Monday, October 3, 2011

The Seven Areas of Knowledge

One critical area that seems to be lacking in traditional education is teaching people how the various areas of knowledge fit together. So, here is an attempt to systematically categorize all the areas of knowledge. There are other ways to categorize this information (such as the Dewey Decimal System, for example), but this is the way to categorize knowledge that currently makes the most sense to me. By using these categories it makes the educational process more understandable.

The Seven Areas of Knowledge

1. Language
How to compute (logic) and communicate qualitative information.
* Listening - Decoding verbal words and phrases into their related "thought" * Speaking - Encoding a "thought" into their related verbal word or phrase
* Phonics & word recognition - decoding written letters into mental "words"
* Handwriting & Spelling - encoding mental words into written letters
* Reading - decoding written sentences and paragraphs into "thoughts"
* Grammar & Composition - encoding "thoughts" into written sentences and paragraphs.
* Research - Methods of actively searching for some information
* Presentation - Actively disseminating in some format (speech, book, tape, video, web site, etc..)
* Logic - Using valid rules to determine previously unknown, qualitative information from information that is already known.

2. Math
How to compute and communicate quantitative information
* Philosophy of math
* Arithmetic - counting
* Algebra - translating relatively uniform qualitative information into quantitative information
* Geometry - translating quantitative information into 2D or 3D space for visual (or auditory or any of the other five senses) communication and computation
* Calculus - translating relatively non-uniform qualitative information into quantitative information and using shortcuts to handle the information more easily
* Statistics - taking into account a range of uncertainty when exact information is unknown
* Computational Math - the methods used by calculating machines to efficiently solve a math problem

3. History
The study of qualitative information recorded about events in the past.
* Human recorded record (i.e., oral, written, pictorial, audio, videographic, etc..)
* Archaeological record
* Geological record
* Astronomical record

4. Observational Science
The study of quantitative information recorded about events in the past.
Observing and Measuring the following areas:
* Earth Sciences
* Physics
* Chemistry
* Geology/Oceanography/Meteorology
* Astronomy
* Life Sciences
* Plants
* Animals
* Humans
* Social Sciences
* Psychology
* Economics
* Geography
* Political Science

5. Philosophy/Theology
Determining qualitative patterns and trying to predict likely future occurrences
* Nature of the designer
* Origins
* How best to handle current issues
* Predicting likely future events
* Possible other creations/creatures (heaven, angels, etc..)
* What is valuable to do

6. Theoretical Science
Determining quantitative patterns and trying to predict likely future occurrences
Determining patterns and predicting events in the following areas:
* Earth Sciences
* Physics
* Chemistry
* Geology/Oceanography/Meteorology
* Astronomy
* Life Sciences
* Plants
* Animals
* Humans
* Social Sciences
* Psychology
* Economics
* Geography
* Political Science

7. Technology
Using qualitative and quantitative information to do something useful
The 14 sub-areas of technology:
* Food
* Clothing
* Shelter
* Transportation
* Communication
* Education
* Medicine
* Management, Law and Government
* Financial
* Computing
* Recreation, Art and Music
* Martial Arts, Security & Military
* Career
* Interpersonal Relations

Relations between the Seven Areas of Knowledge

Math and Language - Some people think math computes and language communicates, but as defined here math can be used to both compute and communicate quantitative information and language can be used to communicate and compute qualitative information. When we "compute" qualitative information it is called "Logic".

History and Observational Science - As defined here, "History" records qualitative information. Observational science observes quantitative information and as soon as it is recorded that information is part of the past. So both history and observational science are dealing with records of past events.

Philosophy/Theology and Theoretical Science - Philosophy/Theology theorize about qualitative information whereas theoretical science theorizes about quantitative information. One mistake is that people mix up theoretical science with technology. Because they know technology works they assume a particular theoretical interpretation of observational science must be correct, but that is not always the case.

Quantitative areas - Math, Observational Science and Theoretical Science are all mainly quantitative areas of knowledge

Qualitative areas - Language, History and Philosophy/Theology are all mainly qualitative areas of knowledge

Goal of all knowledge - The goal of all knowledge is to do something of value, which by definition is the broad definition of "technology". Technology in this definition is not just electronics and other equipment, but also includes methods of using qualitative knowledge to do something useful.

