6

votes

Is Agriculture the Tree Of Knowledge from Christian mythology?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 30, 2012 at 3:59 PM

Think about it: Mankind living in peace in a food-forest paradise.

Then they acquire knowledge (grain agriculture) and are cast out into a desolate wasteland (SAD planet).

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on August 30, 2012
at 07:33 PM

I think that's the keyword there- it was farmable, not gatherable. Compared to a paradise where you didn't have to work till the fields, sow, reap, preserve, store, etc all your food... it is a desolate wasteland. And of course Adam and Eve wouldn't have had a SAD, but I think they're saying that the whole agricultural thing set us up for diets like the SAD. We're talking parables/fables/symbolism here, not documented and verifiable history.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on August 30, 2012
at 07:07 PM

Archaeology is a better base for making choices. Does this mean that you also reject the holy paleo texts as well? Personally I find green eggs and ham to be a better diet guide than the daily apple or GCBC.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on August 30, 2012
at 07:02 PM

What makes you think it was a desolate wasteland? It was farmable, just that work was now required to make it produce food. SAD?????????? This happened in Iraq not the USA, so would be something more like SID? – thhq 0 secs ago

Medium avatar

(10611)

on August 30, 2012
at 07:01 PM

What makes you think it was a desolate wasteland? It was farmable, just that work was now required to make it produce food. SAD?????????? This happened in Iraq not the USA, so would be something more like SAQ.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on August 30, 2012
at 06:57 PM

In order for cities to exist, farmimg has to be detached from subsistence. Row crops and fully domesticated animals subservient to people that have no direct contact with the land. Money enters in.....

Medium avatar

(10611)

on August 30, 2012
at 06:53 PM

Eden is described as a garden, which implies agricultural order. Stewardship of plants and animals defines farming, and growing row crops is just a different kind of farming (albeit less desirable). Genesis is not Wild Kingdom.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on August 30, 2012
at 06:47 PM

^ Gotcha. Thnx.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on August 30, 2012
at 06:47 PM

^ Gotcha. Thx .

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on August 30, 2012
at 06:17 PM

Just because it doesn't affect your food choices doesn't mean it isn't a cool topic for discussion. :) It doesn't affect me at all, either religiously or nutritionally, but then again neither does the retro sci-fi I read or the m-theory I study. Still fun, though!

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on August 30, 2012
at 06:15 PM

Love his writing! It is a similar premise but not exact. To paraphrase, the knowledge of who lives and who dies is the knowledge of the gods/good&evil. When it comes to industrialized agriculture, humans and our food get to live, and "vermin" like weeds and field mice die. Forced agriculture was the punishment - leaving the Garden of Eden where they could gather freely and instead had to till the soil.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on August 30, 2012
at 06:13 PM

The Bible never actually comes out and says that. It's speculation that perhaps the whole Garden of Eden thing was a parable/fable that has symbolic meaning. Like what Nemesis mentioned about God preferring meat to plants. Just for a fun discussion; I don't know anyone who is religiously affected by this theory. :)

782d92f4127823bdfb2ddfcbcf961d0e

(5231)

on August 30, 2012
at 06:03 PM

I think it was a setup for preference for the nomadic, pastoral life which comprises most of the five books. Cities are not looked favorably upon (Sodom and Gamorrah for starters).

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on August 30, 2012
at 05:59 PM

Not that I am at all religious, but where does it say that grain agriculture was the knowledge that cast them out into a desolate wasteland?

7953637a2b9df25a5473a4a086e730f0

(145)

on August 30, 2012
at 05:55 PM

Joe that is AWESOME. Very interesting stuff.

A2fe5bbd09c7804fd321e9e9a9f9d199

(1614)

on August 30, 2012
at 05:25 PM

Check out "Historical Genesis: from Adam to Abraham". Adam and the garden correlates rather closely to what has been discovered about Eridu and cuneform inscriptions in various places about "Adapa" -- the ancient king with no earthly father, a sage/priest/ruler of the ancient city Eridu, he had forfeited his access to eternal life, and was known in Eridu as a "baker of bread". one fragment mentions about Adapa: "what ill he has brought upon mankind, and the disease that he brought upon the bodies of men"

Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on August 30, 2012
at 04:54 PM

There are several good books on agriculture and the Bible, including bits on when the bible *isn't* agricultural. But good question! +1

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on August 30, 2012
at 04:32 PM

God preferred Abel's offering of a slaughtered goat (or lamb, whatever), and spurned Cain's offering of the fresh vegetables from his field. God is pretty big on meat.

7953637a2b9df25a5473a4a086e730f0

(145)

on August 30, 2012
at 04:25 PM

That last line is great. I am not very familiar with the bible and was not aware that was in there.

