A creation myth is a narrative framework found in nearly all religious beliefs and an equal amount of scientific ones. Their purpose is to explain, or at least attempt to explain, the origins of living things and the reality they allege to perceive. Typical characters include the Creator - often a deity or higher lifeform of varying benevolence - and the First Humans - who go on to become the antecedents of all others, usually at the expense of any mention of prehistoric life.
Despite their efforts to elucidate creation, the stories rarely shed any light upon how the Creator Himself (or less commonly, Herself) came into being, and never offer any explanation as to how the bizarre events they detail could ever possibly have happened.
Many scholars maintain that they are not supposed to be read literally, and that these days we must consider them within the context of the era in which they were written. Ultimately, they are parables that seek to reconcile the morality of a culture with innate human superstition. However, many religious people still consider them incontrovertibly factual. Let's meet a few of them now...
In the beginning there was nothing. Nothing at all; not even a worm. And then God said "let there be something". And there was something. And then God said "let there also be things", and just as suddenly there were things. And God looked at the things and saw that they were good. God had good taste in universes and was always His own hardest critic. God then decided He needed people to worship Him, not because He was insecure or anything but because he wanted someone to see what a good job He'd done and to thank Him for it constantly. So He made two naked people to frolic before Him, who were called Adam and Lilith, although Adam later dumped Lilith for Eve after he got tired of her aggressive feminism.
And God did all this in just six days, then on the seventh day He rested. On the eighth day He also rested. In fact, from then on He pretty much just rested. People often ask me how we know this story, and I reply that at some point God decided to stop resting and write the Bible. And that's how we know. Many will respond "but the Bible is just a book". To which I say, "yes, but it's a Good Book." If they then say, "well so is Harry Potter", then I say - well, you get the idea. The Bible is the Gospel Truth, in fact that's why they call it the Gospel. That and the fact that it's words translate easily to the genre of music also called "Gospel".
edit The Hindu Cycle of Creation and Destruction
No no no, that's not how it happened. Let me explain it to you in simple English; the life span of Lord Brahma, the creator, is 100 'Brahma-Years'. After Brahma's death another Brahma is born, and the cycle continues. One day in the life of Brahma is called a Kalpa or 4.32 billion years. Every Kalpa, Brahma creates 14 Manus, who in turn create the world. Thus, there are fourteen generations of Manu in each Kalpa. Each Manu’s life - or Manvantara - consists of 71 Chaturyugas (or quartets of Yugas (or eras)). Each Chaturyuga is composed of four Yugas: Satya, Treta, Dwapara and Kali. Got it now? Does your simple non-Asian brain grasp it? Ok let's continue. So who created Brahma? That's an easy one. I learnt that while you were still sweating over spherical trigonometry. Brahma was created by Brahman/Paramatma, the supreme universal Spirit that is the origin and support of the phenomenal universe. And who created Brahman? Don't be a total Caucasian; Brahman was never born, and has neither birth nor death. Brahma was born inside the lotus flower which came out from Brahman's navel. The only way we can truly know Brahman is by achieving a total state of jivanmukta - so don't even bother!
So after about 4 billion years Brahma goes to sleep, then there is another period of 4 billion years in which there is nothing, until Brahma wakes up to regenerate and recreate the universe. Then we all come back too, although next time you'll probably be a lowly tapeworm or an amoeba or something, whereas I'm going to reincarnate as some vastly superior creature like a rich businessman or an elephant. I had better get revising!
What? Sorry, I can't talk right now, I'm watching Dragonstar Firemonkey X; it's the episode where Loghain finally gets to see Fuji-Fum's panties. Okay, okay, I'll tell you about creation. The first three deities to be born were Taka-mi-musuhi-no-kami (高御産巣日神, "High August Producing Wondrous Deity"), Toyo-kumo-no-no-kami (豊雲野神, "Luxuriant Integrating Master Deity") and Omo-daru (於母陀流神, ”Deity Perfect Exterior”), who were all giant super robots. They battled for superiority, and Omo-daru was all like "zap! zap! wheeeeeeeeee!!!" Then there was a massive explosion - "boom!" Then they created the Japanese Archipelago and the First Men, who all had Ultimate Super Powers (enough power to destroy a whole planet!) And the First Girls, who all had really short skirts (short enough to destroy a whole planet!) Then more gods appeared and it turned out Taka-mi-musuhi-no-kami was a bad guy all along! So they battled some more and Toyo-kumo-no-no-kami used his best move - the Spirit Dragon Kamihomoha! After ten minutes of powering up, the episode ended and I never saw the next one. The closing theme tune totally rocked though, it's all like "wah-wah-wah-wah-dum-dum-da, creating islands from the blackness of spaaaace, Toyo, Omo and the human race. Taka's heart is ashamed like a rhino, creation myth here we go!" Then there was a massive guitar solo.
So anyway, that's the synopsis to the anime I saw based on the Shinto creation myth.