Music and art - They have been traditionally given higher status because they use mediums that have few boundaries, so people can be creative with few restrictions. But in my view people can be creative in any technology, with each technology putting varying levels of restriction on their creativity. Therefore, I don't think art or music should get a special status above other technologies

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Enlil, Enki and Genesis

I recently went through a video course called "Between the Rivers: The History of Ancient Mesopotamia". I also read a few books containing the primary sources from the time of the Babylonians and earlier in Mesopotamia. Though Egyptologists may disagree, Mesopotamia, in particular the Sumerians, seems to be the oldest civilization for which we have records. It has Eridu, the earliest city we have records for. It has the Akkadian empire (conquered by Sargon) which is the first empire we have records for. And it has the city of Ur, which was the city that Abraham left likely around 2000 B.C. during the Ur III dynasty. So, if the early history in Genesis is at all historical then there
should be at least some similarities between the writings from Sumeria and the writings in Genesis.

All writings from early Mesopotamia relating to history seem to be considered as being totally mythical. There doesn't seem to be a separate genre of early historical writings from Mesopotamia like there is for later periods. But embedded in the early myths we would expect at least some remnants of history, distorted but handed down over time. Lets see what we find.

Here are the relevant quotes from various Mesopotamian accounts relating the history of man. While there may be some conflicting myths, in general we can Identify some Mesopotamian gods with the characters in Genesis:
  • Enlil (and also An)- the creator God who sends the flood, has the tablets of destiny
  • Enki/Ea - Satan, who helps mankind escape Enlil, he is the father of Marduk (who is later Zeus in Greece) who takes the tablets of destiny and replaces Enlil as the head of the gods
  • Ninmah - Eve, who chooses good or evil for her descendants
  • Ziusudra/Utanapishtim - Noah, who builds a boat and takes animals to escape the flood
1. Enlil controls everything
Compare to Psalm 95:2-4 and Psalm 69:34

"Enlil - his orders august into the far yonder, his words holy, his unalterable utterances decisive into the far future...", "Heaven and Earth bowed of themselves down to him, and all the gods of high descent humbled themselves before him, loyally awaited for their part instructions."

2. Enlil controls the destiny of the earth

"Also the omens of all the gods he (Enlil) controlled, ..., His eyes behold what Enlil does as sovereign. The crown of his sovereignty, the robe of his divinity, The tablet of destinies belonging to his divinity... "

Note: all the kings down until Babylon went to Enlil's temple to be crowned king

3. Enlil separates heaven and earth
Compare to Genesis 1:6-7

"Not only did the lord make the world appear in its correct form -- the lord who never changes the destinies which he determines: Enlil, who will make the human seed of the Land come forth up from the earth -- and not only did he hasten to separate heaven from earth, and hasten to separate earth from heaven, but, in order to make it possible for humans to grow in Where Flesh Came Forth he first suspended the axis of the world at Dur-an-ki."

4. The first people were made from clay
Compare to Genesis 2:7

"When you have drenched even the core of the Apsu's fathering clay imma-en and imma-shar can make the fetus bigger, and when you have put limbs on it may Ninmah act as your birth-helper..."

5. Enki was considered to be wise and crafty
Compare to Genesis 3:1

"Enki... the ingenious and wise one, skillful custodian of heaven and earth..."

Note: Two of Enki's symbols are a goat and a double helix snake, his compassion disarms the stern wrath of his brother Enlil, see http://en.wikiped

6. Enki and first woman chose Good or Evil for descendants
From The Harps that once... P158-159
Compare to Genesis 3:1-6

"Enki and Ninmah were drinking beer and began to feel good inside. Ninmah said to Enlil: "As for the build of men, what makes it good or bad is mine affair, whichever way my turn of heart, I am making the decision about mode of being, good or bad." (The result was that many offspring were deformed, possibly a reference to sin)

7. A snake takes away eternal life
From Gigamesh P99
Compare to Genesis 3:13-15

"Its name shall be "Old Man Grown Young", I will eat it myself, and be again as I was in my youth! At twenty leagues they broke bread, at thirty leagues they stopped for the night. Gilgamesh found a pool whose water was cool, down he went into it, to bathe in the water. Of the plant's fragrance a snake caught scent, came up [in silence], and bore the plant off."

