Origin belief

For scientific articles about the origins of the Earth, the Universe, and Life see: formation and evolution of the solar system, Big Bang, and Origin of life respectively.


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Bill Reid's sculpture The Raven and The First Men, showing part of a Haida creation story. The Raven represents the Trickster figure common to many mythologies. The work is in the University of British Columbia Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver.


An origin belief, or creation myth, is a supernatural story or explanation that describes the beginnings of humanity, earth, life, and the universe (cosmogony). [1]

Origin beliefs are mytho-religious stories which typically explain the beginnings of the universe as a deliberate act of "creation" by a supreme being.

The term creation myth is sometimes used in a derogatory way to describe stories which are still believed today, as the term may suggest something which is absurd or fictional. While these beliefs and stories need not be a literal account of actual events, they may yet express ideas that are perceived by some people and cultures to be truths at a deeper or more symbolic level. Author Daniel Quinn notes that in this sense creation myths need not be religious in nature, and they have secular analogues in modern cultures.

Many accounts of creation share broadly similar themes. Common motifs include the fractionation of the things of the world from a primordial chaos (demiurge); the separation of the mother and father gods; land emerging from an infinite and timeless ocean; or creation ex nihilo (Latin: out of nothing).

Some religious groups assert that their accounts of creation should be considered alongside, supersede, or even replace scientific accounts of the development of life and the cosmos. This assertion has proven highly controversial (for one example, see creation-evolution controversy).

Asia

Ainu

The Ainu people of Hokkaidō recount the demiurge with a cosmology consisting of six heavens and six hells where gods, demons, and animals lived. Demons lived in the lower heavens. Amongst the stars and the clouds lived the lesser gods. In highest heaven lived Kamui, the creator God, and his servants. His realm was surrounded by a mighty metal wall and the only entrance was through a great iron gate.

Kamui made this world as a vast round ocean resting on the backbone of an enormous trout. This fish sucks in the ocean and spits it out again to make the tides; when it moves it causes earthquakes.

One day Kamui looked down on the watery world and decided to make something of it. He sent down a water wagtail to do the work. By fluttering over the waters with its wings and by trampling the sand with its feet and beating it with its tail, the wagtail created patches of dry land. In this way islands were raised to float upon the ocean.

When the animals who lived up in the heavens saw how beautiful the world was, they begged Kamui to let them go and live on it, and he did. But Kamui also made many other creatures especially for the world. The first people, the Ainu, had bodies of earth, hair of chickweed, and spines made from sticks of willow. Kamui sent Aioina, the divine man, down from heaven to teach the Ainu how to hunt and to cook.

Hmong

According to Hmong tradition, a long time ago the rivers and ocean covered the Earth. A brother and sister were locked in a yellow wooden drum. The Sky People looked out and saw the Earth. Everything was dead. Only a yellow wooden drum was left on the water.

"Punch holes in the Earth so the water will drain away," said the King above the Sky.

The water went down. Finally, the drum bumped against the ground. The brother and sister came out of the drum and looked around. Everything was dead.

"Where are the people?" asked the sister.

But the brother had an idea. "All the people on Earth are gone. Marry me, we can have children."

"I can't marry you, we are brother and sister."

But he asked her again and again and she said, "No."

Finally the brother said, "Let's carry the grindstones up the hill and roll them into the valley. If the stones land on top of each other, then you shall marry me."

The sister rolled her stone and then, as soon as the brother rolled his stone he ran as fast as he could down the hill and stacked the stones on top of each other.

When the sister saw the stones she cried. Finally she said, "I will marry you, because it was meant to be."

A year later the wife gave birth to a baby, but the baby was not a real baby. It had no arms or legs. It was just round like a pumpkin. The husband cut it up and threw the pieces away. One piece fell on the garden and it became the "Vang" clan because "Vang" sounds like the word for "garden" in Hmong. One piece fell on the goat house. Some pieces fell on the leaves and grass and they became the other Hmong clans. The Nhia, Mhoua, Pao, Ho, Xiong, Vue, and so on.

The next morning the village was full of houses. Everyone came to the husband and wife and said, "Mother and father, come have breakfast with us."

The husband said to his wife, "I asked you to marry me because all the people on Earth were dead. Now these people are our family -- our sons and daughters."

Korea

There were heavenly ones in the sky domain. JoMulJu created everything in the universe, and the heavenly ones had their own kingdom. The son of the Supreme Being (JoMulju) came to the Earth with ministers (people and animals) who control wind, water, fire, etc, to govern the Earth, as he is in fact a human being as well as some kind of deity. A bear and a tiger wished to become humans. They prayed to the Supreme Being, and he gave them 20 cloves of garlic and a handful of mugwort, and told them to live in a dark cave for 100 days. The bear was patient enough to withstand the hardship of the cave and the starvation, but the tiger failed at the last minute and ran out of the cave. The bear became a girl and wanted to have a child, so the son of the Supreme Being married her. The son was Dangun who established the kingdom of Korea.

Mansi

The traditional account of creation by the Mansi people of Siberia involved two loons which dove to the bottom of primeval waters to retrieve a piece of the bottom and placed it on top of the water. From there the Earth grew. After a time, at the behest of his daughter, the spirit of the sky ordered his brother, the spirit of the lower world to create humanity. His brother made seven earthy, clay figures and which were quickened by the gods' sister, Mother Earth.

Mongol

There is no singular Mongol account of the creation and the beginning of the world, but from a variety of accounts from Mongol tribes of Central Asia, a general outline can be made. The creation of the world is attributed to a lama named Udan who is sometimes also conflated with God or Buddha Sakyamuni by the tribes influenced by Tibetan Buddhism. The primordial world is usually described as being covered in darkness with no separation between earth and sky. The construction of the cosmos proceeds in a variety of fashions. One account describes ninety-nine golden columns holding apart the sky and earth. In this description the world has three stories, the upper one being heaven where gods and goddesses live, the middle one being earth where man dwells, and the lower one being the place where man goes after death; heaven (sky) is the father and earth is the mother of man, animals, etc. Another narrative recounts that when the creator divided the heaven and earth he created a nine-story heaven, a nine-story earth, and nine rivers. In some accounts, the world first was a vast ocean, but dust and sand rose to cover the ocean surface and become earth. In another account, the land is placed on the back of a golden frog who was pierced with arrows causing fire and water to spew from him at various places

After the creation of the Earth itself, the first male and female couple were created out of clay. They would become the progenitors of all humanity. The various tribes and peoples were placed there with different characteristics. In the north, the men were paired with ewes as sexual mates and this was the spawn of the Mongol ethnicity while the Han Chinese were the spawn of hens while the Dorbed and the Buryat recount that they are the descendants of a coupling between hunters and Swan Maidens.

Another account tells that in the beginning, seven suns rose in the sky so that the rivers and vegetation on earth dried up, so the people asked the archer Erkei-Mergen to shoot the suns out of the sky. The archer shot down six, but while he was taking aim at the seventh a martin flew in front of the sun and was shot in the tail. From then on, the martin had a forked tail and there was a single sun remaining in the sky. The archer was so distressed that he fled to the steppe, cut off his thumbs in shame, and became the ancestor of the marmot.

Orok

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The Oroks traditionally interpret the presence of sundogs such as this to be evidence that three distinct suns used to reside in the sky. The remaining present-day sun is located outside of the picture to the right.


The traditional creation narrative of the Orok people of Sakhalin begins with three suns shining in the sky. The earth was completely liquid, but the liquid was slowly diminishing and the earth was hardening. Under the heat, cliffs and stones boiled. At that time, on earth there were no living creatures except the family of a man named Hadau. When the earth hardened, Hadau shot arrows at two suns first killing the older sister sun with one arrow, and then the younger sister sun with another leaving only the middle sun. Sundogs are said to be the visible shadows of the two earlier suns, as if imprints of one on each side. After this, Hadau created a family of eagles and a family of ravens. Therefore upon seeing an eagle on a hunt, the Oroks call him their elder (grandfather). The flight of these birds allowed people to be dispersed across the Earth.

Shinto

See also:
The god Izanagi and goddess Izanami churned the ocean with a spear to make a small island of curdled salt. Two deities went down to the island, mixed there, and bore main islands, deities, and forefathers of Japan.

Taoism

See also:
Tao is the nameless void, the mother of the Ten Thousand Things. Tao is considered by Laozi to be that which eternally gives without being depleted, and eternally receives without being filled. That which does not exist for its own sake is able to endure.[2]

Taoist philosophy appears relatively late in Chinese history. In it, Tao is described as the ultimate force behind the creation. With tao, nothingness gave rise to existence, existence gave rise to yin and yang, and yin and yang gave rise to everything. Due to the ambiguous nature of this myth, it could be compatible with the first myth (and therefore say nothing). But it could, like its antithesis, be explained in a way to better fit the modern scientific view of the creation of universe.

Another view is the relatively late myth of Pangu. This was an explanation offered by Taoist monks hundreds of years after Laozi; probably around 200 CE. In this story, the universe begins as a cosmic egg. A god named Pangu, born inside the egg, broke it into two halves: The upper half became the sky, the lower half became the earth. As the god grew taller, the sky and the earth grew thicker and were separated further. Finally the god died and his body parts became different parts of the earth.

Zen

and nothing are all interconnected, inseparable, a whole. Zen denies that the person is the first cause. If it speaks of origins at all, it says that the ground of being is the real first cause.

Africa

Bakuba

The Bakuba account of demiurge is as follows. Originally, the Earth was nothing but water and darkness. Mbombo, the white giant ruled over this chaos. One day, he felt a terrible pain in his stomach, and vomited the sun, the moon, and the stars. The sun shone fiercely and water steamed up in clouds. Gradually, the dry hills appeared. Mbombo vomited again, this time the trees came out of his stomach, and animals, and people , and many other things: the first woman, the leopard, the eagle, the anvil, monkey Fumu, the first man, the firmament, medicine, and lighting. Nchienge, the woman of the waters, lived in the East. She had a son, Woto, and a daughter, Labama. Woto was the first king of the Bakuba.

Maasai

The Maasai of Kenya in their creation narrative recount the origin of humanity to be fashioned by the Creator deity from a single tree or leg which split into three pieces. To the first father of the Maasai, he gave a stick. To the first father of the Kikuyu, he gave a hoe. To the first father of the Kamba, he gave a bow and arrow. Each son survived in the wild. The first father of the Maasai used his stick to herd animals. The first father of the Kikuyu used his hoe to cultivate the ground. The first father of the Kamba used his bow and arrow to hunt.

Mandinka

The traditional creation narrative of the Mandinka people of southern Mali begins with Mangala, a singular, powerful being who is perceived to be a round, energetic presence. Within Mangala existed four divisions, which were symbolic of, among many things, the four days of the week (time), the four elements (matter), and the four directions (space). Mangala also contained two sets of dual gendered twins. Mangala was tired of keeping all of this matter inside, so the god removed it and compiled it into a seed. The seed was his creation of the world. The seed however did not hold together well and blew up. Mangala was disappointed with this and destroyed the world he created.

Mangala did not lose hope; the creator began again, this time with two sets of twin seeds. Mangala planted the seeds in an egg shaped womb where they gestated. Mangala continued to put more sets of twin seeds in the womb until he had 8 sets of seeds. In the womb, the gestating seeds transformed themselves into fish. The fish is considered a symbol of fertility in the Mande world. This time, Mangala's creation was successful. This is important, because it illustrates the idea of dual gendered twinship, an idea that permeates Mande culture.

Mangala tried to maintain this perfect creation, but chaos crept in; one of the male twins became ambitious and tried to escape from the egg. This chaotic character is called Pemba. He is a trickster figure whose first trick was to steal a piece of the womb's placenta and throw it down. This action made the earth. Pemba then tried to refertilize what was left of the womb, committing incest against his mother, the womb.

Mangala decided to sacrifice Pemba's brother Farro to save what was left of his creation. He castrated him and then killed him in order to raise him from the dead. Mangala took what was left of the placenta and transformed it into the sun, thus associating Pemba with darkness and the night. Farro was transformed into a human being and was taught the language of creation by Mangala. Farro's knowledge of words is very powerful and the tool he used to defeat Pemba's mischief. Farro and his newly created twins came to Earth and got married (not to each other). This is the basis for the foundation of exogamy in Mande.

Next, a being named Sourakata arrived from the sky with the first sacred drum, hammer, and the sacrificed skull of Farro. Sourakata began to play on the drum and sang for the first rain to come. Sourakata is a magical being who can control nature, and he taught Farro and his followers.

Voodoo

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Veve of Damballa
Damballah (Sky-serpent loa and wise and loving Father archetype) created all the waters of the earth. In the form of a serpent, the movement of his 7,000 coils formed hills and valleys on earth and brought forth stars and planets in the heavens. He forged metals from heat and sent forth lightning bolts to form the sacred rocks and stones.

When he shed his skin in the sun, releasing all the waters over the land, the sun shone in the water and created the rainbow. Damballah loved the rainbow's beauty and made her his wife, Aida-Wedo. (Aida-Wedo represents the sky powers and is symbolized by the rainbow; wife of Damballah, she shares his function as cosmic protector and giver of blessing.)

The revelations of the loa (deity) descended upon the first faithful in Ifé, a legendary city located in Nigeria. Therefore, everything in life and all spiritual strength comes from Ifé. The homeland of all voodoo devotees, where Ifé is located, is Ginen, from where they were forced to flee in the African Diaspora. In death, the higher soul will return to Ginen (the world of the dead, said to be under the water below the earth) to reside with the loa and the ancestral spirits. Because of this, all practitioners of voodoo refer to themselves as ti guinin, sons or daughters of Ginen.

Yoruba

The Yoruba creator is called Olorun or Olodumare and is often assisted by the lesser god, Obatala. In the beginning, there was only water and chaos. The supreme being sent Obatala or Orishanla down from the sky to create some land out of the chaos. He descended on a long chain (umbilical cord) and brought with him a rooster, some iron, and a palm kernel. First, he put the metal on the earth and the rooster on top of that. The rooster scratched the metal and spread it out to create land. Then he planted the palm seed and from it grew the earth's vegetation. Olurun named earth "Ife" and the first city "Ile-Ife." Orshilana created humans out of the earth and got Olurun to blow life into them.

Zulu

The Ancient One, known as Unkulunkulu, is the Zulu creator. He came from the reeds 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.

Europe

Finnish

Ancient Finns believed that the world was formed from egg that was broken.

A bird was flying above the sea, seeking a place to make a nest and lay her eggs. She searched everywhere, but found nothing but water. Then she noticed the first dry place. In some stories it was an island, in other stories it was a boat and in other stories it was a body part of a floating being, like the wizard Väinämöinen. The place was too unstable for a nest: a big wave came and broke the eggs, spreading their parts all over. However the eggs were not wasted: the upper part of egg covers formed the sky, yolk became the sun, and lower parts of egg formed the mother earth. The first human was Väinämöinen, he was born from the maiden of air Ilmatar that was made pregnant by the sea. Väinämöinen ordered forests to be planted, and started human culture.

Greek (Classical)

Main article: Greek mythology
Plato, in his dialogue Timaeus, describes a creation myth involving a being called the demiurge.

Hesiod, in his Theogony, says that Chaos existed in the beginning, and then gave birth to Gaia (the Earth), Tartarus (the Underworld), Eros (desire), Nyx (the darkness of the night) and Erebus (the darkness of the Underworld). Gaia brought forth Ouranos, the starry sky, her equal, to cover her, the hills, and the fruitless deep of the Sea, Pontus, "without sweet union of love," out of her own self. But afterwards, Hesiod tells, she lay with Heaven and bore the World-Ocean Oceanus, Coeus and Crius and the Titans Hyperion and Iapetus, Theia and Rhea, Themis and Mnemosyne and Phoebe of the golden crown and lovely Tethys. "After them was born Cronos the wily, youngest and most terrible of her children, and he hated his lusty sire." Cronos, at Gaia's urging, castrates Ouranos. He marries Rhea who bears him Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Hades, Poseidon, and Zeus. Zeus and his brothers overthrow Cronos and the other Titans, then draw lots to determine what each of them will rule. Zeus draws heaven, Poseidon draws the sea, and Hades draws the underworld. The Earth was contested and no one of them had absolute sovereignty over it, as shown by Poseidon's anger when Zeus forced him to leave the battlefield in the Iliad.

Norse

The Voluspa opens with the Norse account of the creation of the present universe :

Old tales I remember | of men long ago. I remember yet | the giants of yore [...] Of old was the age | when Ymir lived; No Sea nor cool waves | nor sand there were; Earth had not been, | nor heaven above, Only a yawning gap, | and grass nowhere.

In the beginning there was nothing except for the ice of Niflheim, to the north, and the fire of Muspelheim, to the south. Between them was a yawning gap (the phrase is sometimes left untranslated as a proper name: Ginnungagap), and in this gap a few pieces of ice met a few sparks of fire. The ice melted to form Eiter, which formed the bodies of the hermaphrodite giant Ymir and the cow Auğumbla, whose milk fed Ymir. Auğumbla fed by licking the rime ice, and slowly she uncovered a man's hair. After a day, she had uncovered his face. After another day, she had uncovered him completely: Búri.

Ymir fathered Thrudgelmir, as well as two humans, one man and one woman. Búri fathered Borr. Borr had three sons, Vili, Ve, and Odin, who killed the giant Ymir. In the vast flood of Ymir's blood, both the primordial man and woman died. Thrudgelmir was also drowned, although not before he had fathered Bergelmir. Bergelmir hid in a hollow tree trunk and survived. Odin and his brothers used Ymir's body to create the universe : they ground his flesh into dirt, and the maggots that appeared in his flesh became the dwarves that live under the earth. His bones became the mountains, and Odin strew his brains into the sky to create the clouds. The universe comprises nine worlds, of which this earth (Mannheim) is central.

They placed the four dwarves Nordri (North), Sudri (South), Austri (East), and Vestri (West) to hold up Ymir's skull and create the heavens. Then using sparks from Muspelheim, the gods created the sun, moon and stars. As Odin and two others (the Eddas say Hœnir and Lóğurr, these are thought to be kennings for Vili and Ve) walked along the beach, they found two pieces of driftwood. From these, they created the 'first' human beings (the previous two having drowned in the flood of Ymir's blood), Ask and Embla. Ymir's eyebrows were used to create a place where the human race could live in; a place called Midgard.[1]

The gods regulated the passage of the days and nights, as well as the seasons. Sol is the goddess of the sun, a daughter of Mundilfari, and wife of Glen. Every day, she rides through the sky on her chariot, pulled by two horses named Alsvid and Arvak. This passage is known as Alfrodull, meaning "glory of elves," which in turn was a common kenning for the sun. Sol is chased during the day by Skoll, a wolf that wants to devour her. Solar eclipses signify that Skoll has almost caught up to her. (It is fated that Skoll will eventually catch Sol and eat her at the end of the world; however, she will be replaced by her daughter.) Sol's brother, the moon Mani, is chased by Hati, another wolf. The earth is protected from the full heat of the sun by the dwarf Svalin, who stands between the earth and Sol. The flaming manes of Arvak and Alsvid provide the light for the earth.

India

Buddhist

Buddhism generally ignores the question regarding the origin of life. The Buddha regarding the origin of life has said "Conjecture about [the origin, etc., of] the world is an unconjecturable that is not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about it."AN IV.77, and in regard to ignoring the question of the origin of life the Buddha has said "And why are they undeclared by me? Because they are not connected with the goal, are not fundamental to the holy life. They do not lead to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation, calming, direct knowledge, self-awakening, Unbinding. That's why they are undeclared by me." MN 63. The Buddha also compared the question of the origin of life - as well as many other metaphysical questions - to the parable of the poison arrow: a man is shot with a poison arrow, but before the doctor pulls it out, he wants to know who shot it (arguing the existence of God), where the arrow came from (where the universe and/or God came from) why that person shot it (why God created the universe), etc. If the man keeps asking these questions before the arrow is pulled out, the Buddha reasoned, he will die before he gets the answers. Buddhism is less concerned with answering questions like the origin of life, and more concerned with the goal of saving oneself and other beings from suffering by attaining Enlightenment, or Nirvana. However, the esoteric Buddhist teaching, the Kalachakra Tantra, deals with the formation and functioning of reality. Modern day Buddhists such as the Dalai Lama don't perceive a conflict between Buddhism and science and consider they are complementary means of understanding the world around us.[2]

Hindu

In Hindu philosophy, the existence of the universe is governed by the Trimurti of Brahma (the Creator), Vishnu (the Sustainer) and Shiva (the Destroyer). The sequence of Avatars of Vishnu- the Dasavatara (Sanskrit: Dasa—ten, Avatara—incarnation) is generally accepted by most Hindus today as correlating well with Darwin's theory of evolution, the first Avatar generating from the environment of water.

Hindus thus do not see much conflict between creation and evolution. An additional reason for this could also be the Hindu concept of cyclic time, such as yugas, or days of Brahma in approximately 4.3 billion year cycles (unlike the concept of linear time in many other religions). In fact, time is represented as Kālá Chakra, the wheel of time.

In Hinduism, nature and all of God's creations are manifestations of Him. He is within and without his creations, pervading the entire universe and also observing it externally. Hence all animals and humans have a divine element in them that is covered by the ignorance and illusions of material or profane existence.

In earlier Vedic thinking, the universe was created by Hiranyagarbha (here interpreted as 'the golden embryo') or by Prajapati who was born from the Hiranyagarbha (here interpreted as 'the golden womb'). Prajapati was later identified with the puranic Brahma. Other gods are credited with acts of creation, primarily the act of propping apart the sky and the Earth - gods who are said to have done this include Indra, Varuna and Vishnu. Another myth which began in late Rig-Vedic times with the Purusha Sukta hymn was the story of the creation of the universe from the remains of the primaeval cosmic male Purusha, who had sacrificed himself or been sacrificed by other primaeval beings (not the most popular Vedic gods because they were said to have been born from Purusha after the sacrifice) at the Purushamedha yajna. According to Hindu mythology creation happened gradually. The universe in primitive form was made up of Ishwar Tattva, the Ishwar Tattva primarily spread homogeneously throughout the universe.

Jainism

See also:
According to Jain beliefs, the universe was never created, nor will it ever cease to exist. It is eternal but not unchangeable, because it passes through an endless series of cycles. Each of these upward or downward cycles is divided into six world ages (yugas). The present world age is the fifth age of one of these "cycles", which is in a downward movement. These ages are known as "Aaro" as in "Pehela Aara" or First Age, "Doosra Aara" or Second Age and so on. The last one is the "Chhatha Aara" or Sixth Age. All these ages have fixed time durations of thousands of years.

When this reaches its lowest level, even Jainism itself will be lost in its entirety. Then, in the course of the next upswing, the Jain religion will be rediscovered and reintroduced by new leaders called Tirthankaras (literally "Crossing Makers" or "Ford Finders"), only to be lost again at the end of the next downswing, and so on.

(see: universe history section in the Jainism article.)

Sikh

See also:
Sikhs believe that prior to creation, all that existed was God (Vāhigurū) and his will (hukam).[3] When God willed, the entire cosmos was created. From these beginnings, God nurtured "enticement and attachment" to māyā, or the human perception of reality.[4]

Surat Shabda Yoga

Surat Shabda Yoga cosmology depicts the whole of creation (the macrocosm) as being emanated and arranged in a spiritually differentiated hierarchy, often referred to as eggs, regions, or planes. Typically, eight spiritual levels are described above the physical plane, although names and subdivisions within these levels will vary to some extent by mission and Master. (One version of the creation from a Surat Shabda Yoga perspective is depicted at the Sant Ajaib Singh Ji Memorial Site in “The Grand Scheme of All Creation”.) All planes below the purely spiritual regions are subject to cycles of creation and dissolution (pralya) or grand dissolution (maha pralya).

The constitution of the individual (the microcosm) is an exact replica of the macrocosm. Consequently, the microcosm consists of a number of bodies, each one suited to interact with its corresponding plane or region in the macrocosm. These bodies developed over the yugas through involution (emanating from higher planes to lower planes) and evolution (returning from lower planes to higher planes), including by karma and reincarnation in various states of consciousness.

Pacific

Australian Aboriginal

See also:  and
There is no single creation story among Aboriginal peoples, who have a diverse mythology. Some traditions hold that the Earth was created by one of the gods of the Dreamtime (see Dreaming), others that particular creatures were created by particular gods or spirit ancestors. More common is the view that although unformed, the Earth itself was eternal.

Polynesian

Main article: Polynesian mythology
Polynesians believed that an all powerful god named Jamahara created their land. He created a female god Fortunuk and had a son named Bertrip who provided juice to all the meowchis.

Hawaiian

Main articles: Māui (mythology) and Kumulipo


For many months Pele followed a star from the northeast, which shown brighter than the rest, and migrated toward it. One morning, Pele awoke to the smell of something familiar in the air. In the distance could be seen a high mountain with a smoky haze hiding its peak. Pele knew she had found her new home. She named the island Hawai'i.

Pele, carrying her magic stick Pa'oa, went up to the mountain where a part of the earth collapsed into the ground. She placed the stick into the ground. Pele called this place Kilauea. Inside the Kilauea Crater was a large pit. She named it Halema'uma'u, maumau being the fern jungle surround the volcano. Halema'uma'u would be her new home.

There was a fire God living on Kilauea named ‘Ailaau. He and Pele both wanted Kilauea for their home. They started throwing fire balls at each other, causing considerable damage. 'Ailaau fled and still hides in the caverns under the earth. Pele alone would rule the Island of Hawai'i. The people of the island loved and respected the Goddess Pele. The egg her mother gave Pele hatched into a beautiful girl. Pele named her new sister, Hi'iaka'i-ka-poli-o-Pele. Kamohoali'i, the shark God taught Hi'iaka the art of surfing.

Pele fell in love with a man she saw in a dream. His name was Lohi'au, a chief of the island of Kaua'i. Pele sent her sister Hi'iaka to fetch Lohi'au on Kaua'i to bring him back to Hawai'i to live with Pele. Hi'iaka would have forty days to bring Lohi'au back or Pele would punish the girl by hurting Hi'iaka's girl friend Hopoe. Upon reaching Kaua'i, Hi'iaka found Lohi'au dead. She quickly rubbed his body with herbs and chanted to the Gods for help; bringing the young chief of Kaua'i back to life. Grateful for Hi'iaka's help, Lohi'au agreed to return with her to the Big Island.

The forty days had passed. Pele suspected that Hi'iaka and Lohi'au had fallen in love and were not coming back. In her fury, Pele caused an eruption which turned Hopoe into stone. On her return to Hawai'i with Lohi'au, Hi'iaka found Hopoe, a statue in stone. Hi'iaka, filled with sadness and anger decided to take revenge. Leading Lohi'au to the edge of the Halema'uma'u crater where Pele could see them, Hi'iaka put her arms around Lohi'au and embraced him. Furious, Pele covered Lohi'au with lava and flames.

The two sisters, anger subsided, were remorseful. One lost a friend, the other a lover. Pele decided to bring Lohi'au back to life to let him choose which sister he would love. Pele was sure Lohi'au would choose her. Lohi'au chose Hi'iaka. Pele, with aloha, gave the two lovers her blessing and Hi'iaka and Lohi'au sailed back to Kaua'i.

Pele still lives on Hawai'i where she rules as the fire Goddess of the volcanoes. The smell of sulphur reminds the natives that she is still there in her home, Halema'uma'u, her fiery lava building a new island to the south, still submerged, named Loahi.

Māori

The Māori creation myth tells how heaven and earth were once joined as Ranginui, the Sky Father, and Papatuanuku, the Earth Mother, lay together in a tight embrace. They had many children who lived in the darkness between them. The children wished to live in the light and so separated their unwilling parents. Ranginui and Papatuanuku continue to grieve for each other to this day. Rangi's tears fall as rain towards Papatuanuku to show how much he loves her. When mist rises from the forests, these are Papa's sighs as the warmth of her body yearns for him and continues to nurture mankind.

Tagalog

The Tagalog people believe that three deities were created from the collision of the Sky (Langit) and the Sea (Linaw). They were Bathala, who reigned over the Sky, Aman Sinaya, who reigned over the Sea, and Amihan, the North Wind, who took over the realm in between.

Bathala and Aman Sinaya then became fierce rivals that led them to fight each other. In one of their battles, Aman Sinaya sent a tempest into the Sky to cause a commotion. Bathala threw giant boulders to stop her. This caused thousands of islands to be created onto the surface of the Sea (which became to be the Philippine archipelago). As the situation worsened, Amihan decided to intervene. In a form of a bird, Amihan flew back and forth between them causing the Sky and the Sea to become closer than it was before. Soon, the two realms met and both gods agreed to end the fight and become friends.

As a sign of friendship, Bathala planted a seed underneath the ocean floor. It soon grew into a bamboo reed, sticking out of the edge of the Sea. One day, Amihan flew by and heard voices, coming from inside the reed. "Oh, North Wind! North Wind! Please let us out.", the voices said. Amihan pecked the reed once, then twice, and all of a sudden, it cracked open. Inside were two human beings; a male and a female. Amihan named the man, Malakas ("strong"), and the woman, Maganda ("beautiful"). Both were flown then onto one of the islands where they settled, built a house, and had millions of offsprings that populated the Earth.

Middle East

Babylonian

The Babylonian creation myth is recounted in the "Epic of Creation" also known as the Enûma Elish. The Mesopotamian "Epic of Creation" dates to the late second millennium B.C.E.

In the poem, the god Marduk (or Assur in the Assyrian versions of the poem) is created to defend the divine beings from an attack plotted by the ocean goddess Tiamat. The hero Marduk offers to save the gods only if he is appointed their supreme unquestioned leader and is allowed to remain so even after the threat passes. The gods agree to Marduk's terms. Marduk challenges Tiamat to combat and destroys her. He then rips her corpse into two halves with which he fashions the Earth and the heavens. Marduk then creates the calendar, organizes the planets, stars and regulates the moon, sun, and weather. The gods pledge their allegiance to Marduk and he creates Babylon as the terrestrial counterpart to the realm of the gods. Marduk then destroys Tiamat's husband, Kingu using his blood to create mankind so that they can do the work of the gods. (Sources, Foster, B.R., From Distant Days : Myths, Tales, and Poetry of Ancient Mesopotamia. 1995, Bethesda, Md.: CDL Press. vi, 438 p., Bottéro, J., Religion in Ancient Mesopotamia. 2004, Chicago: University of Chicago Press. x, 246 p., Jacobsen, T., The Treasures of Darkness : A History of Mesopotamian Religion. 1976, New Haven: Yale University Press. 273.)

Bahá'í

The founder of the Bahá'í Faith, Bahá'u'lláh, wrote that the material universe has always existed, though in a different form, and that the Word of God was its generating impulse. He further writes that God's Will expresses itself in the contingent world as nature, and that creation in totality has neither beginning nor end. Bahá'í Writings state that the material universe is only part of creation: there are many "worlds of God". (Sources: Bahá'u'lláh, Lawh-i-Hikmat p140-142 [3], `Abdu'l-Bahá, Promulgation of Universal Peace p47 [4])

Egyptian

There were at least three separate cosmogenies in Egyptian mythology, corresponding to at least three separate groups of worshippers. Over time, the rival groups gradually merged, Ra and Atum were identified as the same god, making Atum's mysterious creation actually due to the Ogdoad, and Ra having the children Shu and Tefnut, etc. In consequence, Anubis was identified as a son of Osiris, as was Horus. Amun's role was later thought much greater, and for a time, he became chief god, although he eventually became considered a manifestation of Ra.

For a time, Ra and Horus were identified as one another, and when the Aten monotheism was unsuccessfully introduced, it was Ra-Horus who was thought of as the Aten, and the consequent cosmogony this inspired. Later, Osiris' cult became more popular, and he became the main god, being identified as a form of Ptah. Eventually, all the gods were thought of as aspects of Osiris, Isis, Horus, or Set (who was by now a villain), indeed, Horus and Osiris had started to become thought of as the same god. Ptah eventually was identified as Osiris.

A late version of the narrative has it that the Supreme Being (God) was Atum-Raa and he uttered the words of creation to create the Primordial water of Nu (The celestial Ocean) Naunet. Naunet contained everything in embrionic form. From this, Atum-Raa uttered the words of creation to bring life into the world. This life took the form of an egg. From this egg came Raa, the light of God who caused all life to come into existence. Raa was represented by the Egyptian solar disk (also symbolised in Nordic, Germanic, Greek & Vedic tradition by a Sun chariot as well as referenced by biblical texts Elijah (prophet)). Raa, the light of God in nature, later became manifest on earth through the disc of the sun (eten) & appeared in the form of Dosher - the sunrise at the beginning of life on earth.

Hermeticism

In Hermeticism, the origin belief is not taken literally, but an attempt is made to understand it metaphorically. Not all Hermeticists understand it in the same way, and it is mainly up to personal understanding. The tale is given in the first book of the Corpus Hermeticum by God's Nous to Hermes Trismegistus after much meditation. Also, not all Hermeticists put much weight on the symbolic texts, and may be unaware of the story.

It begins as God creates the elements after seeing the Cosmos and creating one just like it (our Cosmos) from its own constituent elements and souls. From there, God, being both male and female, holding the Word, gave birth to a second Nous, creator of the world. This second Nous created seven powers (often seen as Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, the Sun and the Moon) to travel in circles and govern destiny.

The Word then leaps forth from the matterializing elements, which made them unintelligent. Nous then made the governors spin, and from their matter sprang forth creatures without speech. Earth then was separated from Water and the animals (other than Man) were brought forth from the Earth.

