Talk:Creation myth/Archive 1

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Broken Link

The "Indian cosmology" external link is broken. url: - Oct. 30 2006

Missing bit

(ba)kuba/Bantu origin myth

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.

Added. --ScienceApologist 02:48, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

Creation "Myths"

The use of the word MYTH in describing creation, puts down God and religion, which the majority of the world adheres to. Most of the world believes that a supreme being had some hand in evolution or entirley bypassed evolution. Only 800 million athiests exist worldwide, which is less than 1/6 of the population of Earth. Therefore I am removing "Myths". A minority of scientists are no more right than 80 percent of the earth's population.

it is true that the majority of the world believes that existence was created by a God. However, these beliefs differ, and their is hardly a majority opinion as to which creation myth is most accurate.

Obviously Science and knowledge are not democratical and within the 800 million of athiests we will find a much more amount of cultivated people.

Should we place this at the bottom of the page, like on the Noah's Ark article?
NOTE: Categorising a story as a myth does not necessarily imply that it is untrue. Religion and mythology differ, but have overlapping aspects. Many English speakers understand the terms "myth" and "mythology" to mean fictitious or imaginary. However, according to many dictionary definitions, these terms can also mean a traditional story or narrative that embodies the belief or beliefs of a group of people, and this Wikipedia category should be understood in this sense only. The use of these terms in this category does not imply that any story so categorized is historically true or false or that any belief so embodied is itself either true or false.

Horse feathers! Saying something and putting it in a box doesn't make it so. The only difference between "myth" and "religon" is the 1st is on that the speaker might believe, or at least show some respect to, the 2nd, not. Yes, they are two different words, and people may use them in differnt ways, but to have WIKIPEDIA use the distinction in THIS way, is pure POV, racist, ethonocentic, small minded, and just plan crappy. 20:40, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

IMO, abiogenesis is just as much religion as the story of the creation. Both have to be accepted on faith as there is no proof for either. This article puts the two on unequal footing without any justification for doing so. I especially like how the subheading to the article says that if you want to read about scientific articles instead of this myth, go see abiogensis, et al. This is a horrible NPOV violation IMO. Of course, I'm probably wrong since I'm just a dumb theist, huh?  :) --Rcronk (talk) 18:55, 19 February 2008 (UTC)


Do you vote for

  1. Scientific Theories


  1. Science Based beliefs

In the section heading for the scientific view of creation?

Scientific Theories

  1. John D. Croft 17:15, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
  2. Samboy 03:03, 30 Nov 2004 (UTC)
  3. 04:58, 22 November 2006 (UTC) unfortunately, Bible-based beliefs are not scientific, since science deals with empirical observations. Calling them science-based beliefs implies that they are non empirical observations, which would be POV
  4. Support the title Scientific theories. Beobach972 16:47, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
  5. Mike0001 15:48, 2 November 2007 (UTC) Science tends not to support religious beliefs of any kind.

Science-Based beliefs

  1. Philip J. Rayment 05:52, 30 Nov 2004 (UTC) "Belief" means "accepting as true"; it doesn't have to refer to something uncertain or unknowable. "Science-based beliefs" is a suitable parallel to "Bible-based beliefs". Referring to one as "scientific theories" implies that the other isn't scientific, which is POV.


Belief = Theory... is there really a need to choose? the statement "bible based belifes not scientific" ??? Arnt there Cristian Scientists? I think there is a whole sect that is devoted to the integration of bible with sceince...As a page dedicated to "creation origins" i do not think we should vote on anything.. i feel all views should be expressed equally...--Maa-Kheru 03:52, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

Christian Scientists? There were also National Socialists but they were neither national nor socialist. lol Mike0001 15:50, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Belief does not equate to theory, just read the article about theory and you would find that out. Beliefs are random whereas theories have to have evidence and be testable.

Myths from various cultures

Please add creation myths from various cultures.

Ok - I have ... some others that i have no knowledge of I will need to research...--Maa-Kheru 04:29, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

Yes Creationism is the Big_bang the very second God determined to BE! The Thought to BE individual went into matter and experience. See, for example, the books of Genesis (for Jews and Christians) or as literally described in the Qur'an (for Muslims, also article on Creation according to Genesis and Evolution.

God the infinity of Creation expresses in all things. This includes the Buddha, Jesus, Mohamed, Sai Baba, you and me. Man’s selfishness, greed and desire to control has allowed him to create this experience where we can discover this truth. SO the real question isn’t what religion do we want to preach, but what are we going to do about it. And will we get serious about it before it’s too late?--Stars2man 07:48, 17 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Hint to whoever created this page: when you create a new page, don't make it a minor edit. Otherwise most people won't see it.

A creation myth is a specific type of myth? which tells how the Universe, the Earth, life, and/or humanity came into being. A myth is just a story for which there is no documentary or scientific proof.

Is there a way to revise this paragraph to indicate that a 'myth' usually dates from antiquity?

And that the authorship is always untraceable? I mean, it's too late for anyone to create any new myths, because the rest of us would know who wrote it -- or at least when.

If that were true, the Book of Mormon would not have had the success it has had.
The real problem in this opening paragraph is that the universe does not figure in creation myths, which describe the creation only of Earth, Sky (with its visible sun, moon and stars), and Sea. What is the 'life and/or humanity' here? Humanity always figures in any creation myth. Part of the definition of Creation myths must express the fact that they often include imaginary beings but never include dinosaurs or bacteria. User:Wetman
Yes, but that kind of detail should go into the myth article, not here. That's why I linked to it. :-) --Dmerrill

--Ed Poor

"it's too late for anyone to create any new myths"

I don't think this is true at all. Witness for example the belief that UFO's may bring wisdom or danger from other worlds.
Bingo! I stand corrected. --Ed Poor

The closing paragraph is a paragon of NPOV:

In the USA, religiously conservative Christians argue that the modern notions of the Big Bang and evolution constitute the creation myth of modern Western civilization. Adherents of these scientific theories respond that unlike the creation myths of earlier cultures, they are subject to verification and refinement by the scientific method, rather than believed only on grounds of authority and faith.
I suppose it's neutral enough, although the second sentence appears to be a non sequitor. I had thought that "creation myth" was being used to label a story about origins that had an impact on a culture, without regard to its veracity. The point of calling the Big Bang theory a creation myth is not to dispute it, but to point out the role it has in shaping the self-image of the society or societies that believe it, similar to the roles that other creation myths have played in different parts of the world and different times in history. If that's the working definition, then any arguments against calling the Big Bang a myth would need to be sociological, i.e. that it hasn't actually shaped the self-image of the societies that subscribe to that view. Which may be perfectly true for all I know. Wesley

I have a mythology class at my college at the moment so I am rather interested in this subject... one class session we had a lecture led by a philologist, one of the very few who knows ancient Syriac (sp?). He stated that the Genesis description of the creation of humans was a mistranslation, and examination of the oldest texts gives something like "God caused humanity to pause, and he took strength from it and made from it [the strength] the ability to procreate." He based this on the following translations:

  • "adam" - man OR humanity in general
  • the word translated as "sleep" also means "stop, pause, delay"
  • the word translated as "rib" (he pronounced it something like tseyla or tseila, I'm not sure of the spelling) actually has a primary meaning of "strength" and only the seventh or so meaning is "rib".
  • "hava" or "hawa" (translated as Eve) meaning the ability to procreate.

Since I doubt he was a "crackpot," I'm wondering if you have any information on these alternate translations. Do you think the article on creation myths should reflect this uncertainty in translation?

I honestly have no idea. However, for one thing, Genesis was written in Hebrew, not Syriac. I also think it somewhat unlikely that traditional understandings going back millenia are wrong, but I suppose they could be. -- SJK

I was just mentioning that he knew Syriac as a sidenote. The translation was from Hebrew. --KamikazeArchon

I have no idea where that "philologist" got his information. Certainly not from a study of ancient Hebrew. The word translated as "sleep" comes from the idea of being unconscious, as in a deep sleep. The word translated as "rib" has neither that meaning nor strength, rather it has the meaning of frame or side. Which raises the question, did God originally create man androgynous, later taking the feminine side out of him to make woman? The name "Chawah" (German "ch" as in Bach) stems from an irregular root meaning to live, it has nothing to do with procreation. These "crackpot" ideas should not be mirrored in the article.

