RE: [asa] New Evidence for Two Human Origins

From: Dick Fischer <dickfischer@verizon.net>
Date: Thu Oct 04 2007 - 11:32:08 EDT

The historical evidence matches up somewhat with the idea that
long-lived Semites or Adamites lived alongside short-lived Sumerians.
The Sumerian Kinglist is actually not one list but a number of lists
found in excavated cities that all are quite similar. There are
variations, transpositions, etc., but all show a Sumerian base 60 or 60
sguared with extraordinary long years(?) as a result. There is no
distinction between Sumerian kings and Adamite kings, but also the SKL
records years of reign not years lived. Who knows how long Adamite
(pre-flood Semite), Alalgar (the 2nd king) lived after the Sumerian king
from Badtabira successfully warred against him at Eridu?

 

The eleventh tablet of Gilgamesh weighs in on the side of Noah
(Utnapishtim) being long-lived versus the Sumerian king Gilgamesh who
was expecting to die within a more normal time span. That's the reason
Gilgamesh sought him out. The eleventh tablet is the only one written
in Akkadian, all other tablets are in Sumerian. So likely an Akkadian
scribe drew together two of the icons of his age and concocted a story
of their meeting that pulled in some of the elements known about both
men.

 

What I find especially intriguing is Gilgamesh's opening remarks that
parallel what we know about Noah from Genesis:

 

"As I look upon thee, Utnapishtim,

Thy features are not strange at all; even as I art thou

My heart had regarded thee as resolved to do battle,

[Yet] thou liest indolent upon thy back!

[Tell me,] how joinst thou the Assembly of the gods,

In thy quest of life?"

 

Utnapishtim means "he who found long life" in Akkadian and "Ziusudra"
has the same meaning in Sumerian. Also the impact on the world could
have come about partially at least due to the longevity of Noah's
descendants. At least one Assyrian king described Assur (Gen' 10:11) as
a "god."

 

The trend of long-lived patriarchs living shorter and shorter lives
continued long after the flood, even Joshua lived to 110, and none of
the numbering schemes that have been devised to resolve the conflict
with the ages of the pre-flood patriarchs take that into account.
Whatever devise may work from Adam to Noah breaks down after that.

 

Dick Fischer

Dick Fischer, Genesis Proclaimed Association

Finding Harmony in Bible, Science, and History

 <http://www.genesisproclaimed.org/> www.genesisproclaimed.org

 

-----Original Message-----
From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On
Behalf Of philtill@aol.com
Sent: Wednesday, October 03, 2007 6:35 PM
To: hrc54@alltel.net; grayt@lamar.colostate.edu
Cc: asa@calvin.edu
Subject: Re: [asa] New Evidence for Two Human Origins

 

My two cents -- a contrary view:

I haven't read this book, but the "exponential decay of lifespans"
argument has been made by others. I don't find it compelling because a
comparison with Sumerian long-lifespans reveals some similar
characteristics that can be better explained non-biologically. The
Sumerian Kings List (SKL) shows that there was a compiling of lists from
multiple sources, and that the need to translate of numerals from the
different systems used throughout mesopotamian history was not
recognized by the compiler, and so they were slapped together producing
some tell-tale numeric indications of this process. The lengths of the
kings' reigns from each source have their own distinct mean and standard
deviation. These appear as definite step-changes from one city-state's
data to another. Examining the biblical lists in detail, we see that
they are not really a step function, but instead have step-functions
just like the SKL data. Furthermore, they have some other interesting
numeric features. The biblical list pre-Flood avoid using 6 out of the
10 base-10 numerals in the lowest digit. This is also an indicator of
mistranslating number systems.

So personally I think the strongest thesis that is consistent with a
conservative theology is that the original text, brought by Abraham from
Mesopotamia in cuneiform and faithfully reproduced by Moses when he
wrote the Pentateuch in the newly invented Hebrew script, contained an
amalgam of numeral systems from that ancient period. Later, when the
Jews standardized their own number system and converted the numerals to
spelled-out Hebrew words (in order to prevent future mistranslation of
numerals), or possibly sometime earlier, these original Mesopotamian
numerals were no longer understood. And so the scholars did they best
they could to translate them. From this period we find not one but three
traditions, the Masoretic, the LXX, and the Samaritan, each with their
own interpretation of the numbers. For these three traditions to exist
from that time period, it is most likely that the mistranslation
occurred somewhere during the Babylonian captivity or s hortly after the
Restoration, but probably prior to the time of the Abomination under
Antiochus Epiphanes, by which time the Masoretic was fixed as the
official Judean translation. I can't prove these conclusions, but they
are the feel that I have for it. I'm sure a Jewish scholar of these
texts could do much better than this.

So i see no support for a second creation of mankind in these numbers.

There was a time when I felt the need to reconcile a neolithic Adam
(Adam 2?) with a universal Adam as progenitor of all mankind (Adam 1).
At that time I came up with "the craziest theory" of Adam. The craziest
theory says that Adam in the neolithic had a descendant Enoch who was
taken as the Scripture hints, but not to heaven -- to the past in
Ethiopia, from which he became the anscestor of all mankind. Thus, the
Adam of mesopotamia in the neolithic was also the biological father of
us all. How's that for a crazy attempt at concordance! Needless to
say, I never actually committed to believing such a crazy idea, but I
found it to be interesting.

Instead, I came to the conclusion that there is a huge gap in the
geneologies right at the very spot, in the very location where you would
expect history to become fuzzy. That gap is between the literaral Seth
of semitic history and the Adam who is pre-historica and presented in
Scripture as the father of us all. There may have been a literal father
of Seth named Adam, and the Semitic accounts brought from mesopotamia
reflect him backwards in time to represent the founder of all humanity,
placing him as a literary technique into the garden, etc., although the
actual direct father of Seth probably was known only as a name and had
no such literal history. This is not to say that the garden account is
non-literal (nor to say that it is), but only that we need not be forced
to interpret the account either way. I think it is most likely that the
Adam of Genesis 1 and 2 was a direct inspiration of God, built upon a
name who was the actual father of Seth, but who represented far more
than the actual father of Seth.

this, IMO, is more sensitive to the methods of literature from that age
and is more likely to be true than to say there were two origins of
humanity.

God bless,
Phil

-----Original Message-----
From: Mountainwoman <hrc54@alltel.net>
To: grayt@lamar.colostate.edu
Cc: asa@calvin.edu
Sent: Wed, 3 Oct 2007 5:13 pm
Subject: Re: [asa] New Evidence for Two Human Origins

Terry,

 

Re your "What exactly is the evidence?," Gary Mayer's book doesn't
really go into biological evidence for long life spans. His book covers
in great detail how closely calculated potential life spans match the
life spans recorded in the Genesis genealogies, and in how a dual origin
thesis fits the Genesis narrative.

 

Possible explanations of long life are discussed in "New Discoveries in
the Biochemistry of Aging Support the Biblical Record," by Fazale R.
Rana, Hugh Ross and Richard Deem, available online at
http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/longlife.html and in other
places.

 

I have no expertise in biology or biochemistry, so that is all I can
offer.

 

Paul Bruggink (ASA Member)

Clarington, PA

 

 

 

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Received on Thu Oct 4 11:36:53 2007

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