Strong evidence for Quranic Embryology?

Okay, my own brother’s attempt at converting me definitely confused me, if not succeeded.

Here’s what he’s claiming. He says Quran’s description is true about how the human development begins in the womb. He’s giving evidence for the verse which I have highlighted below. He says his evidence is supporting what Quran says i.e. bones are made first and then flesh. Here it is:

Quran [23:14] Then We created from the alaqah a ‘mudghah’ (chewed-shaped lump)[23:14] Then We created from the alaqah a ‘mudghah’ (chewed-shaped lump)

Quran [23:14] Then We created from the mudghah bones, then We covered the bones with flesh.[23:14]

In the book (2016) -“Developmental Approach to Human Evolution”, by professor Julia Boghner (Department of Anatomy and cell Biology, University of Sakatchewan) and professor Campbell Rolian ( Department of Comperative Biology and Experimental Medicine, University of Calgary), they stated that-

The signalling for bone formation is present earlier then the signalling for muscle formation.
Cartilage (pre-bone) is present , before the muscle formation.
Limb muscle progenitor cell don’t have any information about position. The first tissue cell that subsequently condensed to form bone provides positional information for soft tissue formation.
Page 122–123.

“After initial outgrowth stages are completed, limb buds and segments continue to elongate and morphological features such as hand/foot plates, and joints of the proximal and distal limbs (e.g., elbow, wrist, knee, and ankle) become identifiable. During this time, cells in respective stylopod, zeugopod, and autopod compartments coalesce to form separate pre‐chondrogenic mesenchymal condensations. These condensations are shaped via joint development, chondrogenesis, and osteogenesis to produce the many separate skeletal elements of the limb, although how this occurs is only poorly understood. At the same time, muscle and tendon cells begin to migrate into compartments of the limb to form its muscles.”

Yup, I’m confused. Julia Boghner’s explanation seems to match what Quran has said about bones being made first and then muscles.

Any idea what is the truth about what is made first bones or flesh? And what do you have to say about Julia Boghner?

Here’s my Saturday night rant:

Dr Julia Boughner holds or has held the following positions:

Associate Professor, Anatomy, Physiology & Pharmacology, University of Saskatchewan.
Ph.D. Anatomy, Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, University College London.
B.Sc. Biological Anthropology, Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto.
Her research areas are Evolutionary developmental biology,Physical anthropology and Craniofacial/dental morphology and evolution

Whatever she writes about the formation of the human body I think you can reasonably assume is going to be correct.,-julia.php#research_areas

The Muslims were the inheritors of the Persian culture which included many early forms of science which were mostly discarded after Ghazali led Islam into mysticism in the 1100s CE. At the height of the Persian Empire there were established universities, libraries and hospitals.
I do not think it would be all that surprising that an educated Persian or even a later Muslim intellectual would be aware or conversant with basic biology. Consider also that after several thousand of years of hunting, animal husbandry and the preparation of meat products, the basics of skeletal and muscular systems and the reproductive system would have been common knowledge even amongst uneducated shepherds and goatherders.

So, there can’t be any surprise that what the writers of the Quran understood about human anatomy and its construction differed only in degree of detail, and absolute accuracy, with Dr Julia Boughner’s knowledgeable modern research. I could not find any reference to her religious beliefs but that might indicate she does not believe a god was necessary for the formation of life.

So my response to your brother’s argument is that people long before the advent of Islam, were far more intelligent, inquisitive and knowledgeable than he might like to credit them ( perhaps because they were not Muslims and more likely Zoroastarians). His argument proves nothing about the superiority of the Quran as an authority on biology or as containing any secret knowledge only a god could know.

Hope that helps.

that people long before the advent of Islam, were far more intelligent, inquisitive and knowledgeable than he might like to credit them ( perhaps because they were not Muslims and more likely Zoroastarians).

Any evidence for this? Any big names like Aristotle or someone else? I really can’t just say that people had more knowledge before Islam without evidence. In fact, if someone claims the same thing in the future with the same evidence, I can’t afford to remain quiet again. I want to have a strong answer backed up by some sort of evidence that either the process described in the Quran is wrong i.e. bones first and then flesh or this knowledge was already known before.

I’m researching on this as we speak. I despise uncertainty especially when it comes to my ex-religion.

Doesn’t it say in Quran that semen is made between the ribs?

I think you will find that the pre Islamic Persians and others were learned in many aspects of the human and animal development.
Certainly the Ancient Egyptians had great medical knowledge which you can google anytime.

Try looking it up yourself, Certainly one of the experts at the British Museum will answer your question regarding the extent of ancient knowledge. They do write back to you.

I do agree agree with Grinseed’s hypotheses; now is the time for you to do your own research and rub your brother’s nose in it.

Animal miscarriages. Animal carcasses.

It’s descriptive of what a farmer/herder would see - “chewing gum”.

Human miscarriages also. Won’t get into too many details but a 4-5 month pregnancy can “end” quite suddenly…at home.

