The Evolution Debate

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Alex123
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Re: The Evolution Debate

Post by Alex123 » Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:05 pm

robertk wrote: Buddhists are no different from anyone else, we are born into a culture which is, with good reason, in awe of the accomplishments of science. However, science/scientists are also just as much caught up in the flood of views and almost can't help extrapolating the thin facts they learn about evolution into comprehensive philosophical positions that are rife with wrong view. We Buddhists when looking at science need to be fair but critical.
Science is based on scientific method. It requires objective evidence, and also uses falsifiability principle.

"Everything is due to kamma" is not a scientific phrase and can never be. Furthermore it is no more provable than expression that "Everything is God's will".

There are frequent mentioning of Rajagaha existing for 100,000 of years which is disproven by modern knowledge of evolution. Also if we were to calculate when Buddha Kassapa and previous Buddha's were supposed to live on Earth, it too would go against evolution as science knows it.


It is better not to put "Science" and "Buddhism" together... In suttas there it mentions Arupa Loka beings who live for thousands (20k-84k) of Mahakalpas. How can this be if Universe does not last more than one MahaKalpa? Even in Rupa Loka there are beings who live more than entire universe lasts. There is mention of sun going around the earth, rain gods :rolleye:, fish up to 5,000km in length :redherring: , demon Rahu who swallows :jawdrop: the moon (imagine the size!), devas, rebirth, kamma, hell (see mn129/130), Indian city lasting 100,000 of years, etc, which we have to take on faith. Just like in other religions they take their stuff on faith.
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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Rui Sousa
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Re: The Evolution Debate

Post by Rui Sousa » Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:00 pm

robertk wrote:I can't properly understand your point Rui
Now that I read my post, neither can I. Shouldn't write stuff when my brain is half asleep :)

I have a few thoughts, but I have to organize them and then properly translate them into english.
With Metta

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Lazy_eye
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Re: The Evolution Debate

Post by Lazy_eye » Fri Apr 20, 2012 3:21 am

robertk wrote: Buddhists are no different from anyone else, we are born into a culture which is, with good reason, in awe of the accomplishments of science. However, science/scientists are also just as much caught up in the flood of views and almost can't help extrapolating the thin facts they learn about evolution into comprehensive philosophical positions that are rife with wrong view. We Buddhists when looking at science need to be fair but critical.
Sure, I can agree. One way -- probably the better way, in my opinion -- is to show that such philosophical positions don't follow automatically or by necessity from the scientific evidence. For example, one can be a scientist without necessarily adhering to a philosophical position of existentialism or nihilism. There are alternate viewpoints arising from science. This is what Joel Primack and Nancy Ellen Abrams set out to show in their recent book,The View from the Center of the Universe, although it doesn't have anything to do with dhamma.

Likewise, with Darwin and evolution, it's not only valuable but crucial to show that a Darwinian explanation of nature does not have to translate into a Darwinian moral philosophy ("only the fit deserve to survive"). And it's worth noting, perhaps, that many prominent Darwinists including Huxley did not espouse such a philosophy and indeed argued against it.

Another approach is to try and show that a scientific basis for Buddhist teachings such as rebirth actually exists. The difficulty here is the need to amass evidence and meet scientific standards of proof. So far this hasn't been done.

Instead, what tends to happen is that religious critics of science try to win debate points by taking pot shots at the (real or alleged) weaknesses in evolutionary theory. The problem is that even if the theory is not perfect, it remains a scientific theory whereas the competing religious models (intelligent design, for example) are not. This is a key point if we're talking about what does and doesn't belong in science education. For instance, even a debunked hypothesis such as the "lumniferous aether" theory might merit discussion in a science class because it was falsifiable, i.e. testable through experiment.

daverupa
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Re: The Evolution Debate

Post by daverupa » Fri Apr 20, 2012 10:56 am

Lazy_eye wrote:Sure, I can agree. One way -- probably the better way, in my opinion -- is to show that such philosophical positions don't follow automatically or by necessity from the scientific evidence...

Likewise, with Darwin and evolution, it's not only valuable but crucial to show that a Darwinian explanation of nature does not have to translate into a Darwinian moral philosophy...

