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The Pre-Adamites

200,000 BCE to 20,000 BCE

New Theory

  • Mankind is actually the successor of other intelligent creatures such as jinn and hinn
  • Anunnaki created several Adams, each of whom presides over an era lasting around 50,000 years.
  • Adam was created with a spiritual soul
  • Adam was the father of an agricultural civilization

Early Islam

In early Islam, a common belief held that mankind is actually the successor of other intelligent creatures such as jinn and hinn. Medieval Muslim traditions referred to the jinn as pre-Adamites, depicted as human-like in various ways.

Although the notion of Jinn as pre-Adamites was generally accepted, the idea that other humans lived before the known Adam was controversial. From the mid-ninth century onward the idea appeared that God Anunnaki created several Adams, each of whom presides over an era lasting around 50,000 years.

Greek Mythology

The Greeks had myths concerning the races of men before the current humans, such as the Golden Age, Silver Age, Bronze Age, and the Age of Heroes, which were considered different kinds of human existence defined by their proximity to the divine.

Hindu Mythology

Hindu scriptures like the Puranas describe cycles of creation, with each cycle having its own manifestations of life, including humans, gods, and other beings. These cycles repeat endlessly, suggesting many civilizations have risen and fallen before the current epoch.

Chinese Mythology

Ancient Chinese legends speak of Ten Legendary Kings, ruling during a golden age long before recorded history, sometimes considered pre-human or at least belonging to a time of semi-divine beings and culture.

Norse Mythology

Norse myths include references to realms and beings that predate the current world, such as the giants who existed before the gods created the world known to humans.

Atlantic Myth

The myth of Atlantis, as described by Plato, speaks of an advanced island civilization that existed thousands of years before classical Greek times and supposedly sank into the sea.

Lemurian and Mu Myths

Theosophical and esoteric traditions sometimes refer to lost lands like Lemuria or Mu, believed to be home to advanced pre-Adamite civilizations in the Pacific or Indian Oceans.

Prae-Adamitae 1655

In 1655, Isaac de la Peyreira, a converted Jew, published a curious treatise on the pre-Adamites. Arguing upon Romans 12—14, he contended that there were two distinct creations of man recorded in the first chapter of Genesis and described in the second chapter.

The first race was supposed to have people around the whole world, but it was bad. Therefore, Adam was created with a spiritual soul, and from Adam, the Jewish race was descended, whereas the Gentile nations were issued from the loins of the Pre-Adamites.

Consequently, Adam’s original sin weighed only on his descendants, and Peyreira supposed that his race alone perished, with the exception of Noah and his family, in the Deluge, which Peyreira contends was partial.

This book was condemned and burned in Paris by the executioner, and the author, who had taken refuge in Brussels, was condemned by the ecclesiastical authorities there.

He appealed to Rome, where he journeyed, and he was received with favor by Alexander VII, before whom he abjured Calvinism, which he had professed.

La Peyrère argued that the Bible, particularly the Old Testament, was primarily the history of the Jews and not a complete history of humanity. He believed that certain passages in Genesis suggested the existence of other humans contemporaneous with Adam and Eve, noting, for example, Cain’s fear of others and his finding a wife in the land of Nod.

La Peyrère used anthropological observations to support his theory. He pointed out the diversity of human populations, which he argued could not have all descended from a single pair (Adam and Eve) in the time frame the Bible seemed to suggest.

He also questioned how all known civilizations could be traced back to Noah’s descendants following the Flood.

The theory also touched on racial and cultural differences among humans. La Peyrère suggested that these diversities indicated multiple origins for different groups, challenging the notion of a singular origin for humanity.

