Thursday, February 9, 2012

Sea Barrier Miracle Claim Debunked

The quran states there are barriers BETWEEN two seas. Modern science found there are barriers (called a pycnocline) in the sea. Therefore, quran contains modern science

Source for Argument


25:53 - And it is He who has released [simultaneously] the two seas, one fresh and sweet and one salty and bitter, and He placed between them a barrier and prohibiting partition.

55:19-20 -  He released the two seas, meeting [side by side]; Between them is a barrier [so] neither of them transgresses


1) Pycnocline is not the same kind of barrier that is mentioned in the quran and thus they have committed the fallacy of equivocation; thus rendering their argument invalid.

It has uniform properties and is bounded below by a large density gradient, called the "pycnocline"” (pg 84)
Liss P.S, Slinn W. George N. Air-sea exchange of gases and particles. Springer 1983.

“The layer of seawater with the largest density gradient is called a pycnocline. A pycnocline is a layer separating light surface waters from heavier deep waters.” (pg 30)
 “Saturation of seawater with oxygen abruptly decreases within the pycnocline: from 110-60%  above the pycnocline to 60-40% within the pycnocline, and up to 5-20% below this layer” (pg 297)
 “It is important to stress that the halocline (pycnocline) is also an important means whereby sedimentary material is transported laterally.” (pg 298)
Emilianov E.M. The barrier zones in the ocean. Springer. 2005

“The pycnocline (pyknos, “strong”; clinare, “slope, to lean”) is a zone in which density increases with increasing depth. This zone isolates surface water from the denser layer below. The pycnocline contains about 18% of all ocean water.” (pg 139)

(page 141)
Garrison, Tom. S. Essentials of Oceanography. Cengage Learning, Aug 5, 2011

2) Muslim apologists have failed to provide any support for the claim that when two seas meet there will be "a barrier between them, a partition that is forbidden to be passed." (sura 25:53), "a barrier which they cannot pass" (sura 55:20). Therefore, the onus is on the muslim apologist to provide evidence that such a phenomena actually exists.

3) The so called "science" purported by muslim apologists is factually incorrect. It is physically impossible for two water bodies to prevent itself from mixing when they meet each other unless there is a solid impermeable barrier. Differences in temperature, salinity or density will not create "a forbidding partition" (NOTE: this can be easily tested in ones home). Therefore, the onus is on the muslim apologist to demonstrate such a phenomenon is possible.

4) The muslim apologist fails to consider the obvious and mundane explanation for this verse i.e the barrier is referring to the two seas being separated by land. Since, the quran describes the barrier as something that the seas CANNOT PASS, a land barrier is the most obvious explanation since a non-solid barrier can always be "transgressed".

5) The muslim apologist also fails to demonstrate why anyone should consider alternate fantastical (yet unsupported) claims of an imaginary invisible barrier OVER the obvious explanation of a land barrier.

6) The muslim apologist fails to consider similar verses in older texts namely the bible in

Proverbs 8:29 "when he gave the sea its BOUNDARY, so the waters would not overstep his command"
Jeremiah 5:22 "I made the sand a boundary for the sea, an everlasting BARRIER it cannot cross."

Almost the exact same terminology is used in both the bible and the quran.
Jeremiah 5:22 does in fact contain the word for barrier. The word is gheb-ool

7) The muslim apologist fails to consider the commonality of the knowledge prescribed to this verse as similar sentiment can be observed in scientific texts that are much older, namely that of the Greek polymath, Aristotle, when he states the following:

"Light parts are dissolved from the sea water by the sun and the dense, salty part remain" (pg 132)
"...This means that the sea has changed its place. it is possible that a gulf is formed when the barrier between the sea and lowlan is destroyed..." (pg 145)
Lettinck, Paul 1999. Aristotle's Meteorology and its reception in the Arab world

""For it is clear that a barrier of silt was formed and after it lakes and dry land, but in course of time the water that was left behing in the lakes dried up and is now all gone." (pg 27)
"The drinkable, sweet water, then, is light and is all of it drawn up: the salt water is heavy and remains behind." (pg 32)
Aristotle, Webster E.W. 2006. Meteorology.

8) Muslim apologists fail to realize that their desperate yet weak attempt at claiming scientific foreknowledge in the quran by the fallacious method of equivocating can be employed in other texts as well. For example,
i) (Ramayana BOOK III: Canto 31.: RĂ¡van) “Breaking the wild sea's barrier down”

If the muslim apologist’s line of reasoning is valid, then one would have to necessarily conclude that the Ramayana contains scientific foreknowledge which would then lead to contradiction as it is not possible for both Islam and Hinduism to be true. Since this line of reasoning leads to a contradiction, it follows that the line of reasoning is not valid!

9) (NOTE: i do not agree with point 9 but it still has some merit to it. This point was originally made by TheRationalizer). The muslim apologist fails to consider that this verse could easily be a rephrasing of verse 6 of the Book of Genesis which says "And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters."