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Hindu Perspectives on Evolution: Darwin, Dharma, and Design

C. Mackenzie Brown
19 January 2012
Hindu Perspectives on Evolution: Darwin, Dharma, and Design

This book provides new insights into the contemporary creationist-evolution debates by looking at the Hindu cultural-religious traditions of India, the Hindu Dharma traditions. Focusing on the interaction of religion and science in a Hindu context, this book offers a global context for understanding contemporary creationist-evolution conflicts and tensions utilizing a critical analysis of Hindu perspectives on these issues. The critical analysis raises broad questions regarding the frequently alleged harmony of the Hindu Dharma traditions with modern science, and with Darwinian evolution in particular.

Examining diverse elements of the Hindu Dharmic traditions that laid the groundwork for an ambivalent response to Darwinism when it first became known in India, the author highlights the significance of the colonial context. This is particularly illustrated by drawing parallels with Islamic responses to modern science and Darwinism. Analysing critically the question of compatibility between traditional Dharmic theories of knowledge and the epistemological assumptions underlying contemporary scientific methodology, the book demonstrate their implications for the alleged concord of Hinduism, the eternal Dharma, and modern science.