# Discussion: Quran detailing stuff impossible to know without modern scientific gear

Discussion in 'Formal debates' started by scifes, Feb 20, 2010.

1. ### scifesheckle the snobsValued Senior Member

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Last edited by a moderator: Feb 21, 2010

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5. ### scifesheckle the snobsValued Senior Member

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that's too long, quote what you want us to read.

7. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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It's a poem by Ovid, over a thousand years before the Quran was written, that refers to the ocean as a "dark abyss".

The idea that people needed the angel Gabriel to reveal to them, in the tenth century CE, that the sea was covered by waves and dark in its depths, is sort of insane in a pleasantly goofy kind of way.

8. ### 786Searching for TruthValued Senior Member

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Where is the reference to layers of waves? I didn't see it, which is one important point scifes is trying to make in the debate..

By the way did you care to read the Title of the Poem or the words before this?

1. The title is: The Creation of the World

Keep this in mind... And now I will reproduce some of it here for everyone to see:

Quoted from Article posted by Iceaura: (The Poem is about Creation of the World). Emphasis is mine.

"No sun was lighted up, the world to view;
No moon did yet her blunted horns renew:
Nor yet was Earth suspended in the sky,
Nor pois'd, did on her own foundations lye:
But earth, and air, and water, were in one.
Thus air was void of light, and earth unstable,
And water's dark abyss unnavigable. "

So let us summarize what is being stated in the poem:

1. We realize that it is detailing the state before 'creation'
2. There is No Sunlight- (as 'no sun was lighted up')
3. Earth, air, and water were 1.
4. Air was void of light.

First point, if there is no sunlight, then there is darkness.
Second point if Earth, Air, and Water were all ONE, and there is no Sunlight, which explains why the Air was void of light- that only leaves darkness.

Has anyone seen Ocean at night- what is it except 'dark abyss'?

So in conclusion- the 'dark abyss' of the 'water' is being referred to in a condition where light does not even exist- essentially speaking about the condition of water at night- ironically this is the argument spidergoat was making against Quran of a 'moonless night'... Scifes answered that criticism but the argument of spidergoat would be valid in reference to this poem- So this poem is defeated by spidergoats 'moonless night' argument, yet it does not have any relation to what the Quran stated.

As such this does not explain what the Quran stated- and also can not be used to say that what the Quran said was already present 1000 years back as Iceaura asserted as this poem is referring to the 'darkness' in a condition of no-light (no sunglight, 'air void of light', etc), also noting this poem makes no reference to the layers of waves spoken about in the Quran.

Peace be unto you

Last edited: Feb 25, 2010
9. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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I'll accept that as a reasonable take on Ovid's poem.

Do you agree with scifes that it wasn't until modern scientific gear was invented that the peoples of the world - ocean traders and fishermen and pearl divers and all - noticed that the depths of the ocean were dark, and the surface kind of wavy?

That they didn't, for example, look over the side of the boat and see the anchor being hoisted into the light?

couple more: Orphic Hymn 23 to Nereus (trans. Taylor) (Greek hymns C3rd B.C. to 2nd A.D.) :
"To Nereus, Fumigation from Myrrh. O thou sho dost the roots of sea (pontos) keep in seats cerulian, Daimon of the deep, with fifty maidens [the Nereides] attending in thy train, fair virgin artists, glorying through the main: the dark foundation of the rolling sea, and earth’s wide bounds belong, much-famed, to thee.

Ovid, Metamorphoses 2. 262 ff (trans. Melville) (Roman epic C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"[When Phaethon set the earth aflame riding the chariot of the sun :] Even Nereus, fathoms down, in his dark caves, with Doris and her daughters [Nereides], felt the fire."

Last edited: Feb 25, 2010
10. ### Michael歌舞伎Valued Senior Member

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I'm sorry but, I somehow missed the miracle. What EXACTLY is being discussed? That the ocean is dark the deeper in the water one traverses? That the ocean has waves of different directions?!? THIS is what Allah, creator of not only the Universe but reality itself, offers for miraculous? Dark water with some waves???

You have got to be kidding me. Seriously.

11. ### 786Searching for TruthValued Senior Member

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I think if you read scifes response- he says in the end that to know the many levels of 'darkness' is a possibility of being known. But he is stressing the real 'miracle' of the internal waves.

I'm not saying that people did not know that ocean floor was dark- I only responded to your previous article because it clearly had nothing to do with the 'dark water' we are talking about.

But I'll still look at these quotes you provided: emphasis mine.

Orphic Hymn 23 to Nereus (trans. Taylor) (Greek hymns C3rd B.C. to 2nd A.D.) :
"To Nereus, Fumigation from Myrrh. O thou sho dost the roots of sea (pontos) keep in seats cerulian, Daimon of the deep, with fifty maidens [the Nereides] attending in thy train, fair virgin artists, glorying through the main: the dark foundation of the rolling sea, and earth’s wide bounds belong, much-famed, to thee.

