Creation myth  

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Magnum Chaos (c. 1524 ) by Lorenzo Lotto   "Before the ocean and the earth appeared— before the skies had overspread them all— the face of Nature in a vast expanse was naught but Chaos uniformly waste. It was a rude and undeveloped mass, that nothing made except a ponderous weight; and all discordant elements confused, were there congested in a shapeless heap." (trans. Brookes More)
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Magnum Chaos (c. 1524 ) by Lorenzo Lotto
"Before the ocean and the earth appeared— before the skies had overspread them all— the face of Nature in a vast expanse was naught but Chaos uniformly waste. It was a rude and undeveloped mass, that nothing made except a ponderous weight; and all discordant elements confused, were there congested in a shapeless heap." (trans. Brookes More)

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

A creation myth is a symbolic narrative of how the world began and how people first came to inhabit it. While in popular usage the term "myth" often refers to false or fanciful stories, cultures regard their creation myths as true to varying degrees. In the society in which it is told, a creation myth is usually regarded as conveying profound truths, metaphorically, symbolically and sometimes even in a historical or literal sense. They are commonly, although not always, considered cosmogonical myths—that is, they describe the ordering of the cosmos from a state of chaos or amorphousness.

Creation myths often share a number of features. They often are considered sacred accounts and can be found in nearly all known religious traditions. They are all stories with a plot and characters who are either deities, human-like figures, or animals, who often speak and transform easily. They are often set in a dim and nonspecific past, what historian of religion Mircea Eliade termed in illo tempore ("at that time"). Creation myths address questions deeply meaningful to the society that shares them, revealing their central worldview and the framework for the self-identity of the culture and individual in a universal context.

Creation myths develop in oral traditions and therefore typically have multiple versions and are the most common form of myth, found throughout human culture.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Creation myth" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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