Xenophilia (True Strange Stuff)

Blog of the real Xenophilius Lovegood, a slightly mad scientist

Archive for February 23rd, 2011

The Orgins of Adam and the Garden of Eden

Posted by Anonymous on February 23, 2011

I previously traced, to my own satisfaction, the real sources of modern day belief in angles, sin, Eve and the rib, Noah’s ark and the holy spirit. Next: Adam and the Garden of Eden.

The stories in Genesis, including Adam and Eve, are adaptations of earlier Sumerian and other myths the Jews picked up while mixing with other cultures.

The Bible’s similarities with Egyptian, Greek and Babylonian mythology are too close to be a coincidence. The writers weren’t isolated from other cultures and they didn’t get their ideas by sitting on some mountaintop meditating with God; they borrowed ideas from their neighbor’s creation myths. The technical term is … syncretism. – usbible

Syncretism is the joining and the reconciliation of similar stories or beliefs that are at odds.  Some ingredients are kept, some are tossed, some are changed. One major ingredient for the Garden of Eden story was the Sumerian Eden. According to the unnamed author at USbible, it was located in Dilmun, which is modern day Bahrain.

… Eden contained the Tigris and Euphrates rivers associated with Sumeria. The word Eden was derived from an old Babylonian name for Mesopotamia, Gan-Eden, the garden of the Middle East. Because those great two rivers watered the rich plains between them, the word Mesopotamia means between the waters. – usbible

Checking against a scholarly source… Chadwick’s “The Growth of Literature“, a “key work for all scholars and students of comparative literature”, the words, “gan eden” mean  garden of delight.

According to this source, Eden was a widespread name in Aramaean lands, and given that the House of Eden (beth eden) means either the Kingdom of Damascus, or the Syrian people, the Garden of Eden was probably a place one of these peoples considered their ancestral home, such as a Syrian kingdom on the upper Euphrates river near Carchemish.

The Sumerian story contains other elements of the later Genesis story as well:  the lady of the rib, poison plants in the garden associated with knowledge (knowing in the biblical sense meant sex).

Enki, the Sumerian water-God and God of wisdom, impregnates Ninhursag, his half-sister. Enki desires a son, but receives a daughter. He them impregnates his daughter, who in turn gives him a daughter. Ninhursag decides to put an end to this immoral procession by sowing eight poisonous plants in the garden. Enki eats of all eight plants and becomes deathly ill. One of Enki’s sick organs is the rib. Nin-ti is created to heal Enki. Nin-ti means “she who makes live.” It is approximately what Eve means. Nin-ti can also be translated as “the lady of the rib.” “Ti” means rib and “to make live.”

A weird and twisted yarn, probably passed on both as early pornography and as a morality lesson.

Omega was the Ninhursag's symbol long before the creation of the Greek alphabet.It is important also to realize that “Ninhursag” is Mother Earth, the fertility goddess, whose symbol was used by the Greeks as the last letter of their alphabet: Omega, which is a stylized womb.

Now you see why the story of the first man coming from dust or earth is not so strange. The earth was a womb. Seeds were planted in the garden, and the earth mother gave birth to plants. Likewise, sperm was called a man’s seed. It did not escape the ancients that this seed, planted in a woman by a man (perhaps even in a garden), resulted in new human life.

When you hear someone say, “We have lost our connection to the earth” this is the deeper historical truth to that saying:

Adam comes to us from the Abrahamic religions which, from that common source, in order of appearance are Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.  Adam is the first man in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

But get this… Adam means “dust” or “earth” in Hebrew. The Hebrew word for earth is “adama” according to free-hebrew.com.

The word “Adam,” as the proper name for the first man can be misleading. It comes from ha-adam in Hebrew, which translates to “the man”—Hebrew has no capital letters. The word adam is extracted from adamah, meaning country, earth, ground, husband, earth, or land. This suggests the context in Genesis 3:19, when God says “you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” The name represents the material from which he was made. He wasn’t an actual person.

Likewise, “Eve” is translated from the Hebrew chavvaòh, for lifegiver, as in “the mother of all living.” Its root, Chaya, means “serpent” in Aramaic. Eve and serpent are taken to be synonymous. …

I don’t understand why, these three major world religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam do not recognize that they have a common source, and also refuse to look back any further in history than that common source. If they did look, they would find that their religions all adapted stories from polytheistic bull god worshipers, planet god worshipers, fire god worshipers, and so on.

While I will never convince a zealot from any of the three religions, it is a somewhat testable hypothesis that the stories written down, on the Dead Sea Scrolls, for example, resulted from syncretism of Pagan polytheistic myth into  monotheism.

