One thing that distinguishes man from other life forms is his ability to ponder his own existence. More fascinating perhaps even than that is man’s innate ability to evolve. A little thing called DNA is the reason.

DNA is a miracle of life. Yes, a miracle. Of course, evolutionists will say that it is the by-product of some random cosmic accident and deists will say that it is proof of God. So, who is right?  In any event, one thing that I’m pretty sure of is that with respect to our view of creation… DNA is a real game changer. Let’s check it out.

What makes DNA so unique is that without it life as we know it would not exist. It’s capabilities are otherworldly, beyond anything that science fiction could have ever imagined. One way to think of DNA is that it is a digital communication and storage system which incorporates language. However, even that grossly over-simplifies its capabilities.

Think of it – sitting in the nucleus of every cell is an extremely sophisticated and high-powered software program which contains a unique set of instructions for how the human genome works. It provides for billions of those instructions per second in the process of directing the body’s 100 trillion cells. The topper is that DNA is self-organizing, self-directing and self-replicating. Yes, all by itself. Only something that is very intelligent can do that.

How intelligent? Well, consider that DNA’s information systems is more complex than anything ever devised by man, using algorithms far beyond anything in a supercomputer. Even Bill Gates can attest to that. In addition, the language of DNA, which is in the form of a four-character code, is composed of some 3 billion genetic letters. Yes, a language with three billion letters. That’s what makes it possible for DNA to determine all life on earth. Now, that’s real intelligence for you.

Science has recently discovered that the human genome contains genes that do not have the required predecessors on the genomic evolutionary tree. That is, DNA can be changed through what geneticists call horizontal gene transfer; no natural selection is required. Of course, I can already hear the deists congratulating themselves and the atheists asserting that this doesn’t prove that God exists. However, I wonder… what if they are both wrong?

 

Epilogue

In the late twentieth century, Antony Flew was one of the world’s most renowned atheists.  He was originally a proponent of the theory of evolution, but he eventually changed his views  stating that, “Super-intelligence is the only good explanation for the origin of life and the complexity of nature.” Now, that’s what I call an intelligent view of creation.

 

 

 

 

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I was visiting Israel recently and while driving around I was thrown off by their street and highway signs. The street signs, you see, are in Hebrew, English…and Arabic!  I wondered, why Arabic?  Well, it turns out that Arabic is an official national language of Israel (along with Hebrew naturally) and that’s why the street signs are also in Arabic.

Show of hands.  How many people already knew that Arabic was an official national language of Israel.  No one, of course.

That got me to thinking.  What else didn’t I know about Arabs in Israel.  Turns out that I didn’t know very much.  Here’s a short list:

  • The Arab population in Israel is approximately 1.7 million, which is more than 20% of the country’s total population. One in five Israelis are Arab!
  • Arab citizens are granted the same rights as Jewish citizens under law.  They are, in fact, Israeli citizens.
  • Arabs are allowed to serve in the Israeli military (although service is not mandatory).
  • Arabs have political representation in the Israeli Knesset and currently hold 17 of its 120 seats.  There currently is even an Arab serving as a justice on the Israeli Supreme Court.

During my stay in Israel, I also noticed a number of other somewhat unusual things, at least from my perspective:

  • While shopping, I noticed that some of the shop owners were actually Arabs.
  • I saw an Arab woman jogging on the beach boardwalk (in jogging gear and headphones no less).
  • In the malls, I repeatedly ran into Arab women shopping without their husbands, sometimes attired in blue jeans (of all things).
  • Arabs from other countries come to Israel for medical care – even the King of Jordan, so I am told.

All of which made me question what an Israeli really is. There are over 1 million Russians that came to Israel in the 1990s. The current immigrant wave is from France and when you walk the streets in some cities you see large numbers of Anglo-Saxon looking people.  It’s very multi-cultural…

and, then, there’s the Israeli Arabs.

