If creation is true, it would be reasonable to expect that ancient cultures would reflect this stupendously important event in their folklore - they do; lots of them. If evolution is true, how can all these creatiion stories be explained?
Friedrich Nietzsche wrote a great deal of words on the general principle that error
has been essential to the furtherance of the species throughout man's history
. Here are only
a small few.
... as the
astrologer contemplated the stars in the service of
man and in connection with their happiness and
unhappiness, such a seeker contemplates the whole
world as related to man, as the infinitely protracted
echo of an original sound : man ; as the multiplied
copy of the one arch-type : man. His procedure is ~
to apply man as the measure of all things, whereby
he starts from the error of believing that he has these
things immediately before him as pure objects. He
therefore forgets that the original metaphors of per-
ception are metaphors, and takes them for the things^
The next examples are from Beyond Good And Evil; Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future
, 1886, translation by Helen Zimmern.
Part One : On the Prejudices of Philosophers
The falseness of a judgment is for us not necessarily an objection
to a judgment; in this respect our new language may sound
strangest. The question is to what extent it is life-promoting, life
serving, species-preserving, perhaps even species-cultivating.
And we are fundamentally inclined to claim that the falsest
judgments (which include the synthetic judgments a priori) are
the most indispensable for us; that without accepting the fictions
of logic, without measuring reality against the purely invented
world of the unconditional and self-identical, without a constant
falsification of the world by means of numbers, man could not
live - that renouncing false judgments would mean renouncing
life and a denial of life. To recognize untruth as a condition of
life - that certainly means resisting accustomed value feelings in a
dangerous, way; and a philosophy that risks this would by that
token alone place itself beyond good and evil.
Part Two : The Free Spirit
O sancta simplicitas! In what strange simplification and
falsification man lives! One can never cease wondering once one
has acquired eyes for this marvel! How we have made everything
around us clear and free and easy and simple! how we have been
able to give our senses a passport to everything superficial, our
thoughts a divine desire for wanton leaps and wrong inferences!
how from the beginning we have contrived to retain our
ignorance in order to enjoy an almost inconceivable freedom, lack
of scruple and caution, heartiness, and gaiety of life - in order to
enjoy life! And only on this now solid, granite foundation of
ignorance could knowledge rise so far - the will to knowledge on
the foundation of a far more powerful will: the will to ignorance,
to the uncertain, to the untrue! Not as its opposite, but as its
refinement! Even if language, here as elsewhere, will not get over
its awkwardness, and will continue to talk of opposites where
there are only degrees and many subtleties of gradation; even if
the inveterate Tartuffery of morals, which now belongs to our
unconquerable "flesh and blood," infects the words even of those
of us who know better - here and there we understand it and laugh
at the way in which precisely science at its best seeks most to
keep us in this simplified, thoroughly artificial, suitably
constructed and suitably falsified world - at the way in which,
willy-nilly, it loves error, because, being alive, it loves life.
From Human, All Too Human
, 1878, translation by Helen Zimmern:
Of First and Last Things (1)
Chemistry of concepts and feelings. In almost all respects,
philosophical problems today are again formulated as they were
two thousand years ago: how can something arise from its
opposite--for example, reason from unreason, sensation from the
lifeless, logic from the illogical, disinterested contemplation from
covetous desire, altruism from egoism, truth from error? Until
now, metaphysical philosophy has overcome this difficulty by
denying the origin of the one from the other, and by assuming for
the more highly valued things some miraculous origin, directly
from out of the heart and essence of the "thing in itself."(2)
Historical philosophy, on the other hand, the very youngest of all
philosophical methods, which can no longer be even conceived of
as separate from the natural sciences, has determined in isolated
cases (and will probably conclude in all of them) that they are not
opposites, only exaggerated to be so by the popular or
metaphysical view, and that this opposition is based on an error
of reason. ...
(1). "Last Things" (die letzten Dinge) refers to eschatology.
(2). Ding an sich: the thing in itself, in Kant's Critique of Pure Reason (1781), refers to
the existent as it exists independently of our knowledge; a noumenon, a thing of the
mind rather than of the senses; that which a thing is when there is no human
perception of it, i.e., when it is in "essence" rather than in "appearance."
Metaphysical world. It is true, there might be a metaphysical
world; one can hardly dispute the absolute possibility of it. We
see all things by means of our human head, and cannot chop it
off, though it remains to wonder what would be left of the world
if indeed it had been cut off. This is a purely scientific problem,
and not very suited to cause men worry. But all that has produced
metaphysical assumptions and made them valuable, horrible,
pleasurable to men thus far is passion, error, and self-deception. ...
Language as an alleged science. ... ... Very belatedly (only
now) is it dawning on men that in their belief in language they
have propagated a monstrous error. Fortunately, it is too late to be
able to revoke the development of reason, which rests on that
Logic, too, rests on assumptions that do not correspond to
anything in the real world, e.g., on the assumption of the equality
of things, the identity of the same thing at different points of time;
but this science arose from the opposite belief (that there were
indeed such things in the real world). So it is with mathematics,
which would certainly not have originated if it had been known
from the beginning that there is no exactly straight line in nature,
no real circle, no absolute measure.
Basic questions of metaphysics. ...
...Even now, we believe fundamentally that all feelings
and actions are acts of free will; when the feeling individual
considers himself, he takes each feeling, each change, to be
something isolated, that is, something unconditioned, without a
context. It rises up out of us, with no connection to anything
earlier or later. We are hungry, but do not think initially that the
organism wants to be kept alive. Rather, that feeling seems to
assert itself without reason or purpose; it isolates itself and takes
itself to be arbitrary. Thus the belief in freedom of the will is an
initial error of all organic beings, as old as the existence in them
of stirrings of logic. Belief in unconditioned substances and
identical things is likewise an old, original error of all that is
organic. To the extent that all metaphysics has dealt primarily
with substance and freedom of the will, however, one may
characterize it as that science which deals with the basic errors
of man--but as if they were basic truths.
The number. The laws of numbers were invented on the basis of
the initially prevailing error that there are various identical things
(but actually there is nothing identical) or at least that there are
things (but there is no "thing"). The assumption of multiplicity
always presumes that there is something, which occurs repeatedly.
But this is just where error rules; even here, we invent entities,
unities, that do not exist.
Our feelings of space and time are false, for if they are tested
rigorously, they lead to logical contradictions. Whenever we
establish something scientifically, we are inevitably always
reckoning with some incorrect quantities; but because these
quantities are at least constant (as is, for example, our feeling of
time and space), the results of science do acquire a perfect
strictness and certainty in their relationship to each other. One can
continue to build upon them--up to that final analysis, where the
mistaken basic assumptions, those constant errors, come into
contradiction with the results, for example, in atomic theory. ...