ASTONISHING REMAINS OF ANCIENT CIVILIZATIONS
The erroneous concept of socio-cultural evolution was proposed at different times by such ideologues as August Comte, Herbert Spencer and Lewis Henry Morgan—and later combined with Charles Darwin's theory—stating that all societies evolve from the primitive towards complex civilization. This error, developed in the late 19th century and whose influence increased in the period following World War I, supplied a supposedly "scientific" basis for racism, colonialism, and the ruthless movement of eugenics. Societies in different parts of the world with different cultures, skin colors and physical features were subjected to inhuman treatment inspired by this unscientific preconception.
Today, alongside highly advanced civilizations, there are also rather backward ones. However, that some societies are more advanced technologically does not mean that they are more mentally or physically developed.
Writers and thinkers like Adam Ferguson, John Millar and Adam Smith suggested that all societies evolve through four basic stages: hunting and gathering, pastoralism and nomadism, agriculture and finally, commerce. According to evolutionists' claims, primitive men who had just diverged from the apes only hunted and collected plants and fruits with the simplest of tools. As their intelligence and abilities gradually increased, they began domesticating grazing animals like sheep and cattle. Their intelligence and abilities eventually developed to the point of being able to engage in agriculture, and at last, to engage in trade and exchange of goods.
However, advances and recent discoveries in archaeology, anthropology, and other branches of science have invalidated this basic claim of the tale of "cultural and social evolution." These are nothing more than materialists' attempts to portray Man as having evolved from unreasoning beasts and to impose this myth—in which they believe for philosophical reasons—on science.
That humans could survive by hunting or agriculture does not show that they were either more backward or more advanced mentally. In other words, no society engages in hunting because it is backward and mentally closer to apes. Engaging in agriculture does not mean that a society has distanced itself from being primitive. No society's activities imply that its inhabitants are descended from other living things. Such activities do not produce, through any alleged evolutionary process, individuals who are more advanced in terms of intelligence and ability. Many of today's technologically backward tribes engage solely in hunting and gathering, but this definitely does not suggest that they are any less than human. The same will apply to humans living tens of thousands of years in the future, just as it did to those living hundreds of thousands of years ago. The latter were not primitive humans, nor will those in the future be a more advanced species.
That people survive through hunting or agriculture does not mean that they are any more advanced or backward in terms of their mental abilities. In other words, a society that survives through hunting does not do so because it is supposedly closely allied to the apes. Nor a society’s engagement in agriculture means that it has moved a long way on from apes.
No such primitive creatures such as are shown in this drawing ever existed. This and similar images are the work of the imaginations of Darwinist scientists, and are of no scientific value.
Constructing an evolutionary history of civilization based on societies' lifestyles is an unscientific approach. This perspective rests on interpreting various archaeological findings according to scientists' materialist prejudices, which assume that those humans who used stone tools were ape-men who grunted, stooped over with their knees bent, and exhibited animal-like behavior. Yet no remains discovered provide any clue regarding these people's mental capacities. This is all mere conjecture. As already stated, if various examples of today's art are discovered in 100,000 years' time and if the people of the future lack any further information, then they will likely produce very different interpretations of today's humanity and the technology we possess.
As we've shown, the idea that societies evolve is based on no scientific evidence whatsoever. This theory's foundation is the mistaken, unscientific view that Man originally possessed an ape-like mind. The Harvard university evolutionist anthropologist William Howells admits that the theory of evolution raises other questions, not about the body but about behavior that are to do with philosophy, determining the scientific facts about which is far more difficult. Howells points out that behavior is not "fossilized" in the sense that a skull may be and that it does not survive like stone tools. Therefore, he says, we have only very slight clues as to what might have happened in the ancient past. He also notes that it is just about impossible for such hypotheses to be tested. 36
Recently, indeed, the majority of social scientists have admitted the errors in the evolutionist view, stating that the social-evolution theory conflicts with science on the following points:
1. It is closely linked to ethnic discrimination, making biased interpretations of different societies—for example, on the assumption that Western societies are more civilized.
2. It suggests that all societies progress along the same path, using the same methods, and share the same objectives.
3. It views the society from a materialistic perspective.
4. It is largely incompatible with findings. Many communities living under primitive conditions possess more civilized spiritual values than various communities regarded as modern—in other words they are peace-loving and favor equality. Because of their diets, many are also healthier and stronger.
As these points clearly show, the conception that societies progress from the primitive to the civilized is incompatible with the scientific values and facts. This theory is based on interpretations distorted under the influence of materialist ideology. The remains and artifacts that past civilizations left behind reveal the errors in the "evolution of history and culture" deception.