Melamed 23:14, 11 Sep 2004 (UTC)

The Documentary hypothesis is not hypothetical all the way through. There are elements of it which are purely observational. The hypothetical part is that separate sources were redacted, edited and merged together, to explain the distinct shifts in character evident in the text - that's the only reason that I didn't think that "hypthetical authors" is redundant. In any case, RK's revision is a more accurate description of what the hypothesis is, in my opinion. — Mkmcconn

I think the section on the Biblical creation story (specifically, E's) needs work although I am not sure how to proceed. My issue is that the Hebrew text ought not to be translated as "In the beginning;" I am not sure but I think Rashi (or a modern critic) has addressed this. One can read it as something like, "When God began to create the heaven and earth, all was mixed up" or something like that. The point is, this text may not be describing the creation of the universe out of nothing. As the more recent revisions of the article make clear, this account of "the creation" is more the imposition of order on chaos.

I call attention to this because I think most "creation myths" are not actually concerned with explaining where the cosmos comes from; they take some sort of physical universe for granted, but do try to explain how the current order of things came about. Slrubenstein

Even many who believe that God did create from out of nothing, do not necessarily base this belief on Genesis 1. It comes from other Biblical places, more explicitly. The little bit of Hebrew that I know would certainly support the translation that you mention up to the part about "all mixed up", which is more of a paraphrase. Jacob also somewhere called "tohu va bohu", the same phrase - not just "all mixed up", but amounting to nothing, devoid of potential, like a desert: and out of him God made a people for himself, full of promise. The same idea is here, in Genesis 1. In the opinion of many scholars, conservative as well as liberal, Genesis is not directly concerned with the origin of mere matter. The narrative opens on a desolate scene, not a nothing. — Mkmcconn

Let's look at the text itself: (sorry, not all browsers will show it)

בראשית ברא אלהים את השמים ואת הארץ

והארץ היתה תהו ובהו וחשך על פני תהום ורוח אלהים מרחפת על פני המים

The first word simply means "in beginning" as in first things.

The second word is in the third person masculine singular of the perfective binyan which generally refers to completed action. If the author wished to indicate a continuing action, as in "began to create", he would have used the imperfective binyan.

The third word is "God" in the plural.

The rest of the words are "the heavens and the earth" using accusative markers.

The first word of the second line is the noun "earth" with waw and heh prefixes giving the total meaning "and the earth".

The second word is a verb in the third person feminine singular of the perfective binyan indicating that "earth", a feminine noun, is the subject thereof. It is often translated as "is" though it was an active existance, sometimes better translated as "become".

If you want to watch an argument, ask what the next two words mean in a room full of Hebrew scholars of varying ideologies. Those who espouse the documentary hypothesis tend to insist that they mean "chaos and confusion" or something similar. Those who accept the historic understanding of the Bible tend to say they mean "lifeless and still (as in quiet, unmoving)" though there are crossovers from both camps (don't ask how I discovered this). (Neither of these words are used in connection with Jacob).

Do we need to analyse the rest of the sentence?

From a linguistic analysis, "When God began to create the heaven and earth, all was mixed up" is undefendable, rather the literal translation says, "In (the) beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. And the earth became (came into being) lifeless and still, ..." (Yes, I disagree with the documentary hypothese on many grounds.)

Another issue, there was an ancient literary style that put the title of a document or section at the end thereof, not the beginning. The title of the first account in creation in Genesis is chapter 2 verse 4 and the beginning of the second Genesis 2:5.

Melamed 22:37, 11 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Your sentence, "In the opinion of many scholars, conservative as well as liberal, Genesis is not directly concerned with the origin of mere matter," very precisely describes what it is I think the article should make clear. Also, (obviously, when discussing the Bible) it is important to distinguish between the meaning the text had to those who first wrote and read it (to the best of our knowledge), and the meaning of the text to current readers. My point was not that many people today "wrongly" use the Bible as a creation myth to explain the origins of "mere matter." My point was that however the text is used today, thee are other meanings in it that should be made clear. I.E. the same text may have been used by people today and people 3,000 years ago, but that does not mean they had the same creation myth. Slrubenstein

I'll go ahead and try to figure a place to put that sentence, then. As for the other issue, I think that it's best not to make vague allusions to meta-meanings (not saying that's what you suggested). But if an example of how time and circumstance alter perceptions of meaning can be made to fit the scope of the article, that would be useful, I think. — Mkmcconn

This article is currently highly skewed towards the Jewish and Christian craetion myths. The amount of text devoted towards Genesis in comparison to other creation myths is quite significant. soulpatch

I agree; and I think that the best solution to that problem is to expand the other creation stories. — Mkmcconn

The term creation myth is used, generally disparagingly, for a story with deep explanatory or symbolic resonance... Why disparagingly? What's disparaging about 'creation myth'? People spend their whole careers studying them. Wetman 01:53, 29 Jan 2004 (UTC)

It implies that they are not true, which disparages those who believe them. Anthony DiPierro 02:22, 29 Jan 2004 (UTC)
I don't like that sentence ... I think that a lot of people use "myth" to refer to any belief of that particular sort, true or false. Besides, it's not quite disparaging to claim that some one believes something false. Could it be rephrased to "often implying that the beliefs are false" or something? Paullusmagnus 15:31, 24 Feb 2004 (UTC)
I myself don't consider the term "myth" to be disparaging. For mythologists, the essence of myth, what makes a story a myth, is not whether it has a factual basis in history or not. Rather it is a matter of how much meaning the story has for a given culture, whether in terms of explaining how or why some aspect of the world or the universe got to be the way it is, or in terms of describing an archtype for things or people that we encounter in life that one might (or might not) emulate, etc. In this sense, the term is simply descriptive, and not disparaging.
But that is just one meaning of "myth", and as far as I know its use in that sense tends to be limited to mythologists. In more popular usage the term "myth" is more commonly used to mean a "false belief" or something along those lines. In this sense the term probably is more or less disparaging, as when someone says "That's just a myth."
I think the article tries to make this distinction, but apparently it is not quite succeding? Or perhaps the "disparaging" phrase should be stripped out of that sentence and placed in proper context elsewhere in the article? Grizzly 22:27, 25 Feb 2004 (UTC)
I tried expanding it a bit, but I could use some help with my wording. Anthony DiPierro 22:47, 25 Feb 2004 (UTC)

The section on Muslim creation story seems to be self-contradictory: Is there one or more myths? What was man made from?

Call the article Creation Beleifs or some thing. Man, some people just refuse to listen to reason. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Satv365 (talkcontribs) 13:13, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

Time in the creation stories

This section includes the following, the red part of which has just been added.

Some believe that the six day period refers to the time spent by light traveling from the center of the universe at the time and point of creation. It is worthwhile to note that modern cosmology does not allow for any "center of the universe" to exist, every point being equivalent to any other one. In the Big Bang theory, the universe was but a point at the time of its creation, and it has no boundary.

I don't believe that it is appropriate to argue against the views being described, but I'll agree that the original sentence was not adequate. I am not familiar with the view being described. Does it, for example, include the belief that the universe has a centre? If so, then this should be noted and the red sentences removed.
Philip J. Rayment 23:29, 11 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Incorrect statement

Limited to the scientific method, science cannot deal with non-repeatable events such as specific events in the past. However, science can be used to study the remains of these events and interpret them according to observed patterns. The whole universe is the remains of past events, so when one assumes philosophical naturalism it is believed that an extrapolation from present, observed patterns can give an accurate picture of the past. Not everyone believes in philosophical naturalism, not even all scientists, but there are certain beliefs of creation which are based on science.

