[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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