The World egg, Cosmic Egg or Mundane Egg is a mythological motif found in the creation myths of many cultures and civilizations. Typically, the world egg is a beginning of some sort, and the universe or some primordial being comes into existence by “hatching” from the egg, sometimes lain on the primordial waters of the Earth.
The motif of the Cosmic Egg cracking open and birthing all is apparent in the creation myths of many cultures. Egyptian, Babylonian, Orphic, Indian and many other ab ovo creation stories exist, but Lowry has in mind primarily Thomas Burnet‘s Sacred Theory of the Earth (1680-89), which was central to his own cosmology.
Burnet maintained, as literal truth, that the earth was once a giant egg, but the action of the sun making volatile the waters of the deep within, the shell cracked and the waters rushed forth (the Deluge), fragments of the shell now forming the mountains and continents of our present world. The consul’s cosmic egg is decidedly addled, the drains of Quauhnahuac being quite unlike the life-renewing annual visitations of the waters of the Nile.
The Egg was incorporated as a sacred sign in the cosmogony of every people on the Earth, and was revered both on account of its form and its inner mystery. From the earliest mental conceptions of man, it was known as that which represented most successfully the origin and secret of being. The gradual development of the imperceptible germ within the closed shell; the inward working, without any apparent outward interference of force, which from a latent nothing produced an active something, needing naught save heat; and which, having gradually evolved into a concrete, living creature, broke its shell, appearing to the outward senses of all a self-generated, and self-created being — must have been a standing miracle from the beginning.
The secret teaching explains the reason for this reverence by the Symbolism of the prehistoric races. The “First Cause” had no name in the beginnings. Later it was pictured in the fancy of the thinkers as an ever invisible, mysterious Bird that dropped an Egg into Chaos, which Egg becomes the Universe. Hence Brahm was called Kalahamsa, “the swan in (Space and) Time.” He became the “Swan of Eternity,” who lays at the beginning of each Mahamanvantara a “Golden Egg.” It typifies the great Circle, or O, itself a symbol for the universe and its spherical bodies.
The second reason for its having been chosen as the symbolical representation of the Universe, and of our earth, was its form. It was a Circle and a Sphere; and theovi-form shape of our globe must have been known from the beginning of symbology, since it was so universally adopted. The first manifestation of the Kosmos in the form of an egg was the most widely diffused belief of antiquity. As Bryant shows, it was a symbol adopted among the Greeks, the Syrians, Persians, and Egyptians. In the Egyptian Ritual, Seb, the god of Time and of the Earth, is spoken of as having laid an egg, or the Universe, “an egg conceived at the hour of the great one of the Dual Force.”
Ra is shown like Brahma gestating in the Egg of the Universe. The deceased is “resplendent in the Egg of the land of mysteries.” For, this is “the Egg to which is given life among the gods.” “It is the Egg of the great clucking Hen, the Egg of Seb, who issues from it like a hawk.”
With the Greeks the Orphic Egg is described by Aristophanes, and was part of the Dionysiac and other mysteries during which the Mundane Egg was consecrated and its significance.
Evolution is both a scientific fact and a scientific theory. Evolution is a fact in the sense that life has changed through time. In nature today, the characteristics of species are changing, and new species are arising. The fossil record is the primary factual evidence for evolution in times past, and evolution is well documented by further evidence from other scientific disciplines, including comparative anatomy, biogeography, genetics, molecular biology, and studies of viral and bacterial diseases. Evolution is also a theory – an explanation for the observed changes in life through Earth history that has been tested numerous times and repeatedly confirmed. Evolution is an elegant theory that explains the history of life through geologic time; the diversity of living organisms, including their genetic, molecular, and physical similarities and differences; and the geographic distribution of organisms. Evolutionary principles are the foundation of all basic and applied biology and paleontology, from biodiversity studies to studies on the control of emerging diseases.
Because evolution is fundamental to understanding both living and extinct organisms, it must be taught in public school science classes. In contrast, creationism is religion rather than science, as ruled by the Supreme Court, because it invokes supernatural explanations that cannot be tested. Consequently, creationism in any form (including “scientific creationism,” “creation science,” and “intelligent design”) must be excluded from public school science classes. Because science involves testing hypotheses, scientific explanations are restricted to natural causes.
This difference between science and religion does not mean that the two fields are incompatible. Many scientists who study evolution are religious, and many religious denominations have issued statements supporting evolution. Science and religion address different questions and employ different ways of knowing.
The evolution paradigm has withstood nearly 150 years of scrutiny. Although the existence of evolution has been confirmed many times, as a science evolutionary theory must continue to be open to testing. At this time, however, more fruitful inquiries address the tempo and mode of evolution, various processes involved in evolution, and driving factors for evolution. Through such inquiry, the unifying theory of evolution will become an even more powerful explanation for the history of life on Earth.