Astus wrote:Buddhism explains that the true goal of every being is happiness and they are confused by the three poisons. Evolution says that the primary instincts and the meaning of all life forms are self-preservation and reproduction.
I don't quite see the incompatibilty here. The primary instincts ARE the three poisons. So Darwin and Buddha agree on the main motivators for the behavior of organisms.
There is nothing in Darwin, moreover, which rules out the possibility of beings developing the capacity to free themselves from mere instinct -- through reason, or through moral, philosophical and religious systems. Indeed, many Darwinists and Darwin-influenced philosophers have held views which echo the Buddhist teachings.
Here is Thomas Huxley, for instance:
"The practice of that which is ethically best -- what we call goodness or virtue -- involves a course of conduct which, in all respects, is opposed to that which leads to success in the cosmic struggle for existence. In place of ruthless self-assertion, it demands self-restraint; in place of thrusting aside, or treading down, all competitors, it requires that the individual shall not merely respect, but shall help his fellows; its influence is directed, not so much to the survival of the fittest, as to the fitting of as many as possible to survive".
And here is George Williams:
"Huxley viewed the cosmic process as an enemy that must be combated. I take a similar but more extreme position, based both on the more extreme view of natural selection as a process for maximizing selfishness, and on the longer list of vices now attributable to the enemy."
Dharma, likewise, is said to "go against the grain" of samsaric existence.
Not to mention the various strands of utilitarianism, from Mill to Singer to Sam Harris. If anything, we might say that evolutionary theory has confirmed that the Buddha was onto something, at least when it comes to the analysis of behavior.
The cosmology and time-sequencing, I agree, present some divergences.