Man’s Relationship with the Environment

There is a countless number of creations myths and stories that we can find. Even though every creation story is based on different factors and narrates a unique display of ideas, based on different cultures and timings, Genesis 1-3, “Marumda and Kuksu make the world”, and the Greek Creation Myths all display a similar thought, which is that there is a very strong bond between man and the environment. This idea was transferred to the readers through these creation myths differently, but the same meaning lies beneath.

What we think.

In Genesis 1-3 there are a few statements that tie human beings to their environment. “Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” God has given human beings the control over all other living creatures. He also said “ I have given you every plant yielding seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food.”, giving humans the control over vegetation as well. In some variations of the Greek myth of creation, it is supposed that “he had combined specks of every living creature, molded them together, and produced a new race”, making humans related to everything in their environment. As the new race is a combination of all creatures we could presume it is more powerful then them. Both creation stories share the idea that humans have dominion over all creatures, however that idea is not shared in the Indian creation story. Nevertheless, all three stories share the idea that humans are dependent on their environment. From that, we can tell that early man relied heavily on their surroundings, but at the same time were aware that they had power of most creatures.

All three stories have the humans starting out being good, and having good intentions. It is only in the Indian story that as far as we can tell, they stay that way. Pandora’s box being opened results in all of mans evils being released in the greek myth, and similar to that eating the forbidden fruit, lead to pain and suffering in Genesis 1-3.

The repetition shows how humans are the superior race on earth, as each creation myth and the Bible bestows dominance to humans. However, this dominance has a price, as humans have to work to nurture their environment, and that is one of the strongest ties. In the Bible, “cursed is the ground because of you, in toil you shall eat of it”. Humans have to “toil” on earth to gain any benefits, so although they are the superior race and dominant, the are extremely dependent on their environment and surroundings.

 Blog Nancy’s group: ( aka the airheads)  Nancy Salem, Habiba Al Gindy, Rana Saqr and Hana Shaltout:

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This entry was posted in CCR exchange: Stanford-AUC, Fall 2010: Creation Stories. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Man’s Relationship with the Environment

  1. Hyunsuk Shawn Yoo says:

    Hi! First of all, my name is Hyunsuk Shawn Yoo, a student from Korea, currently studying at Stanford University. I really enjoyed reading your post, especially the part where your group mentioned the power relationship between humans and nature and their interdependence. I do understand that humans had dominion over the other creatures, but I am confused how you guys came to the conclusion that humans relied heavily on the environment. But overall, I think it was very well written! Good work. -Shawn

  2. Morgan Abbett says:

    The Greek creation myth presents an interesting contrast to the biblical and Native American stories. You mention that man, being a combination of all other living things, man should be considered the most powerful of them all. That is one valid reading, but what if being composed of all living things means something different, that man has a more intimate understanding and is actually closer to the level of all the others? Such an interpretation contrasts greatly with man as presented in Genesis, in which Adam and Eve lack understanding of the living things around them (especially the devious serpent and the Tree of Knowledge and Evil). While they are connected to their environment and enjoy and rely on its bounty, their surroundings are still new to them. They do not possess the experience or wisdom of the living world around them like the people in the Greek story, being made of all the other species in the world, might.

  3. vinay says:

    hiiiii iam a student from india. My name is vinay,the line above mentioned are precious

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