Crowdsourcing Creation in Popular Culture

Crowdsourcing Creation in Popular Culture September 24, 2016

Having just submitted an article that I had been working on, I am shifting to my next projects which will be a focus of attention in coming months. One of them is a reference article on creation in popular culture.

I thought I would ask for input from a wider community, not in producing the article itself, but in making sure I don’t miss anything as a result of which TV shows, works of literature, movies, songs, and other products of and influences on popular culture I happen to be familiar with.

Creationism can get a mention, but will have a separate article of its own.

There is enough in science fiction alone to fill an article, but this reference work is broader, focused on popular culture in general, hence my appeal for help. I’ll be delighted to hear suggestions about examples of creation appearing in science fiction, to be sure I don’t miss them. But my biggest need is for help with the non-sci-fi material.

Please offer suggestions for reading, viewing, listening, and anything else in the comments below. And thank you in advance for your help with this!

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  • timgilbreath

    Thanks so much for your column,helpful.

    I have learned much from the internet site called Chabad – a site somewhat regarding Hebraic tradition and learning, sometimes including information from somewhat associated sites. The women’s journal named Cosmo can provide essential information as well.

    for Patheos, Reverend Frederick Schmidt’s columns, in the Episcopalian and Anglican traditions, provide generally helpful information. Requesting information from Harvard University’s main internet site, including occasional material from its Museum of Natural History site, might be helpful regarding high level information about this topic as well.

  • Earthlings Make Me So Angry

    JRR Tolkien’s Silmarillion will need a mention.
    Some tunes:
    The Obscuritones, “4.54 Billion Years A’Rockin”
    Emerald Rose: “We come from Monkeys”
    Bob Seger, “Adam and Eve”
    Bob Marley “Adam and Eve”
    Monty Python “All Things Dull and Ugly”

  • Tony Prost

    there is an elaborate cosmology in the series Supernatural. It has God and angels and Lucifer and much gnostic and Manichaean stuff, but never any Jesus or saints or Blessed Virgin or any of that sort of stuff..

  • dee

    The pop culture contribution of Carl Sagan and Brian Cox?

  • arcseconds

    You may know of these already, seeing as you say you’ve got the science fiction angle covered, but:

    — Terry Pratchett’s Strata, with a novel take on the Omphalos problem.
    — Douglas Adam’s Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy ‘trilogy’, there’s a lot in here, of course there’s Earth that’s created as a computer, the notion that creating was ‘a controversial move, and widely regarded as a bad idea’, and there’s a suggestion made by one character (but denied by another) that the universe itself might be a similar artefact, but also the belief of one culture that the universe is the product of a divine sneeze
    — the Doctor Who story where a nuclear-powered space-station travels backwards in time and triggers the big bang. If memory serves, it’s a Fifth Doctor story called ‘Terminus’.

    both the last two accounts entail that the creation of the universe is an entirely arbitrary happenstance, which I think is a thought that might be worth some attention in your treatment.

    Does an obscure polish science fiction writer count as popular culture? If so, Stanislaw Lem’s work has a few aspects worth exploring. I’m sure there’s some way of shoehorning Solaris somehow into something to do with creation, but I was particularly thinking of a story in the Cyberiad where Trurl creates a civilization-in-a-box for an exiled despot to rule over (and Klaupacius has him up for the moral implications of this). (I would recommend this story to anyone who continues to maintain that God’s creation of us gives him property rights over us).

    AC/DC’s ‘Let There Be Rock‘ certainly references a well-known creation account…

    I was rather struck by T. H. White’s just-so story related by the owl (Aristotle is his name, I think) in The Sword in the Stone about the nascent animals asking God for various gifts, like powerful digging forelimbs for moles and talons and night vision for owls, and man simply asks to be left as an embryo (noting that animal (well, terrestrial vertebrates, anyway) embryos all look much alike).

    James Joyce probably doesn’t count as popular culture, but Finnegans Wake famously begins with a made-up word representing the thunderclap accompanying the fall of Adam and Eve.

    Plato definitely doesn’t count as popular culture, but I’m rather fond of the creation account in Timaeus, especially the bit where the Maker runs out of decent materials (and has started getting a bit slap-dash) just before creating the souls of mortals, and subcontracts out the creation of bodies to lesser gods, which is why it’s all a bit messed-up down here…

    Also, God wrote in LISP (although perhaps obscure programming language propaganda doesn’t count as popular culture either?)…

    • I’m appreciative of all suggestions. Let me worry about what to include and what will have to be left out because of space limitations!