The most beautiful moments in the life of the believer when he see a miracle in the sayings of the prophet (Peace be upon him), we are in the era of science and scientific explorations, so we have to make some searching in his sayings to realize these scientific signs which testify that prophet Mohamed (Peace be upon him) is sincere. This research may make a good contribution to correct west vision about that illiterate prophet (Peace be upon him).
Prophet Mohamed says to his companions :(this subject will reach all places the same as night and day) which means that Islam will spread to reach all places the same as night and day reach every place on earth . Indeed, today statistics says that religion of Islam is in every place in the world!! As these statistics says that by the year 2025 , Islam will be the first religion all over the world according to number of followers , this is not an exaggerated saying with no doubt these numbers are real , as these figures came from non Muslim scientists.
Statistical experts confirm that Islam is the fastest growing religion and there are Muslims in all countries all over the world but with different ratios. The question, isn’t this the same as what prophet Mohamed said to his companions 1400 years ago?
The prophet said (ground was made for me as a place to prayer and also a method to be pure) [Narrated by Muslim]. in a new research scientists discovered that there are Antibiotics in the soil of earth , these Antibiotics can clean up and kill the most obstinate kind of bacteria , which prove that soil is a Disinfectant. In a new study scientists said that there are some kinds of soil which can remove the most obstinate kind of bacteria. Today, scientists are looking for manufacturing a killer for the most obstinate kind of bacteria extracted from soil. After many tests in laboratory they found that during 24 hour soil can remove an entire colony of bacteria but the same colony had multiplied 45 times without mud.
Scientists discovered that soil contains antibiotics, and without this feature life would not continue because of viruses and bacteria that may reach human and may eliminate his life and destroy him, but god with his mercy put the cleansing feature to ensure the continuation of our life. We have to thank god for this blessing.
Prophet Mohamed spoke very carefully about a scientific fact realized by scientists few years ago. He said ( God will not held day of resurrection unless Arab land returns greens and rivers again ) [Narrated by Muslim.] scientifically, it was proved that one day the Arabian peninsula was full of greens and rivers as satellite photos confirm that there are buried rivers under the sand of Arab land , one of the great scientists of the American space agency (NASA) says that the taken photos for the desert had shown that one day this area was covered with rivers and lakes like Europe and one day in the future it will back again like the past.
NASA scientists confirms that one day desert of Rub ‘ Al Khali and the Arabian Peninsula was covered with rivers, forests and animals and they confirm that this land will back again like the past , as referenced by the prophetic Hadith.
The Prophetic Hadith about the straight way in Day of Resurrection is considered to be one of the scientific miracles in the prophetic Sunnah. In this Hadith the prophet says:( don’t you see that the lightning comes and back in an eye blink) [Narrated by Muslim] .there is complete identification between our prophet saying and the most recent discovery concerning the lightning flash as scientists had found that the lightning flash happens when a ray of lightning get out of the cloud toward the ground and back again to the cloud! In that Hadith a sign that prophet
Mohamed (Peace be upon him) talked very carefully about phases of the lightning, and also he determined the time as it is the time of an eye blink!
Scientists had found that lightning has many phases and the most important phases are going down phase and going back phase. Time of the lightning flash is 25 Fraction of a second and this is the same as time of eye blink, isn’t this the same as what prophet Mohamed said 1400 years ago?
Recently, scientists had discovered that forelock area (upper and front of the brain) controls right decisions making, so as long as this are is active and efficient ,the taken decisions would be more accurate and wise .prophet Mohamed (Peace be upon him) says in his supplication (oh god, my forelock is between your hand) [Narrated by Ahmed].in this supplication there is a full submission from the prophet to his god be he exalted as god is controlling however he wants and is predetermining whatever he wants . Also scientists discovered that forelock area plays a vital role in realizing, steering, problem solving and creation. So that prophet Mohamed had submitted this area for his god.
After long studies for brain activities, scientists had discovered that the most important area is the forelock (forepart of the head ) as this area is responsible for creation and steering operations so prophet Mohamed (Peace be upon him) confirms that this area is so important , and this is a miracle which testify that the prophet is sincere . How could he know about that issue in a time when no one knows anything about it? God taught him all of that as god says: (and taught you that which you knew not. And Ever Great is the Grace of Allah unto you) (An-Nisa’- verse 113)
Prophet Mohamed (Peace be upon him) said: (one of the signs of day of resurrection is the sudden death) [Narrated by AlTabarani]. Certainly, in this Hadith there is a scientific miracle concerning a medical fact which considered being a testimony that Mohamed is god’s prophet. United Nations statistics confirms that phenomenon of sudden death appeared in recent days and is increasing despite all preventive procedures.
Heart doctors confirm that phenomenon of sudden death spread considerably in the last few years, despite the development in medicine and number of dead people by this phenomenon are increasing. Isn’t this the same as what was indicated in the prophetic Hadith?
Most of scientists confirm that Senility is the best natural end for human, and any attempt to prolong life above certain limit will cause many effects, one of these effects is cancer. “Lee silver” from Princeton, the American University says:” any attempt to reach immortality is an opposite way against nature”. So, it was useless to spend money to treat senility as the spent money was about millions of Dollars. this is the same as what prophet Mohamed (Peace be upon him) said :(oh you ,slaves of God you have to treat yourselves from ills , as each ill has a treatment except Senility , it has no treatment.) [Narrated by Ahmed]
So science gives us some new facts to verify and prove the truthfulness of the prophet and message of Islam.
In the Holy Quran, God speaks about the stages of man’s embryonic development:
“We created man from an extract of clay. Then We made him as a drop in a place of settlement, firmly fixed. Then We made the drop into an alaqah (leech, suspended thing, and blood clot), then We made the alaqah into a mudghah (chewed substance)…” (Quran 23:12-14)
Literally, the Arabic word alaqah has three meanings: (1) leech, (2) suspended thing, and (3) blood clot.
In comparing a leech to an embryo in the alaqah stage, we find similarity between the two as we can see in figure 1. Also, the embryo at this stage obtains nourishment from the blood of the mother, similar to the leech, which feeds on the blood of others.
Figure 1: Drawings illustrating the similarities in appearance between a leech and a human embryo at the alaqah stage. (Leech drawing from Human Development as Described in the Quran and Sunnah, Moore and others, p. 37, modified from Integrated Principles of Zoology, Hickman and others. Embryo drawing from The Developing Human, Moore and Persaud, 5th ed., p. 73.)
The second meaning of the word alaqah is “suspended thing.” This is what we can see in figures 2 and 3, the suspension of the embryo, during the alaqah stage, in the womb of the mother.
Figure 2: We can see in this diagram the suspension of an embryo during the alaqah stage in the womb (uterus) of the mother. (The Developing Human, Moore and Persaud, 5th ed., p. 66.)
Figure 3: In this photomicrograph, we can see the suspension of an embryo (marked B) during the alaqah stage (about 15 days old) in the womb of the mother. The actual size of the embryo is about 0.6 mm. (The Developing Human, Moore, 3rd ed., p. 66, from Histology, Leeson and Leeson.)
The third meaning of the word alaqah is “blood clot.” We find that the external appearance of the embryo and its sacs during the alaqah stage is similar to that of a blood clot. This is due to the presence of relatively large amounts of blood present in the embryo during this stage (see figure 4). Also during this stage, the blood in the embryo does not circulate until the end of the third week. Thus, the embryo at this stage is like a clot of blood.
Figure 4: Diagram of the primitive cardiovascular system in an embryo during the alaqah stage. The external appearance of the embryo and its sacs is similar to that of a blood clot, due to the presence of relatively large amounts of blood present in the embryo. (The Developing Human, Moore, 5th ed., p. 65.)
So the three meanings of the word alaqah correspond accurately to the descriptions of the embryo at the alaqah stage.
The next stage mentioned in the verse is the mudghah stage. The Arabic word mudghah means “chewed substance.” If one were to take a piece of gum and chew it in his or her mouth and then compare it with an embryo at the mudghah stage, we would conclude that the embryo at the mudghah stage acquires the appearance of a chewed substance. This is because of the somites at the back of the embryo that “somewhat resemble teethmarks in a chewed substance.” (see figures 5 and 6).
Figure 5: Photograph of an embryo at the mudghah stage (28 days old). The embryo at this stage acquires the appearance of a chewed substance, because the somites at the back of the embryo somewhat resemble teeth marks in a chewed substance. The actual size of the embryo is 4 mm. (The Developing Human, Moore and Persaud, 5th ed., p. 82, from Professor Hideo Nishimura, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan.)