Turns out that Israeli Arabs enjoy more civil rights than Arabs living in any other Middle Eastern country. In fact, a study by the Harvard Kennedy School found that 77% of Israeli Arabs would rather live in Israel than in any other country.

So, street signs, blue jeans and headphones.  It sort of tells you something about the new reality of Israeli Arabs.

My most recent post, A Man From The Lord, seemingly raised as many questions as it answered. That’s actually as it should be, or as Bernard Werber succinctly put it, “The point is not to
 believe or not believe.
 What matters is to ask 
as many questions as possible.” So, at the risk of having you ask more questions, here’s a little clarification on that post.

If we’re going to be intellectually honest about quoting from the Bible, we have to closely examine what the Bible is truly saying. We also have to look at what the Bible omits, but which can be found in other ancient texts. For that matter, we have to see if the Bible is actually based on older sources. With that in mind, who was “The Man From The Lord?”

New discoveries in science are actually throwing new light on certain Bible stories. The genealogy of the so-called First Man is a case in point. That’s why I cited the DNA study from the Harvard Medical School. What science and the Bible apparently agree upon, is that an extraterrestrial species mated with ancient man. What you believe with respect to that extraterrestrial species is entirely up to you, be that it’s God, angels or perhaps some other form of extraterrestrial.

The interesting thing about this story is that it is mostly ignored, probably intentionally so, in the Bible whereas other ancient texts have a lot more to say about it. For example, in ancient times the Book of Enoch was a highly revered text. It’s even referred to in the Bible itself. The Book of Enoch, which was the basis for the Movie Noah, has the most detailed description of the mating between the sons of God and the daughters of man of any text that I know of.

So, you have to ask yourself why this ancient text was left out of the Bible. Well, it’s plainly obvious, at least to me, that this text muddies the water with respect to the traditional definition of God and even the very reason for the Flood. By saying this, I’m not opining one way or another on the validity of the story itself but rather I’m making a comment that Church dogma does not consider the implications of God and/or the sons of God mating with humans. They indirectly dismiss the event by saying that Noah, and his family, were the only survivors of the Flood.  How convenient.

If you want the true story (on anything), you have to go to the source. The Talmud states that some Genesis passages were taken from tradition (in other words older belief systems) or older writings. If you have been following my posts, you may even recall the names of a couple of texts (older writings) that I previously mentioned. The point is that the Genesis story isn’t even an original story and if you can’t believe Genesis then what part of the Bible can you believe?

So, what have we really learned? Well, for one thing, it might be instructive to consider that every truth seemingly has a greater truth. In part, maybe that’s because the “truth” is simply just a personal perspective of a believer.

In any event, getting answers to your questions is not a requirement of an intellectual discourse. It’s only necessary that you keep an open mind and consider the possibilities. I don’t pretend to have all the answers, anyway. I’m just a mirror that could possibly cause you to look at yourself and examine who you really are and what you believe in.

 

“Every conscious thought you have, every moment you spend on an idea, is a commitment to be stuck with that idea and with aspects of that level of thinking, for the rest of your life.”

     – Kevin Michel, Moving Through Parallel Worlds To Achieve Your Dreams

 

In the Bible, Eve gives birth to Cain and says, “…I have gotten a man from the Lord” (Genesis 4:1).  However, it doesn’t mean exactly what you think or were told that it meant. So, let’s try and break it down.

 

What the Bible doesn’t say

The common way to refer to a man and a woman starting a family is to say that, after getting married, they had a child together. With respect to Adam and Eve, the Bible got the first part right, more or less, but what about the part where they celebrated the birth of their first child? In this case, the child (Cain) was supposedly the first human child ever. Yes, the first ever. What does the Bible say about such a momentous event?  The answer – nothing.

The only reference to the birth of Cain is that Eve said, “I have gotten a man from the Lord.” That’s it! There was not even as much as a hallelujah, no congratulations from God and certainly no three wise men. How is that even possible? We’re talking about the conception and birth of the first human child! What is it that the Bible forgot to mention?

