The Dhamma and Science
Posted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:13 pm
How do we approach Suttas which go against current scientific knowledge? For example, modern science tells us that a Big Crunch and a cyclic universe is impossible due to the increasing rate of expansion of the universe. The only two options are the Big Rip or the Big Freeze. This contradicts the sutta below. How should we approach and interpret said suttas? Should we dismiss suttas that contradict science, or should we believe the suttas despite the science? If we simply dismiss the science because of faith, how does that make us any better than Christians who dismiss evolution because of their faith in the Bible and creationism?
"He recalls to mind his various temporary states in days gone by – one birth, or two or three or four or five births, 10 or 20, 30 or 50, a 100 or a 1,000 or a 100,000 births, through many cycles of cosmic contraction and cosmic expansion . . . Now there comes a time, when sooner or later, after the lapse of a long, long period of contraction, this world-system passes away. And when this happens beings have mostly been re-born in the World of Radiance, and there they dwell made of mind, feeding on joy, radiating light from themselves, traversing the air, dwelling in glory; and thus they remain for a long, long period of time. Now there comes also a time, friends, when sooner or later, this universe begins to re-evolve by expansion.” (Digha Nikaya 1 Brahmajala Sutta)