How does buddhism explain creation?

I definitely appreciate that Buddhism doesn't try to answer these kinds of questions. It in fact seems ridiculous to me that other religions do offer answers to these questions. I can never understand why, even if there is a God of some kind, people believe that creation as detailed in any ancient writings could possibly have anything to do with reality. There is no way the people who wrote those texts could have had anything like an accurate understanding of what creation involved, even if they were guided by God in their writing. More to the point, nobody they tried to teach the story to would have been able to appreciate it in the slightest, since presumably God didn't individually dive into everybody's minds and enlighten them as to the details of it, since he wouldn't have needed to bother with prophets in that case. So no matter how you look at it the stories of creation cannot resemble reality, from any culture or religion.
as far as i can tell a Buddhist has to believe in creation.

Nope. It is strickly a matter of personal taste and not directly tied to the practice.

In fact just believing in things is generally seen as a mental crutch to be avoided or discarded when you can by finding out for yourself.

Do not go upon what has been acquired by repeated hearing; nor upon tradition; nor upon rumor; nor upon what is in a scripture; nor upon surmise; nor upon an axiom; nor upon specious reasoning; nor upon a bias towards a notion that has been pondered over; nor upon another's seeming ability; nor upon the consideration, 'The monk is our teacher.' Kalamas, when you yourselves know: 'These things are good; these things are not blamable; these things are praised by the wise; undertaken and observed, these things lead to benefit and happiness,' enter on and abide in them.
Anguttara Nikaya, Tika Nipata, Mahavagga, Sutta No. 65:10
Please, for all those who have questions and are looking for answers from a Buddhist point of view, I highly recommend reading The Universe in a Single Atom as well as The Art of Happiness, both written by HH the Dalai Lama. They are relatively short books which are filled with information that answers the various questions that have arisen in this discussion.
Furthermore, most of Buddhism has a very open approach to the history of the world, mankind and life in general. They do not have blind faith and they base much of their own opinions of such on scientific discoveries. The Dalai Lama once said in a documentary interview, "If it is discovered and proven that the world may be 3000 years old, or may it be discovered that it is infinite in age, as long as it is proven then I can believe. Until that day comes when the current belief on history is changed, I just work on my gismo's". (He has a fascination with anything small and mechanical such as watches, clocks etc).
time to wake up!

If you die in this lifetime without reading the WY Evans Wentz books, I think it would be a shame. Buddhism is about realization of the innate Budda within all of us, and then the realization that there is no outside of each other,..we're all the same Mind; subjecting infinite ideas in the most appropriate manner to Our Self. There is possible salvation in one lifetime if you follow Milarepa, it is proved, and to read his name here, now, guarantees salvation upon death. The Book of the Dead will afford you the means to banish delusion upon said death, and guide one to close the doors to lower births; where pain and suffering are inevitable.
If you cannot understand the writings, or dislike the material subject; I would recommend isolated, deep meditation. There are many ways to achieve this, and some are comprised of Yogic breathing exercises and postures which help alleviate your desires to abstractly think random, nonsensical yet absolutely Divine thoughts, in order to calm oneself enough to attain Self realization, quite possibly in one lifetime, such had Jetsun Milarepa, and Jesus. These being absolute states of Self realization, permanently ingrained within each of our hearts, shared in Our Mind, and experienced individually in ignorance; usually, of our true nature; not to be confused with mara.
You will die from doing this, and be reborn into a true state if done properly, and read esoterically; but also exoterically for atOnement - dependent upon where One is inclined to position One's ignorance.
Death is only a brief, passing moment, such is a birth. A ripple on the lake of the Mind. Smile and rejoice!! :)
When you choose to be saved from this ignorance is up to You.

According to Buddhism, nothing happens without a cause, therefore the universe is infinite with no real beginning. However, it does run in cycles, so there can be a beginning for each particular era.

The origin of beings has been described in some texts as evolutionary (or de-evolutionary) with humans descended from cosmic beings/forces.

There were also a bunch of question which Buddha felt were not answerable, or counterproductive to enlightenment. They call these the 14 questions:

The Buddha remained silent when asked these fourteen questions. He described them as a net and refused to be drawn into such a net of theories, speculations, and dogmas. He said that it was because he was free of bondage to all theories and dogmas that he had attained liberation. Such speculations, he said, are attended by fever, unease, bewilderment, and suffering, and it is by freeing oneself of them that one achieves liberation.

So basically, don't worry about it.
What are those 14 questions, so that we can stay away from asking for "trouble". I mean, a question without answers are trouble right?
So basically, Buddhism claims "how or why physical reality was created" is not only unanswerable, but also irrelevant?

And "what created human life, how, or why" is also unanswerable/irrelevant?
Therefore, no man can know? Or if any man could know, it would be irrelevant if he did know or not?
What about the satisfaction in the discovery of prior unknown qualities of origins of the universe and life?
Thus one should pursue wisdom, but not irrelevant wisdom such as understanding how/why physical reality was created including human life?
I can certainly agree with that sage advise, but IMO the two are inextricably entwined.

There is a difference in the problems of creation of spacetime and creation of life.

The creation of spacetime begs the question of what came before and is as yet unknown.

However creation of life is a probabilistic biochemical process and interactions of existing and evolving biochemicals and is well understood but not yet duplicated, mainly due to trying to duplicate probabilistic planetary processes at immense scales of space and time in a laboratory with extremely small scales of space and time.

Below is excellent presentation on the origins of life on earth. (Start viewing @ 25:15 to avoid lengthy introduction).
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Achieving ambidexterity has been a lifelong ambition
I'm beginning to think that it ain't gonna happen, and that it was a silly quest.
IMO, it would take a considerable amount of time and dedicated training the brain for ambidextrous hand-eye (foot) coordination, such as displayed in sports like basketball or soccer.

But there was a time in Europe where naturally left handed persons were forced to use right handed tools. You can imagine the inherent problems . My father was naturally left handed and did everything except writing with his left hand.
My mom and one son were/are lefties. She wanted to force right handedness on him-----having a degree in psychology---I stopped that.
He has to do some stuff right handed--------his guitar is strung normally---but he really ain't ambidextrous neither.