I tend to evaluate this kind of question in two ways:
1) If the story is TRUE, what would we reasonably expect to see?
2) If the story is FALSE, what would we reasonably expect to see?
If the story is TRUE
If the story of Adam and Eve is true, we might expect that Adam and Eve would be able to pass their story onto their children, and that all cultures from then on would share a similar creation story. Early parents would have answered their children’s questions of “Where do we come from?” with the same story of Great Grandpa Adam and Great Grandma Eve and how the talking snake mucked everything up.
Additionally, if the Earth is, say, 6,000 years old, these stories only had to be passed down verbally for 2,500 years (or so) before being written down. This may seem like a long time, but with Biblical patriarchs like Adam, Methuselah and Noah living almost 1000 years each, the story should have a high level of continuity between the Garden of Eden and the time it was written down. There wouldn’t really be a need for a “special revelation” of the creation story, since it would be common knowledge from the beginning.
So if the Biblical creation story is true, details of it should have originated from the very beginning and all cultures would likely share knowledge of similar events.
If the story is FALSE
If false, we would likely see the story emerge from a single point and time, with the rest of the world being oblivious to the story up until that point.
What history bears out is numerous and varied creation stories from all over the world, and none are repeating the specifics of Adam and Eve, the talking serpent, original sin, and/or the expulsion from Eden.
While the early Jews may have shared some elements of their stories with their closest neighbors, their neighbors still told very different stories. And the more distant cultures, such as the Aztecs and Aborigines, remained completely oblivious to the Jewish story of creation.
So why don’t all people share the same creation story?
The fact that no creation story is shared by most cultures (or even a few of them) is at least consistent with the idea that no such history occurred. Every human desires to know how he got here and why he is here, so it’s difficult to imagine that this vital piece of information wasn’t the first story to be passed down to each new generation.
Even if every culture somehow managed to forget the story of its origins, it would’ve been nice of God to remind some or all cultures of the truth, and not just one.
Dude – you spent a lot of time thinking this one through! I am passionate about family history and genealogy…….and I can’t even get my grandparents to tell the same story about an event in the family history….and you’re wondering why a story passed down from 2,500 years ago doesn’t gell exactly. Think about what your saying !!!
It’s one thing if every culture has different creation stories. It’s another if they don’t share any common elements at all. As the author states, you’re only looking at a few (biblical patriach) generations between the supposed date of creation and the advent of writing in several major cultures world wide. Therefore, one would expect a certain level of consistency. Even if you re-figure the timeline with realistic generations, you would expect some thematic elements to remain consistent.
Where exactly is the baby in respects to the bathwater here?
There simply is no baby to begin with 🙂 just a tub full of muddy water
Comments aren’t showing up… 😦
Sorry, they should all be up now. I have to approve comments from any new senders (keeps out the spam). But any new comments should post immediately. 🙂
With all due respect, something as miraculous as the creation of humankind and seeing/hearing God would be MUCH easier to remember than who they went to the sock hop with in middle school. Think of it yourself. You may not remember insignificant things so well, I certainly cant. But to not constantly tell family how GOD SPOKE TO YOU, how he he CREATED life! How incredible this all was! To forget something like this would insult human capability. I’m currently an agnostic going on atheist. I’m finally seeing the world for what it is. Reading the bible helps me confirm my disbelief. It’s rather ridiculous. Fifty shekels to rape a beautiful girl, then i get to marry her!?!? That’s about $12.50 in USD. Sounds like a cheap date to me.
God has spoken to me on numerous occasions but my children would be hard-pressed to remember the details. For instance, I realized a couple of years after we moved, that I had completely forgotten that God told me we would be gone ‘before the end of summer’, as I understood it, and it was actually before summer we left the cold and barren place we had been living for the past 3 years. That was the first time that kind of thing happened, I didn’t really get it and I just forgot about it. At the time God spoke to me about it I was in the middle of explaining to a good friend that we were anticipating staying on another 3 – 4 years when I was interrupted with the message, which was not extraordinary at all, but just a routine thing. If there were lights flashing, thunder growling and the ‘voice’ of God was thunderous, perhaps i would have paid it more attention. I also shared it with my wife. Neither of them recalled it except for me (very well recollected when I was reminded of it) and I compare that with other ‘messages’ I get in order to determine if this is from God. So, I’ve concluded that unless there are certain reminders, forgetting what God has spoken is very easily done, and in that case, with the reminders, it becomes a very clear, ‘almost video’ recollection. There are plenty of examples of forgetting the voice and presence of God in the bible, so I’m not alone in that, and I conclude it is more ‘normal’ to forget it than to replay it to your kids who won’t listen anyway.
