This is a continuation of a conversation between His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and a guest, Dr. Christian Hauser, a psychiatrist, that took place in Stockholm in September 1973.
Srila Prabhupada: So that Nobel-prizewinning scientist claimed life comes from four chemicals. But when he was offered these four chemicals and asked "Will you be able to produce life?" suddenly he was not certain. This is cheating.
Dr. Hauser: He's jumping to conclusions, one can say. But not cheating.
Srila Prabhupada: Yes, he is cheating. Because he cannot produce life actually he cannot but he's lecturing as though he could produce life from chemicals.
Dr. Hauser: Well, he may have combined the proteins that life seems made of, though he may not have produced real life.
Srila Prabhupada: But we are concerned with real life. We are concerned with real life. Here is what I say to this great scientist: "If you can produce one real, living being not even a human being, just one small ant then I shall think you are successful. But that you cannot do. So why do you talk nonsense? 'Life comes from these four chemicals.' You are cheating."
Why should the scientist have hedged "That I cannot say"? He's not confident that life comes from chemicals. That means cheating. Many of these so-called scientists are doing this. They're not confident about their theories, and yet they go on giving long, long lectures. And people are such fools that they go on listening. Andha yathandhair upaniyamanah: blind followers following blind leaders into the ditch.
Dr. Hauser: Hmm. Yes.
Srila Prabhupada: But these so-called scientists will assert, "Well, as yet we have not produced life from chemicals but we are trying, and we will do it in the future." "In the future." Anyone can promise the future. But you have heard the saying "Trust no future, however pleasant."
How can these scientists dare talk about producing life in the future? There is no history that anyone has produced life from chemicals. In the past they could not do it. At present they cannot do it. So what is the guarantee that in the future they shall do it?
What do you think that life is a product of chemicals? Do you mean to say life is a product of mere chemicals?
Dr. Hauser: That is what I've been taught, yes. About the evolution of the earth and all the different stages of life.
Srila Prabhupada: Do you think that's a fact?
Dr. Hauser: It's not a fact. I don't know whether it's a fact. I…but that's what I've been taught.
Srila Prabhupada: Then that means currently you are illusioned. You are not confident, but still you accept that theory. This is illusion.
Dr. Hauser: But…yes…but…
Srila Prabhupada: So you should apply your reason. From practical experience you should ask yourself, Is life produced from matter or is matter produced from life?
Life cannot be produced from matter. In the Vedanta-sutra it is said, janmady asya yatah: "The Absolute Truth is that from whom, or from which, everything emanates." Now, is this Absolute Truth a living being or a dead stone? The Srimad-Bhagavatam then informs us, anvayad itaratas carthesv abhijnah: "This Absolute Truth must be cognizant." Abhijna cognizant. In other words, if I can say, "I have created all these things within this room, " that means I must be cognizant. And how can cognizance reside in dead matter? The creator must be a living being. The origin of life must be a living being.
Where is the evidence that life has ever come from matter? Is there any evidence in history?
Dr. Hauser: No, but as we know, the evolution of life has gone through different stages of…how do you say…
Srila Prabhupada: Darwin's theory. Are you referring to Darwin's theory?
Dr. Hauser: Yes, yes.
Srila Prabhupada: That is all nonsense. Darwin was a number-one nonsense. Yes. A rascal. He has confused the whole world.
Dr. Hauser: Hmm. Why?
Srila Prabhupada: His idea about the evolution of matter. Matter cannot evolve. That is not possible.
Dr. Hauser: But evolution of life…
Srila Prabhupada: What do you mean by "life"? Life is different from matter. Life is a different energy spirit. That is what I am saying. Life is the origin of matter. So the evolution is not of the matter.
God, the original life, has already created all these many gradations of material species, or forms, from amoeba to ant to antelope to human. "Evolution" means simply this: Once we living souls fall into this material realm, then according to your karma the way we act nature awards us forms that are just suitable.
Act like a relatively civilized human, and you go on receiving human bodies. Act like a dog or a hog and you receive the form of a dog or a hog. And yet even if you degrade yourself into those lower species, by God's grace and nature's law you then "evolve": upward through the millions of species, lifetime after lifetime, millions of births and deaths, until at last you regain a human form.
This human form such a rare opportunity. Only in this human form can you realize God. You can act godly and then at life's end go back to live with God. Only in the human form can you be one with this horrible process of devolving an evolving through the various material forms. So this is the real meaning of "evolution"" Regain your original, spiritual form. Go back home, back to Godhead, back to the spiritual world.
So the "evolution" is not of the matter, but of the life, the inner soul. That Darwin did not know. Therefore I call Darwin a number-one nonsense.