Answering Neil deGrasse Tyson about God
So, I came across this astrophysicist scientist by the name of Neil deGrasse Tyson, who is supposedly very popular. Dr. Tyson is regarded as very knowledgable in his field, which I am sure he is. Naturally, I was interested to know his beliefs about God. Because, Dr. Hawking was clearly a rejector of existence of God and he died upon that state (i.e, disbelief). He is recorded to have said
When I heard Dr. Tyson’s arguments, he seemed to have a common argument that many other atheists share with him. I saw his multiple interviews where he was asked this question, this one for example. His answer was always along the lines of
I want to take this opportunity to present answers to Dr. Tyson that may lead to his belief. He said in the interview that he spends quite a lot of time on the internet, so I am hoping that this will reach to him.
Guidance Comes from God
And the guidance comes only from Allāh (the God) alone. Allāh guides the one who is sincere and constantly finding the truth
قُلْ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يُضِلُّ مَن يَشَآءُ وَيَهْدِىٓ إِلَيْهِ مَنْ أَنَابَ
Say, [O Muhammad], “Indeed, Allāh leaves astray whom He wills and guides to Himself whoever turns back [to Him]Surah ar-Ra’d 13:27
Dr. Tyson’s argument can easily be answered by God Himself, the same God that he and his father (who share same field, astrophysicist) Dr. Hawking rejects. He did say in the interview that he does not mix the faith and the science. But the reality is, I am not asking you to mix it, I am asking you to use your intellect. Even though, mixing them and faith alongside science make it a lot easier to understand both.
I will present few verses from the Qur’ān, a book sent more than 1440 years ago by God to Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. The challenge for you is
- You tell me how did Prophet Muhammad ﷺ know all this without God revealing this knowledge to him
- or – you accept that there is God and Islam is the only religion that was the religion of all the prophets, from Prophet Adam to Prophet Muhammad ﷺ
- or – there is bonus option for you, since you are a scientist and have access to great deal of books around including the history, prove that these verses were not part of Qur’ān 1400 years ago and they have recently been added. (a hint: you will fail to prove this)
There are two types of signs that God sent down, for us to contemplate and believe.
- Universal signs
- Legislative signs
Sun Is Not Stationary
The first verse I present is the state of sun – I chose this verse to be first because you deal with these kind of issues on daily basis. Science has only recently discovered that sun is not stationary, this wasn’t the case 20 years ago (when I went to high school, I was taught that sun is stationary and everything else revolves around it) – we only recently came to know this, how is this mentioned in the Qur’ān 1400 years ago?
ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِى رَفَعَ ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتِ بِغَيْرِ عَمَدٍ تَرَوْنَهَا ۖ ثُمَّ ٱسْتَوَىٰ عَلَى ٱلْعَرْشِ ۖ وَسَخَّرَ ٱلشَّمْسَ وَٱلْقَمَرَ ۖ كُلٌّ يَجْرِى لِأَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى ۚ يُدَبِّرُ ٱلْأَمْرَ يُفَصِّلُ ٱلْءَايَٰتِ لَعَلَّكُم بِلِقَآءِ رَبِّكُمْ تُوقِنُونَ
It is Allāh who erected the heavens without pillars that you [can] see; then He established Himself above the Throne and made subject the sun and the moon, each running [its course] for a specified term. He arranges [each] matter; He details the signs that you may, of the meeting with your Lord, be certain.Surah ar-Ra’d 13:2
This subject has been mentioned in Qur’ān many times. I will only mention one more that should give you enough to scratch your head and go back to the challenge above.