8. Eve driven out of Eden
Compare to Genesis 3:23-24

"I am one lamenting. ... I am one driven out of my house, at my beer-pouring party... I am become one lingering outside, cannot enter at wish! Now I cannot dwell under heaven, cannot dwell on earth, cannot in the country get out of your sight. Where you dwell not, in a house I shall build, I shall not hear your voice. Where you live not, in a city I shall build, me myself despairing silense will fill. "My city is destroyed, my house wrecked, my children taken captive. I am a fugitive driven out of Ekur (the temple of Enlil), I myself, even, have not escaped out of your hands!"

9. "Sons of God" took any women they wanted
Compare to Genesis 6:1-4

"For Gilgamesh, the King of Broad-Marted Uruk, open is the veil of the people for choosing. He will have intercourse with the 'destined wife,' he first, the husband afterward. This is ordered by the counsel of Anu, from the severing of his umbilical cord it has been destined for him."

10. Man's thoughts were continually evil so God decides to wipe out Mankind
Compare to Genesis 6:5-7

"The country was as noisy as a bellowing bull. The God grew restless at their racket, Enlil had to listen to their noise. He addressed the great gods, 'The noise of mankind has become too much, I am losing sleep over their racket. Give the order that surrupu-disease shall break out. (A God who can hear thoughts might refer to hearing evil thoughts continually as man being "noisy")

11. Noah saves animals, gives sacrifice, has seemingly endless life
Compare to Genesis 6:13-8:22

"All the evil winds, all stormy winds gathered into one and with them, then, the flood was sweeping over the cities of the half-bushel baskets for seven days and seven nights. After the flood had swept over the country, after the evil wind had tossed the big boat about on the great waters, the sun came out spreading light over heaven and earth. Ziusudra then drilled an into the interior of the big boat. Ziusudra, being king, stepped up before Utu kissing the ground opening in the big boat. And the gallant Utu sent his light before him. The king was butchering oxen, was being lavish with the sheep Barley cakes, crescents together with...he was crumbling for him juniper, the pure plant of the mountains, he filled on the fire and with a ...clasped to the breast he... You here have sworn by the life's breath of heaven the life's breath of earth that he verily is allied with yourself; you there, An and Enlil, have sworn by the life's breath of heaven, the life's breath of earth. that he is allied with all of you. He will disembark the small animals that come up from the earth! Ziusudra, being king, stepped up before An and Enlil kissing the ground. And An and Enlil after honoring him were granting him life like a god's, were making lasting breath of life, like a god's, descend into him. That day they made Ziusudra, preserver, as king, of the name of the small animals and the seed of mankind, live toward the east over the mountains in mount Dilmun."

12. Noah telling the story of the flood
From Gilgamesh
Compare to Genesis 6:13-8:22

"Gilgamesh spoke to Utanapishtim (Noah), the Faraway: "I have been looking at you, but your appearance is not strange--you are like me! You yourself are not different--you are like me! My mind was resolved to fight with you, but instead my arm lies useless over you. Tell me, how is it that you stand in the Assembly of the Gods, and have found life!"

Utanapishtim spoke to Gilgamesh, saying: "I will reveal to you, Gilgamesh, a thing that is hidden, a secret of the gods I will tell you! Shuruppak, a city that you surely know, situated on the banks of the Euphrates, that city was very old, and there were gods inside it. The hearts of the Great Gods moved them to inflict the Flood. Their Father Anu uttered the oath (of secrecy), Valiant Enlil was their Adviser, Ninurta was their Chamberlain, Ennugi was their Minister of Canals.

Ea (Enki), the Clever Prince, was under oath with them so he repeated their talk to the reed house: 'Reed house, reed house! Wall, wall! O man of Shuruppak, son of Ubartutu: Tear down the house and build a boat! Abandon wealth and seek living beings! Spurn possessions and keep alive living beings! Make all living beings go up into the boat. The boat which you are to build, its dimensions must measure equal to each other: its length must correspond to its width. Roof it over like the Apsu.

