Where did human life begin? Science and the Bible

Most Bible readers believe that the Garden of Eden was at the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in what we now call the Middle East. Scientists have recently confirmed that the first humans appeared in East Africa. Could scientists be right? Yes, as well as the Bible, if we look again.

In biblical creation stories, the Garden of Eden is the place where four rivers are named: Pishon, Gihon, Tigris, and Euphrates. The first river mentioned, the Pishon, cannot be identified with certainty, but most believe it may be the Ganges. The Bible notes that Gihon is in the “land of Cush” in Northeast Africa, mainly in what was later called Ethiopia. The most interesting thing here is that the first two rivers have little in common with what is today “Mesopotamia” or the land “between two rivers” – the Tigris and the Euphrates. What science has recently established is that humans began in East Africa, thus reinforcing the arguments for the biblical Gihon River.

In other words, today’s science supports the idea that humans began in East Africa and that Gijon is today’s Blue Nile, which originates in Ethiopia and meets the White Nile in Khartoum in present-day Sudan. The origins of the White Nile are in equatorial East Africa – a mystery to the ancients and a major theme in nineteenth-century exploration of Africa. ** The Nile is the longest river on earth (over 4,000 miles), although some claim that Amazon is longer. The Nile is the “largest” river, as it contains about 20% of the fresh water on Earth.

The “secret ingredient” of the Nile (black basalt mud) is delayed during annual floods, which is key to agriculture. Today, 95% of Egypt’s 100 million people live within a few miles of the Nile, prompting confirmation that “Egypt is Neil. ”

Known for its papyrus (source of the word paper), the Nile has produced mats, sails, fabric, cords and more and has sustained life for millennia. The 1970 Aswan Dam can release water where it is most needed, but it has reduced the much-needed “secret ingredient.”

Since 2011, Ethiopians have been building the “Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam” on their Blue Nile, raising problems with Sudan and Egypt, where water is already scarce. The Blue Nile Dam will create a reservoir more than twice the size of the one behind the Hoover Dam in the United States. Many of the issues raised in this part of Africa are close to those in other parts of the world, where comprehensive, joint and sustainable water scarcity agreements are being negotiated. ***

With the two Niall meeting in Khartoum today, could this be the Garden of Eden? Statements from science and the Bible make this a real possibility. Meanwhile, back in the “proverbial ranch” where African language experts discuss such issues, the most sensible of the many suggestions, given what we know today, is that Khartoum is derived from the Nubian word Agartum (“The monastery of Atum”). Atum is the Nubian god of creation !! ****

* Genesis 2: 10-12 for this edition

** David Livingston, Henry Stanley and others may have tried to discover the origins of the Nile. Some French believed that the great estuary in Gabon (equatorial West Africa) would lead to the origin of the Nile. It did not happen, so Count Savorgnan de Braza climbed the Ogou River just below the equator in present-day Gabon – and there was no success.

*** Russell McLendon, “9 Interesting Facts About the Nile”, woodpecker, January 27, 2020

**** From 6000 BC to 3,500, the confluence of the Blue and White Nile took place in an area called Cush in Upper Nubia. Egypt conquered Nubia around 3000 BC for its gold.

Wikipedia is my source for some of the data in the article above.

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