The Other I

August 4, 2010

A Garden of Eden

Filed under: Intriguing Science — theotheri @ 4:36 pm

Once when I was talking about my book, The Big Bang to Now, someone asked me where the Garden of Eden was located.  I didn’t understand the question at first because I think Genesis was never meant to be understood literally, and that Eden is a symbolic place where mankind is in harmony with himself, with God, and with nature.

I answered the question saying that all the evidence is that our species began in Africa.

That is still the case, but some intriguing research now suggests that there actually was a place we might call a Garden of Eden.

A petroglyph typical of those found in the deserts of southwestern USA.  Copyright P.L. Sissons.  See Copyright & Acknowledgements link on the Home page.About 195,000 years ago, an ice age that lasted more than 70,000 years moved over Africa.  Only a strip of land on the southern coast remained habitable, where there was rich land vegetation and abundance of food in the sea.

Along this small strip, it is possible that the human population fell to as few as a hundred people.  The evidence they have left behind shows, among other things, that they heated the blades of their weapons to make them stronger.  In general, they seem to have been capable of a level of abstract thought many researchers thought had not developed until 40,000 years ago.

So they seem to have been much smarter than we thought they were.

Or maybe we’re just not as smart as we thought we were.



  1. I don’t have wonderful new theories about the Garden of Eden, but this particular entry made me realize the perfect use of a blog – any blog. How nice to be able to go back in time, in this case to a person who asked about the location of Eden (The Garden of – ) and hope that this person gets to read the somewhat belated answer. Unanswered questions have a way of coming back to bug you and this is a good way to get them settled.


    Comment by budavar — August 5, 2010 @ 3:22 pm | Reply

    • Thank you for suggesting such a cheerful possibility – I hadn’t thought of this entry as a belated answer. But I think perhaps you are right: the person who asked the question might very well be reading my blog. Though whether she will like my newest answer or not may be debatable. I suspect that her view of the Garden of Eden is a little different from either my symbolic or archaeological one.


      Comment by theotheri — August 5, 2010 @ 8:43 pm | Reply

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