Buddhist Creationism

An Amazing Discovery!  A human footprint was recently discovered next to a T. Rex footprint. After careful, scientific, paleontological excavation, the revealed details of the footprint were shocking!  SIDdhartha Gautama (The Buddha) seemed to have lived amongst the dinosaurs. Now Buddhists and Christian fundamentalist are contemplating rejoining each other at the dialogue table.

This cartoon may not work for well because it is a bi-cultural, bi-religious joke.  So, unfortunately, footnotes may be useful:


Christian Young-Earth Creationists (40% of Americans) believe that their god, “Yahweh”, created the world in just the manner described in their Holy Book. They believe that each species that has ever existed was created separately and did not evolve. They believe this all happened about 6 -10,000 years ago. Consequently, they believe dinosaurs and humans lived together — being created together on the last day of a 6-day creation spree by Yahweh. They also have fantastic contorted ‘reasoning’ to explain all this — see “Answers In Genesis“.

Buddha Footprint

Many Westerners view Buddhism as a mere meditation practice. But around the world, Buddhism-on-the-ground is packed with myth, superstition and magic. Who would expect different?  That is what people do with their religions.  Buddhist “relics” are believed to hold such magic (much like Christian relics: pieces of Jesus’ cross or the Holy Grail). Buddhists relics include his teeth, his hair and even his footprints.

The foot print of the Buddha usually contains tell-tale auspicious distinguishing marks felt to be possessed by all awakened beings: Wheel of the Teaching, the good-fortune swastika, the lotus and more.

Leaving Fundamentalism

Many Christians and Buddhists are trying to release their accrued atavistic ballast.  But tension between tradition and modernity yields no easy answers.  Here are examples of religious sites I enjoy that wrestle well with the tension:


Filed under Philosophy & Religion

20 responses to “Buddhist Creationism

  1. You write Buddhism “is packed with myth, superstition and magic. Who would expect different? That is what people do with their religions.” That’s true, so why can’t you get over it? Why do you feel compelled to go on and on ad nauseam about the obvious?

    Then, “Buddhists are trying to release their accrued atavistic ballast.” Which Buddhists would those be? Accrued atavistic ballast? Good grief. Did you copy that out of your school newsletter?

    “But tension between tradition and modernity yields no easy answers.” Wrong. The answer is extremely easy: Don’t buy into the myth, superstition and magic. Now that I have solved the problem for you, perhaps you can go on and beat some other subject to death.

    The cartoon does not work well because it is neither clever nor funny.

  2. Hello David

    (1) What does “get over it” mean? You mean, “stop mentioning it”?
    I only mentioned it once in this post. Is that “ad nauseam”?

    (2) I linked to a group who are trying to drop the atavistic ballast.

    (3) Nah, I didn’t copy that out of my “school newsletter” or I would have footnoted it. I just googled it, and as of this moment, the phrase is uniquely mine, apparently. Maybe I have started a new meme. Since you seem to enjoy it, you are welcome to use it freely.

    (4) Sorry you didn’t like the cartoon. I actually put a bit of effort into it — as I am not a natural artist — as you can tell. So glad you stopped in.

  3. Unlike David, I enjoyed your cartoon. If I’m not mistaken, it appears from his response that he has got an uphill battle to enlightenment ahead of him.

    I particularly liked the almost-fiery “hair” on the T-Rex. 🙂

    I met a Thai artist once who specialized in producing a series of Buddha footprints. The feet, sometimes alone, sometimes paired, took up the whole canvas, and varied with different color patterns and symbols. Your “blow up” of the Buddha reminded me a lot of his work.

  4. @ The Wise Fool
    Thanx — I is fun to explore a medium that is not natural for me. “David” has a theory that I am a smart teenager pretending to be an adult. Sure, I probably still draw just as I did when I was a teenager.

    Glad you caught the “hair” — I debated it (since T Rex apparently didn’t have any), but heck, this is fiction and that looks way more like a dinosaur — and the best foot print I could find was T Rex’s.

    Oh, and the foot. That is an actually foot print of mine. 😉
    Thanx for the compliment. I put a lot into that (believe it or not). Writing words is so much easier.

  5. exrelayman

    Maybe David thinks you are the Buddha. You know what you’re s’posed to do when you meet the Buddha. David is limited by the internet, but did what he could.

  6. @ exrelayman,
    That saying comes from Zen — He is a Buddhist teacher (actually), but I hope he is not Zen. 🙂

  7. rautakyy

    Where the footprints pointing into the same direction? Was Buddha running from the T-rex? I could hardly imagine it was the other way around.

    Seriously, every religion has the mythical and superstitious elements, that form the basic knowledge about the religions of most adherents of those very religions just like you said in your post about the “Radio Theology”. People who are more interrested in theology most often only have the basic knowledge of other major religions (if even that) and no knowledge of most of the religions in the world. The faith of other people is percieved from the outsider aspect and from that perspective they do seem absurd. Why? Because religions are absurd by any common sense. It is only the willingnes to believe any particular religion to be true, that removes that absurdity. That is why religious people accuse the nonbelievers as having chosen not to believe. As it was something you choose or as it was some form of crime.

