March 25, 2012
In an age where technology has allowed us to expect instant reward and provides us with immediate solutions, humankind seems to have all the answers. Our confidence as a species is higher than ever before and the knowledge of the universe we live in is expanding faster than most people can keep up with… There are however three fundamental questions that we have not been able to answer. Who are we? How did we get here? And, why are we here?
Ever since I first became interested in genetics, it has always intrigued me that such an important part of our anatomy, the genome, a molecular structure so refined, should have been created incomplete.Actually, the truth is that the genome was created in abundance, with large parts of the structure that are not being used at all. It is as if the inactive parts of the genome are waiting for some extrinsic factor to switch them on. The question begs, which unimaginable characteristics or super abilities are the dormant parts of the genome not controlling? What human abilities are they hiding? And how has this affected our evolution as a species?
The genome is just another name for the full complement of genes and DNA contained by an individual. In humans, the genome consists of 23 pairs of chromosomes which contain the entire genetic programme for that specific individual and is located in the nucleus of every cell in our bodies. This genetic programme controls all the information that allows us to grow and function. Our genome is unique for every individual and every species. When we are born, we are blissfully unaware of what awaits us. There might be seven ages of man, but it all ends up woven together into a long reality performance directed by some invisible force. We are all given some 70 years to do our performance here on Earth, on average; the rest is up to each one of us. Enter stage left… exit stage right. The only certainty we have at present is that we will exit.What are you going to do with your 70 years? What is the purpose of this journey, this play of life that we all participate in? Will you use this time creatively, make a contribution to the global community of beings or will you be a mere spectator, a usurper of facilities before you exit stage right?
Despite the 6.5 billion people who populate the Earth, the human race is a rather fragile and primitive species.No matter how intelligent and smart we think we are,we constantly display signs of basic animal behaviour that can lead to the decimation of our kind in the blink of an eye.We have waged war on our fellow man throughout history and continue to do so into the 21st century. There always seems to be a moral high ground or justification for our action. From Cain and Abel to George W. Bush, it has always been the strong and powerful who oppress and wipe out the weak. The old testament of the Bible is not a pretty tale of compassion and forgiveness. In fact, quite the opposite. It talks about an eye for an eye; wiping out man, woman, child and beast in the name of god; and often mentions the enemy by name, personifying them as the ‘bad’ guys or disciples of the devil. It seems that god has been taking sides from the very beginning. He had his favourites, and then there were ‘the others’. I always felt that the God I have been told about should be more impartial and loving.
The Bible is filled with prophets and other individuals who for thousands of years had a direct link to god and who on a regular basis received instructions from god to do certain things. When reading the Bible it is not only deemed normal, but it is expected of us to take for granted and to believe that a number of ‘chosen’ people received such regular instructions from god. Not only did they receive clear instructions and warnings, they received physical instructions in the form of the Ten Commandments and rewards of a material kind, like land or cattle. But the most impressive interactions between god and man were the many visitations god made in person to various individuals. If he could not make it in person, he would send ‘angels’ to deal with whatever situation needed to be dealt with.The divine beings would share ideas, share wine and bread, and inevitably god would instruct the person to perform certain tasks. All of these individuals seem to have been men. And all of the people who contributed to the scriptures of the Bible were also all men. If ‘He’ created us all equal, did god have a problem with the credibility of women? Or was god just the personification of a male dominated society? The simple historic fact remains – that god actually physically interacted with man. Today such claims of a physical interaction with God would draw strong criticism and ridicule.Why is that? Is it perhaps that such events in prehistory cannot affect us here today? We seem to accept it when it happened in ancient history, almost reduced to some fantastic fairy tale of our struggle for freedom. Or is it simply because we are too scared to analyse the facts for fear of victimisation by placing such arguments in the public domain? These questions have troubled me for most of my life.
