TATIANA BAEVA

 

                 

RELIGION AND THE METAPHYSICS OF BIOLOGY

                                               

                     

Biblical Texts as a Source of Scientific Information 

 

 

Through many centuries the Bible has not only been a universally recognized source of a religious world-view; it had been the indisputable authority in all areas of human life, until the passing of time revealed serious contradictions between biblical texts and science. After long years of confrontation, modern scientists started leaning toward the opinion that religion deals with the same reality as physics; however, it looks at that reality from its own angle, using a powerful arsenal of symbols, allegories, metaphors, and other expressive means. [1] But all attempts to juxtapose the events of the six days of Creation with the modern explanations of the origins of the Universe, were very comparative in essence.

The author decided to decode the allegorical meaning of Biblical texts by considering them not from the point of view of physics, but that of biology. This method allowed the author to discover trustworthy scientific information in the Biblical texts; information that doesn’t contradict achievements of modern science, and even supplements them. We can use a similar approach for works of philosophy and mythology. But it is the Bible that combines in itself three levels of knowledge: theological, philosophical, and scientific. And it is precisely with the help of the Bible that we will finally be able to come into true contact with the Absolute.

The basis of interpreting Biblical texts from the biological point of view lies in God’s name itself: the name that He revealed to Moses -«היחא דשא היהא»  - «I am who I am», (Exodus 3:14-15).  This phrase was translated from Hebrew into Greek as «έγώ είμί ό ών».  In turn, it was translated from Greek into Old Church Slavonic as «Я есмь Сущий/I am Soosh’sh’iy». And now, let us translate back into Greek, not the sacred name of God, but simply the word “soosh’sh’iy”, which means: “existing”, “actual”, “real”, ‘true”. [2] We will end up with ό ǒντως (óntos).

The name of the first chapter of the Bible in Greek is ģenesis – «creation», «origin». The creation, carried out by Soosh’sh’iy is оntogenesis (fr. Greek ǒν, genitive case ǒντως – «existence» and ģenesis – «origin», «rise/beginning»). This concept includes the totality of transformations throughout the individual development of any organism, from the moment of conception till the end of its life. The three stages of ontogenesis are differentiated in animals that reproduce sexually: the proembryonic, which includes gametogenesis and the fecundation of the ovum; the embryonic, which includes development of the ovum before the birth of the organism; and the postembryonic, which includes all stages of development of the born organism untill death.

Let us try to interpret the first chapter of the Bible as an allegorical account of the events of ontogenesis.

 

Two verbs are used in reference to the creation: «bara», to create; and «asa», to do. When the verb used is «bara», then a fundamentally new being is created; a being that did not exist in this world and that could not have been made or put together out of already existing elements.  The verb «asa» means the making of a new object out of already existing elements. The verb «bara» is used in the Bible in reference to the creation of heaven and earth (Genesis 1.1), and to the creation of living souls (Genesis 1.25-1.27).

            If we juxtapose the text of the Bible with the biological events of ontogenesis, we will find a surprising similarity of described events. We have to take into account that in describing various events of ontogenesis the Bible uses as an example not only the human embryo.

 

 

   THE CREATION

 

            Genesis 1:1 – the creation (bara) of heaven and earth. During its development  the plasma membrane of an ovocyte aquires an additional vitelline layer, which in mammals is referred to as the zona pellucida. It is precisely this layer that recognizes and binds the spermatozoon. That is why a spermatozoon of a different kind would not have a chance to introduce its genetic material into the ovum. During ovulation the ovum is surrounded by yet another membrane, the corona radiata, composed of several layers of follicular cells. This explains the multiple number of heavens (“shamayiim”, the word used in Hebrew, is the plural of “heaven”); the earth is an ovocyte.

Genesis 1:2 – water (the deep) is the ovoplasm. Hebrew «Ruakh», or «Spirit», can also be translated as «wind». The wind clearly corresponds to the calcium ions, Са²+, which are present in the ovoplasm and promote the maturation of the ovum, even without the presence of hormones. However, such results have only been studied in starfish; the maturation of the ovocyte in humans is considerably more complex and far less studied. [3] The reasons why the Bible doesn’t remains silent on the fact that hormones actively participate in the development of the ovocyte will later become clear to us.

Genesis 1:3 – and then, upon God’s word, the light appears. Here the Bible talks about the event that directly follows the entering of the ovum by the spermatozoon, when there is an instant change in the electrical properties of the ovum’s plasmalemma, during which the negative potential of the membrane changes to positive, and remains positive for about 20 minutes, preventing polyspermy.

It is conceivable that this event is aided by the rapid increase in the concentration of Са²+.

“There is abundant evidence that it is the transient increase in cytosolic Са²+ concentration (which propagates around the egg from the site of sperm fusion as a ring-shaped wave) that initiates the program of egg development. [… this increase] activates the eggs of all animals so far tested, including mammals». [4]

            Thus, the water (the deep) equals the ovoplasm. The wind equals the Са²+ ions found in the ovoplasm. The light equals the change in the membrane potential of the cell.

Genesis 1:6 – following this event, the Са²+ ions trigger the cortical reaction, which forms a fertilization membrane that sperm cannot penetrate. It is accomplished through the remaking (asa) of the already existing “heaven” (zona pellucida), and corresponds to the creation of the firmament, that divides the «waters above the firmament» from the «waters under the firmament». The «firmament» also prevents рolyspermy. During the next stage the fertilized egg cleaves to form many smaller eggs.

Genesis 1:9 – the creation of the earth and the sea (asa). The morula, a small mass of cells, develops into a blastocyst, the cavity of which is filled with liquid. The emryoblast (the inner cell mass) represents «earth», and the blastocoel represents «gathering of waters».

