In The Beginning
Mesopotamia. Remember that? The Cradle of Civilization. The Fertile Crescent.
I wonder if they still teach children about Mesopotamia in world history class. I heard the word the summer of 1955 before grade 3 at the Baptist Church in Waynesboro, Georgia, Bible School. It was the first big word I learned to spell.
I doubt children are taught much about Mesopotamia anymore, because those in the know claim it is not the cradle of civilization. That honor now goes to Africa.
Mesopotamia, from the Greek, means between two rivers. The two rivers in reference are the Tigris and the Euphrates. In Genesis, there were two more rivers mentioned; but those have now disappeared, the Pishon and the Gihon. This was the location of the Garden of Eden and the beginning of human civilization, according to the Bible; not according to National Geographic.
Mesopotamia (mostly modern Iraq) included the land of the Chaldeans and the city of Ur, the home of Abraham. In the first book of the Bible, in the beginning, the land spoken of exclusively was Mesopotamia. Adam was created there, Eve was created there; and two thousand years later, Abraham was born there. Man’s first comfort zone was Mesopotamia.
That was the story I learned as a child, so imagine my surprise in the early ‘60s when world history’s human beginnings changed location to Africa. That would mean the Bible was not true.
Atheists and agnostics are a gleeful bunch when they run across information that seems to disprove the Bible, and some are quite verbal and bombastic about any discrepancies. They are eager to point out that the Epic of Gilgamesh pre-dates the writing of the Bible, so the Bible must not be true. Yet the Epic of Gilgamesh story only emphasizes the accuracy of Genesis by mentioning that the beginning of mankind occurred in Mesopotamia, between the Tigris and Euphrates and was the land of the Great Flood.
Within eighteen years following World War II, facts that were outlined in the Bible became more-and-more, mythology. We had believed the Adam and Eve story, the beginning of mankind in Mesopotamia story, the Great Flood story, the Abraham story, only to learn they were fictional.
Suddenly, God did not create mankind, we accidently evolved like magic, an amoeba became a camel. Our institutions of scientific learning and law schools began to endorse and embrace the theories of evolution by mutation and the Big Bang. God did not create the universe, it just happened. God did not create Earth, it just happened. God did not give us oxygen to breathe and water to drink or fruits and vegetables to eat. It just happened.
Well, it hasn’t “just happened” anywhere else in the known universe. The world has spent billions, if not trillions, of dollars trying to discover another Earth where civilization has happened, to no avail. We have not discovered a single amoeba, virus, bacteria, oxygen-nitrogen life sustaining atmosphere, anywhere. We have not discovered a single tomato seedling, cactus plant or palm tree, anywhere. Of course, the universe is a big place; so maybe there is another Earth out there somewhere. The older I get, the more I doubt that life exists elsewhere.
Headline: Oldest human remains outside Africa found in Israeli cave
A January 26, 2018, report on Channel NewsAsia makes the following claim:
WASHINGTON: A partial jawbone bearing seven teeth unearthed in a cave in Israel represents what scientists are calling the oldest-known Homo sapiens remains outside Africa, showing that our species trekked out of that continent far earlier than previously known.
Only, it was not a far earlier event than previously known. The Bible and the Epic of Gilgamesh knew. Their stories claimed that the earliest of mankind migrated from the land of Mesopotamia, to Africa and surrounding lands. So to the believer, finding really old bones in a cave in Israel is not a surprise, it is expected. Whether the age of the bones is correct is debatable and opens up a whole new topic about the length of each day of creation. Dating techniques seem to be pretty accurate, but it is doubtful that what we know as “modern civilized man” is older than 8,000-10,000 years old.
The first towns and villages in Mesopotamia occurred about 7,000 years ago, the beginning of civilized man.
Before the recent discovery in an Israeli cave, the two oldest relics of bones outside Africa also occurred in Israeli caves, one located on Mt. Carmel.
The article claims that this find is another “proof” that the migration of man out of Africa started earlier than expected. It also indicates “proof” that the early migration from Africa went north through Israel and into Mesopotamia. It had been theorized that early man migrated more eastward and through Saudi Arabia.
According to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, all humans belong to the species Homo sapiens and state the following:
During a time of dramatic climate change 200,000 years ago, Homo sapiens evolved in Africa. Like other early humans that were living at this time, they gathered and hunted food, and evolved behaviors that helped them respond to the challenges of survival in unstable environments.
Anatomically, modern humans can generally be characterized by the lighter build of their skeletons compared to earlier humans. Modern humans have very large brains, which vary in size from population to population and between males and females, but the average size is approximately 1300 cubic centimeters. Housing this big brain involved the reorganization of the skull into what is thought of as “modern” — a thin-walled, high vaulted skull with a flat and near vertical forehead. Modern human faces also show much less (if any) of the heavy brow ridges and prognathism of other early humans. Our jaws are also less heavily developed, with smaller teeth.
“Anatomically modern Homo sapiens” references human beings who lived prior to the invention of writing. Even a subspecies has been added, Homo sapien sapiens, to refer to modern man. But what if modern man is not a subspecies but a totally different species?
The first written language was Sumerian, between 3,500-3,000 BC in southern Mesopotamia.
On the sixth day of creation, God made man and said this:
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
I will stick with the story that modern man began in Mesopotamia and migrated southward through what became the land of Canaan and later, Israel, and then to Egypt and other parts of Africa. This discovery seems to make that more plausible.