The Supreme Nous then created Man, hermaphroditic, in his own image and handed over his creation. Man carefully observed the creation of his brother, the lesser Nous, and received his and his Father's authority over it all. Man then rose up above the spheres' paths to better view the creation, and then showed the form of God to Nature. Nature fell in love with it, and Man, seeing a similar form to his own reflecting in the water fell in love with Nature and wished to dwell in it. Immediately Man became one with Nature and became a slave to its limitations such as gender and sleep. Man thus became speechless (for it lost the Word) and became double, being mortal in body but immortal in spirit, having authority of all but subject to destiny.

The tale does not specifically contradict the theory of evolution, other than for Man, but most Hermeticists fully accept evolutionary theory as a solid grounding for the creation of everything from base matter to Man.

Islam

The creation narrative of Islam is split among many verses in the Qur'an and among ahadith. The creation of the universe in Islam is as follows. Allah created the Heavens and the Earth, which were initially as one mass which were then later parted [5]. After parting of both, they simultaneously came into their present shape after going through a phase when they were smoke-like [6]. Quran tells us that the whole creation took 6 long spans of time, rather than 6 literal days. The creation story of the universe in the Quran has been strongly paralleled to the Big Bang by Muslim scholars.

In the time before time, God was. And when God wants to create something, all he needs to say is "Be", and it becomes, however from the perspective of Humans it could've taken a long time. So it was that God created the world and the heavens. He made all the creatures, which walk, swim. Crawl and fly on the face of the earth. He made the angels, and the sun, moon and the stars to dwell in the universe. And consider, as the Qur'an says, how God poured down the rain in torrents, and broke up the soil to bring forth the corm, the grapes and other vegetation; the olive and the palm, the fruit trees and the grass. God moulded clay, earth, sand and water into a model of a man. He breathed life and power into it, and it immediately sprang to life. And this first man was called Adam. God took Adam to live in Paradise. In Paradise, God created Eve, the first woman, from out of Adam's side. God taught Adam the names of all the creatures, and then commanded all the angels to bow down before Adam. But Iblis, one amongst the Jinns (a special being in the Quran - who had a special elevated status comparable to that of Angels), refused to do this, and thus began to disobey God's will.

God place the couple in a beautiful garden in Paradise, telling them that they could eat whatever they wanted except the fruit of on forbidden tree, But the evil one tempted them to disobey God, and eat the fruit. When God knew that Adam and Eve had disobeyed him, he cast them out of Paradise and sent them to earth. But God is Merciful. The earth was created to give food, drink and shelter to the human race. The sun, moon and stars give light. It is a good world, where everything has been created to serve people. And people, the Qur'an teaches, should serve God and obey his will. For those who submit to the will of God will be saved, and taken to live for ever in Paradise.

The Muslim creation story is found in the Qur'an, and further explained in various teachings given by Muhammad(P.B.U.H), which were collected and are known as the Hadath. At the heart of the creation story is something which Muslims all over the world hear every day in their Call to Prayer - God is Great. For Muslims believe there is only One God who created everything. God's world is a good world, and when people obey or submit to God then life is good. The word 'Islam' means submission. Although God made humans superior to the rest of creation, Muslims believe that this means humans have been given everything on earth to care for and look after. The world is not ours to do with as we want. The Qur'an teaches that Muslims should be thankful for all living things, for God is the Creator of all life.

Judaism and Christianity

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Creation of Light, by Gustave Doré. The painting depicts a literal representation of Genesis 1:1 ("Let there be light").
Further information: Creation (theology) and Creationism


According to Judeo-Christian narrative, in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Throughout a period of six days, God progressively created more facets of creation such as land, plant-life, animals, and eventually humans. On the seventh day, he rested, satisfied with His creation - the origin of the Sabbath. (God is usually referred to in masculine terms, although many Judeo-Christian groups hold God to be genderless.)

Human beings were created apart from animals in the image of God. The first human being God created was a man named Adam. He did this by shaping Adam from the dust of the earth and breathing life into him. Adam was alone and God felt he needed a companion. So when Adam slept, God took one of Adam's ribs and used it to created Eve, his wife and the first woman.

Adam and Eve lived with God in the Garden of Eden as his faithful companions. They did not experience suffering and they did not know of good and evil. One day, they were tempted by a serpent (whom Christians believe to have been Satan) to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. God had demanded they not do this, but Adam and Eve both ate. They became aware of evil, and for breaking God's commandment were expelled from the garden of Eden. Some Christians believe the fall of Adam and Eve was the cause of original sin, for which they believe Jesus Christ came to earth as a remedy.

Mandaeism

According to the traditions of Mandaeism creation proceeds from a supreme formless Entity, the expression of which in time and space is creation of spiritual, etheric, and material worlds and beings. Production of these is delegated by It to a creator or creators who originated in It. The cosmos is created by Archetypal Man, who produces it in similitude to his own shape. Inherent to this creation is Dualism, taking the forms of a cosmic Father and Mother, Light and Darkness, Right and Left, syzygy in cosmic and microcosmic form. Instead of a large pleroma, the Mandaeans believe in a discrete division between light and darkness. The ruler of darkness is called Ptahil (similar to the Gnostic Demiurge), and the originator of the light (i.e. God) is only known as "the great first Life from the worlds of light, the sublime one that stands above all works". When this being emanated, other spiritual beings became increasingly corrupted, and they and their ruler Ptahil created our world.

Zoroastrianism

The Zoroastrian story of creation has Ahura Mazda creating 16 lands, one by one, such that each would be delightful to its people. As he finished each one, Angra Mainyu applied a counter-creation, introducing plague and sin of various kinds. The dualistic idea of two primordial spirits, called twins by Zoroaster, goes back to an Indo-European prototype.

North America

Kiowa Apache

In the beginning nothing existed, only darkness was everywhere. Suddenly from the darkness emerged a thin disc, one side yellow and the other side white, appearing suspended in midair. Within the disc sat a small bearded man, Creator, the One Who Lives Above. When he looked into the endless darkness, light appeared above. He looked down and it became a sea of light. To the east, he created yellow streaks of dawn. To the west, tints of many colours appeared everywhere. There were also clouds of different colors. He also created three other gods: a little girl, a Sun-God and a small boy. Then he created celestial phenomena, the winds, the tarantula, and the earth from the sweat of the four gods mixed together in the Creator's palms, from a small round, brown ball, not much larger than a bean. The world was expanded to its current size by the gods kicking the small brown ball. Creator told Wind to go inside the ball and to blow it up. The tarantula, the trickster character, spun a black cord and, attaching it to the ball, crawled away fast to the east, pulling on the cord with all his strength. Tarantula repeated with a blue cord to the south, a yellow cord to the west, and a white cord to the north. With mighty pulls in each direction, the brown ball stretched to immeasurable size--it became the earth! No hills, mountains, or rivers were visible; only smooth, treeless, brown plains appeared. Then the Creator created the rest of the beings and features of the Earth.

Aztec

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Quetzalcoatl in human form, from the Codex Borbonicus.
The Aztec narrative describing creation proceeds with an Earth mother, "Coatlique", the Lady of the Skirt of Snakes. She was decorated with skulls, snakes, and lacerated hands. At first she was whole without cracks in her body -- a perfect monolith (a totality of intensity and self-containment, yet her features were square and decapitated). Coatlique was first impregnated by an obsidian knife and gave birth to Coyolxauhqui, goddess of the moon, and to a group of male offspring, who became the stars.

Then one day Coatlique found a ball of feathers, which she tucked into her bosom. When she looked for it later, it was gone, at which time she realized that she was again pregnant. Her children, the moon and stars did not believe her story. Ashamed of their mother, they resolved to kill her. During the time that they were plotting her demise, Coatlique gave birth to the fiery god of war, Huitzilopochtli. With the help of a fire serpent, he destroyed his brothers and sister, murdering them in a rage. He beheaded Coyolxauhqui and threw her body into a deep gorge in a mountain, where it lies dismembered forever.

This precipitated a great civil war in heaven which crumbled to pieces. Coatlique fell and was fertilized, while her children were torn apart by fratricide and them scattered and disjointed throughout the universe. Who remained were Ometecutli and his wife Omecihuatl that created life. Their children were: Xipe Totec the god of spring, Huitzilopochtli the Sun god, Quetzalcoatl the "light one" and "plumed serpent", and Tezcatlipoca, the "dark one" and god of night and sorcery.

Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca saw that whatever they created was eaten by Coatlique who floated in the abyss eating everything with her many mouths. To stop her, they changed into two serpents and descended into the water. One grabbed the goddess by the arms while the other grabbed her by the legs, and before she could resist they pulled her apart into different pieces. Her head and shoulders became the earth and the lower part of her body the sky.

The other deities were angry at what the two had done and decided, as compensation for her dismemberment, to allow her to provide the necessities for people to survive; so from her hair they created trees, grass, and flowers; caves, fountains, and wells from her eyes; rivers from her mouth; hills and valleys from her nose; and mountains from her shoulders.

Still the goddess was often unhappy and the people could hear her crying in the night. They knew she wept because of her thirst for human blood, and that she would not provide food from the soil until she drank. So the gift of human hearts is given her. She who provides sustenance for human lives demands human lives for her own sustenance.

Cherokee

In the beginning, there was just water. All the animals lived above it and the sky was overcrowded. They were all curious about what was beneath the water and one day Dayuni'si, the water beetle, volunteered to explore it. He explored the surface but could not find any solid ground. He explored below the surface to the bottom and all he found was mud which he brought back to the surface. After collecting the mud, it began to grow in size and spread outwards until it became the Earth as we know it.

After all this had happened, one of the animals attached this new land to the sky with four strings. The land was still too wet so they sent the great buzzard from Galun'lati to prepare it for them. The buzzard flew down and by the time that he reached the Cherokee land he was so tired that his wings began to hit the ground. Wherever they hit the ground a mountain or valley formed.

The animals then decided that it was too dark, so they made the sun and put it on the path in which it still runs today.

Choctaw

The Choctaw who remain in Mississippi recount a narrative explanation of how they came to the land where they live now and of how Naniah Waiya Mound came to be. Chata and Chicksah, two brothers, led the original people from a land in the far west that had ceased to prosper. The people traveled for a long time, guided by a magical pole. Each night, when the people stopped to camp, the pole was placed in the ground and in the morning the people would travel in the direction in which the pole leaned.

After traveling for an extremely long time, they finally came to a place where the pole remained upright. In this place, they laid to rest the bones of their ancestors, which they had carried in buffalo sacks from the original land in the west. The mound grew out of that great burial. After the burial, the brothers discovered that the land could not support all the people. Chicksah took half the people and departed to the North and eventually became the Chickasaw tribe. Chatah and the others remained near the mound and are now known as the Choctaw.

Creek

The Creek believe that the world was originally entirely underwater. The only land was a hill, called Nunne Chaha, and on the hill was a house, wherein lived Esaugetuh Emissee ("master of breath"). He created humanity from the clay on the hill.

Digueno

The Digueno creation narrative tells of the beginning of creation with the male sky coming down upon the female Earth. The extant deities were weighed down by the sky being so close to the ground and all walked with a stoop. To combat this problem, a creator deity, Tu-chai-pai, separated the Earth from the heavens by blowing on rubbed tobacco three times. He had his brother, Yo-ko-mat-is, do the same, and then the two brothers placed the four cardinal directions at the ends of the Earth. Tu-chai-pai then proceeded to create hills, valleys, forests and lakes for the benefit of humanity. The brothers made men easily but had trouble making women. Initially, human beings were not subject to fatigue, but to prevent them from hurting themselves in the dark they were made to sleep at night. Tu-chai-pai then made the Sun and Yo-ko-mat-is made the moon to help humanity find the light they were instructed to race towards.

Hopi

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The Elders say that the first Hopi had chosen to live in the barren desert so that they would always need to pray for rain. Thus, they would not lose faith in their ceremonies, which maintain their bond with the Mother Nature and creator. They said that the True Hopi people represent the Red race through the authority vested in them by the Creator, Maasaw.

Inuit

The traditional account of the Inuit people is that the trickster in the form of Raven created the world. When the waters forced the ground up from the deep Raven stabbed it with his beak and fixed it into place. This first land was just big enough for a single house occupied by a single family: a man, his wife and their son, Raven who had fixed the land. The father had a bladder hanging over his bed. After much pleading by Raven the father allowed the boy to play with it. While playing Raven damaged the bladder and light appeared. The father not wanting to have light always shining took the bladder from the boy before he could damage it further. This struggle is the origin of day and night.

Iroquois

The Iroquois account of demiurge is that in the beginning there was no earth to live on, only a watery abyss, but up above, in the Great Blue, there was a community called the Sky World including a woman who dreamed dreams.

One night she dreamed about the tree that was the source of light. The dream frightened her, so she went and asked the men in the Sky World to pull up the tree. They dug around the trees roots to make space for more light, and the tree fell through the hole and disappeared. After that there was only darkness. Distraught, they pushed the woman through the hole as well. The woman would have been lost in the abyss had not a fish hawk come to her aid using his feathers to pillow her.

The fish hawk could not keep her up all on his own, so he asked for help to create some firm ground for the woman to rest upon. A helldiver went down to the bottom of the sea and brought back mud in his beak. He found a turtle, smeared the mud onto its back, and dove down again for more. Ducks also brought beaksful of the ocean floor and to spread over the turtle's shell. The beavers helped build terrain, making the shell bigger. The birds and the animals built the continents until they had made the whole round earth, while the woman was safely sitting on the turtle's back. The turtle continues to hold the earth on its back.

After this, one of the Spirits of the Sky World came down and looked at the earth. As he traveled over it, he found it beautiful, and so he created people to live on it and gave them special skills; each tribe of the Iroquois nation was given special gifts to share with the rest of humanity.

Lakota

The Lakota recount in their version of demiurge that the gods lived in the heavens and humans lived in an underworld without culture. Creation was initiated by Inktomi ("spider"), the trickster, who conspired to cause a rift in the heavens between the Sun God Takushkanshkan ("something that moves") and his wife, the Moon. Their separation marked the creation of time. Some of Inktomi's co-conspirators were exiled to the Earth where the gods of the four winds were scattered and created space.

To populate the Earth, Inktomi traveled to the underworld in the form of a wolf and met with humanity, telling them about a paradisical world aboveground. Inktomi convinced a man named Tokahe ("the first") to travel to the surface for a brief visit. When Tokahe emerged through a cave (Wind Cave in the Black Hills), he found the world to be strikingly beautiful. Returning to the underworld, Tokahe persuaded other families to accompany him to the surface, but upon arrival they discovered that the Earth was full of hardship. Inktomi had by this time prevented humanity from returning below ground, so the families had no choice but to scatter and eke out their livelihoods.

Maidu

In the beginning there was no sun, no moon, no stars. All was dark, and everywhere there was only water. A raft came floating on the water. It came from the north, and in it were two persons,--Turtle and Father-of-the-Secret- Society.

The stream flowed very rapidly. Then from the sky a rope of feathers, was let down, and down it came Earth-Initiate. When he reached the end of the rope, he tied it to the bow of the raft, and stepped in. His face was covered and was never seen, but his body shone like the sun. He sat down, and for a long time said nothing.

At last Turtle said, "Where do you come from?" and earth Initiate answered, "I come from above."

Then Turtle said, "Brother, can you not make for me some good dry land so that I may sometimes come up out of the water?"

Then he asked another time, "Are there going to be any people in the world?"

Earth-Initiate thought awhile, then said, "Yes."

Turtle asked, "How long before you are going to make people?"

Earth-Initiate replied, "I don't know. You want to have some dry land: well, how am I going to get any earth to make it of?"

Turtle answered, "If you will tie a rock about my left arm, I'll dive for some."

Earth-Initiate did as Turtle asked, and then, reaching around, took the end of a rope from somewhere, and tied it to Turtle. When Earth-Initiate came to the raft, there was no rope there: he just reached out and found one.

Turtle said, "If the rope is not long enough, I'll jerk it once, and you must haul me up; if it is long enough, I'll give two jerks, and then you must pull me up quickly, as I shall have all the earth that I can carry." Just as Turtle went over the side of the boat, Father-of-the-Secret-Society began to shout loudly.

Turtle was gone a long time. He was gone six years; and when he came up, he was covered with green slime, he had been down so long. When he reached the top of the water, the only earth he had was a very little under his nails: the rest had all washed away. Earth-Initiate took with his right hand a stone knife from under his left armpit, and carefully scraped the earth out from under Turtle's nails.

He put the earth in the palm of his hand, and rolled it about till it was round; it was as large as a small pebble. He laid it on the stern of the raft. By and by he went to look at it: it had not grown at all. The third time that he went to look at it, it had grown so that it could be spanned by the arms. The fourth time he looked, it was as big as the world, the raft was aground, and all around were mountains as far as he could see.