7953637a2b9df25a5473a4a086e730f0

(145)

on August 30, 2012
at 04:25 PM

>Before Man was created to be a steward of the fruit trees and animals, after he is thrown out his life span is shortened and he is given the cultivated plants of the field to eat and bread. That is great. I am not familiar with the bible and had no idea that was in there.

7953637a2b9df25a5473a4a086e730f0

(145)

on August 30, 2012
at 04:24 PM

And escaping the natural way of things via agriculture could be interpreted as rejecting God/the gods.

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6 Answers

1
81eea89722d351d9ed1b763dd8bc73d6

(148)

on August 30, 2012
at 05:44 PM

I wrote a blog about this last year from a Jewish perspective. I do indeed believe that agriculture was the "Eating from the tree of knowledge" hence the "Sin" mentioned in Bereshit/Genesis. There are a few different rabbinic sources that discuss what the fruit/tree/plant was. The differing opinions say it was either figs, grapes, or wheat. "G-d" did not kick them out of Eden for having sex, it states it very plainly. Also, when Cain and Abel offer their sacrifices to G-d, he rejects the agriculture and accepts the animal/animal husbands.

782d92f4127823bdfb2ddfcbcf961d0e

(5231)

on August 30, 2012
at 06:03 PM

I think it was a setup for preference for the nomadic, pastoral life which comprises most of the five books. Cities are not looked favorably upon (Sodom and Gamorrah for starters).

Medium avatar

(10611)

on August 30, 2012
at 06:57 PM

In order for cities to exist, farmimg has to be detached from subsistence. Row crops and fully domesticated animals subservient to people that have no direct contact with the land. Money enters in.....

1
96d492bc621cf194ec53acd8084dadb0

on August 30, 2012
at 05:12 PM

I believe that's one of the central premises of Daniel Quinn's book Ishmael.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on August 30, 2012
at 06:15 PM

Love his writing! It is a similar premise but not exact. To paraphrase, the knowledge of who lives and who dies is the knowledge of the gods/good&evil. When it comes to industrialized agriculture, humans and our food get to live, and "vermin" like weeds and field mice die. Forced agriculture was the punishment - leaving the Garden of Eden where they could gather freely and instead had to till the soil.

1
F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on August 30, 2012
at 04:22 PM

I was actually just thinking about it. I think that the better protein/fat they ate, the more their brains developed. The more their brains developed, the smarter they got. The smarter they got, more ideas started to circulate.

Basically, all animals are driven by pleasure seeking, pain avoidance and energy conservation. Humans started growing things for two reasons:

  1. To conserve energy (not to roam around, looking for roots and animals)
  2. To have a stable supply of food

By learning how to do that, they were expelled from the garden of Eden but achieved energy conservation.

7953637a2b9df25a5473a4a086e730f0

(145)

on August 30, 2012
at 04:24 PM

And escaping the natural way of things via agriculture could be interpreted as rejecting God/the gods.

1
E791387b2829c660292308092dc3ca9b

(831)

on August 30, 2012
at 04:14 PM

Interesting question. :) Actually reading the account in Genesis farming was given as a curse after they were thrown out of the Garden of Eden. Before Man was created to be a steward of the fruit trees and animals, after he is thrown out his life span is shortened and he is given the cultivated plants of the field to eat and bread.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on August 30, 2012
at 06:53 PM

Eden is described as a garden, which implies agricultural order. Stewardship of plants and animals defines farming, and growing row crops is just a different kind of farming (albeit less desirable). Genesis is not Wild Kingdom.

7953637a2b9df25a5473a4a086e730f0

(145)

on August 30, 2012
at 04:25 PM

That last line is great. I am not very familiar with the bible and was not aware that was in there.

7953637a2b9df25a5473a4a086e730f0

(145)

on August 30, 2012
at 04:25 PM

>Before Man was created to be a steward of the fruit trees and animals, after he is thrown out his life span is shortened and he is given the cultivated plants of the field to eat and bread. That is great. I am not familiar with the bible and had no idea that was in there.

0
6498694060d879a7960b35913539b75f

(1307)

on August 30, 2012
at 05:31 PM

It seems as relevant to me as the fact that Alice ate cakes in Wonderland. And Sam did not like green eggs and ham. I don't make my food choices based on literature.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on August 30, 2012
at 07:07 PM

Archaeology is a better base for making choices. Does this mean that you also reject the holy paleo texts as well? Personally I find green eggs and ham to be a better diet guide than the daily apple or GCBC.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on August 30, 2012
at 06:17 PM

Just because it doesn't affect your food choices doesn't mean it isn't a cool topic for discussion. :) It doesn't affect me at all, either religiously or nutritionally, but then again neither does the retro sci-fi I read or the m-theory I study. Still fun, though!

0
75e8ceee00e2459860ea38220a3a8118

on August 30, 2012
at 04:49 PM

I was just thinking along those lines too! Interesting post! I've thought of it that Abel's offering foreshadowed blood sacrifice but will ponder what you wrote today as we pack to move...

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