And who, and when, decided that the Bible had reached its conclusion? That it was now enough, it is now the end, and the final chapter must be written! Obviously, this was another man inspired by God and dictated to by the Holy Spirit! Surely the quest for truth and salvation continues? Surely the atrocities on Earth have not abated; surely the people of the Earth need ongoing guidance and instructions from God on how to deal with modern day mayhem and crime; how to respond to dictators; how to survive colonisation, racism, invasions and other inventions of ‘evil’ minds. Our capacity for cruelty as a species has reached unbearable proportions.We make rules as civilised beings, only to be abused and used against us by less civilised individuals with a good knowledge of the legal system. Those who preach peace and love and turning the other cheek have become the weakened victims of their own philosophy.
Now, more than ever, people need salvation. They need something real to believe in and to hold onto in times when all hope seems to have vanished. So why are the scriptures not ongoing? Why is God not dictating more wisdom through one of his prophets? Or many of his prophets? Some say He is.Many claim they are in contact with God on a regular basis.Many convey God’s messages in packed churches and other places of worship. How does the global community respond to individuals who make fantastic claims of miracles, and hearing God’s voice, and having the answer? Well, in many cases these modern prophets rise to a cult status with a blind following of disciples who will respond to every command, while in other cases they are reduced to cranks with a loose screw.
So, how should a judge in the 21st century respond to a guy who tied up his ten-year-old daughter to a table in the back yard, and who was caught by police in the process of stabbing her to death or slitting her throat? If he claims that God had instructed him to sacrifice her to prove his obedience to the all mighty lord, should such a character be seen as an example of a modern faithful or a psychopath? Yet we look at Abraham as a faithful man of God with strong principles and a leader of men because he obeyed god’s instructions to ‘kill’ his own son. The Bible, however, calls it ‘sacrifice’.Would we see it as such if it happened today in a wealthy suburb of Johannesburg or Paris?
It is truly a confusing state of religious activity out there. Thousands of religions, all of them man-made, all claiming that they have the answer. Only ‘their’ followers will be saved by the maker and bask in the pleasures of parscience adise. It seems that the more money they have, the more power they wield and the closer to God’s ear they can get.
And so the religious argument begins, and we clearly display the primitive side of our low evolutionary state.Are these the primitive characteristics which could be controlled by the inactive genes? We look at the past great civilisations and somehow feel superior.The fact that we cannot explain many things from prehistory is quickly discarded as “who cares about the Egyptians… they’re all dead”. In the light of all our achievements and scientific discoveries, the more we evolve, the stronger the religious dogma becomes. It seems that the religious dogma, which could also be called fanaticism in this case, is directly linked to money. The wealthier a nation, the more they can enforce their particular religious views on others. The USA may claim that they are a ‘free’ society in all respects, but that is mainly because they feel a sense of comfort among their 96% Christian community. It is safe for them to allow the minority ‘rogue’ religions to waste their time on their own meaningless salvation.
But then we start to look at who we really are, and the road we have travelled as a species on this planet, only to realise that our presence here does not even equate to the ‘tip of the iceberg’.We marvel at dinosaur fossils and talk about what it must have been like here on Earth when dinosaurs roamed. We throw around numbers like ‘60 million years’, when they were extinct; ‘200 million years’ when T-Rex caused havoc and ‘400 million years’ ago really makes us gasp at the fossils of insects in the museums. Then we start comparing the timescale to famous events in our own frame of reference.The First World War 100 years ago; Leonardo da Vinci 500 years ago; the Vikings some 1 200 years ago; Mohammed some 1 400 years ago; Jesus 2 000 years ago; the pyramids 4 000 years ago; the last ice age some 13 000 years ago; by then most of us run out of reference points.
And then one day something miraculous happens.We lift our eyes up at the night sky filled with billions of stars and we try to imagine infinity. Someone points out Mars and Jupiter. And then you look through a telescope and for the first time you see Saturn with its rings and even several of its moons, and suddenly the reality of it all changes somewhat. It all becomes a little bit bigger. You look at Alpha Centauri and realise that the light from the closest star to us takes five years to reach us, travelling at 300 000 km per second.You go to a lecture by an astronomer and see pictures of galaxies so far away it is impossible to imagine the distance. Galaxies a billion light years away. Super-cluster galaxies five billion light years away; ultra hot quasars some 12 billion light years away right at the edge of the known universe, and then… some 13.8 billion light years away… just blackness. Nothing. You sit in silent contemplation as you try to digest the reality of what you have just witnessed. You have just looked beyond the edge of the known universe, where nothing exists.
But when you wake up in the morning and you try to explain your epiphany to a group of close friends, they share your excitement for exactly 15 seconds before one of them pronounces, “Hey, did you guys check that lekker (nice) movie on TV last night?”
With all the valiant attempts and sometimes remarkable discoveries by archaeologists,we still cannot pinpoint the origin of humankind. Oh, scores of scientist will argue and give you all kinds of evidence and proof, only to be rewritten by some new scientist five years from now. It is all calculated speculation presented to us either as scientific hypotheses or religious dogma. But in reality, all it ends up being, is more manipulation of the pieces of the Great Human Puzzle.We cannot tell when civilised man first walked the Earth and we cannot tell when man was created, or how man evolved,with a definite level of certainty.
Let’s face it, the past two centuries have led to amazing discoveries of ancient civilisations, lost cities and a closer understanding of the people who developed these ancient cultures. Cultures that displayed remarkable knowledge and understanding of science and the cosmos. It has taken us decades to decipher the various texts or styles of writing by the many extinct cultures.With all our knowledge and sophistication, we have not deciphered the Balkan-Danube script and the Indus Script to date. The diversity of these ancient civilisations, from the ancient Chinese, various cultures of the Americas, the hieroglyphs of the Egyptians, to the cuneiform scriptures of the Sumerians, the lost cities of Asia, have baffled historians and archaeologists alike. It has taken us by complete surprise to discover ancient libraries, such as the library of King Ashurbanipal at Nineveh, with around 30 000 cuneiform clay tablets of scriptures that point to great knowledge by lost civilisations.
It is curious to discover the extended knowledge of astronomers as early as six thousand years ago with detailed information of our own solar system, describing it in great detail. We read about ancient gods who roamed and ruled the Earth, in chariots that flew in from the stars, and conflicts and betrayal between these ancient gods. We read about brave men who achieved great things in the distant past and wisdom which was imparted to man by the many gods who came from the stars. The ability to extract precious metals from ore in the ground, while the production of gold, copper, tin and bronze as early as nine thousand years ago points to clear understanding of metallurgical procedure. The ancient ruins of the Americas with visible extraction and mining activity explain why there was an unimaginable wealth of gold in this part of the world long before Columbus, Cortes or the other savages who set foot there only a few hundred years ago. The further inexplicable evidence of ore mining in southern Africa as far back as 100 000 years ago is simply too much for even the bravest of archaeologists to accept.
The knowledge of medical procedure and genetic manipulation, the creation of the ‘Adamu’ and a new species, is clearly documented in ancient tablets which have only recently been understood by so-called intelligent man. The power of wireless communication and geophysical knowledge to anticipate natural disaster; all this wealth of information stares us bluntly in the face.And yet,we cannot come to terms with the fact that we may not be the pinnacle of intelligence that has inhabited the planet. Since the rapid evolution of the computer, our ability to document and match this ancient wisdom has enabled us to understand it more clearly. But what do we do with all this information when standing face-to-face with incredible tales from prehistory? We have two choices. Either we believe that it has been left for future civilisations to use and build upon, or we discard it as hallucinogenic garbage by some primitive idiots from a stone age, not worthy of our attention.
But the fact that only 500 years ago men were burnt at the stake for suggesting that Earth was not the centre of the universe; the human body was a mysterious vessel that was studied and dissected by daring scientists risking their lives in the early hours of the morning; that we only discovered the last three planets in our solar system in the past 200 years – are clear indications that we are not the super race.
We are the sub-species. Our arrogance is our weakness, and our ignorance a congenital disease that will eventually destroy us. The dogma has consumed us and the fear controls us. But why are we so blind to the facts and evidence that surround us? Why are we so obsessed with popular religions that mostly bow to a god who uses retribution and punishment as a form of control? If we all come from the same maker, we should all have the same set of rules on how to obey that maker, but this is clearly not the case. Religious conflict has torn our history apart for millennia and still hangs over our heads into the 21st century like a cancer waiting to devour us.
In this book we will discover that our disorder is the direct result of our bastard race status, with unpredictable animal behaviour lurking in our manipulated double helix DNA. Our intelligence has been suppressed, our knowledge has been erased, our lifespan has been genetically shortened and our memory has been removed.We are an inferior, genetically cloned mutation of the great civilisations of the past, left behind to pick up the pieces, or to put together the pieces of the Great Human Puzzle.
We have made remarkable progress in the field of genetic engineering, but just because we have been able to ‘map’ the genome does not mean we know everything about it. On the contrary. The more we learn about the genome, the more we marvel at its complexity. We seem to understand the basic principle of the double helix, but we are far from understanding all its functions.What we are especially perplexed by, are the large sections that seem to be ‘switched off ’. Yes, it is curious to learn that there are large parts of the genome which are not active. Ever since I first became interested in the study of the genome, I have been fascinated by the strange phenomenon, that such a masterful part of our anatomy, a molecular structure so refined, should have been created incomplete. That kind of discovery flies directly in the face of all evolutionary processes. But the real truth is that the genome was created in abundance, with far more DNA in our cells than we need for our primitive form. It is as if the inactive parts of the genome are waiting for some extrinsic factor to switch them on.
This begs the question. If the genome controls all our characteristics and bodily functions, then what is it that is not controlled by the inactive parts of the genome? I firmly believe that this is the ultimate question of humanity.What inert secret powers are being locked up behind the inactive parts of our genetic structure?
Let’s take a quick look at the history of genetic discovery. While there is clear evidence of prehistoric genetic activity and manipulation dating back to some 250 000 years ago, modern man has only rediscovered the genome in the 1950s.
In 1866, Gregor Mendel published the results of his investigations of the inheritance of ‘factors’ in pea plants, but it was only in the 1950s that the chemical structure of the DNA was rediscovered by modern scientists. They finally had a name for it, deoxyribonucleic acid. The people involved in this breakthrough were Maurice Wilkins, Rosalind Franklin, Francis H. C. Crick and James D.Watson.With this discovery they started a whole new branch of science, namely molecular biology. In the same decade,Watson and Crick made history when they made the first model of the DNA molecule, showing its twisted double helix structure, and proved that genes determine heredity. In 1957,Arthur Kornberg produced DNA in a test tube. 1963 saw F. Sanger develop the sequencing procedure for proteins.By 1966, a real breakthrough was made when the genetic code was discovered. Scientists were now able to predict characteristics by studying DNA. This very quickly evolved into genetic engineering and genetic counselling.
In 1972, Paul Berg produced the first recombinant DNA molecule, and in 1983, Barbara McClintock was awarded the Nobel Prize for her discovery that genes are able to change position on chromosomes. In the late 1980s an international team of scientists began the tedious and demanding task of mapping the human genome, and the first crime conviction based on DNA fingerprinting, in Portland, Oregon, took place. By 1990, gene therapy was used on patients for the first time. In 1993, Dr. Kary Mullis discovered the PCR procedure, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize. In 1994, the FDA approved the first genetically engineered food. These were Flavr Savr tomatoes engineered for better flavour and shelf life.
By 1995, criminal DNA forensics made headlines in the O. J. Simpson trial. In 1997, Dolly the Sheep was cloned as the first adult animal clone. 1998 saw the senate inquiry into the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal based largely on DNA evidence, and in the year 2000, J.Craig Venter, along with Francis Collins, jointly announced the completion of the mapping and sequencing of the entire human genome. This was a major achievement that took almost 10 years less than originally expected. In 2003, Craig Venter launched a global expedition to obtain and study microbes from environments ranging from the world’s oceans to urban centres. This mission will yield a definitive insight into genes that make up the vast realm of microbial life.And now the true genetic era is upon us. The first pet cloning company opened their doors for business in the USA in 2004. In essence,we have become the creators of species.And so we have become ‘god’ to those species we create.
The more we discover in the Cradle of Humankind in South Africa, the more we can genetically link the various peoples of the world to half a dozen original individuals in southern Africa; the more evidence we get from female mitochondrial DNA that the first human was born around 250 000 years ago, the more the pieces of the puzzle seem to fit. In this book we will explore written evidence that places such a group of primordial humans in southern Africa some 200 000 years ago, at about the time when the Adam was supposed to have been created.When I first started placing these pieces together, I was doubtful that something so fantastic could be a possibility. But if you allow yourself the freedom of thought and possibility, you will discover an incredible story with a clear vision of the past and you will begin to unravel the great steps of humanity that brought us here.
This brings us to the age-old question. “Who are we… and why are we here?” No, it is not really a ‘hey-shoo-wow’ kind of question, it is possibly one of the most complex riddles of our species, which deserves a fresh new look and possibly a slightly less conventional approach if we want to reach new and refreshing answers. But then we must be prepared to face answers we may not have expected. This is what I intend to share with you in this book.What may at first seem like a horror story, will turn out to be the most liberating experience that brought me much closer to God than I ever imagined possible. Once again I have to draw your attention to the difference between God, the creator of the universe and all things in it, and ‘god’ one of many deities who walked the Earth over millennia, wielding power, knowledge and technology with which they ruled over humanity.
There is good news for those who believe in the ‘creation’ theory, that man was created by God and given certain rules to live by. Those who believe in the evolutionary theory have a few surprises to face. Evidence that has been uncovered and contained in the many Sumerian tablets, suggests that the ‘Adamu’ was created here on Earth in the image of his ‘maker’. But who created Adam, and when,will reveal that he was created by an advanced species of deities for a specific purpose here on Earth some 200 000 to 250 000 years ago.We further learn from the tablets that Adam was created from the genetic pool of the advanced species of humans on Earth and a lesser evolved hominid that roamed in southern Africa. But who were these ‘advanced humans’ and where did they appear from? And why is there no fossil evidence of their existence?
I must once again remind you of the dilemma we face when we contemplate such outlandish theories, as most, if not all of our facts come from prehistoric clay tablets that have been deciphered over the last 50 years of the 20th century.We have to make a personal choice,whether we believe that what was written in these tablets is close enough to the truth, or whether it is merely some hallucinogenic garbage from a time when people’s minds did not function properly. I, for one, have made my decision to take at face value what has been written. I cannot imagine for one minute that thousands of people spent millions of man-hours painstakingly creating these tablets, if their contents were less than relevant. I am convinced that they had better things to do than trying to confuse future generations about our origins. After all, we have not really changed that much; we also want to leave evidence of our intellect and achievements, not only for future generations but also for other advanced species in the vastness of the universe.Why else would we send space probes filled with human paraphernalia, videos, compact discs, books, photographs, TV shows and other symbols of our existence into space? At the back of our minds and against the belief of millions, there is the faint hope that there may be advanced life somewhere in the universe. If there is, we hope to dazzle it with our brilliance or disappoint them with our ignorance, all depending on how evolved they may be by the time they accidentally recover our earthly ‘space ark’.
It has always amazed me how many people show a complete disregard for history. To many, what happened in the past, simply does not matter. But if we don’t know who we are and where we come from, how can we possibly begin to understand where we might be going, on our path of progress and evolution?
