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Theodore A. Hoppe

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What is the origin of the idea that a deity created the world?

Many attribute the creationist concept for the world's origin to the Jewish text scribed by Moses, The Book of Genesis, but what was Moses source for this story? Are there other stories about the beginning of the world that predate the Old Testament account? Please provide references and not just speculation.

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    Nov 1 2012: I think Douglas Adams once said something akin to "Man created god, in his image... So that he could look upon all the wonders of creation and see... himself".
  • Nov 2 2012: "Are there other stories about the beginning of the world that predate the Old Testament account?"

    Yes, ancient Egyptian, Sumerian and Hindu creation myths are older and do involve gods. People who say it all started with Moses are clearly not experts because every undergraduate archaelogy or history student would know about those older myths I listed above.
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      Nov 2 2012: The Hindu stories, there are several creation tales in the Veda tradition, are indeed wondrous in their ambiguity. One tale concludes with the following verse.

      “Who really knows? Who here proclaim it? Whence was it produced? The gods came afterwards. Who then knows whence it has a reason. Perhaps it formed itself or perhaps it did not. The One who looks down upon it in highest heaven, only he knows, or perhaps he does not know?”
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    Nov 2 2012: Theodore, I guess you question is rhetorical, unless you take the bible literally.

    From a scientific or historical perspective I guess you need to look at the development of the Jewish/Hebrew culture as distinct or derivative from other groups.

    The question then is how old are the Hebrew creation myths. What were the cultural influences on these Caananite, Bablonian

    What other creation myths are we aware of. I suggest there are many just as old or older than the hebrew ones. Babylonian, Egyptian, Minoan etc

    There is evidence of Neolithic cities from 10,000 years ago.

    Stonehenge is 10000 years old predating the existence of the hebrews

    We have Sumerian writings codified their religion 5000 years ago

    Egyptian records of gods etc 4500 years ago

    Evidence of Minoan religion back as far as 4200 years

    First monotheism known in Egypt 3400 years ago.

    Then we have writing on the Torah about 3000 years ago

    How long have modern humans been around. 100,000-200,000 years.
    We have 25,000 year old eve statuettes.
    30,000 year old cave paintings
    No details of specific creation stories that old but it is bizarre to think the hebrew creation myths are the earliest.
    Every culture seems to have its own creation stories, and there are plenty of cultures predating the development of the hebrew tribes.

    Hopefully a qualified anthropologist or historian can comment.
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      Nov 2 2012: Re:Hopefully a qualified anthropologist or historian can comment.

      I am currently reading the new book by Chris Stringer, "Lone Surviver." Stringer is the world's foremost paleoanthropologist. His new book puts forward radical new theory of humanity's origin. Never before have we had the tools and the science to unlock remarkable evolutionary insights that can help us to understand why we are the only humans left on Earth.
      I'll confess that this question was aimed at some of the TED commenters that do have a more religious perspective than I do. Evolution and creation have been discussed before in TED conversation, but rarely, if ever, do creationist indicate where this concept's roots come from. Those that subscribe to Abrahamic religions generally ignore the details of early history (except for the mention Adah and Zillah).
      In "The History of God" by Karen Armstrong, she writes,
      "Interest in Yahweh as a Creator did not enter Judaism until in exile to Babylon."
    • Nov 2 2012: u do not have to obey, all I ask is u challenge yourself to perceive that from the very beginning we misinterpreted our existence and meaning and that is why we have no answers now, we slowly walked away from it...as told in a story...

      Regardless of what understanding of God you have, our history without all the measurement and debate is a universe,including an entity which at one particular time was struck by a meteor, years later mankind appeared mumbling something about descending from the dust...the events after that although entertainingly loaded with hypocrisy are irrelevant to the number one question...Who told us we descended from the dust...ourselves?