Creation myth? Pard! Do not concern yourself with such things. Worrying about God and the origins of life are just distractions that cloud the soul and hinder the path to enlightenment. It's a fruitless endeavour; It's one of the fourteen unanswerable questions that Buddha refused to answer, and you will simply never know while you are still suffering in dukkha. You must alleviate all worries brother! Remember, you are just a tiny speck of sand floating in a vast lake of confusion; it doesn't matter to you what's above the surface. Does the tree yearn to meet its maker? No. It simply is.
Say you met the Creator today, where would it get you? Would you be at peace? No. You'd want answers. You'd want to know more; your origins, your destination, the Point of It All, next week's lottery numbers, Scarlett Johansson's address... Are there even answers to those questions? Would you even want to know if there were? Brother, trust me when I say it doesn't matter. Is the fish any less content for not knowing it's going to end up fried in batter? No. Only when you stop asking questions can you find the answers.
Come, sit with me and meditate; there's plenty of room under this tree. Empty your mind and taste ecstasy. I could shave your head if you want? I'm also a trained barber. In Nirvana you will find God. Or not, it doesn't matter.
Greetings, welcome to our Magical Circle. My name is Esmerelda, do come in. We can answer your questions better inside. Yolanda, get the man some green tea. Or would you prefer organic beer? Or maybe the dew from an oak leaf? All the drinks we serve are 100% natural and don't harm Goddess; the spirit of the planet. You may know her as Mother Nature or Yahweh, people have confused her for many things but it's all just Goddess.
So you want to know about creation? I'll tell you all about it in due course. Oh look, here's Yolanda with the tea. Please take a chair; it's made of cedar... the tea, I mean. You look tired. Yolanda, give our visitor a shoulder massage. Please stop squirming, I insist. That's right, Yolanda, nice and tight; really grip those knots. Feel better? Yolanda, take his shirt off too.
The truth is, we don't know anything about creation, but I know someone who does. Elizabeth, could you also massage our guest's legs? Don't struggle sir, they're professional masseurs. The Horned God will know all about creation you see, but to summon him we need to do The Ritual. Elizabeth, work your way towards his penis. The spell is long and intense; we've never been able to do it because there are no men here. Then you came along, what a happy coincidence! Ok girls, take off your clothes and light the candles.
Nah, I'll tell you what happened. Pass that green over here and I'll fill you in, mate. Basically, right, we was all sent here by aliens. I ain't shitting you brother, aliens. For real man. Like a million years ago or whatever they sent us here on a comet which was filled with our DNA and shit, so we could conquer the planet for them then await their return. One day they're going to make themselves know to us, proper Revelations crap. You know what I reckon though mate? I reckon they're already among us. Seriously. You on to that Illuminati? My mate Dean told me that aliens have already infiltrated our government. They do this secret hand symbol with their little finger which is how you know they're really a alien. Barack Obama started doing it right after he got elected, and Lady GaGa does it in her new video. They're everywhere!
What do they want with us? Who knows. Some say they created the human race to use as slaves, others say they're feeding off our negative energy, which is why The Man's always keeping you down. I reckon it's more simple than that. I reckon they're gonna use our brains to power a time machine that will make them gods over all matter and energy. Think about it; that's why the police want you to eat cake - so you'll be too fat to run away from them. That's what it said on this documentary I saw anyway. Makes sense to me. Be a mate and roll me another.
edit The Olympians
My name is Oesophacles, Keeper of the Golden Trident, Fondler of the Sacred Bosom. I alone can tell you the creation story, though it is a long and labyrinthine tale of epic proportions. It all started when the Earth, or "Gaia" as she likes to be called, rose forth from the fountain of the gods shortly after Chaos. The rest of the universe was formed from the various offspring she had, including Uranus, Ourea and Pontus - who were born through parthenogenesis - and Oceanus, Coeus and Phoebe - who she bore to her previous parthenogenic children. She later ate most of her children, except for Iapetus who survived long enough to father Prometheus; the eventual champion of mankind and slayer of Iapetus. Prometheus made humans out of clay because Zeus was running out of women to rape, especially after murdering several of his many daughters.
You might ask how I know this to be true. Well, it's because I myself was witness to the terrible wrath of the makers. I, Oesophacles, was conceived when Zeus, drunk as a fool at an orgy, transformed into a swan and raped my mother. Born with the shame of a leper but the strength of Heracles; I will have my vengeance upon the king of gods. He will taste my blade deeply with his bowels, and rue the day he ever laid a feather on my poor mortal mother. Then I will be the figurehead of the Olympians! Free to rape and kill whomever I see fit!
No, no, no, no, no, I'll tell you what happened. No one created the universe, it just appeared one day. The most vast, complex thing known to science just sprung out of thin-air, although obviously there wasn't even any thin-air for it to spring from back then, the thin-air itself came into existence at the same time, as instantly and inexplicably as fat-air and medium-air. Why the universe suddenly decided to exist is anyone's guess - well, anyone except theists anyway, because they'll probably blame it on God. How anyone can believe in anything with zero proof simply baffles me. And don't give me that "it's the nature of faith" cow-dung. With science you don't need faith, just hard, cold evidence. And one day, my friend, we'll find some. That'll show you.
That'll show all of you.