Traces of the Past Refute Evolution
Findings from past civilizations invalidate the theory of "progress from the primitive to the civilized." When we examine the course of history, the truth that emerges is that humans have always enjoyed the same intelligence and creativity. The works produced by people hundreds of thousands of years ago, and the traces they've left behind, actually have very different meanings than what evolutionists claim. When we look at these same traces we see that people in all past ages, with their intelligence and capacities, have made new discoveries, met their needs and constructed civilizations.
The messengers sent helped their people develop and progress by way of initiating major changes. Inspired by God, they possessed detailed scientific knowledge. For example, Prophet Noah (pbuh) knew boat-building technology, for we understand from the Qur'an that his ark was steam-powered (God knows the truth):
So when Our command came and the oven gushed forth water, We said: "Load into it [the ark] a pair of every species, and your family – except those against whom the Word was preordained – and all who believe." But those who believed with him were only few. (Qur'an, 11:40)
Such an oven, known as tannur, is still used today in various regions. It is related in the verse that this oven gushed forth water. Thus, the ark was readied for movement by the stove's bubbling or, in other words, by the stove boiling. Indeed, in his commentary, Hamdi Yazir of Elmali says that the ark was "a kind of steamship powered by a stove":
Tannur: Described in the dictionary as a closed oven or stove. The word "fara" means boiling and spurting with great force and intensity. . . . In other words, it implies that the boat is not a sail-powered one, but is reminiscent of a steamer powered by a stove. 37
Major advances in science, art, and technology were made also in the time of Prophet Solomon (pbuh). The Qur'an indicates, for instance, that transport vehicles as fast as airplanes were used in his day: "And We gave Solomon power over the wind – a month's journey in the morning and a month in the afternoon" (Qur'an, 34:12).
This verse clearly indicates that long distances could be traversed quickly. This points to wind vehicles that used a technology similar to that employed in our own day. (God knows the truth.) Moreover, the Qur'an reports that:
They made for him anything he wished: high arches and statues, huge dishes like cisterns, great built-in cooking vats. "Work, O family of David, in thankfulness!" But very few of My servants are thankful. (Qur'an, 34:13)
In other words, Prophet Solomon (pbuh) caused his workers to employ very advanced construction and architectural technologies.
Another verse states that:
. . . And the demons, every builder and diver. (Qur'an, 38:36-37)
The fact that Prophet Solomon (pbuh) could control diver demons indicates the location and extraction of undersea resources. Undersea oil and precious metal extraction processes and work require a highly advanced technology. These verses emphasize that such technology both existed and was used.
Another verse describes "a fount of molten copper" (Qur'an, 34:12). The use of molten copper indicates the existence of an advanced technology using electricity in Prophet Solomon's (pbuh) time. As we know, copper is one of the best conductors of metal and heat, for which reason it represents the basis of the electricity industry. The term, "We made a fount of molten copper flow" in all probability points to large quantities of electricity being produced and used in many technological fields. (God knows the truth.)
Several verses reveal that Prophet David (pbuh) had a good knowledge of ironworking and making armor:
And We made iron malleable for him: "Make full-length coats of mail, measuring the links with care. And act rightly, all of you, for I see what you do." (Qur'an, 34:10-11)
The Qur'an also mentions that Dhu'l-Qarnayn (pbuh) constructed a barrier between two mountains that could not be crossed or tunneled through by the societies of the time. According to the relevant verse, he used ingots of iron and molten copper:
[Dhu'l-Qarnayn said:] "Bring me ingots of iron!" Then, when he had made it level between the two high mountain-sides, he said: "Blow!" and when he had made it a red hot fire, he said: "Bring me molten copper to pour over it." (Qur'an, 18:96)
This information indicates that Dhu'l-Qarnayn used reinforced concrete technology. Iron, one of the strongest materials used in construction, is essential for increasing the strength of such architectural works as buildings, bridges, and dams. It appears from this verse that he laid the iron end to end and made a strong reinforced concrete structure by pouring mortar over it. (God knows the truth.)
Inscriptions from ancient Central American civilizations refer to a tall, bearded person arriving wearing white robes. They also report that within a short space of time, belief in a single deity spread and a sudden leap forward in art and science occurred.
Many prophets, such as Jacob, Joseph, Moses, and Aaron (peace be upon them all) were sent to ancient Egypt. These messengers and the people who believed in them may have had an important influence on the rapid artistic and scientific progress made by Egypt at various times.
