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Buddhism: Cosmology and Evolution

GeoLaureate8
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7/10/2010 3:41:30 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
2,300 years before Darwin, Buddha had already posited that life arose by evolutionary means and that the Universe was expanding (albiet, he posited the Oscillating Universe of Einstein). Why doesn't he get any credit for these ideas?

It's ironic of the context that these ideas were taught, though. Buddha usually refuses to engage in speculative theories and metaphysics, but he was confronted by Hindu priests who claimed to be superior because they were created by God [Brahma] and that they were his personal heirs. (Sounds like the same struggle we're having today.)

Expanding Universe: "There comes a time, Vasettha, when, sooner or later after a long period, this world contracts. ...But ...after a very long period, this world begins to expand again." [Agganna Sutta]

Evolution: "...To that extent the world re-evolved. And those beings continued for a very long time feasting on this savory earth, feeding on it and being nourished by it. And as they did so, their bodies became courser, and a difference in looks developed among them."

In addition to these, he also spoke of a Multiverse.

"Disciples, ...nowhere in all the infinite worlds that stretch right and left, is there the equal, much less the superior, of a Buddha." [Apannaka Jataka]

He has proposed a Multiverse wherein there are multiple expanding/collapsing worlds, which themselves consist of systems where life develops through evolutionary means. Today, this is the most sophisticated paradigm accepted by modern scientists (or at least accepted as most probable; excluding the Big Crunch).

(More info: http://www.astronomy.net...
http://www.buddhistchannel.tv...)
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
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"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
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GeoLaureate8
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7/10/2010 4:40:19 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
Evolution (cont.): "It is by a process of evolution that *sankharas come to be. There is no sankhara which has sprung into being without a gradual becoming." [Gospel of Buddha; modern text derived from original scripture]
-- http://www.sacred-texts.com...

*sankharas = conditioned phenomena; refers to any compound form in the universe whether a tree, a cloud, a human being, a thought or a molecule. All these are sankharas. The Buddha taught that all such things are impermanent, arising and passing away, subject to change ... Sankhara is often used ... to describe the psychological conditioning (particularly the habit patterns of the unconscious mind) that gives any individual human being his or her unique character and make-up at any given time.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
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"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
TheSkeptic
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7/10/2010 5:24:09 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
Nah, I suspect Buddha's references concerning evolution were leaning more on a metaphysical flavor rather than any biological insight concerning speciation, genetic diversity, etc.
tvellalott
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7/10/2010 7:05:30 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
Buddha would definately take Jesus in a fight. He would sucker punch that mother f#cker!
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Yvette
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7/10/2010 8:27:07 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
I'm not one to value idle speculation that happens to be right over science that works hard at it.
In the middle of moving to Washington. 8D

"If God does not exist, then chocolate causing cancer is only true for the society that has evidence for that." --GodSands
tkubok
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7/10/2010 10:37:25 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
Buddha was a prince before he became Buddha, so im guessing he is also an adept martial artist. Yeah, He would kick Jesus down in a brawl.
Atheism
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7/10/2010 10:39:21 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/10/2010 10:37:25 AM, tkubok wrote:
Buddha was a prince before he became Buddha, so im guessing he is also an adept martial artist. Yeah, He would kick Jesus down in a brawl.

I would think so. However, he would need to be wary of those thorns sticking out of Jesus' head.
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Cerebral_Narcissist
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7/10/2010 10:42:25 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/10/2010 10:37:25 AM, tkubok wrote:
Buddha was a prince before he became Buddha, so im guessing he is also an adept martial artist. Yeah, He would kick Jesus down in a brawl.

Martial arts were generally created by the poor and downtrodden.
I am voting for Innomen because of his intelligence, common sense, humility and the fact that Juggle appears to listen to him. Any other Presidential style would have a large sub-section of the site up in arms. If I was President I would destroy the site though elitism, others would let it run riot. Innomen represents a middle way that works, neither draconian nor anarchic and that is the only way things can work. Plus he does it all without ego trips.
GeoLaureate8
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7/10/2010 1:54:04 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/10/2010 8:27:07 AM, Yvette wrote:
I'm not one to value idle speculation that happens to be right over science that works hard at it.

Mmm. So that includes Darwin and Einstein? Their ideas (evolution, oscillating universe) weren't based on hard science at the time.

Also, as I stated earlier Buddha was against speculation.