This is an incorrect statement. Science can perfectly well "deal" with non-repeatable events. It is a misnomer to say otherwise. While we cannot "repeat" non-repeatable events, repeatability is not really a part of the scientific method. It is only a criteria for a legitimate experiment. It is not a criteria for any given observation. Therefore I am reinstating my edit. Joshuaschroeder 18:24, 12 Feb 2005 (UTC)

i reworded it to allow for "dealing with" but still provide that it cannot "definitively describe." incidentally, you might want to reconsider your use of the word misnomer[1]. Ungtss 21:28, 12 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Science doesn't "definitely describe" anything. This is an unacceptable compromise. Joshuaschroeder 23:30, 12 Feb 2005 (UTC)
deletion is unacceptable, and not even an EFFORT at compromise, grand inquisitor. much as you'd like to think so, you're not the only editor on the wiki. don't waste my time. your explicit goal is to take a JPOV/SPOV approach here. it's not gonna work. i'm gonna try again. you're gonna work with me. i suppose bullying works in your neighborhood, but not in mine. Ungtss 03:13, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I've added my attempt at clarifying the issues in that section - hopefully it adds more light than darkness to the debate. Feel free to flame me if you disagree :) -- FirstPrinciples 05:46, Feb 13, 2005 (UTC)
I think this edit is fine. Joshuaschroeder 05:47, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)
i tried to nuance it a bit ... thanks for stepping in, firstprinciples ... sorry for the flame ... joshua has a remarkable ability to piss me off. Ungtss 14:48, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Reworded things

I have tried to remove the blatantly incorrect statements involving "science-based beliefs", "scientific 'creation ex nihilo'", natural causes, and limits to ontology. Please make comments on these edits here. Joshuaschroeder 16:55, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)

i'm sure it would be convenient for you to massive edits and then put the burden on those who wanted it the way it was before, but that's just another one of your pleasant imaginings. the rest of us will continue to edit the page, and YOU will make comments to OUR edits here, rather than mindlessly reverting. Ungtss 17:14, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)
This is what you reincluded: It should be pointed out that these science based beliefs are not ex nihilo beliefs, that is they do not start from nothing. They do not account for where the mass and energy of the universe came from, or for how life first began. In this respect they are like most creation beliefs, but notably unlike the Jewish, Christian, and Islamic beliefs, among others. The origin of life has many competing science based theories and the ultimate origin of the universe is widely believed to be a topic beyond scientific inquiry.
Here's why I changed it to this: It should be pointed out that the above scientific theories are not ex nihilo beliefs, that is they do not start from nothing. In this respect they are unlike the Jewish, Christian, and Islamic beliefs, or even so-called "science-based" speculations that proport to explain an ultimate cause.
The fact is that there are science-based beliefs which DO account for where the mass and the energy of the universe come from. Take for example the time-loop speculation of Gott or the eternal inflation model of Linde. Both of these give internally consistent explanations for the energy-density of the universe that do not rely on any preconditions. There are a whole slew of others too that work from this fashion and, unless you want this to become a speculative physics article, my edit points out better the on-topic fact that they are not ex nihilo beliefs. What's more, many creation beliefs DO account for where the mass and energy of the universe came from --> they came from the God or Gods or first cause. We already mention above about the origin of life having many competing theories. As to the origin of the universe being "widely believed" to be a topic beyond scientific inquiry, this isn't true either. Right now, we don't have a consistent model for the extremely early universe (and in that sense, its origins) but that doesn't mean it's widely believed that it is a topic beyond scientific inquiry. I'm changing back to my edit. Joshuaschroeder 17:26, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Joshuaschroeder made major improvements to this page, and any attempt by Ungtss to revert to the old POV version should be considered vandalism. Bensaccount 17:49, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)

you tell 'em ben! they'll listen to you! don't forget to tell 'em that the middle east is in the southern US, and that relationship and similarity are synonyms!!! Ungtss 18:00, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Explanation of deleted section

Here is the section that was removed: Creation beliefs based on philosophical naturalism Scientists have asserted that the creation both of the universe and of life came about through purely natural causes. This requires a defacto belief that millions of statistically improbable events occurred in rapid succession. Those holding this opinion offer evidence that the cosmos developed on its own in accordance with the laws of physics, through an evolutionary process, and suggest that since science is believed to be successful in explaining things at ever more distant times in the past, the prospects for continued success are good. One potential problem with this view is that it seems to involve a scientifically impermissible extrapolation beyond the beginning of time. Some (notably Augustine of Hippo) also hold that God is altogether outside of time and that time exists only within the created universe. This notion is not entirely impossible. The Big Bang is seen by most as the beginning of the universe as we see it now, but for science, it is the beginning of time and space as we see it now. The formation of everything in the universe may have started then, but it was more a likely a series of side-effects of the Big Bang. This is why it is impermissible to go beyond the beginning of time, since there would not have been time (or space) to go to before the Big Bang, unless it was preceded by the Big Crunch. Also, the whole concept of time itself is still barely understood.

First of all, the first sentence is reincluded in science-based beliefs above.

The second sentence is a matter of creationist POV. There isn't a belief that "millions of statistically improbable events occurred in rapid succssion". I'm not even going to entertain that as a reasonable sentence. If you want to talk about probabilities, put it in a new section, but that fly-by-night jab won't cut it.

if i create such a section, will you mangle it? Ungtss 17:45, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Being that I've never intentionally mangled anything, I can tell you with utmost sincerity that I will not intentionally mangle it. I will edit it if I see errors.
However, I'm not sure that this is the correct page to place such a section. It's probably better suited to intelligent design or fine tuning. Joshuaschroeder 18:29, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)

The next sentence has been reworked and reincluded in the section on science-based beliefs.

The next sentence is dealt with elsewhere in the article where the discussion of Planck time occurs.

THe next sentence is kept in religious based beliefs.

The next two sentences are interesting, and can be included but they really are a strange justification of St. Augustine to use the Big Bang. Nevertheless, if someone wants to include them in the religious based beliefs, I won't object.

The last two sentences are incorrect from a physics sense. First of all, "before the Big Bang" is an ill-defined term as discussed in the section on the Planck time. More than that, the oscillatory universe isn't the only way to get past the fiducial singularity at the beginning of the universe. Secondly, time is fairly well-undestood from a physics standpoint. Especially with regards to general relativity. I included the following sentence in the science-based beliefs that covers the topic neutrally, I feel: The ultimate origin of the preconditions for the universe is currently subject of speculation, and some believe it is ultimately beyond scientific inquiry.

That is why the section was removed. Joshuaschroeder 17:36, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)


in an effort to begin getting this piece in shape, i'm separated science from philsophical naturalism -- beliefs based on philosophical naturalism should be named and listed separately, especially since their "scientific" status is contested by a large contingent who reject their philosophical assumptions. Ungtss 17:45, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Chistian God as "both cause and effect"?

