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The evolutionary theory as a science is different from a religious doctrine both in its theoretical thrust and in actual practice. Considering the evolutionary phenomena and the Buddhist doctrine of interdependent origination, however, many examples of homology and analogy can be found in terms of the mutual relationship and inter-dependency that occur among living beings in biosphere. The current major theory of evolution belongs to the field of sociobiology, which is based on molecular biology that made significant progress in the 1970s and 1980s. The advance in molecular genetics including epigenetics, systems biology and the science of complexity has offered new insights on biological evolution. The 21st century view on evolution takes into account holistic and synthetic interactions in biological systems, contrasting it with reductional approach of sociobiological study based on genetic determinism. The Buddhist view on life and biological evolution includes a process without reality. All living beings are in the sea of karma that appears as intentional acts and the law of moral causation. Their actions are conducted as their own, their inheritance, their congenital cause, their kinsman, their refuge, thus all beings belong to the chain of a mutually interdependent web of cause and effect. According to Buddhist doctrine, there is only “dependent arising” in the world similar to the web of life in ecological system and a living being is no more than an interdependent being. In this context, Buddhist doctrine of interdependent origination is quite compatible with the 21st century scientific view of evolution.


The evolutionary theory as a science is different from a religious doctrine both in its theoretical thrust and in actual practice. Considering the evolutionary phenomena and the Buddhist doctrine of interdependent origination, however, many examples of homology and analogy can be found in terms of the mutual relationship and inter-dependency that occur among living beings in biosphere. The current major theory of evolution belongs to the field of sociobiology, which is based on molecular biology that made significant progress in the 1970s and 1980s. The advance in molecular genetics including epigenetics, systems biology and the science of complexity has offered new insights on biological evolution. The 21st century view on evolution takes into account holistic and synthetic interactions in biological systems, contrasting it with reductional approach of sociobiological study based on genetic determinism. The Buddhist view on life and biological evolution includes a process without reality. All living beings are in the sea of karma that appears as intentional acts and the law of moral causation. Their actions are conducted as their own, their inheritance, their congenital cause, their kinsman, their refuge, thus all beings belong to the chain of a mutually interdependent web of cause and effect. According to Buddhist doctrine, there is only “dependent arising” in the world similar to the web of life in ecological system and a living being is no more than an interdependent being. In this context, Buddhist doctrine of interdependent origination is quite compatible with the 21st century scientific view of evolution.