Covering the bone with flesh. Again, descriptive. Look at your arm. What’s on “top” (flesh or bone) :meat_on_bone:

Now - had it been that the bone “miraculously” formed after flesh and that was described (counter-intuitive) cool (BUT again that would have been an observation of fetal miscarriages - certain stage all soft, another stage feeling bones in certain areas or at certain strengths) … but humans describing obvious weather and patterns and “our nature” as primitive forms of “science” demonstrates how our brains :brain: gave us an advantage over other species.

Cats :cat2: don’t give a shit.

There does not appear to be any ‘names’ before the Islamic takeover of the Persian Empire. Various reasons involving cultural differences and the general destruction of libraries and massacres of Zoraostarian priests are usually offered as reasons why.
I found myself interested enough to surf the internet for pre-Islamic science and medicine. I have supplied three references.

The first is a quora reply written by an knowledgeable Iranian as to why there are no big pre Islamic names.

This is an informative article about the achievements and institutions that the Muslims inherited from the Persians.

The History of Anatomy in Persia

Then this general review.

There’s more than enough information out there to prove the claims I presented, but the ‘names’ only get recorded after the introduction of Islam.
Something new I learned in this search was that human surgery was practiced way back in the day of Hammurabi by medical students under direction of experienced ‘surgeons’. This like 1750 BC. And even by this date most folks were breeding, slaughtering or butchering their own livestock to know the very basics about muscle and bone and the various stages of foetal development animal and human.

Good luck and good hunting.


Lets simply begin by calling anything at all ‘SCIENTIFIC’ in the Quaran, ‘GREATLY CONFUSED.’ Perhaps you care to explain this little gem of an ignorant Seventh Century contradiction. “He was created from a fluid, ejected, Emerging from between the backbone and the ribs.” Quran 86:6–7

Obviously, the ignorance embedded in the Quaran runs deep and it is only the interpretation of verses “after the fact” that gets them anyplace close to 'scientific. Sperm does not originate from the backbone. The Greek Herophilus born in 335BC knew that sperm originated in the testicles. What in the fuck was wrong with Muhammad? (Oh… that’s right… he couldn’t read!!!)

These are the four basic steps explained in the embryology of this verse in the Quaran…HELPS IF YOU HAVE THE WHOLE VERSE. " Then We made the sperm-drop into a clinging clot, and We made the clot into a lump [of flesh], and We made the lump, bones, and We covered the bones with flesh; then We developed him into another creation. So blessed is Allah, the best of creators. Qur’an 23:14

1: Sperm goes inside and secures itself in a place inside a woman’s belly
2: Now the Quran tells us it turns into a “clinging clot”
3: Then it becomes a lump of flesh and then bones
4: New baby

STEP 1: (WRONG!) Sperm does not go in and find a nice comfortable seat inside a woman’s belly to sit. Sperm goes inside and then races towards a woman’s egg. It competes in a race with millions of other sperms to reach that woman’s egg. It must bore into the egg and only then will a zygote begin to form. None of this is mentioned in the Quran. (NOT MENTIONED IN THE QUARAN!)

STEP 2: (WRONG): There is ‘NO CLOT’ A clot of what? ‘blood?’ WTF is a clot? " modern apologists like Zakir Naik and Haroon Yahaya recognised this and changed the whole meaning of this verse. They say Allah meant “leech” by alaqah (which actually means clot according to early scholars). Look at what the early scholars like Ibn Kathir said about it… “”(then We made the clot into a little lump of flesh,) which is like a piece of flesh with no shape or features" So is it ‘clot’ or the amended ‘leech?’ Islamic scholars will keep you guessing.

STEP 3 (WRONG): Muhammad in the Quran says he created flesh and then bones. This is also false, you can ask any embryologist who would tell you that flesh and bones start forming simultaneously. It is not a sequential step, it is a simultaneous step. Where in the fuck would Muhammad get such a silly idea? Oh! Oh! I know! … He got it from The Greek Physician, Galen who died in 210AD, some four hundred years before Muhammad. He said exactly the same things that Muhammad copied into his Quaran in the 7th century. Let’s look at some of Galen’s steps: 1: Sperm (check)
2: Blood (clot) (check), 3: Flesh and bones (check) 4: Baby (check) WOW! It’s a fucking Islamic miracle!!!

Embryology in the Quran is vague at best but outright false at worst.


Thanks for the answer. I’m sorry to ask such stupid questions but I can’t help it, I need to eliminate the neural pathways formed due to bullshit beliefs. There’s no other way than to replace them with the actual truth.

I just really got confused with Professor Julia Boghner’s reference about how pre-bone is formed first and then Quran talking also about how bone is formed first. I mean, there was no way I would go on to doubt her authenticity as she holds multiple degrees and has extensive experience as @Grinseed mentioned. So that was crossed out, the only thing left was to find out what the fuck is happening if the reference used as evidence is correct and then verse mentioned the same thing. This is the kind of instance where I go into panic mode because I never expect anyone to be giving me references from biology professors to support Quranic claims.