      A possibility; the earth is a living entity which as all living entities it can communicate, with animals we call it instinct which we used to work with in the beginning more so than now. So if this is true, how does it communicate...possibly through the energy that flows through us, inspiring thought which was defined as a voice in the head, religion refers to the energy as spirit.
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    Nov 8 2012: Hi THeo,

    I've seen a lot of discussion on this subject that might indicate the schism that fuels the Creationist phenomenon.
    This line of discussion examines the advent of materialism (all things as clockwork).
    Materialism is relatively recent in its mature form. The materialist viewpoint has, as part of its dynamic, the imbedded concept that all machines are "made".
    This line of reasonimg would place the creationist concept as an artifact of the industrial revolution.
    It's a by-product of the duality caused by the religious mind trying to justify participation in the competitive environment of capitalism.
    Under that definition, all creationists are traitors to their own god .. or have simply swapped their old god for Satan.
    That makes a lot of sense if you define the Judeo/Christin god as a god of abundance with Satan as the god of scarcity. Capitalism as defined by the industrial revolution perfects the art of creating abundance on one hand, and causing scarcity on the other hand by separating abundance from the community through the device of money.
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      Nov 8 2012: Interesting points. I like the African fractals concepts of self organization and wonder how long they have been around.


      http://www.ted.com/talks/ron_eglash_on_african_fractals.html
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        Nov 9 2012: It is clear that chaos dynamics is involved, somehow, in principles of self-organisation.
        The existence of phase-shift in chaotic fractal geometry explains a great many of the phenomena we observe.
        I predict that quantum mechanics will discover that the sub atomic particle differentiations are the result of chaotic phase shifts (if they have not done so already - it's hard to keep up with the avalanche of discovery these days).
        Once these dynamics become more understood and accepted in the gestalt of human knowledge, I also predict that "grain size" will become very important. At that point, we will be examining principles of resonance-based grain-size convergence in all systems. This will re-connect historical observations of harmonics through an identified causality. At that point, we will have an empirical understanding of the word "harmony" in all matters. (based on my observation of "speciation" in the realm of "harmony" that causes some difficulty in gaining clarity of discussion).

        My comments on the origin of "the creator" are influence by my own work with some cross-referrence to the work of Rupert Sheldrake (who I think is wrong, but not by much). He nails it with his analysis of the history of dogma in science - which, by the way is predicted by my model - which asserts that perception is exactly the same as belief - exactly. The words are the same thing. This is amply demonstrated in the phenomenon of neural topological dynamics.

        Anything that has a limit, is capable of chaotic phase shift - ironically, it may be self-limiting - obviating the need for more than one prime principle.

        (edit: the old Jewish god "I am that I am" then has to be extended to state: "I am that I am, but sometimes I get in my own way.". .. )
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    Nov 2 2012: Most likely by word of mouth from Adam to his descendants.

    :-)
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      Nov 2 2012: So you are one of the people that take the Bible literally?
      As I have noted in my comments, the concept of a "Creator" was not apart of Judaism. I sight a reference as well, the respected Karen Armstrong.
      This reduces your conjecture to little more than meme that has already been dispelled and nevertheless persists.
      .
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        Nov 2 2012: Hi Theodore.
        I am reading Fox's Book of Martyrs at the moment. A historical account of many thousands of Christians who all died gruesome deaths rather than abandon their meme. I would pit any one of them against Karen Armstrong. Perhaps intellect by itself is insufficient ?

        :-)
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          Nov 2 2012: This is a conversation and as such it is rude to be selective in your replies, so let's stick with the topic. Do you take the Bible literally?
          Your comment is not just a meme its false unless you can refute Armstrong's claim with a reference to the contrary. Creation ex nihilo was not an official doctrine of Christianity until the Council of Nicaea in 341. Both Jewish and Muslim rationalist find this a difficult and problematic doctrine.
          Fox is a wonderful scholar. If you read his book, "The Unauthorized Version" you will find numerous problems with taking the Bible literally. Pages 17 and 18 address the "two" conflicting stories of the creation found in Genesis.
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        Nov 2 2012: Hi Theodore.
        I'm sorry if I was rude, it was in ignorance. I get the impression from your posts that you operate on a higher literary plane than I ; you are obviously well read, I am just an ordinary Joe. With me a spade Is a spade.
        Yes I take the bible literally. I have found that folks who do otherwise end up with interpretations which are personal to them; ie hundreds, so I have no way of assessing which would be the one to follow. I find it logical that a being capable of creating a universe would have little trouble in writing & maintaining a book with which he could communicate with his offspring. At the same time, that same book could be nonsense to those who are not his offspring.
        This may seem simplistic to you, however, this same book has changed millions of lives over the piece. It works, it is unique. To me it contains all we need to know Jesus Christ, & explains what is going on around us. I doubt that I can persuade you on an intellectual basis, but Jesus didn't reach many intellectuals either, & he walked on water & raised the dead.
        Sorry if I'm off-topic again, but my original reply still stands.

