The very first stories in the Christian Bible are stories of creation; creation of both the
earth and the universe as well as the life which thrives there. The opening passages of the book of Genesis follow a simple
pattern that even a child could understand: God said, God saw, and then it was evening. For example: "Then God said, "Let
there be light"; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.
God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day" (Genesis
1.3-1.5). These lines are very specific about what happened, in what order, and on what day. They describe the beginning of
existence as we know it and the beginning of human life. Unlike the latter part of the creation story (Genesis 2.4-2.24),
this story begins with a plethora of water from which God brings forth dry land. On that land, he puts large, generic groups
of life forms (i.e. vegetation, birds, land animals) and chooses not to grant them each individual names (i.e. poison oak,
woodpecker, mongoose). That job, he leaves to the Man, Adam: "The man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the air,
and to every animal of the field, but for the man, there was not found a helper for his partner" (Genesis 2.20). At least
it is made very clear there is only one to blame for names such as Platypus and Pterodactyl!
Like most creation stories, this story cannot be easily applied to modern society. It is more of an outlook on the beginnings
of ecology and the presence of certain biological forms and figures, making it almost entirely impersonal until the mention
of the relationship between man and woman. It seems that a creation story must be vague and, no pun intended, naked in order
for it to be easily applicable to the origin of all life.
For instance, the basic creation
stories brought forth by cultures of India, Greece, and Japan share a common theme: The universe was created in a birthing
process, making it easier to comprehend but still quite vague. In Indian stories, the god Brahma created the primal waters
as the womb for a small seed, which eventually grew into a golden egg. Brahma split it open, making the heavens from one half,
and Earth and all her creatures from the other.
In Japanese creation myths, Heaven and Earth
were not yet separated, and the "In" and "Yo" (Heaven and Earth) not yet divided. They formed a chaotic mass like an egg which
was of obscurely defined limits and contained germs. All of said germs happened to land in the bottom half (the Earth half)
which underlines the superciliousness of Heaven.
Gaea was the great deity of the early Greeks.
She represented the Earth and was worshipped as the universal mother who had created the Universe and gave birth to both the
first race of gods (the Titans) and the first humans.
While these stories are still terribly generic and, in literal terms,
quite science-fictional, they provide an interesting comparison to the Christian myth of creation which seems to be a Reader's
Digest version of an ultimately complicated task. It seems there is a warranted sense of pride that can go with partaking
in a religion which supports a God so capable of getting things done without the riff-raff and slack most would expect from
a job of such magnitude.