Figure 6: When comparing the appearance of an embryo at the mudghah stage with a piece of gum that has been chewed, we find similarity between the two.
A) Drawing of an embryo at the mudghah stage. We can see here the somites at the back of the embryo that look like teeth marks. (The Developing Human, Moore and Persaud, 5th ed., p. 79.)
B) Photograph of a piece of gum that has been chewed.
How could Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, have possibly known all this 1400 years ago, when scientists have only recently discovered this using advanced equipment and powerful microscopes which did not exist at that time? Hamm and Leeuwenhoek were the first scientists to observe human sperm cells (spermatozoa) using an improved microscope in 1677 (more than 1000 years after Muhammad). They mistakenly thought that the sperm cell contained a miniature preformed human being that grew when it was deposited in the female genital tract.
Professor Emeritus Keith L. Moore is one of the world’s most prominent scientists in the fields of anatomy and embryology and is the author of the book entitled The Developing Human, which has been translated into eight languages. This book is a scientific reference work and was chosen by a special committee in the United States as the best book authored by one person. Dr. Keith Moore is Professor Emeritus of Anatomy and Cell Biology at the University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada. There, he was Associate Dean of Basic Sciences at the Faculty of Medicine and for 8 years was the Chairman of the Department of Anatomy. In 1984, he received the most distinguished award presented in the field of anatomy in Canada, the J.C.B. Grant Award from the Canadian Association of Anatomists. He has directed many international associations, such as the Canadian and American Association of Anatomists and the Council of the Union of Biological Sciences.
In 1981, during the Seventh Medical Conference in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, Professor Moore said: “It has been a great pleasure for me to help clarify statements in the Quran about human development. It is clear to me that these statements must have come to Muhammad from God, because almost all of this knowledge was not discovered until many centuries later. This proves to me that Muhammad must have been a messenger of God.”
Consequently, Professor Moore was asked the following question: “Does this mean that you believe that the Quran is the word of God?” He replied: “I find no difficulty in accepting this.”
During one conference, Professor Moore stated: “….Because the staging of human embryos is complex, owing to the continuous process of change during development, it is proposed that a new system of classification could be developed using the terms mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah (what Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, said, did, or approved of). The proposed system is simple, comprehensive, and conforms with present embryological knowledge. The intensive studies of the Quran and hadeeth (reliably transmitted reports by the Prophet Muhammad’s companions of what he said, did, or approved of) in the last four years have revealed a system for classifying human embryos that is amazing since it was recorded in the seventh century A.D. Although Aristotle, the founder of the science of embryology, realized that chick embryos developed in stages from his studies of hen’s eggs in the fourth century B.C., he did not give any details about these stages. As far as it is known from the history of embryology, little was known about the staging and classification of human embryos until the twentieth century. For this reason, the descriptions of the human embryo in the Quran cannot be based on scientific knowledge in the seventh century. The only reasonable conclusion is: these descriptions were revealed to Muhammad from God. He could not have known such details because he was an illiterate man with absolutely no scientific training.”
Small but terrible. That’s what insects are. Indeed, most insects can fit in the palm of your hand and yet, they can also result in the biggest fears, with even adults screaming at the sight of them. Don’t think they’re creepy? Well, these ten facts may just change your mind.
1. A cockroach can live for weeks without its head.
Cockroaches are some of the creepiest insects around for two main reasons. One, they carry tons of bacteria that can cause harmful diseases and two, they are so hard to kill. And we mean hard. A cockroach can live for weeks without food and water. They can hold their breath for up to 40 minutes which means flushing them down the toilet isn’t a surefire way to kill them. And they can even survive a nuclear explosion.
Not convinced about how hardy cockroaches are? Well, take this – cockroaches can live weeks without their heads. So don’t be surprised if you see a headless cockroach crawling around (even though you might just feel like screaming). This is because cockroaches don’t need their brains to breathe or move. Those functions are controlled by organs found in other parts of their body. They also won’t bleed to death like we would when our heads are cut. The wound would just clot like any other wound.
This doesn’t mean, though, that cockroaches are immortal. They will still die eventually from hunger and thirst since they need their heads to eat and drink.
Oh, and one more thing. A cockroach head can also survive on its own for several hours or even days if it’s refrigerated. Now, what’s more gruesome? A headless cockroach or a moving cockroach head?
2. Honey bees have hair on their eyeballs.
Honey bees have one of the best eyesights in the insect world. They have five eyes, two of which are compound, meaning they are made up of thousands of smaller eyes. These compound eyes are so efficient, they can see up to 300 frames per second and they can also see ultraviolet light.
That’s amazing but here’s something creepy about the eyes of honey bees. They have hair. The fine hairs help the bees to pick up and transfer more pollen. Also, they can help the bees tell the direction of the wind and to detect the humidity in the air.
3. In some parts of the world, army ants are used to close wounds.
Some army ants have such powerful mandibles that when they bite you, you’ll really scream from the pain. Some won’t even let go of your skin even after they’re dead, leaving behind nasty puncture wounds.
Their strong jaws are not always harmful, though. In East Africa and parts of the Amazon, army ants are used to close the wounds. In the case of a bad cut, they get army ants to bite both sides of the cut, holding the skin together. This effectively stops the bleeding, much like stitches do and can hold for up to a few days, allowing the wound to heal. This practice is so effective it has been around since 1000 BC.
4. Some caterpillars disguise themselves as bird poop.
Caterpillars are a favorite snack of birds so to protect themselves, they’ve taken on various appearances. Some look like twigs. Others look like snake heads and the puss moth has a unique, startling appearance altogether.
Then there are the caterpillars that disguise themselves as bird poop such as the white admiral, the giant swallowtail, the Asian swallowtail and the viceroy caterpillars. They are black or gray with tinges of yellow and white, just like bird poop, and some of them are even slightly dangling off a branch or a leaf, making them look more convincing. And it works! Studies show that birds are three times less likely to attack a hanging bird poop-looking caterpillar than a straight one.
5. Female praying mantises eat their mates.
Not always. Sometimes, if the male is lucky enough, he can run for it and survive. If he’s out of luck, though, the larger and stronger female will end up eating him. Head first. In fact, some females start eating the heads of the males even before mating. Amazingly, he’s still able to get the job done but he won’t be going anywhere afterwards.
Why does the female praying mantis do this? Easy. She’s just hungry. Praying mantises are ferocious hunters, after all.
6. Twisted-wing parasite larvae eat their mother.
What’s worse than eating your own mate? Probably eating your own mother, which is exactly what the twisted-wing parasite larvae do.
These tiny insects live inside bees, wasps and cockroaches. The adult males grow wings and eventually leave the host to find females to mate with but the females, once inside a host, never leave, simply sticking their butts out of the host so that they can be mated with. After mating, the females get pregnant and when the babies are ready to come out, they eat their mother from the inside, bursting out of her brood canal. Now, that’s a painful birth. Eventually, the larvae develop legs and they crawl out of the host to find a new one where they will grow and develop into adults. And the cycle starts all over again.
7. House flies poop constantly.
See that fly perched on the wall or at the edge of your table? It’s probably pooping.
House flies eat a lot of food but they can’t take it all in or they wouldn’t be able to fly, so they’re also constantly pooping. Oh, and they regularly vomit, too. That’s because they can’t chew solid food. When they find solid food, like a slice of bread, for example, what they do is that they vomit on it in order to soften it and when it becomes soft enough, they suck it all in, vomit and food and all.
So the next time you see a fly land on something you’re eating, forget about putting it inside your mouth. The fly might have already pooped on it or threw up on it – and your guess is as good as anyone’s as to what meal it ate last. Even if it didn’t, keep in mind that a single house fly can carry up to 30 million bacteria, 6 million on its legs that touched your food! Yuck!
8. Leaf beetle larvae have shields made of poop.
Speaking of poop, the larvae of various species of leaf beetles have found a use for theirs. They use them to make shields – fecal shields. These shields act not just as physical barriers like the shields warriors use but also act as chemical barriers, filled with chemical compounds that repel other insects that might think of eating them. The shape and size of the shield varies among species, with some stuck to the larva’s back or held up by the larva like an umbrella. Either way, the larva needs a lot of energy to carry the shield, which can weigh up to half its own weight.