        :-)
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          Nov 2 2012: Thank you so much for this honest reply. Allow me to also add that it is not my intention here to disrespect the beliefs of others. Beliefs, especially ones about religious matters, are a personal, and each of us hold steadfastly to them for good reasons and are slow to change.
          There have been other discussion on this topic and I wanted to help cast the debate about creationist in a more academic light. There is much historical evidence to consider and when we open our minds to knowledge it adds to our understanding of ourselves.
          Religions are social facts that bind groups in a united system of beliefs and practices. My hope is that we might be less strident in our doctrines dogmas and embrace our empathy and compassion as a shared human quality.
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    Nov 2 2012: Have you watched Elizabeth Gilbert's "Your creative elusive genius" on TED?
    I think this very much relates.

    I think human's innately create these protective psychological constructs: 'religions/all knowing deities etc' because assimilating existence is just too much for us sometimes.
  • Nov 2 2012: Lets take an example.
    A bird, a bird have wings, feathers, etc. When you observe that bird, closely you find out that any single detail in the physical design of that bird has a "purpose", even the color of the feathers is no "coincidence". Even under the wings some feathers have different colored patterns. And those patterns are not simple fashion, are there for a reason, are needed or used for something.
    After all this observations i think to myself "wow this bird cannot be the result of an erratic set of chemical reactions that gave birth to the first bacteria, that then after millions of years evolved into the wonderful life forms we see now." Maybe someone sparked that set of chemical reactions knowing what was going to be the actual result.
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      Nov 2 2012: Someone?
      Why not something?
      Our brains have within them the ability to find agency. This is why can we see faces and life forms in clouds.
      Your notion of a "someone" maybe the product of outside influences that were never questioned
      • Nov 3 2012: First of all, thanks for your reply.
        Re: "Why not something?"
        Well "someone" or "something" are both plausible. "Someone" works for me based on the degree of efficiency, performance or good design of most living entities in this world. Even the smallest of insects has a "duty" or purpose. Nature, is like a Swiss clock. All species, work together in some sort of harmony. There are species made to control the overpopulation of others, there are species specialized in pollination, species specialized in spreading seeds from trees and carrying them away and this seeds grow somewhere else to give new trees. As i see it the balance of Nature is something close to perfection and such design may not be product of "something". And about evolution, it may sound strange but. I think all living creatures may evolve, and must evolve, because we all have the ability to "adapt" to new conditions. A single example, is that, the human body at sea level works in one way, but if i move to a location 5000 meters above sea level the same human body, will do something to "adjust" to the new air pressure and the new level of oxygen.
        And maybe this process, from bacteria to homo sapiens is the right thing. But now my question is why so many ancient writers depict the creation in the same manner. Many of them say that life came from the water, or from earth. and now science is pointing in that direction.
        By the way this conversation is awesome and there should be a way to extend it, 6 days is not enough for this kind of topic, i have read wonderful arguments from both sides and even though many of us have different opinions, it has been an enriching experience.
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      Nov 2 2012: A bird is beautiful, no doubts, and perfectly designed for flying. And the reason why it is this way and lacking elephant legs, is, because, if it had those legs, it could not fly - and, as a side effect, elephants could not walk...

      Maybe someone sparked that set of chemical reactions, but what would you think of the same beautiful birds (those without elephant legs) if there wasn't anyone or anything who sparked them?

      Would they be less beautiful, less valuable in their biological purpose?

      If you take results to justify a creator, things get ugly pretty quickly and so gets the creator.

