The Creation Myth and Myth vs Science Analysis


Read Parallel Myths, Chapter 3, “Beginnings—The Creation Myths,” pp. 37 to 90

Note:  Journals will be graded on completeness, display of thinking process, and effort, not grammar. 

Your journal will consist of three steps:

Step One: Summarizing (What?)

Chapter 3, “Beginnings–The Creation Myths,” includes fifteen creation myths.  Choose eight of these creation myths to summarize.  Your summary of each of the eight myths must address these seven questions:

  1. Is anything in existence prior to creation?  If yes, what is in existence?
  2. What things may be created and destroyed?  What things are eternal?
  3. Is creation planned or accidental?  If planned, why?
  4. Who is responsible for creation?
  5. What is the order of creation?  That is, what is created first, second, etc.?
  6. What are the main elements of the universe once created?
  7. What is the purpose of this creation story?


Step Two: Responding (So What?)

Following the summary, write your reaction to what you have just read (so what?).  At this point, you want to explore your reaction to the text and connect the new information to your existing web of knowledge.


Step Three: Analyzing

To analyze these creation stories, answer ALL of the following prompts. In analysis, you must include your opinions in answering the questions and evidence and reasoning to support your opinions.

  1. What can we learn about the variety in human cultures by looking at the various creation stories? What are the similarities and differences among the stories?
  2. What literary techniques and elements do these stories share? (See attached PowerPoint presentation)
  3. What are the features of creation stories that are most relevant to the everyday life of members of the society? Why do cultures need creation stories? Do codes of conduct gain adherents more easily if based on a creation story?
  4. Of the eight creation stories that you summarized, which gods seem like “real” gods, and which ones seem more like human ancestors?  What influence would these god “characters” have on the culture of origin? What are the relationships between the human characters and the god characters in the ten stories you summarized?  What does the nature of these relationships have to say about the place of humans in the world?


The following task are Two Threads with their responses , one in Creation Myths and one in Myth vs. Science 

so that will be 8 posts in the end 

2 Threads

6 responses 




After reading Parallel Myths, Chapter 3, “Beginnings—The Creation Myths,” pp. 37 to 90, and completing Reading Journal 2, complete the TWO THREADS in this forum.


Thread 1: Myth vs. Science


Please read the article, “Origin Myths,” by Robert Carneiro, located here:

In ONE INITIAL POST of at least 300 words, answer the following questions:

  1. What do science and creation stories have in common?
  2. What is meant by personal causation and impersonal causation?
  3. What does imagination have to do with creation stories?  With science?
  4. Why are myths believable? Why is science sometimes NOT believable?
  5. What is your opinion on the relationship between mythology and science?

In THREE RESPONSE POSTS of at least 150 words, reply to and/or extend other students’ initial posts concerning this prompt.

–             SECOND THREAD 


Thread 2: Creation Myths


In ONE INITIAL POST of at least 300 words, answer the following questions, considering the all the creation myths that you read and the eight particular creation stories that you summarized in the second journal for Parallel Myths:

  1. What do most or all of these creation stories have in common?
  2. Which story (or stories) makes the MOST sense to you as far as an explanation of the origin of the Earth and organic life?  Which story (or stories) make the least sense to you?  WHY?
  3. Which stories had you heard about prior to this class?  Which ones were new?
  4. Which story was the most INTERESTING to you?  WHY?
  5. Which myths left you with unanswered questions?  List a few of your questions as examples.

In THREE RESPONSE POSTS of at least 150 words, reply to and/or extend other students’ initial posts concerning this prompt.

Stephen Rakus

RE: Thread 2: Creation Myths

One thing I think the majority of creation myths have in common are the state of the universe before anything happened. In most cases, all that existes was some sort of void of chaos. The second most common thing being just one or two gods existing before all else. they also all ended in the creation of life. I would say that the stories that made the most sense to me as to their explination of how life came to be are the ones that take large parts from the theory of evolution, because I personally view that belief as the truth. conversly, the stories that illude to life or a god just randomly popping up make the least sense to me. in my mind everything happens for a reason. The stories I had heard most about prior to starting this class are the stories that have mainstream religions based off of them. for example, I have heard the Hindu creation myth before. some that where new to me where basically all of the native american creation myths. I have never really been interested in learning them in the past so when they came up I was suprised by the variety in them. The story that I found the most interesting was definitly the norse creation myth. To start with, I was pretty farmiliar with it before this class, but i had never actually read the whole thing before. I feel that when I read it in full, I recieved a lot more context than I previously had. A couple myths left me asking questions of “what happened next” or “why did that just happen” but i feel the best example of this was Eurynome and Ophion. I couldn’t help but wonder what happened to Ophion after he was cast back down into the earth.

Justin Francis

RE: Thread 2: Creation Myths

What do most or all of these creation stories have in common?

All these stories surround themselves with a singular or set of deities who created the universe from a form of an abyss before populating the planet with life. It’s interesting that many of the stories show the creation of human beings towards the end of the story and typically created in the image or from the remnants of a higher being. This finding shows how we are separate from the other mammals that inhabit the earth while reminding us that there remains a delineation between our role and omnipotence.

Which story (or stories) makes the MOST sense to you as far as an explanation of the origin of the Earth and organic life? Which story (or stories) make the least sense to you? WHY?

While I enjoyed the stories we read, I fall back to the Genesis story of Creation as the one that is most believable. It’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the other stories or am close-minded towards the concept that one or more of the selected passages make the most sense to me. Each culture shares a creation myth that resonates with their beliefs; this is the beauty of myths over science – at the end of the day, whether someone else agrees or disagrees with what you feel, it really isn’t important – myths are shared stories that don’t force beliefs or ideals on a person or culture.

Which stories had you heard about prior to this class? Which ones were new?

Norse, The Story of Ra, and the Wooden Statue story from Madagascar. The other stories were knew but they were familiar as all creation stories follow a couple themes and narration, making them believable.

Which story was the most INTERESTING to you? WHY?

I favored the Norse Myth of creation as it relates to a past time of my youth. Growing up, I was a huge comic book fan and gravitated towards Marvel – specifically the Avengers and Thor. Those who read these stories saw Asgard and it’s residents, including Thor, Oden, and the Tree of Life – all based on Norse myth.

Cierra Zarnesky

RE: Thread 2: Creation Myths

1. Most, if not all, of the creation stories, have gods and goddesses in them; or ultimately some form of a higher being or entity. I think that is something we can all agree upon in regards to the creation myths we read and discussed. These creation myths are also common in the fact that they all tell some variation of how humankind (sometimes) and the universe were created.

2. I personally find that the biblical creation stories make the most sense to me as far as an explanation of the origin of the Earth and organic life – maybe because that’s kind of what I was conditioned and raised to believe given our culture. I was brought up with this creation myth. The creation myth that did not make much sense to me, which someone else has said too, was the creation myth of Finland. This myth was really bizarre. The idea that everything came from this duck egg they fell into the primordial sea was really weird. It was weird to hear how the sun came from the yolk, the moon from the white, the stars from the spots, and the clouds from the specks. It seemed really out there but was cool to read!

3. I honestly, as bad as it sounds have only heard about the Greek creation myths and the biblical ones. I never heard the other ones we discussed in this class. It was interesting to learn about them.

4. I think the creation myth that was the most interesting to me was The Thoughts of Brahma. I really just enjoyed reading it and how he would cast his bodies off to create things and how he created and recreated the world so many times. The creation myths of India were very interesting to me.

5. The creation myths that left me with the most questions was There Was Nothing as well as the Finland creation myth. Yo me, There Was Nothing was ultimately just very confusing for me; like the whole, there was non-existence and existence thing. How could there be both at the same time? Who was the One who created all of this- including the gods. Why did he create the world? What was the intent behind it? The Finland myth also confused me. What about the creation of humankind? It tells me how the sun, moon, stars, and clouds are created but what about everything else? What came after? When did it come after? How was Luonnatar conceived from Ilma if there was no prior life? How did the duck exist if there was no prior life? This one left me with a lot of questions about existence.