            Genesis 1:11 – by God’s command, plants grow on Earth. During this time, the cell structure of the embryo that is preparing itself for gastrulation, changes, and the synthesis of iRNA becomes more active. The smaller organic molecules, which are floating free in the ovoplasm, combine to form macromolecules. In this way monosaccharides serve as energy, building blocks for the macromolecules and as food for the cells.

            Genesis 1:14 – the creation of lights, or heavenly bodies (asa). Cells go through the process of determination and shape the genetic program of the subsequent development of the embryo. This period corresponds to the beginning of gastrulation.

Genesis 1:20,21,26 – days five and six (bara). It seems that here we have a description of different embryonal stages that reflect events of morphogenesis. Thus, during the fifth and sixth days, mesodermal segments, much like the ancient chordata, are observed in a human embryo. At the age of several weeks, a human embryo shows likeness to fish, etc. At an early stage, only an expert can tell a chicken and a human embryo apart; later on, the embryo gradually acquires characteristics that are particular to its species.

            But note that these events are described in the text of the Bible by the verb «bara». And that means that the Bible talks about genetic events that take place during the six days of creation.

 

                 

 

      ADAM AND EVE

 

 

Since the Bible doesn’t fix our attention upon the events of gastrulation, it may be assumed that the six days of creation include all events from the conception to the determination (genetic restructuring) of cells at the beginning of gastrulation. The genetic plan of a human being is created in the course of six actual days.

Below is the description of a mystical experience of Juliana of Norwich (circa 1342 – 1420 A.C.), a Benedictine nun of a convent of Conisford, and the most prominent of all English mystics.

            «God showed me a small object the size of a hazelnut. I looked at it, striving to understand, and thought: «What could it be?» - and got an exhaustive answer: «This is everything that has been created». [5]

              And now we shall witness different genetic events. Because the genome is the very subject of the Bible’s attention.

              In the first chapter, man is created before all other creatures. This event brings us back in the sense that the «construction» (Hebrew  «vaiitser») of a man relates to the events of the merging of pronuclei after the fecundation. In this case, the «man» is the nuclear genome of the zygote, and he is comprised of 46 chromosomes.

            God places the «man» in the garden located on the Eastern side of Eden. Eden represents the place of implantation of the embryo into the wall of the uterus. The cells of trophectoderm attach themselves to the uterine wall with the help of villi. Two structures are formed outside of the embryo during this time: the amnion and the yolk sac. We shall categorize the yolk sac as the garden, full of fruit. In fish, reptiles, and birds the yolk sac initially undertakes such functions as the feeding, breathing, and protection of the embryo by means of blood cells and blood vessels in its walls; this process is known as yolk hemopoiesis. And although the yolk sac is not a trophic organ in mammals (because the liquid that fills it doesn't contain a yolk, only proteins and minerals), it nonetheless can participate in the process of absorbing and transporting nutrients out of the uterus. [6] The Hebrew word gan, «garden», derives from the verb  ganon, «to protect» or «to defend».

The meaning of the phrase «creation of animals» can be understood only after we learn what is meant by the word «woman». The woman is created from a rib. Let’s follow the logic: we called the nuclear genome of a human being a “man”. The word “genome” is a key word here. In the same fashion, a «rib» represents a part of a nucleic acid molecule. In this case, the Bible talks about the creation of the first woman out of the rib of the first man. And that means that it speaks, specifically, of the events happening to the first cell. And the description of the barren earth (Genesis 2: 4-6), with not a blade of grass in sight, and only the mist rising from it, transports us to the events of many millions of years ago.

            Our conjecture is supported by the fact that both subjects, “man” and “woman”, were naked. It is known that a procaryotic cell does not have a nucleus and that its NA molecule is located in the protoplasm itself. This means that the breaking away of that part of the molecule also occurred back at the procaryotic cell stage.

              It is important to note here that the broken away part of NA is called only a rib. Next, a woman was constructed out of it (Hebrew vaiitser) and brought unto the man. In other words, a part of an NA molecule was properly constructed and returned into the cell.

              Let us come back to the creation of animals. Now we can answer the question of which NA molecule was contained in the first cell. The animals were being created out the dust of the ground, so as to become helpers «meet» for man. But none among them had the likeness of man. This means that «animals» and «man» represent different nucleic acids. When the Bible talks about the creation of «man», the Hebrew verb vaiitser, to construct, is used with a double «iota»; but when it talks about the creation of «animals», it is used with a single «iota». We can conclude with certainty that «man» and «woman» (who is like him) are represented by a DNA molecule; and «animals» are represented by an RNA molecule.

              After animals and birds are named by the man, RNA molecules divide into «cattle» and «beasts of the field». We may classify «cattle» as a reference to such molecules as  transport or ribosome RNA; and «beasts of the field» as a reference to the world of self-sufficient procaryotic RNA cells.

In this way the Prophet paints the following picture: first, a «naked gene», or a DNA molecule, was created out of «dust»; and second, it was placed into a «garden», or capsid. The DNA molecule was grown, or «mature» enough, since it «dressed and kept» the cell.

            Soon after, RNA molecules were constructed out of the ground. Some of them were placed as «helpers» in the cell containing the DNA molecule, and the others continued to self-replicate freely.

            After some time, a part of the DNA molecule was used to construct yet another DNA molecule.

         The Bible clearly tells us that the first cells were created by God, and did not come about by chance. To a scientist, such a phrase as «created by God» does not make any sense. However, further reading of the Bible’s text will give these words a completely different shade of meaning. Meanwhile, let us continue.

 

 

                                                      ORIGINAL SIN

 

 

               The tree of knowledge of good and evil «was desirable for the knowedge that it could give» (Genesis 3:6); in other words for the information, in this case, genetic information. The DNA molecule created out of a «rib» «consumes» the genetic «friut»: in other words, incorporates into itself foreign genetic information and transfers it to «Adam». The absence of «clothing» played the fateful role here.

