Evolve. the Search for Truth.
Theories of Origin
Stories Relay Ideas
The genius of Moses to wrap his ideas in stories is profound. By doing so, he tapped into the best way humans share information: through story. Stories reach universal audiences whereas scientific treatises reach scientific audiences. Let alone stories have existed since the dawn of humanity while scientific treatises are a thing of the last millennium. The greatness of Moses is not simply in being a scientist or slave-liberator or nation-builder, but also in being a storyteller. For all the insight in ideas he provided to the world where spread throughout the world through stories.
Moses told stories about many things — the beginnings of the universe, mankind, and marriage; the beginnings of Jewish family, religion, and nation; and the issues facing a people striving for a promised land filled with milk and honey. And to this day, these stories are still being told.
In synagogues and churches around the world the stories of Moses are still being read every week. And when we consider the Jewish people and the Catholic church, we find a mysterious truth that is hard to understand…they are the everlasting people and the universal religion.
What’s fascinating about the Jewish people is that their stories begin with the first people and continue to this day. Their race and religion and nation has continued to be traced throughout all of history, from Adam and Eve at the dawn of humanity to Abraham and Sarah four thousand years ago to the Nation of Israel and the twelve tribes 3 thousand years ago until today. The Jewish people have been scattered all around the world and yet still have their promised land at the crossroads of three continents — Africa, Asia, and Europe. The Jewish people have seen the rise of ancient and modern empires — from the rise of and fall of ancient empires like Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Greece and Rome, to the rise and fall of more modern empires like England, Nazi Germany, and Soviet Russia. In all those empires they were persecuted and exiled and threatened, and yet while those empires rise and fall, the Jewish people are still here, spread throughout the world and yet with the promised land promised to their forefathers four thousand years ago.
More than that, the founders of the Catholic Church were all Jews. The oldest institution in this world — the Catholic Church — was founded by one Jewish rabbi and his twelve Jewish apostles. Moreover, this one organization has spread all throughout the world, from its starting place in Jerusalem, the crossroads of Africa, Asia and Europe to the heart of the Roman empire to all continents on earth. An empire which happened to crown their rabbi “king of the Jews” before beginning more than one hundred years of severe persecution killing eleven of the twelve apostles and while their followers endured mockery, scourging, even chains and imprisonment. Some were stoned, others sawed in two, others put to seat at sword’s point. They went about this earth afflicted and tormented and some were even fed to lions for sport and entertainment. And yet, their faith and religion was passed on and survived and spread throughout the earth. Miraculous.
And when we look at common themes between Jews and the Catholics, we see stories at the center of their culture. Something in the stories Jews and Catholics tell include everlasting ideas and principles that allow Jews and Catholics to survive against all odds. Yes, we see stories at the very center of their culture. They don’t have lists of rules for survival, what they have great stories of sacrifice and suffering and triumph with details embedded in those stories, some of which include rules and commandments and lists of laws. But they are within the story, the story of this great people, humble and persecuted and yet triumphant.
And so, when Moses chose to write his ideas in stories, we find he chose to an amazing medium to share and spread those ideas, for the human brain is particularly wired to love and appreciate stories. And in fact, we find the same continues today. For Einstein’s ideas on the theory of relativity weren’t spread because of his great scientific journals. They were spread because storytellers tickled the imaginations of billions of people by embedding Einstein’s ideas in stories of space travel and time travel and its those stories that helped humanity understand and appreciate Einstein. Moses was brilliant for many reasons, one of which was he wrapped his ideas not into scientific treatises (that were not to exist for thousands of years later), but into stories.
The beauty of stories is it doesn’t matter if its real or imaginary, fact or fiction, history or fairytale, myth or reality, legend or fabrication, what matters is the truths contained within the story. And again, we find science is limited because it sticks to the realm of what’s known and verifiable and what’s able to be researched, whether stories venture into the unknown. Stories can take place in galaxies far, far away or in other worlds and alternate universes. Stories can venture into the farthest reaches of human imagination to share simple truths about our everyday and commonplace lives. And so, while science is bound by knowledge, stories set great truths free by the imagination and any means necessary.
And so, when we revisit the stories Moses wrote on the beginnings of the universe and mankind through the lens of a story and not a scientific treatise, we find that Moses told stories that embedded great truths of who we are and why we are here. And he did so in the most efficient and universal way possible…by embedding truths into stories. And he allowed those stories to carry truths across the seas and seven continents, from the heart of the crossroads of three continents unto the ends of the earth. There is no place on our great earth with which the stories of Moses have not been shared and proclaimed and considered.
In fact, the challenge for a scientist would be to share the Big Bang theory in a way that is understandable to a universal audience, is memorable, is cross-cultural, is as true two thousand years ago as it is today, and will be as true in two million years as it is today…and somehow be less than Moses’s story of the big bang from his book Genesis? It may be impossible. Moses may have given us the best and and briefest and most universal story of the origins of the universe that is possible more than three thousand years ago; a story which is still aligned with all truth, including our understanding that time is relative and in fact rooting time to a beginning moment and in relation to a creator God.
And so, we are only continuing to verify in science the great many truths that Moses gave us in his stories. And when we tear the Big Bang theory outside of the context of a creator God, we find that we’ve torn it away from the context of a rich and vibrant traditions that have been proclaiming the story of the creation and beginning of the universe for thousands of years before a scientific world could come along and put in scientific terms what the Jews and Catholics have known all along — in the beginning there was a bang when God shared his Word, and by his Word I mean his story (or history).