 

What Eve didn’t say

What Eve never says is that she and Adam had a son together. Again, all she says is that, “I have gotten a man from the Lord.” Now, right here, some of you are probably saying that I’m splitting hairs. However, in Genesis 5:1-5 , it says, “This is the written account of Adam’s family line…When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth. After Seth was born, Adam lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters.” So, Cain is not mentioned at all as part of Adam’s family tree. Perhaps, now you can see how the words “from the Lord” might reflect the truth about what actually happened.

 

What it says in other ancient texts

“Early Jewish Midrashic texts and gnostic literature talk about two separate bloodlines (different genetic backgrounds) that sprang out of Eve, including an evil bloodline down through Cain which some refer to as the Serpent Seed.  The reason that this bloodline was considered evil was that Cain’s father was said to have been the evil Ialdabaoth himself….” – The Ethical Warrior, The Origins of Evil

That agrees with the Apocryphon of John which states that Eve was seduced by the supreme deity, Ialdabaoth, who fathered two sons with her. Then there is the Gospel of Philip which says, “And (Cain) was begotten in adultery, (for) he was the son of the serpent.” Ancient Jewish esoteric teachings such as the Zohar, and even the Talmud itself, are very informative on this issue and state that Cain was, in fact, the son of an angel of the Lord by the name of Samael. Then, there is the Aramaic Bible (which is written in the language of Jesus and his disciples). It translates Genesis 4:1 thusly, “ And Adam knew that his wife Eve had conceived from Sammael the Angel and she became pregnant and bore Cain. And he was like those on high and not like those below. And she said: ‘ I have got a man from the angel of the LORD ’”

Pretty explicit stuff, right?

 

What the Bible does say

The Bible intentionally waters down those accounts.  One might actually consider it lying by omission. However, a few remnants do remain of the true story, such as:

  • “Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother” (1 John 3:12).
  • “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him “ (Gospel of John 8:44).

So, the Bible says that Cain’s father was the evil one and, according to Jesus, the Pharisees were descended from the devil (through Cain, “the murderer from the beginning”).

 

What does it all mean?

In ancient times, it was not uncommon for people to believe that the gods mated with humans; for example, the stories from Greek, Norse and Mesopotamian mythology. In the Bible, itself, Genesis 6:2-4 says that, “The sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves… when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them….” So, the Elohim (the Hebrew word for God in the Bible) spawned the “bene ha’elohim” (the sons of God). They both mated with humans. As for Samael (see above), he mated with Eve resulting in the birth of Cain.

Truth be told, though, Cain’s father wasn’t a god, or even an angel for that matter.

 

Epilogue

A recent DNA study from the Harvard Medical School, in collaboration with the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, found that ancient man had sex with an unknown species which was neither human nor Neanderthal.  Yes, an unknown species. That’s a politically correct way of saying that the species was probably extraterrestrial in nature.  Yet, anyone who has read the Book of Enoch knows about man mating with the gods. It’s a dirty little secret that you’re not suppose to know about…but, of course, now you know.

“Satan is the cause of the fall by intercourse with Eve which resulted in Cain being the offspring of Eve.”

                   – Let Us Reason Ministries, a Christian website

So, I’m still looking for an explanation as to why the vast majority of atheists specifically reject the Christian god, but rarely the gods of other religions. I refer to these people as Christian atheists. Yes, it seems like a very strange designation, but let me explain.

As a follow-up to my original survey on the topic, I have had further discussion with some of the participants in that survey (see my post Who’s the Real Atheist?) to try to understand what was behind the survey numbers.  Some helpful data also came from the website of Atheist Alliance International which has information on some 275,000 atheists worldwide, including the following:

  • The vast majority of atheists used to be Christians.
  • Less than 20% of atheists had a religious background other than Christianity.
  • Only about 5% of atheists had a religious background other than the Abrahamic faiths.

