Originally posted by webbinator
Irrefutable? No. In fact, it was not difficult to refute these claims at all:
(1) The Origin of the Universe
: the program claims that the Qur'an predicted the discovery of the Big Bang 1400 years ago, merely because the Qur'an asserts that God was the "originator" of the universe. This is very weak proof for the validity of the Qur'an in itself, but also due to the fact that the Hebrew Bible asserted that God "created the heavens and the earth" (Gen 1:1) LONG before the Qur'an ever did (bolstering the suspicion that Muhammad derived his supposed revelations from God by studying the Hebrew texts).
(2) The Expansion of the Universe
: the program claims that the Qur'an predicted Hubble's discovery that the universe is expanding, quoting the Qur'an as saying God is "steadily expanding it." Again, though, the Hebrew texts, written LONG before the Qur'an, already asserted that God, "stretchest out the heavens" (Psalm 104:2).
: the program claims that the Qur'an, 1400 years ago (632 A. D.), predicted the eventual discovery of planetary orbits, quoting the Qur'an as saying, "the sun and the moon... swim along each in an orbit," and that the sun, "runs to its resting place," suggesting that the Qur'an predicted the discovery that the sun orbits the galactic center. According to this program, the Qur'an would therefore have to be God-inspired since only God could know that planets run in orbits, or that the sun orbits the center of the Milky Way. The problem is, the notion of planetary orbits had been in existence since the time of Ptolemy in the second century -- almost 500 years before
the Qur'an was written! Oops. Further, it is impossible to infer that the Qur'an is positively asserting that the sun is orbiting the center of the Milky Way; rather, the data provided is more in keeping with the astronomical understanding prevalent during Muhammad's time, namely, that the sun orbits the earth.
(4) The Protected Roof
: "We made the sky a preserved and protected roof yet they still turn away from Our Signs." If it were obvious to everyone that the atmosphere protected the earth, which this verse positively asserts, then how is this evidence of the Qur'an's prescience?
(5) The Returning Sky
: "By heaven with its cyclical systems." The program attempts to tease out of this one line far more than it actually contains. The term "cyclical" supposedly can also mean "returning," which the program claims is proof that the Qur'an is God's revelation to man, since this verse is validated by the 20th century discovery that radio and T. V. transmissions can be reflected off of the ionosphere and "returned" to earth. Unconvincing.
(6) The Layers of the Atmosphere
: "Seven heavens..." The program claims that the Qur'an is the word of God, since 1400 years ago it correctly asserted that the sky was composed of seven layers, the "seven heavens," as it were, i.e. the troposphere, stratosphere (containing the ozone layer), mesosphere, thermosphere, ionosphere, and exosphere. The ozone is technically part of the stratosphere, but the program considers it a separate layer unto itself in order to up the number of layers from six to seven. This aside, the notion of "seven heavens" had been around for centuries before the Qur'an was written, taught in Jewish mysticism. (Further, if you notice, in the verse immediately following the "seven heavens" verse it says, "we adorned the skies nearest to the earth with lights, and made them secure" -- an astronomically backwards assertion which, of course, the program fails to mention.)
You get the gist of it. I'll try to get to the rest of them later.