               Let us point out that the «fruit» here is the inert genetic material. The seducer is an «animal» - the serpent, i.e. an RNA molecule. It would be most logical to see in this RNA molecule a future virus – the enemy of  humankind.

«Man’s» punishment. From this point on «cursed is the ground» for Adam's sake.  The unsanctioned genetic insert into the DNA molecule of the first cell, which lays at the foundation of the creation, distorted God's design.  The fifth chapter of Genesis informs us of «Adam» genome’s death – it will disappear from the face of the earth (Genesis 5:5).

The punishment of the «woman». The woman will depend on a man. It would be fitting to remember here that the name of the broken away part of the DNA molecule is Eve. In Hebrew it is hawa – «life», and also «breathing». Breathing and supplying energy for the cell occurs only in mitochondria. And we can anticipate that it is precisely a mitochondrion that will be created out of the broken away part of the DNA molecule. Our conjecture is supported by the fact that most proteins nessessary for the mitochondrion are encoded by the genes of the nucleus, and that means that the «woman» depends on the «man».

The mitochondria encoding is considered more ancient because, unlike that of the nucleus, it is similar to the protein synthesis of procaryotes. The information contained in the mitochondria DNA is recorded in a different genetic code, and it needs to be recoded before it can be recorded in the DNA of the nucleus. Approximately 90 genes are needed for the task, which is not at all «cost effective» for the cell.

We will not be able to find information about Eve’s death: possibly, the encoding of the mitochondria will help us imagine what was God’s design.

Having committed sin, people «sewed fig leaves together; and made themselves aprons» (Genesis 3:7). And «Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them» (Genesis 3:21). There follows an era of eucaryotes, in which only the genome of the nucleus and the mitochondrion are covered with a double  membrane.

 

 

 CAIN AND ABEL

 

 

Adam knew Eve and she bore two sons: Cain and Abel. This event cannot be related to the mitochondrion since it reproduces by simple division. The Scriptures again change the angle of the story and make us return to the embryo version. It is not by chance that two concepts appear in the text: “woman” and “Eve”.

We left the embryo at the moment when it attached itself to the uterus wall, i.e. when God placed the “man” into the “garden”. Shortly after, the cells begin to differentiate rapidly. It is precisely at this time that God creates animals, and then constructs the woman.  We have all reasons to think that all characters, in this case, may be categorized as cells.

Therefore, we shall categorize “Adam” as a reproductive cell; and “animals” as somatic cells, in which about 90% of the entire DNA is to be found in a condensed, not working, state. And now we are left to find an analogy for the “woman”. That cell “gave birth to two different cells.

There are only two ways of cell reproduction. Somatic cells reproduce by simple division, and so-called stem cells give birth to one or several types of differentiated cells. “Eve”, no doubt, should be categorized as a stem cell.

Let us look at stem cells more closely. Stem cells are not differentiated externally, but are determined. Stem cells are able to divide indefinitely and produce any required specific cells where the differentiated cells themselves are incapable of dividing. In one case, stem cells produce the basal cells of the epidermis, in another case, cells of blood or the immune system, or in yet another case, the basal cells of the nail bed. Each daughter cell independently decides whether to remain a stem cell or become differentiated. Therefore, stem cells are not designed for a particular function, but to produce cells of a required function in a specific location. By the way, a single stem cell can function throughout the lifetime of an organism, which means that it is, conditionally, “immortal”.

In order to understand what kind of “children” Eve gives birth to, let us remember that Eve is created out of a rib. Human ribs contain red marrow, from which the hemopoietic stem cells originate.

But the inception of the primary hemopoietic stem cells takes place as early as on the 12th-14th day of the embryo’s development inside the walls of the yolk sac, which we identified as the garden of Eden. And the first cells to localize in the “garden” are the reproductive cells, i.e. “Adam”.

Therefore, «Eve» of the 4th Chapter represents a pluripotent hemopoietic stem cell.

Blood contains numerous types of cells, such as erythrocytes, various immune system cells, and megakaryocytes, which in their turn produce thrombocytes. It is thought that all of them originate from the same type of stem cell.

Researchers connect the name Cain with the Hebrew verb “cana” – to acquire. Everyone has heard the expression “acquired immunity”. The cells of the mother organism perceive fetus as a transplant and develop antibodies against it, thus guaranteeing the fetus’s passive immunity.

The job of the immune system is to distinguish what in the organism is “its own” from what is “foreign”, i.e. to distinguish the good from the evil. Which is precisely the quality acquired by Adam following the original sin. Let us not forget that Adam symbolizes not only the genome of the ovum, but also the first DNA-containing cell, in which the plasmid-like DNA could have provided initial immunity.

 Cain is a tiller of the ground who clears the soil by removing stones from the soil. The immune system cells (immunitas Lat. – freeing from something) clears the organism of foreign bodies and removes their toxic molecules.

Note that Eve created Cain with God's help:I have gotten a man from the Lord”(Genesis 4:1); because in complexity the immune system surpasses the most ingenious devises created by humankind.

Abel is the brother of Cain. The word «Abel» originates from the Hebrew word hébel, which means «vapors», or «breath». We shall categorize Abel as an erythrocyte by virtue of the fact that erythrocytes take care of the flocks” of cells: they transport into the tissues amino acids and lipids, bring oxygen and carry away carbon dioxide.

The Prophet emphasizes the connections of Abel’s name with the erythrocytes:

           

The voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground” (Genesis 4:10).

 

The bloody sacrifice of Abel does not contradict the red color of erythrocytes. The immune system cells are mostly colorless – the bloodless sacrifice of Cain.

