Monday, January 02, 2006

Giants in History

No, not scientific giants or giants of industry—real, live, way-bigger-than-you-and-me, how’s-the-weather-up-there giants. And I’m not talking about unfortunate souls with a thyroid condition.

Some would say I must be joking. Giants are the stuff of fairy tales and legends.

They certainly are, and therefore have a place in the Realm on that basis alone. But no, I’m wrestling with the physical and historical documentary evidence (both secular and biblical) that indicates races or at least clans of giants really existed on the Earth. Now that’s cool!

And as I said in the very first post here, The Realm of Possibility is a fun place where many seemingly impossible ideas come to meet.

Here’s a site, Return of the Nephilim, that has collected a lot of interesting info about giants. And while, I don’t necessarily agree with everything said there, I definitely concur with this statement:

The fact that something sounds weird does not mean that it is unreal at all.

After all, the truth is stranger than fiction.

But where did all the giants go? El dorado?

10 comments:

Meyvn said...

Hello! I have been studying this topic for a few years now. I am somewhat obsessed by it. I found these audio and slideshow presentations interesting. I thought you might also.

http://www.khouse.org/pages/special_events/alien_encounters/

The historical book of enoch is also interesting in regard to this. Start with chapter 6 to get to the meat of it.

Enjoy!

-Meyvn

Rich said...

Meyvn (or Ken, you may have an answer to this you haven't shared with me),

In your studies on giants or the Nephilim and their offspring, are giants ever denoted as anything other than evil?

My limited research - really only for the book we're writing whereas I think Ken enjoys the subject a good deal more - depicts giants as wholly depraved.

If I have the line accurate, the Nephilim originated from the Sons of God intermarrying with human women. Their offspring were just as corrupt and supposedly without redemption, unlike humans. And the Great Flood wiped them out.

Apparently after the flood, a similar thing must have happened, ergo you get giants such as Goliath of Gath and his brothers who were killed by David and his Mighty Men, the Amalekites (maybe it was another group, but I thought they were supposed giants), etc.

But here's my theoretical question: if a giant's offspring's offspring and so on down the line keeps intermarrying with humans, at some point, does the humanity ever overtake the "seed" or gene of the giant? Could you then, theoretically of course, have a person whose stature was that of a giant, but whose disposition was more human and, for lack of a better word, "soulful"? Or are people begat from giants, no matter how far back in their lineage, always doomed to eternal destruction?

Obviously, in writing fiction, we could do whatever we wanted, but since you've studied this, I'm wondering if you have thoughts. I'm never above cheating my way through a little research (heh heh). Thanks.

codepoke said...

I have read a bit on the sons of God. So far, the only argument that carries water for me is that they were the sons of Cain.

Cain was known to Eve as the man from the LORD. She clearly believed that Cain was crush the serpent's head. Suddenly, calling the sons of Cain, "the sons of God" begins to make good, old fashioned sense, and I like that.

Now, all you need is a reason for the first, most genetically pure stock of Adam and Eve to be giant. Sounds like a pretty easy argument to me. I have long believed in human de-evolution, anyway. Adam and Eve had a perfect gene-pool that has been corrupted by mutations for generations.

Rich said...

Kevin,

Well, this is a subject I'm fully prepared, armed and ready to give a big "I don't know" on. As far as sons of God being sons of Cain, I guess Jude 6 and 7 give me a slight pause. Cain is mentioned in Jude 11, but in relation to false teachers rather than fallen angels mentioned in Jude 6. Taking it a step farther, the Nephilim, in Genesis 6:4, seem to be differentiated between both the sons of God and the children they bore with the daughters of men. In Numbers 13:33 long after the Flood, the Nephilim are mentioned again, and again as giants (the sons of Anak being a part of the Nephilim). And Biblically, anytime giants are mentioned, it seems God tells the Israelites to wipe them out.

Personally, none of this stuff is that important, which is why I have very limited knowledge. However, for fictional purposes, my lack of knowledge in the area won't stop me from using giants in world-building. I do, however, want to have a set rule to go by in using them, and it would be nice if it fell in with what some people conjecture as true. Plausibility is key. Getting readers to think, "Well, maybe this could be..." What's the saying? You can do the impossible in fiction writing but not the implausible.

codepoke said...

