Cultures And Their Stories About Creation

A look at the way different cultures view the creation of man by examining their myths, or stories, about creation. We will look at the Kiowa Creation, Genesis, and Darwin's theory of human evolution.

It seems that since the beginning of human existence, man has sought out answers to some of life's most philosophical questions. How did we get here? Why are we here? Who made us? Is there a god(s)? What is our place in life? These are but a few of the questions contemplated by human beings of varying cultures, and religions. The attempts to answer these questions have inspired many different stories and theories. Two stories, one of the "Kiowa Creation", and another from "Genesis", as well as Charles Darwin's theory on human evolution, can give insight as to the way different cultures explain their existence in this world.

The "Kiowa Creation" explains the origin of, specifically, the Kiowa tribe. Presumably, the Kiowa tribe orally told their creation story for many, many years before it actually became documented. In the oral telling of their stories, creativity and entertainment would be important. This can be seen in very simple elements of the story. For example, in the story "a pregnant woman [gets] stuck in [a] log, blocking the way for others." This part of the story is suppose to explain why the Kiowa tribe is so small. These types of inventive explanations were most likely a way for the orator to captivate the attention of the audience. Another interesting element of the Kiowa stories is the inclusion of nature. In the "Kiowa Creation," dogs talk, a spider is the grandmother to a human, and there really is no fine line between the human and animal world. The inclusion of animals not only provides more creativity to the story, but also helps to teach a moral lesson. It can therefore be concluded that while the Kiowa were concerned with life's big questions, they used their curiosity as motivation to create stories with moral implications. One important moral addressed in their creation story, is the importance of respecting the equality between nature and humans, and recognizing the way in which the two support each other. This is a far different teaching, than that of Genesis.

In Genesis 1:26, man is to "have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth." This dominion over all things, can lead one to believe that this story was written to teach man of his place in the world, and in essence, assure mankind of their superiority. The Genesis creation story explains the creation of all things, but in particular, it explains the creation of man. Everything happens because it is the will of God. All that which is unexplainable, God did, and only He knows his reasons. It seems that this story is an attempt to answer many difficult questions, as concisely as possible. Possibly, many people prior to the documentation of this story, were questioning their existence, how they were made, and for what reason they were made. The story also seems to inspire religious faith, in that it provides answers to people's questions, in order to support them with their faith in God. But God's powers of creation require a leap of faith whereas others have tried to provide the origins of the world in more scientific ways.

Charles Darwin prides himself on evidence. He takes a much more scientific approach to the study of human existence. His theory on human evolution, is one arrived at after the observation of a variety of animals. Darwin is able to link all animals together by the protein Hemoglobin, which appears in slightly altered forms, in most animal's DNA. His scientific research provides answers to some of life's big questions, such as Where did we come from? His research also lays a foundation for the further investigation of man's evolution. While he has come far with his studies, he has also provided good groundwork for more observation and research. The purpose of his scientific investigation is to provide reason for human existence, beyond that which the human imagination can contrive. He relies on physical, real world evidence, to provide understanding as to the evolution of man.

While all three different explanation of humankind's creation have a different purpose and focus, they are all motivated by human nature's desire to explain the unexplainable. Although motivated by the same human nature, the styles are very different. Creativity is a key element in telling the story of the "Kiowa Creation." "Genesis" is very direct and does not include creativity nor evidence, and Darwin's theory on the evolution of humans is grounded mainly in scientific research. Despite the different points each story makes, and the style in which the stories are written, one cannot be said to have any more importance than the other. Alone, one story may do a better job of answering a particular question. However together the stories are able show the different drives that distinguish human beings.

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