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Myths, legends and TOK. How do we answer the question “How was the world and man created?” Do those answers constitute knowledge of the world?. A myth is a special kind of story which tries to interpret some aspect of the world around us.

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myths legends and tok

Myths, legends and TOK

How do we answer the question

“How was the world and man created?”

Do those answers constitute knowledge of the world?

slide2
A myth is a special kind of story which tries to interpret some aspect of the world around us.
  • A myth attempts to give answers to primordial questions about creation and existence.
  • A myth can establish taboos, moral prerogatives and codes of behaviour.
the aboriginal myth about creation
In the beginning the earth was a bare plain. All was dark. There was no life, no death. The sun, the moon, and the stars slept beneath the earth. All the eternal ancestors slept there, too, until at last they woke themselves out of their own eternity and broke through to the surface. Two such beings, self-created out of nothing, were the Ungambikula. Wandering the world, they found half-made human beings. They were made of animals and plants, but were shapeless bundles, lying higgledy-piggledy, near where water holes and salt lakes could be created. The Aboriginal myth about creation
slide4

With their great stone knives, the Ungambikula carved heads, bodies, legs, and arms out of the bundles. They made the faces, and the hands and feet. At last the human beings were finished

  • Thus every man and woman was transformed from nature and owes allegiance to the totem of the animal or the plant that made the bundle they were created from -- such as the plum tree, the grass seed, the large and small lizards, the parakeet, or the rat.
  • The people were all doubled over into balls, vague and unfinished, without limbs or features.
  • This work done, the ancestors went back to sleep.
does this myth impart knowledge about the world or unlock the door to the secrets about creation
Does this myth impart knowledge about the world or unlock the door to the secrets about creation?
zulu creation myth
ZULU CREATION MYTH

The Ancient One, known as Unkulunkulu, is the Zulu creator. He came from the reeds (uthlanga, means source) and from them he brought forth the people and the cattle. He created everything that is: mountains,streams, snakes, etc. He taught the Zulu how to hunt, how to make fire, and how to grow food. He is considered to be the First Man and is in everything that he created.

does this myth provide answers to the question where do we come from

Does this myth provide answers to the question: “Where do we come from?”

Is the “Ancient One” the same as some religions’ notion of a supreme being, source of all creation?

southern nigerian creation myth ekoi
Southern Nigerian Creation mythEKOI
  • In the beginning there were two gods, Obassi Osaw and Obassi Nsi. The two gods created everything together. Then Obassi Osaw decided to live in the sky and Obassi Nsi decided to live on the earth. The god in the sky gives light and moisture, but also brings drought and storms. The god of the earth nurtures, and takes the people back to him when they die. One day long ago Obassi Osaw made a man and a woman, and placed them upon the earth. They knew nothing so Obassi Nsi taught them about planting and hunting to get food.
slide10
In the beginning, G-d created the heaven and the Earth.And the earth was without form and void.
  • And G-d said, Let there be light and there was light…and G-d called the light Day and the darkness He called night.
  • And the evening and the morning were the first day.
slide11
Does the account in Genesis about the creation of day and night constitute knowledge about the world?
the laws of physics can still determine how the universe began
“..the laws of physics can still determine how the universe began.”
  • “The universe will have a beginning and an end. The beginning in time will be the Big Bang singularity.”
  • Matter can be created out of energy..that was borrowed from the gravitational energy of the universe.
  • Eventually the universe stopped expanding
  • And contracted to form galaxies and stars.
  • The laws of physics would hold at the beginning of the universe so G-d would not have had the freedom to choose the initial conditions.”
slide14

“He would still have been free to choose the laws the universe obeyed. However this may not have been much of a choice.”

“Although science may solve the question of how the universe began, it cannot answer the question: why does the universe bother to exist? I don’t know the answer to that.”

do you know the answer to that

DO YOU KNOW THE ANSWER TO THAT???

Is the theory of Hawkings a myth or does it constitute knowledge about the world?

bibliography

Bibliography

Hawkins, S(1993):Black Holes and Baby Universes. Bantam Books, London.

http://www.dreamscape.com/morgana/miranda.htm 10.11.2005

Brucher, J. & Locker, T. (1999): Between Earth & Sky: Legends of Native American Sacred Places. Harcourt Brace & co., San Diego.