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  • evolution

    dear venerables,

    is the science of evolution compatible with buddhist beliefs. was there a human realm prior to the evolution of homo sapiens. can buddhists believe the in the science of geology and cosmology and the understanding that the earth had specific beginning five billion years ago and will have a specific end when the sun goes supernova.

    i greatly appreciate the opportunity to be able to ask a monastic, this is the only place i know of where it can be done.

    with respect, michael

  • #2
    Dear Michael,

    Welcome to the forums!

    First of all, I have to say that if the Buddha taught some kind of creationism I probably wouldn't be a monk.

    What the Buddha did say was that there are several realms of existance, including heavenly and hellish places where rebirth can take place. So assuming the current universe arose several billion years ago, there would still be places to exist prior to the formation of our solar system and the subsequent process of evolution of which lead to our species existing. It is interesting that in the suttas the Buddha talks about eons of "world expansion and contraction" which we could interpret as "Big Bangs and Big Crunches". Also in the suttas it is said that "no first cause can be discerned".

    And of course we must always apply the principle, "Bend the faith to fit the facts, don't bend the facts to fit the faith".

    With metta,

    J.R.

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    • #3
      dear bhikkhu jhanaroto,

      thank you for your welcome and your quick reply, i am grateful. i have never heard, but truly appreciate the principle; "Bend the faith to fit the facts, don't bend the facts to fit the faith".

      i also believe and intuit that there is no first cause, be that a result of big bangs and crunches, or multiple universes birthing new universes.

      the suggestion of human beings evolving previously on other planets in other solar systems in the past via the same process of evolution is seems like a very plausible way to meld buddhist philosophy and modern science.

      thank you, michael

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