1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Featured Ancient and Modern Creation Stories

Discussion in 'Science and Religion' started by Native, Sep 6, 2018.

  1. Native

    Native Free Natural Philosopher & Comparative Mythologist

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,717
    Ratings:
    +506
    Religion:
    Natural Perceptions
    Hello All :)
    It is my opinion that ancient stories of creation are comparable with the modern formation stories and sometimes they confirm each other and sometimes they don´t. But which are closest to a natural "truth"?

    Again IMO ancient stories of creation speaks of a cyclic creation process of creation, dissolution and re-creation, where modern theories mostly speaks of a beginning of the Universe and a linear time of about 13.8 bill. years.

    When considering how much our ancestors could observe of the cosmos in day- and night time, the physical limits would at the most be observations of the Milky Way, which most likely would be included in their stories.

    Besides this, some persons also would consider the possibility of the human spirit/mind to sense the cosmic realms in the Milky Way and beyond. (Most of us have read of persons in the Bible and elsewhere, who had a "close encounter with the force of creation")

    Modern cosmology have gone far out in space and shown lots of marvelous images of galaxies and even earthly planets around stars. All over the place modern cosmology have made hypothesis and theories, right from the Solar System formation to galaxies, clusters of galaxies and superclusters of galaxies.

    The big question for me in this thread, is whether ancient and modern stories tells the same basic story and which of these stories are the most natural and logical.

    What do you think of this?

    Note: I am NOT a creationist but I have studied cultural Myths of Creation and Modern Cosmology
     
    #1 Native, Sep 6, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2018
    • Like Like x 2
  2. Regiomontanus

    Regiomontanus άντρας των αστεριών

    Joined:
    May 24, 2017
    Messages:
    1,728
    Ratings:
    +1,593
    Religion:
    Christianity

    Hello. I have studied creation stories in very little detail, confining myself to modern cosmology. The Steady State and its successor Quasi Steady State Cosmology I always found interesting but of course they have not held up to the observational evidence. The BB theory is still king (though it has been significantly revised over the years and has some issues). Anyway, I have always found the agreement (in very broad outline) of the BB theory with the biblical account of creation to be interesting.

    The one exception to my ignorance about 'primative' creation stories is the one of the Iroquois. I own a lot of land in an area in which they once thrived and, years ago, read quite a bit about them.

    Creation Myths -- Iroquois Creation Myth

    As for them telling the same story, well kind of. They often seem to imply an already/always existing universe and so tell of the creation of this world. Of course that seems natural in many ways. And much current cosmological research (most if it on modifying the BB to get around a singularity and/or inflation) is on some sort of cyclic scenario, so the idea there was 'always something' is not ruled out and may make the most sense. But when I try to wrap my head around infinite time I start to go a bit crazy :)
     
    #2 Regiomontanus, Sep 6, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2018
  3. Native

    Native Free Natural Philosopher & Comparative Mythologist

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,717
    Ratings:
    +506
    Religion:
    Natural Perceptions
    -----------
    Hello and welcome :)

    Yes apparently there is a similarity in these creation stories and STILL there is the discrepancy between ancient cyclic understanding and linear Big Bang theory. More on that later :)

    --------------
    You lucky land owner :) I got a quick look at the Iroquois Creation myth and the first sentence was very familiar to me and even recognizable from other cultural Stories of Creation.

    I´ll forward you to some links here:
    Milky Way Mythology
    List of Milky Way Myths

    I´ll return later with an interpretation of your Iroquois Myth
     
  4. Native

    Native Free Natural Philosopher & Comparative Mythologist

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,717
    Ratings:
    +506
    Religion:
    Natural Perceptions
    The Iroquois Creation Myth
    "Long before the world was created there was an island, floating in the sky, upon which the Sky People lived. They lived quietly and happily. No one ever died or was born or experienced sadness. However one day one of the Sky Women realized she was going to give birth to twins. She told her husband, who flew into a rage. In the center of the island there was a tree which gave light to the entire island since the sun hadn't been created yet. He tore up this tree, creating a huge hole in the middle of the island. Curiously, the woman peered into the hole. Far below she could see the waters that covered the earth. At that moment her husband pushed her. She fell through the hole, tumbling towards the waters below".
    ---------------
    IMO the ancient perception and description of the creation story deals primary with the Milky Way galaxy, named as a "floating island in the Sky" which is a correct description. The story take off before our Earth and the Solar System is created and the creation process itself is symbolic depicted as a three in the center of creation. (Just like the biblical telling)

    IMO this three is standing in the center of the Milky Way and the Sky People resembles the Milky Way figures of the southern and northern hemisphere as illustrated here:

    Southern Milky Way Female Figure
    Northern Milky Way Male Figure

    Quote:
    "He tore up this tree, creating a huge hole in the middle of the island",

    This description even fits with the modern term of "black hole" in the center of the Milky Way (and galaxies as such) but IMO this is just a creation channel of cyclical formation and birth.
     
  5. Native

    Native Free Natural Philosopher & Comparative Mythologist

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,717
    Ratings:
    +506
    Religion:
    Natural Perceptions
    The Iroquois Creation Myth (continued)

    "Water animals already existed on the earth, so far below the floating island two birds saw the Sky Woman fall. Just before she reached the waters they caught her on their backs and brought her to the other animals. Determined to help the woman they dove into the water to get mud from the bottom of the seas. One after another the animals tried and failed. Finally, Little Toad tried and when he reappeared his mouth was full of mud. The animals took it and spread it on the back of Big Turtle. The mud began to grow and grow and grow until it became the size of North America".
    -----------------
    "Waters" should IMO here be understood as "floating cosmic clouds of dust and gas" and from this everything is created. (Just like the formation telling of the Solar System) In several ancient myths of creation, "mud" is mentioned as an explanation of how "firm matter is created". This is misunderstood in the biblical telling where the primordial mud is thought to be the Earth, but this just means "firm soil" but this misinterpretation have lead scholars to translate it as Earth which causes confusion of a "two time creation of the Earth" in the biblical creation story.

    Quote:
    "The animals took it and spread it on the back of Big Turtle. The mud began to grow and grow and grow until it became the size of North America".
    ----------------
    The Big Turtle is an excellent symbol of the Milky Way disk and "the dispersion of mud" very nicely describe hov everything in the ancient knowledge of the World, was/is created in the Milky Way center.

    But the mud i.e. firm matter, of course created much more than "North America", but STIIL, this overall explanation is very fine as a telling of creation of the ancient known World and from where this has taken place. In this way, all ancient and native people claims to physically have grown from the Mother Earth itself via the creative spirits from heaven, named as the Sky People, linked above.
     
    #5 Native, Sep 6, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2018
  6. whirlingmerc

    whirlingmerc Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2016
    Messages:
    4,649
    Ratings:
    +885
    Religion:
    Christian

    The aborigines of Australia said there was a flood and he waters turned to ice after the flood.... that would also be a modern view of creationists

    Some Native Americans had the grand canyon formed by a flood in their legend and that also is a view of many modern creationists that a glacial lake overflowed and formed the grand canyon

    The ancient story of the the flood of Gilgamesh had a boat and animals but his boat was cube shape and would rol all over the ocean like a volleyball... Noah had a boat shaped like a boat... I would say Noah came first
     
  7. Native

    Native Free Natural Philosopher & Comparative Mythologist

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,717
    Ratings:
    +506
    Religion:
    Natural Perceptions
    --------------
    Hello and welcome :)
    Yes, a Flood Myth is described in numerous cultural stories of creation, but IMO this is a misconception to believe that "a huge flood which once covered everything on the Earth". Read more here List of flood Myths.

    I´m sure that this myth is connected to the mythical language of symbols which describes a cosmological fact but not what most people believes. The Milky Way was in several cultures described/symbolized as a "River running in the Sky all over and around the Earth". Read of the Milky Way Mythology here.

    The Flood Myth should of course be understood as a "celestial river running OVER the Earth and not ON the Earth and it is easy to understand how cultures all over the ancient world got the same story as the Milky Way contours are observable all over the world.

    Unfortunately even some native tribes have forgotten this cosmic story only to describe geographical rivers as also with Ganges in India, the Nile in Egypt and the Yellow River in China etc. which all are spiritually connected to the Celestial River or Flood.
     
  8. Jumi

    Jumi Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2014
    Messages:
    9,881
    Ratings:
    +5,459
    Religion:
    Secular theist (none)
    Of course this one:

    The goddess of the air, Ilmatar, grew bored, so she came down from the sky to float and swim in the primal waters. Soon, she became pregnant, but she did not give birth. Instead, she continued to float and swim for 700 years! One day, a sea bird was flying around looking for a place to land, so Ilmatar let the bird land on her knee. The bird laid six eggs, five gold, and one made of iron. The eggs were incubating, and they got warmer and warmer. Finally, the eggs got so hot that they burned Ilmatar, and she kicked out her leg from the pain. The eggs fell into the water and cracked. The land of the earth was formed from the bottom of the eggshell, while the egg white became the moon and stars, and the egg yolk became the sun.
     
