This year, 2009, is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, credited with founding the theory of evolution by natural selection. It is also the 150th anniversary of the publication of his book The Origin of Species. Darwin was a theology student who never graduated from university, never got a Ph.D., and never worked as a professional scientist. He was an amateur naturalist. Nevertheless, his books and papers came to the attention of the scientific world, and became quite influential.
I spent Darwin’s birthday (February 12) giving a lecture against Darwin in Copenhagen, Denmark. An abridged version of my book Forbidden Archeology, which documents archaeological evidence that contradicts the Darwinian evolutionary account of human origins, has been published in the Danish language. Many years ago, a friend of mine jokingly said to me that perhaps I am a reincarnation of Charles Darwin, and I have had to take birth again to correct my mistake. I thought it was funny, so I started using the line in my lectures, including the one in Copenhagen.
On the two evenings before my lecture in Copenhagen, I was in Aarhus, Denmark’s second largest city, giving lectures at the University of Aarhus. Some professors at the university were very upset that I had been allowed to speak there. This had come to the attention of one of the Aarhus newpapers, the Aarhus Stiftstidende, one of Denmark’s largest. So they ran a big article about me, with a headline asking, “Is This Man Dangerous?” One of the professors was quoted as saying I was. But the article also quoted me as saying a university should be a place for the free exchange of ideas. The theory of evolution should not have a monopoly in the education system. Students should be exposed to some opposing ideas. Apparently, students felt the same way. My lectures at the university were packed with students. I talked for about an hour and then opened things for discussion. The discussion sessions lasted longer than the lecture. I was very pleased with the turnout and the kinds of questions that were asked.
After the lecture that I gave on forbidden archaeology on Darwin’s actual birthday in Copehagen, an archaeologist from the University of Copenhagen tried to raise some doubts about the evidence I had printed for extreme human antiquity. The objections he raised were typical of those raised by other evolutionists. All he could really do was give a long series of possible reasons why the human bones and artifacts I talked about could be younger than the strata in which they were found. For example, perhaps there were animal burrows through which artifacts came down from higher, more recent layers to lower, older layers. Or maybe there was a fissure. Or maybe this, maybe that. I pointed out that this is not a very scientific way in which to proceed, given that the discoverers of the bones and artifacts had considered such possibilities and ruled them out. I suggested that if he wanted to raise such doubts, he should be able to demonstrate that the things he mentioned actually were true of the sites. For example, if he claimed it is possible that an artifact or bone slipped into some ancient layer of rock through an animal burrow, he should be able to show that at the actual site there was in fact some animal burrow penetrating from the surface into the older layer of rock, at the place in the rock where the artifact was found. That would be an actual scientific objection. It is not enough to raise possibilities. Anything is possible. To make my point, I said, “For example, it is possible that you are a robot programmed by some skeptics’ society to play back a recording.” That got a supportive laugh from the audience.
Anyways, although I disagree with Darwin on some points, I agree with him on others. Some of his insights are in some ways similar to the insights on the origin of species that I get from the ancient Sanskrit writings of India, which I have applied to the origin of the human species in my latest book Human Devolution: A Vedic Alternative to Darwin’s Theory. In his Origin of Species, Darwin was arguing against the Christian doctrine of special creation, which holds that God individually creates each species. This implies that each species should be designed in a unique and different manner. But Darwin took note of the common anatomical features of living things that suggested they all came from some common ancestor. For example, if we look in detail at the skeletons of humans, other mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and fish we see they all have limbs with five digits. This suggests a common ancestor.
My ideas about alternatives to evolution come from the ancient Sanskrit writings of India. These writings also claim that the forms of all living things come from a common ancestor. According to Darwin, the common ancestor was some tiny single-celled organism, the simplest form of life. But according to the ancient Sanskrit writings, the first living thing in the material universe was not the simplest but the most complex. This first living thing is called Brahma. He is the first demigod.
According to Darwin, species are produced from his version of the common ancestor by a process of reproduction with modification. The same is true of the account of the origin of species found in the ancient Sanskrit writings of India. Brahma, the first demigod, is the common ancestor of all living things. He produces from his own mind and body other demigods, called prajapatis, or generators of population. By their reproductive activities with demigoddesses, these prajapatis produce the forms of the plants and animals we observe on our level of reality. Once produced, they go on to reproduce themselves. These bodies are vehicles for souls who have fallen from the spiritual world because of misuse of their God-given free will.
Darwin was not completely hostile to the concept of God. In his book Origin of Species, the actual question he tried to answer was this: Did God create each species separately, or did God create one (maybe a few) species in the beginning and then let them evolve? His answer was that “the Creator” breathed life into one or a few and let the rest evolve. So I agree with Darwin that God has something to do with the origin of the life forms we see around us. But I disagree with the evolution part of his answer.
I do, however, accept a different kind of evolution: the evolution of the conscious self, or soul, if you like that word, through the various kinds of material bodies in the course of reincarnation. In the beginning, when conscious selves first come to the world of matter, they are provided with a whole range of vehicles to accommodate conscious selves with different desires and qualifications. Each conscious self is placed in the vehicle it most deserves. We notice, however, that we inhabit these vehicles for only a limited amount of time. What happens then? There is something called transmigration, or reincarnation. If a conscious self maintains material desires, it remains in the world of matter, and is placed in another material body, according to its karma, the totality of its desires. In the cycle of reincarnation, it is possible for a self placed in a more limiting vehicle (the body of a plant or animal) to gradually improve its position, lifetime after lifetime, until it receives a human vehicle. This is a kind of spiritual evolution. The vehicles, or bodies, do not evolve one from the other. Rather one evolves through the vehicles until one gets the one with the most capabilities, the human vehicle. And in the human vehicle it can, if it properly uses the human vehicle, become free from the whole cycle of birth and death, and return to the level of the cosmos dominated by pure consciousness.
I’ve explained all this in great detail, in my book Human Devolution: A Vedic Alternative to Darwin’s Theory. We do not evolve up from matter, as Darwin believed. Instead, we devolve, or come down from the level of pure consciousness and are placed in vehicles, bodies, designed for us by higher intelligence. We can evolve through the different kinds of vehicles, until we finally get a human vehicle, in which it is possible for us to re-evolve back to our original position as beings of pure consciousness, existing in harmony with the source of all conscious beings and all other conscious beings.
I wonder where Charles Darwin is today in that process. Somehow I have the feeling that after his life in England, he went down into an animal vehicle. Perhaps that of an ape or monkey. And now he is evolving back up through the species, until he will once again inhabit a human vehicle. I hope he makes better use of it than he did the last time.
Michael A. Cremo is author, with Richard Thompson, of the underground classic Forbidden Archeology: The Hidden History of the Human Race. His latest book is Human Devolution: A Vedic Alternative to Darwin’s Theory (see www.humandevolution.com).