      Why did he, she, it, they spark predators, diseases, starvation? Doesn't make much sense to create such beautiful and perfectly designed creatures to wipe some of them off, or even all of them, at times, or is there a hidden meaning or message in doing so which we just can't see? So we get to know about the existence of a or more creator(s), but we don't get to know any agenda? This is strange to me.

      If I just look at nature, all I can see is a pretty violent and deadly place. If I look into space, it get's even worse. If I look at the creatures who claim to have been build after its creator, and what they actually do, I am just speechless. Hell no, I don't even wan't such a creator, and rather gof for randomness instead, as then there was no one responsible for all the mess which would just ease my mind.
      • Nov 3 2012: Thanks Lejan
        Maybe i went short of words. My point is not on beauty but in the "design", the visual, mechanical and biological design of most life forms. Even the life forms i don't like are in this planet for a reason have a duty to perform. Even flies, or roaches, are here for a reason. And from the optics of design, are amazingly well built and fitted for what they have to do. As i wrote when replying to someone else, nature is like a Swiss clock and everything works in perfect harmony. The food chain, is not only a matter of feeding, but a matter of "population control". Even the elephant who i don't see as an ugly creature, has a duty as a part of this Swiss clock called earth. And such a perfect self sustaining system may not be the result of erratic reactions.
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          Nov 3 2012: And what if it was the 'result of erratic reactions'? Would it become less valuable, less meaningful, less beautiful to you?

          It is interesting to me, that you compare nature with a Swiss clock in your analogy. A technical man-made device, which in terms of complexity neither reflect nor include a fraction of the original level of magnitude.

          Our brains tend towards simplifications for our limited horizon of recognition and we like to draw parallels to what is more familiar to us.

          So if erratic reactions form recognisable pattern to us, we get interested in its cause. Have you ever seen the shape of a human face in a textured tile of marble stone? It is an interesting effect and fun to look for those too. So once you found a 'face' it stands out of its original and surrounding pattern structure. Somewhat like 'the bunny' in the clouds effect. But would we really think, that those faces and bunnies were created on purpose and to be found by us? Without spoiling my fun in it, I don't think so.

          The complexity surrounding us is beyond our imagination and our understanding of it more than fractional. We don't even understand the complexity of ourselves. Even the most simplest of our activities, like buying and selling, get unpredictable to us on large scales like the stock market. So is there a devine consciousness in trade? Well, to many there is and its manifestation is called the 'invisible hand'. Interesting to me is, that again this 'force' is 'invisible', like gods are, and different belief systems, like religions, formed around it.

          As I see it, most, if not all, systems of interaction and growth in complexity form higher and intrinsic degrees of 'hyper reactions' and 'dynamic response' abilities, which, on its smallest levels, show no sign of its nature.

          So a 'perfect self sustaining system' may just be 'the result of erratic reactions'.

          I would not mind, would you?
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    Nov 8 2012: Thanks to all that have contributed to this conversation.
  • Nov 8 2012: Elohim is a plural Hebrew word that English Bible translates as “God.” Many scholars have wrestled with the question of why a plural word was chosen for the name of the Creator.
    The possible answer is that " the original and most high God was and is all-inclusive, collective, not separate from any of the creation, and that created beings are intrinsic portions of the Whole." Later the name of God was changed to Yahweh Elohim, which is translated as “Lord God.” And later it became named. Maybe it reflects the history of human psyche , the way how we were becoming more and more rational and less and less intuitive ; in a way , it is the ' fall '.
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    Nov 7 2012: Sub: Adhato Brahma Jijnasah
    From now on the search must be in right earnest- Creator- Brahma
    Necessity-Demand curisity-Sustain - a disciplined mode for knowledge base Interaction.
    Promote Cosmology chairs- East West -perception to vision development
    Lead Kindly Light; COSMOLOGY WORLD PEACE
    vidyardhicosmology[dot]blogspot[dot]com
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    Nov 5 2012: I don't think that the usual contemporary concept of deity was found anywhere on the world before the Roman era.

    Venerated were foremost the ancestors as the originators of life. All forces in nature were personalized as doings from spirit at which the deceased could have any influence. The idea of any ending of existence wasn't present as everything was experienced as a transitional form from one being into another.

