Scientific errors in the Bible
Creation of the universe in SIX days:
According to the first book of Bible Genesis chapter no. 1, the universe was created in six days, and each day is defined as a twenty-four hours’ period.
However, the Qur’an mentions that the universe was created in six ‘Ayyaam’. ‘Ayyaam’ is the plural of ‘Yaum’ which has two meanings: firstly, a standard twenty-four hours’ period i.e. a ‘day’ and secondly this Arabic word also means a stage, a period or an epoch consisting of a very long period of time. Here the Qur’an refers to the creation of the heavens and the earth in six long periods or epochs, which the scientists have no objection to. According to science the creation of the universe has taken billions of years, which contradicts with the concept of creation given in the Bible, which states it took six earth days of twenty-four hours.
Sun created after the DAY:
The Bible says in Genesis chapter 1 verses 3 to 5 that the phenomenon of day and night was created on the first day of creation.
The light circulating in the universe is the result of a complex reaction in the stars, which according to the Bible Genesis chapter 1 verses 14 to 19, was created on the fourth day. It is illogical to mention the result that is the light (the phenomenon of day and night) was created on the first day of Creation when the cause or source of the light was created three days later, as has been mentioned in the Bible. Moreover the existence of evening and morning as elements of a single day is only conceivable after the creation of the earth and its rotation around the sun.
However, the Qur’an does not give this unscientific sequence. To say that Muhammad (pbuh) copied the creation of the universe from the Bible and missed out copying this unscientific sequence is absurd.
Creation of the earth, the sun and the moon:
We are aware that the earth and the moon emanated from their original star, the sun. However, according to the Bible, in the book of Genesis chapter 1 verses 9 to 13, the earth was created on the third day of creation, and according to verses 14 to 19 the sun and the moon were created on the fourth day of creation. This biblical sequence of creation of the earth before the creation of the sun is contrary to the established idea about the formation of the solar system.
Vegetation was created on the third day and sun on the fourth:
According to the book of Genesis, Chapter 1 Verses 11 to 13, vegetation was created on the third day along with seed bearing grasses, plants and trees, and sun was created on the fourth day (verses 14-19). How is it scientifically possible for vegetation to have appeared on earth without the presence of the sun?
If Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was indeed the author of the Qur’an and he merely copied from the Bible, how did he manage to avoid the factual and scientific errors that the Bible contains? The Qur’an does not contain any statements, which are incompatible with the scientific facts.
SUN and the MOON both emit light?
According to the Bible, both the sun and the moon emit their own light. Genesis Chapter 1 verse 16 says “And God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night.” Today, science tells us that the moon does not have its own light. This confirms the Qur’anic concept that the light of the moon is a reflected light. To say that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) 1400 years ago corrected these scientific errors in the bible and then copied the “corrected passages” onto the Qur’an is to state the impossible.
Adam (PBUH), the first man on earth, lived 5800 years ago:
If one studies the genealogy of the first man on earth i.e. Adam (pbuh), through to Abraham and Jesus (peace be upon them), as stated in the Bible, one would come to the conclusion that Adam (pbuh) appeared on the earth approximately 5800 years ago. Check it out for yourself:
- i) 1948 years between Adam and Abraham (pbut)
- ii) Approximately 1800 years between Abraham and Jesus (pbut)
- iii) About 2000 years from Jesus (pbuh) till today.
These figures are further confirmed by the fact that the Jewish calendar is currently on or about 5800 years old. There is sufficient evidence from archaeological and anthropological sources to suggest that the first human being on earth was present tens of thousands of years ago, and not merely 5,800 years ago as is suggested by the Bible.
While the Qur’an too speaks about Adam (pbuh) being the first man on earth, it does not suggest any date or time-frame for his appearance on earth, unlike passages from the Bible which are not compatible with science.
Noah and the Flood:
The Biblical description of the flood in Genesis chapter 6, 7 and 8 indicates that the deluge was universal and it destroyed every living thing on earth, except those present with Noah (pbuh) in the ark. The description suggests that the event took place 1656 years after the creation of Adam (pbuh) or 292 years before the birth of Abraham, at a time when Noah (pbuh) was 600 years old. Thus the flood may have occurred in the 21st or 22nd Century B.C.
This story of the flood, as given in the Bible, contradicts scientific evidence from archaelogical sources which indicate that the eleventh dynasty in Egypt and the third dynasty in Babylonia were in existence without any break in civilisation and in a manner totally unaffected by any major calamity which may have occurred in the 21st century B.C. This contradicts the Biblical story that the whole world had been immersed in the flood water. In contrast to this, the Qur’anic presentation of the story of Noah and the flood does not conflict with scientific evidence or archaeological data; firstly, the Qur’an does not indicate any specific date or year of the occurance of that event, and secondly, according to the Qur’an the flood was not a universal phenomenon which destroyed complete life on earth. In fact the Qur’an specifically mentions that the flood was a localised event only involving the people of Noah.
It is illogical to assume that Prophet Muhummad (pbuh) had borrowed the story of the flood from the Bible and corrected the mistakes before mentioning it in the Qur’an.
Moses and Pharaoh of the Exodus:
The story of Moses (pbuh) and the Pharaoh of the Exodus are very much identical in the Qur’an and the Bible. Both scriptures agree that the Pharaoh drowned when he tried to pursue Moses (pbuh) and led the Israelites across a stretch of water that they crossed. The Qur’an gives an additional piece of information in Surah Yunus chapter 10 verse 92: “This day shall We save thee in thy body, that thou mayest be a sign to those who come after thee! But verily, many among mankind are heedless of Our Signs!” [Al-Qur’an 10:92]
Dr. Maurice Bucaille, after a thorough research proved that although Rameses II was known to have persecuted the Israelites as per the Bible, he actually died while Moses (pbuh) was taking refuge in Median. Rameses II’s son Merneptah who succeeded him as Pharaoh drowned during the exodus. In 1898, the mummified body of Merneptah was found in the valley of Kings in Egypt. In 1975, Dr. Maurice Bucaille with other doctors received permission to examine the Mummy of Merneptah, the findings of which proved that Merneptah probably died from drowning or a violent shock which immediately preceeded the moment of drowning. Thus the Qur’anic verse that we shall save his body as a sign, has been fulfilled by the Pharaohs’ body being kept at the Royal Mummies room in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
This verse of the Qur’an compelled Dr. Maurice Bucaille, who was a Christian then, to study the Qur’an. He later wrote a book ‘The Bible, the Qur’an and Science’, and confessed that the author of the Qur’an can be no one else besides God Himself. Thus he embraced Islam.