Hmmm.

Is your world a young earth or an old earth creation? Either way, what do you make of pre-homosapien primates?

codepoke said...

Jude 6, 7 & 11 don't trouble me at all. They seem utterly unrelated. Jude goes on to mention Cain, Balaam, and Korah all in the same breath. He is just grabbing every example he can that God is willing to destroy when appropriate.

Gen 6:4 seems to refer to the sons of Cain to me, but you knew that.

Nums 13:33 was a new one on me. I think your point about this being well after the flood nails the coffin shut here. IFF the stories of the aprocrypha were true, and if the giants were cross-bred, then the flood happened to kill them. They are all dead come Nums 13. Anak is just a particularly large dude that the cowardly spies are describing with hyperbole. They, after all, don't want to tangle with the enemies of God.

I agree, this is not a big issue, but it seems to lead to misogyny, so I resist it. The rabbis who came up with it were some of the worst misogynists ever to breathe.

Rich said...

Misogyny. Now there's a word that could definitely go on my Six Pack of Cool Chat post at http://pearceandstory.blogspot.com/2005/12/six-pack-of-cool-chat.html. Not the meaning. Just that it's a cool-sounding word.

But to your points. As to whether I believe in a young-earth or old-earth (I'm thinking you're asking me about what I myself feel about the world so my answer given below is where I am in my thoughts on that, but if you were asking about the world in our book, it would be based on a young-earth creation... but my answer that follows doesn't touch on that. Sorry if that's what you were asking.), here again I have to answer "I don't know." Sorry to be so non-commital once more; it's probably perturbing. I've wavered back and forth. The way early Genesis is written, it seems poetic to me. Then, looking at scientific finds and what not -- and I'm not that up on creation science or what have you (Creationist, Evolutionary, Big Bang, whatever), but what little I hear about these all seem to have their own problems -- an old-earth seems pretty realistic. But at the same time, I won't dispute what the actual words say, which I think leaves open the possibility that God really did create the world in six of our 24-hour days. Either way, God created the world. Also, I'm not sure what to make of pre-homosapien primates, if what you're referring to is Neanderthal and Cro-magnon man. Unfortunately, I haven't studied carbon-dating or any other type of dating scientists use, although there seems to be some controversy -- maybe it's just the Creation Science people stirring things up, I don't know -- but the fact that groups like the Guanches (extinct now) from the Canary Islands, which were found in the age of exploration, the 1400 and 1500s, having the appearance of Neanderthals and living in a Stone Age environment makes me think maybe "Stone Age Man" wasn't so long ago as we think it was. Hence, I waver, and really am pretty dumb on these subjects.

With regard to, Jude 6 & 7, which state:

And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day, just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.

it seems like a reasonable argument can be made that these angels were the same sons of God (angels, or fallen angels) that went after the daughters of men (strange flesh). Now, making that assumption could REALLY be wrong, but at the same time, it can "sound" correct. Like I said, I really don't know. My interest is really only for literary reasons.

Your point regarding Numbers 13 and the sons of Anak could be correct. I tend to think these people really were like Goliath (who I believe to be a real living giant) - but how they got to be this way is a mystery so I have no answers.

Am I sounding like a whacko yet? :)

Rich said...

In the end, I'm probably neither an old-earther nor a young-earther, but rather a Middle-earther.

;)

codepoke said...

Middle-earther

hehehe

I was asking about your fictional world, rather than your personal beliefs. I am with on the not knowing thing.

If your fictional world is young-earth, then you have a LOT of leeway before the flood. God could have created any random things that He just didn't feel needed to be on the ark.

Young earth or old earth, though, Neanderthals still have to be explained. I suppose that God let the Neanderthals populate the earth and keep everything until Adam pushed them aside per God's plan. Adam and Eve started out with just a garden, and they were to expand out and take over everything else.

I don't know either, but doggone it, I can guess with the best of 'em!

Rich said...

Yipes. I read you wrong, then.

Sorry for the looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong pontification.