HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Religion & Spirituality » Christian Liberals & Progressive People of Faith (Group) » About God and evolution

Fri Sep 29, 2017, 05:55 PM

About God and evolution

I believe in both God and evolution. What sometimes gets me wondering, is why have evolution to get to humans? I mean why the millions of years of dinosaurs? Why the strange odd creatures like the platypus? On the one hand, I see God's affinity with humans, being able to contemplate him, but on the other hand, it seems evolution is a dynamic process that could go any which way, depending on the circumstances. So in my mind, it is not inevitable to have humans. Also I think Jesus coming to earth as God's son, also strengthens the argument that God meant for there to be humans. So these are some thoughts that come up in my mind. I have always been fascinated with wildlife and its divergent ways. It seems like maybe there is a law that a creature cannot be created whole cloth, that it has to come from an evolution from basic components of single cell up. So that God is the one to bring all the necessary components together to start the beginnings of life on earth. But was it inevitable to lead to humans?

15 replies, 4352 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread

Response to Beringia (Original post)

Fri Sep 29, 2017, 05:58 PM

1. Evolution explains diversity

Entropy explains the current state of human condition

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to randr (Reply #1)

Fri Sep 29, 2017, 05:59 PM

2. Do you mean you do not think humans are evolving socially or physically?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Beringia (Reply #2)

Fri Sep 29, 2017, 06:25 PM

4. I think entrophy beats evolution in the long run

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Beringia (Original post)

Fri Sep 29, 2017, 06:18 PM

3. Buddhism is nontheistic

We Buddhists don't believe in a creator God, or any other type of god for that matter. And we don't believe that we need some other person savior to save us. Each person is responsible for saving their own self by discovering their own enlightened mind, or Buddha nature, that every human was born with. It's just a matter of removing the mental delusions and confusions to discover our very own enlightened mind.

Buddhists also believe in egolessness. The ego, or view of I, me, mine is also a delusion. The ego is a fiction, the story that we tell ourself to make it seem like the ego is a solid, self existent thing. There is the "conventional I" that we all use, and really can't navigate in the world without. And then there is the wisdom view that ultimately ego is empty of solid self-existence. So if there is no ego, who/what is it that believes in a God? The teachings on egolessness are sometimes difficult to grasp. And I'm certainly not a skillful explainer.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to vlyons (Reply #3)

Fri Sep 29, 2017, 07:08 PM

5. I have read of Buddhism, Dalai Lama and Thich Nhat Hahn


I understand Buddhists do not think there is such a thing as God. I have read a lot of different texts on religion and listened to speakers, from India and Native American. I was born in a Catholic family and did not think much about God or Jesus until I was in college and reading more. I also agree we are the ones to save ourselves. I think we grow spiritually throughout our lifetimes or not too. I believe in reincarnation. I think there is a time when we reach our fruition as individual souls and then do not reincarnate, except maybe as teachers. I have meditated a lot, but it did not seem to do much for me, to let go of my ego. I think it is good in terms of relieving stress or overactive mind.

Is there anything in Buddhism about the difference between animals and humans on a spiritual plane? Do Buddhists have anything to say about evolution?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Beringia (Reply #5)

Fri Sep 29, 2017, 11:02 PM

10. Buddhists believe that we are in samsara

There are many forms of Buddhism. All the forms are about the psychology of how the mind works and how to tame the mind and make it work for us. We believe that we are in Samsara, which is a life of suffering that we create for ourselves through various views of ignorance and delusion. Samsara has six realms which are like mental points of view. From lowest to highest are: Hell is fixated on hate and anger, Hungry Ghosts fixated in insatiable greed, Animals fixated on stupidity, Humans fixated on desire, Jealous Gods fixated on envy and power, and the Gods, fixated on pleasure. The best realm to be born into is the human realm, because only humans can become enlightened and realize the true nature of their mind.

A few of us humans grow spiritually, but most of us do not because we are focused on achieving material desires, which never really turn out to be totally and forever satisfying. There are 3 basic forms of Buddhism. Hinayana, the path of individual liberation. Mahayana, the universal path of compassion and wisdom, and Vajrayana, the path of indestructable wakefulness.

Beginning meditation is not supposed to be entertaining. In fact, it is downright boring, which is the whole point. In Hinayana meditation, we learn to focus the mind on the breath and label discursive thoughts as "just thinking." The whole point of beginning meditation is to begin to tame the mind and tame negative emotions. We look directly at the mind and develop mindfulness. Mahayana forms of meditation practice develop a compassionate and loving heart. And finally Vajrayana meditation does a lot of visualizations to create a mindset that is very pure and that sees the world as very sacred and pure.

Buddhist don't have a problem with evolution. Although biology is not taught in Buddhism, we do believe that everything arises from previous causes and conditions, and eventually all physical phenomena will cease to exist, because all things are impermanent. So I guess that would be in concert with what we know about evolution.

There is a lot more that I could say about Buddhism. It can get highly technical. I'm currently reading Vol 1 of Trungpa's Ocean of Dharma which is about 650 pages on the practice of Hinayana - just sitting and watching the breathing. 650 pages! Who knew that there was so much to say about just sitting and breathing? Vol 2 about Mahayana and Vol 3 on Vajrayana are even bigger books.

