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Posts Tagged ‘Evolution’

Buddhism and the Unconscious

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 19, 2012

By John Stanley and David Loy

“My life is a story of the self-realization of the unconscious.” –C.G. Jung

Those who see into the Unconscious have their senses cleansed of defilements, are moving toward Buddha-wisdom, are known to be with Reality, in the Middle Path, in the ultimate truth itself. Those who see into the Unconscious are furnished at once with merits as numerous as the sands of the Ganges. They are able to create all kinds of things and embrace all things within themselves. –Shen-hui (as translated by D.T. Suzuki)

At the end of his life, C.G. Jung dictated to his secretary an extraordinary autobiography, “Memories, Dreams, Reflections,” whose first sentence we cite above. Earlier he had observed how human nature resembled the twin sons of Zeus and Leda: “We are that pair of Dioscuri, one of whom is mortal and the other immortal, and who, though always together, can never be made completely one. … We should prefer to be always ‘I’ and nothing else.” Recent neurological studies into those “twin sons” have been exploring Jung’s insight, leading to discoveries that have many important implications, including how we might understand traditional Buddhist teachings today. Read the rest of this entry »

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Buddhism and the Unconscious

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 9, 2012

By 

“My life is a story of the self-realization of the unconscious.” –C.G. Jung

Those who see into the Unconscious have their senses cleansed of defilements, are moving toward Buddha-wisdom, are known to be with Reality, in the Middle Path, in the ultimate truth itself. Those who see into the Unconscious are furnished at once with merits as numerous as the sands of the Ganges. They are able to create all kinds of things and embrace all things within themselves. –Shen-hui (as translated by D.T. Suzuki)

At the end of his life, C.G. Jung dictated to his secretary an extraordinary autobiography, “Memories, Dreams, Reflections,” whose first sentence we cite above. Earlier he had observed how human nature resembled the twin sons of Zeus and Leda: “We are that pair of Dioscuri, one of whom is mortal and the other immortal, and who, though always together, can never be made completely one. … We should prefer to be always ‘I’ and nothing else.” Recent neurological studies into those “twin sons” have been exploring Jung’s insight, leading to discoveries that have many important implications, including how we might understand traditional Buddhist teachings today.

Neuropsychology of the Unconscious

Brain research over the last generation has confirmed the difference between the left and right hemispheres of the brain. Our left cerebral hemisphere is the place where language is generated and received. It serves a linguistic consciousness with which we describe and think about the world. On the other side, our silent right brain hemisphere serves an unconscious awareness that cannot be coded in language. Non-verbal contemplative practices — such as being quietly present in the natural world, “open presence” meditation, tai chi chuan or yoga — elicit sustained awareness rooted in the unconscious. We are fully aware of what is happening, within and around us. Yet such experiences cannot be put into (or directed by) words because they are served by modules for sensory awareness in the right hemisphere. Focusing attention in the present suspends the usual executive functions of the conscious mind, so that the resources of the unconscious may unfold. Read the rest of this entry »

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Americans’ Heads Getting Bigger In Size, Changing Shape, Anthropologists Say

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 2, 2012

By  HUFFPOST

White Americans Heads
Skull sizes among white Americans are swelling, researchers say.

Did the 20th century make us big-headed? Maybe so, since forensic anthropologists at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville found that white Americans’ heads are getting bigger and bigger…in size, that is.

The researchers studied about 1,500 skulls that dated from the mid-1800s through the 1980s. They noticed that the skulls gradually became larger, taller, and narrower. As a result, faces have become longer.

“The surprising thing is the skull size increase has not been documented in modern Americans,” researcher Dr. Richard Jantz told The Huffington Post. “We might have suspected that that was happening but this documents it … The shape of the skull has also changed rather dramatically. In fact, shape change has been more dramatic than size change.”

