Exiled leader urges balance

The Dalai Lama speaks at Emory University in Atlanta. A news conference kicked off the Nobel Peace laureate's three-day visit.

ATLANTA --- Scientists and religious practitioners can learn a lot from each other and should work together to find a productive balance between spirituality and secular research, the Dalai Lama said Sunday.


The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader's comments came at a news conference kicking off his three-day visit to Emory University in Atlanta. During his visit, he plans to teach, lecture and receive an update on the development of the Emory-Tibet Science Initiative.

The Dalai Lama is a presidential distinguished professor at Emory -- the only university appointment he has accepted. The 1989 Nobel Peace laureate last visited Emory's campus three years ago.

It is especially important that scientists have "moral ethics" and compassion to avoid catastrophes, he said, citing the example of nuclear physics being used to create the nuclear bombs that were dropped on Japan at the end of World War II.

"That great achievement became destructive, brought fear," he said. "Intelligence alone is dangerous."

The Dalai Lama said he has long been interested in scientific knowledge -- particularly in the areas of cosmology, neurobiology, physics and psychology.

In the beginning, some of his followers were skeptical of the Emory-Tibet Science Initiative, a partnership that seeks to establish a science curriculum to be included in the regular monastic education for monks and nuns throughout India. But now that it is in the third year of a five-year pilot program, it is widely accepted and there is great appreciation for scientific explanations, he said.

Faculty and students from Emory travel each year to Dharamsala, India, the seat of the Tibetan government in exile, to work with monks and nuns.

The Dalai Lama provides private teaching sessions with students and faculty who travel to visit him in India.