title:Genesis 2000 ver.1.0e
by Taro Kimura

The expulsion from the Garden into an unfriendly world in which the
Woman must bring forth children in sorrow and the Man must
eat bread in the sweat of his face, is the ordeal which the accep-
tace the Serpent's challenge has entailed the sexual inter-
course between Adam and Eve, which follows, is an act of social
creation. It bears fruit in the birth of two sons who impersonate
two nascent civilizations: Abel the keeper of sheep and Cain the
tiller of the ground.
In our own generation, one of our most distinguished and
original-minded students of the physical environment of human
life tells the same story in his own way:
'Ages ago a band of naked, houseless, fireless savages started from
their warm home in the torrid zone and pushed steadily northward from
the beginning of spring to the end of summer. They never guessed
that they had left the land of constant warmth until in September they
began to feel an uncomfortable chill at night. Day by day it grew
worse. Not knowing its cause, they traveled this way or that to escape.
Some went southward, but only a handful returned to their former
home. There they resumed the old life, and their descendants are un-
tutored savages to this day. Of those who wandered in other directions,
all perished except one small band. Finding that they could not escape.
the nipping air, the members of this band used the loftiest of human
faculties, the power of conscious invention. Some tried to find shelter
by digging in the ground, some gathered branches and leaves to make
huts and warm beds, and some wrapped themselves in the skins of the
beasts that they had slain. Soon these savages had taken some of the
greatest steps towards civilization. The naked were clothed; the house-
less sheltered; the improvident learnt to dry meat and store it, with
nuts, for the winter; and at last the art of preparing fire was discovered
as a means of keeping warm. Thus they subsisted where at first they
thought that they were doomed. And in the process of adjusting them-
selves to a hard environment they advanced by enormous strides,
leaving the tropical part of mankind far in the rear.'
A classical scholar likewise translates the story into the scientific
terminology of our age:
'It is...a paradox of advancement that, if Necessity be the mother
of Invention, the other parent is Obstinacy, the determination that you
will go on living under adverse conditions rather than cut your losses
and go where life is easier. It was no accident, that is, that civilization,
as we know it, began in that ebb and flow of climate, flora and fauna
which characterizes the four-fold Ice Age. Those primates who just
"got out" as arboreal conditions wilted retained their primacy among
the servants of natural law, but they forewent the conquest of nature.
Those others won through, and became men, who stood their ground
when there were no more trees to sit in, who "made do" with meat
when fruit did no ripen, who made fires and clothes rather than
follow the sunshine; who fortified their lairs and trained their young
and vindicated the reasonableness of a world that seemed so reason-
The first stage, then, of the human protagonist's ordeal is a
transition form Yin to Yang through a dynamic act-performed
by God's creature under temptation from the Adversary-which
enables God Himself to resume His creative activity. But this
progress has to be paid for; and it is not God but God's servant,
the human sower, who pays the price. Finally, after many vicissi-
tudes, the sufferer triumphant serves as the pioneer. The human
protagonist in the divine drama not only serves God by enabling
Him to renew His creation but also serves his fellow men by
pointing the way for others to follow.
By the light of mythology we have gained some insight into the
nature of challenges and responses. We have come to see that
creation is the outcome of an encounter, that genesis is a product
of interaction. Let us now return to our immediate quest: our
search for the positive factor that has shaken part of mankind out
of 'the integration of custom' into 'the differentiation of civiliza-
tion' within the last six thousand years. Let us review the origins
of our twenty-one civilizations in order to ascertain, by an empiri-
cal test, whether the conception of 'Challenge-and-Response'
answers to the factor of which we are in search any better than
the hypotheses of race and environment, which we have already
weighed in the balance and found wanting.
In this fresh survey we shall still be concerned with race and
environment, but we shall regard them in a new light. We shall
no longer be on the look-out for some simple cause of the geneses
of civilizations which can be demonstrated always and everywhere
to produce an identical effect. We shall no longer be surprised if,
in the production of civilizations, the same race or the same en-
vironment appears to be fruitful in one instance and sterile in
another. In fact, we shall no longer make the scientific postulate
of the Uniformity of Nature, which we rightly made so long as we
were thinking of our problem in scientific terms as the function
of a play of inanimate forces. We shall be prepared now to recog-
nize that, even if we were exactly acquainted with all the racial,
environmental, and other data that are capable of being formulated
scientifically, we should not be able to predict the outcome of the
interaction between the forces which these data represent, any
more than a military expert can predict the outcome of a battle
or campaign from an 'inside knowledge' of the dispositions and
resources of both the opposing general staffs, or a bridge expert
the outcome of a game from a similar knowledge of all the cards
in every hand.
In both these analogies 'inside knowledge' is not sufficient to
enable its possessor to predict results with any exactness or assur-
ance because it is not the same thing as complete knowledge.
There is one thing which must remain an unknown quantity to
the best-informed onlooker because it is beyond the knowledge of
the combatants, or players, themselves; and it is the most impor-
tant term in the equation which the would-be calculator has to
solve. This unknown quantity is the reaction of the artists to the
ordeal when it actually comes. These psychological momenta,
which are inherently impossible to weigh and measure and there-
fore to estimate scientifically in advance, are the very forces which
actually decide the Creation when the encounter takes place.