I deleted this sentence. It was flippant, speculative, and probably blasphemous to most of Christianity. NathanZook 01:30, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Page name

This page includes beliefs not only about creation but also about other origins, so it would be better titled origin belief. Either that or limit it only to those beliefs involving creation. Bensaccount 16:49, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Since you've renamed the page, could you please immediately fix the large number of old links and double redirects so they link directly to it. -- FP 03:58, Apr 9, 2005 (UTC)
Also, I'm not sure the "Origins beliefs" is an ideal page name; it seems clumsy. Any other opinions? -- FP 06:35, Apr 9, 2005 (UTC)

Apparently, the article creation linked here. It needs its own article (I will move some of the content of this page there). Bensaccount 15:42, 9 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Origin vs Origins

Since JOke137 just changed all mentions of Origin to Origins, thought we should get on the same page. Is it origin? As in, the origin of species, the origin of life. Or is it origins, as in differing theories of origins. Writing this, it seems silly, of course it's origin. But I'd like consensus. -- Ec5618 22:14, May 16, 2005 (UTC)

In general, as described by, for example, NASA, it is correctly considered to be "origins" since there are a variety of origins for the phenomena we're interested in (the universe, life, humanity, etc.) Joshuaschroeder 22:16, 16 May 2005 (UTC)

Is this accurate? If not could someone please go through contribs and see if other stuff needs fixing/references. (I'd do it, but not at my home computer) - RoyBoy 800 13:43, 31 October 2005 (UTC)

Not even close to accurate. Einstein called not going with his equations and predicting the Big Bang his "biggest blunder". Joshuaschroeder 19:04, 31 October 2005 (UTC)
Actually he called his Cosmological constant term in the general relativity field equation to be his biggest blunder, but he was even wrong about that, because dark energy is confirmation of the term ("observations made in the late 1990's of distance-redshift relations indicate that the universe is accelerating."). Endomion 16:44, 7 January 2006 (UTC)
The reason he invented the cosmological constant was to avoid a universe that was dynamic. If he had relaxed this requirement, he would have derived Friedmann's equations before Friedmann (and would have predicted the Big Bang). --ScienceApologist 18:11, 7 January 2006 (UTC)


I am new to wikipedia so correct me if I am overstepping my bounds. I would really like to rewrite a lot of this article. I think it needs to be either a hub article with lots of little articles or two articles, one about scientific creation beliefs and another about religious/mythical beliefs. My vote is make into two separate articles.

Would I be stepping on anyone's toes if I did this? hdstubbs

I vote no to splitting. This article is one that defines "origin belief" in general, and then goes on to briefly describe/refer the reader to more specific articles concerning origin beliefs. I'm talking about this now, too, at Talk:Human evolution.


I am adding this to the "myth" paragraph. It is a true fact- ATHIESTS ARE A MINORITY- get over it. People who deny a god are selfish individuals, who know probably deep inside, that something had to be behind this vast universe other than some small little molecule exploding without the aid of anything at all. That is rediculous and people who believe that lead a very empty life. And that's why 5 billion people believe in a God or higher power of some sort. So I am adding this to "Creation myths"

It should be noted, according to the World Almanac 2005, that less than 1/6 of the world's population consider's itself Athiest, meaning that a vast majority of the world's population believe some form of higher power was behind the creation process.

If anyone wishes to change it - please discuss it here. I get so sick of athiests trying to say that they are right when they are a VAST minority (300 million out of 6 billion, according to the World Almanac 2005). Just because they posess college degrees in science is no reason to think they are smarter than the rest of the world- which believes in something.

First, every religion is a minority[2]. Second, the big bang is not an athiest theory. It does not conclude that there was not a god behind it's eruption, nor does it conclude that there was nothing before the big bang, nor does it conclude that there is nothing outside of the particles and light that we can observe. All of these things are possible dispite the big bang.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .
I rather like the idea of the article. I've run into, variously, a number of different myths of origination held by various American Indian Tribes. Here and there, various past cultures mostly seem to have some sort of commonly clung to myth of creation. Lord knows we aren't going to prove any of this stuff. There might possibly develop some hardlined arguement about the exact source of Christianity or the significance of a single bit of information. So to with Islam, perhaps. But generally it seems both an interesting potential for the reader and an generally unpublished area in Encyclopedias. About Scientology, I could develop a paragraph deliniating its origins that would pin it within a few months, anyway. In the case of Scientology, "Origins" completely circumvent the controversy the actions of the early church seems to rouse. Terryeo 17:54, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
For someone so against atheists when many of us don't care about you believing what you do, it's amazing how you can't even spell "atheist" correctly to blatantly insult us. Also, just because we are a vast minority and stating that we are moreso wrong because of that is a logical fallacy and that kind of slop needs to stay out of Wikipedia. ;) 18:38, 2 October 2006 (UTC)

Suggest removing the big bang and evolution from the list of myths

The big bang theory does not have anything to do with god or the creation of existence. It simply projects the motion of particles in the universe to a condensed point. It does not claim to be an explanation of creation; it is a history of particle motion. There could have been a god that created the initial eruption, and there could have been other things before the "known" universe erupted from a point. However, the physics involved is not a myth, but empirical observation.

Evolution is (1) the observation [either inferential via the fossil record or direct with viruses in the lab etc.] that organisms change over time to adapt to their environment which can lead to transmutation of species, and (2) the theory of natural selection which explains why. Neither the fact of evolution, nor the theory of natural selection claim to explain the creation of all existence. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

Umm... neither evolution nor the big bang are listed under "myths" - they're under "Science-based beliefs," I see no reason to delete either from the section. Also, that second paragraph looks distinctly like something I wrote... mmmm... Mikker ... 18:57, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
It is indeed something I wrote copied verbatim, Talk:Charles_Darwin#Evolution_is_a_fact_and_a_theory., do try to attribute quotes, otherwise you're plagiarising. Mikker ... 19:01, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
I copied it because it was a good quote, sorry I didn't give you credit. I wasn't really sure how to reference you. I didn't sign my comment,.. so obviously i wasn't trying to take credit for your words. Sorry for all of the confusion. I still don't understand why there are scientific beliefs in an article about creation stories. Neither of these scientific beliefs claim to be the cause of all existence. I'm not trying to be confrontational,.. just curious.-- 20:41, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
This is the paragraph i have a problem with ((("Origin belief" may be generalized to include non-religious claims and theories based in contemporary science or philosophy—the Big Bang, origin of life, panspermia and theory of evolution fall into this category.))) shouldn't it be assumed that creation myths are a subcatagory of origen beleifes? or,... if it's not assumed,.. shouldn't this be placed in the initial description. It just seems out of place.-- 21:00, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
No biggie, I'm flattered you quoted me (and not a little surprised you dug up something from the Darwin talk page from Dec 2005). In future please just indicate when you're quoting, it helps matters along. As for your substantive concerns: the article "Origin beliefs" is about various beliefs human beings hold (and/or held) about the origin of the life, the universe and everything. Some of these beliefs are based on science, some are not. I think both should be included. Besides, articles describing the scientific theories alone already exist (Physical cosmology, cosmogony etc.) as do articles for the religious views (Religious cosmology etc.). The origin belief article is a "top level" article describing many views. Mikker ... 21:12, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
Shouldn't it be noted that the Big Bang does not account for any sort of creation, but just the origin for the constant expansion of the universe? 18:45, 2 October 2006 (UTC)
Sure. Be bold and do so. --ScienceApologist 21:58, 2 October 2006 (UTC)

It will be useful to differentiate between a belief and a substantiated fact. This is not the place to argue relativism or postmodernism but as certain that you are that this is no god entering his own views on Wikipedia, people can be certain about facts, theories and hypotheses of science. "Science-based belief" is not only an unnecessary neologism but also misleading. Stellenbosch (talk) 13:08, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

I find the original statement lacking

Is Big Bang not the creation of the universe...Does it not speak to the creation of the atmosphere & such....Is it not a theory that cannot yet be proved...I beleive eith all those prior questions - Big Bang Theory becomes a "Creation of the Universe" story.. I think that i deserves a place on this page....--Maa-Kheru 03:47, 11 December 2006 (UTC)


Could someone who knows this information make the following purported sentences into actual sentences? 1) "Birds, animals, reptiles, insects, and many different living things." 2) "Bear, Deer, Snake, Frog, Otter." Thank you. Dan Watts 20:54, 8 April 2006 (UTC)


Why is God often capitalized in this article even if the term is merely used to refer to any god-like creator-entity or entities? I personally often use g/God(s) but even god would be better than the capitalized specifically christian God. Hmm...perhaps euphemisms like divine entity would be even better? - G3, 00:59, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

This has happened because certain editors wrote parts of the article from a Christian perspective. Please, do euphemize or deGod. --ScienceApologist 05:48, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

I think that god has nothing to do with it; god does not exist.