9. Assassin bugs suck the insides of their prey.
Assassin bugs are well-named. They sneak up to other insects – caterpillars, beetles, flies, bees, crickets, cockroaches – even those larger than they are and then they stab it with their long straw-like mouth, injecting a good amount of their saliva. The saliva is toxic and turns the insides of the insect into liquid, allowing the assassin bug to gradually suck them out, leaving behind the empty, lifeless shell. Sometimes, they even start sucking the insides of their prey while it is still alive, holding it down using their hairy legs.
Assassin bugs can be beneficial because they feed on pests. However, they can also be harmful. Some assassin bugs can deliver a very painful bite when picked up while others can transmit Chaga’s Disease, which kills about 13,000 people each year in Central and South America.
10. Voodoo wasps turn caterpillars into their bodyguards.
The voodoo wasp is another insect that lives up to its name. You see, female voodoo wasps lay their eggs inside a caterpillar’s body. After the eggs hatch, the pupae crawl out of the caterpillar. The caterpillar appears dead, unmoving, but watch when a predator such as another bug comes near. Suddenly, the caterpillar wildly thrashes about as if a spell has been cast upon it. The result? The predator leaves and the pupae are safe. In essence, the caterpillar has not only become the living nursery for the pupae, but it is also transformed into their bodyguard, a process scientists have yet to explain. (Who knows? Maybe wasps can practice voodoo.)
If you want to join the ranks of “those people” who rarely get sick, start with the strategies listed below. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it does give you a general idea of how to live healthy and avoid getting sick. Other factors, like getting high-quality sleep and avoiding exposure to environmental toxins, are important too, but if you’re looking for a few simple “secrets” to get started on today … start with these …
- Optimize Your Vitamin D
This takes the number one position for a reason: if you’re vitamin-D-deficient, and many are, your immune system will not activate to do its job. Just one example of an important gene that vitamin D up-regulates is your ability to fight infections, including the flu. It produces over 200 antimicrobial peptides, the most important of which is cathelicidin, a naturally occurring broad-spectrum antibiotic.
At least five studies show an inverse association between lower respiratory tract infections and vitamin D levels. That is, the higher your vitamin D level, the lower your risk of contracting colds, flu, and other respiratory tract infections. To find out more, including your best sources of vitamin D, dosing and what proper levels should be, please watch my free one-hour lecture.
The best way to increase your vitamin D level is by sun exposure but that is difficult for most people in the fall and winter, so next best would be to use a safe tanning bed. Neither of these methods require blood testing as long as you are getting enough exposure to get a tan. The least best way to increase your vitamin D level is by swallowing it, which will require a blood test to confirm your level is correct. Most adults require 8,000 units to reach therapeutic levels and some much more. Although that may sound too high to some, remember you can get up to 20,000 units through sun or tanning bed exposures.
- Optimize Your Insulin and Leptin Levels by Avoiding Sugar, Fructose
Eating sugar, fructose and grains will increase your insulin level, which is one of the fastest ways to get sick and also experience premature aging. Leptin is another heavyweight hormone associated with disease and the aging process.
Like your insulin levels, if your leptin levels become elevated, your body systems will develop a resistance to this hormone, which will wreak havoc in your body.
My nutrition plan, based on natural whole foods, is your first step toward optimizing your insulin and leptin levels and increasing your chances of living a longer, healthier life. The heart of my program is the elimination, or at the very least, drastic reduction of fructose, grains and sugar in your diet, which is also important for flu prevention because sugar decreases the function of your immune system.
If you are exercising regularly, just as if your vitamin D levels are optimized, the likelihood of your acquiring the flu or other viral illness decreases quite dramatically, and studies have clearly shown this.
In one such study, staying active cut the risk of having a cold by 50 percent, and cut the severity of symptoms by 31 percent among those who did catch a cold. The researchers noted that each round of exercise may lead to a boost in circulating immune system cells that could help ward off a virus.
It’s a well-known fact that exercise improves the circulation of immune cells in your blood. The job of these cells is to neutralize pathogens throughout your body. The better these cells circulate, the more efficient your immune system is at locating and defending against viruses and diseases trying to attack your body.
Since exercise has repeatedly been proven to benefit your immune system over the long haul, it’s crucial to treat exercise like a drug that must be properly prescribed, monitored and maintained for you to enjoy the most benefits. Essentially, you need to have a varied, routine that includes high-intensity interval exercises like Peak Fitness.
- Eat Plenty of Raw Food
One of the most important aspects of a healthy diet that is frequently overlooked is the issue of eating your food uncooked, in its natural raw state.
Unfortunately, as you may be aware, over 90 percent of the food purchased by Americans is processed. And when you’re consuming these kinds of denatured and chemically altered foods, it’s no surprise we have an epidemic of chronic and degenerative diseases, not to mention way too many cases of colds and flu.
Ideally you’ll want to eat as many foods as possible in their unprocessed state; typically organic, biodynamic foods that have been grown locally, and are therefore in season. But even when you choose the best foods available you can destroy most of the nutrition if you cook them. I believe it’s really wise to strive to get as much raw food in your diet as possible.
I personally try to eat about 80 percent of my food raw, including raw eggs and organic, naturally raised meats.
- Learn How to Effectively Cope With Stress
Stress has a major influence on the function of your immune system, which is why you’ve probably noticed you’re more likely to catch a cold or the flu when you’re under a lot of stress. This is true for both acute stressful episodes, such as preparing a big project for work, and chronic stress, such as relationship troubles or grief. Both will deteriorate your immune system and leave it less able to fight off infectious agents.
And, in the event you do get sick, emotional stressors can actually make your cold and flu symptoms worse. So be sure you take time in life to de-stress and unwind using stress management tools like exercise, meditation, massage, and solid social support.
There is nothing better than a bit of mythbusting (which accounts for the popularity of the television program of the same name), so here we are again, presenting you with a new list of terribly common misconceptions and myths – this time about science.
The Myth: Evolution causes something to go from “lower” to “higher”
While it is a fact that natural selection weeds out unhealthy genes from the gene pool, there are many cases where an imperfect organism has survived. Some examples of this are fungi, sharks, crayfish, and mosses – these have all remained essentially the same over a great period of time. These organisms are all sufficiently adapted to their environment to survive without improvement.
Other taxa have changed a lot, but not necessarily for the better. Some creatures have had their environments changed and their adaptations may not be as well suited to their new situation. Fitness is linked to their environment, not to progress. [Source]
The Myth: When exposed to the vacuum of space, the human body pops
This myth is the result of science fiction movies which use it to add excitement or drama to the plot. In fact, a human can survive for 15 – 30 seconds in outer space as long as they breathe out before the exposure (this prevents the lungs from bursting and sending air into the bloodstream). After 15 or so seconds, the lack of oxygen causes unconsciousness which eventually leads to death by asphyxiation.
The Myth: Polaris is the brightest star in the northern hemisphere night sky
Sirius is actually brighter with a magnitude of ?1.47 compared to Polaris’ 1.97 (the lower the number the brighter the star). The importance of Polaris is that its position in the sky marks North – and for that reason it is also called the “North Star”. Polaris is the brightest star in the constellation Ursa Minor and, interestingly, is only the current North Star as pole stars change over time because stars exhibit a slow continuous drift with respect to the Earth’s axis.
The Myth: Food that drops on the floor is safe to eat if you pick it up within five seconds
This is utter bunkum which should be obvious to most readers. If there are germs on the floor and the food lands on them, they will immediately stick to the food. Having said that, eating germs and dirt is not always a bad thing as it helps us to develop a robust immune system. I prefer to have a “how-tasty-is-it” rule: if it is something really tasty, it can sit there for ten minutes for all I care – I will still eat it.
The Myth: There is a dark side of the moon
Actually – every part of the moon is illuminated at sometime by the sun. This misconception has come about because there is a side of the moon which is never visible to the earth. This is due to tidal locking; this is due to the fact that Earth’s gravitational pull on the moon is so immense that it can only show one face to us. Wikipedia puts it rather smartly thus: “Tidal locking occurs when the gravitational gradient makes one side of an astronomical body always face another; for example, one side of the Earth’s Moon always faces the Earth. A tidally locked body takes just as long to rotate around its own axis as it does to revolve around its partner. This synchronous rotation causes one hemisphere constantly to face the partner body.”
