Hinduism and science

Most contemporary Hindus find no conflict between Hindu teachings and modern science, and indeed may claim that many of the findings of recent science can be found in ancient Hindu texts, philosophies and traditions, from submarines and space rockets to quantum physics. It is true that the immense timescales, universe, and sun-centred planetary system of Hindu tradition fit better with modern science than some other traditional cosmologies. Some of the accounts of creation in Hindu sacred texts seem to describe a gradual evolution of life from simplicity to complexity, and the Hindu idea of recurrent creation and destruction of the universe can be compared to theories of ‘big bangs’ and ‘big crunches’. The concept of atoms in Vaishesika philosophy can be seen as a forerunner of modern atomic theory. India has indeed made great contributions to science and mathematics since ancient times, such as the concepts of zero and infinity. However, it has to be said that concepts that sound similar do not have quite the same meaning nor were arrived at by scientific methods in the sense used today. Some contemporary scientists might query the empirical evidence for the existence of deities, eternal selves, reincarnation, karma, moksha and other basic elements of the Hindu tradition, but the rich diversity of the tradition provides much scope for flexible interpretations that can reconcile the claims of science and religion.

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Hindu Worldview Traditions

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