It appears that the vast majority of atheists, especially those in western civilization, were Christians when they were children since that was the religion of their parents. Over time, they developed different belief systems separate and apart from their parents. For some, their experience within Christianity played a role in shaping their opinion about the existence of a creator god; in this case, their negative experience helped to shape their world view that a creator god did not exist.  Eventually, they left Christianity and from then on considered themselves to be atheists. Thus, my reference to them as Christian atheists.

Aside: I was a bit surprised to learn this, although in retrospect it closely follows my own personal religious experience.

Interestingly enough, Christian atheists all claim to have rejected God, however, the only religious experience/concept that they have had in their life was that of a Christian god, at a time when they, themselves, were Christians. They were taught, as most Christians were, to believe that the Christian god was the Creator who was responsible for all life. He(God) was the one and only god. There were no others.

However, atheism, by definition, is the rejection of any sort of god.  The thing is that there are  4,200 religions in the world, most of which have creator gods. Yes, 4,200. Having rejected the Christian god (the one and only god), Christian atheists apparently don’t seem to feel that it’s even necessary to learn about any other possible gods, or consider them at all for that matter. Only the Christian god is relevant and they have already rejected him.

The reason why I find this phenomena more than a bit curious is that if a blind man says that he sees nothing, he is obviously speaking the truth.  However, if he says that there is nothing to see… well, that’s a horse of a different color.  So, when the Christian atheist says that there is no creator god to be found anywhere, I compare him to the blind man who says that there is nothing to see.  The problem is, how would you know unless you looked.  

And that’s why I call them Christian atheists… simply because they have really only rejected the Christian concept of a creator god… as if Christianity has a monopoly on God.

 

Epilogue

All the bickering and name calling between atheists and Christianity has all the earmarks of an internecine feud, in many respects between certain Christians and certain former Christians. Some of the comments about Christianity actually feel more like an attack on Christianity, itself, rather than a referendum on a creator god. Maybe, that explains why Christian atheists can’t stand Christianity, since they were once Christians themselves.

 

“When I was a kid I had an imaginary friend and I used to think that he went everywhere with me, and that I could talk to him and that he could hear me, and that he could grant me wishes and stuff. And then I grew up, and I stopped going to church.”   – Jimmy Carr

Who is Sharbat?

12/08/2015

Do you remember Sharbat Gula (see picture)? She’s the Afghan girl who became somewhat famous as the poster child of the Soviet 1984 occupation of Afghanistan. When this picture images
was published in 1984, most people were mesmerized by her beautiful eyes and never stopped to give a second thought as to exactly what they were looking at. Her face is angular (a Nordic skull) and her eyes are light-colored. In short, she’s Caucasian.

Yes, Caucasian and, yes, she has dark skin. This is the result of thousands of years of inter-racial mixing of the species.  Besides, Caucasians today should be defined primarily by their skull type, and not by their skin color which can range from white to brown.

Caucasians are said to have originated in the Caucasus Mountains north of Turkey and today live in such diverse places as the western part of China, eastern Asia, the Middle East, Europe and, of course, North America; and let’s not forget North Africa either. Here’s a photo album of Caucasians from around the world:

Iraqi child

Iraqi child

Iranian child

Iranian child

Syrian child

Syrian child

Berber child

Berber child (North Africa)

Kurdish child

Kurdish child (Middle East)

Turkish child

Turkish child

Uighur child

Uighur child (China)

Libyan girls

Libyan girls

Yazidi child

Yazidi child (Middle East)

 

 

Yes, these kids are all Caucasian and you couldn’t tell them apart from many American kids, other than perhaps by their clothing. By the way, they have some rather noteworthy ancestors including King David (of the Bible) and the Egyptian boy pharaoh King Tut whom genetic tests show is also related to the first blue-eyed person; even U.S. President Barack Obama has common ancestors with these kids!

The only question now is whether or not the world will be told the truth about the origins of Caucasians.  Personally, I would bet against.  Francis Crick knew, though.

“History is a pack of lies we play on the dead.”
– Voltaire

P.S.  Voltaire got it half right, anyway, inasmuch as history is also a pack of lies that we tell to the living.  We wouldn’t want them to know the truth, now would we?