The Myth: Brain cells can’t regenerate – if you kill a brain cell, it is never replaced
The reason for this myth being so common is that it was believed and taught by the science community for a very long time. But in 1998, scientists at the Sweden and the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California discovered that brain cells in mature humans can regenerate. It had previously been long believed that complex brains would be severely disrupted by new cell growth, but the study found that the memory and learning center of the brain can create new cells – giving hope for an eventual cure for illnesses like Alzheimer’s.
The Myth: A penny dropped from a very high building can kill a pedestrian below
This myth is so common it has even become a bit of a cliche in movies. The idea is that if you drop a penny from the top of a tall building (such as the Empire State Building) – it will pick up enough speed to kill a person if it lands on them on the ground. But the fact is, the aerodynamics of a penny are not sufficient to make it dangerous. What would happen in reality is that the person who gets hit would feel a sting – but they would certainly survive the impact.
3. Friction Heat
The Myth: Meteors are heated by friction when entering the atmosphere
When a meteoroid enters the atmosphere of the earth (becoming a meteor), it is actually the speed compressing the air in front of the object that causes it to heat up. It is the pressure on the air that generates a heat intense enough to make the rock so hot that is glows brilliantly for our viewing pleasure (if we are lucky enough to be looking in the sky at the right time). We should also dispel the myth about meteors being hot when they hit the earth – becoming meteorites. Meteorites are almost always cold when they hit – and in fact they are often found covered in frost. This is because they are so cold from their journey through space that the entry heat is not sufficient to do more than burn off the outer layers.
The Myth: Lightning never strikes the same place twice
Next time you see lightning strike and you consider running to the spot to protect yourself from the next bolt, remember this item! Lightning does strike the same place twice – in fact it is very common. Lightning obviously favors certain areas such as high trees or buildings. In a large field, the tallest object is likely to be struck multiple times until the lightning moves sufficiently far away to find a new target. The Empire State Building gets struck around 25 times a year.
The Myth: There is no gravity in space
In fact, there is gravity in space – a lot of it. The reason that astronauts appear to be weightless because they are orbiting the earth. They are falling towards the earth but moving sufficiently sideways to miss it. So they are basically always falling but never landing. Gravity exists in virtually all areas of space. When a shuttle reaches orbit height (around 250 miles above the earth), gravity is reduced by only 10%.
Biophysics is a bridge between biology and physics.
Biology studies life in its variety and complexity. It describes how organisms go about getting food, communicating, sensing the environment, and reproducing. On the other hand, physics looks for mathematical laws of nature and makes detailed predictions about the forces that drive idealized systems. Spanning the distance between the complexity of life and the simplicity of physical laws is the challenge of biophysics. Looking for the patterns in life and analyzing them with math and physics is a powerful way to gain insights.
Biophysics looks for principles that describe patterns. If the principles are powerful, they make detailed predictions that can be tested.
What do biophysicists study?
All of Biology is Fair Game.
Biophysicists study life at every level, from atoms and molecules to cells, organisms, and environments. As innovations come out of physics and biology labs, biophysicists find new areas to explore where they can apply their expertise, create new tools, and learn new things. The work always aims to find out how biological systems work. Biophysicists ask questions, such as:
How do protein machines work? Even though they are millions of times smaller than everyday machines, molecular machines work on the same principles. They use energy to do work. The kinesin machine shown here is carrying a load as it walks along a track. Biophysics reveals how each step is powered forward.
How do systems of nerve cells communicate? Biophysicists invented colored protein tags for the chemicals used by cells. Each cell takes on a different color as it uses the tagged chemicals, making it possible to trace its many pathways.
How do proteins pack DNA into viruses? How do viruses invade cells? How do plants harness sunlight to make food?
Biophysics studies life at every level, from atoms and molecules to cells, organisms, and environments.
How essential is biophysics to progress in biology?
Biophysics discovers how atoms are arranged to work in DNA and proteins.
Protein molecules perform the body’s chemical reactions. They push and pull in the muscles that move your limbs. Proteins make the parts of your eyes, ears, nose, and skin that sense your environment. They turn food into energy and light into vision. They are your immunity to illness. Proteins repair what is broken inside of cells, and regulate growth. They fire the electrical signals in your brain. They read the DNA blueprints in your body and copy the DNA for future generations.
Biophysicists are discovering how proteins work. These mysteries are solved part by part. To learn how a car works, you first need to know how the parts fit together. Now, thanks to biophysics, we know exactly where the thousands of atoms are located in more than 50,000 different proteins. Each year, over a million scientists and students from all over the world, from physicists to medical practitioners, use these protein structures for discovering how biological machines work, in health and also in diseases.
Variations in proteins make people respond to drugs differently. Understanding these differences opens new possibilities in drug design, diagnosis, and disease control. Soon, medicines will be tailored to each individual patient’s propensity for side effects.
Biophysics revealed the structure of DNA
Experiments in the 1940’s showed that genes are made of a simple chemical–DNA. How such a simple chemical could be the molecule of inheritance remained a mystery until biophysicists discovered the DNA double helix in 1953.
The structure of DNA was a great watershed. It showed how simple variations on a single chemical could generate unique individuals and perpetuate their species.
Biophysics showed how DNA serves as the book of life. Inside of cells, genes are opened, closed, read, translated, and copied, just like books. The translation leads from DNA to proteins, the molecular machinery of life.
During the 2000’s, biophysical inventions decoded all the genes in a human being. All the genes of nearly 200 different species, and some genes from more than 100,000 other species have been determined. Biophysicists analyze those genes to learn how organisms are related and how individuals differ.
Discoveries about DNA and proteins fuel progress in preventing and curing disease.
What are the applications?
Biophysics is a wellspring of innovation for our high-tech economy. The applications of biophysics depend on society’s needs. In the 20th century, great progress was made in treating disease. Biophysics helped create powerful vaccines against infectious diseases. It described and controlled diseases of metabolism, such as diabetes. And biophysics provided both the tools and the understanding for treating the diseases of growth known as cancers. Today we are learning more about the biology of health and society is deeply concerned about the health of our planet. Biophysical methods are increasingly used to serve everyday needs, from forensic science to bioremediation.
Biophysics gives us medical imaging technologies including MRI, CAT scans, PET scans, and sonograms for diagnosing diseases.
It provides the life-saving treatment methods of kidney dialysis, radiation therapy, cardiac defibrillators, and pacemakers.
Biophysicists invented instruments for detecting, purifying, imaging, and manipulating chemicals and materials.
Advanced biophysical research instruments are the daily workhorses of drug development in the world’s pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Since the 1970’s, more than 1500 biotechnology companies, employing 200,000 people, have earned more than $60 billion per year.
Biophysics applies the power of physics, chemistry, and math to understanding health, preventing disease and inventing cures.
Why is biophysics important right now?
Society is facing physical and biological problems of global proportions. How will we continue to get sufficient energy? How can we feed the world’s population? How do we remediate global warming? How do we preserve biological diversity? How do we secure clean and plentiful water? These are crises that require scientific insight and innovation. Biophysics provides that insight and technologies for meeting these challenges, based on the principles of physics and the mechanisms of biology.
Biophysics discovers how to modify microorganisms for biofuel (replacing gasoline and diesel fuel) and bioelectricity (replacing petroleum products and coal for producing electricity).
Biophysics discovers the biological cycles of heat, light, water, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, heat, and organisms throughout our planet.
Biophysics harnesses microorganisms to clean our water and to produce lifesaving drugs.
Biophysics pushes back barriers that once seemed insurmountable.
If you’re looking to learn about cells with a nucleus, this is the wrong place. Prokaryotes do not have an organized nucleus. Their DNA is kind of floating around the cell. It’s clumped up, but not inside of a nucleus. If you want to learn about cells with a nucleus, look for information on eukaryotes. And, once again, a prokaryote is a single cell or organisms that does NOT have organized nuclei.
Can You Exist Without a Nucleus?
You can’t, but they can. What can you do without a nucleus? You can do a whole lot. Most prokaryotes are bacteria and bacteria can do amazing things. Although they are very simple organisms, they are found everywhere on the planet. Some scientists even think that they may be found on other planets (maybe even Mars). Some places you can find bacteria every day are in your intestines, a cup of natural yogurt, or a bakery. Prokaryotes are the simplest of simple organisms. Here’s the checklist.
(1) Prokaryotes have no organized nucleus. Like we said, the DNA is clumped in an area but there is no organized nucleus with a membrane.
