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Creation Stories

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creation stories- comparing the Eskimo creation story, the Genesis creation story, and the evolution creation theory.

There are some very different theories but some very similar concepts between the Eskimo creation story, the Genesis creation story, and the theory of evolution. The Genesis and Eskimo stories are pretty old whereas the theory of evolution is a lot newer. The Eskimo creation story has been ruled out by most as a myth or a folk tale. The Genesis story and the theory of evolution are currently at center stage in a great debate. Atheists and church leaders are constantly trying to disprove the others beliefs. The fact is, it is a debate that will continue for many years to come. There are many things that can be learned from all three stories like moral values and the simple fact that people are intelligent enough to believe in one or another or a combination of them or others for that matter. The first of the stories I will discuss is the Eskimo creation story and what it has to offer to society.

The Eskimo creation story teaches morals and guidelines for any society through figurative language. Along with their creation story, there are many folk tales that portray ideas that they as a society should follow. Specifically though, their creation story begins with their creator, Raven.

Raven created beach peas which grew on the naked earth, and from one pod a full-grown man burst forth. Raven approached, pushed up his beak, And also became a man. He told the first man that while he created the peas, it was without knowing that a man would emerge from them. From clay Raven formed various pairs of animals at different times and gave life to them. Mountain Sheep were created first, followed by Reindeer, then Caribou; a woman was formed next, to become the wife of the first man. Raven went on to create certain fish as well as other creatures and to teach the human couple to live in their emerging environment. The woman bore a son and then a daughter, who were to marry. Raven turned back to the original pea pod from which the first man had been born and found that three other men had emerged from the same pod. Raven led the first man inland, but the other three were taken to the coast where they were taught to exploit the resources of the sea (Oswalt, 211-12).

There are many cultural ideas implied here. The first is the notion that man was created first. Everything else was created from something different and for man. This infers that men are superior to women and is portrayed in their everyday lives. According to Naomi Giffen's book, The Roles Of Men And Women In Eskimo Culture, men do the hunting and woodworking while women do everything else (1-5). The women are to cook and preserve the food (11-19). Women must also make the clothing for both men and women (43). They build their houses and raise the children while the men are away for long periods of time hunting or fishing. When the men are around the Eskimo are very family oriented. The men do not treat the women with any less respect these are simply the roles that they have adopted. Women do not complain about the uneven workload, in fact, the only disagreements between these peaceful people are between the men (57). There is no mention anywhere about evolution or even the possibility of it. This leads me to the Genesis creation story which is one of, if not the most, widely believed stories of how we as humans came to be.

Everything began as empty, dark space. God created everything that we know today in six days.

On the first day God created light and separated it from the dark. On the second day God created water and the sky. On the third day God created the land, oceans, all plants and vegetation. On the fourth day God created the sun, moon, stars, and set the timing for them to mark the hours, days, seasons and years. On the fifth day God created all the creatures that live in the sea and fly in the air. On the sixth day God created all animals that live on the land. He then created man in His own image. He gave man dominion over all the other creatures. He also allows man and the animals to use plant life for food. On the seventh day God rests and declares that the day He rested, the seventh day, is a holy day (Moore 23).

In chapter two of Genesis there are more details on the creation of human kind. It still had not rained on Earth and there were no plants in the fields. The land was misty and there were no humans to work the land. So, God created a man (Adam) from dust and breathed life in through his nose. God then planted the Garden of Eden and placed Adam in it. In the middle of the garden was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. A river flowed out of the garden and branched off into four rivers. God placed Adam in the garden so that he could take care of it. God told Adam that he could eat from any tree except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If he ate from that tree, he would die. God then decided that Adam needed a helper, so God made Adam fall asleep, and created a woman (Eve) with one of Adam's ribs. God formed every animal from the ground and brought them to Adam (31).

Theses two stories have a number of basic similarities. Man is created first and has the same image of God. In Genesis, man is created in the image of god. In the Eskimo story, Raven takes the image of man. Both stories have man being created from the Earth (dirt and a pea pod). Upon the completion of man, animals were created. Both men were taken to a plot of land and told/showed what to do. Woman was the last thing created by the supreme beings and in both cases she was there to help the man. The main concepts of the two stories are surprisingly similar.

There are a couple of differences that stand out between the two. Raven told the man that he created that he was an accident. He meant to create the pea pod but did not know the man would emerge. The Genesis story is a lot more specific and a lot longer. A big difference between the two is; the Earth was already in existence. Raven did not create it. The last big difference is, in the Eskimo story, there were more men originally created to account for different tribes.

The two creation stories discussed up to this point were done so, together, because they are not considered scientific. Evolution is based solely off of science. The basic theory of evolution is surprisingly simple.

It is possible for the DNA of an organism to occasionally change, or mutate. A mutation changes the DNA of an organism in a way that affects its offspring, either immediately or several generations down the line. The change brought about by a mutation is either beneficial, harmful



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