Author Topic: The Agganna Sutta and Human Evolution  (Read 3721 times)

Offline Dharma Flower

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Re: The Agganna Sutta and Human Evolution
« Reply #15 on: December 29, 2016, 08:23:33 pm »
After reading the Agganna Sutta with an open mind, I am now more confident in the truth of the Buddha's teachings than ever before, because it removed the Western materialistic blinders which prevented me from looking at the Buddha's teachings with the worldview that he originally intended.

Offline Dharma Flower

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Re: The Agganna Sutta and Human Evolution
« Reply #16 on: December 30, 2016, 12:42:32 am »
I am sorry if I have come off as mean-spirited on this forum. That is not my intention. I am respectful of a diversity of perspectives on human origins, especially since no witnesses were around at the time who recorded what really happened.

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: The Agganna Sutta and Human Evolution
« Reply #17 on: December 30, 2016, 04:24:08 am »
Quote
Dharma Flower:  "What you might be neglecting is that, in describing human origins in the Agganna Sutta, the Buddha explained how human suffering originated in the first place on this planet. There is nothing about the Agganna Sutta that is inconsistent with the rest of the Buddha's teachings."


Not true.  Buddha was often asked about origins of the universe, and other topics of discussion popular at the time according to the suttas, but he avoided these questions as they were not conducive to achievement of "the goal" = "ending of suffering".

Buddha addressed in many other ways the origin of human suffering.  He did so in all of his dissertations regarding dependent origination, as I mentioned to you previously.  Case in point:

Quote
Upanisa Sutta 

While staying at Savatthi the Exalted One said:

"The destruction of the cankers, monks, is for one who knows and sees, I say, not for one who does not know and does not see. Knowing what, seeing what does the destruction of the cankers occur? 'Such is material form, such is the arising of material form, such is the passing away of material form. Such is feeling... perception... mental formations... consciousness; such is the arising of consciousness, such is the passing away of consciousness' — for one who knows and sees this, monks, the destruction of the cankers occurs.

"The knowledge of destruction with respect to destruction has a supporting condition, I say, it does not lack a supporting condition. And what is the supporting condition for the knowledge of destruction? 'Emancipation' should be the reply.

"Emancipation, monks, also has a supporting condition, I say, it does not lack a supporting condition. And what is the supporting condition for emancipation? 'Dispassion' should be the reply.

"Dispassion, monks, also has a supporting condition, I say, it does not lack a supporting condition. And what is the supporting condition for dispassion? 'Disenchantment' should be the reply.

"Disenchantment, monks, also has a supporting condition, I say, it does not lack a supporting condition. And what is the supporting condition for disenchantment? 'The knowledge and vision of things as they really are' should be the reply.

"The knowledge and vision of things as they really are, monks, also has a supporting condition, I say, it does not lack a supporting condition. And what is the supporting condition for the knowledge and vision of things as they really are? 'Concentration' should be the reply.

"Concentration, monks, also has a supporting condition, I say, it does not lack a supporting condition. And what is the supporting condition for concentration? 'Happiness' should be the reply.

"Happiness, monks, also has a supporting condition, I say, it does not lack a supporting condition. And what is the supporting condition for happiness? 'Tranquillity' should be the reply.

"Tranquillity, monks, also has a supporting condition, I say, it does not lack a supporting condition. And what is the supporting condition for tranquillity? 'Rapture' should be the reply.

"Rapture, monks, also has a supporting condition, I say, it does not lack a supporting condition. And what is the supporting condition for rapture? 'Joy' should be the reply.

"Joy, monks, also has a supporting condition, I say, it does not lack a supporting condition. And what is the supporting condition for joy? 'Faith' should be the reply.

"Faith, monks, also has a supporting condition, I say, it does not lack a supporting condition. And what is the supporting condition for faith? 'Suffering' should be the reply.

"Suffering, monks, also has a supporting condition, I say, it does not lack a supporting condition. And what is the supporting condition for suffering? 'Birth' should be the reply.

