The Dalai Lama on Science and Religion

Daniel Oberhaus writing for Motherboard:

This either/or approach to the world, where one considers phenomena through either a scientific or religious lens, has colored scientific inquiry ever since Galileo was placed under house arrest for his heretical (but scientifically accurate) views. Its legacy can still be seen today in the vehement spats between religiously motivated climate deniers and the militaristic guardians of science known as the New Atheists.

Yet what if there was a different approach to the world, which didn’t require planting oneself firmly in either the science or religion camp? This was the question posed by Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, as he presided over a two day conference on quantum physics and Madhyamaka philosophy in New Delhi last week. And according to His Holiness, figuring out a way to reconcile scientific and religious philosophies may prove to be essential to the future of our species.

I’m happy to see the Dalai Lama advocating for the reconciliation of science and religion. The world has set up this false dichotomy of religion v science that has only produced harm.

The rest of the article is a great, if confusing, read about the specific parallels between quantum physics and the Buddhist philosophy of Madhyamaka:

What is more, in both cases, the explanation for the two truths is remarkably similar in both quantum mechanics and Madhyamaka philosophy. In the case of quantum mechanics, entanglement is a quantifiable expression of Nagarjuna’s notion of dependent origination—the state of a particular quantum particle cannot be expressed because it is dependent on the quantum system as a whole, much like Nagarjuna’s phenomena which cannot have their own inherent essences because their existence is dependent on the conditions which brought them forth.

Yeah. If that’s your kind of thing, check out the whole article. Good stuff.