            Thus, the fratricide scene tells us of the conflict between the cells of the immune system and the erythrocytes during the early stages of the embryo’s development, as well as of morphogenetic events.

Cain goes out from the presence of the Lord and dwells in the land of Nod. The land of Nod is thymus, where the predecessors of lymphocytes complete their maturation and become T-lymphocytes. This event takes place during the 8-12 week of embryo’s development. Therefore, the “fratricide” should be associated with the time when Cain could still be categorized as the lymphocytes’ predecessor.

Based on Cain’s genealogy we can suppose that the thymus controls the whole diversity of the immune system’s cells; and that Cain, the lymphocytes’ predecessor, was their progenitor.

 

                                     

 

THE MYSTERY OF ORIGINAL SIN

 

 

            The 4th Chapter ends with Eve giving birth to the third son – Seth:

 

“…God hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew” (Genesis 4:25).

 

            The new child came instead of Abel, an erythrocyte; therefore, Seth is an erythrocyte as well. But the 5th Chapter introduces one more reference point:

 

“Adam … begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth” (Genesis 5:3).

 

There is no mention of either Cain or Abel being created in anybody’s likeness. Abel was not a likeness of Adam. Adam is a genetic concept, and Abel is a somatic one. Seth replaced Abel-erythrocyte, but is like the genetic Adam. Consequently, Seth represents the part of the genome that is associated with the globin localization genes. 

In this way the Prophet points out that the original sin, committed unimaginably long time ago and forever set in Adam’s genome, later affected precisely the genes of the globin localization. That would explain why the word  «Adam» is associated with the idea of «being red».

Perhaps we will be able to shed some light on the events of many million years ago by using the example of ascomycetes to illustrate what happened.

 The mitochondria DNA of the young cells of these mushrooms includes the, so called, «DNA of ageing»; which constitutes an intron, i.e. a non-encoding, or turned off sequence of an extremely important mitochondrial gene – cytochrom-c-oxidaza. This gene is responsible for the production of a ferment that serves as a catalyst for one of the stages of the cell breathing. A cell's breathing is accomplished by the mitochondria through the participation of the three main ferment complexes. One of them, the complex b=c, is a protein pigment, connected to the ferreous prosthetic group, otherwise known as heme. It is exactly the same heme that is contained in hemoglobin. All globin genes come from a common gene-predecessor.

Moreover, this intron becomes a mobile genetic element, capable of moving within the cell’s genome. Finally the intron multiplies to such an extent that it forces out the normal sequences of the DNA and causes the cell’s death. Remember that God prohibited Adam from eating the forbidden fruit, for «thou shalt surely die». It is conceivable that this intron-plasmid is the original «fruit» from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Furthermore, the «DNA of ageing» was also discovered in the mushroom cell’s nucleus. It is thought that the DNA of the nucleus somehow draws it towards itself; however, if we adhere to the text of the Bible, it is not the genome of the nucleus that draws plasmid toward itself, but rather the mitochondria DNA «gives» it to the DNA of the nucleus. [7]

Up until now scientists thought that semantic series of certain words in some ancient languages were illogical. Thus, in Accadian the same word napištu means «breathing», but also «life force», and «blood». Breathing and life force remind us of the name «hawа», and blood – of the name «hébel». Now, when we clearly see the relation between the heme, participating in the cell's breathing, and the heme of hemoglobin, these semantic series  become quite logical.

            A genetic defect leads to very serious consequences. Here is an example of a singular defect in a gene that is responsible for the synthesis of hemoglobin A(HbA), which at the homozigote stage causes extremely varied severe malfunctions in literally all organs. [8]

 

HbA gene mutation

                                 Anomalous globin + heme

                                                           

    Anomalous hemoglobin

                                                             

The erythrocytes become sickle-shaped. The life span of the sickle cells shortens. The agglutination of the blood cells and deficient blood circulation become evident, as well as the agglutination of the sickle cells in the spleen.     

All this, in its turn, results in proliferation of the red bone marrow cells, the increase of the bone marrow mass, anemia, enlargement of the heart, deficient blood flow into literally all organs, including the heart, brain, lungs, and kidneys.

All this is followed by physical and psychological dysfunctions: heart dysfunction, kidney deficiency, enlargement of the spleen, abdominal pain, pneumonia, abnormal bone development, rheumatism, and paralysis.

            Such are the consequences of sin.

The 5th Chapter of Genesis contains the description of the ten generations of the sons of Adam. The word «ben» («son») comes from the verb «bana» («to build»). The genome is being built. Since God’s name is not mentioned here, we can assume, that the Bible is talking about the process of natural mutations.

The Scriptures omit the names of Abel and Cain in the genealogy because they are somatic concepts. Seth’s name comes right after Adam. Note the etymology of his name: Seth (Shet) - «foundation», «laid down». [9]   It means that it is precisly the genetic version «Seth», and not «Adam»,  was laid down as the foundation of the genetic history.

From the text it is inferred that Seth’s birth is not the result of a beneficial mutation, but that of divine intervention.

In this way the Bible gives us the account of the genetic history of the development of life on Earth. Such an interpretation of the Biblical text gives us the basis to approach myths from a different point of view as well.

 

                       

 

 TITANS

 

 

It should be taken into account that descriptions of biological events in myths are often unreliable. Myth as a genre is not meant to preserve information in its original form, and archaic myths often differ significantly from later, culturally adjusted, versions.

Describing the ideal state, Plato casts out poets and artists, as people who feed illusions to citizens. Such giants as Homer and Hesiod are among the ones cast out. Plato thought that they just imitated the Idea (AIDOS), and that any imitation is far from what has a «sound and true purpose». [10] This author, however, thinks that the Lord allowed creations of the great masters to be preserved for a reason. And we can, with a certain degree of caution, rely on their works.