"And what is the supporting condition for birth?. 'Existence' should be the reply.

"What is the supporting condition for existence? 'Clinging' should be the reply.

"What is the supporting condition for clinging? 'Craving' should be the reply.

"What is the supporting condition for craving? 'Feeling' should be the reply.

"What is the supporting condition for feeling? 'Contact' should be the reply.

"What is the supporting condition for contact? 'The sixfold sense base' should be the reply.

"What is the supporting condition for the sixfold sense base? 'Mentality-materiality' should be the reply.

"What is the supporting condition for mentality-materiality? 'Consciousness' should be the reply.

"What is the supporting condition for consciousness? 'Kamma formations' should be the reply.

"Kamma formations, monks, also have a supporting condition, I say, they do not lack a supporting condition. And what is the supporting condition for kamma formations? 'Ignorance' should be the reply.

 "Thus, monks, ignorance is the supporting condition for kamma formations, kamma formations are the supporting condition for consciousness, consciousness is the supporting condition for mentality-materiality, mentality-materiality is the supporting condition for the sixfold sense base, the sixfold sense base is the supporting condition for contact, contact is the supporting condition for feeling, feeling is the supporting condition for craving, craving is the supporting condition for clinging, clinging is the supporting condition for existence, existence is the supporting condition for birth, birth is the supporting condition for suffering,
suffering is the supporting condition for faith, faith is the supporting condition for joy, joy is the supporting condition for rapture, rapture is the supporting condition for tranquillity, tranquillity is the supporting condition for happiness, happiness is the supporting condition for concentration, concentration is the supporting condition for the knowledge and vision of things as they really are, the knowledge and vision of things as they really are is the supporting condition for disenchantment, disenchantment is the supporting condition for dispassion, dispassion is the supporting condition for emancipation, and emancipation is the supporting condition for the knowledge of the destruction (of the cankers).

"Just as, monks, when rain descends heavily upon some mountaintop, the water flows down along with the slope, and fills the clefts, gullies, and creeks; these being filled fill up the pools; these being filled fill up the ponds; these being filled fill up the streams; these being filled fill up the rivers; and the rivers being filled fill up the great ocean — in the same way, monks, ignorance is the supporting condition for kamma formations, kamma formations are the supporting condition for consciousness, consciousness is the supporting condition for mentality-materiality, mentality-materiality is the supporting condition for the sixfold sense base, the sixfold sense base is the supporting condition for contact, contact is the supporting condition for feeling, feeling is the supporting condition for craving, craving is the supporting condition for clinging, clinging is the supporting condition for existence, existence is the supporting condition for birth, birth is the supporting condition for suffering, suffering is the supporting condition for faith, faith is the supporting condition for joy, joy is the supporting condition for rapture, rapture is the supporting condition for tranquillity, tranquillity is the supporting condition for happiness, happiness is the supporting condition for concentration, concentration is the supporting condition for the knowledge and vision of things as they really are, the knowledge and vision of things as they really are is the supporting condition for disenchantment, disenchantment is the supporting condition for dispassion, dispassion is the supporting condition for emancipation, and emancipation is the supporting condition for the knowledge of the destruction (of the cankers)."


source:  http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/bodhi/wheel277.html
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Offline Dharma Flower

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Re: The Agganna Sutta and Human Evolution
« Reply #18 on: December 30, 2016, 05:17:15 am »
I'm sorry if I have given the impression that I am anti-science. I have a profound appreciation for science, especially for the late Carl Sagan.

What I don't appreciate is when there's a lack of respect for a diversity of perspectives on human origins, especially since no witnesses were around to record what really happened. The scientific method is based on what can be observed and repeated in the present.

Though a minority, there are many legitimate scientists who don't believe we share a common ancestor with apes, and some of them are definitely not young earth creationists. These scientists present valid reasons for doubting common descent other than their personal religious beliefs.

