Creationism

In the beginning, there was only Chronos.

The best way to explain why Chronos did what He did is to say because He knew He did it. This was before cause-and-effect, so it’s awkward to explain it in why / because framework. Chronos acted.

Chronos created the aether and chaos. And the aether and the chaos blended to form a silvery egg. And eventually this egg cracked and hatched, and from it emerged Phanes.

Phanes begat the cosmos.

Much time later, as the great war between the Titans and the Olympian Twelve was settling down, one of the remaining free Titans walked the Earth. His name was Prometheus He was lonely, and though His brother also walked free and would occasionally cross paths with him, he was still just sad and lonely. It didn’t help most of His buddies were in Tartarus, possibly the most awful place to be ever. Prometheus was sad thinking about his buddies.

So Prometheus fashioned Man out of the clay of the earth. Prometheus was pleased with Man. So He fashioned a few more of Man out of the clay and they would hang out and hunt and fish and gather and were a jolly sort.

Prometheus felt better now that Man was around.

But Man was cold and sad. Prometheus wanted to give him fire. But before he could Zeus objected. Dude, Zeus said, Crafting intelligent creatures from clay is pretty mad-science already, but giving mortals fire will give them the power to fashion clay, themselves. That is a gray-ethics line I won’t allow you to cross on my watch.

But Man was still cold, and it was breaking Prometheus’ heart, and eventually He gave Man fire.

Zeus was really angry for being disobeyed, and since His rule was still young, He wanted to make an example out of Prometheus. Zeus had the Titan taken far away from Man and fettered to a mountain. And there, a buzzard would come every day and eat from Prometheus’ flesh. The buzzard liked Prometheus’ liver. It tasted the best. Prometheus suffered this way for a very long time. (Eventually Heracles would free him, but that’s a different story.)

Zeus looked at Man all warm with his fire. Already he was crafting bricks and building huts. Zeus feared these clay mortals. And He commissioned Hephaestus and Athena to craft a better, sleeker, more intelligently-designed clay mortal to rival Man.

They named her Pandora.

In the United States a lot of publicly funded schools are teaching creationism in contrast to evolutionary biology, the evidence based explanation of how life evolved from single cells into complex animals such as tigers, giraffes and humans.

They don’t teach the Hellenic narrative (above) in creationist / biology curricula. Instead, they teach the Book of Genesis despite that it is a younger narrative and that US culture derives far more from Hellenic sources than they do Hebrew ones. The Judeo-Christian myth is chosen because creationist education is not about teaching about creation narratives but challenging uncomfortable scientific knowledge that conflicts with the personal beliefs of people in power. It’s also about our officials perpetuating the great commission in defiance of one of the essential principals of the United States.

There are consequences to this approach. Neither set of myths are very good for medicine, much of which depends on evolutionary theories, such as mutation and natural selection. Applied to rapidly-replicating microbes we guide genetic processes in the manufacture of treatments. Pre-meds taught in creationist classes wind up a semester behind, since they have to learn high-school biology. For those who are particularly faith-minded it can come as quite a shock.

I find it curious, though, that religious officials would find the need to defy state principal to push their own religious agenda, as that sort of admits defeat. The magna veritas shouldn’t need to sneak its way into secular classrooms to reach all the students.

On the other hand, to borrow an observation from Doug McLeod, we do put lightning rods atop steeples. Maybe it’s less about actual belief and just about cheating to assure that your team wins.

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4 thoughts on “Creationism

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