Our journey has taken us back in time to events nearly 200.000 years ago, when the rank-and-file Gods rebelled and mankind was created. But how do these events tie in with the Biblical tale of the Garden of Eden, and what really happened there? Who was the “serpent” that spoke to Eve? What was the fruit which Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge? And why did it then become so important to block their access to the Tree of Life?
In this chapter, we will lift the veil of mythology and cast aside the religious symbolism in order to gain a full scientific understanding of these events. We will start with the location and meaning of Eden. Genesis 2 states that Eden was watered by four rivers. Two of these rivers are named as the Tigris and the Euphrates, leading most scholars to locate the tale of Eden in Mesopotamia. The other two rivers, however, the Pishon and the Gihon appear to have African connections. This has caused Biblical scholars a great deal of confusion for a long time. Could there in fact have been two Edens.
In chapter 5 we saw that the Sumerian name for their Gods. DIN.GIR. literally meant the “Righteous Ones of the Rockets In the Sumerian language E.DIN would therefore literally mean the “Home of the Righteous Ones". There is little doubt that E.DIN and Eden are one and the same. Eden was the abode of the Gods. Having thus identified the meaning of Eden, we would indeed expect there to be more than one abode of the Gods.
In chapter 6, we described the division of the
Earth between the two major groups of Gods, descended from the two
brothers Enlil and Enki. We have identified the Enlilite lands as
Mesopotamia. in the east, and the Enkiite lands in the Lower World
of Africa, in the west. The idea of two Edens enables us to solve
certain inconsistencies which have long been recognized in the
Biblical creation account. For instance, both Genesis and Genesis 5
suggest that male and female were created together by Elohim on the
These texts sit uncomfortably with the account which follows in Genesis 2, when the creation of Eve appears to take place in the eastern Eden. Could this Biblical passage have been recorded out of sequence? Was there in fact an earlier creation of both males and females in the west?
At this point we should recall the Atra-Hasis text (cited in chapter 1), which claimed that fourteen birth Goddesses simultaneously produced seven males and seven females in order to relieve the “toil” of the Gods. And we should also note that all of the Mesopotamian texts attributed the creation of man to Enki, the chief God of the African lands.
Was it thus from the Western Eden of Africa that the Lord God acquired the man, whom he subsequently placed in the Eastern Eden? A text named by Professor Samuel Kramer The Myth of the Pickaxe begins to shed some light on the matter, and identifies the Lord God as Enlil:
The Lord Enlil, whose decisions are unalterable, verily did speed to
separate Heaven from Earth; in the DUR.AN.KI he made a gash, so that
the Created Ones could come up from the
The text makes it clear that there was a
dispute between Enlil and
his brother Enki. Enki wished to keep the exclusive use of the
workers to reduce the toil of the Gods in the African lands, whilst
Enlil felt obligated to ease the toil of the Gods in Mesopotamia.
Thus it was that the Adam came to be taken, by force, and placed in
the Garden of Eden. Against this background we can begin to
understand the ensuing events.
At the ancient Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan (present day Mexico City), the sacred precinct was decorated with the heads of feathered serpents and, in the centre, the entrance to the temple of Quetzalcoatl was guarded by the gaping fangs of a giant serpent. These Aztec serpent designs dominate numerous other sacred sites such as Teotihuacan in Mexico.
The ancient Maya also revered the Feathered Serpent God, this time by the name of Kukulkan. All over Mesoamerica, Aztec, Mayan and Toltec sites were dominated by the serpent motif, which can still be clearly seen to this day. To the east of Mesoamerica, the country of Haiti has legends of the serpent going back to the beginning of creation.
The native voodoo people believe in a God called Damballah Wedo, whose image is the serpent. Damballah Wedo is seen as the Great Serpent, the Creator of the Universe, Heavens and Earth. According to a curious voodoo Flood tradition, the Serpent let go the waters upon the Earth, the Rainbow arose and the Serpent took the rainbow, named Ayida Wedo, as his wife. In North America, too, serpents were a key feature of the native Indians.
symbol dominates the art of the Hohokam Indians at sites such as the
famous Snaketown, Arizona in the south-west USA, dating from c. 400
BC to AD 1200. Meanwhile, in the south-east, an unknown culture left
a huge and mysterious serpent-shaped mound in Ohio.
We should not leave out Iraq, the cradle of civilization. Just north of Mosul, near the town of Sheikh Adi, is the Shrine of the Yezidis, where the serpent symbol is proudly emblazoned on the main door. This site is an important place of pilgrimage for thousands of the nomadic Yezidis. In western eyes they are seen as devil worshippers, but the Yezidis regard the serpent as the most powerful force in the world, the dispenser of good as well as evil.
In Australia, the aboriginal people have carefully preserved legends of the serpent in their so-called “Dreamtime” myths of the Earth’s creation. In the central region of Australia, ancient drawings can be found of the Rainbow Serpent, who created rivers, mountains and people on his legendary journey down from the north coast.’ The numerous examples cited above are hardly examples of satanic worship. If the serpent is satanic, then perhaps the theologians could explain why the serpent is the symbol of medicine and healing to this day.
As one authority notes:
This belief is traceable to the Roman God Aesculapius, the father of medicine and healing, whose marble statue from the Capitoline Museum in Rome (Figure 39) clearly shows the serpent and staff symbol. It would seem that the legend ultimately traces back to the Greek Hermes, who is identified with the Egyptian God Thoth.
However, that God learned everything from his father, Enki, the God who masterminded the genetic creation of mankind. Could all of these serpent tales have evolved independently, or do they have a common source in the Enkiite Gods of Africa? The latter seems the more plausible scenario. In ancient Egypt, for example, there is no doubt that, of the many animals depicted in their art, the serpent was the most auspicious and sacred.
Two serpents were commonly depicted wearing the royal crowns of Upper and Lower Egypt respectively. The pharaohs, too, were often shown with a serpent on the forehead. And, most sacred of all, two serpents were usually depicted flanking the winged disc of Nibiru. In the rival land of Kush, to the south of Egypt, the serpent was equally revered. Kushite and Meroite kings and queens were depicted wearing crowns with the royal emblem of the cobra.
The symbol of the winged serpent is a typical feature on
local pottery. There is no doubt that the ancient African
civilizations were the home of the serpent Gods - the only question
is how and why these Gods first became associated with serpents.
At first glance, it might seem that the Lord God’s curse was extremely effective. Studies of human likes and dislikes of animals show that the snake is the overwhelmingly least popular animal, amassing 27 per cent of the vote, compared to only 9.5 per cent for the spider in second place.
The reason why the snake is so hated appears, however, to have more to do with human psychology than a divine curse. Desmond Morris attributes it to an inborn aversion which has less to do with the danger of being bitten, and more to do with their almost complete lack of anthropomorphic (human-like) features. In view of our innate dislike of snakes, it becomes particularly intriguing why it should have been a sacred symbol for the ancient civilizations.
If we take the Aztec Feathered Serpent, for example, the feather symbolism would seem to represent the Gods’ flight capability. But the origin of the snake itself as a symbol seems to have eluded most writers on the subject. Did the Enkiite Gods have a penchant for wearing snake skins, or did they have an obsession with pet snakes who accompanied them on their travels? These ideas seem far-fetched. Tracking down the origin of the symbol is fraught with difficulty.
Take for example the following extract from a Sumerian poem known as Enki and the World Order, in which Enki himself is the narrator:
This text describes Enki’s return to Earth after the Flood, and the rebuilding of his original house at Eridu. But what does the Snake reference really mean? Does it signify the actual presence of snakes in the marsh, and thus a possible origin of their association with the Enkiite Gods? Or does it simply apply an already existing nickname which had its origin elsewhere?
A major clue lies in the literal meaning of the Hebrew word for the Biblical Serpent - nahash. This term comes from the root NHSH which means “to find things out, to solve secrets", a fitting description of Enki, the chief scientist of the Gods, and of his sons to whom he passed on his knowledge.
Once again, however, we must still question how the snake came to be associated with the Gods of wisdom. The Garden of Eden tale does not provide a convincing answer as to why the serpent symbol was proudly adopted by the Enkiites and the civilizations with which they were connected. On the contrary, there is a much better explanation.
The connection of the serpent symbol with the Enkiite Gods (which as far as I know no-one has yet explained) lies in the African lands. It is so obvious that many writers have commented on it without realizing the significance.
The following quote from the Art and History of Egypt hit me like a lightning bolt !
The effect of the Nile is the same on all who see it. Another writer stated:
The Nile does indeed crawl along the ground, just like a snake, regularly reversing direction (200 miles south at one point) and then rediscovering its northwards route. The significance of this river to Africa cannot be overstated. Today, it flows through ten countries and provides 97 per cent of Egypt’s water.
To the ancient Egyptians. and to their Gods, the Nile meant life, in a land almost totally devoid of rain. The regular annual flooding of the Nile’s banks left behind a highly fertile soil, creating a six mile wide swathe of green through a landscape of total desolation. The words of Herodotus remain true today: “Egypt is a gift of the Nile”.
By recognizing the Nile as the Serpent, we can explain why all the Enkiite Gods, whose domains were in Africa, were associated with the sign of the snake or serpent. In the earliest times, there were no negative connotations of snakes. On the contrary, it was a favourable symbol - of the God Enki who created mankind, of the same God who saved man from the Flood, and of all the Enkiite Gods who possessed advanced scientific knowledge which was bequeathed to man.
We have only the Bible to thank for the association of the serpent with evil. And it now becomes clear that the Garden of Eden story was simply a political putdown by one God of another -based on a dispute which we will shortly examine. It would seem that whatever the serpent-God did to Adam and Eve was a retaliation for the forced raid by Enlil on the African LU.LU workers.
Enraged by this retaliation, Enlil cursed his brother Enki by applying his epithet NHSH “the solver of secrets” to the humble snake, an animal which is naturally detested by man. It was an appropriate choice of animal due to its resemblance to the flowing Nile the latter symbol having already been adopted by the Enkiites.
That the events did
indeed occur in this manner is supported by the juxtaposition of the
Eden story in Genesis 3 to the naming of all the animals by man in
Genesis 2:19-20. In my view, the latter passage appears out of
sequence, and properly belongs with the tale of the cursing of the
serpent in Genesis 3.
Was it always so, or did mankind, too, experience a brief golden age of immortality? The very presence of the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden can be interpreted as showing that man originally had conditional immortality.
This Tree is seen as having the power, bestowed by God its creator, to impart imperishable physical life, for as long as He permitted man to partake of it. By eating the forbidden “fruit”, Adam and Eve gave up their immortality - as the Bible said: “to dust you will return”.
Some religions attribute this penalty to Adam and Eve’s disobedience, but it is more likely a trade-off for their acquisition of sexual knowledge. In any event, to have retained immortality would have resulted symbolically in man continuing to sin forever, thus precluding any possibility of redemption, which is a basic tenet of Christianity.
The blame for man’s loss of immortality, and gaining of sexual knowledge, is ultimately placed on the snake, or serpent-God, that caused Adam and Eve to eat the fruit.
It is a curious coincidence that, from the very beginning of human history, the flesh-and-blood Gods were perceived as immortal beings. The apparent impossibility of immortality has caused most scholars to reject the ancient tales as romanticized myths, but what if we are dealing not with immortality but with extended longevity?
If this was the case, the Gods may well have
appeared to man to be immortal because they aged so slowly.
Immortality would thus have been perceived and not real.
The Canaanite God El, meanwhile, was described as having a grey beard; the Goddess Asherah said to El “thou art great indeed and wise; thy beard’s gray hair instructs thee... wisdom and everlife are thy portion”.
Did the Gods have extended longevity?
Our skeptical twentieth century scientists would get a satisfactory answer to this question only by rediscovering the longevity drug or capturing one of these superbeings and marching him into the laboratory for genetic testing. The first is a possibility, but it would prove nothing. The latter is a most unlikely scenario! The truth is that we would not expect to find any scientific evidence of the Gods’ longevity in a form that could be objectively tested.
On the other hand, we would expect to see a really major impact on the cultural beliefs of the humans who lived alongside these Gods. This is the only testable theory - and it is exactly what we find. From the earliest times of civilization six thousand years ago, humans have been obsessed with immortality and have searched far and wide for a “Land of the Living” or a “Fountain of Eternal Youth”.
Examples include the adventures of the Sumerian
kings Gilgamesh and Amar-Sin in the third millennium BC, the
journeys of Alexander the Great in the fourth century BC and, in
more recent times, the voyages of Columbus.
On the contrary, the evidence suggests that the obsession with immortality was not an abstract phenomenon, but a targeted quest. In the cases of the Sumerian kings, and possibly in the case of Alexander the Great too, they knew the exact physical locations which were associated with the perceived immortality of the Gods.
We saw these locations in The Epic of Gilgamesh (chapter 8), when Gilgamesh travelled to the west - first to the Gods’ platform in Baalbek, and thereafter to the boundary of the Sinai space centre. Meanwhile, on the other side of the Sinai peninsula, the Egyptians located the Land of the Gods in the east. The cultural impact of the Gods’ longevity is best seen in Egypt.
Most people today are fascinated, but confused, by the ancient Egyptians. It is almost as if they had some secret, esoteric knowledge which we cannot quite grasp. By the time the pharaohs came to rule Egypt, their two main Gods Thoth and Ra/Amen were both absent. But the traditions and memories of these Gods, and the legends of their immortality, were still fresh.
These pharaohs were men who were blessed by the Gods with a high level of scientific knowledge, but little comprehension. In life they, like Gilgamesh, were forbidden to enter the Land of the Gods, but in death they imagined their “ka” or spirit-double following the journey of the Gods, via a pyramid, across water and between two mountains to the Duat, from where they would ascend to heaven and everlasting life. It was an emulation of a physical journey undertaken by the God Osiris six thousand years earlier.
Wherever one goes in Egypt, there are obvious marks of a cultural impact which is comparable to the effect of Christianity in the churches and cathedrals of the western world. Whether it be giant obelisks, huge pyramids, temples, statues, tombs or papyrus texts, the entire culture of the early Egyptians is indelibly stamped with the immortality cult of the pharaohs. Is it possible for us to accept some scientific basis for these cultural beliefs? How can we rationalize the possibility that the Gods lived for hundreds of thousands of years?
As tempting as it is to retreat behind our cozy paradigms, let us keep our minds open. Let us imagine for a moment that we genetically capped the life span of all future human offspring at a mere 50 years (though I hasten to add that I am sure there are better ways of cutting the social security budget!). After two generations, the last human centenarians would die off.
The first few generations with artificially capped life spans would initially be perplexed by their own short lives. However. after a hundred or so generations, the reduced life span of 50 years would be regarded as perfectly normal. And - here is my point - any recollection of people living to 120 would then be dismissed as sheer myth!
The 20th century history
books which diligently recorded the lives of our statesmen would be
regarded as the work of liars or imbeciles. Our future ancestors in
the 40th century might even decide to edit the history books to
conform to their accepted norms I hope the point of principle has
been established. It is now time to examine what science has to say
on the subject.
After fertilization, the ovum contained a complete set of chromosomes (the human genome), half from our mother and half from our father. This genome can be compared to a recipe for building the human body. Shortly after fertilization, the building of our bodies began through a process of cell division, which culminated in hundreds of millions of cells - blood cells, bone cells, muscles, flesh, organs and so on - all necessary to make us the complete human beings that we are.
Even into adult life, most of our cells continue to divide. This splitting of one cell into two involves a duplicating of the genetic message (the human genome) which is carried on the 46 chromosomes in every human cell. But instead of an exact duplication, our genetic programme is being gradually eroded by an imperfect copying process.
And, when enough of these mistakes have accumulated in our cells, the effects of ageing become visible. It is these genetic errors (or mutations) that cause the greying of our hair when the pigment cells in the scalp cease to function. Similar factors cause our bones to weaken, our joints to shrink and our spines to curve.
Geneticist Steve Jones describes it as a “biological identity crisis” and explains that our ageing bodies are working from “an imperfect instruction manual, full of printing errors”.?. Professor Rajinder Sohal of the Southern Methodist University in Dallas states that:
So serious is this escalation in the rate of genetic
degradation that, by the time we are 80, a critical one third of our
protein has been damaged.
These mitochondria are the power plants of the cells, and thus of the body, synthesizing oxygen (provided by our red blood cells) and other nutrients to provide energy for the cells’ various functions. Wallace, along with many other eminent scientists, believes that excess oxygen, often referred to as “free radicals”, causes corrosive damage to the cells in the same way as oxygen causes cars to rust and butter to go rancid.
Geneticists believe that our genes have evolved maintenance systems in the form of enzymes, built in to the cells, which specify the repair of damage caused by the free radicals. The primary purpose of these enzymes is to constantly travel up and down the chromosomes, checking and correcting any damage. This process is facilitated by the double-stranded nature of the DNA which forms the chromosome.
The DNA double helix is like a spiral ladder with two twisting siderods linked together by numerous rungs in between. The rungs comprise pairs of the DNA letters - A, G, C and T, such that the sequence down the side-rods spells out the DNA words or instructions. Significantly, the rungs can exist only in the combinations of A/T or C/G. This rule enables the enzymes to proof-read the DNA and repair any missing letters.
The system may not be foolproof, however, in the rare event that opposite pairs are simultaneously damaged! It would appear that the process of cell division must be a key feature of the body’s defense system against the attack from free radicals. At a certain point in time, something in the genes instructs the cell to divide into two and thereby renew its defenses. This involves the simultaneous division of every chromosome within the cell. Ironically, the chromosomes are at their most vulnerable at this time, for the process involves the breakdown of the protecting membrane of the cell nucleus.
Thus exposed, the chromosomes uncoil themselves into straight ladders and divide. The rungs of the ladder are snapped apart, and the two strands of DNA separate. Any damage to the single strands of DNA at this moment, before they form a new partner strand, may be irreparable. However, studies of mutations show that they are much more common in the non-active or junk DNA, suggesting that the cells contain a mechanism that highlights the active genes as the priority target for protection.
Recent research has begun to provide clues as to the exact process of cell ageing. Scientists at the Geron Corporation, whose Board of Advisers includes James Watson (from the famous Watson and Crick partnership that discovered the DNA molecule), believe they may have discovered the biological clock, the mechanism that controls life and death in the cell. It is called a telomere - a repeating DNA sequence found at the tail of every chromosome, and often compared to the protective plastic tip of a shoelace.
Every time a cell divides, and the DNA in the chromosome replicates, this tail grows a little shorter. In a baby it is about 20,000 letters long, whilst in a 60-year old it is less than half this. When the telomere has been reduced to a certain point, the cell stops dividing and enters a stage called senescence.
At this point, the cells and their functions suffer an escalating amount of damage. Human cells divide at different rates, and genes have different mutation rates, for reasons that are not entirely clear to scientists. Certain sequences of DNA bases mutate more often than others and this genetic damage occurs at different rates in different parts of the body. Large genes with more interspersed pieces of DNA are more prone to damage than simpler genes, and, to complicate matters further still, if the genes which specify the self-maintenance system are themselves attacked, the cells will become less effective at repairing the damage, and the speed of deterioration will thus increase.
Ageing is clearly a complex process, with many different body systems going wrong at different times. Two of the most crucial systems are thought to be the brain and the immune system. The brain is unusual in the fact that cell divisions cease at an early stage, followed by a long process of gradual cell deaths. This affects critical faculties such as hearing, sense of smell and memory. The immune system, on the other hand, has (rather curiously) the highest mutation rate of all body cells, and is among the first to fail with age, leaving us susceptible to all manner of diseases.
The combined deterioration of
these two systems is central to the ageing process which ends in
natural death. Some scientists believe that all aspects of ageing
will ultimately be traced to a single gene, named the Methuselah
Gene. The vast majority of scientists, however believe ageing to be
far more complex. Hundreds of genes are generally thought to be
involved, although some may be more crucial than others. In the end,
ageing may come down to just a few dozen critical genes.
Is immortality thus within our reach?
In June 1995, it was announced that scientists had found a longevity gene that could prolong the life of microscopic earthworms by up to 65 per cent. A team led by Tom Johnson of the Institute for Behavioural Genetics at the University of Colorado discovered a gene, which they named “Age-1”, that regulated the worms’ ability to repair their cells.
By experimenting with mutations of this gene, they found that one mutation caused a remarkable improvement in the worms resistance to toxins, temperature fluctuations and ultraviolet radiation. The team believe that this major breakthrough represents the first step towards understanding how cells that degenerate in later life can be repaired.
They hope that, within the next decade, the human
equivalent of Age-1 will be understood, enabling human life to be
prolonged by more than 40 years.
However, Bregman discovered that, by using antibodies, she could block the action of inhibitor chemicals which prevented the nerve cells of rats from growing. In this way, she successfully managed to restore the growth potential which the rats’ cells had when they were young.
Meanwhile, a team of scientists in France, led by Dr Francois Schachter, has been studying the human immune system - identified earlier as a genetic weak link - by a painstaking comparison of French centenarians DNA to a control sample of the general population.
Schachter has already found one gene, named “HLA-DR”,
which is far more prevalent in the centenarian group. Schachter’s
colleague Marie-Laure Muiras is one of many scientists who are
studying ways to reduce the damage caused by free radicals. Muiras
has found in the centenarian group a gene, named “PARP”, which may
be responsible for specifying the DNA repair process. If we could
fully understand this genetic system, we could consider the creation
of genes which specified a super-efficient maintenance system.
Dong Wallace (also mentioned earlier) thinks it may be possible to overcome the effect of the free radicals by assembling a cocktail of chemicals which form a barrier around the cells. Finally, we return to the telomeres, where further research may stand the best chance of a revolutionary breakthrough.
Scientists working for the Geron Corporation are confident that the telomeres are the clocking mechanism that determines the life of the cell. They are also quietly confident that it may be possible to influence the length of a telomere. This would be a dramatic development, with the possibility of preventing the vast majority of genetic copying errors arising in the first place, as well as enabling the restoration of youth to already senescent cells. If we can eliminate the effect of the free radicals, indefinitely extend the number of cell divisions, and possibly even restore growth to nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, what limits would there be to human life?
Even if we were to suffer disfiguring accidents, new breakthroughs in tissue engineering could step in to preserve our bodies.
The solution lies in
another new technology of the late twentieth century - gene therapy.
The basic concept is to introduce corrective genes to cure damaged cells. Almost every illness is due to the improper functioning of one or more genes. Gene therapy would provide a cure by inserting a new gene into the damaged cells; the new gene would take whatever corrective action was necessary.
In cancer patients, for example, it might instruct the production of the protein which would kill off the malignant cells. The challenge for the genetic scientists is to deliver the gene to the right cell location. Research is now focussing on the use of viruses to act as the delivery mechanism.
Due to their innate ability to attack and
invade cells, the virus is the perfect natural carrier. In theory
the virus can be reprogrammed to neutralize the viral infection and
to carry instead a new cargo of corrective genetic material. A team
of British scientists recently announced the use of the herpes virus
to target the central nervous system (including the brain), thus
offering a potential delivery system for the treatment of
Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Expectations from gene therapy
are running high. Up to four thousand illnesses are caused by damage
to a single gene.
The Sunday Times probably struck the right note of realism when it described gene therapy as a:
Although primarily designed for the treatment of illnesses, gene therapy offers the potential delivery mechanism for some of the longevity improvements which we have discussed.
The perfection of this treatment is proceeding alongside the deciphering of the human genome and the search for the entire sequence of longevity gents, with a potential coming together in the early part of the 21st century. In the words of one of the most eminent scientists in the field, Dr Francois Schachter:
Pure Genes of the Gods
However, although the laws of natural selection would statistically favour the development of longevity genes, it is difficult to imagine that the Gods naturally acquired life spans of hundreds of thousands of years. The feasible solution to this puzzle must lie in the artificial mutation of their genes, a process which we ourselves are now beginning to contemplate for the first time.
We are thus at a point in history where we can - for the first time - begin to take seriously the textual evidence that the Gods appeared to be immortal. A strange feature of the Mesopotamian texts dealing with the affairs of the Gods is their preoccupation with having offspring by a half-sister. Under the Gods’ rules of succession, the progeny of such an alliance became the legal heir in preference to the first-born son.
have seen, it was this practice that caused bitter rivalry between
the brothers Enlil and Enki. One text describes the manoeuvres of
Enki in attempting to produce a male heir by his half-sister
Ninharsag. This rule of succession also led to the rivalry between
the Egyptian Gods Osiris and Seth.
Producing offspring from a close relative thus increases the risk of the child receiving two copies of the same recessive. Why then were the Gods not only unconcerned about inbreeding, but positively in favour of it? The answer can only be that the genes of the Gods were pure and contained no harmful imperfections.
Furthermore, we could go so far as to speculate that the genetic improvements in longevity were reserved only for the ruling elite among the Gods. This assumption explains the rather strange meaning of the name of the Babylonian God MAR.DUK - “Son of the Pure Mound” indicating the genetic purity of his father Enki, and in particular those genes associated with longevity.
Our ancestors were unfortunately not aware of the dangers of inbreeding, and continued to emulate the Gods’ practice of marrying half-sisters. Abraham, for instance, boasted that his wife was also his sister, whilst the Egyptian pharaohs and the Inca rulers are also thought to have carried out similar practices. Earlier I recounted examples which showed that the Gods did seem to suffer the effects of ageing.
This idea is further supported by the retirement phase which Enlil and Enki went through when they set up the precessional ages to give the younger Gods the chance to govern. It would thus seem that whatever genetic improvements they had made, there was still an inexorable state of deterioration. If this was the case, then we would expect to find evidence of further attempts to slow down the ageing process - steps above and beyond the original, artificial creation of the genes and their ancestral preservation through incest.
We are talking here of a maintenance system, directly equivalent to the modern fight against free radicals. And that is exactly what we find! It has long been assumed that Egyptian depictions of Gods being served with cups (contents unknown) symbolized their immortality. The ancient artist would hardly bother to commemorate the event if it was not important. The symbolic importance of the cup of immortality is also evident from numerous Mesopotamian tombs, where archaeologists have found bodies lying with the hand holding a cup to the mouth, as if the dead were about to drink.
These burials included various other accoutrements
for day-to-day life, implying an association of the cup with eternal
life in the hereafter. The cultural comparison with Egypt hardly
Such observation may have occurred not necessarily in Egypt but in nearby Mesopotamia, where the kings and high priests lived alongside their Gods. One source of this esoteric knowledge may have been the Sumerian king Gilgamesh.
Tablet X of The Epic of Gilgamesh describes his journey to the land of the Gods, where he meets Utnapishtim (Noah). In Tablet XI, Utnapishtim relates to Gilgamesh the story of the Flood, and then gives to the departing hero a plant called “the old man becomes young”:
Another Sumerian text, dealing with the tale of Adapa - a “Model Man” created by Ea/Enki - describes his trip to Nibiru, the planet of the Gods. Here, we find references to “the water of life” and “the bread of life”.
Finally, there is the Garden of Eden with its
Tree of Life which offered potential immortality to Adam and Eve.
Let us now return to the Garden of Eden, where all of the legends,
ancient texts and depictions join with the latest scientific
evidence to allow, for the first time, a full understanding of this
In the absence of the original Mesopotamian story, it is difficult to know how literally to take the highly symbolized Biblical account. The basic essence of the story, however, is clear - a fruit or drug is forbidden, but then consumed, leading to sexual “knowledge”. In the context of the Bible this “knowledge” is clearly sexual knowledge. Why was sexual knowledge such a dangerous thing for the newly emerging humans to have?
The answer lies in the earliest creation of man before he was placed in the Garden of Eden the Atra-Hasis account of the creation using fourteen birth-Goddesses. In chapter 2, I compared this process to the cloning of a genetically engineered hybrid of Homo erectus and a God.
A common feature of hybrids, whether natural such as the mule or unnatural (in the laboratory), is sterility. Whilst two different species with similar chromosomal structure can produce offspring, the biological process is not sufficiently accurate to specify the special characteristics of the sex cells which permit further procreation by those offspring. It is thus extremely likely that the original combination of Home erectus and God was a sterile hybrid - unless the Gods wished it otherwise.
In chapter 2, I mentioned that humans have 46 chromosomes, whilst chimpanzees and gorillas have 48. This fundamental difference is a mystery to evolutionary science. In the words of geneticist Steve Jones, it is as if “two chromosomes are fused together in the line leading to humans”.
Given the clear signs of sophisticated genetics, it was not
impossible for the Gods to create a hybrid with full sexual
capability. The question is - did Enki wish mankind to have sexual
knowledge? To answer that, we have to revisit the question of why
man was created in the first place.
The Sumerian texts consistently called these earliest beings LU.LU, which also had the connotation of worker or servant. Before Adam acquired sexual knowledge and was expelled from Eden, the Bible speaks of man as “The Adam”. In Genesis 1:26, for example, the Hebrew word for “man” is Adama.
This is derived from the Hebrew words for blood (adamu) and red (adom), and thus means “the red blooded one”. These Biblical references to “The Adam” as a general category carry clear connotations of the earliest LU.LU. What was the required genetic design for these LU.LU?
I would like to save a discussion of the Gods’ “toil” until chapter 14, but suffice to say for now that he had to pick up tools and follow simple instructions. He therefore needed to be strong, obedient and easy to control. Sexual desire would not have been a helpful trait and would thus have been genetically repressed.
Whilst Zecharia Sitchin can largely be credited with providing the breakthrough in our understanding of the LU.LU creation process and its background, he does not explain the need for creation of the woman to work alongside the man. Without wishing to be sexist, the “toil” was hard, even for the Gods!
The answer I believe lies in the reference to Eve in Genesis 2 as “a helper”. As I asked myself how could the woman “help”, the answer became clear. She was intended to relieve the toil, not of the Gods, but of the birth-Goddesses! As mentioned in chapter 1, the creation of Eve took place not from the man’s rib but from his essence - his DNA.
The operation thus involved an adjustment to the 23rd chromosome pair that defines the human sexual characteristics. Males carry a 23rd chromosome which is known as X-y, whilst females carry an X-X. As a hybrid, it is possible that the original male LU.LU may have possessed an X-X-y, a rare condition that exists today in some men and causes them to be sterile.
If this was the case, then woman may have literally been taken out of man, as the Bible claims, by deleting a “y” from the 23rd chromosome! By thus creating a female with maternal (but presumably not sexual) abilities, further females could be cloned to take on the role of receiving implanted cloned eggs to bring forth the required number of cloned males. One further point merits discussion at this juncture.
What life span was Enki to
grant to the newly created workers? If we accept that one half of
the LU.LU’s genes came from a God, then the potential existed to use
the Gods’ longevity to the full. In my view, for reasons which will
become clear in the next chapter, the LU.LU’s longevity was
initially fixed at around 100,000 years.
This must be
so, because there would have been no point in Enki repeating his
original feat of genetic engineering, from scratch, in a second
location. Secondly, mankind’s acquisition of sexual knowledge in
Eden fits perfectly with his original status as a sterile hybrid.
And thirdly, the presence of the Serpent, representing the
scientific genius of the Enkiite Gods, is a stunning detail of
consistency, which suggests that a deliberate genetic change
bestowed sexual knowledge on Adam and Eve.
In my view he did, and here is my theory.
Although he had obtained some male workers by force, Enlil remained powerless to expand his newly acquired labour force to the required numbers. For that he required females. Even if he had also seized some females (who were fewer in number and would have probably been secured inside Enki’s medical facilities), he needed the knowledge of Enki to carry out the cloning procedure.
Thus it was inevitable that Enlil should try to persuade Enki to come to Mesopotamia and grant him an independent genetic laboratory. Enki thus had the opportunity to plan a spiteful trick on Enlil. When he arrived in the eastern Eden, Enki brought with him the necessary equipment and medical staff, and oversaw the construction of a medical centre. Most importantly, he brought a female, or more likely two females, to set up the cloning operation.
When everything was prepared, Enki then suggested (as one would) that he carry out the first two operations to show Enlil how it was done. One male and one female embryo were then implanted into the two female LU.LUs. But little did Enlil realize that Enki had genetically altered these two embryos to give them full sexual awareness and reproductive capabilities! At this point we shall call these two individuals Adam and Eve.
When Adam and Eve began to grow up, they were as children sexually unaware, and would have played innocently in “the Garden”, which more accurately would have been a secure wing of the hospital facility. Then one day the sex genes kicked in (as they do) and the two pubescent children realized that they were naked, and clothed themselves to hide their embarrassment.
They then hid from the Lord God (Enlil) who was walking in the Garden “in the cool of the day” - possibly a reference to the building’s air-conditioning. When Enlil saw Adam and Eve, he immediately realized the genetic trick which had been played on him. The conversations with the Serpent and with the Lord God, which are recorded in Genesis 3, are in my view attempts to impart some fictitious meaning to a text which was beyond the comprehension of those who wrote it.
The Biblical editors
reconstructed the basic plot to carry a symbolic meaning, and that
required the treatment of Adam and Eve as husband” and “wife”,
together with the insertion of a dialogue which never existed.
This explains the very real danger that forced Enlil to expel Adam and Eve from their secure surroundings, into the wilderness where they should fend for themselves. Without the heart to murder the blameless pair, he took the most acceptable option of placing them in a hostile environment where they themselves might survive, but would hopefully never successfully master the unlearned art of independent childbirth.
And in order to prevent unauthorized access to the medical facility and the Tree of Life, Enlil positioned there a “cherubim and a flaming sword" yet another Biblical reference to high technology. Sumerian depictions of the events in Eden suggest that the serpent-God was Enki himself, and that he was temporarily arrested for his unauthorized act.
As for Adam and Eve, the Bible states that they successfully mastered the practice of midwifery, but perhaps with some further Enkiite assistance, for Eve states that “with the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man”. The symbol of the Sumerian Goddess Ninharsag was the umbilical cutter, a reference that may reflect her assistance to Eve as well as her initial role in producing the LU.LU.
The Book of Jubilees relates that, after their expulsion from Eden, Adam and Eve returned to “the land of their creation” i.e. to Africa. The rest, as they say, is history. The political bias of the Gods ensured that mankind received two conflicting accounts of the rights and wrongs of what happened in the Garden of Eden, depending on whether they learned of it from Enkiite or Enlilite sources. The Bible happens to be based on a text that blamed Enki for man’s loss of immortality - a fairly predictable line of criticism from an Enlilite source.
No doubt the
blame attached to Eve also reflects a political or sexist bias at
some remote point in time. Thus it was that LU.LU the hybrid became
Adam the man. As the progenitor of the human race, he was deprived
of the chance to extend his years, but nevertheless managed a
93,000-year life span that might well be an inspiration to our
twentieth century geneticists.