    With civilizations came pharaoh’s and emperors as in Egypt and China that were thought of as born a man from heaven meaning being on earth but living in spirit.

    The story of Moses is mythological an visual representation of spiritual events.
  • Nov 5 2012: I am taking a class on Asian art history and my professor spoke about the Dravidians bringing the Vedic text to Asia from that evolved several eastern religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism.
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      Nov 5 2012: I'm not sure this is correct.
      Draviian peoples where pushed South as Indo-Aryan peoples migrated from the Middle East into India.
      Veda's were composed from knowledge they brought from the North with some Dravidian influence.
  • Nov 2 2012: Notice that mental hospitals commonly have multiple patients who claim divinity. It seems to be a level of consciousness in the brain. As far as I can tell schizophrenia as well as manic depression have been with us since the dawn of man, some theorists argue that it is a consequence of developing language(especially in schizophrenia).

    I think David Hume when he wrote An enquiry Concerning Understanding hinted that we infer a brilliant creator when we look at the universe for the same reason why when we look at a building we infer that this was created by man. I have never seen anyone build a skyscraper yet I infer that this happened due to experience. Our experience of cause and effect invariably leads us to reasoning that a superior intelligence created the universe.
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    Nov 2 2012: Some argue that you don't necessarilly need a common ancestor to the variety of myths about creation. That we're just wired to expect similar explanations, in accord with lifestyle. The gender of the deity is one of such parameters.
  • Nov 2 2012: It's against my religion but the idea came many years ago, I learned as far as Mayan and their deities, Aztecs,

    Then there's the Greek gods and Khaos.
    There are many different ideas stemming from different religions
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    Nov 2 2012: Hi Theodore!

    There are many other creation myths that are not related to Judaism, from Mayans to maori tribes.
    Nice article on this from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creation_myth

    Notice that I selected two cultures far apart from each other and from judaism.

    List of myths http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_creation_myths

    Was this your point? Sorry if I got it wrong.

    Regards!

    JB

    Ps if I'm allowed to especulate, most, if not all prescientific cultures have myth to explain creation
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      Nov 2 2012: Thank you for commenting, I really appreciate your contribution to the conversation.
      My objective here is to compile a list of resource that can bring into question what we can realistic accept and reject in terms of popular beliefs.
      For example Christians might reject Mayan gods but are unaware that their own religion accepts some of the same beliefs as a group half a world away.
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        Nov 2 2012: Hi Theodore!

        I'm glad to be able to contribute :)

        In my experience talking to religios people arguments and facts are not very relevant, and in the case you mention your Christian counterpart will likely say that all similarities are inspired by the same god (theirs) and all diferencies are inspired by the devil, or are just wrong/unengligthed.
        Hopefully I'm wrong and you actually manage to have an exchange of ideas where I have failed.

        Regards!

        JB
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        Nov 3 2012: Hi Theodore!

        In case you have not seen this video, please do http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WwAQqWUkpI
        That's Sapolsky talking about the origin of religion.
        Priceless ...

        Regards!

        JB
  • Nov 2 2012: You don't know. I don't know. Those who have been and gone, didn't know.
    Science doesn't know. Religion doesn't know.

    Stop the madness of believing in false concepts like "hope".

    Stop worshiping lies.
  • Nov 2 2012: Why is it that people get all hung up on dates and names? Take the characteristics of the male population, combine that with a developing mind with no memories/knowledge/understanding, fear, innate curiosity, excuse, power and manipulation and walk your way through the beginning of time.

    Regardless of what understanding of God you have, our history without all the measurement and debate is a universe,including an entity which at one particular time was struck by a meteor, years later mankind appeared mumbling something about descending from the dust...the events after that although entertainingly loaded with hypocrisy are irrelevant to the number one question...Who told us we descended from the dust...ourselves?

    A possibility; the earth is a living entity which as all living entities it can communicate, with animals we call it instinct which we used to work with in the beginning more so than now. So if this is true, how does it communicate...possibly through the energy that flows through us, inspiring thought which was defined as a voice in the head, religion refers to the energy as spirit.

