A new book by ISKCON scientist presents the Vedic view point on origin of life
SINCE DARWIN'S THEORY emerged, the controversial battle between evolutionists and creationists has raged on. At the crux of the argument is the demand for proof. Just as evolutionists have used archeological findings to bolster their theory, creationists have been using scientific methods to authenticate biblically based claims. These days' creationists aren't the only circles trying to prove faith.
Author and research er Michael A. Cremo (Drutakarma Dasa, pictured above ) has devoted the past eighteen years to uncovering proof. His first book, Forbidden Archeology, co-authored with Richard L.Thompson(Sadaputa Dasa), presented archeological evidences that dated humans so far back in time as to call into question t he Darwinian account of human origins. So the question arises that if did not evo lve fr om apes, whe re did we come from?
Human Devolution is Michael Cremo's definitive answer to that question. Drawing upon a wealth of research into archeology, genetics, reincarnation memories, out of body experiences, parapsychology, cross cultural cosmology, and the search for extra terrestrial intelligence ' the author presents are freshing perspective on human origins according to the ancient philosophy of India.
The current volume is a sequel to the first in Series – Forbidden Archeology. For preparing the first volume the authors studied scientific publications of last 150 years and the result was massive number of cases of archeological evidences for extreme human antiquity that turned up during eight years of their research . Forbidden Archeo logy went to press with over nine hundred pages . Because of the huge volume of the book the authors were not able to present their ideas about an alternative to current theories of human orig ins. Moreover they wanted that the first book create an environment for discussion about origin of humans.
In the introduction to the book Drutakarma Dasa presents the respon se of the scientific community to Forbidden Archeo logy and outlines the substance of Human Devo lution. Forbidden Archeology was widely reviewed in the professional journals of archeology, anthropology, and history of science. The complete text s of these reviews, along with related correspondence were included in another book Forbidden Archeology's Impact which attracted its own set of reviews. The very fact that the reviews appeared in respected academic and scientific journals represents an acknowledgement that the Vedic critique of Darwinian Theory of human evolution represented by Forbidden Archeology is a genuine part of contemporary science and scholarship. Forbidden Archeology also got positive reactions form Christian creationists, and some Islamic and Native American authors.
The first chapter of Human Devolution is aptly titled, 'Ascended Apes or Fallen Angles?'. The chapter opens brilliantly with a description of one of history's most famous debate between Thomas Henry Huxley and Samuel Wilberforce, Bishop of Oxford. The topic was Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. Before the debate, Huxley wrote to his wife, "By next Friday evening they will all be convinced that they are monkeys."
And the same happened. In their opening skirmish, the apes prevailed over the angels. Within a few decades, most of the educated persons of England, and the world, whatever their religious or cultural heritages, would accept that human bodies were not direct creations of God in His image but were instead the modified bodies of apes.
This chapter, however, later makes the point that some scientists and scholars are willing to consider alternatives to the western scientific world view as candidates for truth For them, belief in such world views is no longer taboo. For example, in Journal of Consciousness Studies (1994 v.l, no.2), William Barnard, in speaking about the world's wisdom traditions, advocated "a scholarship that is willing and able to affirms that the metaphysical models … of these different spiritual traditions are serious contenders of truth, a scholarship that realizes that these religious worlds are not dead corpses that we can dissect and analyze at a safe distance, but rather are living, vital bodies of knowledge and practice that have potential to change our taken-for-granted notions."
In conclusion of the chapter, Drutakarma Dasa states: " …. When this evidence is taken into account, it would appear that human beings are not modified apes who arose on this planet by a process of physical evolution. Instead we are fallen angles, beings that came to this planet by a process of devolution from spiritual forms that preexisted in another dimension of reality."
Overview of chapter two that gives a review of the archeological evidences of extreme human antiquity from Forbidden Archeology.
Michael A. Cremo (Drutakarma Dasa) is a disciple of Srfla Prabhupada and research associate of the Bhaktivedanta Institute, specializing in the history and philosophy of science. He is a member of the World Archeological Congress, The European Association of Archeologists, the History of Science Society, and the Philosophy of Science Association.