— Everything you know about it is wrong —
Welcome to Abarim Publications
The name Abarim belongs to a mountain or mountain range in Moab from which Moses viewed the Promised Land from afar (Numbers 27:12). It's also the mountain where Jeremiah was said to have buried the Ark of the Covenant (2 Maccabees 2:4). Quite a mountain, therefore.
Our logo is the first letter of the name Abarim (עברים), which is the letter ע ('ayin), which is also a word, namely עין ('ayin), which means both eye and fountain. We see things, but we also weep a bit at times.
The website of Abarim Publications has been online since 2002 (that's right folks, we're older than Facebook ☺). We initially published mostly about patterns that occur both in the Bible and in the fields of Quantum Mechanics and Chaos Theory, but we quickly realized that any further studies required a set of specialized Bible study tools. Computers certainly help, but one thing computers can not do and that is look for the unexpected, the "utterly other," so to speak. Computers can't discover patterns that they're not programmed to look for, but humans can (and that's why computers always fail the Turing test; they can't do poetry). So strap on your best sandals; this is one journey we'll have to hoof!
Just like we can't become successful heart surgeons by imagining things, we can also not be wise about God and ignorant about creation. Or as Paul wrote: "Since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made" (Romans 1:20).
Because the portent of Biblical names is rather underestimated in Biblical circles, we've embarked on a project to translate all occurring names in the Bible, and for that we're writing our own dictionaries. We expect to complete this work sometime in the year 2015, after which we'll start discussing the entire Bible. Our objective is to make the source texts of the Bible available to a much wider audience. We need many more sets of eyes to figure out what's going on, and we'll explain this in more detail shortly.
Moses the desert dweller
Certain wonderfully gifted scientific scholars often vent their rightful frustration about people's ignorance concerning evolution theory — which is the whole body of inquiry into the curious and fascinating phenomenon of change, and which itself contains a wide and ever evolving variety of theories, proofs and postulates. Richard Dawkins even uses the catchy phrase "history-deniers," comparing evolution-deniers to hypothetical Rome-deniers or even Holocaust-deniers. But invariably, these same anti-history-denier scholars peg Moses as some lone blundering desert-dweller, who may have had a few good ideas but was elsewise pretty much obtuse. Moses, after all, operated in the bronze age, and if he had been really clever, he would have ushered in the iron age.
Carl Sagan famously challenged self-proclaimed prophets of today to demonstrate their powers of insight by solving the Goldbach Conjecture (cited by Richard Dawkins in his exquisite book The Greatest Show on Earth, page 12), but here at Abarim Publications we would like to challenge anyone who calls Moses a mere bronze-age desert-dweller to replicate the Giza plateau with bronze-age tools and a bronze-age infrastructure.
Most molecular biologists and anthropologists aren't engineers and architects, and almost invariably review bronze-age technology with painfully little appreciation of how advanced it was. Here at Abarim Publications we are engineers (endowed with mere Bachelor's Degrees but with three decades of work under our tool belts), and we side with guys like Christopher Dunn, whose research showed that the ancient Egyptians routinely maintained a higher degree of precision than we do today. That is such a big deal that precision-deniers should perhaps be excluded from publicly discussing cultural evolution ☺.
Iron and a global pre-historic civilization
Another fruitless assumption is the belief that mankind has always been its own greatest enemy; that peoples have always competed with each other, and that the evolution of technology has always progressed on a par with warfare; in a straight line from the quest for fire to the invention of the Internet. But if that were so, we would see a corresponding progression from simple buildings to complex ones, and we don't. The ancients built buildings that reflect a mind-boggling command of mathematics and understanding of the earth and the cosmos.
Denying that the ancients were really quite advanced was once easy because the earliest writers who discussed these things also spoke of aliens and UFO's and what have you, and were consequently dismissed wholesale with patronizing glee. Today the discussion is largely divorced from the possibilities of extraterrestrial intervention, and focuses on explaining the buildings in terms of natural evolution. That allowed it to crawl onto the academic stage and a rapidly expanding body of established scholars find themselves at risky odds with conventional theories. But irrespective of one's leanings, we can all agree that these buildings weren't put there by dummies.
