So, as a brief recap, the theory goes that Adam and Eve were a genetic engineering experiment, and that their perfect genes were passed along through their children and down the generations, etc.
The main point of a theory in the first place is to speculate on the true nature of the universe, sure, but it’s also to attempt to answer some fundamental questions about the nature of our individual lives.
Let’s play along for a bit:
If we assume that the original Adam and Eve were truly in the Tigris-Euphrates Valley of Mesopotamia, then it stands to reason that somewhere in those indigenous peoples would be some kind of shared genetic marker to a mitochondrial Eve that would only go back about 6,000 years, give or take. (To understand more about the topic of mitochondrial Eves, check out The Seven Daughters of Eve: The Science That Reveals Our Genetic Ancestry. It’s surprisingly readable by lay-folk.)
The practical implication is that we have within us the capacity to live for extremely long periods of time without illness. Our DNA may or may not be prone to that – after all, it’s been a few thousand years since the last of Adam’s brood started pushing up the daisies – and there have been thousands if not millions of opportunities for world-wide genetic drift from the influence of environmental changes, toxins, pollution, cosmic radiation, etc. The statement of “not prone to” a genetically perfect state, however, does not negate the possibility of improving on what we’ve got and having a benchmark by which we can measure our success.
My time has not allowed me to investigate the possibilities of other similar “experiments” in other parts of the world, but I suspect that I will find them here and there, couched in the same cloud of mythology and parable.
Now, back to Oberon Zell’s opinion that “we are the other people“, I have always appreciated his point of view that as a quality of not being directly of Middle Eastern descent, he is not “like” those other folks and therefore is not required to follow the same moralistic nonsense of social taboos and which half of a lamb to sacrifice to TheOneTrueGod. At the same time, by entertaining the Laws and Edicts given to these Middle Eastern peoples, we’re noticing that there’s a great deal of pretty practical health advice in there.
Could it be that some of the Mosaic laws (passed down from Jehovah, yet another incarnation of this Elohim character) were really more of a slightly delayed “care and feeding of your genetic condition”? Kosher food – assuming that it’s done by the books – is really a lot healthier, has less fat, fewer toxins, much better energy, and… okay, I admit, not necessarily as tasty as the stuff peddled off the grocery shelves like so much crack-cocaine, but it’s better for you, and without the additional Mosaic neuroses, it can be made to be pretty satisfying, taste-wise.
I mean, there is some scientific wisdom demonstrated in various aspects of the mitzvot (loosely translated as “commandments”). For instance, there is a mitzvot that says that newborn boys are to be circumcised only on the eighth day after birth – and that is the time when Vitamin K is at the highest level it will ever be in the body. Vitamin K is the substance that your body requires to clot the blood and thus heal wounds. Another mitzvot is to “not tear the skin in mourning”, which I could see as a medical admonition since the body has a harder time healing from injury when it is under stress or depresses, and in that same state, you’re far more likely to cause more serious damage to yourself.
And then there’s the bit about taking a day of rest every week. Frankly, for people like yours truly, that’s really, really good advice, because if I didn’t consciously think about it, I really would work seven days a week. There’s the periodic fasting – sometimes for a day, sometimes for a week – and that’s a really good thing for releasing toxins, purifying the system, and letting any healing energies do what they need to do without interference. There’s the whole cooking meat and milk together, and not eating new grain before Passover, and making sure that the first three years of fruit from orchard trees aren’t eaten…
(Frankly, I also dig the whole automatic prenuptial agreement thing, too. That’s just downright clever.)
I am only discussing the Judaic principles here because that is the original story. Sure, Christianity and later Islam is based in the same mythology, but that’s not the story of the descendants of Adam and Ever (or Abraham, who we should reasonably assume was also descended from them directly). Their story was a family history that was passed along through generations of the clan before getting passed along through generations of the tribe, and then the town, etc. This is what makes this story more important for the theory than any other.
More on this tomorrow.