By finding correlations between Greek mythology and embryology, we can compile a dictionary of bio-mythological symbols that will allow us to learn about actual biological events. But it is Gods who are to be the lead characters of myths.

So, out of Chaos is born the first archaic generation of Titan-Gods: Gaea-Earth, who symbolizes an ovocyte, and Uranus-Sky, who symbolizes the Biblical firmament - zona pellucida.

Gaea and Uranus give birth to the Titan-Gods of the second generation. Among them is Oceanus, who symbolizes blastocoel.

              For some period of time the blastocyst is comprised of the iternal tissue cells and the trophectoderm, covered by zona pellucida. Having entered the uterus, after some time, zona pellucida breaks open and the trophoblast cells can come into contact with the endometrium cells. In this way Cronos-trophectoderm takes place of Uranus-zona pellucida.

              The name of Cronos (Κρόνος) is similar to the name of time – Chronos (Χρόνος). In this way, the ascension of Cronos coincides with the fourth day of Creation, when the genetic «lights - heavenly bodies» establish the specific rythm of organogenesis.

            Rhea is at first the sister, and later the wife of Cronos; therefore, she should also be categorized as one of the trophectoderm structures. It stands to reason that Rhea should represent the villi of the trophoblast. Through them the embryo gets all that is necessary from the mother’s body and gets rid of the metabolism by-products. Rhea gives birth to «children» that Cronos «swallows». In this way, «Olympians» are some substances, so far unknown to us, that come from the mother organism. Also, Cronos’ paternity becomes doubtful. This fact did not escape Plato’s attention, as he says:

«Although they give no probable or certain proofs, still, as they declare that they are speaking  of what took place in their own family, we must conform to custom and believe them. In this manner, then, according to them, the genealogy of these gods is to be received and set forth». [11]

And now Homer will tell us about the reign of the three supreme gods.

 

 

      THREE KINGDOMS

 

           

            The three Olympian brothers divided the world between themselves: Zeus got the sky; Poseidon – all the waters; and Hades (Aid) – the netherworld, the Land of the dead.

 

              «For three brothers are we, begotten by Cronos, and born of Rhea – Zeus, and myself, and the third is Hades, who is lord of the dead below. And in three ways have all things been divided, and to each has been apportioned his own domain. I indeed, when the lots where shaken, won the gray sea to be my home for ever, and Hades won the murky darkness, while Zeus won the broad heaven in the air and the clouds; but the earth and high Olympus still remain common to us all. So I will in no way walk according to the will of Zeus; but at his ease let him remain in his third portion, no matter how strong he may be. And with might of hand let him not seek to frighten me as though I were some coward». [12]

In order to understand Homer’s text we need only to follow the process of an embryo’s development. Typical vertebrate development of the embryonal membranes follows the blastocyst’s attachment to the uterine wall. These membranes (the amnion, the chorion, and the allantois) support the embryo’s life function and provide its protection. 

The Gods’ kingdoms begin forming as early as on the 9th through the 14th days of intrauterine development, when the human embryo consists mainly of well developed extraembryonic parts.  

The first to be formed is the amnion, which constitutes a thin membrane filled with amniotic fluid. Before us is the «wave-crashing, swelling sea» [13] - Poseidon’s kingdom. Unlike the oceanus-blastocoel, the sea represents the amniotic fluid that surrounds the embryo’s delicate tissues and prevents them from fusing, which could result in deformities.

The chorion is the outermost membrane, which ensures the metabolic exchange between the mother organism and the embryo. This membrane is formed at the stage when the embryo is only a blastocyst. The chorion is Zeus’s kingdom: «between the clouds and ether is the spacious sky». [14] Zeus was not «swallowed» by Cronos because the chorion’s cells are formed directly from the trophoblast’ cells, which is how he earned the name of Cronide. On the 13th – 14th day the chorion’s connective cells invade (from the Latin invasio) the villi of the trophoblast and form the secondary villi, to which the extraembryonic mezoderm attaches itself. Earlier, Cronos-trophectoderm displaced Uranus- zona pellucida; and now, Zeus-chorion brings down Cronos.

Hera, the sister and the wife of Zeus, is a higher goddess. Her name means the «protectress». We shall categorize her as the nutrition providing villi of the chorion.

The last of the embryonic membranes is the allantois. In mammals, it is the protuberance of the rear wall of intestine and it has two parts: the extraembryonic, which is a part of the umbilical cord with its blood vessels; and the intraembryonic, which later develops into the bladder. This is the kingdom of Hades – the void space in the center of the Earth, the «underground darkness». [15]

            Hades is not the «imposing» and «horrifying» ruler of the dead. He continiously resides in his underground kingdom and remains hidden, even though he is an Olympian god. 

The allantois grows outwardly and comes into contact with the chorion, developing horioallantois, which takes part in the forming of the placenta. Thus, it is as though Zeus and Hades become one. And it is true that Ancient Greece knew two Zeuses: the Subterranean one and the Olympian one.

 

 

OLYMPUS

 

              Note that the Gods own only their kingdoms, but the «Earth», with the people inhabiting it, and «many-hilled olympus» [16] remain in their joint possession.    

The Olympus of the Ancient Greeks is a mountain, where the Gods live. They live in palaces, partaking of ambrosia and drinking nectar. Through the gates of Olympus they drive out in their golden chariots. Life on Olympus is full of comfort: “the winds don’t blow and the cloudless air is filled with the sweetest radiance”. [17]

Zeus resides there as well; Zeus, who’s actions are related to the chorion, which is directly connected with the mother’s blood through the villi  when forming the fetal part of the placenta.

