Out of Africa or Out of Eden: Does Science Contradict the Bi

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Out of Africa or Out of Eden: Does Science Contradict the Bi

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Post by Rich » Wed Feb 27, 2008 11:22 am

Out of Africa or Out of Eden: Does Science Contradict the Bible?

This is a somewhat speculative piece that incorporates the data from some new scientific studies into a biblical creation hypothesis about where the first humans were created. It is potentially falsifiable, but would require significant genetic data from a range of Middle Eastern people groups. I am looking for input on both the scientific feasibility and the theological validity. So, feel free to comment on either or both.

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Re: Out of Africa or Out of Eden: Does Science Contradict the Bi

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Post by Gman » Sun Mar 02, 2008 9:22 pm

Rich wrote:Out of Africa or Out of Eden: Does Science Contradict the Bible?

This is a somewhat speculative piece that incorporates the data from some new scientific studies into a biblical creation hypothesis about where the first humans were created. It is potentially falsifiable, but would require significant genetic data from a range of Middle Eastern people groups. I am looking for input on both the scientific feasibility and the theological validity. So, feel free to comment on either or both.
Rich,

Thanks... This fits nicely with the local flood theory where Noah was instructed by God to replenish the earth after the deluge (Gen. 9:1). As for the archaeological evidence (biblically speaking) I'm not sure if much would be found there if God completely wiped them out or perhaps the evidence was flushed out to the gulf or Saudi Arabia.

This might be somewhat of a stretch, but I've heard that if the Mesopotamian was as lush as the ancients have claimed, then perhaps some of it might have contributed to our oil fields of today. Again this is speculation at best... Then does oil take millions of years to form from organic material? What if compounded with immense heat from the fountains of the deep? I do find it interesting however that some of the worlds greatest reserves still lay there today.

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Re: Out of Africa or Out of Eden: Does Science Contradict the Bi

#3

Post by Cross.eyed » Mon Mar 03, 2008 3:48 am

I saw parts of this on the Discovery Channel just a few years ago and a little more coming from the History Channel in a different type of program (less genetic science-more evolutionary).

After viewing the same programs through reruns, somewhat speculative is a phrase I can't honestly use with the limited info in a total of three hours programming. To me it seemed entirely speculation as there was nothing concerning population diversity from nomadic tribes nor from exploring/commercial ships. I'm sure more has been revealed since then but I haven't seen any major headlines touting their proclamation(s) but then again it would be a slow process of discovery.

As for the four rivers, some geologists think it is likely that one of them dried up(I'm not sure which) citing the surrounding terrain and the possibility of the fourth either by the same fate and/ or wind erosion burying the evidence.

The block in the link you provided shows further ambiguity about the claims that have sofar been made.

Now that you have me thinking about this again, I'll look around and see what else I can find.
I am the wretch the song refers to.

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Re: Out of Africa or Out of Eden: Does Science Contradict the Bi

#4

Post by Gman » Mon Mar 03, 2008 1:09 pm

Cross.eyed wrote:As for the four rivers, some geologists think it is likely that one of them dried up(I'm not sure which) citing the surrounding terrain and the possibility of the fourth either by the same fate and/ or wind erosion burying the evidence.

The block in the link you provided shows further ambiguity about the claims that have sofar been made.

Now that you have me thinking about this again, I'll look around and see what else I can find.
Cross,

I believe you are alluding to the landsat images of that area.
LANDSAT spots a "fossil river"

At this stage in his thesis, Zarins goes back to geography and geology to pinpoint the area of Eden where he believes the collision came to a head. The evidence is beguiling: first, Genesis was written from a Hebrew point of view. It says the Garden was "eastward," i.e., east of Israel. It is quite specific about the rivers. The Tigris and the Euphrates are easy because they still flow. At the time Genesis was written, the Euphrates must have been the major one because it stands identified by name only and without an explanation about what it "compasseth." The Pison can be identified from the Biblical reference to the land of Havilah, which is easily located in the Biblical Table of Nations (Genesis 10:7, 25:18) as relating to localities and people within a Mesopotamian-Arabian framework. Supporting the Biblical evidence of Havilah are geological evidence on the ground and LANDSAT images from space. These images clearly show a "fossil river," that once flowed through northern Arabia and through the now dry beds, which modern Saudis and Kuwaitis know as the Wadi Riniah and the Wadi Batin. Furthermore. as the Bible says, this region was rich in bdellium, an aromatic gum resin that can still be found in north Arabia, and gold, which was still mined in the general area in the 1950s.
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More on that here: //discussions.godandscience.org/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=32856
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Re: Out of Africa or Out of Eden: Does Science Contradict the Bi

