A while back, I read Hamza Tzortzis’ “paper”, Embryology in the Qur’an: A scientific-linguistic analysis of chapter 23: With responses to historical, scientific & popular contentions. It was terrible and painful: a 58 page treatise (with big print and lots of white space) expanding obsessively on two sentences from the Quran, claiming that it revealed deep insights about embryology that could not have been known without magical, supernatural insight. It was total bullshit.
Now, get ready for this: a couple of scholars have ripped into the Tzortzis paper at length. Embryology in the Quran: Much Ado about Nothing: A Refutation of Hamza Tzortzis’ Embryology in the Qur’an: A Scientific-Linguistic Analysis of Chapter 23.
It’s 149 pages long.
I haven’t read the whole thing, but did a few spot checks, and it looks solid so far. I’m just worried that now we’re in an escalation spiral, and Tzortzis will reply with a badly researched refutation of the refutation that will be 500 pages long.
The letter I was sent about the paper points out that it’s an important perspective, though: it’s not just Western scientists dismissing an Islamic perspective, but the authors are ex-Muslims who grew up steeped in Islamic culture, so it’s an internal criticism.
While it most probably is the case that you are thoroughly bored with Hamza Tzortzis and his fraudulent claims about Embryology in the Quran, there is a new document recently uploaded that does serious damage to the image of Hamza Tzortzis and at the same time, provides a definitive debunking of the unfortunately popular Islamic Embryology claim that has been touted for the last 30 years; spouted and spread so well, that children growing up in Islamic families take it as just another accepted fact and treat it just the same way they treat the fact that the Earth is round. As an Ex-Muslim, I can attest to this as I too for several years took it for granted that the Quran contained modern embryological facts (even when I knew nothing of the subject as a kid).
The embryology claim is one that has been unfortunately drilled deep into the psyche of most Muslims. The name “Keith Moore” is pretty much a house hold name for many Muslims. It is for this very reason that ex-Muslims like myself consider this new document titled “Embryology in the Quran: Much Ado about Nothing” very very important.
While yourself and many others have refuted Hamza’s hogwash, it is also true that the refutations so far were quite generalized . They very well do appeal to Skeptics (esp. those from the Christian background), however they were never enough to convince most of the Muslims and even ex-Muslims as they grew up knowing every detail of apologetics regarding this claim like the back of their hand.
This is where the new paper stands different. It takes a somewhat “James Randian” approach and uses the exact sources and methodologies used by Muslims to disprove definitively the embryology claim. The arguments in there have such a depth that even Muslims won’t be able to ignore them (or at least not without maintaining a cognitive dissonance).
Good. More voices and more perspectives are always helpful.