According to Strabo, the two eagles, sent by Zeus from the East and the West, met in Delphi (δελφοζ means the «womb», «uterus»). To memorialize this acquired sacred center, a marble sphere called «omphalos», or the «navel of the Earth», was placed in the middle of the Delphian temple.

Based on this information, we can identify Olympus as the placenta – an organ that provides the connection between the mother-organism and the fetus during the intrauterine development. During the third week of this development the true tertiary villi of the chorion, which contain the embryo’s blood vessels, appear. Zeus definitively establishes himself on the throne, the golden gates of Olympus (the umbilical cord) open, and the circulation of the embryo’s blood and the exchange of blood between the mother and the fetus begin.

Thus, in Ancient Greek mythology, the system of the nutritional supply and protection of the fetus is reflected as follows: the sky represents the chorion, Mount Olympus represents the placenta, and the gates represent the umbilical cord.

 

 

PLATO

 

And now let us take a look at Plato’s work  «Timaeus».

          The two generations of the Titan-Gods should be categorized as part of the structures of the developing ovum. People are not part of the Gods’ lives. But the lives of the Olympian Gods are very closely connected with people.

«Three tribes of mortal beings remain to be created – without them the universe will be incomplete, for it will not contain every kind of animal which it ought to contain, if it is to be perfect». [18]

During the gastrulation process the internal cell mass begins to transform itself into the three primary germ layers: the еntoderm, the ectoderm, and the mesoderm. We shall categorize the three primary germ layers as the «three generations of mortal beings». In human beings, the primary germ layers are not as obvious due to the differences in the spatial relationships. [19]

In creating human beings the Olympian Gods in Plato’s work «… fashion their mortal bodies, and ...furnish what was still lacking to the human soul, and having made all the suitable additions, ... rule over them…» [20]  

And this is how Gods «made suitable additions to human souls».

They «… constructed within the body a soul of another nature which was mortal, subject to terrible and irresistible affections – first of all, pleasure, the greatest incitement to evil; then, pain, which deters from good; rashness and fear, two foolish counselors; and finally anger, hard to be appeased, and hope, easily led astray – these they mingled with irrational sense and with all-daring love according to necessary laws, and so framed man». [21]

As one could see, it is the endocrine system that is guilty in bringing into action passion, love, and anger. The placenta is also an endocrine system organ, as it produces a number of hormones and other biologically active substances. At the later stages of pregnancy, the functioning of the endocrine glands of the fetus begins, and its hormones affect the mother-organism through the placenta.

Thus, we can conclude that the myths equate hormones with Olympian Gods. Naturally, Gods-hormones stay with people through the lengths of their lives and «rule over them». 

The reason the Bible does not mention the role of hormones in the process of ontogenesis is precisely that the hormones fall into the category of Gods. Later we will cover this topic in greater detail.

 

 

                                                CAINITES

 

In the myths of Ancient Greece the accounts of the life of Zeus are the most comprehensive. Zeus’s first wife was Metis, Oseanus’s daughter. Hesiod tells us that it is with her help that Zeus learned to distinguish good from evil. Much like Adam, we remark. Zeus swallows Metis, and their daughter Athena, the goddess of wisdom and just war, is born out of his head.

The unusual birth tells us that Athena is born in the area of chorion that faces the inner parts of the uterus, which is exactly where the active growth and brancing out of the villi takes place (chorion frondosum, or shaggy chorion). The cells of the mother-organism perceive the fetus as a transplant, and scientists still cannot understand how the fetus is able to withstand rejection for so long. There is a hypothesis that the cells of the chorion produce substances that suppress the cells' immune response. [22]

«It is as if Athena is a direct extension of Zeus, the implementer of his plans and will. She is Zeus's thought manifested in action». [23]

Athena’s attribute is the Aegis, a shield made from goat’s skin with Medusa’s head on it. By the way, Zeus’s shield was called Aegis as well. The expression «to be under the Aegis of something» means to be «under the protection» of that thing, or «under the protectorate». It is clear that what is meant here is the protection of the fetus, which is under the aegis of Zeus and the wise Athena.  

The belligerent Athena came to the world with the help of Hephaestus, the Blacksmith-God, who splits Zeus’s head with an axe. Hephaestus is not a chance character – he also has something to do with immunity.

In the myths of all peoples a Blacksmith is a recurring character. And here we note the etymology of the word Cain (Hebrew qájin, from the Arameic and the Arabic root qjn, «to forge»). There was a time when the Lord told Cain that he will become «a fugitive and a wanderer over the earth” (Genesis 4:14). The forger is also isolated from society.

The Blacksmith possesses supernatural power – he is the helper of Gods and heroes. He makes magic weapons for heroes: maces, swords, arrows, a shield – the various forms of immunal response.

The Blacksmith has the power to become invisible. One of his weapons is the invisible net. The cells of the immune system possess a memory, and are capable of communicating with each other by transferring their characteristics. The phenotypically different lymphocytes establish both positive and negative connections.  In this the immune system network resembles the nervous system, but, unlike the nervous system, it is mobile and constantly changes locations. [24]

The Blacksmith defeats the dragon and the serpent, i.e. viruses and toxins. It is characteristic of him to build homes for himself and others. The lymphatic system of a human being includes close to 460 lymph nodes, in which the lymphocytes are formed. Sometimes the Forger embodies in himself the elements of the negative – the autoimmune reactions.

He is connected to a wolf and a dog, i.e. to a wild animal and its domesticated relative. A common Indo-European belief has it that a man-killer turns into a wolf.