Final thought: Neither Adam nor Eve should have belly buttons, as neither were born from a womb.

Posted in Uncategorized | 16 Comments »

The world’s biggest family: Ziona Chan has 39 wives, 94 children and 33 grandchildren

Posted by Anonymous on February 23, 2011

The full monty: The Ziona family in its entirety with all 181 members

He is head of the world’s biggest family – and says he is ‘blessed’ to have his 39 wives.

Ziona Chana also has 94 children, 14-daughters-in-law and 33 grandchildren.

They live in a 100-room, four storey house set amidst the hills of Baktwang village in the Indian state of Mizoram, where the wives sleep in giant communal dormitories. …

Mr Chana told the Sun: ‘Today I feel like God’s special child. He’s given me so many people to look after.

‘I consider myself a lucky man to be the husband of 39 women and head of the world’s largest family.’

The family is organised with almost military discipline, with the oldest wife Zathiangi organising her fellow partners to perform household chores such as cleaning, washing and preparing meals.

One evening meal can see them pluck 30 chickens, peel 132lb of potatoes and boil up to 220lb of rice.

Coincidentally, Mr Chana is also head of a sect that allows members to take as many wives as he wants.

He even married ten women in one year, when he was at his most prolific, and enjoys his own double bed while his wives have to make do with communal dormitories.

He keeps the youngest women near to his bedroom with the older members of the family sleeping further away – and there is a rotation system for who visits Mr Chana’s bedroom.

Rinkmini, one of Mr Chana’s wives who is 35 years old, said: ‘We stay around him as he is the most important person in the house. He is the most handsome person in the village. …

Another of his wives, Huntharnghanki, said the entire family gets along well. The family system is reportedly based on ‘mutual love and respect’

One of his sons insisted that Mr Chana, whose grandfather also had many wives, marries the poor women from the village so he can look after them.

via The world’s biggest family: Ziona Chan has 39 wives, 94 children and 33 grandchildren | Mail Online.

He is not, however, the person who has ever fathered the most children.

“The most prolific father of all time is believed to be the last Sharifian Emperor of Morocco, Mulai Ismail (1646-1727). In 1703 he had at least 342 daughters and 525 sons and by 1721 he was reputed to have 700 male descendents.” -wik

Dr. Kirk Maxey, aged 52, of Michigan, says that he believes he has about 400 children after donating semen twice a week between 1980 and 1994. – met

I thought this guy would have them all beat, but I guess he got caught before breaking the record.

Dr. Cecil Jacobson, who ran a reproductive-genetics center in Tysons Corner, Virginia. Instead of using donor sperm, Jacobson substituted his own. When he was caught, investigators found that seven children had been sired by the doctor. Moreover, 75 parents refused the court’s request for a paternity test — many not wanting to know if Jacobson was the dad. – sk

We are at 6.9 billion people now. Why not just have everyone stop breeding for the next 5o years?

Posted in Biology | 1 Comment »

Cellphone radiation heightens brain activity

Posted by Anonymous on February 23, 2011

The electromagnetic radiation emitted by a cellular phone’s antenna appears to activate nearby regions of the brain to unusually high levels, according to a study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Assn. that is likely to spark new concerns about the health effects of wireless devices.

The preliminary study, led by a respected neuroscientist at the National Institutes of Health, raises many more questions than it answers. But by providing solid evidence that cellphone use has measurable effects on brain activity, it suggests that the nation’s passionate attachment to its 300 million cellphones may be altering the way we think and behave in subtle ways.

Researchers peered inside the brains of 47 healthy subjects using positron emission tomography, also known as PET scanning, to measure the location and timing of brain activity by detecting signs that cells were consuming energy. They found that despite official skepticism that cellphones’ electromagnetic energy exerts any influence on nearby cells — including statements issued by the Food and Drug Administration — it clearly does. …

The study found that two areas of the brain close to the phone’s antenna, which was embedded in the mouthpiece of the phone used, showed unusual increases in activity throughout a 50-minute period of live transmission. The researchers speculated that a cellphone with its antenna placed elsewhere — near the phone’s earpiece, for instance — might activate different regions in the brain.

That the heightened activity occurred closest to the antenna, and not near the place where the phone was in direct contact with the head, signaled to the study’s authors that the changes were a response to electromagnetic signals and not a reaction to the heat generated by the device. The FDA has taken the position that any harmful effects of cellphones are the result of tissue becoming overheated by direct exposure to the device as it warms with prolonged use. …

via Cellphone study: Cellphone radiation heightens brain activity, study finds – latimes.com.

The above study did not find an increased risk of cancer, and claims “a growing body of research has failed to find evidence to support” the claim that cell phones cause cancer. Is this just because cell phone companies are paying for studies that fail to find cancer? Others say there is growing evidence in the other direction.

… There are even more radical voices in the field supporting the theory that mobile phones are more dangerous than smoking. Brain experts warn about the rising percent in tumors, calling on the industry to take urgent measures in reducing radiation. An Indian award-winning cancer expert claims that cell phones could kill more people than smoking or asbestos.  … using handsets for ten years or more can double the risk of developing brain cancer, as cancers take at least a decade to grow, invalidating official safety assurances based on some previous studies that apparently used irrelevant sampling procedures  ….

via w-cellphones

Zap!

Posted in Biology, Health, Technology | 2 Comments »

Obama faces pressure to intervene in Libya

Posted by Anonymous on February 23, 2011

Pressure mounted on the White House on Tuesday to intervene to stop Muammar Gaddafi’s bloody crackdown on democracy protests as a lawmaker close to President Barack Obama urged oil firms to halt work in Libya.

The United States faced calls to impose sanctions but also to take direct action such as bombing Libyan airfields and imposing no-fly zones — military steps that most analysts consider unlikely. Some critics questioned Obama’s silence on the violence in which hundreds of Libyans have died.

U.S. officials called for an end to the violence but seemed to rule out any unilateral action, stressing the United States was working with other countries on a way forward.

Senator John Kerry, the influential chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, urged the White House to consider reimposing tough sanctions on Libya.

“World leaders must together put Colonel Gaddafi on notice that his cowardly actions will have consequences,” Kerry said.

The White House said it was studying Kerry’s proposal to reimpose sanctions that were lifted by the Bush administration but, for now, was focused on ending the bloodshed, which sent U.S. oil prices to near 2-1/2-year highs. …

U.S. options to influence events in Libya are limited, unlike in Egypt and Bahrain where Washington was able to bring pressure to bear as a long-time ally and benefactor. U.S. foreign aid to Libya was less than $1 million in 2010.

Military action does not appear to be on the table, although the United States has not shied from the use of force against Gaddafi in the past. It bombed Tripoli and Libya’s second city, Benghazi, in 1986 in retaliation for an attack on a West Berlin disco used by U.S. military personnel.

“There is absolutely no talk of military intervention,” said Daniel Byman of the Brookings Institution in Washington. “We don’t know the opposition and it is not clear that they would be on our side.”

 

via Obama faces pressure to intervene in Libya | Reuters.

Woah. Let’s hope the CIA has better Intel than the Brookings Institution about the opposition to Gaddafi. ;-) Assuming they do, this is another way of saying Gaddafi is the lesser of evils for US interests.

Posted in human rights, Politics, War | Leave a Comment »

Wizard Death Match: Vote for who would win: Gandalf or Dumbledore or Obi-Wan

Posted by Anonymous on February 23, 2011

Dumbledore

Gandalf

Obi-Wan

+ Defeated Grindelwald, the 2nd most dangerous Dark Wizard of all time. Had him imprisoned.

Worried Voldemort, but never battled him directly.

++ Defeated a friggin’ Balrog in hand to hand combat, and then defeated Saruman, the 2nd most dangerous Evil Wizard, who was then killed.

Worried Sauron, but never  battled him directly.

++ Brutally maimed Vader, a former friend and 2nd most powerful Sith Lord. Also killed countless Imperial troopers.

Did the Evil Emperor even know about him?

- No known sword skills + Does a lot of sword fighting as well as using staff. ++ Most powerful sword of the three.
- Stayed dead, no advice from the grave ++ Came back from the dead as Gandalf the White + Stayed dead, but could offer advice from the grave.
++ Can teleport(!) himself with magic. – Rides a horse, for days and days and days…. + Flies in space ships, can probably levitate himself with great effort.
++ Faster at magic and does it frequently. - Needs a staff to do magic - Almost no magic, only limited telekinesis.

Imagining all three of them in a fair fight where they all had some prep time, I give Dumbledore the win due to speed, more magic, creativity, ability to control time, advanced planning and deviousness.  Of course, Obi-Wan could do a lot of damage with blasters from a space ship… If there was no foreknowledge and you just stuck them all in a room and told them to kill or be killed, ready GO! Would Gandalf’s staff survive a direct hit with a light saber? I think not. Obi-Wan is fast, but with a small flick of his wand, Dumbledore would immobilize the other two. I may be missing some important deciding factors, however.

Cast your vote. Write in candidates allowed.

Posted in Science Fiction | 10 Comments »

 
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