On Tue, 4 Apr 2006 Arthaey Angosii wrote: 
> Is anyone familiar with a culture whose mythology about the origin of
> humans is similar to actual evolutionary theory? For example, does any
> culture's mythos claim they are descendant from apes and/or
> tree-dwelling mini-humans?
> I'm wondering if such a coinciding mythology would be too much of a,
> well, coincidence to be believable.

You do mean a *human* culture? ;-)

Assuming you do, one of the most constant things 
we see in human cultures is the tendency to define
"what is right" (or "advanced", or "civilised", or 
"aware" etc) as being synonymous with "what we do".
Ne?  That being so, the distinction between human 
and nonhuman is felt most strongly, the closer the
nonhuman approaches humanity.  We like to imagine
that our pet dogs, cats and rabbits are humanlike, 
even anthropomorphising them to a ridiculous extent,
but until very recent times, historically speaking,
I don't think the same could be said of apes and 
monkeys.  Could it?  But wait - what about the organ-
grinder's monkey, dressed up in suit and cap?  Nup.
We don't say "that's cute", like we do for a humanly-
dressed dog riding a bicycle; rather, the appeal of 
the performing monkey is akin to that of the freak 
show; we stand horrified, asking in our secret hearts:
"What did he do so terribly bad that God did *this* 
to him?"

There are tales (heh) of wicked people being turned 
into apes, cursed for their wrongdoing.  Or into swine
- another species that shares some of mankind's 
characteristics, both good and bad ...

On the whole, I expect you'll find many more 
mythologies in which humans are descended from 
"superior" beings than from "inferior" ones. 


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