Evolution and perceptions of science & religion in contemporary Muslim world

I am interested in using perceptions about biological evolution to explore how educated Muslims view the relationship between science & religion. We have recently been awarded a 3-year grant by the National Science Foundation to conduct a study of Muslim physicians and medical students in 5 Muslim-majority countries (Egypt, Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan, Turkey) and 3 diasporas in the West (Germany, UK, and the US). For a brief description, please see award#0925982: Evolution and Islam. The circumstances for the debate are, in many ways, significantly different from the engagement between evolution and creation in the West. For example, all of modern science, including evolution, is an import for Muslims, often seen through the complicated lens of modernity and the interaction with past European colonial powers. Recently, we also hosted a conference at Hampshire College on the topic of Darwin & Evolution in the Muslim World.

Science and the Sacred:

An analysis of conflicts involving objects/places of astronomical importance and religion (w/ Tracy Leavelle, Creighton University). Currently, we are analyzing reconciliation efforts between astronomers and Native Hawaiians over telescopes on top of sacred Mauna Kea in Hawaii.

Astronomy Research:

Most of my astronomy research in the past has focused on star formation in spiral galaxies, using optical, infrared and radio telescopes.


Making Sense of Islamic Creationism in Europe (pdf)
Hameed, 2014, Public Understanding of Science, in press

Evolution in Biology Textbooks: A Comparative Analysis of 5 Muslim Countries (pdf)
Asghar, Hameed, and Farahani, 2014, Religion and Education, 41:1-15

Muslims and Evolution: A Study of Pakistani Physicians in the United States
Everhart and Hameed, 2013, Evolution: Education and Outreach,

Walking the Tightrope of the Science and Religion Boundary
Hameed S. 2012, A review discussion on Nidhal Guessoum’s Reconciliation of Islam and Science, Zygon 47, 2, 337

Evolution and Creationism in the Islamic world
Hameed, S. 2010, Science & Religion: New Historical Perspectives, Edited by Thomas Dixon, Stephen Pumfrey, Geoffrey Cantor (Cambridge University Press)

Bracing for Islamic Creationism
Hameed, S. 2008, Science 322, 1637

Discovery, photometry, and astrometry of 49 classical nova candidates in M81 galaxy
Hornoch, K.; Scheirich, P.; Garnavich, P. M.; Hameed, S.; Thilker, D. A. 2008, Astronomy & Astrophysics 492, 301

Chandra and XMM-Newton Detection of Large-scale Diffuse X-ray Emission from the Sombrero Galaxy
Li, Z., Wang, D., and Hameed, S. 2007, Monthly Notices of Royal Astronomical Society, 367, 960

H-alpha Imaging of Early-type (Sa-Sab) Spiral Galaxies II. Global Properties
Hameed, S. and Devereux, N. 2005, Astronomical Journal, volume 129, 2597

The Role of Interactions in the Evolution of Early-type Spirals
Hameed, S. and Young, L. 2003, Astronomical Journal, volume 125, 3005

The Discovery of a Giant Ionized Filament in NGC 7213
Hameed, S., Blank, D., Young, L. and Devereux, N. 2001, Astrophysical Journal Letters, volume 546, 97

H-alpha Imaging of Early-type (Sa-Sab) Spiral Galaxies I.
Hameed, S. and Devereux, N. 1999, Astronomical Journal, volume 118, 730

Massive Star Formation Along the Hubble Sequence
Devereux, N. and Hameed, S. 1997, Astronomical Journal, volume 113, 599

Select conference and seminar presentations:

Fluid Science & Religion Boundaries Amongst Muslim Physicians and Medical Students
Workshop on Science & Religion – Exploring the Spectrum, York University, Toronto, Canada, May 26-28, 2015

Islamic Creationism in Europe: Biological Evolution in the Service of ‘Clash of Civilization’ Narrative
Invited talk at McGill Centre for Islam and Science (MCIS), McGill University, Montreal, Canada, March 27, 2015

