This post explores an exchange about Ahmadi Muslim claims regarding speciation and evolution, as gleaned from the Q&A section of the Rational Religion website’s page on Evolution.
Twitter user @hasanahmad80 (Hasan Ahmad) responded to my tweet, correcting me on my supposition that dogs evolved from wolves. This post is my more detailed response to Hasan.
— Hasan (@hasanahmad80)
The cited article from The University of Chicago school of Medicine, published in January 2014 is an excellent read. It covers the commonly held position that docile wolves were bred by humans to evolve into dogs is one that is too simplistic to tell the full story.
So the evidence thus far collected points to at least two possibilities:
1. Dogs and wolves have a common “wolf-like” ancestor.
2. Dogs evolved from a line of wolves that is no longer; that lineage of wolves is now extinct.
I’m happy to accept either of these positions. Position 1 is a revision of my original understanding gleaned from the Cosmos series in 2014. Watch the first eight minutes of Episode 2, “The Things that Molecules Do”.
Evolution, abiogenesis etc. are still areas I’ve yet to really dig into. I’m willing and happy to refine my positions and to be corrected as good evidence is pointed out to me.
Here’s the original excerpt from the Rational Religion web page that got my attention:
I do also believe that we should be able to sketch out our positions at a high level in ways that an educated non-scientist can follow.
From the article you cited:
So, we’re on the same page. I accept your position on this point that dogs didn’t necessarily evolve from wolves (they may have, if that line of wolves is now extinct, but likely, it was an ancestor common to both dogs and wolves).
By citing this, you are implicitly accepting that there’s a common ancestor between dogs and wolves. The article suggests that this is a “wolf-like” ancestor.
Do you accept that this common ancestor between dogs and wolves likely had 4-legs and a tail?
Do you accept that this common ancestor was technically a different species than both dogs and wolves? If so, then do you accept that one species gradually evolved into one or more other species? If so, how do you reconcile this with the Ahmadi Muslim Q&A (shown above) that suggests that species don’t evolve into other species via a long process of evolution?
I don’t have an issue (in this context) of you calling that evolution God-guided. My issue at this initial stage of analysis is whether you and I have a roughly equivalent map of what we postulate happened, as we see similar yet distinct species of animals today.
Or do you take this Ahmadi Muslim Q&A to be one that rejects a progressive change of species leading up to human beings, but accepting exactly such a process for all other animals in the animal kingdom?
I’m trying to ascertain what you are open to, based on your theology, versus what you are categorically rejecting as being not possible.