Oddball

Chapter 18, Evolution, Darwin, and Zhuangzi

Recommended Posts

I just finished reading chapter 18, and if you ask me, it sounds remarkably similar to Darwin's ideas on evolution. Zhuangzi's comment that man descended from the horse obviously deviates from Darwin's thinking. But the general idea of one species evolving into another species seems to be there, more than 2,000 years before the English scientist wrote his famous book. I can't believe I have never heard about this before. Zhuangzi even starts with water. 

Edited by Oddball
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

can you provide a link to that section or better post it here.  thanks.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chinese system does not have one species turning into another but rather the building blocks leading to more and more complex life forms. Humans can be steady as a rock or fierce as a tiger meaning humans inherit all the energies that came first and are the latest addition. Humans may not be the last species to come into being. 

 

All things come from no thing beyond conceptualized thinking. We are all related plant, mineral, animal and so on and only exist  in relation of what is. this means what you see is also you.

 

Western Science is concerned with earth stuff, what we see and come up with a theory of things that have already happened so it is very limited in scope.  Life just is. quantum physics lines up with Taoist knowledge.

 

 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Wu Ming Jen said:

 quantum physics lines up with Taoist knowledge.

 

 

 

Don't say that!  Brian's ego will explode from over-inflation.

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, dawei said:

can you provide a link to that section or better post it here.  thanks.

 

It's at the end of chapter 18. Here's one translation:

 

The seeds of things have mysterious workings. In the water they become Break Vine, on the edges of the water they become Frog's Robe. If they sprout on the slopes they become Hill Slippers. If Hill Slippers get rich soil, they turn into Crow's Feet. The roots of Crow's Feet turn into maggots and their leaves turn into butterflies. Before long the butterflies are transformed and turn into insects that live under the stove; they look like snakes and their name is Ch'u-t'o. After a thousand days, the Ch'u-t'o insects become birds called Dried Leftover Bones. The saliva of the Dried Leftover Bones becomes Ssu-mi bugs and the Ssu-mi bugs become Vinegar Eaters. I-lo bugs are born from the Vinegar Eaters, and Huang-shuang bugs from Chiu-yu bugs. Chiu-yu bugs are born from Mou-jui bugs and Mou-jui bugs are born from Rot Grubs and Rot Grubs are born from Sheep's Groom. Sheep's Groom couples with bamboo that has not sprouted for a long while and produces Green Peace plants. Green Peace plants produce leopards and leopards produce horses and horses produce men. Men in time return again to the mysterious workings. So all creatures come out of the mysterious workings and go back into them again.

 

This paper shows a different translation at the top:  http://faculty.msj.edu/kritskg/darwin/Site/Darwin_Miscellany_files/CD in China.pdf

 

Edited by Oddball

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, Wu Ming Jen said:

Chinese system does not have one species turning into another but rather the building blocks leading to more and more complex life forms. Humans can be steady as a rock or fierce as a tiger meaning humans inherit all the energies that came first and are the latest addition. Humans may not be the last species to come into being. 

 

I think building blocks leading to more and more complex life forms is very much in line with the Western evolutionary interpretation. Life started as one cell in the sea, and become more complex over time. Single cell -> multi-celled organism -> animals without brains -> animals with brains -> humans, who are still evolving

 

Edited by Oddball
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, Wu Ming Jen said:

All things come from no thing beyond conceptualized thinking. We are all related plant, mineral, animal and so on and only exist  in relation of what is. this means what you see is also you.

 

Relation to animals, plants, and minerals also strikes me as similar to Western thinking: everything comes from stardust, including both living and non-living things.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that important here is the last sentence:  So all creatures come out of the mysterious workings and go back into them again.

 

This is "recycling", wouldn't you agree?  Or at best, "transmutation".

 

But I agree with your last post and I think that if Chuang Tzu had the scientific knowledge back when he lived he would agree with you.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, Marblehead said:

I think that important here is the last sentence:  So all creatures come out of the mysterious workings and go back into them again.

 

This is "recycling", wouldn't you agree?  Or at best, "transmutation".

 

 

Yes, that last sentence is obviously a very Taoist statement. But also keep in mind that in Western science, there is also somewhat of a recycling in the universe. The inner planets of the solar system will someday be burned up by the Sun in red giant phase. When this happens, many of the planets' minerals and molecules will end up back in the universe, where they will be recycled by new solar systems that will eventually develop. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You did that very well.  And, you left me with nothing add, subtract, or modify.  I am speechless.  Hehehe.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Marblehead said:

You did that very well.  And, you left me with nothing add, subtract, or modify.  I am speechless.  Hehehe.

 

 

Bring me a man who has nothing to say; I would like to have a conversation with him. ^_^

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites