Since we developed the ability to communicate in complex and abstract ways, we have struggled with the question of how Earth, and the rest of the universe, came to be. Creation stories are common to all cultures. The details of these stories often vary, but they are still archetypal
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Since we developed the ability to communicate in complex and abstract ways, we have struggled with the question of how Earth, and the rest of the universe, came to be.
Creation stories are common to all
cultures. The details of these stories
often vary, but they are still archetypal
interpretations attempting to make
sense of existence, even though the
details of these stories differ in some
ways, they are attempts to understand
how the observable universe formed.
With the advent of science came a more empirical approach to addressing the question of how Earth (and the rest of the universe) first formed.
A result has been that
disconnected us in
some ways from the
old myths of the
universe in regard to
both space and time.
The old creation
myths still retain
that highlight the
humans have with
Examples of creation stories
Vishnu and the
Hopi Creation Story (Northern Arizona)
The world at first was endless space in which existed only the Creator, Taiowa.
This world had no time, no shape, and no life, except in the mind of the Creator.
A Chinese Creation Story
(about 1st century B.C.)
Long, long ago, when heaven and earth were still one, the entire universe was contained in an egg-shaped cloud.
In the midst of this new world, Pan Gu worried that heaven and earth might mix again; so he resolved to hold them apart, with the heavens on his head and the earth under his feet.
With the giant's death, Earth was transformed.
His arms and legs
became the mountains.
Shinto Creation Story
(Japan, about 700 A.D )
In the earliest days, Heaven and Earth were not yet separated.
They formed a chaotic mass like an egg which was of obscurely defined limits and contained germs.
Judeo-Christian Creation Story
First Chapter of Genesis
Thought to be a composite account of writings from 950, 750 and 539 B.C.
(but each derived from even older stories)
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
And God said, "Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water." So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. And it was so. God called the expanse "sky." And there was evening, and there was morning--the second day.
And God said, "Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear." And it was so. God called the dry ground "land," and the gathered waters he called "seas”…
The Modern Scientific Account
The actual origin of the universe has yet to be unraveled by modern scientists. Even in the present day, we must break the conventional “laws” of physics to make sense of the ultimate origin of the universe.
Most scientists generally agree with a “Big Bang” scenario (although there are a few opponents).
A highly simplified account of the “Big Bang” scenario is as follows…
In the beginning…
In the beginning, the universe existed as a singularity (a point at which the laws of the present-day universe break down).
The singularity contained infinite mass, infinite density and no volume.
For reasons still unknown, the singularity “exploded” about 13-15 billion years ago.
The universe cooled as its expansion continued.