  9. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2011
    Messages:
    21,390
    Ratings:
    +15,726
    Religion:
    Druidry

    I couldn't begin to assess what stories are "most natural" (everything is natural) or "most logical" (which isn't the point of storytelling), but I don't find that origin stories tell the same basic story at all. Generally speaking, the stories are a vehicle for conveying important relationships and values of a culture. Those differ across societies, as do the mythologies conveying them. That's not to say that some general, common themes can't be found... but I think it's important to not miss the trees for the forest.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  10. ADigitalArtist

    ADigitalArtist Well-Known Member
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2015
    Messages:
    8,600
    Ratings:
    +12,464
    Religion:
    Irreligious Agnostic Atheistic Apatheist
    *Shakes fist at monomyth!*
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
  11. Native

    Native Free Natural Philosopher & Comparative Mythologist

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,717
    Ratings:
    +506
    Religion:
    Natural Perceptions
    -------------
    Hello Jumi and welcome :)

    A very fine story which IMO speaks of the creation of the ancient known world and it looks very much as many other cultural stories.
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  12. Jumi

    Jumi Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2014
    Messages:
    9,881
    Ratings:
    +5,459
    Religion:
    Secular theist (none)
    This was the belief of my ancestors. It does have a lot of the classic elements, depending on how one looks at it.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Native

    Native Free Natural Philosopher & Comparative Mythologist

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,717
    Ratings:
    +506
    Religion:
    Natural Perceptions
    ---------
    I think the difference between the ancient cyclical way of creation and the modern Big Bang theory is a good starting point in such a discussion.

    Otherwise, If you study cultural Comparative Mythology stories of creation, these have many things in common.
     
  14. Jumi

    Jumi Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2014
    Messages:
    9,881
    Ratings:
    +5,459
    Religion:
    Secular theist (none)
    I believe one of the keys to understanding thinking of the ancients is that they're not to be taken literally, but work with analogies that make sense in the cultural environment.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. ecco

    ecco Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2016
    Messages:
    13,652
    Ratings:
    +6,866
    Religion:
    atheist
    ...
    Yeah, that's what happens when you don't know the difference between the Grand Canyon and the Scablands.


    Noah had a boat shaped like a boat that could not have survived twenty foot waves. No propulsion or steering.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. ecco

    ecco Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2016
    Messages:
    13,652
    Ratings:
    +6,866
    Religion:
    atheist
    Alternatively, some of the ancient stories (Genesis) were presented as literal fact. God did indeed create the universe in six days 6000 years ago. He created Man just as it is written.

    In modern times there are two choices: Throw out the OT as outdated or continue to believe the OT and soften it by saying it's allegory.
     
  17. Native

    Native Free Natural Philosopher & Comparative Mythologist

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,717
    Ratings:
    +506
    Religion:
    Natural Perceptions
    ------------
    I agree. Ancient tellings have symbols which needs to be connected to the right objects and motions in cosmos. It is very important to notice in which realm the myths belongs and the to interpret the symbols.

    BTW: Which is your native culture?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. Native

    Native Free Natural Philosopher & Comparative Mythologist

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,717
    Ratings:
    +506
    Religion:
    Natural Perceptions
    ------------
    I wouldn´t take the biblical 6 days creation literary but rather as "stages of creation".

    As far as I know the OT have lost several of the initial mythical descriptions of the creation. Though I still can see some informations which are useful if one has the key point to interpret the story.
     
  19. Twilight Hue

    Twilight Hue The gentle embrace of twilight has become my guide

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2009
    Messages:
    34,976
    Ratings:
    +14,778
    Religion:
    Philosophical Buddhism
    I'm pretty sure ancients had taken in what was around them and placed in their own interpretation through intentional and unintentional embellishment and fabrication.

    There are so many creation stories and so many variations evidencing that. I think a commonality would be that it's clear we all are under the same observable cosmos from which they gave birth to so many stories , like looking at a vivid painting before you that captures your imagination and mind.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Jumi

    Jumi Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2014
    Messages:
    9,881
    Ratings:
    +5,459
    Religion:
    Secular theist (none)
    Sounds silly doesn't it? And who believes it? Mostly people in the US and places of their missionary activity. The ancient stories, including genesis were not originally even written down but copied oral traditions from neighboring cultures.

    Or accept it as an item not owned by American Christians and atheists, but a storage of stories, history, mythology and culture of a people.

    Although my country is a Christian one, it was a shock to us in school religion classes when we learned about fundamentalism in the US. I believe this was around 8th grade. But then again our state church has now female priests and bishop, heavy metal and has LGBT-themed gatherings and gives shelter to refugees... I'm not a member or Christian so I'm not selling anything. Just showing that the perspectives are not as limited as "two choices".
     
    • Like Like x 1
Loading...