Why does ISKCON refute Darwin’s theory of evolution?

My answer to Why does ISKCON refute Darwin's theory of evolution?

Answer by Vijayendra Mohanty:

The word refute means this in the dictionary:

prove (a statement or theory) to be wrong or false; disprove.

It is safe to say that neither ISKCON, nor any other school of creationism, has ever “refuted” any aspect of Darwinian evolution. They have provided no evidence to overthrow the overwhelming scientific consensus on the theory of evolution by natural selection. They have never proposed any credible alternate scientific theory that would serve as an explanation of life as we know it.

Darwinian evolution on the other hand, has been consistently and repeatedly been reinforced with evidence from fossils and genetic research. No scientific theory exists that can serve as a respectable replacement for evolution by natural selection. It is one of the most robust accomplishments of modern science.

What ISKCON does do is reject Darwinian evolution. That’s alright. India, where ISKCON came from, as well as America, where it settled, are both free countries and people are allowed to have their own opinions. Srila Prabhupada certainly had very strong opinions regarding Darwin. Here is a bit[1] from a page from the book “Life Comes From Life”.

That’s hardly scientific. The thing is, assertions can be very easily made. Whether or not they should be taken seriously depends on how much evidence supports them. Genes exist and they support the Darwinian model. Fossil evidence points in the same direction. But there is no evidence of spirit or anything beyond the physical reality that we all dwell in. In fact, the preposterous nature of what Srila Prabhupada is saying here will be readily apparent to anyone who has ever gone to school and knows even a little bit about how evolution works. I mean, look at me. I am no scientist!

Since the questioner expressed an interest in Hinduism, I should point out that there are aspects of Indian culture and civilisation that very much deserve your attention. India has a rich tradition of philosophy that stretches back to ancient times.

ISKCON, for some reason, went to America and became Abrahamic in flavour. It began to have the same kind of exclusivist mindset that defines Christianity and Islam, to the extent that ISKCON even requires you to swear a kind of oath of allegiance. They preach and push Gitas just like evangelical Christians preach and push Bibles. In recent times, they have even started allying themselves with discredited creationists such as Michael Behe[2] and publishing books[3] by him.

Do I hate ISKCON? No. I love the snacks their temples sell. And the art that comes out of there makes me cry tears of joy. Excellent work there!

Footnotes

[1] PrabhupadaBooks.com Srila Prabhupada's Original Books

[2] Michael Behe – RationalWiki

[3] Rethinking Darwin

Why does ISKCON refute Darwin's theory of evolution?