one, bees are classified into queen, drones and workers based on their responsibilities.

Two, bees don’t eat fruits; they feed on nectar and pollen from flowers. That is what they use to produce honey which also results in cross pollination in flowers. If Allah authored the Quran, he should have known this, but he didn’t. Three, how exactly do insects “follow the way of their Lord”? Are they Muslims too? The Quran attributes human thinking or abilities to insects. That’s fairy tale, not science.

The “drink of various colours” from bees alluded to are beewax and royal jelly and they are not for healing; they cause allergic reactions in humans. Allah should have given a disclaimer. Finally, this passage is not a sign for thinking people. Apiculture or bee-keeping has been practiced in ancient Egypt and ancient Greece, so the Quran is saying nothing beyond what a 7th century desert man would have known.

(V) Sura 1:1 says “Praise be to Allah; the Lord of the worlds.” Fourteen centuries ago, the human mind was certainly incapable of thinking about the earth, the solar system or the galaxies. Yet the very first verse of the Quran states that Allah is the Lord of the worlds. Today, mankind knows for a fact that there are other planets besides earth. Allah revealed this to Prophet Muhammad before modern discoveries.

Planets are not “worlds” and no planet is an inhabitable as earth, so they can’t be correctly termed “worlds beyond the earth.” Another absurdity in the Quran is the claim that there are 7 heavens. These “heavens” couldn’t be planets, because there are 9 planets observed so far and scientists are looking at the possibility of a 10th planet which is still too dark to see now. Maybe, Allah should have given us the number of planets instead. Me thinks that would have been the real “scientific miracle.”

(VI) Sura 10:5 “He it is Who made the sun a shining brightness and the moon a light, and ordained for it mansions that you might know the computation of years and the reckoning. Allah did not create it but with truth; He makes the sign manifest for a people who know”

Sura 25:61 “Blessed is He who made constellation in skies and placed therein a lamp (sun) and a moon giving light”

Sura 71:15-16 “Do you not see how God has created the seven heavens in stories, and has set the moon therein for a light, and set the sun for a lamp.”
Quran uses two different words for the sun (siraj or zia) and the moon (noor). It acknowledged that the sun is the source of light and the moon only reflects it

There is a big spoof here. The Arabic word “noor” used for the moon means direct light and it’s scientifically wrong. The Arabic word for an object emitting light is “munir.” The moon doesn’t have its mansions or stations. This nonsense was borrowed from Astrology which is about as scientific as placing garlics on your bed to ward off spirits.

The sun is a star and there’s no scientific evidence that the moon is in the midst of or on the same level as stars. Scientists have observed that stars are much farther away from the earth than the moon. Proxima Centauri, the closest star to the earth, is about 4.3 light years (40 trillion kilometre) away from it. No matter how you slice the cake, the Quran is premodern.

(VII) “And it is He (Allah) Who spread out the earth, and set thereon mountains standing firm, and (flowing) rivers ; and fruits of every kind he made in pairs, two and two. He draws the night as a veil over the day ; Behold ! Verily, in these things there are signs for those who consider.” (13:3) 

Who made for you earth like a carpet spread out, and has opened roads therein, and has sent down water from the sky? With it have We produced diverse pairs of plants, each separate from the other” (20:53)

“Glory be to Allah, Who created in pairs all things that the earth produces ” (36:36), Centuries before Botanists knew of plant genders, the Quran made it known. How could Muhammad have had this information if he wasn’t inspired by God?

These verses are quite revealing, though not in the way Muslims suppose. Sura 13:3 says that Allah “spread out the earth and set thereon mountains” and that the “earth [is] like a carpet spread out” (20:53). This is teaching a flat earth. It was the belief of Muhammad’s time that the earth was flat. This has been disproved by the Voyages of Discovery and the advent of science. The earth is not flat.

Sura 13:3 speaks of “fruits of every kind He made in pairs.” This is nonsense. Fruits do not have male and female sexes! One doesn’t even need to be a scientist to know this. Sura 20:53 also speaks of “diverse pairs of plants” made. This is not true. Many plant species reproduce asexually. Why was Allah unaware of this?

Sura 36:36 is totally false. The lizard Cnemidophoras reproduces asexually. All members of the Monera kingdom reproduce asexually. Higher fungi (Fungi imperfecti), as well as various plants and single-celled organisms also reproduce asexually. They were not created “in pairs.” Why did Allah not know these facts? You see, Muhammad was a good observer, but he wasn’t all-knowing. These blunders (ironically been presented as “scientific miracles”) actually prove that the Quran is entirely man-made.

