Where was the Garden of Eden?

Some time ago when I was giving a talk about my book, The Big Bang to Now, someone asked me where the Garden of Eden was.  At the time, all I could say was that we knew it was somewhere in Africa, and  most certainly not in England, Germany, America, or Iran, all of which have laid claim, at some point, to being the birthplace of humanity.  

But I said that a DNA study was currently underway that might make it clearer just where in Africa Homo sapiens had first emerged.

One such study has just been completed, and it suggests that the original Eden was in Namibia.  Its first inhabitants were quite probably Bushmen known today as the San people.  Their language of clicks may tell us something about the sounds of earliest human language.

The study also offers further evidence that race is a concept with little scientific foundation.  Africa is the most genetically diverse of all the continents in the world and modern Africans have evolved from at least 14 different ancestral populations.  

All the people who settled in other parts of the world, on the other hand, are descendants from a small band of perhaps as few as 150 people who left Africa between 50,000 and 80,000 years ago.

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About Terry Sissons

Terry Sissons is the author of The Big Bang to Now: All of Time in Six Chunks, and this blog is a dialogue about the universe and what’s happened in the last 13 billions years.
This entry was posted in humans, primates, and other life on earth. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Where was the Garden of Eden?

  1. add meh. . .
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  2. is this true..?
    everyone says
    that the garden of
    eden is located at
    middle east

    • The question of where the Garden of Eden was located is really a double question. The first part is what the original Biblical writers meant when they talked about the Garden of Eden. Were they trying to describe a specific place or were they speaking poetically. The way, for instance, a lover may describe his love as “the rose in my garden.” He’s not really saying his love is actually a bush. Many theologians and scholars believe that Eden is a metaphor for a place where everything was happy, there was no starvation or death, no hatred or war or suffering. Those who believe that the the Bible is the Word of God believe there is every reason to believe that God speaks to us this way, that what God has to say is so profound, that it can only be expressed in this kind of symbolic form.

      The second question related to where the Garden of Eden was is really the question asked by the archaeologists and paleontologists: Where did humans beings first come from? For a long time scientists thought it was in the Middle East, though at some time, some scientists also have thought it was in Germany, in England, or China. Now both DNA and archaeological evidence has convinced the scientific community that it is beyond doubt that Homo sapiens first appeared in Africa.

      Thank you for asking such a significant question. I hope this is the kind of answer you were looking for with your comment. It is a very important question which people have been asking for more than a century. I include myself in that group of people who have sought an answer. THS

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