While there is no creator god in Buddhism, the depiction of human origins in the Agganna Sutta as described by the Buddha is nonetheless incompatible with the theory of human evolution:
http://www.urbandharma.org/pdf/AggannaSutta.pdf

Buddhist masters throughout history have based their understanding of human origins on the Agganna Sutta, even after Charles Darwin promulgated his theory. Even in our own time, Dharma masters like Sheng Yen have consciously chosen the Buddha's description of human origins over Darwin's.

This is not to say that it's impossible or unacceptable for a Buddhist to believe that we share a common ancestor with apes, but that would contradict the plainest meaning of the Agganna Sutta as taught by the Buddha.

Offline francis

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Re: The Agganna Sutta and Human Evolution
« Reply #19 on: December 30, 2016, 08:20:09 am »
Hi Dharma Flower, interesting interpretation of the Agganna Sutta.

I always thought the main message of the sutta related to the Buddha’s rejection of the caste system. As part of his discourse the Buddha explains the shrinking expanding universe, evolution, agriculture, the move to closed communities and the development of the caste system on the Indian subcontinent. His explanations were ahead of their day and are backed by science.

Buddhist cosmology relating to the beginning of life on earth also holds up. In the sutta, the “beings” that eventually inhabit the earth are from the Abhassara Brahma or the Fine-Material World (rupa-loka), as described in The Thirty-one Planes of Existence.

Even though these “beings” existed in a higher plane than humans, they are still subject to samsara. Their appearance on earth was just another cycle. Proficiency in the jhana’s allows people to move up the planes while past kamma may see a person drop to the animal and hell realms.

This is the conventional view of Agganna Sutta and is well documented. It does not support your creationist story because the Buddha’s account on human evolution aligns with science, and according to Buddhist cosmology, we are all still trapped in the cycle of samsara. The important thing to get, is the Buddha taught the way to break the cycle of samsara.




« Last Edit: December 30, 2016, 05:44:41 pm by francis, Reason: Spelling »
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Offline IdleChater

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Re: The Agganna Sutta and Human Evolution
« Reply #20 on: December 30, 2016, 04:23:22 pm »
Personally, I don't  see how the origin of the species has anything to do practice ir the reasons for it.  It has no bearing on the siritual path whatsoever.  It makes a fine intellectual pursuit, one I engage in myself, but as far as The Path goes, there is no need, really.  Other may have different needs, though.

Why would the Buddha have taught the Agganna Sutta if there were no reason to teach it in the first place? The sutta teaches the beginning of human history and the origin of human suffering.

Knowing the origin of human suffering, as in when it all began or how, isn't as important to me at knowing that suffering has cause in the here and now and and that there's a path to the cessation of suffering.

I'mm sure the Buddha taught that suttra for a very good reaso, but he taught many other things to.  They're all important to someone I'm sure, just not to me, that's all.

It's kind of like knowing how the universe was created.  It's interesting, but knowing it won't bring you enlightenment.

Offline Dharma Flower

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Re: The Agganna Sutta and Human Evolution
« Reply #21 on: December 30, 2016, 04:36:22 pm »
This is the conventional view of Agganna Sutta and is well documented. It does not support your creationist story because the Buddha’s account on human evolution aligns with science, and according to Buddhist cosmology, we are all still trapped in the cycle of samsara.


I have not stated anything in favor of creationism. I have provided scientific evidences for doubting human evolution as it's commonly interpreted, and you are welcome to evaluate those evidences for yourself, but I have not advocated any form of creationism. The plainest meaning of the Agganna Sutta would be described as a process of devolution, which is neither evolution nor creationism.

This is Master Sheng Yen explaining human origins based on the Agganna Sutta:
http://ddmbachicago.org/where-did-the-universe-and-life-come-from/

This is Master Hsuan Hua explaining human origins based on the Agganna Sutta:
http://www.liaotuo.org/fjrw/hcrw/xhsr/97880.html

As you will clearly see from the words of these Buddhist masters, they did not read the Agganna Sutta as compatible with our having common descent with chimps. If our ancestors descended from the higher realm, and became more and more physical over time, that would be the exact opposite of the process of evolution described by mainstream science.

