Lewis Lapham has a podcast out in which he interviews Brook Wilensky-Lanford, the author of Paradise Lust: Searching for the Garden of Eden (Grove Press, 2011). In her book, Wilensky-Lanford examines the attempts by various men and women through history to locate the Garden of Eden.
One of the learned scholars who lusted after Paradise was William Fairfield Warren, the first President of Boston University. In 1881, Warren wrote a book called Paradise Found, the cradle of the Human Race at the North Pole: A Study of the Primitive World, in which he announced that he had located the legendary Garden of Eden, and that it was to be found at the North Pole. Wilensky-Lanford summarises Warren’s scientific theory:
“Once upon a time the North Pole was tropical, it was populated with woolly mammoths and sequoias, and a giant Adam and Eve who had all kinds of superpowers. And then, once they committed Original Sin, God flooded the North Pole and it froze. And as it froze, Adam and Eve made their way south, to populate the Earth from the north. And over the course of generations, they lost their superpowers, and were no longer Giants. As they moved farther and farther from the Garden, from perfection, they became like us.”
– Brook Wilensky-Lanford, interview with Lewis Lapham, “For Columbus, Earth Was Giant Breast, Nipple Eden: Lewis Lapham” (mp3; 16:27), Bloomberg, 25 August 2011
That’s the sort of crazy pseudo-scientific nonsense on Genesis which you’d expect to see advertised by the Society of Biblical Literature! … and speaking of which, who’s going to this conference: “Reading Genesis 1-2: An Evangelical Conversation” (30 September – 1 October 2011)?