"The Perfect One is free from any theory (ditthigata), for the Perfect One has seen what corporeality is, and how it arises and passes away. He has seen what feeling ... perception ... mental formations ... consciousness are, and how they arise and pass away. Therefore I say that the Perfect One has won complete deliverance through the extinction, fading away, disappearance, rejection and casting out of all imaginings and conjectures." [Aggi Vacchagotta Sutta]

(The reason why his assertions aren't considered speculations because scripture says he has transcendental intelligence, rigorously trained mind, and a "divine eye")
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
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"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
GeoLaureate8
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7/10/2010 2:20:23 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/10/2010 7:05:30 AM, tvellalott wrote:
Buddha would definately take Jesus in a fight. He would sucker punch that mother f#cker!

At 7/10/2010 10:37:25 AM, tkubok wrote:
Buddha was a prince before he became Buddha, so im guessing he is also an adept martial artist. Yeah, He would kick Jesus down in a brawl.

Um, no. He wasn't a martial artist and he didn't engage in violence. Though, he was attacked by a person and was threatened with violence by a deity and no one was able to touch him.

Alavaka: "I will ask you a question, recluse. If you do not answer me, I will confound your mind (thoughts), or cleave your heart, or take you by your feet and fling you over to the further shore of the ocean (para gangaya)."

Buddha: "Well, friend, I do not see anyone in the world of Devas, Maras, Brahmas, or among the generation of recluses, brahmanas, deities, and humans, who could either confound my mind or cleave my heart, or take me by the feet and fling me over to the further shore of the ocean; nevertheless, friend, ask what you will." [Alavaka Sutta]
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
Kinesis
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7/10/2010 2:23:51 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/10/2010 10:37:25 AM, tkubok wrote:
Buddha was a prince before he became Buddha, so im guessing he is also an adept martial artist. Yeah, He would kick Jesus down in a brawl.

Wasn't the Buddha morbidly obese? That's the impression I get from his statues.
GeoLaureate8
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7/10/2010 2:31:42 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/10/2010 2:23:51 PM, Kinesis wrote:
At 7/10/2010 10:37:25 AM, tkubok wrote:
Buddha was a prince before he became Buddha, so im guessing he is also an adept martial artist. Yeah, He would kick Jesus down in a brawl.

Wasn't the Buddha morbidly obese? That's the impression I get from his statues.

Who told you that? Buddha was thin. On one of his journeys (before Enlightenment), he ate one grain a day and turned into a skeleton.

Pics:
http://www.iol.ie...
http://upload.wikimedia.org...

I think the fat guy you are referring to is Hotei who lived over a thousand years after Buddha's time. For some reason, many places tend to have his statue up for decoration.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
tkubok
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7/10/2010 6:23:51 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/10/2010 10:42:25 AM, Cerebral_Narcissist wrote:
Martial arts were generally created by the poor and downtrodden.

Princes were generally taught by a private and skilled martial artist for self defense. Infact, it was common for the kings to ride alongside his armies and fight in wars.
tkubok
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7/10/2010 6:24:51 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/10/2010 10:39:21 AM, Atheism wrote:
I would think so. However, he would need to be wary of those thorns sticking out of Jesus' head.

The head is only a small portion of the possible locations to attack an opponent. Quite frankly id go for the arms or the legs.
Atheism
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7/10/2010 6:38:38 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/10/2010 6:24:51 PM, tkubok wrote:
At 7/10/2010 10:39:21 AM, Atheism wrote:
I would think so. However, he would need to be wary of those thorns sticking out of Jesus' head.

The head is only a small portion of the possible locations to attack an opponent. Quite frankly id go for the arms or the legs.

I meant that Jesus could headbutt Budda, so that Budda would have holes in his belly.
I miss the old members.
Yvette
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7/10/2010 7:22:20 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/10/2010 1:54:04 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 7/10/2010 8:27:07 AM, Yvette wrote:
I'm not one to value idle speculation that happens to be right over science that works hard at it.

Mmm. So that includes Darwin and Einstein? Their ideas (evolution, oscillating universe) weren't based on hard science at the time.

Also, as I stated earlier Buddha was against speculation.

"The Perfect One is free from any theory (ditthigata), for the Perfect One has seen what corporeality is, and how it arises and passes away. He has seen what feeling ... perception ... mental formations ... consciousness are, and how they arise and pass away. Therefore I say that the Perfect One has won complete deliverance through the extinction, fading away, disappearance, rejection and casting out of all imaginings and conjectures." [Aggi Vacchagotta Sutta]

(The reason why his assertions aren't considered speculations because scripture says he has transcendental intelligence, rigorously trained mind, and a "divine eye")

So what science did he base that vague assertion on?

Einstein, I don't really know anything about. Darwin used the scientific method, which isn't idle speculation. It's observing the evidence, forming an explanation, and testing it. He had a world of detailed evidence observations, fossil records, new information on how populations and resources work together, etc. Buddha was a smart guy but I'm guessing he didn't spend his time carefully observing and comparing the wildlife.

