Does Hinduism believe in evolution?

Hinduism is not a person. Some argue that it is not even a religion. It is however, an overarching umbrella term for a whole collection of philosophies and ideologies. Some of these are actually at odds with each other regarding the nature of reality.

People have agency. They can believe or not believe in things. Hinduism, as I just clarified, is not a person and hence cannot believe in anything. It can however contain information which may be believed by those who practice Hinduism.

It is useful to note that every claim regarding Hinduism being fundamentally compatible with evolution has come about after the widespread acceptance of the theory of evolution as propounded by Charles Darwin. To Hinduism’s merit, it has not categorically denied evolution like some other religions have do. Instead, in keeping with its tradition of valuing intelligence, Hinduism has found ways of saying that we have always known and accepted evolution.

And it is true that the idea of reincarnation into “higher” life forms and the sequence of Vishnu’s avatars can be seen as vaguely corresponding to the picture presented by evolution. But this is at best an outward similarity.

The scientific theory of evolution has very specific boundaries. These boundaries have been defined over years by processes of observation and experimentation. It is certain things and it is not certain things. And one of the things it is not is an account of the soul’s progress through multiple lifetimes.

#hinduism, #evolution, #science