My take on the God debate

I’ve been hearing a lot of back and forth on the radio (CBC Radio One) about the whole creationism vs. science debate. “Intelligent design” versus atheism. That whole boondoogle. The latest round of musing came Sunday when Christian scientist Dr. Francis Collins was on Tapestry and kept talking about how “God exists outside of Nature”, a phrase which makes absolutely no sense to me.

What does Buddhism have to say about it? Or my understanding/interpretation of it anyway? This has been percolating around my heart/mind for a while and I think I can now express it.

Did God create the universe so humans could worship Him? This question makes as much sense as the following: Do I grow my toenails so they can worship me?

Humans and God (or the Absolute, or the Ground of Being) are indivisible. Saying that one created the other is ridiculous. Thus, we must rely on scientific evidence (evolution!) to explain how our universe has gotten to where it is today. Evolution is the truth of the relative frame of reference. As to the truth of the absolute frame of reference, I cannot express it.

As to why, I doubt God has any more idea why he/she/it manifested humanity than I have as to why I manifested my toenails or my eyeballs. It’s what I do.

The absolute manifests the relative. That’s what it does.

Here’s the radio show description from

Sunday, February 18, 2007, 2:00 p.m.

Dr. Francis Collins lives in both the scientific and the religious worlds. He’s a leading geneticist; in fact, he was the head of the Human Genome Project. The project mapped the code of DNA – which Collins called the “first glimpse of our own instruction book, previously known only to God.” He is also a believer- not just in God – but in a God who hears prayers, who cares about souls – and who wants nothing more than a relationship with each one of us. Sunday on Tapestry, host Mary Hynes talks with Francis Collins about his journey from atheism to belief.

How can “God” not be in relationship with each one of us? He/she/it is none other than each one of us.

As it says in the Identity of Relative and Absolute:

Each and all, the subjective and objective spheres are related and at the same time independent.  Related, yet working differently, though each keeps it own place.

You could say “God and Nature” or “Spirituality and Science”. It’s all good.

It’s all good.

2 thoughts on “My take on the God debate

  1. I’ve been listening to Bob Thurman’s audiobook ‘The Jewel Tree of Tibet.’
    In it, he speaks of karma and bodhicitta as an evolutionary force where awareness of the awakened mind, along with positive action and aspiration toward cultivating that awareness result in this “precious human birth.”

    Thurman says this much more clearly and eloquently, of course, but the general idea
    (IMO) is that we are human because at some lower state we recognized we could do more good with soft skin and opposable thumbs than scales and fangs and that all phenomena is a result of an endless movement toward (and away from) the “bliss-void-indivisible.”

    Anyway, what you said, “It’s all good.”

    a little more Thurman on evolution

Comments are closed.