Straight Talk on Sexual Self-Stimulation

“I was [sexually] abused when I was young. I’m so addicted to pornography and masturbation” said a married man to a Christian counselor. Two single young men also shared their struggles:

“I’ve been battling with masturbation for a long time now and it’s killing me. I notice I masturbate each time I feel depressed. I’ve prayed and done a lot still I find myself doing the same thing over and over again.”

“I have a very big problem with both sex and masturbation. It has really gotten to me. I am a devoted Christian … yet I find it difficult to quit … I have planned to cut myself off media, phone and internet so as to stop going through porn sites and downloading its content … Why is stopping sex and masturbation too difficult for me, or is it my FATE? I am really confused.”

Unfortunately, sexuality is still a no-go area topic in many Christian circles. This is why I applaud Christians who summon the courage to open up about their personal sexual struggles. I’ve come to realise that when such “uncomfortable” issues are swept under the carpet of church rules and “uptight” conservatism, they not only fester but eventually become elephants in the pews. Many people in the church today are suffering from silent frustration as a result of private problems that have created turmoils in their hearts. They can’t find anyone who understands or is able to handle the details of what ails them.

Sexual issues need to be openly discussed because they are crucial to life, and it’s an area where the devil is enslaving many believers. I was told of a Christian guy in my undergraduate days who broke with “tradition” during a Bible study by telling how God helped him beat the sinful habit of masturbation. Typical of hyper-conservative student fellowships, his audience looked on with shock and distaste, but he defied their countenances. As he was leaving the fellowship that evening, about 5 Christian brothers walked up to saying “Please sir, I’m struggling with masturbation, can you help me?” If we are really going to help people find freedom and healing, we’ll need to blow open the citadels of pretence and role-playing that the devil has used to wall us in.

Masturbation or “solo sex” is a hot topic on several fronts. A 2016 survey by TENGA, a sexual health and wellness company, indicates that “88 % of 1,200 Americans masturbate.” To remove the stigma from self-pleasure, this company launched “an online empowerment campaign that celebrates and encourages masturbation” called #DoItInMay. Secular society has always lauded masturbation as a safe, healthy valve of release from sexual pressure. Some scientists tell us that it boosts the mood; has a natural sedative effect; helps maintain body immunity; prevents prostate cancer, heart diseases and STDs and even confers a longer lifespan!

If one’s life is patterned by their claims, solo sex becomes a placebo to cure almost all of life’s hitch. I guess a time would soon come when we will be told that if we don’t masturbate frequently, our brains will stop functioning and our hearts will stop beating! From a scientific perspective, however, one needs to tread with caution before touting masturbation as a “silver bullet” to bodily infirmity.

Masturbation triggers the brain into releasing a flood of internal chemicals like dopamine, endorphins and serotonin into the bloodstream. These natural “drugs” give quick, temporary escape and relief from stress, insomnia and anxiety. This can make masturbation a convenient “drug” for instant pleasure and self-medication. It results in a chemical dependency that people use to escape from boredom, negative emotions and the stresses of life. We all know how drug addicts resort to drugs to escape from reality. Sexual self-stimulation works out the same way. Thankfully, the debilitating effects of addictions are not disputed by secular society.

Frequent masturbation stimulates acetylchlorine and parasympathetic nervous functions and when it is excessively done, large amount of this hormone and neurotransmitters are being produced, thus altering the body’s chemistry. This leads to fatigue, erectile dysfunction and pelvic cramps. Even in the medical world, there are check and balances that govern drug use. That’s why pain relievers are given with prescriptions. When the body is made to naturally circumvent these regulations through masturbation, it becomes a form of self-abuse.

Many scientists, psychologists and even some Christian leaders argue that masturbation is not a sin. If that is the case, why do many men and women feel so guilty after indulging in it? The ready-made answer that such people are conditioned by social indoctrination and upbringing doesn’t cut it. That response is an indication of our God-given conscience which must not be muffled with empty rationalizations.

This is why science, psychology and philosophy – albeit beneficial – cannot be our final arbiter of truth, ethics or morals. The Bible, God’s Word is. Science sees man as a “higher animal” that is subject to all baser instincts and desires, but the Bible dignifies man, stating that he is created in God’s image. Psychology also fails to address the complexity and depravity of the human heart. The Encyclopedia Britiannica presents a lengthy discussion on sexual deviations but adds that:

“Although most psychiatrists and psychologists consider masturbation an expected practice on the path to heterosexual relations, it serves equally to gratify in fantasy many of the sexual deviations discussed above” (16:610).

That is, masturbation can be fuelled by fantasies involving sexually debased acts like paedophilia, rape, sado-masochism, voyeurism, homosexuality, lesbianism and bestiality. The human heart is so deceitful and depraved that most sex criminals usually start off by masturbating to fantasies of what they later indulged in. With the way sex toys like strokers, dildos, sex dolls etc are becoming lucrative even here in Nigeria, God’s view – not man’s opinions – of solo sex needs to be emphasised.