Andie Mapel

RE: Thread 1: Myth vs. Science

Based on the article Origin Myths by Robert Carneiro, science and creation stories do in fact share a certain commonality, in that they both give an explanation, by accounting for things as they are. Causation is also another point that stems from an explanation that both science and creation myths share. Personal causation is the kind of causation employed by primitive peoples that is an agent responsible for an action generally attributed to the human personality. Impersonal causation is a staple of modern science and is seen as not applicable by primitive people. Impersonal causation can be caused by impersonal forces which can be the immediate cause of something that happened but are always determined by ultimate causes which are generally personal in nature. Imagination is more involved in creation stories than it does in science because, in creation stories, imaginative narratives must come up with imaginative answers to answer questions about how the world came to be. Imagination is very much less involved in science because it focuses more on the verification of explanations than an enjoyable story of how the world was created. I think that myths can be believable because of how integrated they can become in a culture where when you hear something enough times, it is believed as true. Also, I think that myths can be believed as true because they make certain parallels with science that seem to verify the myth as being true with scientific evidence to support it in a way. Science is sometimes viewed as not believable because sometimes when verifying certain explanations, the answers seem too dry and not as humanistic. In my own personal opinion, I think that science and mythology do share a relationship where they have a lot of things in common that different cultures around the world have cultivated and made their own versions of what they think is true and how the world came to be.

Luke Michalek

RE: Thread 1: Myth vs. Science

1.) Both science and creation stories seek to explain why things are the way they are, and how the world and humanity came to be. The only difference between the two is that science verifies proposed explanations through testing while mythology offers an explanation that is to be accepted not verified.

2.) Personal causation is a type of causation used by primitive people that involves an action involving an individual’s own personality. Impersonal causation is not sufficient for primitive people and is referred to as a hallmark of modern science. The immediate cause of something may be impersonal forces, but they are always reinforced by ultimate causes that are personal in nature.

3.) Imagination has to do a ton with creation stories, while not as much with science. The creation stories leave a lot of things up for interpretation, which require individuals to use their imagination to piece together what is actually going on in the story. Individual’s imagination allows people to help normalize the fictionalized creation story so that they may understand it better. Science does not leave much up for interpretation because the explanations involved in science have to be verified through testing. Therefore, there is not much to be imagined in the realm of actual science.

4.) I think myths are sometimes believable because they are usually first introduced into individual’s lives at such an early age that they become instilled into individual’s minds. When things are introduced when people are younger they tend to believe them throughout their entire lives. Additionally, I feel that people want to believe in myths because they are entertaining and easier to like than actual science. I believe that science is sometimes not believable because of how cut and dry science can be. If something is not enjoyable, then it is not as easy to understand and even believe. I think people would rather believe in mythology because they actual enjoy reading and learning about different myth that are associated with different cultures.

5.) While I think mythology is much more entertaining, I feel that mythology and science are very similar. I think they both attempt to portray the past and how the physical world and humanity came to be, but I now understand that they do this in different ways. Mythology is just to be accepted in different ways by different cultures, while science must be verified through testing to be accepted.

Benjamin Smith

RE: Thread 1: Myth vs. Science

1. Science and creation stories are an interesting topic because most of the creation stories start off with a planet of water or a planet of nothingness. This can be explained in science from fossils dating back to bacteria and tiny single cell organisms. I could see this as the “dark nothingness times” in all of the creation stories.

2. Personal causation refers to the primitive tribes who have no knowledge of science to back why things happen and they end up understanding that say it rained, but they look further to ask who or what sent such rain. Where impersonal causation is that there is no personal cause for say, the same rain that a primitive tribe may believe is aimed at them.

3. Imagination within mythical creation stories certainly seems to be the case for some due to how insane and out there some of the stories may be, but when taking to science, we are guessing and imagining that such events were the past and how old such events may be. Science examples are directly in line with historical aspects to me. Looking at temples, and historical sites, we usually gather some sort of imagination as to what it looked like if its demolished or missing.

4. Myths are believable to some extent for the sole reason that they fill in the unexplainable. They may not be 100% true, but theres not a way to figure it out because theres no one from that time here to tell us what exactly happened.

5. I believe that both have their place for stories and truth, but they are there to help guide scientists in a direction to help find answers and possible where to look to uncover the past. May this be in the forms of artifacts or such, but none the less, I do not think one could have existed without the other.

Reply to 3 of Each Thread

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