The raft came ashore at Ta'doikö, and the place can be seen today.[5]

Navajo

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"Holy Supreme Wind" being created by the mists of lights arose through the darkness to animate and bring purpose to the myriad Holy People, supernatural and sacred in the different three lower worlds. All these things were spiritually created in the time before the earth existed and the physical aspect of man did not exist yet, but the spiritual did. In the first world the insect people started fighting with one another and were instructed by the Holy People to depart. They journeyed to the second world and lived for a time in peace. Eventually they fought with each other and were instructed to depart. In the third world the same thing happens again and they are forced to journey to the fourth world. In the fourth world, they found the Hopi living there and succeeded in not fighting with one another or their neighbors, and their bodies were transformed from the insect forms to human forms. First man and First woman physically appear in the narrative here by being formed from ears of white and yellow corn, but they were also created back in the beginning. There is a separation of male and female humans because each did not appreciate the contributions of the other, and this laid the ground work for the appearance of the Monsters that would start to kill off the people in the next world. Coyote, the trickster, also appears and steals the baby of water monster, who brings a great flood in the third world which primarily forces the humans as well as Holy People to journey to the surface of the fifth world through a hollow reed. Some things are left behind and some things are brought to help the people re-create the world each time they entered a new one. Death and the Monsters are born into this world as is Changing Woman who gives birth to the Hero Twins, called "Monster Slayer" and "Child of the Waters" who had many adventures in which they helped to rid the world of much evil. Earth Surface People, mortals, were created in the fourth world, and the gods gave them ceremonies, which are still practiced today.

Ojibwa

When the Earth was young it had a family. The moon, or Grandmother and the sun, called Grandfather. The Earth was a woman - Mother Earth - because from her came all living things. Mother Earth was given four directions - East, South, West, and North, each with physical and spiritual powers.

When Mother Earth was young Creator, or Gitche Manitou as Ojibwa people call him, filled her with beauty. He sent singers in the form of birds and swimmers in the water. He placed plants, trees, insects, crawlers and four-legged animals on the land.

Gitche Manitou then blew into four parts of Mother Earth using the sacred megis shell. From the union of these four and his breath, two-leggeds or man, was born. Thus, man was the last form of life to be put on Earth. From this original man came the Anishinaabe - or The Original People.

Seminole

The Seminole recount that when the Creator, the Grandfather of all things, created the earth, he made all animals and birds and put them in a large shell. When the earth was ready, he set the shell along the backbone (mountains) of the earth. "When the timing is right," he told the animals, "the shell will open and you will all crawl out. Someone or something will crack the shell and you must all take your respective places on the face of the earth." The Creator then sealed up the shell and left, hoping the Panther (his favorite animal) would be first to emerge.

Time went along, and nothing happened. Alongside the shell stood a great tree. As time passed, the tree grew so large that its roots started encircling the shell. Eventually a root cracked the shell. The Wind started enlarging the crack and the Creator reached down to help the Panther take its place on earth. Next to crawl out was the Bird. The Bird had picked and picked around the hole, and, when the time was right, stepped outside the shell. Bird took flight immediately. After that, other animals emerged in different sequences: Bear, Deer, Snake, Frog, Otter. There were thousands of others, so many that no one besides the Creator could even begin to count them all. All went out to seek their proper places on earth.

Tlingit

According to Tlingit tradition, creation proceeded with help from the trickster figure of the raven. At the time there was no light or water. Raven had to steal light from where it was hoarded in the house of a rich man far up the Nass River, which was dry at the time. He accomplished this by making himself small and getting the daughter of the house to swallow him and become pregnant. When the child was born, it cried for the bundles of light hanging on the wall of the house. Finally, the family gave the raven the bundles of stars and moons to soothe him each of which he let escape through the chimney and which scattered across the heavens. He left with a box of daylight which was the last bit of light the family owned.

Raven then proceeded to trick the man who owned the everlasting spring of water into giving him a drink, but before he could escape through the chimney, the man made a fire and blackened raven to his current color. First, he spit out water creating the Nass Stikine, Taku, Chilkat, the Alsek, and all the other large rivers. Smaller drops created the salmon creeks.

Raven then proceeded to a town that had never seen daylight. The people of the town quarreled with him, so raven decided to scare them by opening his box of daylight. Upon seeing the Sun, the villagers scattered, some to the ocean where they became sea creatures and some to the forest where they became forest creatures.

Raven made the winds, the races, and dogs who were human beings that Raven cursed to walk on all fours.

South America

Inca

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Hand drawn image of Manco Capac, founder of the Incan empire and, according to Incan custom, created along with the world.


The Incan account of creation is known based on what was recorded by priests, from the iconography on Incan pottery and architecture, and the myths and legends which survived amongst the native peoples. According to these accounts, in the most ancient of times the earth was covered in darkness. Then, out of a lake called Collasuyu (modern Titicaca), the god Con Tiqui Viracocha emerged, bringing some human beings with him. Then Con Tiqui created the sun (Inti), the moon and the stars to light the world. It is from Inti that the Sapa Inca, emperor of Tawantin Suyu, is descended. Out of great rocks Con Tiqui fashioned more human beings, including women who were already pregnant. Then he sent these people off into every corner of the world. He kept a male and female with him at Cusco, the "navel of the world."

Con, the Creator; was in the form of a man without bones. He filled the earth with good things to supply the needs of the first humans. The people, however, forgot Con's goodness to them and rebelled. So he punished them by stopping the rainfall. The miserable people were forced to work hard, drawing what little water they could find from stinking, drying riverbeds. Then a new god, Pachacamac, came and drove Con out, changing his people into monkeys. Pachacamac then took earth and made the ancestors of human beings..

The founder of the first dynasty of the kingdom of Cuzco was Manco Capac. In one legend he was brought up from the depths of Lake Titicaca by the sun god Inti. In another he was the son of Tici Viracocha. However commoners were not allowed to speak the name of Viracocha, which is possibly an explanation for the need for two foundation legends.

In one myth Manco Capac was the brother of Pachacamac, both were sons of the sun god Inti who is also known as Apu Punchau. Manco Capac himself was worshiped as a fire and sun god. According to the Inti legend, Manco Capac and his siblings were sent up to the earth by the sun god and emerged from the cave of Pacaritambo carrying a golden staff, called ‘tapac-yauri’. They were instructed to create a Temple of the Sun in the spot where the staff sank into the earth, they traveled to Cusco via underground caves, and built a temple in honor of the sun god Inti, their father. During the journey to Cuzco, one of Manco’s brothers, and possibly one of his sisters, were turned to stone (huaca). In another version of this legend, instead of emerging from a cave in Cuzco, the siblings instead emerged from the waters of Lake Titicaca.

In the Tici Virachocha legend, Manco Capac was the son of Tici Viracocha of Pacari-Tampu (today Pacaritambo, 25 km south of Cuzco). He and his brothers (Ayar Anca, Ayar Cachi and Ayar Uchu) and sisters (Mama Ocllo, Mama Huaco, Mama Raua and Mama Cura) lived near Cuzco at Paccari-Tampu, and united their people and ten ayllu they encountered in their travels to conquer the tribes of the Cuzco Valley. This legend also incorporates the golden staff, which is thought to have been given to Manco Capac by his father. Accounts vary, but according to some versions of the legend, the young Manco jealously betrayed his older brothers, killed them, and became the sole ruler of Cuzco.

Mayan

See also:
The Maya of Mesoamerica creation story is recounted in the book "Popol Vuh". Tepeu and Gucamatz came together to create the world. Whatever was thought of by Tepeu and Gucamatz came into being. Next for creation are the creatures of the forest: birds, deer, jaguars and snakes. They are told to multiply and scatter, and then to speak and "pray to us". But the animals just squawk and howl. So Tepeu and Gucumatz try to make some respectful creatures from mud. But the results are not great, and they allow the new race to be washed away. They call upon their grandparents, who suggest wood as an appropriate medium. But the wooden people are just mindless robots, so Tepeu and Gucumatz set about the destruction of this new race by means of a rain-storm. This causes the animals to turn against the wooden people; even their pots and querns rebel, and crush the peoples' faces. The wooden people escape to the forests and are turned into monkeys. Heart-of-Sky then make yet another attempt at creating a suitably respectful race, and finally succeed by fashioning humans out of maize-corn dough.

Modern

Evolutionary Spirituality

Main article: The Great Story
"The Great Story", "the Story of the Universe", or "the Epic of Evolution" are titles for the core belief of a social movement that tells the history of the universe in a way that is simultaneously scientific and sacred. It articulates the understandings of modern science – especially the evolutionary sciences ranging from stellar evolution to biological evolution and cultural evolution – as a sacred creation story, much like the traditional creation myths passed down through oral cultures and sacred texts.