Another very good question! This blog is honestly fantastic! I just can’t say enough about it. Please, continue the good work. With the help of God, I will attempt to answer it.
Simply put, it is man’s nature to sin. It is our master and we are powerless against because we are dead (spiritually). Sin being our nature, we (human kind) invent false gods to allow/justify our sinful behavior. With a new god comes a new creation story, and new laws to abide by. To be honest, I would be more surprised to hear that more people share the creation story. They then would be lead to the one true God. Sadly though, this is not the case.
Although we do not all share one common creation story we do all share 2 common ancestors, Eve (aka Mitochondrial Eve) and Adam (Y-chromosomal Adam). “Y-chromosomal Adam had at least two sons and two of his sons have unbroken lineages that have survived to the present day.” (wikipedia.org/wiki/Y-chromosomal_Adam) I submit to you that we know the names of Adams offspring. Cain who formed the ‘Daughters of Men’ line, and Seth who formed the ‘Sons of God’ line. While some speculate that Y-chromosomal Adam, and Mitochondrial Eve did not exist at that same time, that is more in the arena of guess work as the science is still being ironed out. However the bloodlines, and lineages are facts and we must not confuse the two.
Another great blog question my friend! This is something I am truly enjoying. Thank you so much.
Your brother in Christ,
It’s not guesswork. They did not exist at the same time, and in neither case were they the only male or female human.
I posted the following below, which I will copy here:
What it comes down to is that if you have two women, and one only has sons, she is no longer “the most recent common female ancestor” also known as mitochondrial eve. If she has daughters, but her daughters have only sons, the same happens. With enough generations, this happens to most of the population, and you’re left with one who is.
This is just like my question about Jesus’ birth. Nobody bothered to notice what year it was, let alone the season, month or day? They just sort of forgot about it for a few dozen decades or what? Why did they need to set the date to be the same as the pagan solstice celebration? Nobody wanted to believe the “truth”? Same story for Easter? All seems rather improbable to me. More probable is that the story was just patched together (plagiarized) later from various other pagan myths of the time. This would explain so many striking similarities to myths of Horus, Mithras, et al. And as long as they were using old pagan stories, they went ahead and reused their seasonal celebrations, too.
People have told me the Bible must be true because it’s such an old story. Shouldn’t we then follow the even older Jewish traditions? Or perhaps we should go gack to the oldest known traditions and stories. Yet if we should believe the more recent story of Jesus, shouldn’t we be using the even more recent stories of Muhammed or even Joseph Smith?
The more research I do, the more all religious stories seem like nothing but pure fiction.
Jesus’ date of birth is further complicated by the mention of two different kings that didn’t reign within a decade of each other. You’d think, at the very least, we could nail it down to the time King Herod killed all the male children under 2 (Matthew 2:16)… but only the Bible suggests this event happened. The historian Josephus, who wrote at about the details of Herod’s life at great length, somehow manages to forget to mention this detail. You’d think this fact would’ve been of some historical interest.
I have to wonder whether we’re beating a dead horse here. But it is nice to know there are other thinking people on this planet who have the sense and self-reflection to recognize myths for what they are. But have you ever noticed the thinkers on this issue tend to be men rather than women? I’ve noticed that women, far more than men, seem to want to believe in the supernatural. It’s women’s magazines with the ads in back for psychics, horoscopes, and all that sort of silliness. When I do encounter a women who questions the existence of a god, almost invariably that belief will have been replaced with something else just as silly. (Mystical crystals or whatever.) It seems only the women scientists who don’t go in for that sort of thing—the real heavy-duty thinkers.
We may be beating a dead horse, but I find it reassuring. I’d like to leave no stone unturned.
I don’t want to be sexist here, but men and women ARE different, and I suspect the way our brains are wired may have something to do with their affinity for religion or spiritual things. But this may be changing (see: http://www.christianpost.com/news/shocking-poll-women-are-falling-away-from-religion-53352/).
Woman, and not just an atheist – I’m an anti-theist! Although I’d like to know your sign… 🙂
“Anti-Theist”… I like that!
I am a water sign, but that’s all I’ll admit at the moment. 🙂
I’m a christian, and I’m a woman. And… I’ll have you know, that I don’t believe in all things supernatural. The only supernatural thing I believe in is God and spirits. And congratulations on that new word, want a ‘well deserved’ award?