It may be that this is talking about the the ocean being dark at the 'foundation' (bottom?)... Although there is another way to look at it... That is to understand 'foundation of water'.

For example read here: The specific section "Tartarus, Cosmic Place" and also the next section.

http://www.maicar.com/GML/Underworld.html

Somethings to note in that article:

"Tartarus is the lowest abyss beneath the earth where all waters originate"

"Tartarus and the Underworld are the realm of Erebus, which is pure Darkness."

"Tartarus is also a place of punishment."

"Tartarus is, they say, a gloomy"

Summary:
1. All water originate in Tartarus
2. Tartarus is associated with realm of Erebus which is 'pure darkness'.
3. Tartarus is associated with 'punishment', much like underworld
4. And Tartarus is a 'gloomy place'- and as most people would understand the 'underworld' and place of 'punishment' are pretty 'dark' places- at least when you try to imagine them they are pretty 'dark'.

In conclusion the 'foundation of water' is in a dark place of Tartarus- so for the quote you referred to to say that the the 'dark foundation of the rolling sea' would be in line with their cosmology and 'creation' of things. Seems more like reflecting what they believed about the 'underworld' then about the water itself.

As for the second quote- he is God of 'Sea'- If the foundation of 'all waters' is dark- then I'm sure he can get their.

Anyhow I think you're concentrating on the wrong issue.... I think, as noted by scifes in his response, the real question is about knowing the many layers of waves- both of your quotes do not give this detail.

Peace be unto you

12. ### 786Searching for TruthValued Senior Member

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I guess you don't appreciate science at all- or at least not oceanography. There are scientists studying the shit and excretion of organisms as well-

Oh and you forgot the internal waves- which is the crux of the discussion.

Well Allah didn't offer it as miracle- he simply created it and used it as a metaphor for faithless people.

It is us saying that the knowledge of this information is a 'miracle'.....

Like this: 'British scientist J.B.S. Haldane, when asked what would constitute evidence against evolution, famously said, “Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian.”'

What if we did find rabbits in precambrian? That would be a miracle- in the loose meaning of the word- as 'science' does not believe in 'miracles'.

Peace be unto you

Last edited: Feb 26, 2010
13. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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So we drop the issue - emphasized by scifes in his "photic zone" commentary, and featured in the quote - about the darkness. One down.

OK: What about "waves upon waves" (as my translation has it) is supposed to be a revelation of the unknown to people who had been traveling the ocean for a thousand years? They are supposed to be unfamiliar with the complex wave turbulence common to severe storms? Their poets and storytellers didn't use that kind of intensifying language?

(I mean, besides the fact that it didn't actually reveal anything to any of them - the discoveries of modern oceanography awaited modern oceanography, and were not found in the Quran)

14. ### 786Searching for TruthValued Senior Member

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I didn't say to dismiss it, I just said that it was not the crux of the discussion.

If you read the verse carefully it is not talking about intensive 'waves on waves' as commonly found in storms. But in layers, as otherwise clouds would not make sense at all. Waves on Top of Waves which are further topped by clouds- a hierarchy of layers.

In other words internal waves- this can not be observed through storms.

The discussion is about the information itself- how it was received is another issue- although I would say that the Prophet stated that the Quran has many meanings in it- and the Quran says that God will 'show signs' in a timeless fashion- the Quran being seen from a scientific perspective could be considered that to be a 'show of sign'- something which the Arabs couldn't understand but we can. An 'on going' revelation of what Quran already revealed-

Peace be unto you

15. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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I don't see internal waves there at all - they don't act like surface waves, the surface waves aren't "on top" of them, etc.

And dark clouds over all sounds just like a storm to me - waves on top of waves, dark clouds over all, yep- stormy weather, lost at sea, poetic language.

No one else got "internal waves" out of that, either, for almost two thousand years.
Best leave it out then, rather than make the big deal out of it scifes did.

You aren't going to get too many converts to the notion that infidels didn't know it got dark in deep water until modern science came along, anyway - and if the Muslims didn't know, that's something I wouldn't brag around.

16. ### scifesheckle the snobsValued Senior Member

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alright! glad this thing got kick started, 786 is more than taking care of things here, so i'll just sit down and enjoy

17. ### 786Searching for TruthValued Senior Member

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Where are internal waves if they are not below surface waves? No one is saying they 'act like surface waves'- but they are still waves.

I guess I'll just post the verse here:

"Or (the Unbelievers' state) is like the depths of darkness in a vast deep ocean, overwhelmed with billow topped by billow, topped by (dark) clouds: depths of darkness, one above another: if a man stretches out his hands, he can hardly see it! for any to whom Allah giveth not light, there is no light!"

