Evolution Before Darwin

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It is not an astounding observation to say that there exists (or existed at one point in time) thousands, possibly millions, of stories on Earth. Stories that our innocent young selves were subjected to in elementary school that have influenced the way we see ourselves and those around us, more so than we would like to admit. Stories that our parents have read to us late at night willing us with their words of cats in hats and cows jumping over the moon to shut our eyelids and drift off to sleep, and stories that come and visit us in our dreams, usually only for a moment, leaving behind traces of its scent the next morning. We are a species who thrive on this thing called 'story', much the same way a bee thrives on honey or a poet thrives…show more content…
The Brahmanas of India tell a similar story: In the beginning this universe was nothing but a sea of water. Out of the watery chaos a creative power of heat was recognized and a golden egg was produced. This egg is believed to have given birth to all creation (Sproul, 184). Water, chaos, and a single source of creation, are all common themes in the above creation myths, as well as many others that could not be discussed here, and it is hard to believe that these stories developed independently of each other. It is highly likely that these stories diffused to other cultures with the passing of time and resurfaced in myths, songs, and artwork – a sort of universal acid. The origin of these stories, if there is a single origin, will be impossible to ascertain, analogous to Dennett's argument about the universal authorship of jokes. The jokes we hear and pass have evolved, picking up revisions and updates as they are passed along, and its authorship is distributed over hundreds of tellers (Dennet, 99). In the same way, the authorship of these creation myths is collectively shared by hundreds of cultures, including the Darwinian culture. One of the most striking similarities between certain ancient culture myths and Darwin's theory of evolution is the idea that humans were, at one point in time, to 'animalistic'. A North American Wyot myth tells a story of a God who, at one
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