    I will stop there, hope this generates thought. Thank you for the opportunity to discuss,
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    Nov 2 2012: The human desire to rather have meaning than randomness for explanation.

    Deities just cover the scale of our surrounding and our difficulties in its comprehension at a given point in time. History is reference.
    • Nov 2 2012: Man I like what you just wrote...for me your openign remark defines what I just wrote, but yours sums it up wonderfully.

      Given point in time suggests a correction in the now yet we are a community without answers. Do you feel we have answers now?

      We have referenced history our entire existence, as you mentioned in the first sentence...explanation/debate is the social procrastination which offers the illusion of change only and therefor has no meaning or continuation...as if a record skipping...
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        Nov 2 2012: Have we answered the question today, if a 'diety created the world'? No we haven't, but at this 'point in time' we have less need for this question, as there are alternative explanations at hand, in science, which may fill the gap for some people.

        The idea of 'Gods' is a matter of fashion, changed over time and location, and depends only on what people are willing - or forced - to believe. Before Christianization, people who lived in this very area I live in today, believed in a multitude of gods, male and female. Odin, Donar (Thor), Tyr, Freyja, Urth, Sunna, etc. So when monotheism arrived, what happened to all of them? Did they disappear? Did they merge? Have they been an illusion only, all that time and now, since Jesus arrived, we know better? Who says that? What better proof have they than those before?

        You may see were this is leading to, nothing but believe, and believe is changeable, just like fashion is.

        I don't feel we have answers now, today, and science is no substitute for me on this matter. I am agnostic, as I neither have proof for nor against a god, and I consider questions of the sort of 'who created this world, solar system, universe as unrecognizable to our human minds due to the intrinsic nature, structure and limitation of our brains.

        My mind can't even grasp the quantity of one billion units of whatever object, yet I should have confidence to understand the vastness and complexity which surrounds me, and, even more confidence, to have a clue about the cause of it?

        As a five years old I was convinced I could fight a tiger and win. I felt that powerfull. Today I know better what my odds would have been and I also know that I will never get to know those final answers. And just assuming they would exist, I would not be able to understand them.

        This by itself is 'awesome' by its once and original meaning and without the need of any spiritual makeup.

        Any god was more dolphin like today if it was them who made it ...
        • Nov 2 2012: My sentiments exactly
        • Nov 2 2012: Ok most people have given up after fighting with the intelligent s from before us...I am telling you we are all wrong because we were confused at the beginning...if you can please read the following and challenge yourself to comprehend...

          Regardless of what understanding of God you have, our history without all the measurement and debate is a universe,including an entity which at one particular time was struck by a meteor, years later mankind appeared mumbling something about descending from the dust...the events after that although entertainingly loaded with hypocrisy are irrelevant to the number one question...Who told us we descended from the dust...ourselves?

          A possibility; the earth is a living entity which as all living entities it can communicate, with animals we call it instinct which we used to work with in the beginning more so than now. So if this is true, how does it communicate...possibly through the energy that flows through us, inspiring thought which was defined as a voice in the head, religion refers to the energy as spirit.
        • Nov 5 2012: Having no answers and not accepting the answers we have is another...are you sure your correct in assumption?
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        Nov 2 2012: Honestly, I don't understand your point. 'Who told us we descended from the dust...ourselves?' Yes! I don't know about you, but the essence of this phrase I was told by a prist when I was a child. I did not have any 'voice in the head' and no divine inspiration to get to know this concept. So what is the point?

        If you ever watched what happens to a dead animal in nature, its decomposition, all what's left if you wait long enough is nothing but soil or 'dust', if you like, and nothing else. As the same happens to us, it isn't really exceptional to me, how humans got to imagine of what they were made of. If we turn into soil, we probably arise from it. So there is no need for any meteor, god or energy spirit to make us think that way.

        Today it is not even metaphoric to say that we are made of 'stardust', because, that's what we are made of.

        Your given scenario, that earth is communicating with all entities on it proofs what? A god? Self awareness of nature? The concept of interconnectivity? Again I am not getting your point.

        What do you think life connects to if not the surrounding which made it happen? We will not survive on any other planet in our solar-system without the help of technical life support. So what is so mysterious on this fact and to have the need for a god to make this understandable? On this again I can not follow your argument.