...what tends to happen is that religious critics of science try to win debate points by taking pot shots at the (real or alleged) weaknesses in evolutionary theory. The problem is that even if the theory is not perfect, it remains a scientific theory whereas the competing religious models (intelligent design, for example) are not... falsifiable, i.e. testable through experiment.
:goodpost:

Well-put.
  • "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.

- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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Ron-The-Elder
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Re: The Evolution Debate

Post by Ron-The-Elder » Sat Jul 14, 2012 3:51 pm

What science offers today, which neither Darwin, nor any religiostics had available to them at the time is an understanding of genetics and how it drives evolution. It also dispels any notion of any form of moral superiority. All that really matters is can any given species adapt to and survive in the environmental conditions, which currently present themselves. :coffee:
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gavesako
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Re: The Evolution Debate

Post by gavesako » Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:42 pm

New video with nice graphics to illustrate the meaning:


Bhante Anandajoti: Devolution and Evolution

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFaoyp_wrlY" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

This video is built around a talk given in the Vivekavana Buddhist Society, Bukit Mertajam, Penang, Malaysia on January 6th 2013.

The talk is illustrated with infographics describing the planes of existence and with photographs and complimentary text.

The talk describes the various ways the universe comes to destruction, and how it re-evolves.

It also talks about the moral devolution of humans, before a reversal happens which eventually leads to the emergence of Metteyya (Maitreya) Buddha.

The talk is mainly based on two discourses in the Dīghanikāya, Aggaññasutta (DN 27) and Cakkavattisīhanādasutta (DN 26).

The first video in this series on The Planes of Existence is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzPIeCaV-is" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

Access to Insight - Theravada texts
Ancient Buddhist Texts - Translations and history of Pali texts
Dhammatalks.org - Sutta translations

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robertk
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Re: The Evolution Debate

Post by robertk » Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:00 am

Thanks for this!

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Ceisiwr
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Re: Pannobhasa on homosexuality, transsexuality, and pandaka

Post by Ceisiwr » Tue May 28, 2019 9:01 pm

Manopubbangama wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 8:48 pm
lostitude wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 7:53 pm
Manopubbangama wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 6:41 pm
In any virile society where men are free, to bend over and allow another man to penetrate them as he would a woman is a decapitational offence to the manhood of the receiver of this infamy. There is no way this "man" could ever regain his reputation as such in the company of other men - he would be a social outcast for the rest of his life.
And this is only natural from an evolutionary POV, as this is the best way to optimize reproduction.

Therefore, if Darwin is correct, his own believers are going to go extinct while those who believe in a stone-age moon godess fertility cult will eliminate the teaching of Darwin in schools.

Personally, I don't believe in Darwinism. Maybe thats why my gene's live on through my offspring, in a strange chain of logic.

The fruits of this path will be all too apparent in the next generation or two, but it would make Churchill hold his head in absolute shame.
How? When you keep in mind the fact that probably less than 5% of the population is homosexual, can you really ascribe the low birthrate in the West to the gays not doing their part? Though that may be true in a primitive society struggling for survival with very high maternal and newborn mortality rates, incessant wars killing off all the males with the resultant polygamy that was needed to take care of the widows in patriarchal societies, the 21st century is way past that and such attitudes no longer make any sense.

Not in itself does homosexuality makeup the aggregate of the birth rate, but all things being equal, does it increase it, decrease it, or make it stay the same? Ceteris Parabis, I'm asking?

The gayest civilization of all time was Islam (I use past tense since the remnants of this civilization are but bitter fruits of a once glorious society) in the sense that these males loved to penetrate other men - but they didn't want to receive. They are still extremely gay, an example being the "Bachi Boys" in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
I doubt that pedophilia in Afghanistan and Pakistan was brought in by Islam. I'm pretty sure it predates it, and don't forget those same areas have been Buddhist in the past.
You say you doubt, but historical records point to muslims practicing gay-rape wherever they go on a massive scale, and no such records exist for Buddhists.

So, there's that.

You don’t believe in evolution via natural selection? Why?

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Manopubbangama
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Re: Pannobhasa on homosexuality, transsexuality, and pandaka

Post by Manopubbangama » Tue May 28, 2019 9:19 pm

Ceisiwr wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 9:01 pm
Manopubbangama wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 8:48 pm
lostitude wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 7:53 pm
And this is only natural from an evolutionary POV, as this is the best way to optimize reproduction.

