Serious and Sincere

February 20, 2023 in Articles, Haripada dasa by Venkata bhatta dasa

By Haripada dasa

Srila Prabhupada always said that the devotee must be serious and sincere in his Krishna consciousness practices. This also applies to others; serious and sincere means that one does not deceive himself or others. In others In other words, one is not a hypocrite. We in a practical way show Srila Prabhupada and God or Krishna that we are serious and sincere when we practice verses 2 and 3 of the Nectar of Instruction. There it is said that when someone becomes too entangled in the following six activities, their devotional service is ruined:

  1. eating more than necessary, or accumulating more funds than required;
  2. trying too hard for worldly things that are too hard to get;
  3. talking unnecessarily about worldly subjects;
  4. following the rules and regulations of the scriptures solely to follow them and not to advance spiritually, or rejecting the rules and regulations of the scriptures and working independently or whimsically;
  5. associating with people of worldly inclinations who are not interested in cultivating Kṛishna consciousness; and
  6. coveting worldly achievements

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Cartoon “Science” – Debunking Myths of Evolution

February 10, 2023 in Articles by Narasimha das

The National Geographic Society recently devoted an entire issue to Charles Darwin and his speculations regarding the origin of species. Their agenda was to show how Darwin’s ideas are now widely accepted by scientists and researchers while most religious leaders reject Darwin due to their blind faith in scriptures. They quoted Srila Prabhupada briefly, and out of context, saying, “Darwin’s ideas are nonsense.” The entire issue was aimed at illustrating how modern science is confirming the fundamentals of Darwin’s ideas regarding the evolution of species; yet instead of providing substantial evidence, they simply praised Darwin with cultish devotion and offered new, imaginative narratives on how species might have transformed themselves through long series of mysterious mutations.

Evolutionists like to believe that most leading scientists now support Darwin’s far-flung hypothesis that all life has evolved from chemical compounds and every species has improved itself automatically through chance mutations and the process of “natural selection”. National Geographic, Discovery Channel, Science Channel, and most of the academic community, apparently, have suspended scientific thinking when it comes to the topic of so-called “evolution” and the origin of species. Before I began studying the Darwinist teachings, I thought I might encounter half-decent sci-fi-fiction ramped up a few notches, perhaps, with elaborately devised academia speak. Instead of compelling mock science, however, I found instead only Disney-style cartoon tales of amoebas learning to be fish, fish sprouting wings, learning to fly and breathe air, monkeys learning to make tools, build condos, wear clothes, grow corn, and so on. All this is possible, the Darwinists claim, by the power of innumerable, progressive, genetic mutations. They believe these mutations have continuously improved millions of species over millions of years, due to the principle of survival of the fittest, or natural selection.

In truth, no evidence supports the Darwinian idea that species transform themselves into new species through chance mutations. Rather, modern biology has discovered the vast complexity of even primitive animals, whose life functions are perfectly controlled by genetic codes in millions of cells working in symbiotic interrelationships of unfathomable complexity. Much of the inner workings of even a relatively simple organism, like a virus, are unknown to modern science. Similarly, modern biological sciences have barely glimpsed the highly complex symbiotic relationships between species. If not for the influence of wholesale academic indoctrination, discoveries regarding the perfect designs and mind-boggling complexities of life on Earth would surely have caused most sober and intelligent people to reject Darwin’s ideas as ludicrous.

Darwin’s idea of evolution is unfounded by any biological science and flies in the face of fundamental laws of physics. The belief that highly complex order and function arises automatically or accidentally out of chaos is not supported by any science or logic. By every known natural process, complex organizations, whether organic or inorganic, tend to quickly degrade, becoming reduced to simpler forms. Complex living organisms, when dead, degrade quickly. Nowhere has anyone found evidence that dull matter magically becomes conscious of itself and endowed with the will to live, multiply, and evolve. Instead, we see everywhere that complex living organisms are created by other living things, and when dead, or devoid of consciousness, devolve into compost and then dust. Complex structures, both manmade and natural, if left alone, will dissolve–not evolve. Drop billions by highly sophisticated computers in the sea, along with billions of land creatures and plants, and none will evolve into an aquatic animal or fish. Rather, all will devolve to simple minerals or compounds. Everywhere we see that life comes from life, as does matter. Never has anyone seen that unconscious, dull matter has produced the miracle of life.

