IN THIS ISSUE WE DEVOTE a large chunk of space to an article on archeology old bones, stone tools, broken pottery, and the like. The article says nothing about Krsna and nothing about spiritual life. Why then should we run it?

Much of the modern world operates under the notion that science gives us facts and spirituality gives us beliefs. But sometimes that notion deserves to be stood on its head. When we come to the most important questions the origin of the universe, the descent of man, the nature of mind and matter the world of science is poor in facts, rich in dogmas, taboos, superstitions, and orthodoxies. It's a world of sanctified speculations. Heretics beware you risk being professionally burned or driven out into the desert.

Well, the Vedic viewpoint is heretical. If you accept the Vedic wisdom as it is, you can take a lot of what passes for science and just chuck it out the window.

This is not to say that science is always wrong. But it's wrong often enough.

Starting on page 25, you'll find a case in point. Science has a picture of human evolution that the Vedas say is wrong. And when you look impartially at the evidence gathered but later buried by scientists themselves, even science says that science has it wrong. As it turns out, either the facts don't stand at all, or else they stand with the Vedas.

So followers of the Vedic philosophy should be confident. They need not be intimidated by charges that the Vedic view is out of line with modern scientific thought. When what science says and what the Vedas say don't match, suspect that science has it wrong. The Vedic view can withstand scientific scrutiny. And under Vedic scrutiny, ideas that are supposedly scientific may sometimes have to be sent marching off to join the tooth fairy.

We don't need to compromise, accepting Vedic knowledge only when it seems to conform with what we already know." Our material means of gathering knowledge are limited and imperfect. We cheat, we make mistakes, we fall into illusion, and our senses are imperfect. We may know a lot less than we think.

Science has its way of gathering knowledge, and the Vedic culture has a different way. The Vedic sages have access to sources of knowledge beyond those available to scientific research. Reject the Vedic version if you will but understand that by doing so, you cut yourself off from what the Vedic wisdom has to offer.

On the other hand, take the Vedas seriously, and you open yourself up to a rich source of new ideas and understandings.

-Jayadvaita Swami