Please read the Agganna Sutta for yourself, and then please compare it to what Buddhist masters throughout history, such as Buddhaghosa, have written in their commentaries on the meaning of the Agganna Sutta.

You do not have to agree with me and I don't expect that you have to. On other hand, please be fair enough as to not misrepresent the views that I've stated in this forum and the views presented by these Buddhist masters.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2016, 04:38:26 pm by Dharma Flower »

Offline Dharma Flower

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Re: The Agganna Sutta and Human Evolution
« Reply #22 on: December 30, 2016, 04:39:49 pm »
Personally, I don't  see how the origin of the species has anything to do practice ir the reasons for it.  It has no bearing on the siritual path whatsoever.  It makes a fine intellectual pursuit, one I engage in myself, but as far as The Path goes, there is no need, really.  Other may have different needs, though.

Why would the Buddha have taught the Agganna Sutta if there were no reason to teach it in the first place? The sutta teaches the beginning of human history and the origin of human suffering.

Knowing the origin of human suffering, as in when it all began or how, isn't as important to me at knowing that suffering has cause in the here and now and and that there's a path to the cessation of suffering.

I'mm sure the Buddha taught that suttra for a very good reaso, but he taught many other things to.  They're all important to someone I'm sure, just not to me, that's all.

It's kind of like knowing how the universe was created.  It's interesting, but knowing it won't bring you enlightenment.

As a Pure Land Buddhist, I didn't believe that Amida is a real Buddha who appeared in history until after I read the Agganna Sutta. Reading the Agganna Sutta with an open mind helped to remove the Western materialistic blinders which prevented me from believing that Amida is a real Buddha. That is just my own personal experience, and everyone will need to read the sutta for themselves with an open mind and form their own personal conclusions.

Offline Dharma Flower

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Re: The Agganna Sutta and Human Evolution
« Reply #23 on: December 30, 2016, 09:18:39 pm »
I would like to point out what probably goes without saying, that similarities between humans and chimps do not in and of itself demonstrate common ancestry.

Scientists have discovered numerous species with strikingly similar features that didn't result from common ancestry, and this is often called convergent evolution:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_examples_of_convergent_evolution

Probably the most amazing examples are marsupial and placental mammals that are similar to each other in so many anatomical details, albeit not resulting from common descent:



The similarities between placental mammals and their marsupial analogues are more than just anatomical. Studies of placental and marsupial genomes have found more genetic similarities than what might have otherwise been expected:

Quote
Marsupials and eutherians have been evolving along unique pathways for more than 100 million yr (possibly much more) and represent alternative, rather than inferior or superior, evolutionary solutions to the basic mammalian way of life. The essential similarities among metatherian and eutherian mammals--the legacy of their common ancestry--far outnumber and outweigh their differences. Indeed, their differences represent superficial variants on common mammalian themes that are best viewed as potential probes for the study of underlying molecular processes shared by all mammalian taxa.
http://ilarjournal.oxfordjournals.org/content/39/2-3/203.full


This might cause some to question that the genetic similarities between chimps and humans resulted from common descent.

A Buddhist who believes that new species arise due to the outworking of karma, the universal law of cause and effect, might believe that species arise with similar features because the beings who reincarnated as those species had similar karma. Therefore, the beings who first reincarnated as placental moles might have had similar karma to the beings who first reincarnated as marsupial moles, etc.

The reason why chimps might be so similar to modern humans might be that the beings who first reincarnated as chimps had similar karma to the beings who first reincarnated as modern humans, an explanation distinct from both evolution and creationism.

According to traditional Buddhist teachings, only humans are capable of attaining enlightenment. Those who reincarnate as a "lower" species is because their karma hasn't ripened enough yet to be ready for a human lifetime. Please let me know if I am not explaining this clearly.

