Saturday, June 9, 2018

Validating Ancient Greek Creation Stories

Ancient Greek myths, especially the stories of creation, are often regarded by mainstream society and the educational system as primitive and holding no value or truth to them. In short, the idea that they should be discarded, while the mainstream monotheistic religions claim that their own stories are the most logical and likely. But when you've spent time as a Hellenist, especially religiously, and you've deeply studied and deciphered the myths, you realize the immense amount of truth behind them. Comparing some of the myths to what we know or think regarding science today, I will explain these examples.

Let's begin with the first myth relevant to ancient Greek religion, that being the story of creation. The ancient Greeks believed that, in the beginning, there was simply chaos, immense disorder. Then, after a significant passing of time, the chaos stopped and the Earth or Gaia came into Being. If we apply this to what science thinks the beginning of the universe was like, we find a perfect match. There was nothing but chaos and disorder in the beginning. Not only did we have the Big Bang, but the Earth itself went through collisions, impacts, separations, and eruptions. However, eventually, the chaos stopped and there was order in the universe. And, unlike modern religions that wrongly date the age of the Earth to be mere thousands, the ancient Greeks never attempted to put a number on it, because they knew it was massive. Today, we know this to be true. The Earth is over 4 billion years old, not 6,000, and while the idea of a flat Earth is still accepted by some people even to this day, an ancient Greek named Eratosthenes correctly calculated its circumference, thus proving Earth to be round.

According to the ancient Greeks, once the Earth came into Being, She first gave birth to monsters. Today, we know this to be true because, at least when it comes to large forms of life, dinosaurs and other prehistoric giants roamed and swam upon the Earth. Now the myth does not directly describe a dinosaur itself as far as I can recall, but nevertheless, the ancient Greeks knew that a world of monstrous beings predated us. When mankind did finally arrive on the scene, he was said to have come in five Ages, or stages. In short, what we would call today an evolutionary pattern. The ancient Greeks knew that man today was not the same as man who first started out upon the Earth, that man and civilization changed over time. It's also worth noting that the Greeks believed that man was created last, after all the other creatures of the Earth. Because of this, all of the natural weapons and abilities had already been given to all the other creatures. There was nothing left to give man in this regard. This is why we don't have the power to really harm other animals with our hands, but they can often devastate us with a single blow. Instead, the Gods gave us a great mind, that we could find ways to rule over our shortcomings in the animal kingdom. And so, we have. 

The beginnings of ancient Greek myth also began to advance our understanding of bodily anatomy. It was said that when Prometheus stole fire from Zeus and gave it to man, Zeus punished the Titan by chaining Him to a mountain, and each day, a liver-eating bird could come and peck out the organ, only for it to grow back the next day so that the punishment may be inflicted again. Today, we know that the liver is the only organ that has the ability to regenerate itself.

It's no wonder that so much of our modern science derives from that which was started by the ancient Greeks, and it's proof that theology and science can exist together, because for the ancient Greeks, there was no separation of religion and everything else in life. It was all rolled into one, and still, their sciences advanced because the Gods encourage the pursuit of knowledge. They do not like ignorance, especially willful ignorance. If the ancient Greeks had been allowed to continue on through the centuries, instead of being forcefully disrupted, persecuted and destroyed by dogmatic monotheism, who knows what we might know or be able to do today?

In the Goodness of the Gods,
Chris Aldridge.

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