I had no idea who Galen is until you mentioned him or about Herophilus. But I do remember reading too many Greek names who knew things way before that were later copied into Quran (in my early atheist days of research, I noticed Aristotle a lot). Seems like I should learn about Greek philosophers and physicians, I only know Aristotle. If I had known about Galen’s ideas, I probably wouldn’t have been confused. But then you know the similarity between the reference and verse really confused me.

My brother insisted me to see how quran mentioned formation of bone then flesh and how Professor Julia, an authentic source, also mentioned how pre-bone (cartilage) is formed first. I haven’t read anatomy so I had no idea about what forms first or whether it is a simultaneous process. I’ve never thought about the process happening simultaneously because of this same reference as it says pre-bone is formed first. I was stuck on finding which happens first.

I had my doubts about the entire process except for the bones and flesh part. I also read some answers of quora and they said flesh is made first and then bones but no reference was provided and Professor Julia’s explanation was already disproving them so I just closed that site.

So if these steps are simultaneous why does Professor Julia says otherwise? Or am I misunderstanding?

Would you be impressed if the Quran said that water was wet, then showed you a modern text book that also said water is wet?

That is more or less what your brother has done.

Make sure you don’t fall for:

  1. Fire is hot.
  2. Ice is cold.
  3. Water runs downhill.

@Cognostic thanks for the reference on Galen, I read what he had said about this. In fact, I also found so many other Greeks who had their own theories on embryology.

Other than that, I think talking with any kind of muslim, even if it is someone from my family, turns me into a complete brainfucked retard for a while.

I just read the pages 122-123 of Professor Julia’s book. I realized her book is divided into different parts of the human body and how they developed and evolved e.g. limbs, pelvis bone and etc. Pages 122-123 talk about limb development. The following sentences are NOT mentioned anywhere in her book.

The signalling for bone formation is present earlier then the signalling for muscle formation.
Cartilage (pre-bone) is present , before the muscle formation.

I’m not gonna directly abuse my brother but muslims are so fucking stupid that they wrote the above bold statement and generalized it whereas it is not mentioned in Professor Julia’s book. In addition, the passage quoted talks all about limb formation. It’s LIMB LIMB LIMB everywhere because it’s taken from the chapter that talks about limb formation. It’s like talking about embryo development of a monkey and citing a book that talks about how its dick is formed.

Limbs are formed way later for motherfucking sake. Fucking muslims just copy paste shit, make their own conclusion about what a professor or someone said and generalize the conclusion. Then, like fucking morons, they quote passages from books thinking nobody would bother reading them.

My brother copied these answers from a moron guy on Reddit because it is 100% plagiarized word to word. I don’t know who the fuck even wrote this. Even if it is a valid conclusion from Professor Julia’s limb chapter, it still means we’re talking about what forms first in limbs, bones or flesh. **The signalling for bone formation is present earlier then the signalling for muscle formation.Cartilage (pre-bone) is present , before the muscle formation. and the following passage is quoted from the book to support this conclusion whereas the passage talks about limb development.

I’m utterly disappointed by the level of ignorance in Muslims who paste things from books without reading what the fuck they’re about.

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That summarizes most religious debate here: someone just repeating the lies of others. How many lies does someone have to “innocently” repeat; before we should just consider them a liar?

@Nyarlathotep I understand the point you are making here but I really think this journey of finally being free from religion takes time. It is even more relevant in my case because I had no idea who Galen or Heraphilus were before I opened this topic so there was no way I could counterattack embryology claim with 0 knowledge. This means I am severely lacking scientific and general knowledge and my brain still has obsolete beliefs of Islam which need to be replaced. So, I simply disregarding claims because of they have a history of being lies is a bit difficult for me right now.

Some people can just let go of their past easily but others cannot. This is why there is something known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Anyways, I learned a lot from this topic, thanks to Cognostic once again for explaining things that I never knew before.

Christians too :grimacing: actually anybody with any belief …
New Agers, flat earthers, anti-vaccine people … it’s a human trait.

Draw your conclusion THEN find “evidence” that fits…

You should be very careful when someone tells you:
ancient book says X is true, and that X was not known until modern times.

I’ve heard this form of argument many many times. To the best of my memory: in every case X was commonly known in ancient times, and the person was just lying (or repeating a lie).

Do you think this is a coincidence?

Like all “Prophecies” the Quaran is vague enough to be interpreted in many ways. Looking at the Quaran after the fact and attempting to shove a scientific theory into a passage is what Quaranic scholars spend a whole lot of time doing. Regarding anything with fetal development, MOST PEOPLE AT THE TIME WERE HERDERS OF SHEEP, AND GOATS. The average person had seen miscarriages, still births or cut into an animal to find that it had been impregnated. It did not take any sort of miracle to simply describe what was actually observed. Ever crack open an egg? You can see the exact same thing in a frigging chicken egg. This is not anything fantastic or miraculous.

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And that is my argument. In the time when this “book” was written and compiled, just simple observation at any farm tells anyone what fetal development is.

I doubt it, but so fucking what anyway? Big fucking whoop…