"deGod." ROTFL! Bookgrrl 23:42, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

Identifying a single creator deity requires capitalization otherwise, sure, don't. "In the beginning God created..." - here capitalization must be used when speaking about monotheistic religious views of a creator/sustainer. If speaking of many creators/sustainer's, we must always use lower-case. It is not about one's personal faith, it is about academic standards. What other way can we interpret a text when we refer to a single deity or multiple deities? If you personally feel that their is no God, then do not mock or attack theists please. Even if the article was written by atheists, the capitalization of a deity when referring to a biblical explanation must be used because this deity reveals its character in the creation story and throughout the Hebrew text and therefore in the text (whether it is believed or not) it is not "a" god but "the" God, for he has a character, emotions, etc. It is not just Christians who would find it offensive to read "god" when referring to the God of creation in Genesis, but Jews as well. --Monasticknight 20:57, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

Death belief

Anyone know if there's a corresponding page for discussion of the origins of death? Various cultures' beliefs about how death came into the world, in other words. Native Americans in particular have some interesting ones. Anyone think there might be a need for such an entry? Bookgrrl 23:42, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

Sounds like a great idea for an article. You might consider going over to the death article and suggest it. Maybe a name such as Origins of death would be most appropriate. Why not be bold and try your hand at writing this article? --ScienceApologist 00:28, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

for ORIGIN OF DEATH beliefs see:

Berezkin, Yu. Thinking about death from the very beginning. African origins of some mythological motifs. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Comparative Mythology (Beijing, May 11-13, 2006). Beijing: Beijing University Press, 2008 (in press).

Berezkin, Yu. Proishozhdenie smerti – drevneishi mif [The origin of death as the earliest myth] // Etnograficheskoe obozrenie (Moscow), 2007, No. 1. Pp. 70-89 (in Russian) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:06, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Merging with origin of the Earth

The origin of the Earth article is all science -- geology, Big Bangy type stuff. Can't image that would be a good merge...can we remove this merge proposal? What's the protocol for that? Bookgrrl 23:58, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

Maybe we should remove the duplicated science stuff from here and make this page just about supernatural beliefs. It seems like having the science on here is making a competition between it and religion. I don't support that notion, we can just have disambiguation at the top directing to the scientific explanation and leave this as the various religious/supernatural explainations. It might turn into a bit of edit war, but I think it makes the most sense. Nowimnthing 16:19, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
I'm retracting my former statement. Now that I read more closely, I can see the use of having the science stuff here, as it summarizes it all in one place. Otherwise it is kind of spread out on wikipedia. The merge tag was added by this user but they never discussed it. Since no one else has commented, I will go ahead and remove it. Nowimnthing 17:50, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
I don't see the sense of trying to make this merge either. The topics are difficult enough on their own. Cross-reference by all means. NBeale 09:47, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

Creation ex nihilo in the Book of Genesis

The Religious creation beliefs section says: This [creation ex nihilo] is typified, for example, by the assumption that the first verse of the Christian Bible ("In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth") indicates the only self-existent entity is God with all other things deriving from God.

This seems incorrect. In Young's translation, the same verse says: "In the beginning of God's preparing the heavens and the earth -- the earth hath existed waste and void, and darkness [is] on the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God fluttering on the face of the waters". Also, the creation of water and earth is nowhere mentioned: heaven and earth are created by parting the upper and lower waters, and dry land is created by gathering the lower waters together. This seems to be creation from some sort of primordial water, not creation ex nihilo. --Tgr 21:49, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

Yes, demiurge is a well-known interpretation. The sentence is worded to imply that it is an assumption that Creation according to Genesis is about ex nihilo. There are other opinions as well. --ScienceApologist 22:03, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

One can possess a Bible translated from the Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic by Christians but that does not make it a "Christian Bible." The story of Genesis is Hebrew and the Christians have taken the whole of Genesis and not altered but that does not make it "Christian" now, does it? Is a Christian's car a "Christian car?" --Monasticknight 21:02, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

ISLAM section

One (or more) concerted editors is trying to rewrite the Islam section. While I'm all for expanding and re-evaluating this section, the proposed text is full of formatting and style errors, is mostly unverified, and the only reference is to a YouTube site. This is not adequate for an encyclopedia. Please try to keep a higher standard of research and presentation. Thanks, --ScienceApologist 13:53, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

How can a phrase such as "God's world is a good world, and when people obey or submit to God then life is good." can qualify as NPOV ? It does not add any information to explain Islam belief on creation, and seems only here to proselytize. This section also: "And consider, as the Qur'an says, how God poured down the rain in torrents, and broke up the soil to bring forth the corn, the grapes and other vegetation; the olive and the palm, the fruit trees and the grass." seems not to be written in a tone that fit an encyclopedia. I thinks the section should be entirely rewritten in a more neutral way, as other sections seems to take more distance with their subject. MattRobin 11:32, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Sikh and Islam sections

Someone familiar with the subject matter(s) should replace the Sikh and Islam passages with a summary of creation beliefs, rather than a long excerpt of scripture. Including a summary and referencing appropriate scriptural passages would be a better solution... -Porlob 21:09, 11 October 2006 (UTC)


This section is so wrong and misleading it's sad... This seems to be the creation myth of just Bakuba; it's certainly not shared by the 100s of other Bantu language speaking societies in sub-Saharan Africa. In fact, unless you specifically ask the question, most African societies don't actually have Creation of Everything myths (since there's no reason to believe that the infinite cycles of time and birth and death have not always been that way). The same thing happens when you ask for the gender of God (since the languages don't have grammatical sexual gender in eg the pronouns).
Would someone like to perhaps put this section into perspective (and perhaps even verify it)? Zyxoas (talk to me - I'll listen) 20:52, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

What is the origin of origin beliefs?

What is the timeline of origin beliefs?

What is the origin of origin beliefs?

Creation myths

I simply do not see this title as being NPOV - whatever the strict definition most readers will relate to myth as an untruth. I should like to retitle this section Creation stories which, though it still carries baggage, is somewhat more neutral. May I have views, please. BlueValour 05:33, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

I second this thought. "Creation stories" feels a lot more respectful towards those who hold them as more than "myths".

Do either of you find the terms "Norse Mythology", "Greek Mythology", "Egyptian Mythology" etc. disrespectful toward those cultures? These are special category of stories - they are myths in the academic sense of "a traditional story used to explain the worldview of a people". Read previous commentary on this in this talk page. It's been discussed. The correct term is "myth", though I could see using "mythology" also. *Spark* 00:29, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

Even if I do not mind calling stories of Zeus as mythology, that should not matter. If someone who actively worships Zeus did not want me to call what he believes in as mythology, I would grant him that courtesy. Petercksun 01:03, 2 December 2006 (UTC)petercksun

Myth: a traditional story accepted as history; serves to explain the world view of a people.[3] That is an accurate description of the issue at hand. If it offends you, you might do some "soul"-searching to determine why. In any case, it is the role of Wikipedia to be accurate, not inoffensive. You may also note: Christian mythology. — coelacan talk — 01:44, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

Creation Ex Nihilo appropriate in reference to God creating universe?

The belief that God created the universe is not necessarily Ex Nihilo in that something, someone, created everything - just as the Big Bang also accords with the idea that there was something already there before the universe as we know it came into being. Besides, creation "Out of nothing" in reference to God can imply that God is nothing, and we want to be neutral.

Thus the reference to demiurge. What's your point? --ScienceApologist 13:39, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

This article needs to figure out what it is about

As I encountered it, this article did not really seem to be about anything in particular. 1st and foremost, either this is an article about traditional/cultural/religious beliefs or it ain't. Scientific theory pertaining to the origins of the universe/earth are really not equivalent and are discussed in other articles (big bang, etc). Discussions of the limits of science in proposing a why the universe exists are discussed in creation-evolution controversy. Lets maintain a focus here so that this article makes a solid contribution to our beloved encyclopedia.Triggtay 04:05, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

I fully agree with the above comment. This article has no continuous train of thought, it reads like a group of high school student's book project. I say divide and conquer. --Monasticknight 21:05, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

Abrahamic - remove?

