Koran existed before Muhammad

Abrahamic religion, you know, the one with the mosques...

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Re: Koran existed before Muhammad

#41  Postby Oeditor » Oct 04, 2015 1:22 pm

The first link is interesting in that it raises the issue of a literary and scribal culture at odds with the Islamic tradition and suggests that the fragment, whenever dated, didn't pop into being fully formed but must itself have a history So ot Allah's crib sheet after all - sorry Shrunk! :-)
The twittering isn't very interesting apart from one apologist who woul rather see Mohamme's traditional dates moved back to match the ms rather than have the ms predate tradition. OTOH, another describes it as about 1500 years old, which would date it to around 515. Maybe Allah's first draft then?
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Re: Koran existed before Muhammad

#42  Postby Spearthrower » Oct 04, 2015 3:37 pm

NineBerry wrote:I see a lot of historians who don't seem to understand that the result of Carbon Dating results in probabilities not fixed dates. You cannot use carbon dating to date a specific individual artefact within a specific decade with 100% accuracy.



I'm glad you raised this point Nineberry!
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Re: Koran existed before Muhammad

#43  Postby tolman » Oct 04, 2015 3:54 pm

Oeditor wrote:I'd have thought the idea that an earlier copy might have escaped destruction is the least worrying prospect for the Muslim tradition. If however it could be proven that a substantial component of the Koran existed in writing before Mohammed was supposed to have gone into that cave, the effect would be devastating.

Why?

If someone can believe in Allah, and in Mohammed being his messenger, what's to stop them believing that Allah provided one or more scribes with magically-old animal skins and ink to help people identify those Muslims whose faith isn't strong enough, or believing that someone found a convenient stack of old animal skins to write on?
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Re: Koran existed before Muhammad

#44  Postby duvduv » Oct 04, 2015 6:49 pm

How much is known, and what are the sources for the Abrahamic/Noahide Judaic faiths in Arabia before the 7th century, which are referred to as Hanifism of the Banu Hanifa, or Rahmanism? Was Muslim a generic description for a believer in Abrahamic monotheism even before Quranic Islam and the religion of the competing prophet Musalayma??
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Re: Koran existed before Muhammad

#45  Postby Oeditor » Oct 04, 2015 7:00 pm

tolman wrote:If someone can believe in Allah, and in Mohammed being his messenger, what's to stop them believing that Allah provided one or more scribes with magically-old animal skins and ink to help people identify those Muslims whose faith isn't strong enough, or believing that someone found a convenient stack of old animal skins to write on?
Well, there are pople who will believe anything. But just as we reiterate things here that most of us agree on to inform lurkers, it's important to expose nonsense in the sight of believers. Perhaps more importantly is establishing for non-Muslims that Islam, like all religions, has feet of clay and that, in consequence, 1.2 billion people are no more enlightened than the rest but equally deluded. Or, perhaps, even more deceived.
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Re: Koran existed before Muhammad

#46  Postby tolman » Oct 04, 2015 9:15 pm

Oeditor wrote:
tolman wrote:If someone can believe in Allah, and in Mohammed being his messenger, what's to stop them believing that Allah provided one or more scribes with magically-old animal skins and ink to help people identify those Muslims whose faith isn't strong enough, or believing that someone found a convenient stack of old animal skins to write on?
Well, there are pople who will believe anything. But just as we reiterate things here that most of us agree on to inform lurkers, it's important to expose nonsense in the sight of believers. Perhaps more importantly is establishing for non-Muslims that Islam, like all religions, has feet of clay and that, in consequence, 1.2 billion people are no more enlightened than the rest but equally deluded. Or, perhaps, even more deceived.

I just don't think it's the case that even if an date definitively predating Mohammed was found it would 'devastate' Islam, since all manner of explanations are available which require massively less faith than believing in Islam in the first place does, from believing the results are human errors or lies, or have been falsified by Allah as a test, though to their being genuine yet having explanations similar to the ones I mentioned, among others.

One could argue that such a hypothetical result should devastate Islamic belief, but essentially from a perspective where one already thinks that various things Muslims do believe are, rationally speaking, things they shouldn't believe.
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Re: Koran existed before Muhammad

#47  Postby Oeditor » Oct 05, 2015 10:33 am

You're probably right Tolman - they're not likely to strain at a gnat when they've already swallowed a whole herd of camels. I think, though, that i said devastating for Islamic tradition, not Islam. The idol of islamic tradiotion would be shown to have feet of clay.
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Re: Koran existed before Muhammad

#48  Postby tolman » Oct 05, 2015 1:06 pm

Does Islamic tradition make explicit claims about sacred texts only ever being written on freshly-made substrates?