At least, that's what I've been told. I don't know that Buddha didn't have any of that but you'd think we'd have heard if he did. :)

"The reason why his assertions aren't considered speculations because scripture says he has transcendental intelligence, rigorously trained mind, and a "divine eye""

So...your religious scriptures tell you he just "knew" it was true. Yea, I'm not valuing that at all. CJL "knows" things too. "Knowing" is no different from just deciding without evidence.
In the middle of moving to Washington. 8D

"If God does not exist, then chocolate causing cancer is only true for the society that has evidence for that." --GodSands
mattrodstrom
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7/11/2010 8:18:47 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/10/2010 8:27:07 AM, Yvette wrote:
I'm not one to value idle speculation that happens to be right over science that works hard at it.

lol..

BUT that's the most Fun!

and is Half of what that super science "cognitive neuroscience" IS all about!
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
Cerebral_Narcissist
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7/11/2010 1:33:48 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/10/2010 6:23:51 PM, tkubok wrote:
At 7/10/2010 10:42:25 AM, Cerebral_Narcissist wrote:
Martial arts were generally created by the poor and downtrodden.

Princes were generally taught by a private and skilled martial artist for self defense. Infact, it was common for the kings to ride alongside his armies and fight in wars.

Oh really... was it common for kings to fight alongside their armies was it. Wow what a revelation. It's funny how they could afford to raise armies but had no money to buy weapons for themselves.

Princes do not learn karate.

Buddha was raised seperated from all suffering, unlikely to have been combat trained at all!
I am voting for Innomen because of his intelligence, common sense, humility and the fact that Juggle appears to listen to him. Any other Presidential style would have a large sub-section of the site up in arms. If I was President I would destroy the site though elitism, others would let it run riot. Innomen represents a middle way that works, neither draconian nor anarchic and that is the only way things can work. Plus he does it all without ego trips.
GeoLaureate8
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7/11/2010 2:14:37 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/10/2010 7:22:20 PM, Yvette wrote:
So what science did he base that vague assertion on?

Einstein, I don't really know anything about. Darwin used the scientific method, which isn't idle speculation. It's observing the evidence, forming an explanation, and testing it. He had a world of detailed evidence observations, fossil records, new information on how populations and resources work together, etc. Buddha was a smart guy but I'm guessing he didn't spend his time carefully observing and comparing the wildlife.

Buddha's entire philosophy was based upon observation and analysis.

"early Buddhist philosophy did not engage in ontological or metaphysical speculation, but was based instead on empirical evidence gained by the sense organs" - http://en.wikipedia.org...

In the Kalama Sutra, Buddha explains his epistemological stance: "Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it."

And there was nothing that Darwin could observe that Buddha couldn't.

"The reason why his assertions aren't considered speculations because scripture says he has transcendental intelligence, rigorously trained mind, and a "divine eye""

So...your religious scriptures tell you he just "knew" it was true. Yea, I'm not valuing that at all. CJL "knows" things too. "Knowing" is no different from just deciding without evidence.

No, it doesn't imply that he simply "knows" things. It says he had transcendental intelligence which means he had much higher cognitive abilities. It's like comparing Einstein and Stephen Hawking's intelligence to George Bush.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
Yvette
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7/11/2010 2:22:16 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/11/2010 2:14:37 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 7/10/2010 7:22:20 PM, Yvette wrote:
So what science did he base that vague assertion on?

Einstein, I don't really know anything about. Darwin used the scientific method, which isn't idle speculation. It's observing the evidence, forming an explanation, and testing it. He had a world of detailed evidence observations, fossil records, new information on how populations and resources work together, etc. Buddha was a smart guy but I'm guessing he didn't spend his time carefully observing and comparing the wildlife.

Buddha's entire philosophy was based upon observation and analysis.

"early Buddhist philosophy did not engage in ontological or metaphysical speculation, but was based instead on empirical evidence gained by the sense organs" - http://en.wikipedia.org...

In the Kalama Sutra, Buddha explains his epistemological stance: "Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it."

And there was nothing that Darwin could observe that Buddha couldn't.


"The reason why his assertions aren't considered speculations because scripture says he has transcendental intelligence, rigorously trained mind, and a "divine eye""

So...your religious scriptures tell you he just "knew" it was true. Yea, I'm not valuing that at all. CJL "knows" things too. "Knowing" is no different from just deciding without evidence.

No, it doesn't imply that he simply "knows" things. It says he had transcendental intelligence which means he had much higher cognitive abilities. It's like comparing Einstein and Stephen Hawking's intelligence to George Bush.