I'd suggest that either all creation myths should be included in this article, or the "Abrahamic" section should be removed to "Creation within belief systems". Otherwise the majority of this article is an advertisement for, essentially, Judeo-Christianity.

Personally, I think this article would be better served by replacing the Judeo-Christian section with a creation myth comparison section - say, highlighting similarities and differences between the creation myths of different people. The "Creation within belief systems" article is okay on its own, but comparison I think would look great on this page.


Davidicke 20:48, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

Do whatever you have to do to make this article not suck so much :) Triggtay 17:35, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

Creation Myth Comparison

Yes! I believe this page needs a creation myth comparison section. I was perturbed to find a Judaism and Christanity creation section without seeing Buddhism in comparison. "The supreme origin and creator of the universe is the cause and conditions obscured by time."

Someone knowledgable please add the section.


--Drakendas 01:00, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Suggested merge with Creation within belief systems

It is difficult to understand the basis on which Creation within belief systems has been given a separate article. It looks like a very ad hoc decision, including the rather strange title.

Several people above have also noted the scrappiness of the Origin beliefs article, and the unfairness inherent in the fact that Origin beliefs mentions Abrahamic religions but not others.

For that reason, I suggest that the article on Creation within belief systems should be merged into the article on Origin beliefs.

Bathrobe 01:13, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

Having checked the history of the article, the split-off of Creation within belief systems was done by User:BlueValour on 26 November 2006. The split was not unmotivated as the original article was overly long and was crying out to be split up. No matter how well motivated it was, the actual split was done rather poorly. We now have two articles: the Origin belief article, which is now a mere rump of the original article and is undeniably biased and scrappy; and the Creation within belief systems, poorly named and without a decent general introduction.
Well, do we reintegrate the two articles? Or do we rewrite the Origin beliefs article to remove the current bias, and add a short summary on Creation stories that links to Creation within belief systems (the latter preferably renamed)?
Bathrobe 01:49, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
I say we merge for the sake of simplicity. One subtopic, one resource. -- WolfieInu 08:12, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
  • support merge back into Origin belief no reason to have two. Chris 08:15, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

How about something like this? with Creation within belief systems being a redirect to this page. ornis 09:43, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

  • Oppose merge back and support second option. It was a poorly executed split (I was a bit inexperienced in those days :-0) but merging back is simply going to resurrect the problem of length. Put together the article would be miles too long. It is quite normal, when you have a lot of material, to have a general article and then a list of specific instances, which is what we have here. BlueValour 15:51, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
Pity ornis scratched his scratch page. I had a look before he did; it didn't seem too bad. It probably even addressed BlueValour's criticism that merging the two pages would have been too long. The only real problem with merging the two pages is that the sections on Abrahamic religions in the current Origin beliefs page would have to be deleted. This would be a pity as there is substantive material in there.
sorry bout that, just assumed there wasn't much interest in a merge.. I've moved it here. My view on the Judeo-christian section, is that really, those topics are covered elsewhere in much greater detail, and all that's needed here is a quick overview and link to their respective main articles. ornis 00:56, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
Should never be hasty :) It takes a while for everyone to express their views. It's nice that you've suggested specific action rather than just expressing a view from the sidelines.
In fact, it might be an idea if interested parties could express their views on Ornis's suggested edit, including suggestions, problems, and points of concern.
Bathrobe 06:36, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
Well OK, here is my view from the sidelines :) about ornis' idea. I think it's a good merge, and no elaboration on Judeo-Christian creationism is required since there are links to the main articles, as ornis said. We're discussing a Definitions of creationism article on Creationism's talk page, so keep in mind that if it goes through there may be implications for the Judeo-Christian (and others?) section. Perhaps we could move the material on Abrahamic religions in the current Origin beliefs article to a temporary page until Creationism has settled down. -- WolfieInu 10:07, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

And so it has come to nothing. Sad. -- WolfieInu 13:34, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

Yes, I agree. The topic doesn't seem to attract the same interest as Creationism. Should we let Ornis go ahead?
Bathrobe 12:02, 6 July 2007 (UTC)
Just one question. If I do, what if anything should I do with the talk page of the other article?. ornis 03:30, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
I'd have to check up on the procedures for merging article, which entails wading through About Wikipedia to find the guidelines. I'll try and get around it in a couple of days :)
Bathrobe 08:38, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
Well I would make the other article a redirect so its history and talk are intact obviously, but I was wondering if i should perhaps leave a note there and copy over (relatively) new discussions from there to a subpage perhaps, of this talk page. ornis 10:59, 13 July 2007 (UTC)
Wait, scratch that last bit, there are no recent discussions on that talk page. ornis 07:59, 14 July 2007 (UTC)
Done now. creation within belief systems is now a redirect to this page. In terms of the length I think a lot of this should be farmed off to more appropriate sub articles, for instance, I notice there's nothing about creation myths of the ainu on the Ainu people page. 08:36, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

Congrats! Now wait for the reaction (although I don't think there will be too much reaction, at least for a while)

Bathrobe 10:17, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

No I don't think so either, but I'll keep my asbestos long-johns handy none the less ;) Ornis (t) 10:22, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

Possible OR

The section in the intro beginning: "Creation myths generally have nine elements throughout the story:" sounds somewhat like OR to me, does someone have a cite? ornis (t) 13:19, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

Creation myths generally have nine elements throughout the story:[citation needed]
  • Birth: where the first person or deity came from.
  • Mother/Father: who the father god and mother goddess. For example, the Greek creation myth has Gaia as the mother goddess, and Uranus as the father god.
  • Genealogy: who was the parent of whom
  • Active/Passive creation: how everything had been created. If it had been active creation, then there was a creator. Passive creation is when something is just created. Therefore, Gaia is the active creator and Uranus the passive creator.
  • Supreme Being: the most powerful god. For Babylonians, this was Marduk.
  • Realm: the home of the gods.

I've cut it from the article in anycase, pending a reference. ornis (t) 14:00, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

The tags, they do nothing!

Why is this article requesting a cleanup? What, specifically, is wrong? Also, why does the second tag state that the article has no references? It does, doesn't it? -- WolfieInu 11:58, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

Dates for these stories?

It would be useful and illuminting to accompany each of these "myths" or "stories" with the earliest known date for their telling.

This would help the reader to place them in chronological and evolving sequence.

As they are currently presented, there is no sense whatsoever of what idea grew from which other one and the sequence of their existence. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:17, August 28, 2007 (UTC)

Creation Myth

Anyone searching for this article is going to search for "creation myth" not "origin beliefs". Compare results for the google search "origin belief" verus the result for "creation myth". Why does one return more results? Because that's the term that people actually use, in conversation as well as academic channels. This sort of semantic rubbish is exactly the reason people laugh when you use wikipedia as a reference. Furthermore, the word "myth" does not imply "false". I'm sorry if it offends people, but wikipedia is a collection of facts not an outline for a more PC world. If it is called "creation myth" THAT should be the name of the article. If you'd like that term to be retired, do it in the correct forums, not on wikipedia. 15:31, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

Well argued, and important. Stellenbosch (talk) 13:35, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. I could see arguments for using 'origin' in place of 'creation' (since 'creation' implies volition, which might not be appropriate for everything here), but 'myth' is definitely the most appropriate word. 'Origin belief' is just clumsy and idiosyncratic. Ilkali (talk) 17:04, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

Requested move: Creation myth

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was PAGE MOVED per discussion below. -GTBacchus(talk) 21:31, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

Hits on Google:

  • "Origin belief": 13,200 ([4])
  • "Creation myth": 245,000 ([5])

The latter is more familiar and more descriptive. Wikipedia shouldn't shy away from using the 'm' word to describe people's beliefs. At most, we should have a box explaining what the word does and doesn't mean, like on Christian mythology and Islamic mythology. Ilkali (talk) 19:42, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

  • Origin myrh might be a useful compromise; but the cases in which it would apply (in which the world is portrayed as deeply continuous) are quite rare. Support as usage. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 22:59, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Support. Google scholar is worth looking at too. "Creation myth" with 6,160 hits vs. "Origin belief" with 112 hits. Ben 08:08, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Support. Creation myth is the common term, and there are no compelling reasons why it should not be used. EuroSong talk 01:31, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

It does not matter what people search for, the term "myth" is politically incorrect and offensive. -- (talk) 15:19, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Please see WP:CENSOR. Ben (talk) 16:07, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Why does Wikipedia need to use the the loaded term Myth?

