Difference between revisions of "Pumice Miracle in the Quran"

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The Quran doesn't say that pumice is the least dense stone on Earth, it doesn't talk about density at all. <ref>https://quran.com/search?q=density</ref>
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The Quran doesn't say that pumice is the least dense stone on Earth. It doesn't talk about density at all. <ref>https://quran.com/search?q=density</ref>
  
 
=="Miracle"==
 
=="Miracle"==
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Density is completely irrelevant for the verse. The amount of matter a bird can carry is limited by the '''weight''' of the matter and not its density. For example, gold has higher density than water, but a golden ring is much more easy to carry than a barrel of water.
 
Density is completely irrelevant for the verse. The amount of matter a bird can carry is limited by the '''weight''' of the matter and not its density. For example, gold has higher density than water, but a golden ring is much more easy to carry than a barrel of water.
  
Apologists correctly say that ''"Density is simply mass per volume"'', but what a bird can carry is limited by the mass, so we should rather see what the formula for mass is. And mass is density times volume. As as we can see, if he can lift 1 pound, it doesn't matter what the density is as long as the volume gets low enough:
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Apologists correctly say that ''"Density is simply mass per volume"'', but what a bird can carry is limited by the mass, so we should rather see what the formula for mass is. And mass is density times volume.
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As we can see, if he can lift 1 pound, it doesn't matter what the density is as long as the volume gets low enough:
 
{{Quote||2=
 
{{Quote||2=
 
mass = '''density''' * volume
 
mass = '''density''' * volume
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1 = '''1 000 000 000 000''' * 0. 000 000 000 001
 
1 = '''1 000 000 000 000''' * 0. 000 000 000 001
 
}}
 
}}
So the density can get high as much as you want and the bird would still be able carry it, as long as you lower the volume enough. And also it works the other way around, he could carry big objects as long as they have density small enough.
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So the density can get high as much as you want and the bird would still be able carry it, as long as you lower the volume enough. And also it works the other way around, he could carry big objects as long as they have density small enough (for example a big baloon).
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* An object of higher density weights more than an object of lower density only if they have the same volume.
  
 
==Inconsistency with other "miracles"==
 
==Inconsistency with other "miracles"==

Latest revision as of 15:55, 2 December 2019

The Quran doesn't say that pumice is the least dense stone on Earth. It doesn't talk about density at all. [1]

"Miracle"

1400 years ago people thought that all stones sink in water. However today we know that there is an exception. One kind of stone actually floats on water.

Density is simply mass per volume. Density of water is 1 g/cm3, density of gold is 19.3 g/cm3... while Earth has an average density of 5.51 g/cm3. But to float on water you need densities lower than that of water.

These are densities of rocks and soils as found in nature:

Soil type - Density/g/cm3

sand	1.52
sandy loam	1.44
loam	1.36
silt loam	1.28
clay loam	1.28
clay	1.20
amphibolite	2.79–3.14
dolomite	2.72–2.84
gneiss	2.59–2.84
limestone	1.55–2.75
marble	2.67–2.75
schist	2.73–3.19
shale	2.06–2.67
slate	2.72–2.84
pyrite	5.0
gold	19.3

Chemistry LibreTexts Library, Density of Rocks and Soils, 2016

Clay has a very low density of just 1.2 g/cm3 but still higher than the density of water, which means it would still sink in water. However if this clay gets heat treated, in a volcano for example, it would become porous and its density drops.

The density of this pumice stone is so low at 0.25 cm3. This stone literally floats on water. [ picture of pumice floating in water ]

Pumice stone is the only stone that can float on water.

Today we know that pumice stone are the least dense stone on Earth, however 1400 years ago this was portrayed in the Quran:

[Quran 105:3-4] He sent against them swarms of birds. Throwing at them rocks of pumice.

Pumice "Sijjeel in Arabic سِجِّيلٍ" is also found in Quran 15.74 where the city was showered by a volcano. Today we know that pumice is very porous and has very low density which means it is very easy for the birds to carry. If those stones were made of gold, for example, then they would have weighed 77 times more and those birds wouldn't have been able to fly.

How could an illiterate man who lived 1400 years ago have known which is the least dense stone on Earth?

The verse

Apologetic translation

The miracle claim asks "How could an illiterate man who lived 1400 years ago have known which is the least dense stone on Earth?", but the verse doesn't talk about density at all:

He sent against them swarms of birds. Throwing at them rocks of pumice.


Quran 105:3-4, translation by miracles-of-quran.com [2]

Actual translation

What apologists translated as "pumice" is actually translated as "clay":

Muhsin Khan: Striking them with stones of Sijjil.

Yusuf Ali: Striking them with stones of baked clay.

Sahih International: Striking them with stones of hard clay,

Pickthall: Which pelted them with stones of baked clay,


The miracle claim itself contains a table which mentions that the density of clay is 1.20, while density of water is 1. If it was really the case that the birds cannot carry anything that has density higher than 1, then it would prove the Quran false.

Irrelevance of density

Density is completely irrelevant for the verse. The amount of matter a bird can carry is limited by the weight of the matter and not its density. For example, gold has higher density than water, but a golden ring is much more easy to carry than a barrel of water.

Apologists correctly say that "Density is simply mass per volume", but what a bird can carry is limited by the mass, so we should rather see what the formula for mass is. And mass is density times volume.

As we can see, if he can lift 1 pound, it doesn't matter what the density is as long as the volume gets low enough:

mass = density * volume

1 = 1 * 1

1 = 0.1 * 10

1 = 10 * 0.1

1 = 1 000 * 0.001

1 = 1 000 000 000 000 * 0. 000 000 000 001

So the density can get high as much as you want and the bird would still be able carry it, as long as you lower the volume enough. And also it works the other way around, he could carry big objects as long as they have density small enough (for example a big baloon).

  • An object of higher density weights more than an object of lower density only if they have the same volume.

Inconsistency with other "miracles"

Although in this miracle apologists are worried about how much a bird can carry, in other "miracle" they had no problem with birds snatching a human body which is falling from the sky:

Referenes