Specifically, the researchers found skull size in white men has grown by 200 cubic centimeters, which is about the volume of a tennis ball. Skull height, from the base to the top of men’s heads, has increased by 8 millimeters–so about 0.3 inches. Among white women, skull size has grown by 180 cubic centimeters and height has increased by 7 millimeters. Read the rest of this entry »

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Best evidence yet that a single gene can affect IQ

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 16, 2012

A massive genetics study relying on fMRI brain scans and DNA samples from over 20,000 people has revealed what is Our genes account for a big chunk of the variability in intelligence, but no individual genes can take much credit for human smarts (Image: Tetra Images/Getty Images) claimed as the biggest effect yet of a single gene on intelligence – although the effect is small.

There is little dispute that genetics accounts for a large amount of t least half the variation in people’s intelligence, but studies have consistently failed to find any single genes that have a substantial impact. Instead, researchers typically find that hundreds of genes contribute.

Following a brain study on an unprecedented scale, an international collaboration has now managed to tease out a single gene that does have a measurable effect on intelligence. But the effect – although measurable – is small: the gene alters IQ by just 1.29 points. According to some researchers, that essentially proves that intelligence relies on the action of a multitude of genes after all.

“It seems like the biggest single-gene impact we know of that affects IQ,” says Paul Thompson of the University of California, Los Angeles, who led the collaboration of 207 researchers. “But it’s not a massive effect on IQ overall,” he says.

Two teaspoons

The variant is in a gene called HMGA2, which has previously been linked with people’s height. At the site of the relevant mutation, the IQ difference depends on a change of a single DNA “letter” from C, standing for cytosine, to T, standing for thymine. Read the rest of this entry »

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Buddhism, Cosmology and Evolution

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 5, 2012

 

By John Stanley & David Loy 

Even with all these profound scientific theories of the origin of the universe, I am left with serious questions: What existed before the big bang? Where did the big bang come from? What caused it? Why has our planet evolved to support life? What is the relationship between the cosmos and the beings that have evolved within it? Scientists may dismiss these questions as nonsensical, or they may acknowledge their importance but deny that they belong to the domain of scientific inquiry. However, both these approaches will have the consequence of acknowledging definite limits to our scientific knowledge of the origin of our cosmos. I am not subject to the professional or ideological constraints of a radically materialistic worldview. – The Dalai Lama

There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved. – Charles Darwin

For traditional Buddhist cosmology, the life cycle of a universe is cyclical. There is a period of its formation, a period where it endures, a period where it disintegrates and a period of void before a new universe forms from the luminous space that remains. That space, according to theKalachakra Tantra (Wheel of Time) is inseparable from beginningless, universal consciousness.

The constraints of scientific materialism

A very different perspective is offered by mechanistic science. From its European origins in the 17th century to its final triumph in the 19th, it has insisted that matter is non-conscious stuff interacting in dead space. And these premises are not merely intellectual abstractions. They have become beliefs about reality, shared by a globalizing human culture. The structure of our subjective experience is inevitably influenced by the notion that we too are mechanisms located in a non-conscious mechanical universe. Read the rest of this entry »

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Can You Believe in God and Evolution?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 19, 2011

By STEVEN PINKER

FRANCIS COLLINS

Director, National Human Genome Research Institute

I see no conflict in what the Bible tells me about God and what science tells me about nature. Like St. Augustine in A.D. 400, I do not find the wording of Genesis 1 and 2 to suggest a scientific textbook but a powerful and poetic description of God’s intentions in creating the universe. The mechanism of creation is left unspecified. If God, who is all powerful and who is not limited by space and time, chose to use the mechanism of evolution to create you and me, who are we to say that wasn’t an absolutely elegant plan? And if God has now given us the intelligence and the opportunity to discover his methods, that is something to celebrate.

I lead the Human Genome Project, which has now revealed all of the 3 billion letters of our own DNA instruction book. I am also a Christian. For me scientific discovery is also an occasion of worship.

Nearly all working biologists accept that the principles of variation and natural selection explain how multiple species evolved from a common ancestor over very long periods of time. I find no compelling examples that this process is insufficient to explain the rich variety of life forms present on this planet. While no one could claim yet to have ferreted out every detail of how evolution works, I do not see any significant “gaps” in the progressive development of life’s complex structures that would require divine intervention. In any case, efforts to insert God into the gaps of contemporary human understanding of nature have not fared well in the past, and we should be careful not to do that now.