Life, however, routinely produces all kinds of matter, including complex chemical structures within the body and sophisticated external devices like cars and computers. Real scientists can easily prove that something superior, like a human, can create inferior things like factories, cars, bombs, and sewage. No machine, no matter how advanced, can become self-conscious or learn to replicate itself, as suggested in sci-fi-fantasies. Even the most sophisticated device needs the human hand to turn it on and maintain it. Highly complex living entities such as humans and animals must be maintained constantly by intelligence or intelligent instincts and by intricately organized biological actions and interactions such as digestion, breathing and sexual reproduction. There is nothing left to chance anywhere in the natural world. Every species requires intelligence or intelligent instincts at every stage–for its survival and for its interactions with other living things.

Yet the Darwinists believe with blind faith that the vast matrix of life began from a mythical chemical soup and evolved accidentally by an infinite series of random yet perfectly sequential magical mutations. Never mind how inert matter became conscious in the first place–or became a living thing with a will to live and multiply. For this mystery, they have no explanation at all. Nor can they create even the simplest amoeba with all their advanced equipment. Thus, we will need to skip over this problem and jump ahead–way ahead–to the misguided idea of species evolution. They believe that improvements in each species come about due to genetic mutations aided by the process of natural selection. Although they offer no explanation why these mutations occur, or how genetic codes were created, their idea is that once in a blue moon an organism will gain the potential to mutate in a way that is beneficial for its survival. Since the superior mutated beings survive better than their non-mutant kin, they pass on their tendency for a particular genetic mutation to future generations, thus enabling other animals within the species to inherit a beneficial abnormal trait. Finally, after a long time, this trait is assimilated by the species as a normal inherited capability. For example, the bugs that learned to flap their mutated appendages and fly survived better than their crawling ancestors and thus created a lineage of superior flying insects.

This scenario is laughably stupid and found only in comic books. For an insect or animal to go from crawling to flying takes far more than a long series of external mutations. It would require innumerable perfectly orchestrated, internal and external mutations or, in other words, a metamorphosis of the entire organism. This change would need to be perfect and complete almost immediately, as in comic book fiction. Otherwise, the initial mutations in the organism, mutations not yet functional, would hamper rather than help its ability to survive. Therefore, organisms with mutations would die off quickly by the process of natural selection.

The way a bumblebee, housefly, or hummingbird fly is so complex that even the best minds in science combined are unable to grasp it fully, to say nothing of duplicate it. Is it logical to believe these amazing flying abilities are the result of a long series of lucky accidents? To go from a walking animal to a flying one requires many changes in brain function, instincts, digestion, nervous system, muscles, eating habits, breathing, body structure, reproductive processes and a plethora of other highly complex biological features and functions. All bodily functions would need to change immediately and perfectly, in perfect coordination of interrelationships, to accommodate new survival habits and instincts based on flying. Otherwise, even with a pair of perfectly designed, matched and fitted wings fastened to its back, the poor crawler would never get off the ground.

To imagine an aquatic species changing from breathing in water to breathing in air through a series of mutations is still more fantastic. Unless each successive mutation is immediately perfect and complete, such as happens only in comic book land, the organism would be a freak with decreased rather than increased capabilities for survival. In fact, the mutated lungs of a fish would cause it to die immediately. What would happen to the fish that are only half way between breathing water and breathing air? How would they survive to pass on their genetic abnormalities? Imagine a fish that somehow learns to breathe on land but not how to run fast or hide or hunt. How would it survive?

The misguided evolutionists offer no explanation why or how such mutations happen and why a tendency to mutate causes a species to evolve into a different, improved species. They offer no explanation how animals survive in the long intermediate stages when their mutations are not functional. They have no explanation regarding why some species have thrived abundantly in primitive, relatively simple forms, never feeling the need to improve themselves by evolving into more complex life forms. Many insects, like red ants, still crawl on the ground and are thriving without flying. Monkeys and chimps are content to survive in their own way, without computers and cars, as are alligators, bees and sharks. Every amazing instinct and ability in every animal is inconceivable in its biological complexity and the complexity of its relationships with other complex living beings. The belief that all these perfect designs, functions and interrelationships have developed by chance through beneficial mutations is an anachronism in the 21st century.