«There is a confirmed formula that is applied to a criminal-outcast in the khettian law, the Ancient German law texts, and also in Plato’s works. (Compare the Ancient Icelandic vargr, “a wolf-outcast”, and the khettian  hurkilaš, “one who commited a heavy crime”».) [25]

In this way, we shall consider «dogs» to be those cells of the immune system that protect the organism from the outside invasion; and «wolfs» – those that generate antibodies that are aggressive towards the organism's own cells. The mechanism for destroying such cells has developed with time. Since the dogs came from the wolves, it is obvious that the «domestication» process was not simple.

And here is another fascinating story. Homer’s «Iliad» speaks of the nine-year long war between the Trojans and the Achaeans. Helen, kidnapped by the Trojans, was kept behind the walls of Troy.

The battle between the Trojans and the Achaeans was caused by the following circumstances. The beautiful Helen is the ovum. It originated in the mother-organism – among the Aheians. The Trojans kidnapped the ovum. The membranes that surround the fetus are represented by the fortress of Troy. The immunological war lasts nine years, read, months. Curiously, Zeus (the chorion) and Hera (the chorion’s villi) in this battle are on the opposite sides of the barricades. Having become Zeus’s wife, Hera is in constant conflict with him. The battle ends with the destruction of «sacred Troy», i.e. the birth of the fetus. The Gods take an active part in the conflict through its whole duration.

Thus, the Olympian Gods also represent the cells of the immune system. But we haven’t mentioned all of the categories of Gods yet.

 

 

HEAVENLY RACE OF GODS

 

:

Plato divides gods into races:

«There are four such. One of them is the heavenly race of the gods; another, the race of birds whose way is in the air; the third, the watery species; and the fourth, the pedestrian and land creatures». [26]

We shall place the inhabitants of the amnion kingdom into the race of watery species, and the tribe of Hades – into the race of pedestrian creatures. The feathered gods, flying in the air, no doubt, belong to the sky (chorion). But where should we place the heavenly race of gods? The word «heaven» implies a place inhabited by gods, or creatures close to God.  

In the Christian tradition there is a concept of heaven's array, which includes angels (Greek Αγγελοι, - «messengers», the translation of the Hebrew malãck). Angels are the creatures closest to God. It is thought that it was the angels God called upon when he was creating man. There are grounds to consider heavenly race of gods the prototypes of the angels.

Tertullian thought that each person is assigned a guardian angel, which is responsible for the forming of the person’s body in the mother’s womb (Tertullian, «about the soul», 37), and who later accompanies the person on all roads of life.

So, how then are the bodies built.

Modern science knows little about the molecular mechanisms that in precise order turn on and off various genes in the process of the embryo’s development. Ferments, ribosomes, RNA, regulatory proteins, ets. – all take part in the genes’ expression process. Usually it takes several regulatory proteins just to activate a single gene. It is precisely the regulatory proteins  that induce the development of cells of different types by interacting with each other in various combinations and controlling the nature of the synthesized proteins on the DNA encoding level. Possibly, we could categorize all these genetic-level biological mechanisms as angels.

Especially since the Church divides angels into nine angelic orders: seraphims, cherubims, thrones, dominions, virtues, powers, principalities, archangels, and angels. The names of these ranks are not proper names, but rather describe the angelic qualities. 

According to St. Gregory Theologian, it is very difficult to tempt angels into evil. Angels don’t have marriages, and their life is drastically different from the life of gods, who are burdened by families, and constantly engaged in «coituses» and «marriagees» in the methabolic «stew». Olympian gods like loud gatherings because no hormone enters the inner ienvironment in its chemically pure form.

Saint Paul has this to say about the angels:

 

“The truth is they are all spirits whose work is service, sent to help those who will be the heirs of salvation” (Hebrews 1:14).

 

And also:

 

“Once you were ignorant of God, and enslaved to “gods” who are not really gods at all” (Galatians  4:8).

 

The regulatory proteins are just the servant spirits and the hormones are not really gods at all because both are not free in their actions.

God gives the angels their names, and each of the angels plays a strictly defined role. Notice how the protein receptors perform their function.

«The steroids depend for their action on tight bonds with highly specific protein receptors. Each target cell contains many thousands of molecules of such hormonal receptors, …in the absence of the corresponding steroids, they can be found only in the cytoplasm. However, after the receptor-steroid bond is formed, the complex is immediately transported into the nucleus, where it binds with chromatin and cancels the suppression of the RNA synthesis. But combining DNA with free receptors never leads to their binding. They are only able to attach themselves to chromatin in the presence of their partners – the steroids». [27]

In their turn, steroidal hormones travel in the blood accompanied by a transporting protein. On its way to the nucleus, a hormone is accompanied by activator-proteins and repressor- proteins.

Thus, Plato’s «gods» (that rule over billions of the organism’s cells, add to the human soul what was «lacking», and influence the personality of a human being as a whole until the time of death) represent the totality of biological mechanisms.

Thus, the use of the plural in the name of God (Hebrew Elokim -«God’s heavenly array» - noun in the plural) suggests that onto- and philogenesis involve the multitude of God’s potentials.

 

 

        MONOTHEISM

 

            And now let us examine what dangers are carried within politheism on the cellular level. And whether God’s first commandment «works» here:  

 

«You shall have no gods except me» (Exodus 20:3).

 

Moses gave a severe warning to the Hebrew people not to worship «other gods», not even heaven's array:

 

If someone “goes and serves other gods and worships them, or the sun, or the moon, or any of heaven’s array – a thing I have forbidden; [then]… “you must take the man or women guilty of this evil deed outside your city gates, and there you must stone that man or women to death”.(Deuteronomy 17:3,5).

