Rana Dajani PhD
Hashemite University, Jordan
Evolution stories…how do they end.
There has been much controversy on the compatibility of biological evolution and religion in general and Islam in particular. Biological evolution is a fact. Yet because of misunderstanding, lack of freethinking, ignorance and parties with a hidden agenda the controversy between evolution and Islam has become mainstream. As a Muslim molecular biologist, for me there is no incompatibility between biological evolution and Islam. I intend to draw upon my experience as an educator who teaches evolution and went through discussions and debates to present this issue in a new light taking into consideration all the students’ and community’s feedback. This work is very important and is a significant contribution to development of scientific thought especially in the Muslim world. It will advocate for compatibility of biological evolution with Islam, calling for reinterpretation of holy texts in light of modern scientific discoveries, introducing a new approach, encouraging freedom of thought to address controversial issues whose manifestations on human wellbeing is enormous.
Biosketch: Rana Dajani Ph.D. molecular cell biology, Harvard Radcliff fellow, a Fulbrighter, Eisenhower fellow, Associate Professor, former center of studies director, Hashemite University, Jordan, Yale and Cambridge visiting professor. World expert on genetics of Circassian and Chechan populations in Jordan. Established stem cell research ethics law in Jordan. Advocate for biological evolution and Islam, speaker at McGill University and MIT. Jordan team leader in studying refugee youth with Yale University and the epigenetics of trauma across generations. Higher education reform expert, member UN women Jordan advisory council. Writer in Science and Nature, Established a women mentor network, received PEER award 2014. Organized the first gender summit for the Arab world 2017. Most influential women scientists in Islamic World, 12 among 100 most influential Arab women 2015, women in science hall of fame 2015, King Hussein Cancer Institute for cancer and biotechnology award 2009 and 2016 Global Changemaker Award IIE/Fulbright. Awarded the Jordan star of science by HM King Abdullah II,Higher Education Reform Expert EU-TEMPUS, Jordan, founder service learning center, Hashemite University, speaker at TEDxDeadsea and TEDxSPUT, World Islamic Economic Forum 2012 and World Science Forum 2015. Developed a community-based model “We love reading” to encourage children to read for pleasure received Synergos Arab world social innovators 2009, WISE Award 2014,King Hussein Medal of Honor 2014, Star Award 2015, IDEO.org best refugee education program 2015, UNESCO International Literacy Prize 2017, World Literacy Council Award 2018 and the Jacobs social entrepreneurship award 2018.
Author of the book: Five scarves, Doing the impossible: If we can reverse cell fate why cant we redefine success, Nova Publisher 2018. Reviewed by Nature