Ladies and Gentlemen, His Holiness the Dalai Lama:
As a child in Tibet, I was keenly curious about how things worked. When I got a toy I would play with it a bit, then take it apart to see how it was put together. As I became older, I applied the same scrutiny to a movie projector and an antique automobile.
At one point I became particularly intrigued by an old telescope, with which I would study the heavens. One night while looking at the moon I realized that there were shadows on its surface. I corralled my two main tutors to show them, because this was contrary to the ancient version of cosmology I had been taught, which held that the moon was a heavenly body that emitted its own light.
But through my telescope the moon was clearly just a barren rock, pocked with craters. If the author of that fourth-century treatise were writing today, I’m sure he would write the chapter on cosmology differently.
If science proves some belief of Buddhism wrong, then Buddhism will have to change. In my view, science and Buddhism share a search for the truth and for understanding reality. By learning from science about aspects of reality where its understanding may be more advanced, I believe that Buddhism enriches its own worldview.
Say “om,” somebody!
The contrast with that other “Holiness” (the Hitlerjugend alum) couldn’t be much sharper, could it?
I hope that the scientific bigots (and Chinese government water-carriers disguised as scientific bigots) who tried to block the Dalai Lama’s talk to the Society for Neuroscience about meditation research are appropriately ashamed of themselves. Not every religious leader is an enemy of human flourishing.