Science’s tools will never prove or disprove God’s existence. For me the fundamental answers about the meaning of life come not from science but from a consideration of the origins of our uniquely human sense of right and wrong, and from the historical record of Christ’s life on Earth. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why the Buddha Touched the Earth

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 23, 2011

By John Stanley and David Loy

“The entire cosmos is a cooperative. The sun, the moon, and the stars live together as a cooperative. The same is true for humans and animals, trees, and the Earth. When we realize that the world is a mutual, interdependent, cooperative enterprise — then we can build a noble environment. If our lives are not based on this truth, then we shall perish.” –Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

“The term ‘engaged Buddhism’ was created to restore the true meaning of Buddhism. Engaged Buddhism is simply Buddhism applied in our daily lives. If it’s not engaged, it can’t be called Buddhism. Buddhist practice takes place not only in monasteries, meditation halls and Buddhist institutes, but in whatever situation we find ourselves. Engaged Buddhism means the activities of daily life combined with the practice of mindfulness. –Thich Nhat Hanh

In one of Buddhism’s iconic images, Gautama Buddha sits in meditation with his left palm upright on his lap, while his right hand touches the earth. Demonic forces have tried to unseat him, because their king, Mara, claims that place under the bodhi tree. As they proclaim their leader’s powers, Mara demands that Gautama produce a witness to confirm his spiritual awakening. The Buddha simply touches the earth with his right hand, and the Earth itself immediately responds: “I am your witness.” Mara and his minions vanish. The morning star appears in the sky. This moment of supreme enlightenment is the central experience from which the whole of the Buddhist tradition unfolds.

The great 20th-century Vedantin, Ramana Maharshi said that the Earth is in a constant state ofdhyana. The Buddha’s earth-witness mudra (hand position) is a beautiful example of “embodied cognition.” His posture and gesture embody unshakeable self-realization. He does not ask heavenly beings for assistance. Instead, without using any words, the Buddha calls on the Earth to bear witness.

The Earth has observed much more than the Buddha’s awakening. For the last 3 billion years the Earth has borne witness to the evolution of its innumerable life-forms, from unicellular creatures to the extraordinary diversity and complexity of plant and animal life that flourishes today. We not only observe this multiplicity, we are part of it — even as our species continues to damage it. Many biologists predict that half the Earth’s plant and animal species could disappear by the end of this century, on the current growth trajectories of human population, economy and pollution. This sobering fact reminds us that global warming is the primary, but not the only, extraordinary ecological crisis confronting us today. Read the rest of this entry »

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High Latitude Humans Have Evolved Larger Brains Than Equatorial Populations

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 27, 2011


If only the size bigger and intelligen­ce not proportion­al to the size, that could be just bit burden. Regarding eyes, I could not agree as the people from China, Japan, Korea, Mongolia etc the size of eyes are not bigger.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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Is Evolution Ready to Evolve?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 15, 2011

By Deepak Chopra Author, ‘Soul of Leadership’; founder, The Chopra Foundation

Although science prides itself on objectivity, it has some cherished articles of belief. If you question them, however reasonably, you can expect ire and raised hackles. Bruce Lipton has discovered this after posting “Has Modern Science Bankrupted Our Souls?” In it he challenges basic assumptions of modern science, such as the pre-eminence of a Newtonian physical universe and the conception of evolution through random mutations for being flawed. Natural selection and random mutation no doubt played a part in getting us where we are now, but they won’t carry us into the future. The controversy being stirred up is old and, so far as Darwinists are concerned, completely settled. On one side is the light of reason, on the other darkness and superstition. The fact that Bruce Lipton is a cell biologist doesn’t mean that his credentials protect him. People don’t take kindly to having their faith questioned.