 

There are so many names for God in the Bible. It’s all pretty confusing to the average person. They have their choice of Elohim, Yahweh, Jehovah, El, El Shaddai, among others. God always seems to have a different name. It’s a mystery. That is, which God is really God – just one of them, all of them or none of them?

The Bible, of course, begins with Genesis. Genesis 1 is pretty straightforward. It’s a creation story and God is referred to as “Elohim” (in the Hebrew texts). The first three verses of Genesis 2 are actually the ending of the creation story of Genesis 1. It’s a very tricky way of segueing from Genesis 1 to make the reader think that Genesis 2 is a continuation of Genesis 1 when, in fact, it is a rewriting of the creation story with respect to the creation of man. So, let’s try and break it down.

An interesting change takes place starting with Genesis 2:4. Suddenly, God is called the “Lord God” instead of simply “God”. Why would anyone want to change his name? “Lord God” is a translation from the Hebrew “Yahweh Elohim.” It’s like calling an entity God God. If your name was Rudolph, would anyone ever call you Rudolph Rudolph?

Using the name Yahweh Elohim is only meaningful if the Elohim are a group of entities and by adding Yahweh to Elohim the reader understands specifically who the writer is writing about, namely Yahweh (of the Elohim). Again, if your name was Rudolph, some people would refer to you using both your first and last names (in that case Rudolph Masterson, or whatever last name). If, instead, they simply referred to you as Masterson, then a third-party would only know that you were a member of the Masterson family but not specifically which member.  So, Elohim designates the family and Yahweh is a specific member of the Elohim.

There has been considerable debate among scholars as to whether the term “Elohim” is a singular or plural term. If Elohim were plural, then that would certainly explain why in Genesis 1:26 it says, “And God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness’….” (emphasis mine). Wikipedia, for example, discusses the term Elohim saying: “Hebrew grammar allows for this nominally-plural form to mean ‘He is the Power (singular) over powers (plural)’, or roughly, ‘God of gods.’” This corresponds to the following Bible verses: 

  • Joshua 22:22 – “The God of gods, the Lord, the God of gods….”
  • Psalm 136:2 – “O give thanks unto the God of gods….”
  • Deuteronomy 10:17 – “For the Lord your God is the God of all gods….”

Those bible verses are rather controversial in that they state that there was more than one god. Maybe, that’s why in Genesis 35:7, the word Elohim, which is obviously plural in that context, was translated as a singular (God). I say obviously because the Hebrew verb which accompanies the word “Elohim” in Genesis 35:7 is plural and that’s why Elohim should have been translated as a plural (gods).  I said should have been and, yet, it has always been translated as a singular without any real justification. Why?

My favorite bible verse about many gods is Psalm 82:1,6 which reads, “God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods…I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.”  Here yet another name, Elyon in the Hebrew text, is introduced and is translated as “most High”, meaning the highest of the gods. Yes, the highest, higher than all of the other gods (Elohim).  

So, the mystery remains.  Which one, if any, was truly God? Well, the highest of them all was apparently Elyon, not the Elohim and certainly not Yahweh.

 

Epilogue

Chapters 10 and 11 of Genesis give a list of all nations.  It’s referred to as the “Table of Nations”.  As for Yahweh, he was allotted Israel by the Most High (presumably God), as can be seen in Deuteronomy 32:8-9, as follows:

“When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel. For the Lord’s (Yahweh) portion is his people; Jacob (Israel) is the lot of his inheritance.”

So the Israelites were in fact a Chosen People, chosen for Yahweh that is (as opposed to having been chosen by Yahweh). As for Yahweh, himself, he was not the Prime Creator (i.e. the Most High) and really should not be referred to as God. The title Lord which is given to Yahweh in most places in the Bible is sufficient, albeit misleading. Truth be told, he wasn’t even a god.

“Who is like unto thee, O Lord, among the gods?”

     – Exodus 15:11