This process of species arising due to the outworking of karma, rather than Darwinian evolution, was described by Master Sheng Yen, in the same Dharma talk he gave based on the Agganna Sutta:
http://ddmbachicago.org/where-did-the-universe-and-life-come-from/

Similarities between species are not in and of themselves evidence for common descent. There may be other explanations for similarities between species, such as the outworking of karma.

Here is more evidence of genetic similarities between placental and marsupial mammals that are more than what would have otherwise been expected:

Quote
"There are a few differences, we have a few more of this, a few less of that, but they are the same genes and a lot of them are in the same order," center Director Jenny Graves told reporters in Melbourne.

"We thought they'd be completely scrambled, but they're not. There is great chunks of the human genome which is sitting right there in the kangaroo genome," Graves said, according to AAP.
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-australia-kangaroos-idUSTRE4AH1P020081118


Such similarities are not what geneticists expected to find:

Quote
Des Cooper’s foresight in exploring the marsupial genome has paid off in ways we could not have foreseen. When I started mapping kangaroo genes at his behest, other scientists told me I was wasting my time; some avowed that marsupials would be so different from human and mouse that comparison would be meaningless, while others warned that the exercise was pointless as they would prove to be exactly the same as our familiar models.
http://www.publish.csiro.au/zo/Fulltext/zo13002


If placental mammals and marsupials are more anatomically and genetically similar than evolution would predict for such divergent species, then that calls into question that the anatomical and genetic similarities between chimps and humans are due to common descent.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2016, 01:08:35 am by Dharma Flower »

Offline stillpointdancer

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Re: The Agganna Sutta and Human Evolution
« Reply #24 on: December 31, 2016, 03:53:04 am »
I'm sorry if I have given the impression that I am anti-science. I have a profound appreciation for science, especially for the late Carl Sagan.

What I don't appreciate is when there's a lack of respect for a diversity of perspectives on human origins, especially since no witnesses were around to record what really happened. The scientific method is based on what can be observed and repeated in the present.

While there is no creator god in Buddhism, the depiction of human origins in the Agganna Sutta as described by the Buddha is nonetheless incompatible with the theory of human evolution:
http://www.urbandharma.org/pdf/AggannaSutta.pdf


This is not to say that it's impossible or unacceptable for a Buddhist to believe that we share a common ancestor with apes, but that would contradict the plainest meaning of the Agganna Sutta as taught by the Buddha.


Wow, such nonsense. You really are anti-science, and trying to disguise it with this errant nonsense about Buddhism. You have every right to declare yourself a creationist and having a belief in creationism, I just don't agree in using Buddhism to push your views. There is nothing creationist about Buddhism, simply because it was developed before the whole question began. Unlike other religions, Buddhism is not a revealed knowledge religion. There is no new knowledge to gain from enlightenment. You see the same things in a different way. The Buddha did not gain any knowledge of creation or creationism.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Offline Dharma Flower

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Re: The Agganna Sutta and Human Evolution
« Reply #25 on: December 31, 2016, 04:48:03 am »
I'm sorry if I have given the impression that I am anti-science. I have a profound appreciation for science, especially for the late Carl Sagan.

What I don't appreciate is when there's a lack of respect for a diversity of perspectives on human origins, especially since no witnesses were around to record what really happened. The scientific method is based on what can be observed and repeated in the present.

While there is no creator god in Buddhism, the depiction of human origins in the Agganna Sutta as described by the Buddha is nonetheless incompatible with the theory of human evolution:
http://www.urbandharma.org/pdf/AggannaSutta.pdf


This is not to say that it's impossible or unacceptable for a Buddhist to believe that we share a common ancestor with apes, but that would contradict the plainest meaning of the Agganna Sutta as taught by the Buddha.