As far as dating evidence potentially putting the discovered text not before Mohammed, but not conforming to a tradition saying things were written in a certain style up to point X, and a different style thereafter, were that what evidence suggested and if we ignore the various possible dating-related excuses people could make, that only really puts us in a situation where a pretty specific bit of received wisdom is shown to be wrong, which isn't necessarily any more serious than an archaeologist who had formed a theory of when things happened based on the best available evidence being shown to have been wrong when new evidence turns up.
Such an occurrence in a religious context needn't be taken as anything worse than a lesson in the fallibility of humans basing pronouncements on incomplete evidence.

Is there an Islamic tradition that any particular person's particular theological idea post-Mohammed is necessarily true simply because the person sincerely believed it was true and claimed it was true, and that not only can a theological idea be unquestionably correct, but that such a correct position can be clearly demonstrated or known to be correct by other humans?
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Re: Koran existed before Muhammad

#49  Postby proudfootz » Oct 05, 2015 1:31 pm

If the skin is old, it may have been re-used.

If the ink is old, maybe it was an old pot of ink. [/apologist]
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Re: Koran existed before Muhammad

#50  Postby Alan B » Oct 05, 2015 1:38 pm

proudfootz wrote:If the ink is old, maybe it was an old pot of ink. [/apologist]

Unlikely in that heat... :smile: :shifty:
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Re: Koran existed before Muhammad

#51  Postby proudfootz » Oct 05, 2015 1:45 pm

Alan B wrote:
proudfootz wrote:If the ink is old, maybe it was an old pot of ink. [/apologist]

Unlikely in that heat... :smile: :shifty:


You are, perhaps, correct - but 'unlikely' leaves a lot of wiggle room. :(

If you had a pot of 6th century ink, could whatever evaporated out of it to make it dry be re-introduced to make it useful again?
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Re: Koran existed before Muhammad

#52  Postby Alan B » Oct 05, 2015 3:03 pm

Mmmm, yes. I suppose if the basic pigments were mainly inorganic that would be possible.
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Re: Koran existed before Muhammad

#53  Postby Spearthrower » Oct 05, 2015 7:08 pm

There are a horde of problems associated with dating by ink I posted on the other thread connected to this topic:

http://www.rationalskepticism.org/islam ... l#p2269573

Ink testing is sometimes used, but it is largely relative dating rather than absolute. In other words, you need to have a lot of other information aside from the ink to date it.

The 2 main systems of ink dating are static and dynamic.

The former means that you determine the chemical composition of the ink and date it by comparative evidence of that kind of ink's manufacturing - when was this ink being processed and manufactured, where, and would the writer of this document have access to that supply. If these add up, you have a time band of possibility.

Other examples include assessment of styles of writing, including spelling, grammar, the type of tool used to put the ink on the page - all comparative to other already dated things.

The latter means that you want to know when the ink was put on the page regardless of its manufacturing, and other potentially erroneous misdirections; for example, we could write in Shakespearian grammar today, so it wouldn't establish a categorical date for the use of that grammar. It's 'dynamic' because it's measuring changes in the ink's composition over time. To simplify (mostly because I never really got that involved with this and I've forgotten nearly as much as I ever learned), the dryness of the ink is measured - this doesn't mean 'dry' in the sense of the ink originally being liquid, but dry with respect to the solubility of chemicals remaining in the ink. For this kind of dating, you still need a relative component - an ink of known age to compare to. But techniques in this area are expanding rapidly, particularly in the field of chromatography.

However, ultimately the dating still requires other inks or relevant material culture of known dates to use as comparative markers, and I guess they're pretty sparse.
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Re: Koran existed before Muhammad

#54  Postby Oeditor » Oct 06, 2015 1:51 pm

tolman wrote:Does Islamic tradition make explicit claims about sacred texts only ever being written on freshly-made substrates?
Of course not. But religions make a great deal of dates or at any rate sequences of events. If it were just a matter for historians a major discrepancy would be a matter for red faces and mayvbe a damaged reputation but in a religious context it's far more serious. Imagine if someone had proven that Pontius Pilate was in Gaul all through Jesus's supposed time.
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Re: Koran existed before Muhammad

#55  Postby igorfrankensteen » Oct 10, 2015 7:57 pm

Oh come on. This is all a simple "point of view bias" situation. The dating of the texts brackets the time which Islamic tradition says they should have been created.