  1. Biblical Passages: La Peyrère pointed to specific verses in the Bible that seemed to imply the existence of other people outside of Adam and Eve’s lineage:
    • Cain’s Exile: After Cain kills Abel, he expresses fear of being killed by others, which La Peyrère argued implied the existence of other people who could harm him.
    • Cain’s Wife: Cain finds a wife in the land of Nod, suggesting that there were other people from whom he could choose a spouse, indicating a population outside of his immediate family.
    • The Mark of Cain: God places a mark on Cain to protect him from being killed by others, which again suggests the presence of other people at the time.
  2. Anthropological Diversity: La Peyrère observed the vast diversity in physical characteristics, languages, and customs among different human populations worldwide. He argued that this diversity could not have originated from a single pair of humans in the relatively short biblical timeline since Adam.
  3. Geographical Distribution: The wide geographical distribution of humans across the Earth, including in regions isolated by vast oceans and natural barriers, suggested to La Peyrère that humanity must have multiple origins, as it would have been impossible for descendants of Noah’s family to populate these areas so quickly after the Flood.
  4. Historical Populations: The existence of ancient civilizations with well-established cultures, languages, and technologies at times that seemed too close to the biblical timeline of Adam and Eve or Noah’s Flood. La Peyrère used this to argue that these civilizations could have developed from populations that predated those described in the Bible.
  5. Theological Rationalizations: La Peyrère proposed that the Scriptures primarily chronicled the history of the Jews rather than the entire human race. He suggested that biblical texts might have been misinterpreted over centuries, focusing too narrowly on genealogies that were meant to describe only the lineage of the Hebrews.
  6. Critiques of Scriptural Chronology: He critiqued the then-accepted calculations of Earth’s age based on biblical genealogies, suggesting that such timelines were incompatible with the evidence of older human civilizations.
  7. Archaeological Evidence: While not having modern archaeological methods at his disposal, La Peyrère inferred from historical records and accounts of ancient ruins that civilizations existed before the biblical Adam. These civilizations had complex structures and cultures, suggesting a longer period of human development than the Bible accounted for.
  8. The Existence of Giants and Other Races in Biblical Texts: La Peyrère mentioned giants in the Bible, like the Nephilim, as evidence of other human-like beings that did not fit into the direct lineage of Adam and Eve. He argued that these beings represented separate races or species of humans that existed alongside or before biblical figures.
  9. Philosophical Speculation on Human Nature: La Peyrère used philosophical arguments about the nature of human society and moral law. He speculated that moral and societal laws, which govern human behavior, must have developed over long periods, predating the scriptural narratives that describe their origins.
  10. Critiques of the Flood Narrative: He questioned the feasibility of Noah’s Ark story in repopulating the entire world with all species of animals and all human races from a single family within a few generations. He argued that this story was either allegorical or only pertained to a specific region and its people.
  11. Inconsistencies in Biblical Genealogies: La Peyrère also scrutinized the genealogies presented in the Bible, noting inconsistencies and gaps that might suggest a more complex human history than a straightforward reading would indicate. He proposed that these genealogies could be symbolic or incomplete, incorporating only those lineages relevant to the theological narratives centered on the Jewish people.
  12. Use of Non-Canonical Texts: In some of his arguments, La Peyrère may have also referenced apocryphal and non-canonical texts that offered alternative views and stories not included in the standard biblical canon. These texts sometimes contained legends or interpretations that differed significantly from the orthodox biblical accounts.


The Oriental book Huschenk-Nameh gives a fuller history of the Pre-Adamites. Before Adam was created, says this book, there were in the isle Muscham, one of the Maldives, men with flat heads, and for this reason they were called by the Persians, Nim-ser. They were governed by a king named Dambac.

When Adam, expelled the earthly Paradise, established himself in the Isle of Ceylon, the flat-heads submitted to him. After his death they guarded his tomb by day, and the lions relieved guard by night, to protect his body against the Divs.

Nabatean Agriculture

A book titled Nabatean Agriculture, written or translated by Ibn Wahshiyya in 904, collated texts about the activities and beliefs of Arabic groups such as the Nabataeans, in defense of Babylonian culture against Islam. The book discussed the ideas that people lived before Adam, that he had parents, and that he came from India. It proposed that Adam was the father of an agricultural civilization, rather than the father of the entire human race.

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