And a "divine eye"...yea, explain that one to me?

What evidence did he use?

Maybe I don't understand transcendental correctly... http://www.thefreedictionary.com...

tran·scen·den·tal (trnsn-dntl)
adj.
1. Philosophy
a. Concerned with the a priori or intuitive basis of knowledge as independent of experience.
b. Asserting a fundamental irrationality or supernatural element in experience.
2. Surpassing all others; superior.
3. Beyond common thought or experience; mystical or supernatural.

If "superior" was what was meant, surely superior was a better word. I think you're just retroactively making it what you want it to be. That's religion for ya. Buddha may very well have been an early Darwin and a scientist, but it seems unlikely.
In the middle of moving to Washington. 8D

"If God does not exist, then chocolate causing cancer is only true for the society that has evidence for that." --GodSands
GeoLaureate8
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7/11/2010 3:06:35 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/11/2010 2:22:16 PM, Yvette wrote:
And a "divine eye"...yea, explain that one to me?

"Penetrating the nature of these processes further increased the clarity and openness of his mind. In the first watch of the night Siddhartha's inner vision became completely unobstructed, a state called the opening the divine eye."

--http://www.wisdom-books.com...

What evidence did he use?

It is not known. I fully concede to you that the Tipitaka is not the "Origin of Species." Though I never claimed it was. I was just pointing out that Buddha posited that life arose by evolutionary means. Not that he gathered all the evidence and expounded a scientific theory. He's a philosopher.

Maybe I don't understand transcendental correctly...

If "superior" was what was meant, surely superior was a better word. I think you're just retroactively making it what you want it to be. That's religion for ya.

On the contrary.

"The Blessed One Replied: Transcendental Intelligence rises when the intellectual-mind reaches its limit and, if things are to be realized in their true and essence nature, its processes of mentation, which are based on particularized ideas, discriminations and judgements, must be transcended by an appeal to some higher faculty of cognition."

http://www.purifymind.com...

Buddha may very well have been an early Darwin and a scientist, but it seems unlikely.

I would never claim that. Buddha's philosophy primarily concerns phenomenology, epistemology, ontology, nature of reality, psychology, and the cessation of suffering. Evolution just happened to be a very minor aspect of his explanation of existence.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
Yvette
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7/11/2010 6:30:44 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
"Though I never claimed it was. I was just pointing out that Buddha posited that life arose by evolutionary means. Not that he gathered all the evidence and expounded a scientific theory. He's a philosopher."

This is my point exactly. If there's no reason to believe he used evidence to come up with his theory, he simply came up with a philosophical explanation, I simply see little reason to value that. Great that he's supposedly very intelligent, but unless there's reason to believe he observed evidence specific to the theory I don't see how it's more than idle speculation.
In the middle of moving to Washington. 8D

"If God does not exist, then chocolate causing cancer is only true for the society that has evidence for that." --GodSands
mattrodstrom
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7/11/2010 8:02:55 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/11/2010 6:30:44 PM, Yvette wrote:
"Though I never claimed it was. I was just pointing out that Buddha posited that life arose by evolutionary means. Not that he gathered all the evidence and expounded a scientific theory. He's a philosopher."

This is my point exactly. If there's no reason to believe he used evidence to come up with his theory, he simply came up with a philosophical explanation, I simply see little reason to value that.

what's the reason for valuing the scientific explanation?

I'd say they're both valuable b/c they both could have Ethical implications... and could be important in how you see the world... which also affects how you act.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
GeoLaureate8
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7/12/2010 12:40:29 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/11/2010 6:30:44 PM, Yvette wrote:
"Though I never claimed it was. I was just pointing out that Buddha posited that life arose by evolutionary means. Not that he gathered all the evidence and expounded a scientific theory. He's a philosopher."

This is my point exactly. If there's no reason to believe he used evidence to come up with his theory, he simply came up with a philosophical explanation, I simply see little reason to value that. Great that he's supposedly very intelligent, but unless there's reason to believe he observed evidence specific to the theory I don't see how it's more than idle speculation.

I think you're looking at it the wrong way. He only posited a general idea of evolution, not the sort of evolution with all the biological intricacies that we know today (which even Darwin didn't have the tools and evidence for evolution that we possess today).

He explained: "It is by a process of evolution that sankharas (forms; conditioned phenomena) come to be. There is no sankhara which has sprung into being without a gradual becoming."

He didn't speculate this, he directly observed that all things arise and decay, and the way in which things arise is by a "gradual becoming." He probably used this understanding and applied it to everything, including how life formed.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat