World, Life and Religion
Posted on March 3rd, 2016

Buddhi Meegasdeniya M.Sc. Eng. ( Moscow ) Toronto, Canada.

History of Earth

The Earth formed about 4.5 billion years ago, as a part of the birth of the Solar System. The early Earth was very different from the world known today. There was no water and no oxygen in the atmosphere.  Various materials left over from the formation of the solar system, heat from the pressure of contraction, other forms of heat caused the planet to be molten at this stage.  Heavier elements like iron sank and lighter elements rose to the surface, forming a layered structure and a magnetic field. Earth’s early atmosphere had gases like hydrogen and helium. Asteroids fell onto earth continuously, steam escaped from the crust and more gases released by volcanoes that resulted in the atmosphere. The planet cooled and clouds formed. Rain started forming oceans.

Life (Simplest Cell)

Origin of life is still to be determined. One study suggests that organic components may have arrived on Earth from space. Other suggests terrestrial origins. It could be the conditions existed on Earth billions of years ago and energy from various activities like volcanoes, lightning, radiation etc. contributed to originate simple organic compounds that contains in building blocks of life. Scientists have to find exact conditions and material existed on Earth at the time of Life (simplest Cell) originated, on Earth in order to determine how life was originated. When scientists can create exact conditions  that existed on Earth about 4 billion years ago, in a Laboratory and use exact elements, they may succeed in creating life (simplest form – cell). In future that may resolve the question: How the life was originated ?.

Life (Multi Cell)

About 2 billion years ago, perhaps the larger cell attempted to ingest smaller cell or smaller cell attempted to parasitize the larger cell and  a stable relationship developed. Over the time the host cell acquired some of the genes of the other cell, and the two kinds became dependent on each other. The larger cell survived with the energy produced by the smaller cells and smaller cells survived with raw materials provided by larger cells

It is known that all living things – single celled creatures like Amoeba, simplest plants like Algae,  Bacteria,  all plants, all animals including human  are made up of one or more  Cells.

Oldest plants:  fungi appeared about 1000 million years ago.

Fish, the earliest animal evolved in the oceans about 550 million years ago.

The first animal with legs evolved from fish, perhaps fins evolved to become limbs allowing to lift their heads out of water. The process of evolutions continued and various types of animals appeared on the earth as millions of years passed.

Birth

As mentioned above, relationship and dependence among cells evolved to a reproduction system, the biological process by which new individual organisms are produced. This process exists in all living things: plants, animals and humans. Plants produce seeds by pollination: the process that discharges dust like pollen from mail part of flower in order to combine with the female part. A similar process takes place in animal and human reproduction system. Each of two parent organisms contributes half of the offspring’s makeup.

Humans

Possibly, an ape living around 6 million years ago could be identified as the last animal whose descendants would include both modern humans and their closest relatives: chimpanzees. Apes developed the ability to walk upright. Brain size increased and about 2 million years ago the first animal Homo (animal / human) had appeared.

Another branch of ape continued to evolve in all life forms.

The ability to control fire in Homo began perhaps 1 million years ago. As brain size increased, babies were born sooner allowing heads to pass through the pelvis before heads grew larger.

Modern humans (Homo sapiens) to show spirituality might have originated around 250,000 years ago in Africa: they buried their dead. Evidence of more complex beliefs by humans appeared about 35,000 years ago. As they migrated through the world their language became complex. Ideas could be rapidly exchanged and passed down the generations and history began.

About 10,000 years ago humans in Middle East began management of resources and farming. Agriculture spread and Homo sapiens started living in permanent settlements. Among the civilizations who adopted agriculture, increased productivity and improved security resulted in population increase. Surplus food and farmland disputes brought governing class to existence.

Religion

As human brain developed they started studying nature, they had various types of beliefs: worshipping Sun, Moon, Large trees, Rocks etc.  Humans killed each other for acquiring lands, territories. Cannibalism was common in some parts of world. Weaker people felt insecure. Amid various beliefs Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and other religions spread throughout the world.

What is the answer to the question:  Why do you believe in a particular religion  ? (Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism  or any other religion).

Probably the most common  answer is: Because it is the religion that is most appropriate for humans”  OR it is the religion that is most  believable among all religions” or something similar to that.

But actual reason is it is the religion that my parents made me to believe since I was born.

More than 99% of people believe in their parents’  religion. It is correct to use the word brainwash” in this situation.

Our parents were born about  100 years ago. Their parents (our grandparents) were born about 130 or more years ago and their parents, about 160 years ago. It goes back to about 2000- 2500 years since modern religions appeared.

We all know most of our parents were not educated as we are. Their parents most probably not educated as our parents. If you consider 2000-2500 years back, that is about 100 generations  ago,  we can imagine the level of literacy of those people. Those were  the people who were made to believe in modern religions  first,   by Lord Buddha, Jesus Christ and creators of other  Religions.

With all modern scientific achievements,  very recent  life extension methods  (heart and organ transplants etc ), procedures of using  technology in order to retard  aging process,    surprisingly   most educated people , with Science, Engineering, Medical and other degrees, still believe in – Rebirth, Nirvana, Human as a creation of God.

Any person who believes  in Theory of Evolution,  cannot believe in Rebirth, Human as a creation of God etc.

Believing in a Religion is a relief for many people who have no other means of getting relaxed. Believing helps  heal disturbed minds. That is an psychological phenomenon. People who worshipped objects like large rocks, large trees many years ago must have  definitely achieved the same results as people who believe  in modern religions.

God, Rebirth, Nirvana or Heaven are just beliefs that are eroding  rapidly. While 60% do not agree, 20% agree. Another 20% understand it but reluctant to agree as a result of weakness of mind, expecting possible hostile reactions.

Buddhi Meegasdeniya M.Sc. Eng. ( Moscow )

Toronto, Canada.

March 03, 2016

6 Responses to “World, Life and Religion”

  1. AnuD Says:

    You know very little and pretend to know everything.

    when you grow up learn more.

    buddhism is more scientific than science.

    Even if you know science a lot, you won’t talk things you say here.

    I don’t think, Engineering teach those things unless you arw interested in it

  2. NeelaMahaYoda Says:

    Dear Buddhi ( meaning wise one)

    Looks like you have not studied Buddhism well enough to understand the fact that Buddhism Is the Most Science-Friendly Religion

    Hear is the extract from Scientific American blog written by By David Barash professor of psychology at the University of Washington.I strongly recommend you to read “Buddhist Biology: ancient Eastern wisdom meets modern Western science, just published by Oxford University Press By David Barash
    Here is some sad news, courtesy of the Pew Research Center’s “Religion & Public Life Project.” Not only is there a growing gap between Democrats and Republicans when it comes to acceptance of evolution, with Democrats at a mere 67 percent and Republicans a paltry and horrifyingly low 43 percent. Even more appalling is the finding that only 27 percent of white evangelical Protestants understand that “humans and other living things have evolved over time.”
    What in Darwin’s name is going on? The regrettable reality is that the U.S., being among the world’s most religious countries, is also among the most scientifically ignorant, especially when it comes to the most important, unifying and indubitably “true” finding in biology: evolution by natural selection.

    As an evolutionary biologist, I have personally encountered this scientific illiteracy, notably when lecturing in the Bible Belt. At the same time, I’ve been struck by how scientifically knowledgeable the audiences are when I lecture in Asian countries, particularly those strongly influenced by Buddhism. Moreover, I’ve become increasingly convinced that this correlation isn’t coincidental. My decades as a biologist, along with comparable decades as a Buddhist sympathizer, have convinced me that of all the world’s religions – and especially by contrast to the Abrahamic Big Three (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), Buddhism is unusually science-friendly.

    To some extent, this might be because much of Buddhism – and certainly, the part that attracts me – isn’t a “religion” at all, but rather a way of looking at the world. Indeed, the Buddha himself is described as having emphasized that he isn’t a god and shouldn’t be treated as such. And, in fact, there are no creator deities in Buddhism, nor holy writ, and so forth.

