Many years ago, I read this article by Oberon Zell entitled “We Are the Other People”. There were other articles and theories that I have read since then, but it was a very interesting brain-turner for me, and along with many of the other bits and bobs of wisdom and truth that have come along, I developed a theory about our evolution as humans. (I also admit, right up front, that Heinlein and Sagan both had a lot to do with this.)
Here’s my disclaimer: I do not “believe” this as fact, truth or otherwise. It’s an interesting theory, based in historical and apocryphal evidence, and it both posits and answers a number of questions (theoretically). It is not a hypothesis because I do not have the means to experiment, prove or disprove it – although maybe someone else with more resources may one day accomplish that. (I do have some ideas on how to go about that experimentation, but that’s another story.) (Also, forgive me for not using more references to other theories and articles, I’m not willing to spend my whole day utilizing my mad leet Google-fu. Trust me, it’s out there.)
In order to follow along, there are certain assumptions that must be accepted as “true”. First is that the story of Genesis is, at least in part, historically accurate. The second assumption is that our archaeological records are also accurate. The third part is that we are not alone in the universe. Ready, set, go!
So, here’s the story of Genesis, told from a different point of view:
Here’s this small blue-green planet, and roughly 150,000 to 175,000 years ago, bipeds evolved and started developing their brain meat. They plodded along the natural path of progression, adapting to their environment, building clans, then tribes, then communities, and always learning about their environment. They developed ideas and thoughts and beliefs about their environment, they witnessed certain events that inspired them to create god-images and accept the presence of spirits in all things (animism), but for the most part, their lives were self-contained and properly taken up with the very important task of survival. They farmed, they raised flocks of animals for food, they lived. The average life span according to archaeological data for around 6,000 years ago was between 40 and 70 years old, depending on various factors such as climate, diet and political relationships with other tribes and communities.
About 5,700 years ago or so (as the time-crow flies), along comes this group of beings that these ancient people recognized as “gods”. (I use the word “recognized” here to mean “this is what they identified them as”, not as “this is what their true nature was”.) They were various genders (the word Elohim is a masculine-feminine-plural), and they were checking out the locals. They find these little homo sapiens fascinating, and for whatever reason, they decide to intervene.
They take a DNA sample from a burial mound, let’s say (so some other “earth” source), and they realize that there is a huge amount of mixed up genes in there. The recessives are impressive, but the dominants are strong, too. They have the ability (technology?) to clean up the genetic code and create a genetically perfect homo sapien – Adam – without any kind of genetic recessive at all. There is no preference in the genes for illness, cancer, mental deficiency: it’s all as clear as it could possibly be.
From Adam, they clone Eve. Why? Why not go along with all the other creation mythologies and start with woman, the natural symbol of life-giving? Because you can’t clone a man from a woman. A male carries both the X and the Y chromosome necessary for determining gender while females only carry a pair of X chromosomes. You can’t get blood from a turnip, and you can’t clone a man from a woman. Adam has to come first, and he does, and these celestial tinkerers create a copy of him so that this new cleaned-up H. sapien can breed with someone that has everything in common genetically.
Yahweh – a moniker that translates into “I am that I am” – is charged with the day-to-day maintenance of these two little petri-dish results. He teaches them how to eat, and they have no need for things like clothes or shelter because they are kept in a controlled environment. However, after a period of time, Yahweh actually fulfills his actual purpose, to live up to his name by teaching and assisting Adam and Eve in accomplishing self-awareness.
This is not the self-awareness that children have when they discover that they have fingers and toes and all kinds of other fascinating things that can be shoved into their mouths. Rather, this is the self-awareness that comes from understanding not only that actions have consequences (existence of “good” and “evil”, if you will, though I am not prone to use such judgment terms myself) but also that they have a choice in determining those consequences by choosing their actions.
(There is the possibility here that the original story may also tell about a little inter-laboratory politics, that maybe Yahweh wasn’t living up to his tasks, and so one of his counterparts, referred to as the Serpent, the symbol of wisdom in other cultures, took it upon himself to provide a forced upgrade on the two H. sapiens through the symbol of the Mac apple.)
The time is ripe, and they are released back into the wild.