I attended a Christian-Muslim debate last night at UTAS last night between Samuel Green and Sheikh Wesam Charkawi. The Sheikh made much of the literary and linguistic miracle of the Qur'an.
I was left pondering how one could really falsify this assertion. The Sheikh didn't really give objective measures by which one could assess whether or not the Qur'an's 'perfection' had been matched or not.
And as soon as such measures were articulated, surely then matching the Qur'an's perfection becomes a matter of colour-by-numbers.
So either the assertion is unfalsifiable… or false.
One of his proofs was a quote from E. H. Palmer's introduction to the Qur'an:
“That the best of Arab writers has never succeeded in producing anything equal in merit to the Qur′ân itself is not surprising.”
Although the quote in context actually makes a similar point to my post:
“That the best of Arab writers has never succeeded in producing anything equal in merit to the Qur′ân itself is not surprising. In the first place, they have agreed beforehand that it is unapproachable, and they have adopted its style as the perfect standard; any deviation from it therefore must of necessity be a defect. Again, with them this style is not spontaneous as with Mohammed and his contemporaries, but is as artificial as though Englishmen should still continue to follow Chaucer as their model, in spite of the changes which their language has undergone. With the prophet the style was natural, and the words were those used in every-day ordinary life, while with the later Arabic authors the style is imitative and the ancient words are introduced as a literary embellishment. The natural consequence is that their attempts look laboured and unreal by the side of his impromptu and forcible eloquence.”