Posted by John M. Lynch on August 19, 2005 07:17 PM
Amerindian mythologies present a rich source of creation stories. While these narratives offer spiritual alternatives to naturalistic origins, there have been few vocal native anti-evolutionists, an exception being Vine DeLoria whose books Red Earth, White Lies: Native Americans and the Myth of Scientific Fact and Evolution, Creationism, and Other Modern Myths: A Critical Inquiry both offer trite, predictable and weak arguments against evolution.
At Indian Country Today (“The Nation’s Leading American Indian News Source”) an editorial concludes:
Indian Country Today Columnist John Mohawk this year published a succinctly edited book, ”Iroquois Creation Story: Myth of the Earthgrasper,” which inspires with its clarity from ancient America. In fact, the Iroquois (Haudenosaunee) creation story is the living basis of the ceremonial cycles in the longhouses of several reservations, source of origin and the truth of existence for traditional Haudenosaunee. Yet, no one here is suggesting that it be taught as ”science” in the public schools.
Every Native culture across the hemisphere (and cultures from all over the world) would be in its right to line up, then, each with its origin story and each justifiably, as much as the Judeo-Christian Genesis, with its right to believe that its story is the true way that human beings came into existence.
Given the choice, we prefer the non-religious and secular space, such as public schools guided by universally shared scientific values and methods. Let each people have its religious approach and way of prayer. The other approach is a slippery slope to dangerous manipulation and intolerance. What little the various human cultures and societies have in common resides in the life of science and its search for open-minded truth.