[Advaita-l] New Member Introduction: Prof. Mackenzie Brown - and a request

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Fri Jul 16 15:20:57 CDT 2010

On Mon, 21 Jun 2010, D.V.N. Sarma wrote:

> Dear Professor Brown,
> I assume that you are already aware of Prof.J.B.S.Haldane's remark
> that the Dasavatara of  Vishnu (the ten incarnations of Vishnu) is an
> intelligent guess that HIndus made of evolution.

Haldanes scientific views were strongly influenced (for the worse in my 
opinion) by his Marxism and I don't think Hindus should give him any 
credance just because he said something complimentary about us.

>From a scientific standpoint, evolution does not imply progress or 
perfection of any kind.  It is simply the selection of genes based on 
fitness of adaption to a particular environment.  If you were to put the 
Buddha in the middle of the ocean, He would drown.  A fish would have no 
problems.  For the purposes of living in the ocean, a fish is more evolved 
than a man.  But if you asked a fish to conquer Lanka, it would not be so 

>From a dharmic standpoint the idea is also problematic.

1. For a start, there are more than 10 named avatars.  For example there 
is a list of 24 in the Bhagavata 2nd skandha and they do not follow a 
steady progression from simple to complex.

2. Do we really want to argue that Buddha, a nastika, represents higher 
progress over Shri Rama or Shri Krshna?

3. The purpose of an avatara is not "progress" but to stop adharma from 
overwhelming dharma at a particular point in time.

I think most Hindus do support the theory of evolution but I think a 
firmer foundation can be found for it in our religion than this idea.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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