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Buddhist Biology


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Table of Contents

Table of Contents ; Chapter 1: A Science Sutra ; Chapter 2: Non-Self (Anatman) ; Chapter 3: Impermanence (Anitya) ; Chapter 4: Connectedness (Pratitya-Samutpada) ; Chapter 5: Engagement, Part 1 (Dukkha) ; Chapter 6: Engagement, Part 2 (Karma) ; Chapter 7: Meaning (Existential Biobuddhism?) ; Appendix

About the Author

David P. Barash, PhD is Professor of Psychology at the University of Washington. An evolutionary biologist by training, he has been involved in the development of sociobiology, and is the author or co-author of 29 books.


"I'm skeptical of attempts to reconcile religion with science. At worst the two are incompatible. At best the reconciliation seems superfluous: why bother, why not just go straight for the science? But if you must essay this difficult reconciliation, Buddhism is surely religion's best shot, at least in the atheistic version espoused by David Barash. And the task is an uphill one, so you'd better pick a very good writer to attempt it. David Barash, by any standards, is certainly a very, very good writer." -- Richard Dawkins, author of The Selfish Gene and The God Delusion
"Most atheists turn from religion with emotions between disdain and relief. Not so David Barash. He is convinced that traditional Western religions fall because they are refuted by modern science, especially in the evolutionary realm of which he is a master. Nevertheless, in Buddhism he finds deep insights about human nature and our obligations to others and to our environment. Barash is sometimes wrong, and sometimes even irritating. But as this provocative and stimulating book shows, he is never boring." -- Michael Ruse, Professor of Philosophy at Florida State University and Editor of the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Darwin and Evolution

"All who are motivated to search for life's meaning will be stimulated and guided by David Barash's exploration of similarities and differences between Buddhism as a philosophy and modern evolutionary biology. He demonstrates that combining modern biology with that ancient philosophy can yield a deep and satisfying foundation for enjoying a world that does not care about us." -- Gordon Orians, Former President of the Ecological Society of America

Mentioned in the Wall Street Journal.

"Barash's volume is a fascinating personal manifesto, full of humor and intellectual historical references that mark an exploration of Buddhism from the perspective of a trained scientist embedded in Western culture." --
The Quarterly Review of Biology
"The discourse on Buddhism and science has mainly engaged the former with physics, psychology, cognitive science, and neuroscience. Trained as a biologist, Barash brings a new perspective with a focus on ecology and evolution." --
Religious Studies Review

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