Buddhism, Science and evolution

Is Buddhism threatened by science?

Science and religion are sometimes regarded as mortal enemies locked in a battle that science has been winning. In this view, science is portrayed as anti-religious and linked closely with secularism. However, Buddhism appears to be much less threatened by the scientfic approach and by discoveries over the past several hundred years, than other faiths.

Darwin’s theory of natural selection has given some religionists (predomonantly literalist Christian) cause for concern ever since it was published. Creationists and intelligent design supporters are still resolutely using every means at their disposal to discredit evolution. This is misguided. There is growing and strong evidence to support Darwin’s ideas, from the development of drug resistance in bacteria, thorough to the tracking and evolution of genetic traits through generations.

As a scientfic framework describing the survival of biological organisms, natural selection does not contradict the core teachings of the Buddha (Dhamma). In fact the idea of dhamma and the niyamas found in early Buddhist texts provides a useful framework in which to compare and contrast Buddhism and scientific ideas such as evolution.

This is discussed in ‘Buddhism and Science’ here.

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