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Islam for Dummies
Quran Scientific Miracles - Atmosphere



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Today, we will be talking about three scientific facts about the earth's atmosphere, which were stated in one brief passage of the Quran 1400 years ago. It is important to point out that while it is not a science textbook, yet, the Quran mentions numerous scientific facts long before they were discovered.

We will examine the state of the Earth's first atmosphere.
Regarding the evolution of the atmosphere, the University of Michigan's website states:
"The first atmosphere was formed by outgassing of gases trapped in the interior of the early Earth, which still goes on today in volcanoes. For the Early Earth, EXTREME VOLCANISM occurred during differentiation, when massive heating and fluid-like motion in the mantle occurred."
Now, let's examine the Quran chapter 41 verses 9 to 11, which pertain to the creation of the earth:
9 {…Do you indeed disbelieve in Him, Who created the earth in two Days …}
10 { and Made in it mountains anchored from its top …}
11 { Then He turned to the heaven while it was smoke, so He said to it and to the earth: come both of you, obediently or with dislike. They (both) said: we came with obedience. }
The Quran clearly refers to the "smoke" of Earth's 1st atmosphere, which was caused by extreme volcanic activity. This scientific fact, could not have been known, fourteen hundred years ago. Yet, the Quran mentions it.

And for those who will claim that "the word "smoke" is too general, as it could mean any type of gas", we will actually be citing the person DISCUSSISLAM (despite his belief that the Quran contradicts science):
“Gas and smoke are not the same thing. Gas is a state of matter. Smoke is a collection of solids, liquids and gases that are omitted when a material combusts”
The word used in the Quran to describe the 1st atmosphere is indeed "smoke" and not "gas".

And to demonstrate that this verse indeed refers to the Earth's atmosphere as it was being formed, we will, again, be citing DISCUSSISLAM's own words. Discussislam admitted that this verse cannot be referring to the universe:
" ...if one looks at the verses before and after this verse, one can see very clearly that it cannot have anything to do with the gaseous state of the universe. It says God created the earth, THEN he created the hills on the earth, and THEN it says He turned to the heavens when they were smoke."
Indeed, the word "heaven" in this verse does not refer to the universe, rather, it refers to the "smokey" atmosphere of the early Earth's extreme volcanism, as we saw earlier.

Furthermore, the Quran's order of: the creation of the earth, and THEN the mountains, and THEN the atmosphere, is the 2nd scientific fact from this passage that could not have been known 1400 years ago.

We will examine the layers of the Earth's atmosphere.
Let's listen to the next verse in the passage (Quran 41:12) { So He decreed them seven heavens in two days, and Inspired in every heaven its ordainment }. Contrary to this false claim of discussislam:
"Modern science usually specifies 5 layers not 7."
Modern science usually specifies 4 layers in the Earth's atmosphere: The Troposphere, the Stratosphere, the Mesosphere, and the Thermosphere. Separating these 4 layers, are 3 transition zones, or layers, ranging between 5 to 10 kilometers each, which also have their own unique effects on temperature: The Tropopause, The Stratopause, and the Mesopause. According to the encyclopedia of earth, atmospheric layers are classified based on their affects to temperature. So according to the classification itself, there are indeed 7 distinct layers in the earth’s atmosphere, each with its own unique effects on temperature.

The vast majority of sources exclude the "exosphere", at an altitude of 400 km, because it is part of outer space, which discussislam falsely claims to be another layer. According to reference.com, "The Kármán line lies at an altitude of 100 km … is commonly used to define the boundary between the Earth's atmosphere and outer space".
More precisely, in 2009, scientists at the University of Calgary, determined (with a highly advanced ion measuring instrument), that SPACE actually BEGINS at an altitude of 118 km.

Therefore, the 7 layers listed are part of the Earth's atmosphere. Anything higher than 118 km is of part outer space. The 7 distinct layers of the atmosphere is the 3rd scientific fact, stated from this same Quranic passage that could not have been known 1400 years ago.

We will examine the false claim that the 7 heavens from Quran 41:11 do not refer to the atmosphere. DISCUSSISLAM's 1st false claim is that the quran says the stars are inside the lower heaven: "We have adorned the lower heaven with the beauty of the stars". However, the verse clearly states that the lower heaven is adorned with the beauty of the stars, and not with the stars themselves. To clarify this point, examine these fields:
The fields are “adorned with the beauty” of the projector lights, while the lights are outside the fields.
DISCUSSISLAM's 2nd false claim is that the Quran says the moon is inside the atmosphere: "and made the moon a light in their midst, and made the sun as a lamp". Again, the verse clearly states that the "moon IS A LIGHT in their midst", and not the moon itself is inside anything. To clarify our point, examine these same fields again. The projector lights are "a light in the midst” of the field, without physically being on the fields.

DISCUSSISLAM's 3rd false claim is that the Quran uses the pre-Copernican view of the universe:
"The Quran is clearly talking about the pre-Copernican view of the universe that regarded the earth as its center..."
Firstly, DISCUSSISLAM seems to be confusing the Quran, which NEVER claims that the earth is at the center of the universe, with the Bible, which DOES contain this error (Ps 93, Josh 10:12-13, 2 Kings 20:11).
Now let's hear the rest of discussislam's 3rd false claim:
"...with the seven heavens containing the sun, moon, planets and stars around it."
Secondly, DISCUSSISLAM also seems to be confused about the pre Copernican view of the universe, where Aristotle said there are 8 heavens, and more importantly, Ptolemy said there are 9 heavens (which was the favored view at that time).

One brief passage in the Quran mentions 3 scientific facts about the atmosphere before they were known. "Smoke" of earth's 1st atmosphere, the order of its formation, and the 7 layers of the atmosphere, are 3 scientific facts mentioned in the Quran, that are nowhere to be found, without grave errors, in the pre Copernican view of the universe. Those that challenge the scientific accuracy of these Quranic verses only succeeded in demonstrating their own ignorance about the earth's atmosphere, and their amazing inability to understand even the simplistic pre Copernican view of the universe.
As we have demonstrated, misrepresenting the scientific facts, the views of ancient societies, and what is written in the Quran, is not only the strategy, but a fundamental requirement for people attempting to refute the Quran's overwhelming signs.

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