        The building blocks of life as we know it is matter. Since Einstein we know about the equivalence of matter and energy, so our life is nothing but energy. Based on energy, driven by energy and dependent on it. So what is mysterious here?

        As humans are animals, we are ruled by our instincts as well. We do not need to be told to breathe and eat, to seek for protection, warmth and affection. That's hardwired within us. And if it isn't, our chance of survival drops dramatically. And even our reproduction is ensured by our instincts, so that our species sustains as long as possible.

        This sheer comlexity does not need a god
        • Nov 5 2012: I thought it obvious, however I have been wrong before, my apologies...I approach the answers to our truth by connecting the information we already have, I further suggest everything we know is based on "a" truth then manipulated, as so I believe there are answers that are unquestionable.

          Imagined or real some of mankind have a connection with an life form they define as God. The dust phrase is also as you suggest apart of that group. They also refer to a energy which surrounds us as a spirit which is apart of God, it's essence if you will. They also claim that this entity defines the emotion "love" and they define it as, "unquestionable acceptance" a world where everything is one (energy).

          So whatever this entity is, it defines the Earth. If there was a connection it was referred to as a voice which would relate to the energy that flows through us, as I claim by way of inspiration of thought working with the sensitivities of the brain and the energy flow.

          I note that all conversation regarding a God relate directly to the Earth, that which gives forth in abundance and that which is everything and everywhere...so completely obvious it's almost blinding to not see it...to me that is...I believe the only reason the obvious is continually missed by most is thought itself governed by characteristics of many types and definitions of course.

          In conclusion I state that the Earth is a living entity which communicated to mankind at the beginning of its evolution by way of introduction of what it is and what it saw humans as (this would also state we are not apart of love but are educated about it based alone on the existence of the Earth and its characteristics that define it)

          I am saying it's wrong to be human, it just is what it is, to be understood, not feared nor denied, unconditional acceptance as it goes!

          Sure hope this helps?
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        Nov 6 2012: No reason to apologize as we are just not sharing the same ideas and concepts on this matter. And there is nothinh wrong with it.

        Personally I have not found any answer which is not questionable regarding the meaning and reason of our existence.

        I am no font of thinking, that all religions, personal believes and spiritual preferences are actually all adressing the SAME and this just on different paths, rituals and names. And I not only dislike this idea, to me it is even unrespectful of those who thereby arrogantly claim to know better. To have a deeper insight of what can not be known anyway.

        'So whatever this entity is, it defines the Earth.' is nothing but an assumption. Fields of energy, connecting us with the universe, flowing through us, forming everything to ONE energy entity is - besides Star Wars - a simple and constructed concept how it 'could' be. But we don't know.

        Your statement, that '..- God relate directly to the Earth ... ' and that it is '... almost blinding to not see it...' may be correct for todays religions, but definitely not for those of the past. The so called and generalized 'paganism' knew perfectly well what 'earth' AND the 'sun' meant to us in terms of our survival and this sort of worshiping, if at all and to me, made the only sense.

        You just need to look at our planet now and what we made out of it and it becomes clear, that this sort of respect is gone. If earth ever communicated with us, as you see it, we certainly lost our ability to listen a very long time ago.

        Earth doesn't need to care about us. It supports us, but not out of free will, but out of the existence of life. Earth doesn't need life either and would move on pretty well, without it.