You seem to be a curious person asking genuinely sincere questions. Buddhism is not a religion, it is a practice. You can be a Catholic, or a Jew, or an atheist and practice meditation and mindfulness. We do not proselytize to win converts. If you want to learn about Buddhism, you have to ask for teachings. You get out of meditation what you put into it, and it does require a little effort and discipline. It helps to have an authentic teacher and a community of meditators. I frequently recommend a little book by the Dalai Lama, "How to Practice." Very clear and easy to understand.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to vlyons (Reply #10)

Fri Sep 29, 2017, 11:41 PM

11. Thanks for all the information


Very interesting, the different forms of meditation. I may try to find the book by Trungpa as I have a lot of time on my hands right now. I have read many of the Dalai Lama's books. I will see if I have read "How to Practice". I was learning a lot about the Native American tradition of Si Si Wiss religion or Sacred Breath in Seattle, Washington, from a medicine person and master storyteller, in a group situation, but I had to move back to be close to family due to hardship circumstances. I felt this was a good religion and group for me, more so than Christianity, though I think my soul's growth so far has come from Christianity. Thanks for all the resources.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to vlyons (Reply #10)

Sat Sep 30, 2017, 12:22 AM

12. I read a little about Trungpa on wiki

It seems he was an alcoholic. That is too bad. I wonder how he could reconcile being alcoholic and a high master of Buddhism. Although the medicine person I was learning from in Washington, I think also had a drinking problem. I saw it as a weakness that he had trouble with.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Beringia (Reply #12)

Sat Sep 30, 2017, 12:55 AM

13. Frankly I don't think his drinking much mattered

Well given that he is dead now, I can't crawl inside his head and know the extent of how drinking affected him. I can however look at what he accomplished and the legacy that he left behind. As a young man of about 20, he was in a terrible car accident that left him paralyzed on one side of his body and in a lot of pain for the rest of his life. Alcohol seems to have helped with his pain. It didn't interfere with his writing about thirty books, establishing a translation group, founding 2 monasteries, founding a number of meditation centers, or founding Nalanda University in Boulder. He was also a master caligrapher and did floral arranging. Plus he was married and supported a wife and children. So he certainly wasn't a slouch. He was very accomplished. He was also a mortal man with certain flaws, just like the rest of us. He is probably most famous for his book, "Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism." I regret not meeting him when he was alive, as we both were in the SF Bay Area at the same time in the 70s. But back then, I simply was not ready to learn what he had to teach. I can now however read what he wrote. Back in the 70s, I too was shocked when I heard about his drinking. I jumped to a lot of conclusions without ever meeting him. Silly me.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to vlyons (Reply #13)

Sat Sep 30, 2017, 01:12 AM

14. Thanks for the reply

I guess some people can be alcoholics and be very accomplished. I only really know of growing up and some friends had alcoholic parents and it was very bad for the children. Well one parent was a happy alcoholic as I recall. Adds to my having a bit more understanding of being alcoholic to know you can live well too.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Beringia (Original post)

Fri Sep 29, 2017, 07:08 PM

6. You are asking a multi-disciplinary question about a multiverse of possibilities...

The logical answer to the query at the heart (I think) of what you're pondering is: Yes, evolution was destined to lead to us because it has led to us. It is what it is, and nothing else. However, that is ignoring an absolute deluge of questions and oversights in your premise. The fact is, even though it was destined (in hindsight ONLY) to lead to us, it COULD have led to an infinite multitude of different ends had ANY of the variables involved over the vast scale of geological time that has elapsed on this planet been any different. Geologic upheaval, celestial impacts, ice ages, mass extinctions... these vast and violent intruiges to the historic course of the evolution of life on earth are hardly precision events. Yet, over the vastness of time, the precise conditions they precipitated have created very specific parameters for the evolution of organic life here to explore.


The larger problem that I see is that you are presupposing a universe where a literal Judeo-Christian god exists in harmony with the mechanics of Darwinian evolution by natural selection. That in and of itself is a bit of a paradox from the outset, as evolution by natural selection is a profound organic process that would be usurped and undefined by any form of supernatural input or contengency. Creationism has no place in serious evolutionary thought. The only place you may find purchase for your seed of deistic hope would be in the yet to be fully understood mechanism by which chemistry became biology. Molecular biologist have yet to solve that particular ancient puzzle, so I suppose one might imagine that a god breathed that initial "spark" into the primordial ooze... But such a singular and ancient an act of creation is hardly worthy of the prosaic genesis required to believe in any form of Abrahamic gospel... and if you can't believe some of it, why should you trust any of it?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to IamFortunesFool (Reply #6)

Fri Sep 29, 2017, 07:29 PM

7. Yes, I agree my premise is simplistic, but that is how I think about it

Thanks for your insights. I don't buy into creationism, but I don't see science as the only way to view the world. I think it is a tool and not the answer to everything. I think I am spiritual for the most part. As an aside, I knew the brother of a famous Australian anatomist (Raymond Dart), who discovered Australopithecus, named James Dart, who was a chemist and he was a creationist. I always thought that was wild, the two are brothers and one is a creationist and one an evolutionist.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Beringia (Original post)

Fri Sep 29, 2017, 08:27 PM

8. I see the Creator as the One who lit the spark, so to speak.

The prime initiator. And the Creator initiated an evolutionary process that is still unfolding.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to guillaumeb (Reply #8)

Fri Sep 29, 2017, 09:43 PM

9. I wonder what the world will be like millions of years from now

How will we have evolved. What animals will be left and will they have evolved. The sun will eventually burn out too.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Beringia (Reply #9)

Sat Sep 30, 2017, 11:17 AM

15. True. All part of existence and the evolution of the universe.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread