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We are like sinful dwarves, or wonders that glisten.
One of us is there to listen.
One of us is there to cook.
Another, at night, is there to look.
One is the leader to show the way.
One does what is done by day.
One is there to look into life.
Another carefully cuts like a knife.

What are we?

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  • $\begingroup$ I have edited by adding carriage returns, according to the 'rhyme' tag. Reverse if that changes the intent of the puzzle... $\endgroup$ – Evargalo Nov 20 '18 at 9:26
  • $\begingroup$ If these refer to a specific set of things as you suggested in comment on my answer, should this also include the 'knowledge' tag? $\endgroup$ – Astralbee Nov 20 '18 at 9:56
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I believe you are:

types of electromagnetic wavelengths

Mostly self-explanatory:

One of us is there to listen.

Radio Waves

One of us is there to cook.

Microwaves

Another, at night, is there to look.

Infrared Waves

One is the leader to show the way.

Gamma Rays (most energetic, used for medical tracers)

One does what is done by day.

Visible Light

One is there to look into life.

X-rays

Another carefully cuts like a knife.

Ultraviolet (lasers)

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  • $\begingroup$ 'To show the way' refers to visible light, 'done what is done by day' refers to Vitamin D that we get from UV light. The last line is about gamma rays - a gamma knife is used in medicine to destroy tumors. $\endgroup$ – Daniel Cooper Nov 21 '18 at 7:00
  • $\begingroup$ Nice one! I figured there were a few ways to interpret the clues with the various choices. $\endgroup$ – MetaZen Nov 21 '18 at 18:08
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Called by human names, we always existed

So we are looking for the human names for something that has existed before humans.

We are like sinful dwarves, or wonders that glisten.

There were seven dwarves in the tale of Snow White (I figured this out) and @AHKieran has figured out that the line also mentions sins (of which there are said to be 7), and wonders (7 wonders of the world). Also there are 7 further lines after this one. So the answers are things that belong to a set of 7.

They could be:

The 7 classical planets ("planets" of our solar system which can be seen with the naked eye, including our two luminaries the sun and moon)

One of us is there to listen. JUPITER (known for its eerie sounds)
One of us is there to cook. MERCURY (the element Mercury is used in thermometers, which in turn can used in cooking)
Another, at night, is there to look. MOON (the nighttime luminary, some say it has a face)
One is the leader to show the way. VENUS (appears in the night sky usually before the stars do)
One does what is done by day. SUN (the daytime luminary)
One is there to look into life. MARS (scientists have searched for life on Mars)
Another carefully cuts like a knife. SATURN (the only one left - has blade-like rings)

Alternatively:

other things I rejected that come in a group of 7 and existed before humans named them:

- days of the week
- continents
- seas
- colours of the spectrum

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  • $\begingroup$ Sorry Astralbee but that's incorrect. Every line has a specific meaning. $\endgroup$ – Daniel Cooper Nov 20 '18 at 9:47
  • $\begingroup$ @DanielCooper Oh that's a shame. I was sure I was onto something. $\endgroup$ – Astralbee Nov 20 '18 at 9:49
  • $\begingroup$ Could you explain the reasoning for your choices? As in, why is that one "there to listen"? Why does that one "cut like a knife"? $\endgroup$ – Walt Nov 20 '18 at 13:03
  • $\begingroup$ I'm confused if you're suggesting it's one of the groups listed, or all of the groups listed. $\endgroup$ – WAF Nov 20 '18 at 13:36
  • $\begingroup$ @Walt Added, although I do feel some are a bit hokey. Just can't think of anything else that fits better atm. $\endgroup$ – Astralbee Nov 20 '18 at 14:47
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Partial:

The first like refers to 7 deadly sins, Snow White and the 7 dwarves, and the 7 wonders of the world. There are 7 lines after this, each describing a different entity. I believe the first line was included to make the total line count even and therefore allow for the use of rhyming couplets.

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Partial:

Are you

Stars

We are like sinful dwarves, or wonders that glisten.

Stars are small in the night sky and they shine which is synonymous to glisten

Another, at night, is there to look.

Stars shine at nighttime

Or

As @Astralbee mentioned, the dwarves could refer to the seven dwarves of snow white or they could refer to the seven planets except Uranus and Neptune and including Sun and the Moon

Or

As @AHKieran mentioned wonders could refer to the seven wonders of the world

My thought(Partial)

There are seven lines describing each of the dwarves, The first line is an opening one. So it has to be something related to the 7

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  • $\begingroup$ Nice try but no $\endgroup$ – Daniel Cooper Nov 20 '18 at 15:44

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