Why should Wikipedia use the derogatory term myth? Why is creationism necessarily an "invented story, idea, or concept"? Certainly much of it is, but to arrogantly assume that at *all* is myth (imaginary) is not NPOV. Why should ideas like singularities, big bang, and dark matter be treated in fair, neutral language, but creationism gets paternalistic discussions of themes, motifs and symbolism? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:10, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

This article is not about any one creation myth, it's about creation myths in general. It seems to me you want to describe "much of it" as a myth, but not some of it, which is certainly not a NPOV. The term myth is not, in general, a derogatory term. Some people use it in a derogatory manner, but regardless, 'creation myth' is the commonly used term both colloquially and academically (see above). Some people do equate myth with imaginary, but some people also equate theory with conjecture or idea without evidence, yet I don't see any complaints of the use of the word 'theory' in the singularities, big bang, and dark matter articles you mentioned. In both the myth and theory cases the standard term is used, and Wikipedia can't choose to abandon standard usage because some people don't like it or other people use it in a derogatory manner. Ben (talk) 11:55, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
Theory connotes positively as a part of intellectual exercise: it might be true. Myth connotes negatively as only a story that will always be just a story. Theory is in the pursuit of truth, myth isn't. The smart people use intellectual processes to understand the truth. Religionists just rely on voodoo stuff that somebody made up a long time ago. The scientific road is littered with some of most foolish ideas wreaked on the side. Yet it isn't typical to use religionist terms when describing science. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:56, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
This article is about creation myths. If you don't like the words, it's the rest of the world you need to convince, not a few editors on a wikipedia talk page. Ben (talk) 15:19, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
So how many of these "creation myths" do you feel are getting unfair treatment? Let me take a guess. Is it the Christian story of creation that you don't like being lumped in with all those other heathen myths? Am I right? Well, if that's the case, I'm sorry, you have no basis for expecting your particular beliefs to be privileged over the creation stories of other religions or other traditions.
If you actually mean something else, please feel free to tell us about it.
Bathrobe (talk) 16:50, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

This article represents the beliefs of some, that everyone else's beleifs (that are not measured within emperical science) are wrong, and their belief in the measurable world is the only thing that isn't a myth. It's a highly subjective bias that definitely takes away from the integrity of Wikipedia.

I know for a fact that the actual traditional Christian (Catholic) 'creation' is much more of a teaching on humanity than it is an historical account. It wasn't just Maimonidies that said it shouldn't be taken literally, it's written in the Church doctrine. I don't want to know what other projections were made on different religions in this 'article' but I think that people should keep their biases to themselves and stay out of articles they know nothing about.

This article's title and content should be changed immediately. Black Slacks (talk) 18:04, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

Yeah, well, I believe in leprechauns too, and I demand that the words Irish mythology should be taken off the article.
In fact, if the Christian account of creation is, as you say, "much more of a teaching on humanity than it is an historical account", why are you complaining about the use of the word "myth"? If it's not a historical account, please tell us what it is. A "story"? An "allegory"?
If you read the Wikipedia article on myth, you'll note that it says "In the academic fields of mythology, mythography, or folkloristics, a myth (mythos) is a sacred story concerning the origins of the world or how the world and the creatures in it came to be in their present form". It also says that "In saying that a myth is a sacred narrative, what is meant is that a myth is believed to be true by people who attach religious or spiritual significance to it. Use of the term by scholars does not imply that the narrative is either true or false." You are just touchy about it because you subscribe to the pejorative popular use of the term "myth" rather than the academic use.
Bathrobe (talk) 03:51, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

Is an aspect of my faith a MYTH?

I'm sorry, but I am a practicing Church of England Christian, and have faith in the Genesis One passage, and to me, my faith shouldn't be put down in this way. It was actually quite offensive when I first read it. Myth definition:

a widely held but false belief

a fictitious person or thing. [6]

It isn't the role of Wikipedia to decide on my faith. St91 (talk) 19:57, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

With regards to the question asked in the section title: yes. Jefffire (talk) 20:13, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
And with regards to the rest of it...?
St91 (talk) 20:25, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
You are picking two definitions out of three on that page. How about the first one listed? "a traditional story concerning the early history of a people or explaining a natural or social phenomenon, typically involving the supernatural"? Why aren't you considering that definition? — the Sidhekin (talk) 20:36, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
I don't see a God-inspired passage as a " traditional story "
St91 (talk) 20:55, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
The greatest story ever told, not a story? Er... Sheffield Steeltalkstalk 22:15, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps he insists on a clear division between scripture and tradition? Though I don't think that kind of jargon will fly in a general-purpose encyclopædia. ;-) — the Sidhekin (talk) 22:22, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
I too find the article title highly POV. It's not enought to note in the article that some people think that the term myth is pejorative. Just don't use the term: call it "Creation accounts" or maybe "Creation narratives." Yehoishophot Oliver (talk) 04:39, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
I find that Creation Narratives would be less controversial we have to remeber that the average user who looks at this page probobly hasn't sceen the wikipedia page on myth. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jpc100 (talkcontribs) 01:55, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

Is this NPOV?

This refers to Christianity, Judaism, Mormonism, and other religions as myths... I believe there's a difference between a myth and a religious belief? -- HAYSON1991 11:15, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

No, it refers to certain beliefs of Christianity etc as myth. Slight difference.  :)
Religios beliefs might be referred to by many names. Dogma. Truths. Accounts. The fact that one name can be applied does not mean others cannot. The beliefs examined here are, I believe, traditional stories. Hence, the name of "myth" applies.
That does not mean the current version is fixed. Got any suggestions for change? I'll listen. — the Sidhekin (talk) 11:52, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
I suggest "creation accounts" or "creation beliefs". Yehoishophot Oliver (talk) 03:22, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
What's the difference between "accounts" and "stories" (as previously suggested)? Per WP:NAME we should prefer the far more common "creation myths" or "creation stories", so I'm inclined to ignore "accounts" and instead consider "stories" as a possible replacement. (Of course, I'm not a native speaker of English, so I may be missing something here.)
Against "beliefs" I would hold the following, from the lead of our article: "creation myths need not be religious in nature, and they have secular analogues in modern cultures". In that respect, "beliefs" seems as NPOV as "myth". Oh, and far less common, too.
I guess that means I could get behind "Creation stories" as the NPOV alternative. Thoughts? — the Sidhekin (talk) 07:26, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
Difference between "account" and story"
Account - a description of an event or experience
Story - an account of imaginary or real people and events told for entertainment
St91 (talk) 15:31, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
The term "myth" has a blatant secularist POV derogatory tone, implying that the belief is about as legitimate as the tooth fairy. Some NPOV alternative must be found. I'll accept "creation story" or "creation belief." Yehoishophot Oliver (talk) 03:04, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
The distinction is made more in the minds of theists than atheists. You have no problem with describing elements of Roman or Egyptian religions as mythology, but demand special nomenclature for describing your own beliefs. "Creation myth" is the dominant term for the material listed on the page, as confirmed by searches with Google and Google Scholar, and 'myth' is not an inherently derogatory term. Ilkali (talk) 06:34, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

For goodness sake, just change it to "creation story". These thin-skinned Christians won't give it a rest until you remove any soupcon of a doubt that their sacred beliefs are true. The fact that they are prejudiced in favour of their own faith (and against others) doesn't matter. Just stop the constant and selective (as seen in the person who doesn't even know how to look up a dictionary properly) moaning. Next thing they'll be demanding that Christianity (and Christianity only) should be removed from the Portal:Mythology.