Therefore, if Darwin is correct, his own believers are going to go extinct while those who believe in a stone-age moon godess fertility cult will eliminate the teaching of Darwin in schools.

Personally, I don't believe in Darwinism. Maybe thats why my gene's live on through my offspring, in a strange chain of logic.


How? When you keep in mind the fact that probably less than 5% of the population is homosexual, can you really ascribe the low birthrate in the West to the gays not doing their part? Though that may be true in a primitive society struggling for survival with very high maternal and newborn mortality rates, incessant wars killing off all the males with the resultant polygamy that was needed to take care of the widows in patriarchal societies, the 21st century is way past that and such attitudes no longer make any sense.

Not in itself does homosexuality makeup the aggregate of the birth rate, but all things being equal, does it increase it, decrease it, or make it stay the same? Ceteris Parabis, I'm asking?


I doubt that pedophilia in Afghanistan and Pakistan was brought in by Islam. I'm pretty sure it predates it, and don't forget those same areas have been Buddhist in the past.
You say you doubt, but historical records point to muslims practicing gay-rape wherever they go on a massive scale, and no such records exist for Buddhists.

So, there's that.

You don’t believe in evolution via natural selection? Why?
Hi friend,

Probably not the place to argue it but I will give a few reasons:

1. The gene-centric idea is nothing like the Victorian-era species-centric idea that Darwin stole from many other authors. Therefore, modern Darwinists don't believe in Darwinism.

2. There are not working examples of proven macro-evolution, nor of one species changing into another.

3. The gene-centric dogma has been deconstructed by E.O. Wilson.

4. The fact that there are analogous body-parts on different families of animals. Such as insects with wings - the probability of species developing exactly the same body parts at massively different times in deep history is virtually nil.

5. The fact that consciousness is totally unaccounted for in the original literature, as if it is NOT the central aspect of humanity.

6. I have my own religion and in nowhere in this Holistic worldview is evolution mentioned, or inferred.

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Ceisiwr
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Re: Pannobhasa on homosexuality, transsexuality, and pandaka

Post by Ceisiwr » Tue May 28, 2019 9:22 pm

Manopubbangama


2. There are not working examples of proven macro-evolution, nor of one species changing into another.
We have seen it happen in plants and crayfish.


6. I have my own religion and in nowhere in this Holistic worldview is evolution mentioned, or inferred.
It’s not denied either, unlike the Abrahamics.

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DooDoot
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Re: Pannobhasa on homosexuality, transsexuality, and pandaka

Post by DooDoot » Tue May 28, 2019 9:22 pm

Manopubbangama wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 9:19 pm
I have my own religion and in nowhere in this Holistic worldview is evolution mentioned, or inferred.
Unlike the Abrahamic religions, it seems Buddhism does not have a "plan" for humanity or creation. Also, Buddhism might support the modern theory of evolution, as follows:
2. Bijaniyama: the natural law pertaining to heredity, which is best described in the adage, "as the seed, so the fruit."

http://www.abuddhistlibrary.com/Buddhis ... 0Kamma.htm
:alien:
Manopubbangama wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 6:41 pm
It is only in countries with dying birthrates, where such ideas have been auto-suggested into the heads of true-believer types, who believe it to be otherwise.
The Nazis promoted high birth rates & fertility because they needed to create a large inventory of soldiers for cannon fodder in war. Where as the Buddha taught "birth is suffering" and the "ending of birth". Jesus said: "Look, the days are coming when people will say, ‘Blessed are the barren women, the wombs that never bore, and breasts that never nursed." (Luke 23:29). The Buddha said about child birth:
The disagreeable
in the guise of the agreeable,
the unlovable
in the guise of the lovable,
pain in the guise of bliss,
overcome
one who is heedless.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
Manopubbangama sounds like Suppavāsā:
The Blessed One, knowing that Suppavāsā was gratified, joyful, rapturous, & happy, said to her, "Suppavāsā, would you like to have another son like this?"

"O Blessed One, lord, I would like to have seven more sons like this!"

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
:tongue:
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Last edited by DooDoot on Tue May 28, 2019 9:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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ToVincent
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Re: The Evolution Debate

Post by ToVincent » Wed May 29, 2019 11:29 am

Some working for the Mara's world; some for the Brahma's world; some for the Unborn.
.
In this world with its ..., māras, ... - In this population with its ascetics.... (AN 5.30).
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