The post date does not reflect the actual date written. It is just for sequence purposes. It was written a year go in 2021 on Quora.com.
Just because geologists have discovered fossils of homo sapiens that shared human like features who supposedly existed prior to Adam (alaihi salaam) millions of years ago does not challenge the Quranic fact that Adam (alaihi salaam) did not have ancestors. Allah ﷻ can create what He wills, He creates some creation out of others, yet others He creates them completely new, out of nothing. We may share some features with now extinct pre Adamic homo sapiens but there is no guaranteed fact that we descended from them. As per Quran Adam (alaihi salaam) and entire humankind are special creation and their creation is unlike all other creation of Allah ﷻ.
Can mankind be evolved from other species as per Quran?
As for mankind coming from other species like homo sapiens whose fossils have been discovered, is something that explicitly contradicts the message of the Quran in various ways and this is unacceptable to a believers heart. Allah ﷻ makes it known to us that He (swt) honored Adam (alaihi salaam) and his descendants above all creation: (Al Quran 17:70) We have honoured the children of Adam - Similarly elsewhere Allah ﷻ mentions our creation to be of special kind as opposed to other creation because He ﷻ created us by blowing ‘His spirit’ and with His ‘Two Hands’:
(Al Quran 38:71–78) And [mention] when your Lord said to the angels, ‘Truly, I will create a man from clay. So when I have completed him, and breathed into him of My spirit, then fall down prostrate to him.’ And the angels prostrated, one and all. Save for satan, who was too proud to, and disbelieved. He said to him, ‘O Satan, what prevented you from prostrating to what I have created with My two hands?
Mufassireen and scholars have emphasized that Allah ﷻ using the term ‘My spirit’ and ‘Two Hands’ is to bring out the importance and special care in creation of Adam (alaihi salaam) and that no where else in the Quran does He ﷻ state the same words for other creation. Allah ﷻ mentions how He created plants, animals, earth etc. but no where else in Quran does He employ the same words to express their making. From here we notice some Muslims attempt a reconciliation with the Quran of the theory that modern humans descended from pre-Adamic homo sapiens. They say well Quran also says ‘(Al Quran 21:30) and of water We have made every living thing?’ and since geologists claim that more than 4 billion years ago the origin of life on earth took place from water then modern mankind must have come in to existence from other creation through gradual process of evolution. This conclusion is rejected as soon as we understand the creation of the first modern human (homo sapien sapien) Adam (alaihi salaam) in the following verse:
(Al Quran 3:59) The similitude of Jesus before Allah is as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him: "Be". And he was.
In this verse Allah ﷻ makes it explicitly clear that, as we all know, Jesus (alaihi salaam) came in to being as a result of miracle, a special act of creation, without the medium of a biological father. Similarly Adam’s creation is also a miracle in that he is a completely new creation, a miraculous & special creation which Allah ﷻ has brought in to being as a word from Him “Be” and not brought in to existence out of another creation as evolution theorists want us accepting: (Al Quran 36:82) His command is only when He intends a thing that He says to it, "Be," and it is. - Allah ﷻ is NOT in need to bring Adam (alaihi salaam) from another creation, He can bring him out of nothing if He wishes to. This is where believers who have no issues in accepting miracles will not have any doubts.
Does Quran mention pre Adamic homo sapiens?
I would like to share my personal point of view here. I believe that the Quran hints towards existence of now extinct homo sapiens in the words of angels who exclaimed after Allah ﷻ told them that He is going to create Adam (alaihi salaam): (Al Quran 2:30) "Will You place upon it one who causes corruption therein and sheds blood.. - It seems that they knew a kind that existed on earth before Adam and resembled him in characteristics such as potential to create violence and warlike. Thus they made this claim. But Allah ﷻ advised them that it is not only those characteristics this new being carries, it also carries angelic characteristics, spirituality and intellectual powers: (Al Quran 2:30) Allah ﷻ said, "Indeed, I know that which you do not know."
Having said all of this, it could be that Adam (alaihi salaam) did share the same process of evolution, evolved in stages like the now extinct homo sapiens and other creation but his creation was a special act, an independent parallel evolution that happened in the heavens from earthly substances just as Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said “God created Adam from a handful (of soil) which he took from the whole of the earth; so the children of Adam are in accordance with the earth, some red, some white, some black, some a mixture, also smooth and rough, bad and good.” (Mishkat al-Masabih 100 - sunnah.com)
and Allah (swt) obviously knows the best, He is All Knowing.