What is the universe? How did it get that way? Here are thought-provoking answers from throughout history and around the world.
"In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth." -King James Bible
"In the beginning, before men, before the Gods, all was chaos." -Greek myth
Folklorist Steve Zeitlin gives answers to the questions everyone asks about the nature of the universe: What is it? Where did it come from? Will it end? A picture of the universe is a cosmology, and every culture has its own. People build these stories from the world around them. The ancient Egyptians who saw the Nile flood yearly told stories of gods who rise, die, and are reborn. The Maori living on the wind and sea-battered island of New Zealand tell of sea, land, and sky gods in eternal combat.
Readers will discover the Iroquois who pictured the world on a turtle's back; the Southeast Asians who described the world as a flat disc held up by three elephants; even Genesis and the Big Bang theories are included. Zeitlin retells each myth, legend, folktale or theory as a story filled with wonder and imagination.
Now every child who tries to build a picture of the universe will see how he or she fits in the grand tradition of human thought and imagination.