Bathrobe (talk) 08:16, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

"Myth" is the correct term. Why should we not use it? (Incidentally, wouldn't it be an NPOV violation to disparage the Tooth Fairy as Yehoishophot Oliver apparently did?) --Robert Stevens (talk) 08:40, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
Yes, as a believer in the tooth fairy I am deeply offended.
Bathrobe (talk) 09:23, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
I find the word "Myth" highly POV. According to WP:WTA, the word Myth is not to be used. I would suggest "Accounts Of Creation". Shlomke (talk) 16:50, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
Please re-read WP:WTA. That's not what it says. From a sociological perspective, the word "myth" is the correct one to use.--Ramdrake (talk) 17:00, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
From that very source: "Myth is perfectly valid in its technical sense, for example in an article about religious beliefs". Ilkali (talk) 19:35, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
I still feel Myth has a negative connotation insinuating that the story's are not true. WP:Words to avoid does show that the word is problematic, even if not in every case. Can we use another word like "Creation Accounts" or "Accounts Of Creation"? - Shlomke (talk) 21:49, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
Again, from WP:Words to avoid: "Myth is perfectly valid in its technical sense, for example in an article about religious beliefs" Since this is an article about religious beliefs, I guess that makes the answer a No.--Ramdrake (talk) 22:24, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
I have added a {{myth box}} template to explain to readers the meaning of the word "myth." I believe that it is fairly well-established to use the word "myth" in reference to mythology on Wikipedia, rather than some other less precise term such as "account." So, I really don't see any reasonable precedent for changing the title of the article. Hopefully the template will resolve some of these issues. silly rabbit (talk) 22:48, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

New Title Suggestion

Perhaps we could change the name of this title to "Creation belief" rather than creation myth. While I have read the explanations above, the word "myth" sounds very negative and to me implies that it is a lie, which is how most people interpret it without any explanations. As a Born-Again Christian and a Young-Earth Creationist, I find the title offensive and biased. I feel that the term "belief" would be more NPOV and would not cause as much controversy or offense. SouthJerseyConservative (talk) 06:19, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

This has been discussed dozens of times now. If you want to start a new discussion, at least tackle the opposing arguments made before. Ilkali (talk) 07:40, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Wiktionary defines myth as "A story of a great but unknown age which embodies a belief regarding some fact or phenomenon of experience, and in which often the forces of nature and of the soul are personified; an ancient story of a god, a hero, the origin of a race, etc.; a wonder story of prehistoric origin." At first I thought the title was POV, but the based on this definition of the word "myth" I'm content with the title.--Urban Rose 23:36, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Creation Beliefs

Using the word "myth" with the "broad description" used on the page is utter sophistry. The universally accepted definition of the word is a story or legend that is not *true*. I don't see why we simply can't change the article label to "Creation Beliefs", or "Creation Theories". The word "creation" is clearly evocative of religious beliefs in and of itself, we don't need to label it "myths" to insult the majority of our world's population.

Don't we want to be a 'pedia for everyone? Is changing the word to "beliefs" in *any* way changing the accuracy of the article? I simply don't see the need to be contentious by applying such a broad meaning of the word "myth". Lets not be coy, we all know what the word conjures up in our minds; read three of the four definitions of the word "myth" from dictionary(dot)com:

3. any invented story, idea, or concept: His account of the event is pure myth.
4. an imaginary or fictitious thing or person.
5. an unproved or false collective belief that is used to justify a social institution.

We can be true to science and ethical in our treatment of the creation beliefs without stirring up rancor and insulting the majority of people who believe in God. I respect atheists who do not subscribe to a belief in a "god creation", and we're not attempting on the page to equate the creation beliefs with scientific theory. All we are asking for in naming the page, is that... respect. Wikipedia is already getting a really bad "rep" in the religious community for other reasons (for example, the Intelligent Design page), why should we further alienate persons who believe in God by applying the word "myth" to the title? This really isn't the place to bandy with "broad definitions". This simply lends credibility to the assertion that Wikipedia is "LiberalPedia". In my opinion, how we treat and/or respect those whom we disagree with defines our character. Thoughts? Supertheman (talk) 09:24, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

"I don't see why we simply can't change the article label to "Creation Beliefs", or "Creation Theories".". Then go back and look at the reasons previously given. Ilkali (talk) 09:48, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
Also, and just for completeness, in the listing of definitions above you missed out the first (presumably most widely recognised) one:
1. a traditional or legendary story, usually concerning some being or hero or event, with or without a determinable basis of fact or a natural explanation, esp. one that is concerned with deities or demigods and explains some practice, rite, or phenomenon of nature.
Note that this doesn't cast judgement on the veracity of the myth. Anyway, as Ilkali notes, this has been thrashed out time and time again above. Please read this. Cheers, --Plumbago (talk) 10:24, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
Thoughts? Well, for one, scientific explanations does not in any way mean the same thing as atheist. There are lots of theists who believe in the scientific creation theories. Actually, most theists probably do. Labeling something as what it is (eg. a myth, see countless explanations above that clearly defines what a myth is) isn't POV. Obviously Wikipedia isn't something an ID would recommend to other people, since their lies (seen from a scientific viewpoint, not necessary an atheist one) can't be upheld if someone actually checks them out (and wikipedia is a good place for learning more about anything, including unscientific myths). Wikipedia does not strive to become a censored puppy of fundamentalist Christianity, so obviously there is no reason to write factually incorrect things just to please some few fundamentalists. Ran4 (talk) 22:31, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

Why not, "Creation stories"? -- (talk) 19:22, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

This topic has been discussed dozens of times now. Go back and look. Ilkali (talk) 19:50, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

Regarding all the controversy surrounding the phrase "myth"

Should we have a notice box at the top of the page to explain to everyone why exactly we chose "myth"? Because apparently the big box in the article explaining what Wikipedia's definition of "myth" isn't working. I don't particularly like the term, but I also think that explaining over and over why we chose the term myth is a huge waste of time, and this way the objectors won't have to search through the entire talk page. Honestly, it's been a little tiring hearing those same objections. --Sapphire Flame (talk) 16:19, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

I think the most democratic thing to do would be to change it back and forth between "belief" and "myth" every four or eight years like we Americans do to represent our contradictory culture in our presidency. That might happen organically here too, but at a much more rapid pace, and I think that would be within the spirit of Wikipedia. I am a lifelong athiest myself, but I don't really like the term "myth." I would vote to keep it, because it is clearly the accepted term, but it is unfortunately also a loaded one that is generally only applied to everyone *else's* myths, even when the definition being used could apply to your own as well. This may not be true among Wikipedians, but it is, in my experience, true among the populace. Blame language for being, once again, inadequate to convey human experience. You suck, language. My computer said love (talk) 20:46, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

It's only neutral to call something a myth when no known group seriously believes in it. Creation "stories" or "beliefs" would be much better. -- (talk) 19:20, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

You are confusing being neutral with avoiding offense. Ilkali (talk) 19:50, 31 May 2008 (UTC)


WP:LEAD calls for summarizing the article's content. As such, the second paragraph of the lead is out of place and doesn't belong there.

A variety of religious groups, usually associated with fundamentalist Christianity, assert that their accounts of creation are scientifically accurate and should be considered alongside, supersede, or even replace conventional scientific accounts of the development of life and the cosmos. This assertion has proven highly controversial (for the most prominent example, see the creation-evolution controversy).

The article isn't about a comparison of creation myths vs. science, so this information should be removed. Without the paragraph, the lead reads as:

A creation myth is a supernatural mytho-religious story or explanation that describes the beginnings of humanity, earth, life, and the universe (cosmogony),[1] usually as a deliberate act of "creation" by a supreme being.

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

The term creation myth is sometimes used in a derogatory way to describe stories which are still believed today, as the term myth 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.

That's an appropriate overview of the article compatible with WP:LEAD. --Nealparr (talk to me) 12:00, 24 May 2008 (UTC)