(2) Prokaryotes do not usually have any organelles. They will probably have ribosomes inside of their cells, but ribosomes are not technically considered organelles. No chloroplasts. No mitochondria. No nucleus. Not much at all.
(3) Prokaryotes are very small. Because they don’t have all of the normal cell machinery, they are limited in size. As always in biology, there are exceptions, but generally, prokaryotes are very small (compared to other cells). Mind you, compared to a virus they are big, but next to an amoeba, tiny.
(4) Prokaryotes don’t have mitosis or meiosis like other cells. Scientists don’t really have a good way of describing how they duplicate, but it’s not through normal means. Check out the bacteria tutorial to get an idea.
1. Microbes play defense. The oodles of microbes that live on and inside us protect us from pathogens simply by taking up space. By occupying spots where nasties could get access to and thrive, good microbes keep us healthy. As Eisen explains, “It’s sort of like how having a nice ground cover around your house can prevent weeds from taking over.”
2. Microbes boost the immune system. Researchers at Loyola University demonstrated in a 2010 study how Bacillus, a rod-shaped bacteria found in the digestive tract, bind to immune system cells and stimulate them to divide and reproduce. The research suggests that, years down the road, those with weakened immune systems could be treated by introducing these bacterial spores into the system. These microbes could potentially even help the body fight cancerous tumors.
3. Microbes protect us from auto-immune diseases. In his TEDTalk, Eisen describes being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes as a teenager after “slowly wasting away until I looked like a famine victim with an unquenchable thirst.” Because microbes help train the immune system, if the microbiome is thrown out of whack, it can alter the body’s ability to differentiate between itself and foreign invaders. Recent research into Type 1 Diabetes reveals that a disturbance in the microbial community could trigger the disease, in which the body kills cells that produce insulin. In a 2009 study, researchers at Cornell University showed that introducing a benign strain of E. coli into diabetic mice set off a domino effect that led them to produce insulin. The work suggests that, someday, microbial yogurt could replace insulin shots for people with the disease. Microbial disturbances could be at the root of other auto-immune disorders too.
4. Microbes keep us slim. Microbes play an important role in our body shape by helping us digest and ferment foods, as well as by producing chemicals that shape our metabolic rates. Eisen explains, “It seems that disturbances in our microbial community may be one of the factors leading to an increase in obesity.”
5. Microbes detoxify and may even fight off stress. Just as humans breath in oxygen and release carbon dioxide, microbes in and on us take in toxins and spare us their dangerous effects. A recent study also shows that people feeling intense stress have much less diverse bacterial communities in the gut, suggesting that there is a not-yet-understood interplay between microbes and stress responses.
6. Microbes keep babies healthy. Recent studies have shown that babies born via caesarean section have very different microbiomes than those born the old-fashioned way. Why? Because during the birthing process, babies are colonized with the microbes of their mother, especially substances that aid in the digestion of milk. According to Science News, babies born via C-section are more likely to develop allergies and asthma than children born vaginally.
Crystallography is the study of atomic and molecular structure. Crystallographers want to know how the atoms in a material are arranged in order to understand the relationship between atomic structure and properties of these materials. They work in many disciplines, including chemistry, geology, biology, materials science, metallurgy and physics. Crystallographers study diverse substances, from living cells to superconductors, from protein molecules to ceramics.
Crystallography began with the study of crystals, like quartz. Today, crystallographers study the atomic architecture of any material that can form an orderly solid – from diamonds to viruses. They also investigate a wide variety of other materials, such as amorphous thin films, membranes, liquid crystals, fibers, glasses, liquids, gases and quasicrystals.
Because many crystallographers use x-rays to study crystals, the field is often called “x-ray crystallography.” But modern crystallographers use many other methods as well. Atomic force microscopy, neutron diffraction, electron crystallography, molecular modeling, high- and low-temperature studies, high-pressure diffraction and micro-gravity experiments in space are all methods used by crystallographers to unlock the secrets of structure and function.
Crystallographers at Work
Two familiar materials, diamond and graphite, provide an easy example of how the arrangement of atoms determines the characteristics of a material. Both diamonds and graphite are composed entirely of carbon atoms. A diamond is one huge molecule, very hard, with a very high melting point. By contrast, the carbon atoms in graphite are arranged in layers of flat hexagons which can slide relative to each other, so graphite is the soft, greasy material used in pencils and lubricants. Excitement was high when scientists recently discovered a new all-carbon chemical, with each molecule consisting of sixty carbon atoms. The crystal structure of “C60”, shown here1 looks like a geodesic dome or soccer ball. Scientists are enthusiastically investigating the unusual electrical, magnetic and chemical properties of these tiny soccer balls.
The three-dimensional shape of a molecule relates to how the molecule will work – in a chemical reaction in the laboratory, or in a cell in your body. Once the relationship between the structure and properties is understood, it is often possible to design new materials, such as plastic, drugs, alloys, and superconductors, which have specific desired properties. For instance, crystallographers found that, in its crystal form, coenzyme B12 has a very long chemical bond (on a molecular scale) between the central cobalt and the carbon atom. This located a weak, reactive part of the molecule, where a free radical reaction is initiated when the bond breaks. (2) With this knowledge, other scientists may be able to develop new catalysts to speed up the chemical reaction.
A precise fit between two molecules is often the requirement for a reaction. Crystallographers have recently discovered how proteins recognize the shape of DNA to turn genes on and off. (3) With information like this, other scientists may design drugs to control blood pressure, inhibit the growth of the AIDS virus, or cure the common cold.
Image 2: Crystal structure of a protein which regulates DNA. Two gray helical ribbons represent the DNA; cylinders outline the protein ÿ-helices; the dark lines show bonds between atoms in an important part of the protein which makes specific contacts to the DNA.
Liquid crystals are sometimes described as the “fourth state of matter.” The molecules in liquid crystals are arranged in an orderly, periodic way, but these materials are fluid, like a liquid. Using diffraction techniques, polarizing microscopy and/or nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), crystallographers can determine the approximate arrangement of molecules in liquid crystals. They have also studied transitions between liquid crystalline phases in real time using synchrotron x-ray sources. There is still a great deal that we do not understand about these novel materials.
Image 3: A schematic cartoon showing one possible arrangement of molecules in a liquid crystal. Ovals represent the polar head group and “tails” the hydrocarbon chain. (4)
Quasicrystals are crystals with quasi-periodic order. They might also be described as impossible crystals. The molecules in some quasicrystals are arranged about an axis of 5-fold symmetry. Traditionally, crystallographers have considered this to be impossible since there is no strictly periodic way to make this arrangement work. (Try covering your floor with tiles shaped like regular pentagons. Your pattern will show gaps or overlaps!) Nevertheless, there are crystals that have 5 fold external symmetry and display 5-fold (or 10-fold) diffraction symmetry (when x-rays are passed through them). These structures pose a great challenge to crystallographers.
In chemistry, biology and materials science – anywhere atomic structure is the key to understanding and controlling chemical and physical properties – crystallographers are making fundamental discoveries and exciting advances.
As with many things in life, humans need more than nature provides, not only to battle hazards in nature but also to battle things we have created ourselves. You’re asking, “What are these guys talking about?” Biotechnology! Scientists all over the world are experimenting with viruses, bacteria, and fungi for hundreds of reasons. Why mess around with these little creatures? They are the simplest of all organisms. They can also be the most deadly. That is reason enough to study them.
Microbes to Make Medicine
Scientists are working with microbes and the compounds they create to make new medicines to save our lives. You might be vaccinated for pox or the flu. Scientists have studied those viruses to see how they act. Then they came up with a way to teach your immune system to do battle. If you get sick at all, you will be able to fight off the infection. Labs are also developing drugs that help you fight infections after you get the disease. We already spoke about antibiotics. Labs are creating new and stronger antibiotics every day.
Microbes in War
Although nobody likes to talk about it, humans have a history of using disease and compounds created by microbes in warfare. Labs were built to create chemical compounds that would kill people. They also isolate diseases (viruses) that could be released to infect entire populations of people. Most of the world has chosen not to develop diseases for use in war. They realized how dangerous and uncontrollable these diseases are. Once they are out, they might not be able to be stopped.
Cleaning the Environment
Let’s finish on a good note. Scientists are also working with microbes to help the environment. In reality, the environment did not need help; we’re just trying to lower the negative impact we have on the environment. Good examples are the bacteria that have developed to break down oil in the water. If a tanker leaked and oil began to get into the water, these bacteria could be released to break down the oil. The resulting compounds would not hurt the environment. Scientists are also working with bacteria and fungi to help breakdown garbage.