Granted, masturbation is not directly mentioned in the Bible and cannot be accurately termed as the “sin of Onanism,” but it’s still a sin because it involves lust of the mind (Matt. 5:28). Virtually all sexual self-stimulation is accompanied by either sexual fantasies or pornographic materials. It cannot be imagined or carried on without committing the sin of lust. It also fails the Bible’s eight fold test: what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy (Phil. 4:8).

Our body “is the temple of the Holy Spirit … You are not your own. You were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body” (1 Cor. 6:19-20). Solo sex spiritually defiles our body. God says we are to “put to death … whatever belongs to [our] earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires…” (Col. 3:5), but masturbation does the very opposite: it energizes the fleshy nature.

Furthermore, masturbation is a selfish act. God intended sexuality to help relieve a person’s loneliness, but solo sex does not relieve loneliness. In fact, one feels more lonely than ever after this sin. Being immersed in one’s body sensations is a form of narcissism. As time goes on, self-pleasuring becomes the brain’s preferred method for achieving sexual gratification and this ultimately undercuts a healthy relationship with one’s spouse.

I am not writing this to lay a guilt trip on anyone struggling with this habit. What I’m saying is that it is a sin that one can repent of and forsake just like any other (1 Jn. 1:9). There is one more reason why self-sex should be avoided: it often attracts sexual spirits called incubi (those appearing to be men) and succubi (those appearing as women). These demon spirits are responsible for the sexual dreams many men and women frequently have.

These sex demons are also sought after in the occult and are invited by sexual fantasies. When these spirits latch themselves to men or women, they wield a web around them, draw away their virtues, potentials and vitality and pump their garbage into them. In some cases where the demon already resides in the victim, it will control his or her hands to sexually stimulate himself or herself, at times after having an erotic dream.

One of the ways to know if masturbation has led a person into spiritual bondage is that, it becomes a besetting sin and he/she would be having relationship or marital troubles (if married). That person may be oppressed by a demonic sex partner and needs to be ministered to. Such persons would tell you that they feel more pleasure when they have sex in dreams with demons (who appear as very beautiful ladies or handsome men) or when they masturbate, unlike with their physical spouses. This problem is a very common one. I have personally met real Christians victimized by it.

The way out

Although there are no specific “formulas” to conquer masturbation, some steps are crucial.

1. Repent and forsake the sin. This involves getting rid of porn or sex materials. Because masturbation feeds off secrecy, sharing your struggles with someone matured is also good, but it’s not compulsory.

2. Know what triggers you. Some masturbation triggers are: depression, porn, indecent dress, images of past sexual acts, erotic chats or phone calls, stories or TV shows that border on sexual themes. A guy named Immanuel wrote: “I can remember heavily masturbating to Rihanna’s Rude Boy’s music video immediately it was released till my organ got painful sores.”

Now if Immanuel is going to maintain his victory, he will have to avoid music videos or lyrics with sex innuendos. Some are triggered by certain places, smells, gestures, words or objects. A Christian guy once admitted he gets “triggered” to masturbate once he sees a boxer short. So know your own trigger and address it.

3. Filling one’s heart with God’s Word has a cleansing and renewing power (Ps. 119: 11; Rom. 12:2). Daily meditate on the Bible and control your thoughts

4. Resistance. You can only resist what you dislike. This involves:

a) directly resisting the urge to masturbate by avoiding compromising situations and exercising bodily control (1 Cor. 9:27). One can be tensed up and unable to sleep and feel tempted to give in to it; don’t yield. Endure hardness as a soldier and resist the sin (1 Tim. 2:2).

b) standing back on your feet if you have a relapse (Prov. 24:16). Don’t let the devil beat you down with guilt. Some gain victory quickly, some don’t. Focus on Christ.

c) praying fervently, especially before going to bed. That is how to draw on the power of Christ (Mt. 26:41). A friend told me how God set him free from the bondage of masturbation. After praying one night, he went to bed and while he was asleep, he felt a strange pressure mount over his body. With his eyes still closed, he felt someone raise his hands up and make him say: “You spirit of masturbation, I renounce you in Jesus’ name!” and the pressure lifted. Since that day, the urge to masturbate vanished. There is great power in Jesus Christ.

If you are struggling with this sin but not yet born again, I want to tell you that the Lord Jesus Christ died for your sins at the cross of Calvary and rose again for us to have a new life. Repent of your sins and believe in Jesus and His sacrifice on the cross. Ask Him to forgive your sins and make you a new creature.

Contact me on my Facebook page for confidential feedback.