        Personally I do not consider 'life' as a miracle. It happens where the conditions are suitable for it and from there it keeps fighting for its survival. As humans we could make the best out of it, but apparently and on large scale, we choose not to... Maybe we will, one fine day.
  • Nov 1 2012: Any anthropology study will indicate that the idea is as old as humanity being able to imagine anthropomorphic qualities in natural phenomena.
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      Nov 2 2012: I am not sure you are addressing the question. Are you saying that religion is wrong in its claims that a god created the world and that, as the New Atheism claim, all creation stories have their basis in a hyper-senstive agency detection part of the brain?
      • Nov 2 2012: Of course I am addressing the question. All creation stories have their basis in our species' vivid imagination. I do not know if this is what new atheists or old atheists, or gnu-atheists, or any other atheists claim. But a close and honest study of our species clearly indicates so.
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          Nov 2 2012: .....but a close and honest study was what was asked for as a reference. (See question)
          While you may be correct in your thinking this conversations here quickly become arguments without the evidence to back them up.
      • Nov 2 2012: "A close and careful study" does not mean "there's one study and one alone." As I said, anthropological studies are filled with examples of people's imagining gods, be it nowadays cultures ("advanced" or not), be it ancient cultures. I find your requirement for a reference "disturbing" :) because it is like asking for references to support that the sky is blue. It is as if you are denying your own knowledge of roman gods, greek gods, aztec gods, mayan gods, zulu gods, et cetera, et cetera. I do not see why would you require a reference to learn that studies on older civilizations show creator deities, or the conclusion that if we have evidence that humans have imagined gods for millennia, then humanity has imagined gods before being able to leave traces of such beliefs.
  • Nov 1 2012: I just want to point out to one fact: the word "origin" implies: "the first time" that idea was used, which as far as I know is prior to written history, so I seriously doubt you ever find any verifiable documented reference. I am not an expert in the subject, however using just a little of common sense I can tell you that this idea is so primitive that its origins are lost in the deep past, so you can only track it to a certain point in time.
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      Nov 1 2012: Some religions in the Abrahamic traditions would have us think that the Bible is the word of God and is the literally truth.
      You are saying that the story does not belong to those religions and actually has an older source, correct?
      • Nov 2 2012: Yes indeed, the idea of a deity creating humans goes beyond formal religion, it was this idea which gave foundation to all religions around the world, so the idea must be older than formal religion... however if you are looking for the origin of the "monotheist idea" of divinity you should take a plunge in the egyptian history. Since the idea of a single god ruling the world comes from egypt, in fact the Jewish god is no other than a slightly modified version of the egyptian god Ra.
  • Nov 1 2012: We may want to resist it, but the fact that we are created by God Almighty is wired into our being by our maker. Just as our belief in a real Right and Wrong is in our consciousness. Individuals can argue about what murder, selfishness, or arrogance is; but is hard to find any human being that honestly accept such as good behaviour. Individuals can argue about the terms of peace, love, kindness, trust and integrity; but it is hard to find someone who thinks these are unacceptable attributes.
    We all have that consciousness of something that is greater than us; it is as old as humanity.
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      Nov 1 2012: This is an answer to some other question and does not provide a source for such a belief
      Clearly the Greeks and Egyptians, to name a few, had stories that explained their beliefs as well, but their gods were not your god.
      .
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      Nov 2 2012: Cognitive science and evolution also explains our and other animals tendency to assume agency.

      The leap from agency assumption to Judeo Christian dogma or any religion I have heard of is not supported.

      All evidence points to humans creating gods, not the reverse.
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    Nov 1 2012: Something that is not explained in biblical terms is the existence of fossils that show that there were other human types, Neaderthal, Homo Erectus.

    "Although modern humans are the only surviving members of the human lineage, others once roamed the Earth, including the Neanderthals. Genetic analysis of these extinct lineages’ fossils has revealed they once interbred with our ancestors, with recent estimates suggesting that Neanderthal DNA made up 1 percent to 4 percent of modern Eurasian genomes. Although this sex apparently only rarely produced offspring, this mixing was enough to endow some people with the robust immune systems they enjoy today."

    Does any religion account for this?
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    Nov 1 2012: How can we provide references to a history lost in oral tradition? It's all speculation in the end somewhat like the belief of the American special gene makeup or the European meme of high civilization only ever came from there, the north.
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      Nov 1 2012: I'm willing to accept the speculations of academics that have research to back them up.
      An example would be a reference to the Epic of Gilgamesh. "Fragments of approximately two thirds of this longer, twelve-tablet version have been recovered. Some of the best copies were discovered in the library ruins of the 7th-century BC Assyrian king Ashurbanipal."
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        Nov 2 2012: That book sounds like a fascinating read, Does it talk about Gobekli Tepe? What interests me about this one particular site is that it was buried on purpose.