I don't know whether to put this post under Science, Human Beginnings, or Spirituality. I got this out of The Illustrated Anthology of World Myth and Storytelling
This is a creation story out of Hermopolis, Upper Egypt:
"The Ogdoad, or 'Group of Eight', consisted of four pairs of male and female deities who inhabited the primal waters before the world existed...Initially the Ogdoad was divided into two groups, male and female; but at a certain point in their existence, the two sexes were driven together. Although the exact details of this cataclysmic meeting are unknown, the myths of Hermopolis describe the event as having come about at the command of Thoth, the patron deity of the city.
,,,The violent meeting between the two groups produced a tremendous unheaval, which in turn engendered the primordial mound. The mound itself contained a cosmic egg, which hatched to reveal the young sun god. As the shell fell apart, the mound turned into an 'Island of Flame', and the newborn sun god ascended the sky to his rightful position in the heavens. This event was considered in Hermopolis to be the very first sunrise. The Ogdoad had thus become 'the fathers and mothers who came into being at the start, who gave birth to the sun and who created Atum.'
Well, this story describes the Big Bang in every sense!
Here is how Stephen Hawkings describes the Big Bang:
"How did the universe really begin? Most astronomers would say that the debate is now over: The universe started with a giant explosion, called the Big Bang. The big-bang theory got its start with the observations by Edwin Hubble that showed the universe to be expanding. If you imagine the history of the universe as a long-running movie, what happens when you show the movie in reverse? All the galaxies would move closer and closer together, until eventually they all get crushed together into one massive yet tiny sphere
. It was just this sort of thinking that led to the concept of the Big Bang.
The Big Bang marks the instant at which the universe began, when space and time came into existence and all the matter in the cosmos started to expand. Amazingly, theorists have deduced the history of the universe dating back to just 10-43 second (10 million trillion trillion trillionths of a second) after the Big Bang. Before this time all four fundamental forces—gravity, electromagnetism, and the strong and weak nuclear forces—were unified,
but physicists have yet to develop a workable theory that can describe these conditions. During the first second or so of the universe, protons, neutrons, and electrons—the building blocks of atoms—formed when photons collided and converted their energy into mass, and the four forces split into their separate identities.
The temperature of the universe also cooled during this time, from about 1032 (100 million trillion trillion) degrees to 10 billion degrees. Approximately three minutes after the Big Bang, when the temperature fell to a cool one billion degrees, protons and neutrons combined to form the nuclei of a few heavier elements, most notably helium.
The next major step didn’t take place until roughly 300,000 years after the Big Bang, when the universe had cooled to a not-quite comfortable 3000 degrees. At this temperature, electrons could combine with atomic nuclei to form neutral atoms. With no free electrons left to scatter photons of light, the universe became transparent to radiation. (It is this light that we see today as the cosmic background radiation.) Stars and galaxies began to form about one billion years following the Big Bang, and since then the universe has simply continued to grow larger and cooler, creating conditions conducive to life"
Now is it just me, or aren’t these two stories one and the same story? I am reminded of the Dogon People, how they knew and described exactly the white dwarf Sirius B thousands of years before there was a telescope strong enough to see it in 1949.