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Title: The creation-evolution debate : an Islamic perspective
Author: Thomas, Paul
Awarding Body: King's College London (University of London)
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2012
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2009 marked the bicentennial of Charles Darwin’s birth and the 150th anniversary of "On the Origin of the Species". Much has been written about the creationist views of fundamentalist Christians but relatively little about the creationist views of Muslims. The general aim of this study is to gain some insight into the worldview of British Muslims and the manner in which this informs the creation-evolution debate. Using semi-structured interviews, 25 (of whom 9 were females and 3 imams) candidates were interviewed between March and August, 2011. All interviewees had completed their GCSEs in the UK, and the majority were university graduates (17) based in London. The responses were considered in light of the theory of evolution as taught in Key Stage 4. The responses show a remarkable degree of uniformity despite differences in ethnicity and education. 24 of the 25 respondents rejected the theory of evolution as a scientific theory. 17 individuals wished to see the cessation of the teaching of evolution in schools. Responses reveal some trepidation to the effect that Muslim children are deliberately targeted at a tender age to counter the creationist teachings inculcated at home. One of the main objections to the theory of evolution was their understanding of the word "theory". Their responses indicated that theory meant no more than conjecture. Emboldened by such an understanding, they felt strongly that creationism ought also to be presented as an alternative and competing theory in the science classroom. Furthermore, responses indicated a general dissatisfaction with the quality of teaching on the theory of evolution in schools. The interviewees alleged that the teaching was instrumentally tailored to meeting the syllabus stipulations and passing exams, but failed to grapple with ambivalent or dissident views. To their mind, variation and adaptation are integral to the process of evolution, but did not lead to speciation. The majority of the respondents saw a link between evolution and atheism. Statements made by high-profile scientists such as Dawkins confirm such assumptions, in their view.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available