One of the oldest questions mankind has asked about the universe is, "How did the world come to be?" For much of mankind's history, this question was the exclusive province of Religion, and the answer has been inextricably woven with the culture's notions about God. In modern times, Science has taken over this question, but its answers still resonate with the religious implications of the original question.
This entry lists some of the stories different people in different times have told about How Things Came to Be. That these are classified here as "myths" is not intended as an indictment of untruthfulness. In fact, just to be a stinker, I've included some scientific theories here as well, on the assumption that even the most logical construct can take on a mythological hue if looked on the right way.
- The Genesis account of Creation
- The Babylonian Creation account
- Egyptian Creation Myths
- Greek Creation Myths
- The Norse Creation account
- The Propagation of Species through Natural Selection
- Theistic Evolution
- The Big Bang Theory
- The Steady State Theory
- Scientific Creationism
- Intelligent Design
Game and Story Use
- When creating an original gameworld, you might want to consider inventing a Creation Myth for your world.
- The myth need not be true; only accepted and taught by the society you are creating.
- Even if the particulars of the story never actually come out in game play, what the people of that culture believe about their origins will color what they believe about other things.
- For example: In the Middle Ages it was held that because Adam was given dominion over the earth, that anything man did to subdue the earth was justified.
- On the other hand, another school of thought that has become more prominent today holds that the same Bible passage gives man a special responsibility to take care of the earth and nurture the creatures that live on it.
- In a fantasy setting, especially one in which the gods are active, a Creation Myth may actually be true.
- It's also entirely possible to have a (very) high fantasy campaign in a setting which isn't finished yet - perhaps there is a titanomachy in progress for control of the developing world, or there is a heroic age in play, where the gods still roam the earth and sufficiently powerful mortals can work with or against them to alter the shape of things to come.
- Before you set the dials on your Time Machine to the year 4004 BC, ask yourself: do you really want to go there…?