 

A determinate  cell possesses a reliable cell memory mechanism. At a certain point of determination, the cell begins to carry already non-reversible genetic changes, owing to which it finds its place in the embryo’s organism even though externally it is still indistinguishable from other cells. Through the process of differentiation, such a cell «remembers» its task and passes its qualities to the offspring. The stability of these genetic changes is so high that normally the differentiated cells are not supposed to react to even external signals, such as hormones. But in certain cases the cells loose their memory and can differentiate into another type of cell, which leads to the abnormal development of the fetus.

Such disturbances can damage not only the fetus; the chromosome anomalies of the differentiated somatic cells of an animal can take place at any time in its life. It is thought that dedifferentiation of a cell can be caused by substances that prevent the DNA metilation.

However, it is possible, that it happens as a result of spontaneous relocations of genetic segments. During such a relocation, a gene, which encodes a regulatory protein, begins synthesizing it inabnormally large quantities. In such cases, cells start reproducing without control, even though the programming of normal cells ensures that the cell dies after a certain number of divisions. Despite the fact that an organism possesses powerful means of protection, and it is difficult for the mutated cell to cross territorial barriers and metastasize, this kind of thing happens pretty often.

A similar reaction, by the way, is caused by viruses, which have one or several oncogenes, locuses capable of inducing a tumorous transformation of the host-cell. Such oncogens are rather commons in viruses. It is thought that they borrowed segments of the genome of some vertebrates. The introduction of such an oncogen into the cell brings about, in some cases, the encoding of excessive protein and turns a normal cell into a tumorous  one. In a healthy organism, altruism serves as the highest law of behavior for all groups of individuals, with the exception of reproductive cells. But cancer cells are egotistical.   

The Gospel says:

 

«Go away from me, with your curse upon you to the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25, 31-41).

 

The devil is the prototype of the Serpent/virus, i.e. a mobile gene. Therefore, it would be appropriate to call mobile genes the devil’s angels. We can place in the same category certain introns, for example, the «DNA of ageing». This is one more category of gene-like angels.

History preserved the accounts of judaism and Christianity about angels that remained neutral at the hour of the heavenly battle between God’s faithful and his enemies. It is conceivable that these accounts talk about the intrones , or the silent segments of genes. There are also Moslem legends about angels who do not renounce God, but commit a shameful sin  (Kharut and Marut).

                        Thus, the strict adherence to determination is the biological analogy to monotheism; and dedifferentiation to idoloworshiping ID. The imperfection of genetic mechanisms suggests that they are not the final regulators of the biological processes in our bodies. Which would mean that even in the world of cells there is the supreme, whom all biological mechanisms must obey.

John Chrisostom thought that God is «untraceable by angels, unseen by Seraphims, incrutable for Cherubims, invisible for Principalities, Powers, and Dominions – for any creature at all; but can be known only by the Son and the Holy Spirit». In the opinion of Dionysus Areopagites, only one of the ranks – the Thrones – serves as the pedestal and the bearer of God’s essence.

The sant Paul says:

 

«And even if there were things called gods, either in the sky or on the earth – where there certainly seem to be «gods» and «lords» in plenty – still for us there is one God, the Father, from whom all things come and for whom we exist; and there is one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things come and through whom we exist» (1Corinthians 8:5-6).

 



[1] Ю.Владимиров. «Метафизика». М. Бином. Лаборатория знаний. 2002, стр.501-502

[2] Полный церковно-славянский словарь, М. «Терра», 1998, т.2, стр.693. Греческо-русский словарь Нового Завета, «Российское Библейское Общество, М. 2002, стр.150

[3] Molecular biology of the cell” Bruce Alberts, Dennis Bray, Julian Lewis, Martin Raff, Keith Roberts, James D. Watson. Garland Pablishing, Inc. New York & London. Chapter 14, p.793

[4] “Molecular biology of the cell” Garland Pablishing, Inc. New York & London. Chapter 14, p. 807-808

[5] «Энциклопeдия мистицизма». «Литера», «ВИАН», 1997, стр.462

[6] Э.И.Валькович. «Общая медицинская эмбриология». Санкт-Петербург.ФОЛИАНТ.2003. Стр.76

[7] «Христианство и наука».М.2003. Г.Л.Муравник. «Ибо прах ты и в прах возвратишся». Стр.371-372

[8] “The cell” Carl P.Swanson, Peter l.Webster. Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, New Gersey, стр.248

[9] F.Rineker, G. Maier. Lexikon zur Bibel @1994 Brockhaus Verlag Wuppertal. Ф.Ринекер,.Стр.903.Сиф.

[10] The collected dialogues of Plato. Princeton university press. ”Republic». 603-b.

[11] Plato. «Тimaeus». 40-е

[12] Homer. “Iliad”. Song 15, # 185-195. English translation by A.T.Murray. London, William Heinemann LTD., 1928-29.

[13] Гомер «Илиада».Москва.ТОО «Дюна.1993.Песнь пятнадцатая, ст.191

[14] Гомер «Илиада». Песнь пятнадцатая, ст.192

[15] Гомер «Илиада». Песнь пятнадцатая, ст.191

[16] Гомер «Илиада». Песнь пятнадцатая, ст.193

[17] Гомер «Илиада».

[18] Plato. «Тimaeus». 41-с

[19] «Molecular biology of the cell”, Chapter 15, p. 828

[20] Plato. «Тimaeus». 42-е.

[21] Plato. «Тimaeus». 69-d

[22] Э.И.Валькович. «Общая медицинская эмбриология». Стр.109

[23] Мифы народов мира.т.1 стр.125. Афина.

[24]   “Molecular biology of the cell”.Chapter 17, p.1007

[25] Мифы народов мира.т.1 стр.242. Волк.

[26] Plato. «Тimaeus».  40-а

[27] James D.Watson. «Моlecular Biology of the Gene». W.B.Benjamin, Inc. Menlo Park, California.

Дж. Уотсон. «Молекулярная биология гена». Гл.17, стр.520