Origin of Humanity stories from Fiction

THE BIBLE!! OK, now that we have that out of the way let’s begin.

What are some of the more interesting (or not) theories proposed in fiction for the origins of humanity?

Off the top of my head, I can only think of a few:[ul]
[li] TNG - The Chase - where we learn that Humans, Klingons, Cardassians, Romulans, Vulcans and others were all “seeded” by an ancient bipedal race.[/li]
[li] Prometheus, where the Engineers seeded all life on Earth and revisited it over the centuries to provide a star map of their manufacturing plant so that they could…destroy us or whatever.[/li]
[li] And my favorite: from Protector from Larry Niven’s Known Space, where humans are a juvenile stage of the Pak aliens, but we never evolved to that state b/c the Tree-Of-Life root wouldn’t grow on Earth.[/ul][/li]
Any others? I guess we can talk about Religious stories, but I was hoping to not devolve this into a Theology discussion.

56,783 hack sci-fi stories involving time travel to the past/time travel to the future/space travel/dimensional travel/end of THE BIG WAR etc., where all that are left are two people and variations of this last scene:
“I guess we’re the only ones that made it alive. By the way, my name is Adam. What’s yours?”
“My name is Eve.”

Battlestar Galactica, in which we are the descendants of either the Lost Colony (classic BSG) or the rag-tag fleet of refugees from the other 12 colonies (new, gritty BSG).

2001, in which primates are taught by the obelisk to kill things with sticks.

Doctor Who – humans evolved from the energy of an explosion by a ship of a Jaggeroth, who was sent forward in time to six different time period (and the Mona Lisa has “This is a fake” written under that paint in felt tip pen).

Ursula K. Leguin’s Hainish Cycle – humans are descended from the Hain*

Gerard Kirsh’s “Men without Bones.”

We’re Martians. The original humans were the jellylike creatures of the title

Alfred Bester’s “Adam and No Eve.”**

Civilization is destroyed and the Earth is a wasteland, but the last existing man throws himself into the ocean to seed it – and we discover this was millions of years in our past

*The idea predated this, of course, and there are probably hundreds of examples.
**John Updike obviously read this story; he mentions in in his book Of the Farm.

Asimov, in The Last Question.

“But there was now no man to whom AC might give the answer of the last question. No matter. The answer – by demonstration – would take care of that, too.”

Here are some theories from fiction:

Here’s a TV Tropes entry about this, and I suspect you could find more entries related to your question if you looked:

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy explanation that we are just part of a multi-million year program to answer the ultimate question.

[quote=“Morbo, post:1, topic:714296”]

[li] TNG - The Chase - where we learn that Humans, Klingons, Cardassians, Romulans, Vulcans and others were all “seeded” by an ancient bipedal race.[/li][/QUOTE]
The Traveller RPG system had a similar background.

A couple of cases where the aliens didn’t create us, but had a hand in our development:
There’s Quatermass and the Pit (filmed as Five Million Years to Earth, at least for the UD release), in which humans are a Martian-tweaked “colony by proxy”.

And in 2001 the ETs influence humanity by teaching us how to use tools and to – whatever the hell they did to Dave Bowman.

In James P. Hogan’s “Giants” series (starting with Inherit the Stars the Ganymedeans influenced human development, too.

In one of Larry Niven’s Draco’s Tavern stories it’s revealed by one of the extremely aged Chirpsithra that current life (including humanity) is the outgrowth of aerobic scum 9possibly left by them) that overtook the existing anaerobic civilized life on earth the last time they visited.

Kersh. And…yeah! A hell of a story! The whole collection of stories is wonderful (and also his collection “On an Odd Note.”) Kersh is more obscure than he ought to be; he’s a little like Robert Sheckley in his inventiveness literary quality.

“Night Meeting”, in The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury.

The Creation Of The Humanoids-

Apparently humanity is the result of replicant type creations made by a now extinct civilization millions of years ago.

In Parke Godwin’s Waiting for the Galactic Bus, all life on Earth is created by two alien college students who were stranded here as a prank shortly after they got their degrees in World Creation.

In H.P. Lovecraft’s stories, humans were a minor experiment by the Elder Things that got loose after that race was exterminated by the shoggoths.

“Doctor Who” - especially the classic series - tended to play very fast and VERY loose with continuity, so that we have multiple origin stories for life on Earth. In addition to the above explanation (from “City of Death”), we have…
Death of the Daleks - Human life actually originated on the planet Exxilon, and Earth humans are actually descendants of their colonists. (Curiously, the Exxilonians who remained on their home world devolved over time in decidedly non-human looking aliens.)

Image of the Fendahl - A race of Lovecraftian beings existed on a fifth planet in our solar system that originally orbited our sun between Mars and Jupiter. The Time Lords destroyed that planet (resulting in the extensive asteroid fields just beyond Mars), but at least one remnant of that evil race wound up on Earth in primordial times. Over the course of millenia, the Fendahl prompted the creation of life and influenced the evolution of human beings as a source of food for itself.

Ghost Light - This one I’m iffy about, because I only saw it once (more than 20 years ago now), and I don’t think I understood it all at the time anyway. But there was this being composed of pure light, and a neanderthal butler, and a portrait of then-companion Ace painted at some date in her future (very proto-Moffat), but also wasn’t there something in there about the ‘ghost light’ prompting the creation of human life?

And to get into non-canonical “Who” fiction, a Dave Gibbons comic strip from the 80s had Doctor #4 (Tom Baker) and K-9 meeting Prometheus and the Olympian Gods, who were actually super-advanced space aliens in the dawn of time. Prometheus actually seeded the Earth with ‘life spores.’

Possibly the nastiest one I can think of was in Stanislaw Lem’s The Star Diaries where all life on earth was created as a prank by two ships cooks, Goord and Lod.

Except where humanity (specifically) is not, in fact, part of that program, but are, instead, a stranded bunch of telephone sanitisers and other useless societal castoffs.

Edmond Hamiltons “Devolution” is a short story, in which it turns out humans are the devolved descendants of alien colonists. I think the Earth’s radiation caused the degeneration.

In Douglas Adams’s *Dirk Gently s Holistic Detective Agency *, an explosion of an alien spacecraft on Earth four billion years in the past seeded the planet with life .

In Heinlein 's "The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag " the Unpleasant world is treated as an art project by superior beings. Hoag is an art critic who thinks that deriving pleasure by ingesting materials for energy is an innovative idea.

I see Asimov’s “The Last Question” has already been mentioned, so I’ll add Doc Smith’s Lensman series, although the origin of humanity is not its central theme.