Wow, such nonsense. You really are anti-science, and trying to disguise it with this errant nonsense about Buddhism. You have every right to declare yourself a creationist and having a belief in creationism, I just don't agree in using Buddhism to push your views. There is nothing creationist about Buddhism, simply because it was developed before the whole question began. Unlike other religions, Buddhism is not a revealed knowledge religion. There is no new knowledge to gain from enlightenment. You see the same things in a different way. The Buddha did not gain any knowledge of creation or creationism.


It is offensive to call me a creationist, when all I've done is present the Buddha's teachings as contained in the Agganna Sutta as well as providing the words of Dharma masters who echoed the Buddha's teachings.

You are discounting everything I've shared in this thread in support of the Buddha's teachings, and instead selfishly insisting on a straw man attack. That is not very enlightened or fair of you.

Reading the Agganna Sutta for the plainest meaning of the text is not creationism. As Urban Dharma points out in its PDF version of the text, what the Buddha teaches in the sutta is very different from the version of events provided by modern evolutionary theory:
 
Quote
This sutta provides a detail description of the origin of the human kind and the
planet earth.. At the beginning known as world contraction, the human ancestry started with the living beings born from the Abhassara Brahmas. ( the same as said in the Abhidhamma) After some long period feeding on the earth soils, the Brahma lost their body radiance and slowly changed in their body features. Then, the sun and moon started to appear in the firmament to start day and night time on earth. Then, every one looks the same; there was no gender, only asexual. Later, after some long period, sex organs were formed on their body. And the women became
excessively preoccupied with the men, and the men with the women. Owing to this
excessive preoccupation with each other, passion was aroused, and their bodies burnt
with lust. And later because of this burning, they indulged in sexual activity. Trees
appeared and rice was available freely. This description of the beginning of mankind is so different from the modern theory of human evolution.
http://www.urbandharma.org/pdf/AggannaSutta.pdf


If your opinion is based on personal attacks rather than the actual words of the Buddha as contained in the scriptures, then it's not worth my time or consideration whatsoever. If you are serious about the Buddha's teachings as contained in the sutras, then I have sincere respect for you.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2016, 05:00:06 am by Dharma Flower »

Offline Dharma Flower

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Re: The Agganna Sutta and Human Evolution
« Reply #26 on: December 31, 2016, 06:37:22 am »
If you look at the matter historically, Hindu cosmology may have copied Buddhist cosmology rather than the other way around.

The Hinduism we have today didn't exist in the Buddha's time, and the development of subsequent Hinduism was influenced by the rise of Buddhism, since it sought to emulate Buddhism for the sake of not losing followers to the new religion.

The version of Hinduism that existed in the Buddha's time was actually Vedism, which is very different from the popular Hinduism we have today.

What if, then, the Buddha came to his insights as contained in the Agganna Sutta from a state of samadhi, a state of deep meditative realization of higher knowledge, rather than merely copying a Hindu creation myth that came before his time?

In the Agganna Sutta, the Buddha speaks of how we live in an oscillating universe, and how our first ancestors on this planet were devolved from beings of a higher realm.

What if the reason why the Hindu creation myth is similar to the Agganna Sutta is because it actually corrupted what the Buddha originally taught in the Agganna Sutta?

There is no way to historically prove what I'm saying isn't true, and it's common knowledge among scholars of ancient Indian history that Buddhism influenced the subsequent development of Hinduism.

Offline francis

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Re: The Agganna Sutta and Human Evolution
« Reply #27 on: December 31, 2016, 05:36:21 pm »
…  If placental mammals and marsupials are more anatomically and genetically similar than evolution would predict for such divergent species, then that calls into question that the anatomical and genetic similarities between chimps and humans are due to common descent. …


Hi Dharma Flower, another interesting story.

However, the DNA evidence shows chimps and humans share 98.8 percent of their DNA, and descended from a single ancestor species that lived six or seven million years ago.