Mormonism

Followers of the book of Mormon believe that physical reality (space, matter and/or energy) is eternal, and therefore does not have an absolute origin. The Creator is an architect and organizer of pre-mortal matter and energy, who constructed the present universe out of the raw material (demiurge). In addition to the pre-mortal organization of the earth from existing matter, Joseph Smith taught that "there is no such thing as immaterial matter. All spirit is matter, but it is more fine or pure, and can only be discerned by purer eyes; we cannot see it; but when our bodies are purified we shall see that it is all matter." (Doctrine and Covenants 131:7,8) It is also found in the Book of Abraham, a book in Mormon scripture, tells that there were multiple Gods involved in the Creation, and it can be inferred from the text that one of these is Jehovah, who would later be born as Christ, and Elohim, who is God the Father.

Raëlism

Raëlism is a modern UFO religion founded by former motor racing journalist Claude Vorilhon, in 1974. Raëlians believe that humanoid aliens called Elohim, created both life on earth and the conditions necessary to support it, through use of terraforming, genetic engineering and nanotechnology.[7]

Randomness

Some philosophers like Hakim Bey and occultists like Peter Carroll think randomness, chaos or the Uncertainty principle is the prime mover according to science, and should accordingly be treated as divine.

Scientology

See also:
Scientologists believe an alien called Xenu (also Xemu), pronounced ['zi.nu:], was the dictator of the "Galactic Confederacy" who, 75 million years ago, brought billions [8] of his people to Earth in DC-8-like spacecraft, stacked them around volcanoes and killed them using hydrogen bombs. Scientology holds that their essences remained, and that they form around people in modern times, causing them spiritual harm. [9][10]

Wicca

Modern Wicca arose relatively recently, and due to a lack of agreed doctrine creation myths are not shared universally. The following is one of the more common myths associated with the faith; some followers believe in a scientific explanation and combine it in various forms with creation myths.

Some followers of the Wicca religion believe the demiurge began from a nothingness out of which Spirit drew together and created the Goddess of Wicca. She gave birth to all of nature and set forth its rhythmic movements as a dance. Her breath formed the colors and beauty of nature, her tears formed water, and her laughter formed the sounds of water.

Spirit then created for the Goddess a companion God (or the "Lord"), half-spirit and half-animal who is represented as wearing the antlers of a stag, as her life-mate and companion. Together, the Lord and Lady gave birth to all life. To protect and guide humanity, the Lord and Lady created the angels and power spirits as invisible energies.

See also

References

1. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica. 
2. ^ Tao Te Ching Ch 25: 有物混成,先天地生。寂兮寥兮,獨立而不改,周行而不殆,可以為天地母 。吾不知其名,強字之曰道。(rendition: There is something that contains everything. Before heaven and earth it is. Oh, it is still, unbodied, all on its own, unchanging, all-pervading, ever-moving. So it can act as the mother of all things. Not knowing its real name, we only call it the Way)
3. ^ Dev, Nanak. Gurū Granth Sāhib, 1035. Retrieved on 2006-06-15. “For endless eons, there was only utter darkness. There was no earth or sky; there was only the infinite Command of His Hukam. 
4. ^ Dev, Nanak. Gurū Granth Sāhib, 1036. Retrieved on 2006-06-15. “When He so willed, He created the world. Without any supporting power, He sustained the universe. He created Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva; He fostered enticement and attachment to Maya. 
5. ^ Quran 21:30
6. ^ Quran 41:11
7. ^ Intelligent Design: Message from the Designers. Nova Distribution. ISBN 2-940252-22-X. 
8. ^ Thousands of millions in Long Scale
9. ^ Scott, Michael Dennis (2004) "Internet And Technology Law Desk Reference", Aspen Publishers, ISBN 0735547432
10. ^ Lewis James R (2003) "The Oxford Handbook of New Religious Movements", Oxford University Press, ISBN 0195149866

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formation and evolution of the Solar System are complex and varied, interweaving various scientific disciplines, from astronomy and physics to geology and planetary science.
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Big Bang is the cosmological model of the universe whose primary assertion is that the universe has expanded into its current state from a primordial condition of enormous density and temperature.
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origin of life, is the study of how life on Earth might have emerged from non-life. Scientific consensus is that abiogenesis occurred sometime between 4.4 billion years ago, when water vapor first liquefied,[2] and 2.
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First Man is an upcoming comedy film that will star Robert De Niro and Meryl Streep, teaming up for the fourth time to play husband and wife, in this comedy about a business mogul who puts his career aside to run his wife's presidential campaign.
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EARTH was a short-lived Japanese vocal trio which released 6 singles and 1 album between 2000 and 2001. Their greatest hit, their debut single "time after time", peaked at #13 in the Oricon singles chart.
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Life (Biota)

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The Universe is defined as the summation of all particles and energy that exist and the space-time in which all events occur. Based on observations of the portion of the Universe that is observable, physicists attempt to describe the whole of space-time, including all matter and
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Cosmogony, or cosmogeny, is any theory concerning the coming into existence or origin of the universe, or an origin belief about how reality came to be. The word comes from the Greek κοσμογονία (or
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The word mythology (from the Greek μύθολογία mythología, from μυθολογείν mythologein
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religion is a set of common beliefs and practices generally held by a group of people, often codified as prayer, ritual, and religious law. Religion also encompasses ancestral or cultural traditions, writings, history, and mythology, as well as personal faith and mystic experience.
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God

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Daniel Quinn (born 1935 in Omaha, Nebraska) is a U.S. writer. He is best known for his book Ishmael (1992), which won the Turner Tomorrow Fellowship Award in 1991.
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In a narrative, such as a novel or a film, a motif or motive is a recurring element that has symbolic significance in the story. Motifs are recurring structures, contrasts, or literary devices that can help to develop and inform the text’s major themes.
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Demiurge (from the Greek δημιουργός dēmiourgós, Latinized demiurgus
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God

General approaches
Agnosticism Atheism
Deism Dystheism
Henotheism Ignosticism
Monism Monotheism
Natural theology Nontheism
Pandeism Panentheism
Pantheism Polytheism
Theism Theology
Transtheism

Specific conceptions
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Ex nihilo is a Latin term meaning "out of nothing". It is often used in conjunction with the term creation, as in creatio ex nihilo, meaning "creation out of nothing".
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Latin}}} 
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Official language of: Vatican City
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Science (from the Latin scientia, 'knowledge'), in the broadest sense, refers to any systematic knowledge or practice.[1] Examples of the broader use included political science and computer science, which are not incorrectly named, but rather named according to
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Life (Biota)

Domains and Kingdoms
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cosmos is an orderly or harmonious system. It originates from a Greek term κόσμος meaning "order, orderly arrangement, ornaments," and is the antithetical concept of chaos.
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The creation-evolution controversy (also termed the creation vs. evolution debate or the origins debate) is a recurring political dispute about the origins of the Earth, humanity, life, and the universe,[1]
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50,000 people with half or more Ainu ancestry
150,000 Japanese people with some Ainu ancestry
  • (some estimates on the number of Japanese with some Ainu blood range as high as 1,000,000; the exact number is unknown)
Pre-Japanese era: ~
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Demiurge (from the Greek δημιουργός dēmiourgós, Latinized demiurgus
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Heaven may refer to the physical heavens, the sky or the seemingly endless expanse of the universe beyond. However, the term is often used to refer to a plane of existence (sometimes held to exist in our own universe) in religions and spiritual philosophies, typically described as
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Hell, according to many religious beliefs, is an afterlife of suffering where the wicked or unrighteous dead are punished.

Hell is almost always depicted as underground. Within Islam,[1] hell is traditionally depicted as fiery.
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deity or god is a postulated preternatural or supernatural being, who is always of significant power, worshipped, thought holy, divine, or sacred, held in high regard, or respected by human beings.
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demon (or daemon, dæmon, daimon from Greek: δαίμων [ğaïmon]) is a supernatural being that has generally been described as a malevolent spirit, and in Christian terms it is generally understood as a Fallen angel, formerly of
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STAR is an acronym for:

Organizations:
  • Society for Telescopy, Astronomy, and Radio, a non-profit astronomy club in New Jersey
  • Special Tasks and Rescue or Special Tactics and Response, synonyms for SWAT

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cloud is a visible mass of condensed droplets, frozen crystals suspended in the atmosphere above the surface of the Earth or another planetary body, such as a moon. (Clouds can also occur as masses of material in interstellar space, where they are called interstellar clouds and
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