Muslim scientists following the Qur'an and the Sunnah of our Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) made important discoveries in astronomy, mathematics, geometry, medicine, and other sciences. These made major change and significant progress possible in science and social life. Some of these Muslim scientists and their work are as follows:
Abd al-Latif al-Baghdadi is known for his work on anatomy. He rectified previous errors concerning many of the body's bones, such as the lower jaw and the breastbone. His Al-Ifada wa al-I'tibar was set out in 1788 and translated into Latin, German, and French. He studied the five sense organs in his Makalatun fial-Havas.
Ibn Sina (Avicenna) described the treatments for many diseases. His best-known work, Kitab al-Qanun fi at-Tibb, was written in Arabic and translated into Latin in the 12th century. It was taught and regarded as a basic textbook in European universities until the 17th century. Much of its medical information still applies today.
Zakaria Qazvini demolished many mistaken ideas regarding the brain and the heart that, since Aristotle's time, had been considered accurate. The information he provided about these two organs is very similar to our present-day knowledge.
Zakaria Qazvini, Hamd Allah Mustawfi Qazvini (1281-1350), and Ibn Nafs all studied anatomy and formed the foundation of modern medical science.
Ali ibn Isa wrote a three-volume work on eye diseases, Tazkirat al-Kahhalin. The first volume is totally devoted to the eye's anatomy and contains much valuable information. It was later translated into Latin and German.
Al-Bayruni demonstrated, 600 years before Galileo, that Earth revolves and also calculated its diameter 700 years before Newton.
Ali Kuscu produced the first map of the Moon, one region of which is named after him.
Thabit ibn Qurra discovered differential calculus centuries before Newton.
Al-Battani was the first to discover trigonometry.
Abu'l Vafa was responsible for trigonometry acquiring the terms secant and cosecant.
Al-Khwarizmi wrote the first book on algebra.
Al-Maghribi discovered the equation known as Pascal's triangle 600 years before Pascal himself.
Ibn Haytham is the founder of optics. Bacon and Kepler made use of his works, and Galileo used his works in his discovery of the telescope.
Al-Kindi put forward relativity and the theory of relativity 1,100 years before Einstein.
Akshamsaddin, who lived some 400 years before Pascal, was the first to discover the existence of microbes.
Ali ibn Abbas performed the first cancer operation.
Ibn Jazzar described the causes and treatment of leprosy.
Muslim scientists, only a minute fraction of whom are listed above, made major discoveries that would form the basis of modern science by following the Qur'an and the way of our Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace).
As we have seen, many earlier peoples made progress in art, medicine, technology, and science through the messengers sent to them. By obeying the prophets and learning from these individuals' suggestions and encouragement, they acquired knowledge and handed this on to subsequent generations. In addition, societies that sometimes turned away from the true religion and developed superstitious beliefs returned to faith in the One God through these messengers' efforts.
When findings regarding past ages are looked at without prejudice, humanity's history can be understood very clearly and distinctly.
As already stated, backward and advanced civilizations have existed together at all periods in history, just as they do today. In our day, we enjoy space technology, while people in other parts of the globe are living under primitive conditions, so in the past Ancient Egypt had a glorious civilization on the one hand, while rather more backward societies existed in other parts of the world. The Mayans, who built highly developed cities, and who from the traces they left behind can be seen to have possessed a clearly advanced technology, calculated the orbit of the planet Venus and discovered the moons of the planet Jupiter. At the same time, people in many regions of Europe believed that the Earth was the center of the Solar System. While the Egyptians were successfully performing brain surgery, in other regions people believed that disease was caused by supposed evil spirits. With their legal system, literature, understanding of art and astronomical knowledge, the Sumerians built a deep-rooted civilization in Mesopotamia, while another corner of the world held societies that were still illiterate. Therefore, in the same way that today's civilizations are not all advanced, so in the past there was never a time when the only societies were backward ones.
So far, we have examined evidence belonging to different periods of history and reviewed examples of the cultures of tens or hundreds of thousands years ago. Looking at more recent history, again we encounter evidence that human beings have always been human: Here we are dealing not with "primitive" people who have only recently parted ways with apes, but civilized human beings who can be seen to have inherited yet another civilization that had persisted for thousands of years before them.
As technology advanced in the 20th century, archaeological research accelerated enormously, and began to unearth more and more evidence regarding the true history of mankind. Thus it emerged that life in Egypt, Central America, Mesopotamia and other regions thousands of years ago was in many ways parallel to how we live today.
36. William Howells, Getting Here: The Story of Human Evolution, Washington, D.C.: Compass Press, 1993, p. 229.