So we toil away and dream of better days. We close ourselves in cocoons of comfort, position our blinkers squarely on our heads and try not to step too far out of the lane of conformity. We believe that if we work hard or if we work smart we will achieve some sort of reward at the end of all of this.We take out insurance policies to reward our offspring and retirement annuities to cruise through the last few years of our own time on this planet.We keep procreating as if we were programmed to do so. It seems to be a natural step in our maturing process. And unbeknown to us, it is most likely driven by our genome in an attempt to continue surviving while our DNA evolves towards its own completion. On this path of evolution, it unlocks the secret parts, which have been switched off by some alchemist in our distant past.
We pray for health, wealth and happiness. Some dream of eternal life and many pray for salvation, but deep inside there seems to bubble the burning desire to find answers to the great human question… “Who am I and why am I here?”
History gives us many clues about who we may be, and by stringing together the events and behavioural patterns of humans in the past, history does give us some clues as to where we are heading.Whether we will survive to get there is another question all together. History does not, however, always clearly answer the question of who we are and where we come from.Historians, archaeologists and anthropologists have painted a very predictable past for us.Aside from the arguments between creationists and evolutionists, the story of humanity and humankind has become an almost pretty fairy tale, and most humans do not want their fairy tale disrupted.Humanity rose from the ashes against all odds; we survived and grew in numbers while spreading over the Earth.We discovered fire, iron, bronze, silver and gold.We learnt new skills, adopted farming instead of roaming, buried our dead, learnt to live in structured communities, learnt to write and built cities to protect us from the bad guys. Then we learnt to trade, found democracy, discovered mechanisation, discovered technology, reached for the stars, and all the time we have been killing each other in the name of our god, our king, or for some other perfectly justifiable reason.
It is truly a miracle that we have survived all this. It is clear that, somewhere in our DNA, there is a violent gene that plays a prominent role in human behaviour.
This is a great story, but it only really deals with the past 6 000 years or so. Prior to this it gets very murky, and somehow the timing does not seem to fit. The question of the missing link is now more relevant than ever before. Our genome has certainly evolved to the point where we can at least ponder these questions and challenge some of the obvious conventions. But this evolution seems to be more spiritual or mental. Physical evolution is debatable. If we have not really evolved physically in the past 6 000 years since the Egyptians and Sumerians, why should we believe that we underwent some dramatic evolution the previous 6 000 years… or the 10 000 years before that? It appears that our genome has been evolving around the mental parts only. As if we had some catching up to do mentally. This kind of genetic imbalance seems to point to some sort of tampering in the ancient past.
Survival of the fittest has been embraced as one of the pivotal evolutionary arguments. Terms like ‘natural selection’ have been introduced and presented with dramatic evidence. It may have been the case in the protozoa, the dinosaurs or the horse, but there seem to be serious gaps in the prehistoric evolutionary patterns of humans. Dramatic jumps in evolution, which will form part of my argument, point to the horrible truth that we are a slave species, purposefully created to perform a mundane function here on this Earth. It is for us to collect the clues and string them together to formulate a sensible answer.
Some will not find any sense in my logic, but some will hopefully become more tolerant of the unknown and the forbidden questions of the past. One of the highest hurdles to cross, will be the real possibility that we might have to come to terms with two gods. One with a capital ‘G’, and the other with a small ‘g’. The difference between the two should be obvious and our prehistory seems to be filled with events which tend to favour the needs and whims of the latter.Have we been conned since the beginning, to believe that some form of advanced deity was actually God? If so, did he give us the rules, the scriptures, and the punishment? Was it in his image that we were created? There is an overwhelming amount of written evidence pointing to this conclusion. Do we start to take this ancient knowledge more seriously, giving it the respect it deserves, or do we respond to our overwhelming enslavement by dogma, and discard all this ancient knowledge? I will leave it up to you to draw your own conclusions.