Friday, 25 March 2011

Creation-Evolution Controversy

In addition the evolution theory of Charles Darwin struggled with creationism, a religious metaphysical, which claims that God is the design creator of the earth and universe. Creationism teaches that all kinds of things were created and had been designed orderly and elegantly by God. For example, mango trees are ever-producing mangoes, human hands are used for grasping of objects, human eyes allow vision, and human ears serve for hearing. These all things, subject to law, are not produced from the blind natural force, but the intelligent Designers, that is God.
          Charles Darwin’s proposed the evolution theory in his book On the Origin of Species, published in B.E 2402. Darwin’s Theory of Evolution is a slow gradual process over the century or millennium year, the widely held notion that all life is related and has descended from a common ancestor. Darwin’s general theory presumes the development of life from non-life and stresses a purely naturalistic (undirected) “descent with modification”. That is, complex creatures evolve from more simplistic ancestors naturally overtime. In a nutshell, as random genetic mutations occur within an organism’s genetic code, the beneficial mutations are preserved because they aid survival. This mechanism called “natural selection”. Natural selection acts to preserve and accumulate minor advantageous genetic mutations. Suppose a member of a species developed a functional advantage. Its offspring would inherit that advantage and pass it on to their offspring. The inferior members of the same species would gradually die out, leaving only the superior members of the species. Plants and animals which have the fittest characteristics or their ability to adapt to their changing environment most effectively would survive and produce offspring, that is, the survival of the fittest, will be passed.
          The contribution of evolution theory has much negative impact on theological religion because it confutes to religious teaching of the intelligent Designer of the earth and universe. The claim of Darwin on evolution of all kinds of life over million years of time is equated to reject God created the world and creatures of every kind as occurring within six days. The claim of Darwin on man’s evolution from apes is meant to refuse religious teaching on God’s creation mankind from Adam and Eve. In addition, Darwin’s the survival of the fittest on the adaptation of all creatures over time such as the result of man’s erect position is due to long developmental period, not by the intelligent design of creator.
          Through the reason abovementioned, Darwin’s evolution theory has been rejected by theological religion since then till the present. The example of controversy occurred in the US when teachers taught the evolution theory in the public schools since 2450 BE. Fundamentalists introduced legislation in Tennessee and other 19 states calling for a ban on the teaching of evolution. Eventually there was an American legal case bring to trial, that is the Scopes Trial. John Scopes, a high school biology teacher, charged with illegally teaching the theory of evolution in 2468 BE. Though evolution began to be widely taught in many public schools since 2503 BE with the encouragement of many legislators who feared the United States science education was falling behind that of other countries, the law on Butler Act had been still put in effect in many states until 2511 BE. The US Supreme Court finally saying that such acts were in violation of the US Constitution’s Establishment Clause. However, a number of persons, still opposing the scientific theories of evolution concerning the origins of life, began their attempt took on activities over state legislatures recorded bills requiring teaching of “creation-science” when evolution was taught. This “balanced treatment” proposition was passed as model legislation by the Arkansas Legislature in 2524 BE . Later, Federal courts declared that teaching “creation-science” was a religious advocacy, and therefore, unconstitutional in 2525 BE . A similar law was also passed in Louisiana and litigation went all the way to the US Supreme Court. The Court declared the law unconstitutional in 2530 BE.The opponents of Darwin’s theory of evolution might do not take the fact that would bring an end easily that the pursuing may be continued.
          Evolutionary theory has no negative impact to Buddhism. It is because there are no supernatural being such as Brahman, or God involved in Buddhist teaching on the origin of earth and humans. On the contrary, theory of evolution seems to coincide with the Buddhist principle of Dependent Origination, that is, all phenomena arise as the result of interdependent conditions. The earth arises, evolves, and ceases according to conditions. The adaptation on its nature is going on because of causes and conditions which supporting. The change in the process of evolution arises according to the principle of impermanence (anicca).
 The clear example on this account is in the Aggañña Sutta, On Knowledge of Beginnings. In the sutta, the teaching of Brahmanism is addressed as follows. At starting of Universe Brahma created human beings. Each being is created from a different and separate body such as the warrior caste (Kashtriya) is originated from the chest and arms of God Brahma; the Brahmin caste born from Brahma’s mouth; the Vaishya caste born from Brahma’s thighs; the Sūdra caste born from Brahma’s feet. The Buddha denied this teaching. He described that caste system originated when beings came together as an early human society. The people lived together after a time, later on they disputed on each other, then they appointed some persons as the leader to do the judging and executed their disputation. This is the birth of ruler clans or warriors. While those who put aside evil and unwholesome things by setting up retreat in the forest, this led the title of Brahmin caste. Among the people who had settled and had family, some began to adopt various trades, the title of Vaishya caste or traders came. The remainder of people preferred the work of hunting to maintain their livelihood, thus they are called the Sūdra caste or hunters.
These teaching from the Aggañña sutta show the evolution of society. All of the castes did not originate from the creation of God Brahma, but from these people who are the members of the society divided through their occupations or duties in accordance to voluntarily. Speaking on the other words, action or deed created the class of individuals into various groups. Later on society regarded this classification as the caste system. The people who born in whichever caste must hold the lineage of that caste by birth. The Brahmins caste always regarded themselves as the high social order, and insulted the caste of Viashya, and Sūdra. The Buddha changed the conviction of Brahmins by saying that the people would be high or low, it has nothing to do with what their castes, but it is because of their actions. Doer of good will gather good, doer of bad will gather evil. As the Buddha saying.
Na jaccā vasalo hoti                na jaccā hoti brāhmao
Kammunā vasalo hoti              kammunā hoti brāhmao
Whoever will inferior not because of their clans. Whoever will superior not because of their clans. Beings as inferior because of their deeds Likewise, beings as superior because of their deeds[8]
This saying shows that adjustment of the society into the positive or negative direction will rely on the good or bad deeds of members in society. On the other words, what is Darwin called the “adaptation” is responsible to what we called the action or karma which has represented in Pāli as follows.
Kamma satte vibhajjati                    yadida hīnappañītatāya
It is action (kamma) that distinguishes beings as inferior and superior.
The aforesaid is to display that Buddhism has never conflicted to sciences, and it is coincide with the Blessed One’s statement as follows.
Monks, I would not engage with people in quarrelsome debate, but the worldly address refute to me. Addresser of Dharma is not refute to anyone in the world. What things the scholar agree on non-existing, I address that having no such things. What 

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