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Dalai Lama wins latest Templeton Prize

Dalai Lama

In “Darwin Critic Wins the Templeton Prize; Congratulations to Dalai Lama” (Evolution News & Views, March 29, 2012), David Klinghoffer notes,

The Dalai Lama has spent some serious time studying up on evolutionary theory and talking about it with scientists. He casts a respectful but markedly critical eye on Darwinian science and scientism.

One wonders if the Templeton people had actually read his book.

Here’s a review that unpacks the anti-Darwin stuff in detail.

“On the whole,” he writes, “the Darwinian theory of evolution…gives us a fairly coherent account of the evolution of human life on earth.” Something about that sentence prompts you to expect the coming “But” or “However,” and the Dalai Lama doesn’t disappoint. Philosophically and scientifically, he finds a variety of reasons for dissatisfaction.

He sure isn’t alone.

After a discussion of how natural selection operates on genetic mutations, he writes that it may be a mistake to think of mutations as random: “that they are purely random strikes me as unsatisfying. It leaves open the question of whether this randomness is best understood as an objective feature of reality or better understood as indicating some kind of hidden causality.”

The last Templeton winner was a guy fronting the multiverse, so … maybe they are back on their meds now?


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