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The Temple of Nature

By Erasmus Darwin




Form'd a new sex, the mother of mankind. CANTO. II. l. 140.
THE mosaic history of Paradise and of Adam and Eve has been thought by some to be a sacred allegory, designed to teach obedience to divine commands, and to account for the origin of evil, like Jotham's fable of the trees; Judges ix. 8. or Nathan's fable of the poor man and his lamb; 2 Sam. xii. 1. or like the parables in the New Testament; as otherwise knowledge could not be said to grow upon one tree, and life upon another, or a serpent to converse; and lastly that this account originated with the magi or philosophers of Egypt, with whom Moses was educated, and that this part of the history, where Eve is said to have been made from a rib of Adam might have been an hieroglyphic design of the Egyptian philosophers, showing their opinion that Mankind was originally of both sexes united, and was afterwards divided into males and females: an opinion in later times held by Plato, and I believe by Aristotle, and which must have arisen from profound inquiries into the original state of animal existence.