Muslims and Evolution: Reception of Biological Evolution Amongst Muslim Physicians and Medical Students in Six Countries
As part of a panel at the annual meeting of Society for the Scientific Study of Religion (SSSR), Indianapolis, Indiana, October 31, 2014

Overcoming Identity Protection: Understanding the context of evolution rejection amongst Muslim minorities in Europe and lessons for science communication
Annenberg Science of Science Communication Conference, The Annenberg Public Policy Center, UPenn, PA, October 16, 2014

Evolution, Islam and Identity: The Reception of biological evolution in Malaysia and Pakistan
As part of a panel at the annual meeting of Middle East Studies Association (MESA), New Orleans, LA, October 13, 2013

Making sense of the rise of Islamic Creationism in UK
A seminar talk at the Philosophy Department and the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Leeds, UK, June 27, 2012

Why is Islamic Creationism Spreading in Europe?
A public talk at Ghent University, Belgium, November 19, 2011

Muslims, Modernity, and Science: Lessons from contemporary debates over evolutionary biology
As part of a panel on Belief and Modernity: Behaviours and Intellectual Traditions, as part of theBelief in Dialogue Symposium, organized jointly by the British Academy and the British Council, London, England, March 29, 2011

Navigating Modernity: Science, Islam, and Global Media
As part of a panel on Global Media, Global Perspectives, sponsored by the Global Studies Initiative at Whitman College, Walla Walla, Washington, February 26, 2011

The Acceptance of Evolution in the Muslim World – The Glass half-full version
As part of a panel on The Challenge of Teaching Evolution in the Islamic World at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Washington, D.C., February 18, 2011

Islamic Creationism in Europe
As part of a panel on Creationism in Europe at the annual meeting of Society for the Scientific Study of Religion (SSSR), Baltimore, Maryland, October 29, 2010

Muslim Responses to Darwinism in South Asia 1859-2009
Religious Responses to Darwinism 1859-2009 conference at Oxford University, UK, July 15-18, 2009

Muslim Perspectives on Evolution and Science & Religion
McGill Symposium on Islam & Evolution, Montreal, Canada, March 30-31, 2009 [watch thewebcast here (you may need additional software to view the talk)]

The Debate over Darwin and Evolution in the Contemporary Islamic World
Darwin’s Reach conference at Hofstra University, NY, March 13, 2009

Colliding cosmologies on top of Mauna Kea
Invited talk at Yale University, New Haven, November 13, 2008

The impact of creationist documentaries in the Muslim world
Conference presentation on a panel on Darwin and the evolution-Intelligent Design aftermath, as part of Film & History conference on Film and Science: Fiction, Documentaries and Beyond, Chicago, Oct 30-Nov 2, 2008

Bracing for Creationism in the Islamic World
Invited talk at Creighton University, Omaha, September 30, 2008

Darwin versus gods from outer space
Hameed, S. 2008, A presentation as part of UMass Interdisciplinary Seminar in Humanities and Arts (ISHA) on the theme of Other Worlds

Attitude towards science and the rise of creationism in contemporary Islamic world
Hameed, S. 2007, The Annual History of Science Conference – Science & Religion: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives, Lancaster University, Jul 23-26

Confronting Paranormal Beliefs in a Short Course on Critical Thinking
Hameed, S., Robinson, G. M. and Moulton, J. 2004, Cosmos in the Classroom Workshop held at Tufts University, Cambridge, MA, July 15-18, 2004

H-alpha and Far-infrared Correlation in Early-type Spirals
Hameed, S., Devereux, N. 2004, American Astronomical Society Meeting 203, BAAS 116.13

STARFORM Survey: HII Region Luminosity Functions in Nearby Spirals
Hameed, S., Thilker, D., Walterbos, R., Devereux, N., Hoopes. C., Kenney, J. 2002, American Astronomical Society Meeting 200, BAAS 43.02

Properties of Star Forming Regions in Early-type Spiral Galaxies
Hameed, S., Thilker, D. and Devereux, N. 2001, in Galaxy Disks and Disk Galaxies, Edited by Funes and Maria; Astronomical Society of Pacific Conference Series, vol. 230, p. 315

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