#5

Post by Rich » Mon Mar 03, 2008 5:52 pm

I think the oil was there long before Adam arrived. Apparently, there was lots of it before the flood, when Noah coated his boat with some of it (the pitch). The Wadi Al Batin is most likely the dry river, once flowing toward the gulf. Some identify the Kurin River (Iraq and Iran) as the Gihon, but that puts it far away from Cush.

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Re: Out of Africa or Out of Eden: Does Science Contradict the Bi

#6

Post by Gman » Mon Mar 03, 2008 7:23 pm

Rich wrote:I think the oil was there long before Adam arrived. Apparently, there was lots of it before the flood, when Noah coated his boat with some of it (the pitch).
That is most likely the correct answer although I have heard that resin derived from certain plants could also been used for pitch.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resin
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Re: Out of Africa or Out of Eden: Does Science Contradict the Bi

#7

Post by Gman » Mon Mar 03, 2008 8:43 pm

Rich wrote:The Wadi Al Batin is most likely the dry river, once flowing toward the gulf. Some identify the Kurin River (Iraq and Iran) as the Gihon, but that puts it far away from Cush.
Rich,

David Rohl has done some interesting research on the African kingdom of Kush and the works of some well known historians on this very subject. Here is one excerpt from him.
David Rohl wrote:Some scholars looked to their counterparts from the Roman world - the historians and early church fathers such as JOSEPHUS, St. AUGUSTINE and St.JEROME. Even in their time the question of the whereabouts of Eden was a subject for speculation and debate. The Jewish historian, Josephus, identified the 'land of Cush', bordering on Eden with the well-known African kingdom of Kush, south of Egypt. As a result, the first of the four rivers which flowed from Eden - the Gihon (from a root meaning 'to burst forth') - was identified as the river Nile. This seemed to be supported by the fact that both the Ethiopians and the Egyptian COPTS referred to their river as the 'Geion'. However, the renowned nineteenth-century biblical scholar, Friedrich GESENIUS, observed that this name may have itself derived directly from the Alexandrine exposition of the Genesis text. In other words the river was named after the Gihon precisely because of the association of African Kush with biblical Cush. The Christian communities of Africa had done exactly what the early church fathers were now doing in identifying the Nile with the Gihon.

The Hiddekel (Arab. Diglat) and Perath (Arab. Firat) were the two well-known rivers of Mesopotamia which the classical authors knew as the Tigris and Euphrates.

Thus a broad view of the primeval earthly paradise was established with the land of Eden covering a vast expanse stretching from ancient Sumer in the north to the Nile valley in the south. It then became a straightforward assumption to identify the second river of Eden - the Pishon (from a root meaning 'to spread') - with one of the other great rivers of the region - the Indus or the Ganges - which flow through Pakistan and India respectively. Whereas Josephus, Augustine and Jerome conjectured that the Ganges was the biblical Pishon, Gesenius opted for the Indus valley as the location of the biblical land of Havilah. His view was soon supported by the discovery of a high civilization in this region which dated back to early biblical times.

The heart of Eden was therefore identified as the central Levant and, in particular, the Promised Land itself. This was all very convenient with the cross-roads of three faiths - Jerusalem - recognized within the theology of Judaism (and therefore Christianity) as the gateway into paradise on the final Day of Judgment.
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We learn from history that we do not learn from history - Georg Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. -Philippians 4:8

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Re: Out of Africa or Out of Eden: Does Science Contradict the Bi

#8

Post by Rich » Mon Mar 03, 2008 10:22 pm

I also read that Josephus identified the Nile as the Gihon. However, it seems to be flowing in the wrong direction.

