robertk wrote:Here is what the Mahasi Sayadaw wrote about the story: Those who do not believe in the law of kamma and its effects and in the law of dependent origination are unable to accept that a human queen could have gone so low as to become a beetle in her next existence.
In science there is no place for rebirth and kamma. Thus this question is irrelevant to Science. It is a matter of faith in Rebirth and Kamma.
Possibly, and Steven J. Gould, might be correct that :
"The fact of evolution is as well established as anything in science (as secure as the revolution of the earth around the sun)".
(1987, p.64 )
But when evolution scientists claim that consciousness and all mental factors are merely epiphenomena of matter in the brain, and that consciousness is a product of evolution, then they are challenging Buddhist theory.
And of course when Richard Dawkins says that in a universe governed by materialistic evolution (as he claims our universe to be) "some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won't find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice."
(1995, pp.132-133) he is right: a materialistic universe might well behave that way.
Except that as far as I can see, in a universe governed by several factors, including kamma, then people are going to get hurt or have good fortune and this is all due to rhyme and reason and the fact that good kamma gives good results and bad kamma give bad results.
Who is right? If, as Gould puts it, "humans are a widely improbable evolutionary event"
(1999, pp.206) and animals taking rebirth as humans, or vice versa, are merely parables, good for scaring children or comforting old ladies, then of course we Buddhists should man up and face the fact that: either the scriptures of Theravada Buddhism are filled with nonsense, or even, if we think the texts really reflect his thinking, that the Buddha was a tad on the deluded side.