Alberto Canen the observer of genesis the science behind the creation story large print


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Garden of Eden

The word used to describe garden is gan-word of Sumerian origin- meaning enclosed place, leafy garden. The Vulgate, following the LXX (seventy), translated it as paradisus, which is the popular transliteration of Persian pairi daeza, originally meaning the garden fence, and then the garden. Xenophon often speaks of fine recreation estates of the Persian kings. It is therefore clear from the name used, that the hagiographer believes that the residence of Adam is a recreational property or leafy park, as he will specify later. And he locates it in Eden as its geographical designation. The LXX understand it here as geographic location, but in Genesis 3:23-24 is translated "Garden of Delights", as does the Vulgate: "paradisum voluptatis". Eden has been associated with the Sumerian edin and the Assyrian-Babylonian edinu, meaning desert. According to this etymology, the description of the Bible alludes to a lush garden or oasis amid the desert, which explains well the fact that Adam was cast out of the oasis to then live the hard life of the dessert by the sweat of his brow. Some authors have tried to identify the location of Bit-Adini of the Assyrian texts near Edessa. In any case, the hagiographer locates it eastward.


Bit-Adini (also known as Beth Eden) was an Aramaic state located in the Euphrates River valley in the area of the present city of Aleppo in Syria and about 20 km south of Carchemish. Most sources of information on the state are of Assyrian origin, with whom Bit Adini had several conflicts, to be eventually absorbed by the Assyrian state at the time of Shalmaneser III.

After the crisis of the great empires of the twelfth century BC, spacious semi-arid regions in northern Syria are under the political control of the Aramaic tribes that, after settling down, founded various states over the eleventh and tenth centuries BC; and will control the trade routes between Mesopotamia, the Levant and the neo-Hittite kingdoms of Anatolia. These include Bit Adini, located in the Euphrates River valley and its capital Til Barsip, strategically located on a river ford.

With the revival of Assyria, consolidated during the reign of Ashurnasirpal II, Bit Adini sees its trade relations in the area in jeopardy and thus, along with Babylon, promotes small uprisings in Border States with Assyria. After crushing these uprisings, Ashurnasirpal II dares not antagonize Babylon and turns against Bit Adini, snatching the territory east of the Euphrates.

By the year 858 BC, Bit Adini heads a coalition of Aramaeans and neo-Hittite states of northern Syria and southern Anatolia against the new Assyrian king Shalmaneser III. The coalition is defeated and the kingdom of Bit Adini is annexed to Assyria and becomes a province. The capital will be renamed Kar-Shulman-ashare-du ("Shalmaneser´s Fort") and will host the provincial government.

The conquest by Assyria was not a big cultural change in the region; the Aramaic language remained and prospered, and part of the local oligarchy entered the service of the Assyrian Empire.

The Vulgate

The Vulgate is a translation of the Bible into Latin, made ​​at the end of the fourth century (in 382 AD) by Saint Jerome. It was commissioned by Pope Damasus I two years before his death (366-384). The version takes its name from the phrase vulgata editio (editing for the people) and was written in a casual Latin in contrast to the classical Latin of Cicero, in which Saint Jerome was an expert. The aim of the Vulgate was to be easier to understand and more accurate than its predecessors.


The Greek Bible, commonly called the Septuagint Bible or Bible of the Seventy, and often simply abbreviated LXX, was translated from Hebrew and Aramaic texts older than the subsequent series of issues that centuries later were settled in the current form of the Hebrew-Aramaic text the Tanakh or the Hebrew Bible.

The name Septuagint comes from the fact that the total number of its 72 translators used to be rounded to 70. The Letter of Aristeas presents as historical fact an old version according to which, at the direction of Ptolemy II Philadelphus (284-246 BC), Greek ruler of Egypt, 72 Jewish sages sent by the High Priest of Jerusalem worked separately in the translation of the sacred texts of the Jewish people. According to the same legend, the comparison of the work of all the sages revealed an almost miraculous coincidence among them.

Cain and Abel

They are presented in the Bible as a farmer and a shepherd. Agriculture and grazing did not appear until the Neolithic period, since until then man lived by hunting and fishing. A great grandson of Cain is introduced as the first ironmonger, and it is known that the production of that metal had not happened in history until the twelfth century BC.


Valley of the Whales [15]

(Wadi Al-Hitan, Egypt)

15 - Extract from a note of the National Geographic magazine in which Philip Gingerich, one of the researchers who worked in Wadi Al-Hitan, Egypt, known as the valley of the whales, is interviewed. I found it interesting that he referred to them as "ferocious sea monsters."

The Egyptian deserts were -over forty million years ago- part of the seabed of the Tethys Sea that surrounded the supercontinent Pangaea.

In northern Egypt, about 200 km from Cairo, is Wadi Al-Hitan, known as the Valley of the Whales. There, a group of researchers among which was Philip Gingerich, a vertebrate paleontologist at the University of Michigan, dug and studied the fossil remains of whales.

In the interview conducted by Tom Mueller for National Geographic to Philip Gingerich, the paleontologist said: "Walking through a desert that 40 million years ago was a vast sea inhabited by ferocious sea monsters is not an activity that can be done every day. In Wadi Al-Hitan it is easy to feel like a rainfed diver that explores the depths of prehistory, as this corner of sand and breathtaking scenery preserved fossils of hundreds of species that inhabited the legendary Tethys Sea during the Eocene period”. And no wonder this place was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005.

The first fossils were discovered in 1936.

Today, the valley is a large open-air museum where you can see the paleontological pieces exposed on the sand. Most of these remains belong to skeletons of whales and their ancestors: ridges of baby "Dorudon" whales; jaws; columns and vertebrae of "Basilosaurus" whales (15 meters long whales lizard or “dragon”-shaped - hence its scientific name- with mouths endowed with fine and sharp teeth); turtles; swordfish; sea urchins; and the list goes on. Fossilized mangroves and other plant species can also be seen.

Gingerich and his team are responsible for having located over a thousand fossils of whales in the last twenty seven years. But... where did these fossils come from? How did they get there? In order to answer these questions we should do an exercise of imagination.

Let´s think on a15 meters long beast with large jaws and sharp teeth that dies and sinks to the bottom of the Tethys Sea in the territories that many years later would integrate Egypt.

Over millions of years sediments build up over his body, layer by layer. Finally, the sea recedes and exposes the seabed which gradually turns into desert.

The wind slowly wears the sandstone and clay is deposited on bones-sandstone and clay that are now part of the soil.

One day, after hundreds of thousands of years, scientists, geologists and paleontologists –like Philip Gingerich- arrive and expose them to the world in an attempt to unravel its mysteries.

When interviewed in Wadi Al-Hitan by National Geographic, Philip Gingerich, while clearing a vertebrae the size of a tree with a brush, commented: "I spend so much time surrounded by aquatic creatures than soon after being here I live in their world. When I look at this desert, I see the ocean." He continues, "Complete specimens like that Basilosaurus are the Rosetta stone" in reference to fossils like those representing the links that clarify the evolution of whales.

He wants to find the key to explain the evolution of whales, their departure to the mainland and back to the sea in its slow evolutionary path. In fact, he has devoted much of his career to explain the metamorphosis of cetaceans-perhaps the most radical of evolutionary metamorphosis of the animal kingdom.
Whales have a common ancestor in a flathead tetrapod (four-legged) that looks like a salamander and originally came out of the sea to those beaches 360 million years ago and then returned to it. His descendants -by migrating to the mainland-improved the functions of their primitive lungs and changed fins for legs, among other adaptations. These mammals would eventually become one of the most successful land animal groups ever known and came to dominate Earth.

The interesting thing is that cetaceans returned from whence they came, evolutionarily, and their body adapted to life at sea again. How they held such a big transformation has puzzled scientists for a long, long time.

At the time, Charles Darwin attempted to explain the enigma, perhaps sensing part of the evolutionary mechanism. In the first edition of The Origin of Species, where he wrote he had observed bears floating for hours in the water with their mouths open eating insects floating on the surface, said: "I see no obstacle to a race of bears becoming, by natural selection, more and more aquatic in their structure and habits, with an increasingly large mouth, to produce a monstrous beast like a whale ". Opponents made so much fun of this image that Darwin removed it from later editions.

In 1977, Gingerich and his team discovered pelvic bones and jokingly attributed them to "walking whales". Back then, the idea of ​​whales walking on all fours seemed ridiculous. Then, with the following findings, the pieces of the puzzle finally fell into place and clearly explained the adaptive changes of these wonderful animals.

Gingerich himself recounted: "The enormous environmental transition of whales began to interest me more and more. Since then, I have devoted all my time to the pursuit of the many transitional forms of that giant leap from land to sea. I want to find them all."
By 1989, the paleontologist found the link between whales and their terrestrial ancestors. He had discovered, in a skeleton of Basilosaurus, the first knee of a whale located in one part of the spine, much lower than he had imagined. This was the first of many similar discoveries. Now he knew what to look for and where.

Much water under the bridge, as they say, and many discoveries and puzzle pieces have fallen into place, discoveries that show us today a very different landscape from that of millions of years ago. 50 million years ago or more, the whales that inhabited the area were very far from being the beautiful and peaceful animals we know today. The huge Ambulocetus, predators of 700 kilos with short legs and enormous, elongated jaws like a furry marine crocodile; or the long-necked, heron-head Dalanistes, might have seemed to us-as Tom Mueller wrote- much more than "ferocious sea monsters."