I understood and spoke to my lord, Ea: 'My lord, thus is the command which you have uttered I will heed and will do it. But what shall I answer the city, the populace, and the Elders!' Ea spoke, commanding me, his servant: 'You, well then, this is what you must say to them: "It appears that Enlil is rejecting me so I cannot reside in your city, nor set foot on Enlil's earth. I will go down to the Apsu to live with my lord, Ea, and upon you he will rain down abundance, a profusion of fowl, myriad(!) fishes. He will bring
to you a harvest of wealth, in the morning he will let loaves of bread shower down, and in the evening a rain of wheat!"'

Just as dawn began to glow the land assembled around me- the carpenter carried his hatchet, the reed worker carried his flattening stone,... the men ...The child carried the pitch, the weak brought whatever else was needed. On the fifth day I laid out her exterior. It was a field in area, its walls were each 10 times 12 cubits in height, the sides of its top were of equal length, 10 times It cubits each. I laid out its interior structure and drew a picture of it. I provided it with six decks, thus dividing it into seven levels. The inside of it I divided into nine compartments. I drove plugs to keep out water in its middle part. I saw to the punting poles and laid in what was necessa
ry. Three times 3,600 units of raw bitumen I poured into the bitumen kiln, three times 3,600 units of pitch ...into it, there were three times 3,600 porters of casks who carried vegetable oil, apart from the 3,600 units of oil which they consumed and two times 3,600 units of oil which the boatman stored away. I butchered oxen for the meat, and day upon day I slaughtered sheep. I gave the workmen ale, beer, oil, and wine, as if it were river water, so they could make a party like the New Year's Festival. and I set my hand to the oiling. The boat was finished by sunset.

The launching was very difficult. They had to keep carrying a runway of poles front to back,
until two-thirds of it had gone into the water. Whatever I had I loaded on it: whatever silver I had I loaded on it, whatever gold I had I loaded on it. All the living beings that I had I loaded on it, I had all my kith and kin go up into the boat, all the beasts and animals of the field and the craftsmen I had go up. Shamash had set a stated time: 'In the morning I will let loaves of bread shower down, and in the evening a rain of wheat! Go
inside the boat, seal the entry!' That stated time had arrived. In the morning he let loaves of bread shower down, and in the evening a rain of wheat. I watched the appearance of the weather-- the weather was frightful to behold! I went into the boat and sealed the entry. For the caulking of the boat, to Puzuramurri, the boatman, I gave the palace together with its contents.

Just as dawn began to glow there arose from the horizon a black cloud. Adad rumbled inside of it, before him went Shullat and Hanish, heralds going over mountain and land. Erragal pulled out the mooring poles, forth went Ninurta and made the dikes overflow. The Anunnaki lifted up the torches, setting the land ablaze with their flare. Stunned shock over Adad's deeds overtook the heavens, and turned to blackness all that had been light. The... land shattered like a... pot. All day long the South Wind blew ..., blowing fast, submerging the mountain in water, overwhelming the people like an attack. No one could see his fellow, they could not recognize each oth

er in the torrent. The gods were frightened by the Flood, and retreated, ascending to the heaven of Anu. The gods were cowering like dogs, crouching by the outer wall. Ishtar shrieked like a woman in childbirth, the sweet-voiced Mistress of the Gods wailed: 'The olden days have alas turned to clay, because I said evil things in the Assembly of the Gods! How could I say evil things in the Assembly of the Gods, ordering a catastrophe to destroy my people!! No sooner have I given birth to my dear people than they fill the sea like so many fish!' The gods--those of the Anunnaki--were weeping with her, the gods humbly sat weeping, sobbing with grief, their lips burning, parched with thirst. Six days and seven nights came the wind