Scientists of a hundred and fifty years ago might be forgiven for believing in Darwin. Their idea of biology was extremely narrow and simplistic: a bag of blood and bile and bone tied together with bunches of nerves, blood vessels, muscles and tendons. Many educators in those days were eager to overthrow the influence of religious thinking, which they felt infringed on scientific advancement. Ironically, in their eagerness to discredit or transcend traditional thinking, which they considered unfounded, they embraced Darwin’s belief system without critical analysis. Today, with the help of sophisticated scientific research, educated and thoughtful people should regard the idea of evolution to be no better than superstition or comic book fantasy.

Darwin’s proponents, however, have effectively created a cult of blind followers within the academic community, robbing educators and students of their ability to think critically on this topic. The evolutionist mission offers a loose system of beliefs based on superficial observations of biological similarities between species. Although it’s a fact that each species shares biological traits with other species and has limited, predetermined genetic abilities to adapt in various environments, this fact provides no evidence that creatures change completely into a new species through a gradual series of chance mutations. Yet, in the name of science, “evolutionary theory” has been vigorously promoted by misguided educators everywhere for nearly a century. Although the Darwin hypothesis can’t be demonstrated on any level, many students blindly accept it at a young age because it’s promoted in classrooms and textbooks across the nation and in various media groups, such as the ones cited above.

It seems many people have accepted Darwin’s ideas for the sake of neglecting nagging questions regarding the meaning and purpose of life. Darwin’s ideas offer atheists an excuse for denying God but fall way short of actual science. Darwin’s speculations form the basis of a modern mythology that fuels dangerous cults of atheism in the academic community and the world at large.

The Vedas, a vast compendium of scriptures from ancient India, offer a more reasonable and consistent explanation regarding the origin of species. According to Vedic scriptures, such as Srimad-Bhagavatam, God, the supreme living being, creates superior living beings, known as prajapatis, and empowers them to populate various planets with various grades of species. It is not at all illogical to accept that superior beings can create progeny of equal or inferior nature through sex or other powers. It’s a scientific fact that living things create other living things. Srimad-Bhagavatam and other Vedic scriptures teach that God, the original and supreme person, has endowed each species with amazing abilities to survive and adapt in varieties of changing conditions on Earth. Vedic evidence never suggests that species evolve from chemicals and morph into new and better species through a series of accidental mutations. Great sages from every culture and every age have concluded that God is the designer and creator of all that exists. He is known as the cause of all causes and the basis of all reality. It is reasonable to accept the consensus of scriptural conclusions that the wonders of life and the cosmos were created by the omnipotent, omniscient and wonderful Supreme Personality of Godhead. It is reasonable to accept that a living organism, composed of gross and subtle matter, is animated by the consciousness of a spiritual soul, the living force.

On the other hand, it is quite illogical to believe that chemicals and chemical reactions produce life and consciousness when all practical evidence points to the opposite: chemicals and complex chemical reactions are created by living beings. Nonetheless, modern academics prefer to deny common sense logic and the wisdom of age-old spiritual traditions. They feel more comfortable believing that the majestic, infinitely complex and wondrous cosmos, with its millions of planets and species of life, evolved accidentally, after planets and galaxies were formed by an exploding chunk of dead matter, which came from nothing. Like the Big Bangers, the Darwinists recruit dishonest, indoctrinated, pay-rolled scientists to trumpet their cause. Such dishonest pseudo-scientists are unable to repair even one broken seed or egg, to say nothing of creating one, yet they wax eloquently about the origin of life on Earth. Due to false indoctrination and a bias against God and religion, many people today have come to reject common sense and timeless wisdom for a belief in cartoon fantasy. No one, not even a child, should accept comic book teachings as a substitute for common sense and real knowledge.

[Note: By way of compromise, some Christian thinkers have suggested that God creates all the species of animals and plants slowly, through gradual evolution, as the Darwinists suggest. When asked about this idea, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the world’s leading exponent of Vedic science, pointed out that since a chicken can create another chicken in a few weeks, it would be unwise to think God needs a hundred million years to do the same thing. Such compromised speculations are not supported by the Vedas, the Torah, the Koran, or the Bible.]