Nitroglycerin Skin Patches
Nitroglycerin Tablets, Capsules and Spray
Let’s study the wee ones of the world known as the microbes or the microorganisms. If you spend your life studying them, you would be a microbiologist. These are the smallest of the small and the simplest of the simple. Some of them, like viruses, may not even be alive as we currently define life.
What is a Microbe?
What makes a microbe? We suppose you need a microscope to see them. That’s about it. There is a huge variety of creatures in this section. They can work alone or in colonies. They can help you or hurt you. Most important fact is that they make up the largest number of living organisms on the planet. It helps to be that small. It’s not millions, billions, or trillions. There are trillions of trillions of trillions of microbes around the Earth. Maybe more.
Calling all Microscopes
As with all of science, discovery in biology is a huge thing. While microbes like bacteria, fungi, some algae, and protozoa have always existed, scientists did not always know they were there. They may have seen a mushroom here or there, but there were hundreds of thousands of species to be discovered.
It took one invention to change the way we see the world of microbes – the microscope. In 1673, Anton von Leeuwenhoek put a couple of lenses together and was able to see a completely new world. He made the first microscope. It wasn’t that impressive, but it started a whole history of exploration. More important to us, scientists were eventually able to discover the cause and cure of many diseases.
Too Many to Count, Too Small to Find
We’ll give the big overview on the variety of microorganisms here. There is no simple explanation of a microbe besides the fact that they are small. The list goes on. Just remember that there is a lot of variety going on here.
They can be heterotrophic or autotrophic. These two terms mean they either eat other things (hetero) or make food for themselves (auto). Think about it this way: plants are autotrophic and animals are heterotrophic.
They can be solitary or colonial. A protozoan like an amoeba might spend its whole life alone, cruising through the water. Others, like fungi, work together in colonies to help each other survive.
They can reproduce sexually or asexually. Sometimes the DNA of two microbes mixes and a new one is created (sexual reproduction). Sometimes a microbe splits into two identical pieces by itself (asexual reproduction).
And the Sun runs to its resting place. That is the decree of the Almighty, the All-Knowing. (Surah Ya Sin, 38)
The Sun has been emitting heat for around 5 billion years as a result of the constant chemical reactions taking place on its surface. At a moment determined by Allah in the future, these reactions will eventually come to an end, and the Sun will lose all its energy and finally go out. In that context, the above verse may be a reference to the Sun’s energy one day coming to an end. (Allah knows the truth.)
The Arabic word “limustaqarrin” in the verse refers to a particular place or time. The word “tajree” translated as “runs,” bears such meanings as “to move, to act swiftly, to move about, to flow.” It appears from the meanings of the words that the Sun will continue in its course in time and space, but that this motion will continue until a specific, predetermined time. The verse “When the sun is compacted in blackness,” (Surat at-Takwir, 1) which appears in descriptions of Doomsday, tells us that such a time will be coming. The specific timing is known only to Allah.
The Arabic word “taqdeeru,” translated as “decree” in the verse, includes such meanings as “to appoint, to determine the destiny of something, to measure.” By this expression in verse 38 of Surah Ya Sin, we are told that the life span of the Sun is limited to a specific period, one ordained by Allah. Other verses of the Qur’an on the subject read:
Allah is He Who raised up the heavens without any support – you can see that – and then established Himself firmly on the Throne. He made the Sun and Moon subservient, each running for a specified term. He directs the whole affair. He makes the Signs clear so that hopefully you will be certain about the meeting with your Lord. (Surat ar- Ra’d, 2)
He makes night merge into day and day merge into night, and He has made the Sun and Moon subservient, each one running until a specified time. That is Allah, your Lord. The Kingdom is His. Those you call on besides Him have no power over even the smallest speck. (Surah Fatir, 13)
He created the heavens and the earth with truth. He wraps the night around the day and wraps the day around the night, and has made the Sun and Moon subservient, each one running for a specified term. Is He not indeed the Almighty, the Endlessly Forgiving? (Surah az-Zumar, 5)
The use of the word “musamman” in the above verses shows that the life span of the Sun will run for a “specified term.” Scientific analysis regarding the end of the Sun describes it as consuming 4 million tons of matter a second, and says that the Sun will die when that fuel has all been consumed.1 The heat and light emitted from the Sun is the energy released when matter is consumed as hydrogen nuclei turn into helium in the nuclear fusion process. The Sun’s energy, and therefore its life, will thus come to an end once this fuel has been used up. (Allah knows the truth.) A report titled “The Death of the Sun” by the BBC News Science Department says:
… The Sun will gradually die. As a star’s core crashes inwards, it eventually becomes hot enough to ignite another of its constituent atoms, helium. Helium atoms fuse together to form carbon. When the helium supply runs out, the centre collapses again and the atmosphere inflates. The Sun isn’t massive enough to fully re-ignite its core for a third time. So it goes on expanding, shedding its atmosphere in a series of bursts… The dying core eventually forms a white dwarf – a spherical diamond the size of the Earth, made of carbon and oxygen. From this point on the Sun will gradually fade away, becoming dimmer and dimmer until its light is finally snuffed out. 2
A documentary, also called “The Death of the Sun,” broadcast by National Geographic TV, provides the following description:
It (the Sun) generates heat and sustains life on our planet. But like humans, the Sun has a limited lifespan. As our star ages, it will become hotter and expand, evaporating all of our oceans and killing all life on planet Earth… The Sun will get hotter as it ages and burns fuel faster. Temperatures will increase, eventually wiping out animal life, evaporating our oceans and killing all plant life… the Sun will swell and become a red giant star, swallowing up the nearest planets. Its gravitational pull will lessen and perhaps allow Earth to escape. By the end, it will shrink into a white dwarf star, emitting a week glow for hundreds of billions of years. 3
Scientists have only recently unravelled the structure of the Sun and discovered what goes on inside it. Before that, nobody knew how the Sun obtained its energy or how it emitted heat and light. The way that such a giant mass of energy would one day consume all its energy and expire was revealed 1400 years ago in the Qur’an shows the presence of a sublime knowledge. That knowledge belongs to our Lord, Whose knowledge enfolds all things. Another verse of the Qur’an reveals:
… My Lord encompasses all things in His knowledge so will you not pay heed? (Surat Al-An’am, 80)
Ever since the dawn of mankind, we have sought to understand nature and our place in it. In this quest for the purpose of life many people have turned to religion. Most religions are based on books claimed by their followers to be divinely inspired, without any proof. Islam is different because it is based upon reason and proof.
There are clear signs that the book of Islam, the Quran, is the word of God and we have many reasons to support this claim:
· There are scientific and historical facts found in the Quran which were unknown to the people at the time, and have only been discovered recently by contemporary science.
· The Quran is in a unique style of language that cannot be replicated, this is known as the ‘Inimitability of the Quran.’
· There are prophecies made in the Quran and by the Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, which have come to be pass.
This article lays out and explains the scientific facts that are found in the Quran, centuries before they were ‘discovered’ in contemporary science. It is important to note that the Quran is not a book of science but a book of ‘signs’. These signs are there for people to recognise God’s existence and affirm His revelation. As we know, science sometimes takes a ‘U-turn’ where what once scientifically correct is false a few years later. In this article only established scientific facts are considered, not just theories or hypothesis.
Scientific Facts in the Quran
The Quran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad in the 7th century.
Science at the time was primitive, there were no telescopes, microscopes or anything even close to the technology we have today. People believed that the sun orbited the earth and that the sky was held up by big pillars at the corners of a flat earth. Within this backdrop the Quran was revealed, and it contains many scientific facts on topics ranging from astronomy to biology, geology to sociology.
Some people may claim that the Quran was changed as new scientific facts were discovered but this cannot be the case because it is a historically documented fact that the Quran is preserved in its original language. The Quran was written down and memorised by people during the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad. One of the copies of the Quran which was written a few years after the death of the Prophet Muhammad is preserved in a museum in Uzbekistan. This copy is over 1400 years old and is exactly the same as the Arabic Quran that we have today.
The following are nine scientific facts found in the Quran:
1. Origin of Life
Water is essential for all living things. We all know that water is vital to life but the Quran makes a very unusual claim:
We made every living thing from water? Will they not believe? (Quran 21:30)
In this verse water is pointed out as the origin of all life. All living things are made of cells. We now know that cells are mostly made up of water. For example, 80% of the cytoplasm (basic cell material) of a standard animal cell is described as water in biology textbooks.