and flood, the storm flattening the land. When the seventh day arrived, the storm was pounding, the flood was a war--struggling with itself like a woman writhing in labor. The sea calmed, fell still, the whirlwind and flood stopped up. I looked around all day long--quiet had set in and all the human beings had turned to clay! The terrain was as flat as a roof. I opened a vent and fresh air (daylight!) fell upon the side of my nose. I fell to my knees and sat weeping, tears streaming down the side of my nose. I looked around for coastlines in the expanse of the sea, and at twelve leagues there emerged a region of land. On Mt. Nimush the boat lodged firm, Mt. Nimush held the boat, allowing no sway. One day and a second Mt. Nimush held the boat, allowing no sway. A third day, a fourth, Mt. Nimush held the boat, allowing no sway. A fifth day, a sixth, Mt. Nimush held the boat, allowing no sway. When a seventh day arrived I sent forth a dove and released it. The dove went off, but came back to me; no perch was visible so it circled back to me. I sent forth a swallow and released it. The swallow went off, but

came back to me; no perch was visible so it circled back to me. I sent forth a raven and released it. The raven went off, and saw the waters slither back. It eats, it scratches, it bobs, but does not circle back to me. Then I sent out everything in all directions and sacrificed a sheep. I offered incense in front of the mountain-ziggurat. Seven and seven cult vessels I put in place, and into the fire underneath I poured reeds, cedar, and myrtle. The gods smelled the savor, the gods smelled the sweet savor, and collected like flies over a sheep sacrifice.

Just then Beletili arrived. She lifted up the large beads which Anu had made for his enjoyment: 'You gods, as surely as I shall not forget this lapis lazuli around my neck, may I be mindful of these days, and never forget them! The gods may come to the incense offering, but Enlil may not come to the incense offering, because without considering he brought about the Flood and consigned my people to annihilation.' Just then Enlil arrived. He saw the boat and became furious, he was filled with rage at the Igigi gods: 'Where did a living being escape? No man was to survive the annihilation!' Ninurta spoke to Valiant Enlil, saying: 'Who else but Ea could devise such a thing? It is Ea who knows every machination!' La spoke to Valiant Enlil, saying: 'It is yours, O Valiant One, who is the Sage of the Gods. How, how could you bring about a Flood without consideration Charge the violation to the violator, charge the offense to the offender, but be compassionate lest mankind be cut off, be patient lest they be killed. Instead of your bringing on the Flood, would that a lion had appeared to diminish the people! Instead of your bringing on the Flood, would that a wolf had appeared to diminish the people! Instead of your bringing on the Flood, would that famine had occurred to slay the land! Instead of your bringing on the Flood, would that (Pestilent) Erra had appeared to ravage the land! It was not I who revealed the secret of the Great Gods, I only made a dream appear to Atrahasis, and thus he heard the secret of the gods. Now then! The deliberation should be about him!'

Enlil went up inside the boat and, grasping my hand, made me go up. He had my wife go up and kneel by my side. He touched our forehead and, standing between us, he blessed us: 'Previously Utanapishtim was a human being. But now let Utanapishtim and his wife become like us, the gods! "

13. Long life removed from mankind a few generations after the flood
From Gilgamesh P XLV

"After the assembly had made the Deluge sweep over... Ziusudra, one of mankind, still lived!... From that time we swore that mankind should not have life eternal."

"After the Flood had swept over... when the gods An and Enlil... had not sent down from heaven (once more) kingship, crown and even city, and for all the overthrown people had not established (once more) mattock, spade, earth-basket and plough, the things which ensure the life of the land, then a man spent one hundred years as a boy, free of duties, another hundred years he spent, after he grew up, (but still) he performed no task of work."

14. Changing of one language into many

Compare to Genesis 11:1-9

"Once upon a time, there was no snake, there was no scorpion, There was no hyena, there was no lion, There was no wild dog, no wolf, There was no fear, no terror, Man had no rival. In those days, the land Shubur-Hamazi, Harmony-tongued Sumer, the great land of the me of princeship, Uri, the land having all that is appropriate, The land Martu, resting in security, The whole universe, the people well cared for, To Enlil in one tongue gave speech.

Then the lord defiant, the prince defiant, the king defiant, Enki, the lord of abundance, whose commands are trustworthy, The lord of wisdom, who scans the land, The leader of the gods,
The lord of Eridu, endowed with wisdom, Changed the speech in their mouths, put contention into it, Into the speech of man that had been one."

