The, “Where Did We Come From?” Story.

There are behavioral traits we can observe in ourselves that are useful in understanding things about us.  One trait is the need to know where we came from.

The small child asks, “Mommy, where did I come from?”  The need stays with us.

Evidence of this is the gazillions spent every year on archeology.  The money for these digs does not help us  produce  food, health or housing.  If all the digs stopped tomorrow, little would change.  But, they will not stop because of our, perhaps irrational, desire to know where we came from.

Sitting around camp fires or huddled in caves, the first humans must have asked the same question.  The shamans gave answers, “The god made us, the crow dropped us here…” We don’t know all the stories that were told.

At a certain point in the campfire stories, a historical accident happened.  They were written down.  There was crude ink and paper and enough prosperity so a few people had time to write down the myths.

The written stories were no more sophisticated than the ones of the previous thousands  of years, they just happened to be there at the point in time when they could be preserved.   That’s were the Bible, Adam and Eve,  Moses and the life of Jesus came from.

What the Bible stories mean has changed with the culture. But, the need for someone to tell us a myth about where we came from has not.

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About Jon Lindgren

I am a former President of the Red River Freethinkers in Fargo, ND, a retired NDSU economics professor and was Mayor of Fargo for 16 years. There is more about me at Wikipedia.com.
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9 Responses to The, “Where Did We Come From?” Story.

  1. entech says:

    Contrary to popular belief Hinduism is actually monotheistic, the God, the Creator, the demiurge whatever name you want is a single eternal entity known as “The One” and that one causes the material world to exist and cease to exist in an eternal cycle. One creation stories goes:
    “There was neither non-existence nor existence. There was neither the realm of space nor the sky which is beyond. There was neither death nor immortality. There was no distinguishing sign of day or night. That One breathed by its own impulse. Other than that, there was nothing beyond.
    Darkness was hidden by darkness in the beginning. With no distinguishing sign, all this was water. The life force was covered with emptiness. That One arose with the power of heat.”

    In some ideas that becomes: “In the beginning was the word”.

  2. Wanna B Sure says:

    It seems to me that space exploration has the same reason driving it. The search for life and it’s origins. Sometimes I see the validation of evolution driving it, sometimes not. It depends on which scientist is talking. Just last fall I saw a biological scientist say that the search for life on other planets was the only reason for space research. I rather doubt that is true as there are many agendas/curiosities/disciplines behind it. With the space programs however, there have been large benefits through development of technology to make it possible that has filtered out into the general public. And unfortunately or not, depending on how you look at it, some of it has been incorporated into military expansion or defense. And then there is potential defense from errant asteroids. Knowlege is wonderfull. Abused knowlege is a concern, but we will handle it, or not when that happens.

    • entech says:

      It always seems ironic to me that if there is any truth in the Christian Creation Story that it is science, with it’s search for truth and reason and the way things work, that is more likely to find any sign of validity than a continual regurgitation and reinterpretation of a few dusty old story books.

  3. Avatar of seaofstories seaofstories says:

    “What the Bible stories mean has changed with the culture. But, the need for someone to tell us a myth about where we came from has not.”

    Some argue that this apparently innate desire for stories is the definition of what it is to be human.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      sea 2:05 “..innate desire for stories is the definition of what it is to be human.”

      Certainly, it does seem to be the case. I wonder what the world would be like if every paster, shaman, monk, and clergy of every stripe were required to spend a few years studying anthropology and mythology, then required to show how their respective faiths were different from the myths they studied?

      It’s possible, I guess, it would all go right by them and make no difference whatsoever.

  4. Bob says:

    What would be even better for all these supernaturalists to study, at least to me, is evolutionary biology, or physical/forensics anthropology.
    Once you’ve studied physical anthro. there is no going back, the evidence is indisputable, our species are primates, at the top of the food chain primates, but never the less primates. Stereo scopic vision, brachiation, opposable thumbs, and of course DNA.
    But to my dismay, when I took physical anthro. classes, the faithheads just shook their heads and declared that they could believe in both proof of evolution, our primatology, and that god still existed to them. That’s their choice.
    But I can’t help but stand open mouthed at the audacity of it.
    I mean, knowing we were once grunting hairy tree swinging brachiators, but there’s a god out there who made it all, and it took him THIS long to make up into what we are now? Stupid. Pointless Harry Potter mumbo jumbo jumbolya hocus pocus, fu@!!!!ing stupid.

  5. I came from Barnesville when I was about two years old!

  6. entech says:

    A young boy arrived home from school and asked his mom, “where do I come from?”. So the long prepared, detailed, honest and straightforward explanation of the ‘facts of life’ are given. Then the mother says to the boy, who was standard there looking a bit embarrassed and wide eyed, “Why do you ask?”. Only to get the reply. “There is a new boy in my class and he says he comes from California”.

    Sorry Kay, something funny always reminds me of something that is not quite as funny. :)

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