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Other religions disagree: Judaism, Christianity and Islam, for example, are unanimous that it makes a great deal of difference whether or not the world and everything in it was created by God. But let us take a look at the two other kinds of myth.

Foundation myths (or origin myths) describe the foundation of the religion itself. In religions that have historical founders, this involves the founder's life and works. For Christianity, this is the life of Jesus, for Islam, the life of Muhammad, and so on. Even in religions that do not have a single historical founder, certain individuals take on such an important role that we can see their life stories as foundation myths. In Judaism, for example, the story of the life of Abraham is central to what it means to be a Jew. In Hinduism, the life of Krishna plays the same role.

End–time myths (or eschatological myths) are the other side of the creation myths. They describe the end of the world.

Some religions, like Hinduism believe that ours is just one in an endless succession of worlds: As one world dies out, a new one is created to take its place. Such religions do not have end–time myths in the true sense of the word, though they may have stories that tell the details of the recreation of worlds.

Christian artists have long tried to depict the end of the world. (c) William Blake/Wikimedia. Public Domain 2009.

Other religions, like Judaism, Christianity and Islam, say that the world was created at a specific time, and that it will end at a specific time, and that this will be for keeps: no new world will be created afterwards. The details of this event vary from one religion's end–time myth to the other.

Myths are not always religious in nature: there are also secular and national myths. To give an example from South Africa, for Afrikaners the Great Trek of the 1830's serves as a foundation myth. It was from that event onwards that they started to think of themselves as a nation.

For members of the African National Congress, on the other hand, the Great Trek was a historical disaster. For them, the great foundation myth is the Kliptown Conference of 1955. Both of these events really happened. So they are not myths in the common sense of the word (remember, in the common sense of the word, a myth is something that is not true or did not happen). But they are myths in the Religion Studies sense of the word "myth". In terms of the importance that they gained in people's minds, both of them serve as important foundation myths.

Fact file: african creation myths

This myth of creation comes from the Boshongos of Central Africa.

In the beginning there was only darkness, water, and the great god Bumba. One day Bumba, in pain from a stomach ache, vomited up the sun. The sun dried up some of the water, leaving land. Still in pain, Bumba vomited up the moon, the stars, and then some animals: the leopard, the crocodile, the turtle, and, finally, some men.

This myth is told by the Mande people of Mali:

At first Mangala was alone. Although Mangala did not have a physical form he was troubled by having matter inside of him. After removing the matter he tried to turn it into a seed. This first seed fell apart, but instead of giving up, Mangala decided to try again. This time, he used two seeds and placed them inside of a womb. The seeds transformed into fish. One of these fish, Pemba, tried to escape and in doing so created Earth but almost destroyed the womb. Mangala used Pemba's brother Farro and salvaged his creation by turning it into the sun. Farro was turned into a human and populated the Earth with his followers.

And this is the creation myth of the Yoruba people of Nigeria:

A long time ago, Olurun lowered a chain from the sky down to the Earth, which at that time was all water. He sent his son Obatala down to Earth with a chicken, some dirt and a palm nut. Obatala used the chicken to spread dirt until there was dry land. Obatala planted the seed and started the first kingdom, Ile–Ife. He was the kingdom's first ruler and all of the Yoruba are his descendants.

Questions & Answers

what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
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Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
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biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
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Akash Reply
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s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
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Source:  OpenStax, Learning about religion. OpenStax CNX. Apr 18, 2015 Download for free at https://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11780/1.1
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