But the issue here isn’t about bringing Darwin down, but rather about expanding his theory. Lipton’s post reflects the urgency of future evolution, or where we grow from here. He poses the potential threat of mass extinction and the ruin of the planet (very real threats, even if you don’t push as hard as he does). After painting a doomsday portrait of the future, Lipton offers hope, saying that humans will make exciting breakthroughs if we face our hour of crisis by evolving to the next stage of consciousness. As the author of a book titled The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Lipton stands at the forefront of a growing movement. Some cutting-edge scientists belong to the movement, although it has roots in the new spirituality as well.

The basic premises that are able to cross the line between science and spirituality are these:

 * We live in a conscious universe.
* Such a universe is constantly evolving.
* Humans are woven into the currents of cosmic evolution.
* The future of our own evolution will be based on conscious choice Read the rest of this entry »

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How Men Can Be Wise About Women

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 14, 2011


Biological difference­s between men and women create lots of problems, challenges­, interests, attraction­s and sometimes frustratio­n as well.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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40 Percent Of Americans Still Believe In Creationism

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 21, 2010


Really? If I will pass this news to the people in the remote area of my country, even they could be surprised.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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Why Are You Here? A New Theory May Hold the Missing Piece

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 12, 2010

Huffington Post By 

Robert Lanza, M.D.* (Scientist, Theoretician)

Why do you happen to be alive on this lush little planet with its warm sun and coconut trees? And at just the right time in the history of the universe? The surface of the molten earth has cooled, but it’s not too cold. And it’s not too hot; the sun hasn’t expanded enough to melt the Earth’s surface with its searing gas yet. Even setting aside the issue of being here and now, the probability of random physical laws and events leading to this point is less than 1 out of 100,000,000,000,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, equivalent to winning every lottery there ever was.

Biocentrism, a new theory of everything, provides the missing piece. Although classical evolution does an excellent job of helping us understand the past, it fails to capture the driving force. Evolution needs to add the observer to the equation. Indeed, Niels Bohr, the great Nobel physicist, said, “When we measure something we are forcing an undetermined, undefined world to assume an experimental value. We are not ‘measuring’ the world, we are creating it.” The evolutionists are trying to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. They think we, the observer, are a mindless accident, debris left over from an explosion that appeared out of nowhere one day.

Cosmologists propose that the universe was until recently a lifeless collection of particles bouncing against each other. It’s presented as a watch that somehow wound itself up, and that will unwind in a semi-predictable way. But they’ve shunted a critical component of the cosmos out of the way because they don’t know what to do with it. This component, consciousness, isn’t a small item. It’s an utter mystery, which we think has somehow arisen from molecules and goo. Read the rest of this entry »

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How Evolution Gets Used and Abused in the Science-Religion Debate

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 8, 2010


Some Eastern philosophers say that Science could reach up to 5th level and from there real spiritual world starts. According to this science has difficulty to be there where enlightened persons can be.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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Reconciling Science and Religion: How Did These Great Minds Do It?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 6, 2010


Some saints say that science could have knowledge up to fifth level and only after that real spiritual world starts. That could be the reason that still lots of things still remain mystery for science.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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How Science Can Solve the Puzzle of God

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 3, 2010

Huffington Post

By Clay Farris Naff*

“God offers to every mind its choice between truth and repose. Take which you please — you can never have both.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nearly 500 years after science and religion parted company over Galileo’s demeaning challenge to a church invested in geocentricity, we have come to a moment when reunification may be possible — on scientific grounds. But before we go on, you must make the choice Emerson presents.

If repose, turn back.

You will find far greater comfort in the myths of the traditional religions, or the newly minted ones of the New Age mystics, than in anything that science has to offer. But Emerson was right: What you will not find there is much that conforms to reality as science has illuminated it. This problem goes way beyond the pathetic attempts of “Creation Science” to make the Grand Canyon fit into the Noah’s flood tale. There is a fundamental error in any religious narrative that portrays the world as designed by an all-powerful, all-knowing, and beneficent God. The world just ain’t built that way. Read the rest of this entry »

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