The End of the World
Theme: Primeval God
Very few ancient cultures believed in a spontaneous and independent (i.e. without help from a sentient being) creation. The Shinto, who thought that Heaven and Earth gradually formed out of a great amorphous cloud and that the First God was born out of this creation after it had happened, are a notable exception.
Most others, however, believe either in a single primeval god or in multiple primeval gods - usually not the same ones who were worshipped later. In Norse mythology, the first beings to be formed were the giant Ymir and the Audhumla, and neither of them were among the Norse pantheon; the Norse All-father, Odin, was descended from a god created by Audhumla.
Another well-known example is the Christian creation myth, in which one God created the world in seven days. However, this God is the same one worshipped by Christians (and by Jews and Muslims) in the practice of their religion.
The Hindu creation myth, as well, speaks of Purusha, a primeval god who is beyond all others and was sacrificed to make the world and the people in it according to caste. Purusha was the creator of the Hindu gods, as well, but was not one of the gods; instead, he was considered to be a part of all things, to be contained by everything and to contain it as well.
The Dawn and Dusk of Man is a Thinkquest Mythology Project by Sheila, Min, Ana and Tencia of Montgomery Blair High School.