The journalist at the end of his article says: "Gingerich is still surprised by the fact that some people see a conflict between religion and science. During my last night in Wadi Al-Hitan, we moved slightly away from the camp under a starlit sky. 'I guess I've never been particularly devout, he said, but I consider my work very spiritual. Just imagining the whales who swam here, and thinking about how they lived and died, and how much the world has changed since then, puts you in touch with something much bigger than you, your community or your daily life'. He stretched his arms to embrace the dark horizon and the desert with its sandstone formations sculpted by wind and its countless silent whales. `There is room here for any religion you want.' ".


The location of Eden [16]

16 - Extract from an article published by Fernando Cohnen (16/12/2007) on discoveries made in Gobekli Tepe, Turkey.

Despite how controversial the proposals of the British Egyptologist David M. Rohl are, the fact is that some parables of Genesis bear resemblance to actual events that took place thousands of years ago in the fields around the lakes Van and Urmia, nestled in the "Fertile Crescent", a broad region encompassing southern Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Palestine and Egypt. Rohl relates Eden with rivers that irrigate the area.

The Egyptologist remembers that the Bible´s Paradise is an idyllic garden full of fountains. Interestingly, in the Taurus Mountains, very close to the site of Göbekli Tepe, more than ten rivers rise. "And a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it divided into four heads," says Genesis.

The four primeval rivers were the Pishon, the Gibbon, the Hiddekel -Hebrew name of the Tigris- and the Euphrates. According to Rohl's theory, the true identity of Gibbon and Pishon rivers was revealed by Reginald Walker, a late British scholar who published his findings in 1986. In that region of the world the Aras River flows. But before the Islamic invasion of the eighth century, as Walker discovered, the Aras River was known as the Gaihun, equivalent to the Hebrew Gibbon. Therefore, the current Tigris -ancient Hideken-, along with the Euphrates, the Pishon and Gibbon, makes the fluvial quartet mentioned in Genesis. The inhabitants of their banks now navigate them in shallow-draft boats.

Meanwhile, David Rohl found Victorian dictionaries that refer to this river as Gibbon-Aras. But does this river exist? In his book, Walker says Pishon is simply a derivation from Hebrew Uizon -similar to Pishon-, name of an aquifer that irrigates the lands of the region.

Walker made another discovery. This is the village of Noqdi, which might be the land of Nod, where Cain was exiled after killing Abel. According to Rohl, Noqdi´s location fits perfectly with what is written in Genesis: "And Cain went out from before the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, which is east of Eden."

Using all sources, not just the Bible, the controversial British Egyptologist says that the inhabitants of Paradise migrated to Mesopotamia in the sixth millennium BC and settled in Sumer, where a great culture flourished that led to the invention of writing and the creation of Uruk, considered the first great city of humanity. According to the Bible, the plain of Sumer, south of the city of Zagros, is where Adam's descendants migrated after the flood.

The so-called "path of ceramics" provides evidence of that migration. The earliest pottery appears in the northern Zagros Mountains and is from the seventh millennium BC. The next generation of earthenware is from the sixth millennium and was found south of the Zagros. The first pieces of "modern" pottery, five thousand years old, have been unearthed in Uruk.

David Rohl remembers that some ancient legends collected the same parables and myths as the Bible. For example, a Sumerian legend mentions a heavenly hill, Du-ku, where agriculture was invented. Also, the "Lady of the Mountain" of the Sumerian tradition was the mother of all living beings, the same consideration as the Old Testament gives Eve.

In the Sumerian creation myth, the god Ninhursak disfigured Enki´s (Adam) behavior for eating the forbidden ground of Paradise, a sin that put him on the brink of death. Ninhursak relented and created a goddess called Ninti -the Lady of the rib-

to heal him. The British Egyptologist believes that this was the origin of the biblical Eve.

Rohl also dares to identify the place where Noah's Ark landed after the flood. In his opinion, the incident did not occur on Mount Ararat, but on a mountain called Judi Dagh, south of Lake Van. According to him, the biblical parable must keep some historical truth, given the variety of Mesopotamian references about the terrible floods that devastated the shores of the Tigris and Euphrates in the late fourth millennium BC

In another twist, the British Egyptologist says that the Sumerians were the leading traders in East Africa, being the founders of Pharaonic Egypt, which has sparked criticism from his colleagues, who reject his boldness to rewrite ancient history using biblical sources.

The author
Alberto Canen (Argentina-1962) has devoted over 10 years to the Internet community.

His career began designing databases for colleges and universities.

He was head of the Institute Pueyrredón computer in Mar del Plata.

In 1999 he founded, a website with more than 150,000 pages.

In December 2003 he won the award Premio Pymes Clarín to the best art and culture´s website; he was also the winner of SMEs Clarín 2008.

In addition to his responsibilities as CEO of paginadigital, he teaches advanced web design and positioning in search robots.

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