Let me just say this, I have nothing against the guy, I actually met him before and he’s really nice and very polite in person.
However, for the sake of intellectual integrity and preserving the sanctity of both religion and science, I allowed my aroused passions and agitation to lead me to write this brief note.
Fadel Soliman is an excellent orator, however, he depends more on his presentation skills than providing compelling content, in this episode at least. When he provides a non sequitor he turns up the base in his voice and portrays confident body language. He uses the tone of his voice and the palms of his hands to set up for an important ad hominem or out of place quote. This works excellently with people who have not been trained and conditioned to think and research for themselves. That basically means it works with most people.
Sigh, only a religious preacher would feel compelled to lecture about biology…
Here’s a minute by minute commentary on some of the shit he said.
0.33 – He says the word ‘theory’ several times throughout the video with a sense of indignation and dismissal. We have to understand that evolution is not a theory in the vernacular sense of the word, meaning an imperfect fact or an unsubstantiated speculation. Rather, when talking about evolution, theory refers to an overarching framework that makes sense of otherwise disconnected observations
He talks about Ambiogenesis and evolution like they are one theory. This is false! Evolution is much more developed and has been more rigorously studied… evolution only comes into action after the formation of the first living cell. How the first cell came into being is not the concern of evolution.
4.25 – On the issue of Randomness vs God directly interfering into creation to correct the course of the physical world.
First of all, if you believe in a transcendent, all wise, architect god, nothing is truly random. The fact that something did indeed happen, this, in the believer’s mind, is automatically the result of God’s wisdom and will. Randomness in the way the universe works may disprove Thor and Zeus, but not necessarily more sophisticated conceptions of God.
He is clearly falling into a ‘God of the gaps fallacy’. Just because we do not know all the mechanisms by which evolution and mutation occur does not mean we have to jump to a scientifically incoherent conclusion that ‘God did it’. One could say the same thing about chemical reactions, that when you put an acid and a base together “God” interferes and changes it to water and a salt. But after discovering about atoms and molecules and the forces and laws that govern chemical reactions, saying ‘God did it’ seems very primitive. It portrays a very vulgar interpretation of the divine and how the divine interacts with creation.
Also random mutation happens all the time but usually in unimportant parts of the DNA strand that don’t dramatically alter gene expression if at all. It only has to happen once, just ONCE somewhere strategic for you to get a small leap forward into evolution. It’s not that unlikely if it only needs to happen once.
He’s depending on his viewers’ ignorance to convince them what he’s saying is “logical” where it actually isn’t.
4.56 – Intelligent design – God of the gaps.
The thing about intelligent design is you can easily destroy it by flipping it over, what about unintelligent design? What about the laryngeal nerve, or the appendix? These are unintelligent mechanical quirks in creation; surely this casts the creator into a very unfitting light.
The problem with intelligent design is that it is not real science. It is not falsifiable because it incorporates the idea of an elusive transcendent designer. Ergo it is unpredictive for we have no idea what the intentions of the designer are and so we do not know what to expect. It is neither “Logical” nor “scientific” and should not be taken seriously by anyone with an at least high school biology background.
7.17 – the whole ‘everything good about the west came from Muslims” sentiment is getting a little old and pathetic.
8.00 – He’s reeeeaaallly milking the verses for this one. I think if God wanted to provide a brief description of how human beings came about he would have been more explicit and coherent. The creation verses in the Quran, much like the stories that are allegedly based on historical occurrences are there for the purpose of moral and spiritual reflection. This is why the Quran never mentions dates or details, it simply doesn’t care about them.
My problem with this is that it is so retrospective. He’s not using the Quran to acquire knowledge but rather he is fishing quotes in it to suit his cooped up pseudo scientific opinions.
It is also notable to mention that due to the discovery or remnants of ancient primates and the correlation of cortex size and intelligence, there is no scientific need to believe that intelligence evolved suddenly over night. It must have been gradual.
9.41 – EVIDENCE from the Quran, he can’t even make eye contact with the camera while saying that.
10.58 – Ah, the old ‘my opponents are closed minded because they expect evidence’ gimmick, nice, manipulation of the masses at its best! This way you get to turn the scientific elite’s own claims of enlightenment and open-mindedness against them and claim them for yourself, nice.
11.18 – There are many theories about the evolution of language but this field is still young. The fact that there are gaps in our knowledge does not negate the fact that evolution its self is very well researched and tested and has even been used to make accurate predictions. This is a prime example of pointing at the outer peripheries of the theory which include much speculation and falsely claiming it is proof that the core of the theory is also speculative.
12.17 – The reason scientists oppose teachers who preach against evolution is because they use their religions and ideologies to manipulate science, not because they’re afraid the theory is wrong.
Think back a few months ago, there was a possibility that CERN had discovered a particle that travels faster than light (turned out to be a glitch). But for a few days, everybody was excited, not disappointed, that our understanding was wrong, we were going to rediscover the nature of the universe. This is because (good) science strives on discovering truths about the universe without presupposing we know the final answers to everything.
13.37 – a7eh mix. Open minded bullshit again.
14.25 – no shit Sherlock.
I just wanna say that evolution is so much bigger than Darwin, he’s acting like Darwin is al shaf3i and we have a different opinion on a legal matter than him. This is science, not law, not history, not philosophy, SCIENCE!
Please don’t take the last sentence as some product of some vulgar scientism, I am well aware that science is a limited tool that has its own jurisdictions and parameters. But you must understand that you can bullshit your way around anything, including science. If we are to be sincere human beings, we must set aside cultural, religious and political biases (as much as humanly possible, a difficult exercise) if we are to truly pursue truth and enlightenment.
The funny thing is Soliman’s bullshit it pretty unnecessary, if you believe that God is behind every action in the world, you don’t need to make room for little glitches in physics and biology for him to suddenly step in and set everything on course. You’ll have to trust he’s smart enough to figure out an algorithm that will sort all the physical aspects of this creation shit out, right?