وَٱلشَّمْسُ تَجْرِى لِمُسْتَقَرٍّ لَّهَا ۚ ذَٰلِكَ تَقْدِيرُ ٱلْعَزِيزِ ٱلْعَلِيمِ وَٱلْقَمَرَ قَدَّرْنَٰهُ مَنَازِلَ حَتَّىٰ عَادَ كَٱلْعُرْجُونِ ٱلْقَدِيمِ لَا ٱلشَّمْسُ يَنۢبَغِى لَهَآ أَن تُدْرِكَ ٱلْقَمَرَ وَلَا ٱلَّيْلُ سَابِقُ ٱلنَّهَارِ ۚ وَكُلٌّ فِى فَلَكٍ يَسْبَحُونَ
And the sun runs [on course] toward its stopping point. That is the determination of the Exalted in Might, the Knowing. And the moon – We have determined for it phases, until it returns [appearing] like the old date stalk. It is not allowable for the sun to reach the moon, nor does the night overtake the day, but each, in an orbit, is swimming.Surah Yaaseen 36:38-40
For more verses you can refer to:
Purpose of Mountains
We know science has recently discovered many purposes of mountains with studies in Geology, for example
Mountains often serve as geographic features that define natural borders of countries. Their height can influence weather patterns, stalling storms that roll off the oceans and squeezing water from the clouds. The other side is often much drier. The rugged landscapes even provide refuge—and protection—for fleeing and invading armies.Impact of Mountains on Habitats and Geopolitics, National Geographic
My question is, how recent is recent? 20 years? 50 years? 200 years? Qur’ān has mentioned the purpose
أَلَمْ نَجْعَلِ ٱلْأَرْضَ مِهَٰدًا وَٱلْجِبَالَ أَوْتَادًا
Have We not made the earth a resting place? And the mountains as pegs?Surah an-Nabaa 78:6-7
Creation of Fetus
How long ago we learnt about the creation of fetus and different stages it goes through? 20 years ago? 30 years ago? Well, according to a leading embryologist, who’s books are studied at universities, Dr. Kieth Moor
So my question is, who could have taught this knowledge to Prophet Muhammad ﷺ 1400 years ago? Qur’ān gives accurate stages, precisely as we’ve only recently discovered.
وَلَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا ٱلْإِنسَٰنَ مِن سُلَٰلَةٍ مِّن طِينٍ مَّ جَعَلْنَٰهُ نُطْفَةً فِى قَرَارٍ مَّكِينٍ مَّ خَلَقْنَا ٱلنُّطْفَةَ عَلَقَةً فَخَلَقْنَا ٱلْعَلَقَةَ مُضْغَةً فَخَلَقْنَا ٱلْمُضْغَةَ عِظَٰمًا فَكَسَوْنَا ٱلْعِظَٰمَ لَحْمًا ثُمَّ أَنشَأْنَٰهُ خَلْقًا ءَاخَرَ ۚ فَتَبَارَكَ ٱللَّهُ أَحْسَنُ ٱلْخَٰلِقِينَ
And certainly did We create man from an extract of clay. Then We placed him as a sperm-drop in a firm lodging. Then We made the sperm-drop into a clinging clot, and We made the clot into a lump [of flesh], and We made [from] the lump, bones, and We covered the bones with flesh; then We developed him into another creation. So blessed is Allāh, the best of creators.Surah al-Mu’minoon 23:12-14
Is that It?
No, this is not exhaustive list but enough to get you to scratch your head and contemplate. There is more knowledge mentioned in Qur’ān that is unchanged, unaltered word of God. I will only list down few more references here for those who are interested
- Knowledge of fingerprints (Surah al-Qayaamah, 75:4)
- Knowledge of darkness of depths of oceans (Surah an-Noor, 24:40)
- Preservation of body of Pharoah (Surah Yunus, 10:92)
- Fetus inside the womb (Surah az-Zumar 39:6)
Remember, all this knowledge is recent but Qur’ān mentioned this when none of this was discovered.
Dr. Tyson said, “The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe it” [MasterClass Ad] – I say it’s more true about religion than science. Science is proven wrong so many times, from theory of evolution to theory of universe (as opposed to multi-verse) and many others. The only problem is, by the time you know you were wrong about the religion and the beliefs you held in this life, it would be already too late and there won’t be any going back to rectify your beliefs.
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