From the "pro" Islamic viewpoint, this is nothing more than another confirmation of their existing claims.

Those who want to cause trouble for Islam, are the one's pointing at the earlier GUESSTIMATE date, and trying to make a big deal out of it all.

If we were to radiocarbon date, oh, say, the Declaration of Independence, that report too would have bracket dates, showing it to be between three hundred and one hundred years old. Someone who wanted to make a fuss and play paranoid "woo-hoo" games, could make a big deal about the OPENING bracket date, and suggest that the United States was "born" in 1715, and that Americans might have their entire sense of well being overturned by this.

It's nonsense.
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Re: Koran existed before Muhammad

#56  Postby tolman » Oct 10, 2015 8:45 pm

Oeditor wrote:
tolman wrote:Does Islamic tradition make explicit claims about sacred texts only ever being written on freshly-made substrates?
Of course not. But religions make a great deal of dates or at any rate sequences of events. If it were just a matter for historians a major discrepancy would be a matter for red faces and mayvbe a damaged reputation but in a religious context it's far more serious.

Seriousness depends on what is being claimed.

Oeditor wrote:Imagine if someone had proven that Pontius Pilate was in Gaul all through Jesus's supposed time.

And imagine if someone had proven beyond all doubt that Mohammed was born in 1500AD. Or 500BC.

But that's not what we're talking about here.

Not only do the dates so far not fundamentally contradict anything important, but even if they had done, we're talking about a single document fragment which sufficiently motivated people could explain away either by finding some way of doubting the dating, or finding a more religion-based explanation for how 'impossible' dates could be accounted for by some kind of miracle.
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Re: Koran existed before Muhammad

#57  Postby aliihsanasl » Mar 09, 2016 12:15 am

People believe what they want to believe even if they would hear a sound from sky saying that " Mohammed was a liar believe Mr. x " they would still continue their rituals.

Just take a look at so called Jesus coffin, carbon test proved that it's from Renaissance era but religious people reject it.
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Re: Koran existed before Muhammad

#58  Postby proudfootz » Mar 09, 2016 2:42 am

True religion is immune to evidence.
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Re: Koran existed before Muhammad

#59  Postby Oeditor » Mar 09, 2016 2:53 pm

aliihsanasl wrote:People believe what they want to believe even if they would hear a sound from sky saying that " Mohammed was a liar believe Mr. x " they would still continue their rituals.

Just take a look at so called Jesus coffin, carbon test proved that it's from Renaissance era but religious people reject it.
It's particularly ridiculous when people will believe in Jesus' coffin, the Turin shroud and thousands of pieces of the "true cross" despite dating, even though their original texts make no mention of the provenance of such relics. You'd think it would be obvious that these claims had simply been made-up. Oh...
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Re: Koran existed before Muhammad

#60  Postby igorfrankensteen » Mar 10, 2016 1:03 pm

Minor additional factoid about this nonsense:

are you aware that 100% of any and ALL important documents ever printed, written, painted, photographed or otherwise brought into existence...

... were ALL put on to paper or other media, which was made BEFORE the writer/creator decided to write?

Granted, the paper you use today, is usually less than a year old, but it's still older than your penmanship. And the point is, that paper and especially the kind of material that people transcribed "holy" stuff on to in the distant past, used to be very expensive, and took time to get a hold of. Especially the "good stuff," which was created to write important things on.

In the modern era, if you pay attention, you will occasionally and repeatedly run across situations where a forger has managed to fool people in to thinking some document is very old, when they just made it yesterday, because they got their hands on some very old paper or parchment to create it on. One favorite trick, is to go to a big library with lots of VERY old books, and steal the blank front and rear pages out of them. The guy who was jailed for murder and forgery after faking a number of Mormon religious documents, as well as some religiously worshiped American political documents, used this technique.

So even if the paper this bit of Koran was written on was found to be hundreds of years older than the writer, it STILL wouldn't mean anything.
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