London, Nov. 17 (ANI): Darwin's theory of evolution is increasingly being rejected by Muslim students and academics in many countries, as they consider it to be anti-Islam, a conference has been told.
Nidhal Guessoum, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the American University of Sharjah (UAE), said that people in Muslim countries believed they had to make a "binary choice" between evolution and creationism, rather than understanding that one could believe both in God and in Darwin's theory.
The Independent quoted Dr Guessoum, as saying that only 15 percent Muslims in Tunisia, Egypt, Turkey, Pakistan and Malaysia believed Darwin's theory to be "true" or "probably true".
Most alarmingly, he claimed, science teachers were misrepresenting the facts and theories of evolution by mixing it with religious ideologies.
A survey of 100 academics and 100 students that he conducted at his own university showed that 62 per cent of Muslim professors and students believed evolution to be an "unproven theory", compared with 10 per cent of non-Muslim professors.
"The rate of acceptance of evolution and of the idea of teaching evolution was extremely low. I wondered, who are all these educated people rejecting evolution? They are even rejecting the fact that it should be taught as scientific knowledge," he said.
Evolution did not contradict Islamic beliefs, Dr Guessoum said, unless a literal reading of the texts were adopted.
"Many Muslim scholars, from the golden age of Islam to today, adopted an evolutionary world view," he said, addressing the conference in Alexandria organized on the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species. (ANI)