Re: The Creation Myth
November 26, 2001
by Corey Gilkes
This is a response to a letter that appeared on November 24 taking Kevin Baldeosingh to task for his support of evolution. Now I am no apologist for Kevin Baldeosingh; I think he puts a bit too much reliance upon empirical data. But at least he represents a voice of reason in a society that is way too religiously conservative for my liking.
So for a student of tertiary education [political science no less] to be a staunch defender of the Judeo-Christian Creation story as historical, as a story to be interpreted literally, really underscores the need to restructure what we call higher learning. Quickly too before yet another person with unquestioned religious views becomes a politician creating and maintaining laws that should have rightly been consigned to the garbage.
Look, I personally could care less what one's religious or non-religious belief may be; believe whatever you want to believe. The problem arises when the religious use their faith as an excuse for ignorance. Knowledge and the search for truth, the whole truth, should strengthen the faith. I loathe any belief or philosophy that discourages questioning and investigating what is the "accepted" teachings of that faith.
The Faithful are forever subjecting the Evolution theory [which Darwin didn't invent] to intense scrutiny to show that it is a fraud, they are so quick to locate and cite scholars who discredit it. How often do they turn around and analyse how the Creation Story of the Bible came to be?
I think it is ludicrous that we are still squabbling, in the so-called Information Age, about texts copied from Jewish writings [that were themselves copied from Egyptian myths], and shown to be allegorical, poetic writings by the Jews themselves! With regards to the Creation myth how often have those of the "cloth" explained to their parishioners that the myth in Genesis is composed of at least two contradicting versions: the Priestly account, written in the 5th century BCE and the Yahwistic/Jehovistic account – the older version of the tale – written in the 8th century BCE. The Priestly account extends from the beginning of Genesis through verse 3 Chpt 2, while the Yahwistic account begins with verse 4 Chpt 2 and extends through the third chapter. Come to think of it are Christians even aware that there are other pre-Christian Creation myths that are very similar? Maybe they should read the writings of the early Church Fathers.
Most passages in the Old and New Testament were not to be taken as actual fact at all. They were allegorical writings to be explained to the initiated, like many other belief systems at the time. Thorough investigation will show that this whole business of literally interpreting the Bible had nothing to do with any god. It had to do with Roman, and later European, ecclesiastical and political authorities creating beliefs that would suit their expansionist ideologies. The "historicising" of allegorical tales was a vital tool in seizing and maintaining control of other lands. This has been the cornerstone of 19th and 20th century colonialism and is part of the foundation of globalisation [our naïveté helps too, of course].
An old African saying comes to mind "by the time the fool has learned the rules of the game, the players have all gone home".
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