Note: Eridu was the first known city and it had a large Ziggurat, Enki, who opposed Enlil in the Sumerian flood story, was the patron god of Eridu, and there are correspondences between "Eridu" and "Babylon", See

Note: the first successful large city was Uruk. One myth tells of how the plans for building civilization were stolen from Eridu and taken upstream to Uruk, See

15. World replaces creator God with polytheism

"Enlil was passing through Kiur, and as Enlil was passing through Kiur the fifty great gods, and the seven gods of formulating the decisions, were seizing Enlil in Kiur: The sex offender Enlil will leave the town! The sex offender Nunamnir will leave the town! Enlil, in accordance with what has been decided about him, left town. Enlil was walking along, Ninlil was following..."

16. Hammurabi was a follower of a creator god

"When lofty Anum, king of the Anunnaki, and Enlil, lord of heaven and earth, the determiner of the destinies of the land, determined for Marduk, the first-born of Enki, the Enlil functions over all mankind, made him great among the Igigi, called Babylon by its exalted name, made it supreme in the world, established for him in its midst an enduring kingship, whose foundations are as firm as heaven and earth - at that time Anum and Enlil named me to promote the welfare of the people, me, Hammurabi, the devout, god-fearing prince, to cause justice to prevail in the land, to destroy the wicked and the evil, that the strong might not oppress the weak, to rise like the sun over the black-headed people, and to light up the land. Hammurabi, the shepherd, called by Enlil, am I; the one who makes affluence and plenty abound; who provides in abundance all sorts of things for Nippur-Duranki; the devout patron of Ekur; the efficient king, who restored Eridu to its place"

17. Four males and four females come out of water

Flood related myth from ancient Egypt:
The oldest of the Egyptian creation myths was that eight gods, fo
ur male and four female, were created out of water. That would fit well with the flood story since four men and four wome
n came out of the ark. Each of them lived much longer than their descendants and had tales of a more populated world that was lost, so they could have seemed like Gods with eternal life to their descendants.

Note about Terah and Abram and Ur
Depending on the specific dating, Terah and Abraham may have left Ur during the Ur III dynasty. If so Ur may have been the thriving capital city of Mesopotamia at the time. The first king of Ur rebuilt the major Ziggurats in Nippur (to Enlil), Ur, Uruk and Uridu (the first known Ziggurat). And the second king of the Ur III dynasty wrote arrogant things about how great he was and he declared himself to be a god. He was the second king in history to do that. The first king to declare himself to be a god was told in a dream by Enlil that he would have some kind of disaster. That king destroyed the temple of Enlil and his Akkadian empire was taken over and destroyed some time not too long after that (during the reign of the next king).

So, if the chronology I am using correctly dates Abraham's life (somewhere around 2000 B.C.,), the dates could match up with him leaving Ur possibly during the Reign of Shulgi, who was the second king to declare himself a God. At that point it would make sense that God might abandon Mesopotamia and create a new nation that recovers the true history of the creator God and the flood.

Also, it is interesting that Ur and Haran (where they originally went) both have the same patron god of the Moon. The new testament says Terah and Abraham were actual polytheists who were called out of that society rather than pure monotheists out of step with the culture. Abraham would have seen, and likely visited many times, the Zigurat pictured here. The timeline also suggests it may have been built during the lifetime of Terah, Abram's father.

Since Shulgi declared that writings be re-written in a new format, there would have been many scholars at this time re-writing older texts. It is possible that Terah and Abraham may have learned about more accurate histories than were popularly known at the time and so they came to reject the mythologies that had come to surround their history.

From The Harps that Once Page xii "The majority of works we possess seems to have come down to us in a form given them slightly later, during the period of the Third Dynasty of Ur, some of the rulers of which - notably Shulgi - were much concerned to preserve extant older literary works and to encourage the creation of new ones".

These correlations do not prove that the ancient history listed in the Bible is accurate. One could just as easily argue that the history in Genesis is a cleaned up version of Sumerian myths, which may be the reason why churches do not teach people about these correlations in Sunday School. But at least it can be said that a best guess at pulling history out of the earliest myths is consistent with what we would expect if the Bible history in Genesis is true. Perhaps that is part of the reason why the Book of Genesis has stood the test of time and today over half of the world's population (including Christians, Muslims and Jews) honor the book of Genesis.