Friday, 25 March 2011

Problems on the Origin of Man and the Universe


The evidence found that scientific theories confute the teachings of religion as systematized in theology concerning God, whereas they do not dispute with the central teaching of Buddhism. As the aforementioned, the theological teachings exist saying that God created the world and human beings, in contrast, scientists propose the theory opposed to the creationism, but from the naturalistic evolution.

The Bible particularly in the first verse of the Old Testament, Genesis, narrated the account of creation that God created the world and creatures of every kind as occurring in six days respectively:
Day 1: God created light—night and day.
Day 2: He placed the firmament of the heaven.
Day 3: Separated water/land; vegetable life.
Day 4: Placed the sun, moon, and stars, in the firmament.
Day 5: Created sea animals and birds.
Day 6: Created land animals and mankind.

God created the first man called “Adam”. Later on He took Adam’s rib and made into a woman called “Eve”.

Nowadays science proposes the theory that the Earth is not the center of universe, but the Earth, a planet, revolves around the Sun. Though the sun is the center point of solar system, the sun is one of over 100 billions stars in the Milky Way or Milky Way Galaxy, which Thai usually called “Tang Chang Peauk”. Milky Way is one of the billions of galaxies in the universe.

Scientists try to explain the very beginning of the universe through the Big Bang Theory which is accepted from most scientists is as follows.

Fundamentally the entire mass of the universe merged and compressed into a singularity, the so called Cosmic Egg, was 15 billion years ago.  It was expanding, very dense and very hot, then exploded gave a luminous fog, and the particles of Hydrogen and Helium, and other light elements of which later become the voluminous of dust and gases. The intense gravity is generated and pulled the various cosmic gases together and compacted to be the first galaxy in 12 billion years ago. The average appearance of hundred other galaxies would be the same by the compact of voluminous of dust and gases spread through space in a complex. Our own Milky Way galaxy continued to be visible based on the same manner for 10 billion years ago. The sun, one of a hundred billion stars making up the Milky Way galaxy, was also formed in the same way about five thousand million years ago.

Therefore, the Sun can be tantamount formed by the condensation of a dust-rich cloud of gas particles in the space.  Because of gravity, all of the gas wanted to concentrate in one place, but when the gas got closer to the axis of rotation, it started to rotate faster around that axis. The fast rotation of the gas meant that it could not all be concentrated in one place, and what happened instead is that the gas concentrated in a flat disk (like a plate) with most of the material in the center. The material in the center concentrated more until it got so hot and dense that it could start generating energy through nuclear fusion of the hydrogen. At that moment, the Sun became a star. The rest of the material clumped together and formed the planets, including the Earth. The origin of the Earth is also formed by this way around five thousand million years ago.

Scientists calculate that the Sun will be extinguished in another 5000 million years, which the world will come to an end as well.  At the moment the Sun gets its energy from turning hydrogen into helium. When the Sun's hydrogen runs out in the hot and dense center, then the Sun will start turning helium into carbon in the center, and hydrogen into helium in a shell around the center. This phase its outer layers will then expand into a red giant start which will be sufficient to engulf the planets Mercury and Venus. These layers will blow away from the Sun and form a planetary nebula, and leaving behind a stellar corpse known as a white dwarf. So once the Sun turns into a white dwarf it will no longer generate energy, but will very slowly cool down for die out.

The aforementioned about scientific theory on the origin and evolution of the universe certainly confute the teachings of God, or the Great Brahma created the world revealing in theism, because it narrates the origin of the world and universe without referring a creator God.

However, this scientific theory does not confute the Buddhist principle. It is because Buddhism teaches that the universe arises in accordance with causes and conditions, no creator. All things are interdependent arising.

According to Buddhism, there is no first cause. That is there is no God as the first world creator. Refuting about the God creator in Buddhism is clearly supported by the statements in the Pāli as follows.

 Nayida pakata bimba       Nayiam pakata agha  
Hetum paicca sambhūta      Hetubhangkā nirujjhati

The arising of matter has depended on conditions, it is extinguished because conditions extinguished.

In the Aggañña Sutta, the origin of the world is mentioned briefly as thus.

There will come a time when the mighty earth will evolve to deteriorate, perish, and be no more. When this happens, beings will mostly reborn in the World of Radiance… There comes also a time, when sooner or later this world begins to re-evolve. When this happens, beings who decease from the World of Radiance, usually come (i.e. are reborn) in this world.

The words of Buddha imply that the world has a cyclical change of arising and perishing. The Suriyā Sutta explains that the world will be destroyed by burning up from the appearance of seven suns.There will come a time, may be hundreds of thousands of years hence ...When the seventh sun appears, this earth and Sineru, greatest of mountains, will burst into flames, will blaze up and become a single sheet of flame ...

In this issue, Buddhism is compatible with science that the world will perish due to devour by fire, but the cause of burning is distinguished. Buddhism makes reference to a future time where there will be seven suns burn up the earth, but scientists explain that the earth will burst out because the sun expand increasingly many times of its present size.

          Phra Buddhakosajarn explains the arising of the earth in accordance with conditionality. That is there will be rain fall throughout the universe after the destruction of the earth to be dust. Rain will gather all dust becoming a rod of enormous water with the round shape like the rain drop on the lotus leaf. The wind will blow around the rod of water until the density of the water gradually dry up and eventually the earth appears.
The detail of the destruction and evolution of the earth in Buddhism seems to distinguish minutely from the scientific knowledge, but it does not cause Buddhism controversy to science. Principally, it is because Buddhism and science are compatible the arising of earth comes from the process of natural evolution, there is no God the creator. Moreover, The Cūḷanī Sutta points out that there will be billion universes in the Universe.

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