    According to Tenzin Gyatso, better known as the fourteenth Dalai Lama, “Suppose that something is definitely proven through scientific investigation, that a certain hypothesis is verified or a certain fact emerges as a result of scientific investigation. And suppose, furthermore, that that fact is incompatible with Buddhist theory. There is no doubt that we must accept the result of the scientific research.”

    More than other religions – indeed, I would say, more than any other religion – Buddhism lends itself to a dialogue with science. Why? Because among the key aspects of Buddhism, we find insistence that knowledge must be gained through personal experience rather than reliance on the authority of sacred texts or the teachings of avowed masters; because its orientation is empirical rather then theoretical; and because it rejects any conception of absolutes.

    The comfortable fit between Buddhism and empirical science has been facilitated by several canonical teachings, of which one of the most important is the “Kalama Sutra.” In it, the Buddha advises his audience on how to deal with the bewildering diversity of conflicting claims on the part of various Brahmins and itinerant monks:
    “Do not go upon what has been acquired by repeated hearing; nor upon tradition; nor upon rumor; nor upon what is in a scripture; nor upon surmise; nor upon an axiom; nor upon specious reasoning; nor upon a bias towards a notion that has been pondered over; nor upon another’s seeming ability; nor upon the consideration, ‘The monk is our teacher.’ Rather, when you yourselves know that these things are good; these things are not blamable; undertaken and observed, these things lead to benefit and happiness, then and only then enter into and abide in them.”
    This teaching is widely (and appropriately) seen as supporting free inquiry and an absence of rigid dogma, an attitude entirely open to empirical verification and thus, consistent with science. Moreover, the Kalama Sutra fits quite comfortably into the Western scientific tradition: The Royal Society of London, whose full name was the Royal Society of London for the Improvement of Natural Knowledge, and which was the world’s first and for a long time the foremost scientific society, has as its credo, Nullius in verba: “On the words of no one.”

    Returning once again to Buddhism’s emphasis on validation-by-experience rather than via hierarchical or scriptural authority, consider this statement from the Pali Canon, which could as well have been uttered by a senior Nobel-winning scientist, advising junior researchers in his laboratory: “Just as one would examine gold through burning, cutting, and rubbing so should monks and scholars examine my words. Only thus should they be accepted, but not merely out of respect for me.”

    On balance, it seems reasonable and appropriate that Buddhism be viewed in the West as comparatively free of irrationality, superstitious belief, and stultifying tradition – but this generalization must nonetheless be taken with a grain of salt, noting that in much of the world, Buddhism involves daily ritual devotions, belief in amulets and other special charms, and even the presupposition that the man, Siddhartha Gautama, was a divine being. There are, I regret to note, Buddhist traditions that insist on retaining an array of nonsensical hocus-pocus and abracadabra altogether at odds with any scientific tradition worthy of the name. Among these, the notion of “rebirth” is especially ridiculous, insofar as it implies that after their death, people will eventually reappear in some other form, with their personalities or at least certain “karmic attributes” intact.

    I have no difficulty, however, describing Mr. Tenzin Gyatso (born Lhamo Dondrub), as the fourteenth Dalai Lama, so long as this means that he is the fourteenth person to hold that position, in the same sense that Barack Obama is the forty-fourth president of the United States, with no implication that he is in any way the reincarnation of George Washington!

    On the other hand, if rebirth is taken to mean the literal recycling of atoms and molecules, as revealed in biogeochemical cycling, and if karma is interpreted (as I believe it warrants) as reflecting the reality of cause-and-effect, not to mention that other fundamental reality, natural selection, whereby the “actions” of our ancestors indeed give rise to ourselves and our “actions” influence our descendants – then Buddhism and biology are close allies indeed. Moreover, the fundamental Buddhist teaching of interconnectedness could as well have come from a “master” of physiological ecology.
    In short, rather than NOMA (“Non-Overlapping Magesteria”), as the late Stephen Gould proposed for religion and science, I am impressed that Buddhism offers the bracing prospect of POMA (“Productively Overlapping Magesteria”) – albeit only after removing Buddhism’s religious mumbo-jumbo … that is, when not treating it as a religion. But even then, I won’t hold my breath until Bible Belt America agrees with me.
    The views expressed are those of the author(s) and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.
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    ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)

    David Barash
    David P. Barash received his Ph.D. in zoology (animal behavior and evolutionary biology) in 1970 from the University of Wisconsin, and authored his first technical article about Buddhism and biology in 1973. He was involved in the early development of sociobiology as a scientific discipline, and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and professor of psychology at the University of Washington. Barash writes regularly for The Chronicle of Higher Education, and has frequently been published in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and Aeon Magazine, among others. He has written more than 250 peer-reviewed technical articles and has authored, co-authored or edited 36 books, most recently Buddhist Biology: ancient Eastern wisdom meets modern Western science, just published by Oxford University Press.

  3. Dham Says:

    There is no science, no experiment, no assumptions , no derivations necessary to profoundly there is a lot of suffering. But learn to profoundly understand “arising of suffering” and how and why it came.

    Now, did your parents teach you this ? Check whether you are a big liar or not.

    One thing true is “Brainwashing” is required to understand that all your knowledge is useless to get rid of suffering. That is when you kill yourself.

  4. Dham Says:

    Some mistakes.

    First line “understand” is missing after “profoundly”.

    In the last line, what I mean is “unless prepared to be brainwashed, you will kill yourself when real suffering arise”. You are in a dangerous path. Please try memorise this comment. It will surely help you and your loved ones one day.

    Actually you have been injected with “love and compassion” by your parents and with “poison” by science, after washing that god brainwash.

  5. Dr.K Says:

    Hello Buddhi Meegasdeniya.

    You have tried to generalized everything what’s happening around you as they happen and exist as they are. The origin of Earth and the origin of life on the earth have taken place with the time in billions and millions of years with no hurry. That’s what the scientist believe and that’s what we can think of using the knowledge that we gathered through our science based education. No problem, I agree with you.

    When you talk of Human Beings, their existence, their believes and Religions you have again generalized all of them in a very simple way with the experience and observation that you have gathered throughout your life as a lay person. Unfortunately , as many of the above respondents have stated too, you have not gone through the Buddha’s philosophy.
    You have just observed Buddhism as just a religion similar to other religions in the world. When some one see Buddhism as a religion it has mixed with the cultural believes and practices of the followers. BUT I do not take Buddhism as a Religion it’s some thing bigger and deeper than a Religion for me. I should say the Lord Buddha’s philosophy is the law of the Nature. If you go into the deeper levels of the Law of the Nature you will find the science behind the origin of Earth, Origin of Life and their existence and Nirvana that you too have mentioned on your Article.

    You remove your glasses and look at the world without taking Buddhism as a Religion but as a Philosophy and Law of Nature then you will rewrite the same Article differently.

  6. Ratanapala Says:

    Leave him aside! He is in the same category as Carlo Fonseka still living in a Newtonian world. He is still entrenched in atoms, molecules and the Mendeleev Periodic Table trying to make sense of the world. He thinks science is the epitome of reality which is far from it.

    Even after so many years of trying to create life in the laboratories using state of the art techineques the present day scientists have not been successful in creating life. This was the theory put forward by Prof Cyril Ponnamperuma many years ago. Even to say that life came to Earth from outer space does not answer the question – just push the question elsewhere. It is difficult to imagine the difficulty in creating the conditions of the earth or anywhere else with the current technologies. Only answer is that life, consciousness and sentience are beyond known science.

    I prefer to take the advice Lord Buddha who encouraged us to strive towards Enlightenment to understand and see the Big Picture – the infinite Present and Nibbana! Up and until we arrive at that stage it is futile to think we can understand reality.

    Buddhi you have to remove the outward seeing looking glasses and start looking inwards instead to start your journey towards reality! Happy wandering in Samsara till you reach your goal – the Ultimate Reality!

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