Human Origins

Comparing Humans and Chimps DNA.
"Enlightenment, for a wave in the ocean, is the moment the wave realises it is water." - Thich Nhat Hanh

Offline Dharma Flower

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Re: The Agganna Sutta and Human Evolution
« Reply #28 on: December 31, 2016, 06:29:55 pm »
…  If placental mammals and marsupials are more anatomically and genetically similar than evolution would predict for such divergent species, then that calls into question that the anatomical and genetic similarities between chimps and humans are due to common descent. …


Hi Dharma Flower, another interesting story.

However, the DNA evidence shows chimps and humans share 98.8 percent of their DNA, and descended from a single ancestor species that lived six or seven million years ago.

Human Origins

Comparing Humans and Chimps DNA.


 :smack: Yes, I am aware of the genetic similarities between apes and humans, but that doesn't in and of itself prove common descent. Correlation doesn't prove causation.

As I've already demonstrated, anatomical and genetic traits of marsupials and placental mammals are more similar than the evolutionary timeline would predict, thus showing that anatomical and genetic similarities are not in and of itself evidence of common descent.

If you actually read what I've repeatedly shared from Master Sheng Yen, you might come to the conclusion that similarities between species are due to similar karma, rather than common ancestry:
http://ddmbachicago.org/where-did-the-universe-and-life-come-from/

The striking similarities between placental mammals and marsupials, such as marsupial mice and placental mice, etc., suggest that similarities between species aren't due to Darwinian mechanisms:



These similarities are often described as "convergent evolution," the independent evolution of similar traits in divergent lineages; coincidental similarities.

Why, though, would one expect for natural selection acting on random mutation to cause such similar features from such divergent evolutionary lineages? A better explanation might just be the outworking of karma.

Also, according to Hsuan Hua, it's due to the outworking of Buddha-nature that new species come into being:
http://www.buddhistdoor.com/OldWeb/bdoor/0604/sources/buddha_nature.htm

Again, I don't expect others to agree with my point of view. I am willing to tolerate a diversity of perspectives on human origins, especially since no witnesses were around to record what really happened. People will need to evaluate the evidence for themselves and form their own conclusions.

In the very least, people who claim to be Buddhist on a Buddhist forum can give at least some respect and consideration for what the Buddha and Dharma masters throughout history have taught on these matters. 

:lmfao: It is disgusting and pathetic that one would be called a "creationist" on a Buddhist forum, of all places, simply for presenting the Buddha's teachings as taught by the Agganna Sutta and Dharma masters throughout history, even up until the present, as evidenced by Hsuan Hua, Sheng Yen, etc. :lmfao:
« Last Edit: December 31, 2016, 06:41:14 pm by Dharma Flower »

Offline zafrogzen

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Re: The Agganna Sutta and Human Evolution
« Reply #29 on: December 31, 2016, 07:15:12 pm »
Dharma Flower,

I hate to lend credence to this discussion, which I find rather pointless, but I notice you accept scientific findings when it suits the theories you've attached to, such as the scientific opinion that marsupials and placenta mice are not related despite sharing SOME of their DNA -- but not when scientific opinion runs counter to your cherished theories, as in the case of chimps and humans, which share almost ALL of their DNA, and which reputable scientific opinion agrees come from a common ancestor. There is also other scientific evidence that supports evolution theory such as in the fossil record and elsewhere.

I had a friend who was very attached to the idea that humans came from "higher" beings from outer space (not inner space as in the case of the Buddha). I often wondered why that belief was so important to him. I tried to get him interested in meditation but he had neither the discipline nor the motivation to look within himself as the Buddha did, but was attracted to easy answers from sources outside his own experience.

As I said in my first post, our true origin is not found in an illusory past or future but right here -- if one has the patience and perseverance to look within.

My first formal meditation training was with Shunryu Suzuki in the 60's and later with Kobun, Robert Aitken and many other teachers (mainly zen). However, I've spent the most time practicing on my own, which is all I do now. I'm living in a rather isolated area so I miss connecting with other practitioners. Despite my interest in zen I've made an effort to remain secular. You can visit my website at http://www.frogzen.com

 


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