Leaving Islam



Mountain Building ---Allah’s Style?    

Abul Kasem

Of late, an unnamed Islamist posted an article (www.vinnomot.com) on the Mountain building---Qur’anic style, of course. He even cited the works of an American Professor Emeritus and a former President of the National Academy of Sciences to demonstrate that the Qur’an is correct in asserting that mountains are implanted with pegs buried deep under earth to stabilize the mother earth---so that it does not fly away---so to say. I read the essay with hilarity and was amazed at the chutzpah of the Islamists to play with their inane argument, hoping that the gullible readers will not discover their tricks. Having taught Basic Geology for a number of years I can demolish all of their contention by elucidating the mighty theories of Plate Tectonics and Continental Drift, the two primary forces that shape our planet: everything in it, including all the mountains and the oceans. Unfortunately this scholarly discussion will be too heavy for the general readers---they will soon lose interest when the technicality and the science involved are presented. Here I shall tell, very briefly, how nature forms mountains and shapes and reshapes our landscape for eternity. In fact,  even a High school kid will tell you that the formidable force that creates our landscape are a series of convection cells on the lithosphere that continually move up and down, taking along with them magma and mantle from the outer core of the earth. This is a cycle and what we see today on lithosphere is actually the result of activities of these convection cells. Observe how water boils in a container---by the continuous up and down movement of tiny water particles that circulate the heat everywhere in the container---and you will understand how all the Tectonic activities on earth’s surface take place. In the case of boiling water the process is just a few minutes---in case of earth, it is millions of years: this is the only difference.  

Observing this phenomenon, geologists have formulated the theory of Plate Tectonics, followed by the concept of Continental Drift. Plate Tectonic activity can be viewed as the result of the convection cells that causes land transformation, and Continental Drift is the slow process of moving of land masses and the creation of mountains, oceans, seas, lakes etc. Booth of these processes works together to shape and –reshape our landscape. Except for occasional violent volcanic activities, human life-span, unfortunately, is too short to observe or experience any such formation: it takes millions of years for any such event to materialize---and it is an extremely slow process—beyond our perception. Weathering and denudation are other associated causes by which today's mountains might disappear in a few million years .  

We teach Alfred Wegener's theory of Continental drift to our students. This theory, along with the theory of Plate Tectonics, forms the foundation of modern geology. If, what this Islamists wrote, citing one Professor's opinion is to be taken as true then the entire geology syllabus and all the current geology books become completely redundant; instead, we have to teach the Qur'an and Hadith as the basis of geology, come to think of it!  

It is possible for a mountain to be formed from the eruption/explosion of volcanoes in land or even under ocean. Some geologists speculate that regular, huge volcanic eruptions do take place under the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans, the results of which may, one day be, new land masses and mountains and the further drifting apart of the African and the South American continents. If someone calls the underside of these mountains as pegs then that is fine. It is similar to the base of anything---even a tree has a base, same goes for any terrestrial object---even the oceans have their bases!  

On the other hand, a mountain can also be erased by the relentless action of weathering, their base might remain intact. When we drill out rock cores from underneath and study them closely this truth emerges absolutely. As an example, the entire Sydney basin was a mountain range, now has been rendered into a flat plain. How come Allah forgot to mention how, He too, removes the mighty mountains---slowly and steadily? The answer, of course is Allah had no knowledge of what Alfred Wegener, the German geophysicist discovered and Allah was completely dumb on the issue of omnipresent weathering actions that are in work forever to change the surface of the earth. Therefore, how is it possible to maintain stability if today’s mountain is removed?  

I am curious why this Professor does not write a new text book based on the Qur’anic theory of mountain formation.  

As stated previously, the principal cause/s that shapes our earth’s surface are two important geological theories: Plate Tectonics and Continental Drift. These concepts are the foundation of modern geology. Mountains are never viewed as the stabilizing objects/forces. The highest mountain, like the Himalayan range was formed when the Indian plate collided with the Asian plate around 50 million years ago. It is believed that India was connected with Antarctica and Australiasia about 300 million years ago. Then the plate separated and the Indian continent started drifting northwards. When it collided with the Asian plate the sea level rose and the mountain range formed from the bottom of the sea. The evidence is that, high at the top of Himalayan the geologists have discovered fossils of sea creatures, thus, proving conclusively that the Himalayan rose from the bottom of the sea. The other truth is that the Himalyaya is the youngest mountain range in the world. It is not finished yet--the height of Himalayan mountain- peaks are still rising. This means that the seal level is rising. So, how is it possible to provide stability under this situation? Can we not, therefore, say that the idea that the mountains provide stability to the land mass does not arise at al? Furthermore, based on the Continental Drift pattern, the geophysicists have even constructed how the earth landscape will look like fifty million years in future. It is anything from what we see today, believe it or not! The Australian continent will move closer to Japan, the Indian sub-continent will mover further eastwards and the Africa and South America will drift apart further---increasing the expanse of the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans! Mind you, when the land masses move they move along with all their mountain ranges, oceans, lakes---everything on them. So what happens to the stability of the earth? May I ask this simple question to the unnamed Islamist?  

Without any authentic reference the anonymous Islamist wrote,: “Likewise, the modern Plate Tectonics holds that mountain work as stabilizers for the earth.” I would request him to provide evidence of such a claim by Plate Tectonics theorists.  

There are excellent articles on Plate Tectonic and Continental Drift in the Internet. Just type those two key words in Google-search and you will find hundreds of articles with excellent sketches and photographs. When you peruse one of these articles you will, for sure, discover how false the Islamists’ claims are.





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