The term cosmogony comes from the Greek kosmos, which means universe , and from gignomai, which means birth or genesis. Thus, cosmogony is an account, usually mythical, that explains the creation and order of the universe and, at the same time, the emergence of human beings.
The different conceptions of the universe form the origin of the different civilizations of antiquity.
The Cosmogony of Ancient Egypt
According to ancient Egyptian mythology, at the beginning of the world there was neither Heaven nor Earth, there was only an infinite ocean that contained all the elements of the universe. The spirit of the world was dispersed in chaos, but this same spirit became aware and thus was born Ra, the god of the sky and the sun. Because of his strength he created everything that exists in the world.
The Mayan Cosmogony
For the ancient Maya, the universe was formed by two realities: Heaven and Underworld. For this civilization the world was in absolute rest and lifeless, but six deities covered in green plumage and resting in the depths of the water, decided to create the Earth and everything that exists on it.
From that moment on, the Earth had its own spirit or heart . In it grew a ceiba whose roots reached the underworld and its leaves reached different levels in Heaven. Then, plants, animals and, finally, human beings (made of mud) were born.
The Mayan cosmos has three levels: Caan or heaven, Caab or earth, and Xibalba or underworld. At the same time, the universe is organized by geometric criteria.
The Greek cosmogony is known through mythological accounts of Homer and Hesiod
According to the stories of both poets, at first there was chaos. Out of this chaos came Gea or Earth and Eros or Love. These gods created darkness, light, the starry sky, discord, mountains and everything that exists.
Then was born the god Cronos, father of Time, who married Rhea. From the union of Cronos and Rhea was born Zeus, the god who ended up dominating the Olympus of the gods.
The various cosmogonies appeared in a period when there was no science
Since Copernicus and Galileo, astronomy has been the science that explains the order of the universe. In this sense, astronomical explanations amount to stories of cosmogony in the ancient world.
Currently, the Big Bang theory explains the origin of the universe and its expansion. This theory is integrated into cosmology , a branch of astrophysics.