    How many of the readers of this blog post chose not to believe in the Buddha footprint appearing at the same time as the T-rex footprint? Or did you simply find the notion absurd and unplausible?

  8. Great cartoon! My take is that religions are inherently pre-modern. Modernism and the empirically driven nature has the pre-modern-minded fundamentalists in both camps running for “proof” which they won’t find because their holy books and even leaders were thoroughly pre-modern and “proof” didn’t exist for them.

    I think the cartoon puts that tension front and center, that is, if I’m reading it correctly. I’m sure you’ll let me know one way or another.

  9. Thanx.
    Actually, I was just thinking how silly it was to think humans and dinosaurs co-existed at the same time I was reading up on the Buddha footprint — and bang! an idea. Nope, no pre-modern concepts. Remember, we have religions created every decade, it seems that have the same flavor of ancient religions. So I don’t see how pre-modern fits in to these modern religions. Seems to me people are doing the same ‘ole, same ‘ole.

  10. Yes, same direction. Or maybe the Buddha came and sat next to the T.Rex which was not disturbed because of his bliss! Yeah, right!
    But caution, rautakyy, don’t over generalize when you say “religions are absurd by any common sense” — best to stay focused in your criticism. We have this conversation over and over.

    No Buddhists that I know would ever think of the Buddha existing with dinosaurs — this was more a jab a Creationists while simultaneously poking fun at Buddhist superstition around relics. It was not too deep — just playful.

    Drawing is new for me and it is good fun to try to say something with my primitive drawings. I love experimenting.

  11. PS, Luke.
    I remember your weird cartoons on ToothFace. I wonder if a new Pastor Luke version will come out again someday.

  12. I love the cartoon! The dino has a great expression.

    I wonder about Buddhism, their symbols are no more about superstitious possessions than some Atheist who wants a signed copy of the Dawkins book or wants to save an old building. Hm. Interesting though. I think reincarnation is not out of the question, but of course it is not scientific. Although I’ve never heard a Buddhist try to push it into the realm of science, maybe just symbolic.

  13. @ amelie,
    One big theme of my site is that we are ALL superstitious and deluded. It is a matter of how we let it affect ourselves and others. I essentially agree with your points. Thanx.

  14. The one who drew the illustration may have read the 12th century a. d. Pali text which gave that information. I hope he know that source. It was a crow or a chicken. I am not sure which one it was. I love the drawing and printed it out. A great colleciton item.

  15. Thank you Dr. Sailer — I fixed the link to your site (just click on your name). It is a dinosaur print — not a chicken or a crow. But you were probably kidding — after all, it is a joke! Otherwise, we’d have a mini-Buddha — another good idea.

  16. Kaung

    The Buddha did not mention any single thing about dinosaurs and we ourselves did not see these dinosaurs with our own eyes, so how can we believe such animals? If dinosaurs really existed, they were just animals and would belong to one of the four nether regions. There are countless worlds in the samsara and every world consists of 31 realms, including human realm. So, we should know that humans would have existed in the world that time too. And the concept that only dinosaurs were alive in the whole world is definitely not a part of Buddhism. Dinosaurs were believed to exist from 230 million to 63 million years ago, but in fact, according to Buddhism, there have been countless worlds (with 31 realms) along the samsara. So, we can clearly see that humans had always been in the world (in the human realm) before the time when dinosaurs were believed to start to appear. Actually, the samsara had been so long and going endlessly that the number of all the Buddhas that had already attained nirvana in the past worlds along the samsara was often compared to the number of more than sands from the Ganges River.

  17. Jeffery

    Prince Siddartha became the Buddha about 2592 years ago. And if dinosaurs really appeared in the samsara, why would the Buddha(s) not mention anything about them? The Buddha did not mention that there were only animals like dinosaurs. As everyone knows, there is nothing in this world which the Buddha did not know, and as the Buddha did not say that there were only large animals (dinosaurs) in the whole world, we, Buddhists, do not dare to believe wholly that dinosaurs really existed exclusively, no matter what archaeologists claimed. It is natural for us to believe that every world has so many kinds of animals, large or small, and humans, celestial beings, Brahmas, etc. But the whole world with only the same type of animals (dinosaurs) is definitely impossible according to the Buddha’s teachings.

  18. @ Kaung (aka, Jeffry) :
    My post is a joke. But your seriousness and delusion that the Buddha knew everything makes it clear why you did not understand this post.

  19. Jeffery

    I do not mean to be rude. Whether or not your post is serious, as a Buddhist, one has the right to freely comment on what he or she believes when dealing with the Buddha.

  20. @ Jeffery,
    Yes we can post whatever we like — nothing is sacred. The Buddha was not sacred. Joking about the Buddha is a perfect thing to do in order to lighten up self-righteous smug Buddhists.

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