Evolution Can Wait
Posted June 3, 2009
I agree with Chakra, and I don't think that ISKCON should release the proposed GBC statement against evolution. There is no doubt that the statement represents Srila Prabhupada's view. However, it should be very carefully crafted for the general public. I really like the proposition that a materialistic view of the origin of life results in a disrespect for life and a materialistic outlook on everything. However, the statement is generally too long, goes too far, and is not convincing.
The theory of evolution has two components: 1) life comes from matter, and 2) species develop over time. Unfortunately, the author mixes both together when discussing Forbidden Archaeology and as a result, his point is hard to understand. Some of the language is odd, which also makes some points difficult to accept. For example: a "marked element of public thinking" — What are the marked elements of public thinking? Does the public think one way?
I believe that many readers may be offended by the argument that the integration of the theory of evolution into religious doctrine is an "unscrupulous compromise", especially without explaining why God could not have created species that develop over time. Similarly, it is way too big a leap to say that Darwin's theory has led to the current economic, environmental and food crises, as well as the moral decline of modern culture. Given that the causes are numerous and complex, such a statement makes the Krsna-conscious philosophy appear naïve and simplistic.
The questions of where life comes from and whether species have changed are difficult to explain, which is why there are several theories. If the theory of evolution is indeed one of many interpretations, then it is worth arguing instead of just saying it has not been proven. It is very bold for ISKCON to make a pronouncement that it rejects the theory of evolution. As such, it should be done very carefully. The 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth lasts all year, and so there is no a reason to rush.