The fact that living things consist mostly of water was discovered only after the invention of the microscope. In the deserts of Arabia, the last thing someone would have guessed is that all life came from water.
Iron is not natural to the earth. It did not form on the earth but came down to earth from outer space. This may sound strange but it’s true. Scientists have found that billions of years ago the earth was stuck by meteorites. These meteorites were carrying Iron from distant stars which had exploded.
The Quran says the following on the origin of Iron:
“We sent down Iron with its great inherent strength and its many benefits for humankind.” (Quran 57:25)
God uses the words ‘sent down’ for Iron. It is clear from the verse that Iron is not an earthly material, but was sent down for the benefit of humanity. The fact that Iron came down to earth from outer space is something which could not be known by the primitive science of the 7th century.
3. Sky’s Protection
The sky plays a crucial role in protecting the earth. The sky protects the earth from the lethal rays of the sun. If the sky did not exist then the sun’s radiation would have killed off all life on earth. It also acts like a blanket wrapped around the earth, to protect it from the freezing cold of space. The temperature just above the sky is approximately -270oC. If this temperature was to reach earth then the planet would freeze over instantly. The sky also protects life on earth by warming the surface through heat retention (greenhouse effect), and reducing temperature extremes between day and night. These are some of the many protective functions of the sky.
The Quran asks us to consider the sky in the following verse:
“We made the sky a protective ceiling. And yet they are turning away from Our signs!” (Quran 21:32)
The Quran points to the sky’s protection as a sign of God. The protective properties of the sky were discovered by scientific research conducted in the 20th century.
The Quran draws our attention to a very important characteristic of mountains:
“Did We not make the earth a resting place? And the mountains as stakes?” (Quran 78:6-7)
The Quran indicates that mountains have deep roots by using the word stakes to describe them. In fact mountains do have deep roots, and the word stakes is an accurate description for them. A book titled ‘Earth’ by Geophysicist Frank Press explains that mountains are like stakes, and are buried deep under the surface of the earth. Mount Everest (pictured below), the height of which is approximately 9 km above ground, has a root deeper than 125 km.
The fact that mountains have deep ‘stake’ like roots was not known, until after the development of the theory of plate tectonics in the beginning of the 20th century.
5. Expansion of the Universe
At a time when the science of Astronomy was still primitive, the expansion of the universe was described in Quran:
“And it is We who have built the Universe with [Our creative] power and keep expanding it.” (Quran 51:47)
The fact that the universe is expanding was discovered in the last century. The physicist Stephen Hawking in his book ‘A Brief History of Time’ writes, “The discovery that the universe is expanding was one of the great intellectual revolutions of the 20th century.”.
The Quran mentioned the expansion of the universe even before the invention of the telescope!
6. Sun’s Orbit
In 1512 the astronomer Nicholas Copernicus put forward his theory that the Sun is motionless at the centre of the solar system, and that the planets revolve around it. The belief that the Sun is stationary was widespread amongst astronomers until the 20th century. It is now a well-established scientific fact that the Sun is not stationary, but is moving in an orbit around the centre of our Milky Way galaxy.
The Quran mentions the orbit of the Sun:
“It is He who created night and day, the Sun and the Moon, each floating in its orbit.” (Quran 21:33)
The Quran would have been wrong according to astronomers just a couple of decades ago. But we now know that the Quranic account of the Sun’s motion is consistent with modern Astronomy.
7. The Ocean
The Quran uses imagery to covey its deep meanings, here it describes the state of the unbelievers as:
“Darkness out in a deep ocean which is covered by waves, above which are waves, above which are clouds, layers of darkness, one upon the other. When one puts out his hand [therein], he can hardly see it. Those God gives no light to, they have no light.” (Quran 24:40)
It is commonly thought that waves only occur on the surface of the ocean. However oceanographers have discovered that there are internal waves that take place below the surface of the ocean. These waves are invisible to the human eye, and can only be detected by specialist equipment. The Quran mentions darkness in a deep ocean above which are waves, above which are waves, then clouds above that. This description is not only remarkable because it describes the internal waves in the ocean, but also because it describes darkness deep in the ocean. A human being can dive no more than 70 metres without breathing equipment. Light is present at that depth, but if we go down 1000 metres it is completely dark. 1400 years ago there were no submarines or specialist equipment to discover internal waves or the darkness deep inside the oceans.
8. Lying and Movement
There was a cruel oppressive tribal leader named Abu Jahl who lived during the time of Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him. God revealed a verse of the Quran to warn him:
“No Indeed! If he does not stop, We will seize him by the forehead, his lying, sinful forehead.” (Quran 96:15-16)
God does not call this person a liar, but calls his forehead (the front part of the brain) ‘lying’ and ‘sinful’, and warns him to stop.
This verse is significant for two reasons. The first is that the front part of our brain is responsible for voluntary movement.This is known as the frontal lobe. A book titled ‘Essentials of Anatomy and Physiology’ which includes the results of research on the functions of this area states: The motivation and the foresight to plan and initiate movements occur in the anterior portion of the frontal lobes, the prefrontal area. The part of the brain that is responsible for movement is said to be seized if the man does not stop.
Secondly, numerous studies have shown that this same region (frontal lobe) is responsible for the lying function of the brain. One such study at the University of Pennsylvania in which volunteers were asked questions during a computerized interrogation, it was found that when the volunteers were lying there was significantly increased activity in the prefrontal and premotor cortices (frontal lobe region).
The front part of the brain is responsible for movement and lying. The Quran links movement and lying to this area. These functions of the frontal lobe were discovered with medical imaging equipment which was developed in the 20th century.
9. Pain Receptors
For a long time it was thought that the sense of feeling and pain was dependent on the brain. However it has been discovered that there are pain receptors present in the skin. Without these pain receptors, a person would not be able to feel pain.
Consider the following verse on pain:
“We shall send those who reject Our revelations to the (Hell) Fire. When their skins have been burned away, We shall replace them with new ones so that they may continue to feel the pain: God is Almighty, All-Wise.” (Quran 4:56)
God tells the people who reject his message that when they are in Hell and their skins are burnt off (so they can’t feel any pain), he will give them new skins so that they continue to feel the pain.
The Quran makes it clear that pain is dependent upon on the skin. The discovery of pain receptors in the skin is a fairly recent discovery for Biology.
These are just some of the many scientific facts found in the Quran. It is important to note that the Quran is not a book of science, but that it is consistent with science. To claim that scientific facts in the Quran are due to coincidence would be irrational. The best explanation is that God revealed this knowledge to the Prophet Muhammad.
Just like the Quran contains knowledge about the natural world, it also contains information about the inner dimensions of our souls. It relates to our feelings, wants and needs. The Quran informs us that we have a purpose in life, and that following God’s guidance will lead us to inner peace in this life, and Paradise in the hereafter. And that rejection of his message will lead to depression in this life and Hellfire after death.
“We shall show them Our signs in the Universe and within themselves, until it becomes clear to them that this is the Truth. Is it not enough that your Lord is the witness of all things?” (Quran 41:53)
Alex Rosenberg is unusual among philosophers of biology in adhering to the view that everything occurs in accordance with universal laws, and that adequate explanations must appeal to the laws that brought about the thing explained. He also believes that everything is ultimately determined by what happens at the physical level—and that this entails that the mind is “nothing but” the brain. For an adherent of this brand of physicalism, it is fairly evident that if there are laws at “higher” levels—laws of biology, psychology or social science—they are either deductive consequences of the laws of physics or they are not true. Hence Rosenberg is committed to the classical reductionism that aims to explain phenomena at all levels by appeal to the physical.
It is worth mentioning that, as Rosenberg explains, these views are generally assumed by contemporary philosophers of biology to be discredited. The reductionism that they reject, he says,
holds that there is a full and complete explanation of every biological fact, state, event, process, trend, or generalization, and that this explanation will cite only the interaction of macromolecules to provide this explanation.
Such views have been in decline since the 1970s, when David Hull (The Philosophy of Biological Science ) pointed out that the relationship between genetic and phenotypic facts was, at best, “many/many”: Genes had effects on numerous phenotypic features, and phenotypic features were affected by many genes. A number of philosophers have elaborated on such difficulties in subsequent decades.
