If this paper is right, and it surely isn’t, it would be evidence not only for God, but for the Islamic god—Allah. What we have, courtesy of reader S. Krishna, is a paper from the 2013 volume of International Journal of Poultry Science (reference and link to abstract below) claiming that chickens slaughtered in halal fashion, while uttering the name of Allah, show changes in their livers and pectoral muscles that aren’t seen when slaughtered identically, but without saying the word Allah.
The authors, Kenenou Tarek et al, are from the Department of Veterinary Medicine and Laboratory of Animal Health at the University of Batna in Algeria. The short paper describes a partly controlled experiment outlined as follows:
A total of 66 broiler chickens (Ross 308) at 60 day of age were selected according to their average body weight (2600 g) from broiler chicken flock. Chickens were divided in 2 groups.
The first group (33 birds) were slaughtered according the Islamic method by severing the jugular vein, trachea and the esophagus, the name of Allah must be invoked by saying:, Bismillah-Allahu Akber.
The second group was slaughtered by the same way but the name of Allah was not pronounced. Livers and a fragments of the pectoral muscle were collected carefully set in a 10% formalin (Gridley, 1960) and sent to histological study in Agroveterinary institute of Souk Ahras (Algeria) in order to show the histological difference between the two groups levy.
Their findings are described not by any data, but only by two pictures that show what the authors claim to have found: “focal edema and congestive reactions in the blood vessels of the liver and pectoral muscles.” Here are the muscles and livers of non-Allah chickens, with “Ca” meaning “congested areas. These areas are apparently a “rich medium for bacterial development” and causes “rapid autolysis of the chicken meat due to the intracellular enzymes of the leucocytes.”
But if you say Allah, you get no congested areas. Voilà—a non-degrading chicken.
The authors finish with some quotations from the Qur’an and hadith mandating that Allah’s name be pronounced at slaughter.
Why was this published in the International Journal of Poultry Science? God—sorry, Allah—only knows. This of course needs to be replicated, but in a blind fashion, so that the histologists don’t know which chicken was which (the authors make no mention of blind scoring). If it proves to be real, then we need to control for how the chickens are killed: maybe someone shouting “Allah” squeezes the chicken harder! And if it still stands up then. . . . well, I’d bet big money it wouldn’t. And I’d call for yet other controls: when the chicken is slaughtered, someone has to shout “Jesus!” or “Shiva!”
Tarek, K., M. Mohamed, B. Omar, B. Hassina and I. Messaouda, 2013. Histological changes in liver and pectoral muscles of broiler chickens slaughtered with and without naming of Allah. International Journal of Poultry Science, 12: 550-552.