'darkness in a vast deep sea'
'waves topped by waves, topped by dark clouds'
'darkness upon darkness'

So first darkness is being referred to in reference to the 'deep' sea- alluding to the depth of it... Then it refers to waves- What waves at those depths?

Then these waves are topped by waves, which are then topped by dark clouds- all of this being referred to darkness upon darkness... To me it seems like layers.

That doesn't even matter. Quran has multiple meanings, some of which the Arabs at the time could not understand. The Prophet stated that the Quran holds many meanings in it- there is no one 'translation' of the Quran- the Quran speaks about Allah revealing himself in a timeless fashion- how so when the prophethood has ended and the Quran is supposedly the final revelation? Oh yes the Quran has many meanings- only a portion was 'revealed' to the Arabs which they could understand- we can understand something totally different from the same verses.

Peace be unto you

Last edited: Feb 26, 2010
18. ### BenTheManDr. of Physics, Prof. of LoveValued Senior Member

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To what extent that is understanding'', and to what extent is that reading a meaning into''? I've had the same discussions with Christian Apologists.

19. ### 786Searching for TruthValued Senior Member

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I don't think that is 'reading a meaning into'-

If I say 'I bought a red Ferarri'- you might infer that I'm rich. I'm not making totally something up- you read the verse as it is but the point is that the verse can be understood many ways if the subject of the verse allows.

Peace be unto you

20. ### 786Searching for TruthValued Senior Member

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Spidergoat says in the debate:

And then later goes on to say

I guess spidergoat is asking for scifes to show that these verse can only have 1 meaning (the scientific one)- which is an incorrect assumption to begin with- the Quranic verses have many meanings-

The verse can be taken to mean 'many' waves like proposed by spidergoat AND 'layers of waves'- even I write poetry that has many meanings in the same verse- it just depends from which perspective you look at it with..

If I can write a sentence that is supposed to hold many meanings, I don't understand why scifes must restrict the Quran to have only 1 meaning- supposedly being written by a much better writer than me, God!

Rather it is Spidergoat who has to show that the Arabs did not believe the Quran to have many meanings- or that the only meaning to the Quran was exactly what they themselves held to be its meaning-

Al Ghazali writes about this: And this notion of 'Quran having many meanings' didn't develop because people found 'science' in it- it was a long held, ancient view- even held by the Prophet himself.

""The truth is that prophetic Traditions (akhbar) and statements of the Prophet's companions and of other pious Muslims in early Islam (athar) prove that 'for men of understanding there is wide scope in the meanings of the Qur'an'. Thus 'Ali (may God be pleased with him!) said, 'except that God bestows understanding of the Qur'an upon a man.' If there is no meaning other than that which is related [from Ibn 'Abbas and other exegetes] what is that understanding of the Qur'an [which is bestowed upon a man]? The Prophet (may God bless him and greet him) said, 'Surely the Qur'an has an outward aspect, an inward aspect, a limit and a prelude.' This is also related. by Ibn Mas'ud on his own authority and he is one of the scholars of Qur'anic interpretation. [If there are no meanings of the Qur'an besides the outward ones], what is the meaning of its outward aspect, inward aspect, limit and prelude? 'Ali (may God show regard to his face!) said, 'If I so will I can certainly load seventy camels with the exegesis of the Opening Sura of the Book.' What then is the meaning of this statement of 'Ali, when the outward exegesis of this sura is extremely short us [and can be set forth in a few pages]? Abu Darda' said, 'One cannot [fully] understand the religion until one sees the Qur'an from different perspectives.' A certain religious scholar said, 'For every Qur'anic verse there are sixty thousand understandings [comprehensible to man]. The understandings of it which remain [incomprehensible to man] are even more than these in number.'"

Peace be unto you

Last edited: Feb 26, 2010
21. ### spidergoatValued Senior Member

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I think it's a version of a strawman argument. He's taking a poetic phrase and interpreting it in a modern scientific way. That doesn't mean that there is any real science in the original.

For instance, I could say in a poem that my heart is weighted down with darkness. Would it be a reference to dark matter? I mention a darkness with mass. That's what scifes is doing.

Furthermore, if God did intend to use science to convince us of the miracle of the Quran, he could have much more easily revealed something useful to Muslims, like the formula for dynamite.

22. ### 786Searching for TruthValued Senior Member

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Lol.... Yes but 'heart' is not translated 'mass' in any way- it is heart- but it cannot be translated mass... The words of the Quran can be translated into the very same word that can describe scientific fact. In our case here the meaning is exactly 'wave'-

Secondly God did not 'intend to use science to convince us'- he intended many things in the same verse. I guess you don't appreciate the language of many meanings- it would be deemed a poetic masterpiece. But what you want is the formula for dynamite or maybe perhaps the formula for photosynthesis written in it?

Peace be unto you