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Re: Out of Africa or Out of Eden: Does Science Contradict the Bi

#9

Post by Gman » Tue Mar 04, 2008 1:19 pm

More on the Biblical Cush here.... Again I have no answers for the rivers there.
The rhetorical question "Can the Cushite change his skin?" in Jeremiah 13:23 implies people of a markedly different skin color from the Israelites, probably an African people; also, the Septuagint Greek translation of the Old Testament made by Greek-speaking Jews between ca. 250 BC and 100 BC uniformly translates Cush as "Ethiopia."
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_Cush
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Re: Out of Africa or Out of Eden: Does Science Contradict the Bi

#10

Post by Gman » Wed Mar 05, 2008 11:11 pm

I'm going to toss this info into the mix as well.... I thought it brought up some interesting points.
To prove that the Garden of Eden was on the continent of Africa we must consider these three main points:

First, we must consider the maps of ancient biblical lands. The Bible never mentions once the lands of either England or Germany. However, African nations are mentioned again and again. The Old Testament alone contains over forty references to Ethiopia and over one hundred references to Egypt. Even ancient sources, biblical and non-biblical, mention both Ethiopia and Egypt together long before either country was on any map.

Second, the Bible provides extensive evidence that the earliest people were located in Africa. The Garden of Eden account, found in Genesis 2:8-14, indicates that the first two rivers of Eden were in ancient Cush, the term the Greeks would later transpose as "Aithiops" or Ethiopia, which literally means "burnt face people". Genesis 2:11-12 connects the Pishon River with Havilah, a direct descendant of Cush (Genesis 10:7). The Gihon River is cited in Genesis 2:13 as the second river in Eden surrounding the whole land of Cush/Ethiopia. Clearly, wherever else "Eden" extended at least a part of Eden lay in Africa.

Image

Third, the ancient land of Canaan was but an extension of the African land mass. In biblical times African people frequently migrated from the continent proper through Canaan/Palestine to the east toward the so-called "Fertile Crescent" of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers of ancient Mesopotamia. This helps us to appreciate the term Afro-Asiatic as correctly identifying the mixed stock of people who populated the ancient Near East. Although Europeans (Greeks and Romans) appear in the more recent biblical narratives of the New Testament, the fact remains that the earliest biblical people, at least by modern Western standards of race, would have been Black--they were of African descent and possessed African physical features.

Genesis 2:10-14 clearly identifies the location of four key rivers. The first two rivers are the Pishon and the Gihon, both of which were closely associated with the ancient land the Hebrews called Cush and the Greeks later called Ethiopia. The Hiddikal (Tigris) and the Euphrates are the second pair of rivers, which originate in southeastern Turkey and flow through present-day Syria and Iraq. The Tigris and Euphrates ran parallel through ancient Mesopotamia and comprised much of the area known as the Fertile Crescent. Biblically, it is identified as "the garden planted eastward in Eden." The important thing to note here is that there are two very distinct land areas identified in the naming of these rivers, namely northeastern Africa and the Middle East. However, up until the nineteenth century these two land areas were connected. The completion of the Suez Canal in 1869 introduced a manmade separation that has affected not only the land but its cultural and social fabric as well. World War II correspondents popularized the term "Middle East" for the portion of land separated from the main portion of the African continent. Prior to these events, much of this area was known as northeast Africa or the Near East.

We also see in Genesis that the garden was planted "eastward in Eden" between the Nile and the Euphrates. This means that the whole region, of which this garden was only a part, was called Eden. In Hebrew Eden means "pleasure" or "delight"-in other words "paradise". It stands to reason that if the region from which the biblical Garden of Eden extends was known then as northeast Africa, then no one should have any problem accepting Africa as the cradle of civilization. Eden, "land of pleasure and delight", was a place of special joy to its Creator. In a portion of this delightful place God placed humankind, God's ultimate creation, Adam, made in God's own image and likeness.
Source: //www.oneblood-onerace.org/study.html
The heart cannot rejoice in what the mind rejects as false - Galileo

We learn from history that we do not learn from history - Georg Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. -Philippians 4:8

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