As per western model of human evolution, modern humans are more advanced than our ancestors thousands and millions years ago. Then how could our ancestors could have built up such a massive literature of Vedas, Puranas, Upanishads with knowledge of everything if they are considered to be primitive by western models of evolution?

  • There are multiple western models of evolution, which one are you talking about? Most of these are linear, some are cyclic. The cyclic ones come close to our history. Commented May 31, 2016 at 15:58
  • @AmitSaxena I'm saying about Darwin's theory of evolution, which says that first was a single cell organism which evolved into multicellular beings and humans evolved from apes Commented May 31, 2016 at 16:17
  • Suppose that the knowledge we have now somehow gets preserved upto next creation. Then if our ancestor of that creation get that knowledge isn't that advanced... similar is knowledge of Vedas and Vedantas... They are eternal...
    – Tezz
    Commented Jun 1, 2016 at 0:59
  • @user5155835 All that human evolving from ape business is just a theory. We had a vanar sena, essentially intelligent monkeys, which fits nowhere in such cooked up theories. Commented Jun 1, 2016 at 8:50

2 Answers 2


Darwin's theory of evolution states that there is a physical chain of birth from amoeba to man, meaning your great^great^^100-grandfather was a single cell organism.

Whereas padma purana mentions there are 8.4 million 'species' :

jalaja nava-laksani sthavara laksa-vimsati krmayo rudra-sankhyakah
paksinam dasa-laksanam trimsal-laksani pasavah catur-laksani manusah

900,000 species of aquatics
2,000,000 species of plants
1,100,000 species of insects/worms/reptiles
1,000,000 species of birds
3,000,000 species of animals
400,000 species of humans

Note - this definition of species is different from modern one that implies reproducible offspring.

We believe that each soul migrates through one of these 84 lakh bodies, until it reaches human form when it can either obtain mukti, or fall back in samsara (either in higher worlds from satya-svarga-loka or in lower worlds from atala-patala-loka).

There are 3 types of knowledge :

  • facts perceived by senses (pratyaksha)
  • inferences based on previous facts perceived by brain (anumana)
  • knowledge gained from shastras/vedas (shabdam)

In our own experience, we know that the first two are fallible and prone to error. Whereas shabdam has never been wrong so far and will never be because it is apaurusheya (not created by anyone).

In modern theory of evolution, there are 2 knowledge types - facts & inferences :

  • facts - DNA resemblance between apes & humans, gene mutation, fossil records
  • inference - amoeba's great^n-grandon son had features of fish, whose great^n-grandson had features of ape, whose great^n-grandson is now human

The facts cannot be argued, but the inference can. I can make another inference that the atma/soul migrates from one lower form to another in each birth, just like a student going from 1st grade to 12th. The curriculum (DNA) is very close between 1st grade (amoeba) & 2nd grade (fish), or 11th grade(ape) and 12th (human), otherwise students cannot understand the new syllabus easily. Within each grade, there are many subjects and specialties that students can adapt to (gene mutation) to based on their environment (natural selection) and the best students get the highest marks, while others are demoted to lower grade (survival of fittest).

It is common knowledge that science deals with physical matters, while religion deals with spirituality. So most inferences that western theories make are centered around the body, because science only accepts first 2 types of knowledge (senses and intuition) while eastern theories are centered around soul, so they accept the 3rd type of knowledge (vedas).

In short, Darwin came pretty close to figuring out the spiritual theory of evolution. He himself mentions in the landmark Origin of Species book that his works are speculative in nature. But atheists nowadays have used him as the mascot to push their agendas.

  • So, what do you want to say? Is there any connection between them? Commented Jun 1, 2016 at 15:52
  • Isn't that clear from what I said ? Vedas say there is spiritual evolution where soul migrates from one body (ape) to another body (man). Darwin says there is physical evolution where one body (ape) gives birth to another body(man). The progression of bodies is similar in both, but the method is different.
    – ram
    Commented Jun 1, 2016 at 22:01
  • so you're saying that we've really physically evolved from apes? Commented Jun 2, 2016 at 5:47
  • what ? that is the exact opposite of what i'm saying
    – ram
    Commented Jun 2, 2016 at 14:10
  • 1
    This is the best answer I have ever read about Evolution in Hinduism. However, how Vedas are superior to Pratyaksha and Anumana? Or do Hindu Philosophies accept Sabda to be more authentic than Pratyaksha and Anumana because those philosophies not only says soul exists but also soul can be realized? Commented Oct 9, 2018 at 16:13

Firstly, Darwinian evolution occurs at a scale of millions of years, whereas the Vedas, Puranas, etc. are dated within the last 5000 years. There is no suggestion of any significant evolutionary transformation in humans in the last 5 millennia. However, this is also the answer to your question-- Darwinian evolution is at a larger timescale than the knowledge of our ancestors.

Secondly, it is surely a stretch to claim that this literature had a knowledge of everything. The texts you speak of describe rituals, philosophy and practices that were enlightened when they were first conceived, but can hardly be said to be accurate in the 21st century.

I hope you do not mean to treat mythology as history, and claim that a vanar sena can be legitimately fitted into our past as @Amit Saxena suggests.

  • 2
    vedas/puranas are NOT dated within the last 5000 years. it only seems so because written language came about then. Vedas are timeless. The Hindu time scale is much larger than any Western/Darwinian theory. Itihasas and Puranas have specific dates. If you think 'mythology' is imaginary stories, you're wrong.
    – ram
    Commented Jun 9, 2016 at 19:27
  • @ram: Sure, if you follow a literal interpretation of Hindu texts, then I partly agree with your answer-- both the models cannot be reconciled and one of them must be inaccurate. Darwinian evolution makes its claims based on a significant amount of evidence, such a fossil remains and studies on existing organisms.
    – Jedi
    Commented Jun 9, 2016 at 19:59
  • 5
    like i mentioned, evidence (pratyaksham) is one thing, inference (anumanam) is a completely different thing. both are fallible. yet, nobody is refuting the evidence in case of evolution. all i'm saying is that the inference based upon the evidence is wrong.
    – ram
    Commented Jun 11, 2016 at 5:20

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