The question then is whether Rosenberg’s latest book, Darwinian Reductionism: Or, How to Stop Worrying and Love Molecular Biology, constitutes a useful attack on a dogmatic orthodoxy or merely represents a failure to understand why the views of an earlier generation of philosophers of science have been abandoned. Unfortunately I fear the latter is the case. More specifically, his portrayal of the genome as a program directing development, which is the centerpiece of his reductionist account of biology, discloses a failure to appreciate the complex two-way interactions between the genome and its molecular environment that molecular biologists have been elaborating for the past several decades.
In earlier work, Rosenberg accepted the consensus among philosophers of biology that biology couldn’t be reduced to chemistry or physics. But whereas most philosophers saw this as a problem for philosophy of science, and for traditional models of reduction, Rosenberg concluded that it was a problem for biology, a problem indicating that the field’s purported explanations were neither fundamental nor true.
However, in his most recent book Rosenberg is more sanguine about biology. As the title suggests, the new idea is that recognition of the pervasiveness of Darwinism in biology will enable us to assert reductionism after all. Rosenberg is an admirer of Dobzhansky’s famous remark that nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution:
Biology is history, but unlike human history, it is history for which the “iron laws” of historical change have been found, and codified in Darwin’s theory of natural selection. . . . [T]here are no laws in biology other than Darwin’s. But owing to the literal truth of Dobzhansky’s dictum, these are the only laws biology needs.
The suggestion is that something Rosenberg calls “the principle of natural selection” is actually a fundamental physical law. Natural selection, according to him, is not a statistical consequence of the operation of many other physical (or perhaps higher-level) laws, as most philosophers of biology believe. Rather, it is a new and fundamental physical law to be added to those already revealed by chemistry and physics. I won’t try to recount Rosenberg’s arguments for this implausible position.
The largest part of the book motivates reductionism from a quite different direction by defending the view that genes literally embody a program that produces development. Rosenberg introduces this view by recounting some work on the development of insect wings. There is a rather disturbing tendency in this exegesis to suggest an imputation of agency to the genes that are implementing this program. He says that the genes fringe and serrate “form the wing margin,” for example, and “wingless builds wings.” He also maintains that in Drosophila, “2500 genes . . . are under direct or indirect control of eyeless.” As the last two examples illustrate and Rosenberg explains, genes are frequently identified by what doesn’t happen when they are deleted. But Rosenberg seems quite untroubled by the dubious inference from what doesn’t happen to the conclusion that making this happen is what the genes “do” when in place. These reifications provoke a range of worries, but at a minimum, a defense of such ways of speaking will need to address another growing philosophical consensus to which Rosenberg is an exception, that the gene is a concept that no longer has an unproblematic place in contemporary biology.
Rosenberg does attempt a defense of the gene, but his arguments are unconvincing. The biggest problem is that he never says what he means by a gene. He refers uncritically to estimates of the number of genes in the human genome; although he does outline some of the difficulties with these estimates, he does not seem to appreciate their force. As a positive contribution, it appears that all he has to offer is the proposal that genes are “sculpted” out of the genome by natural selection to serve particular functions. The central point of critics of the gene concept is that functional decomposition identifies multiple overlapping and crosscutting parts of genomes. The “open reading frames” to which biologists refer when they count the genes in the human genome not only can overlap but are sometimes read in both directions. Subsequent to transcription they are broken into different lengths, edited, recombined and so on, so that one “gene” may be the ancestor of hundreds or even thousands of final protein products. Sophisticated would-be reductionists, such as Kenneth Waters, have tried to accommodate this point. Rosenberg seems just to ignore it as happily as he ignores most of the literature that has expounded the difficulties (for example, What Genes Can’t Do, by Lenny Moss , and The Concept of the Gene in Development and Evolution, edited by Peter Beurton, Raphael Falk and Hans-Jörg Rheinberger ).
The problem might have been ameliorated if Rosenberg had paid more attention to the increasingly diverse constituents recognized in the genome apart from the genes he needs to run his programs. The lack of concern with the genome is highlighted, for example, when in the course of a single paragraph he says that sculpting of the genome by natural selection has resulted in “a division mainly into genes” and refers to 95 percent of the human DNA sequence appearing to be “mere junk” (another hypothesis that has been widely rejected). It is conceivable that Rosenberg means to define genome so as to exclude the junk, although I have never encountered such a usage before. What is clear, though, is that he sees the genome merely as a repository for the informationally conceived genes supposed to run the developmental program. Attention to the increasingly understood complexities of the genome as a material object would have made the misguided nature of the enterprise much clearer.
A further problem is that some of the biology in the book is dated. For example, Rosenberg says that “there are about 30,000 to 60,000 genes in our genome,” but in fact there is a fairly stable consensus now that the number is about 23,000. More striking is his remark that alternative splicing is “uncommon but not unknown,” whereas it is actually widely accepted that such splicing occurs in more than 70 percent of human genes. Although Rosenberg has researched some biological topics in detail, the book contains other lapses as well. He appears to be unaware, for instance, that methylation occurs in contexts other than sexual imprinting. And I was struck by his remark that the world is now mainly populated by sexual species; in fact, the overwhelming majority of organisms now, as ever, are prokaryotes and (relatively) simple asexual eukaryotes. It is admittedly difficult or impossible to stay fully au courant with the latest in molecular biology, but a careful reading of the manuscript by a practitioner would have been very helpful.
Because I have been involved for many years in criticism of the earlier orthodoxy that Rosenberg continues to defend, it is not surprising that I am unconvinced by his reactionary argument. And it is of course very often a good thing for philosophers to confront the orthodoxies of their discipline. But the standards for undermining orthodoxy are inevitably high, and Rosenberg does not come close to meeting them.
The subtitle invites us to learn to love molecular biology. Many of the philosophers whom Rosenberg’s views contradict greatly admire the achievements of molecular biology. Love, however, is well known for being blind. I would encourage Rosenberg to settle for admiration.
Give your students an insight into the amazing world of biology with this easy lesson plan and fun activities. Teach biology basics and let children experiment with microscopes and other equipment, taking a magnified look into the world of bacteria, microorganisms and cells. This introduction to biology offers some great biology basics, easy activities, interesting questions and other useful teaching ideas.
An introduction to biology:
Ask if any of the students can give a general definition of biology.
Once you’ve listened to their answers help them out by giving them a good definition such as:
- Biology is the science of living things: The life sciences collectively, including botany, anatomy, physiology and zoology.
Some questions to get them thinking:
- So what exactly does a biologist do?
- What kind of jobs involve biology?
If you have any biology related equipment or instruments, now is a good time to show them. Things like microscopes and slides are perfect.
Simple microscope activity:
If you do have microscopes available then let the students experiment with them. Show them the basics first and then give them some interesting biology samples to look at under the microscope. Things like hair strands, food, plants and clothing fibers are always interesting.
Bring the students back and talk about what they saw under the microscope. Is what they saw different from what they see with the naked eye? Does this affect what they think about these objects?
Microscopes have many uses in biology, they can be used to investigate cells as well as bacteria growth, plant decay and much more.
Another easy activity you can try is to help the children make an agar plate to grow bacteria.
Other areas of biology:
Other important areas of biology that can be mentioned in your introduction to biology include anatomy, physiology, neurology and evolution. Ask plenty of open ended questions to help stimulate discussion while being prepared to step in and offer some useful points when their ideas start running dry.
- What do muscles in the human body do?
- Why do some people have black hair and others blonde?
- How does your brain work?
- Why do giraffes have long necks?
Biology is a very wide area of science covering a number of different topics, While this biology introduction only covers only a few of them, it should give kids a taste of what biology is all about and hopefully stimulate an interest in what is a fascinating subject.
Use baking soda and vinegar to create an awesome chemical reaction! Watch as it rapidly fizzes over the container and make sure you’ve got some towels ready to clean up.
What you’ll need:
- Baking Soda (make sure it’s not baking powder)
- A container to hold everything and avoid a big mess!
- Paper towels or a cloth (just in case)
- Place some of the baking soda into your container.
- Pour in some of the vinegar
- Watch as the reaction takes place!
The baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is a base while the vinegar (acetic acid) is an acid. When they react together they form carbonic acid which is very unstable, it instantly breaks apart into water and carbon dioxide, which creates all the fizzing as it escapes the solution.
For extra effect you can make a realistic looking volcano. It takes some craft skills but it will make your vinegar and baking soda eruptions will look even more impressive!