Here are the next two entries from Adam’s Diary (translated from Adam’s original hieroglyphics by Mark Twain).
WEDNESDAY — Built me a shelter against the rain, but could not have it to myself in peace. The new creature intruded. When I tried to put it out it shed water out of the holes it looks with, and wiped it away with the back of its paws, and made a noise such as some of the other animals make when they are in distress. I wish it would not talk; it is always talking. That sounds like a cheap fling at the poor creature, a slur; but I do not mean it so. I have never heard the human voice before, and any new and strange sound intruding itself here upon the solemn hush of these dreaming solitudes offends my ear and seems a false note. And this new sound is so close to me; it is right at my shoulder, right at my ear, first on one side and then on the other, and I am used only to sounds that are more or less distant from me.
FRIDAY — The naming goes recklessly on, in spite of anything I can do. I had a very good name for the estate, and it was musical and pretty — GARDEN OF EDEN. Privately, I continue to call it that, but not any longer publicly. The new creature says it is all woods and rocks and scenery, and therefore has no resemblance to a garden. Says it LOOKS like a park, and does not look like anything BUT a park. Consequently, without consulting me, it has been new-named NIAGARA FALLS PARK. This is sufficiently high-handed, it seems to me. And already there is a sign up: KEEP OFF THE GRASS
My life is not as happy as it was.
According to this and other diary entries, Eden was in the vicinity of Niagara Falls. In fact Adam’s Diary was first published under the title “The First Authentic Mention of Niagara Falls” in 1893 in Buffalo, NY.
Traditionally Eden has been thought to be in the Middle East because Genesis says it was located at the source of a river which divided into 4 rivers: the Pishon, Gihon, Tigris, and Euphrates rivers. (Genesis 2:10-14) The present Tigris and Euphrates flow into the Persian Gulf.
However, the topography of the earth was drastically changed by Noah’s Flood. Today’s Tigris and Euphrates rivers were probably named by Noah and his sons after the big rivers they remembered from before the Flood. Their present locations could be completely different from their previous locations before the Flood.
The Pishon and Gihon do not match any present day rivers. Some rivers have been proposed as candidates, and some dried up riverbeds (like the Kuwait river) have been suggested, but today nothing matches the geography Genesis describes with 4 major rivers diverging from a common source.
If the Tigris and Euphrates flowed the other direction before the Flood due to different topography, and if the old Kuwait river is the Pishon, and the Gihon is the Abay river of Ethiopia (Cush), then with different topography the rivers could have flowed out of the Persian Gulf region.
Although we may not know Eden’s location, it was an actual place on earth. It was not a legend, symbol, or myth. The geographical details specifying its location recorded in Genesis rule out Eden being fictional. In fact, the location information is more specific than for most Biblical sites.
A compass direction “east” is specified. Landmark rivers are described by name and the lands where they flowed. Even today, man still uses rivers as boundaries and landmarks. Moreover, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Joel all refer to Eden as a real place.
The Garden of Eden may now be covered by the Persian Gulf, and undoubtedly by hundreds or even thousands of feet of sediment from Noah’s Flood, but no one really knows where Eden was. We can only guess and speculate based on clues in Genesis.
©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
Friday March 26, 2010 A.D.
Read my March 2010 Bible-Science column
Woolly Bears and the Problem of Pain.
And the LORD God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed. … Now a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it divided and became four rivers. The name of the first is Pishon; it flows around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. And the gold of that land is good; the bdellium and the onyx stone are there. And the name of the second river is Gihon; it flows around the whole land of Cush. And the name of the third river is Tigris; it flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates. (Genesis 2:8, 10-14)