My opinion on Why don’t all people share the same creation story? , is that time has passed since Adam and Eve. All cultures might have been taught the story of Christ, but with time, doubts will naturally start developing. Do you always believe everything your parents tell you? The more athi-agnostic minds will decide what they’ve been told is hooey, and make up their own beliefs because it satisfies them.
They pass it on to their cultures and it becomes a new story being passed down from generations to generations. You can either choose to stick to your cultures multiple Gods belief or you can break out of it and believe in what you want.
Oh, and you still are a sexist. You’re not going to pick up any decent girls with that mind, bub.
Yes, he is a sexist. That being said, see my post above. It’s one thing if the creation stories are generally the same, it’s reasonable that the details would change over time.
What actually exists is that any commonality is only found in close geographical regions, and isolated cultures have completely different creation stories. This is especially true since, if you take the young earth creationist timeline, Seth (Adam’s son) was still alive when the Sumerians got around to inventing writing.
We have two Creation Stories of Man. God figure
(1) “God said, ‘Let us make Man, in our own image, in the likeness of ourselves, and let them be masters of the fish of the sea, the birds of heaven, the cattle, all the wild beasts, and all the reptiles that crawl upon the earth’ God created man, in the image of himself, and in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them. God blessed them, saying, ‘be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and conquer it. Be masters of the fish of the sea, the birds of the heaven, and all living animals on earth’ “Genesis 1:26-29.
(2_ ”Yahweh God, fashioned man, of dust, from the soil. He breathed, into his nostrils, a breath of life, and thus man became a living being.” Genesis 2:1-21
The native Americans have it to a tee I think
The Creation about 6,000 years old, 4000 years in BC while the rest is in AD, almost all the civilization falls under this bandwidth, but very important we all share same DNA that too from a single woman! Search to know more, https://www.google.co.in/?gfe_rd=cr&ei=GpPNVbqdJrHv8wenzZyQBA&gws_rd=ssl#q=same+dna+world+share+from+single+women
All cultures, share flood as starting point of their creation, After the flood, at the tower of Babel,
When JHWH, confuse the languages at the building of the tower of Babel and humans were spread all over the face of the earth, they took their form of worship with them, either false or true. We get all of the legends of north, south and central America, Europe, Asia and even Australia, that is the basis for the majority of the worlds religions as a result, Hope I am right in saying this…
We are all descended from a single woman, but that does not mean she was the first woman. In fact, she wasn’t even the only woman alive at the time. It just happens that she is the mother of every matrilineal line that survived. To clarify, my mom’s mom had a daughter and a son. The daughter (my mom) had only male children. Therefore, despite my grandmother having five grand children and 6 (and counting) great grandchildren, she has no female descendants, so the mitochondrial line from her has ended. My other grandmother also had one daughter and one son, but the daughter had two additional female children, and one of those daughters also has a pair of daughters. Therefore, her line is intact. With enough generations, and enough occurrences of only male descendants, the number of remote female ancestors who have an unbroken female line is going to be small. With long enough, it can reduce to one. Of course, that one was about 100,000 years ago.
There is also a single common male ancestor, for the same reason. If a man has only daughters, his y chromosome is not passed on. Of course this ancestor, while not as well pinned down in time, was about 2-300k years ago.
Isn’t it fascinating that we are all descended from the first cell that spontaneously sprang to life. If our ancestor cell did not acquire the necessary DNA and RNA in order to reproduce itself, we would not be here! More importantly, if it did not learn HOW to reproduce itself quickly, it would have died out. Unbelievable! But here we are today, so that proves our starting cell ancestor figured it out and spawned us eventually, as well as so many other life forms in our lineage of evolution. What an amazing cell that was!
So, what is your conclusion? we were all turned into Homo sapiens from different APES and GORILLA’s? living in different continents?
Also why were there different mythologies at the time of the tower of babel. At that point, shouldn’t they all have shared the same creation story up to that point?
Instead, we find that the creation stories of the Australian Aborigine, the Pacific Islanders, and the Amerind peoples (all isolated populations, with no ideological cross pollination) are all completely different. In fact, the only places where you find any correlation in creation myths is where the populations where sharing ideas at the same time those myths were being created or modified.
Yes, there were different creation stories or, myths, if you prefer, and I suppose that is why Moses, in his Genesis account, seems to be asking God about this since Moses recorded that God created it all. I wish he also asked the question of how many years ago he did it though!
YOU are interested in world creation story or believe that GOD created us.