We moderns are accustomed to international competition because, due to cultural diffusion, we all pretty much have the same level of sophistication. But it's highly unlikely that humanity began its transition to urbanization simultaneously around multiple and adjacent centers that competed with each other from the get go. It's much more likely that urbanization arose from centers that covered extremely large areas and had no perceivable competition, and that its natural evolution was initially not focused on harnessing others, but rather on harnessing nature.
We see the exact same process in the early universe where minute variations in density caused the rise of enormous, primordial black holes in vast expanses of empty space. In our modern universe, matter is much more uniformly dispersed, and therefore there is much more interaction between celestial objects. It's the way this kind of evolution works; in two distinct stages from a homogeneous beginning and a period of inflation to the formation of giants, which subsequently evaporate into competing smaller ones.
First-Time, Last-Time, and End of Time
Many cultures world-wide speak of a magical period before the present time, marked by peace and prosperity, during which teacher-gods gave humanity technology, agriculture, music, art and language. The Egyptians called this period Zep Tepi, meaning First-Time.
Egyptologists have always dismissed reports of the First-Time as legendary, but now it begins to seem that a First-Time period occurs as a rule in an evolutionary process that is marked by rapid expansion into an unoccupied realm. The teacher-gods weren't gods in the modern sense of the word, they were humans in the first stage of cultural evolution. Its counterpart, which we may dub the Last-Time, is marked by competition, during which the empire of the First-Time slowly evaporates and diversifies.
First smaller versions of the previous large empire form, but finally all evolve into a homogeneous quantum mist in which no competition occurs. Cosmologists call this state a Heat Death; the Bible calls it End of Time. Both terms sound awfully dreadful, but it's really not that bad. Most evolutionary processes are sub-processes of larger processes, and when one particular process reaches End of Time, another evolutionary process starts with a corresponding Beginning of Time. It's generally a cyclical affair, and the whole business of evolution is a fractal, but please refer to our introduction to Scripture Theory for a closer look at the internal structure of these First-Time and Last-Time periods.
The study of war
Because the first civilizations had no competition, the ancients were able to develop an astonishing level of knowledge of nature and remained largely ignorant about making weapons (hence the destruction of the Aztec empire by a handful of iron-clad Spaniards). Iron, namely, is good for nothing except making weapons. The element has been known about since long before the iron age formally started, but there was little use for it. The ancients didn't use iron because they didn't need it, and not because they couldn't hack it.
It requires a critical mass of centers of civilization in order for all of them to start "studying war" as the prophet Isaiah puts it (Isaiah 2:4). When the focus of humanity shifted towards combat and commerce, the knowledge of the world shifted out of the cross-hairs, and was replaced by a new technological evolution, namely that of the technology for warfare, and that's the one we look back on now: a narrow corridor from us to the caves, with somewhere half way Stonehenge, the Giza plateau and the Nazca Lines that cannot possibly exist.
Wonderful writers such as Graham Hancock insist on a pre-historic global civilization, that left its traces deliberately in buildings all over the world, but the truth may be quite the opposite. Unchallenged human civilizations built similar for the same reason that honeybees and ants construct highly similar buildings all over the world without a common directorate. Hancock famously calls us a species with amnesia, but it's worse than that. We are a species with a roving eye or a shifting pole. The need for iron came with the invention of international competition. But before the invention of war, the ancients knew much more than conventional historians give them credit for.
The knowledge of good and evil
Another persistent folly is the belief that the Hebrew Bible is a local product of a minority sect operating predominantly in Jerusalem; a religious movement that competed with other religions, telling the story of their pet deity YHWH (Yahweh) versus the "other gods," projected on a dubious national history of Israel. It positively isn't. As many mythologists have noted, the Hebrew Bible reflects a collective effort of pretty much the whole Semitic language area, from Babylon to Egypt and possibly beyond, and describes an endeavor that is wholly separate from religion and politics at large. It tells the history of Yahwism, which roughly describes a dedication to truth in its broadest sense.
Believe it or not, it takes no effort at all to deceive or be truthful, but it takes quite a bit of cerebral agility to be able to realize that there is a difference. Babies learn very quickly to cry when they associate that behavior with the reward of getting attention, but it takes up to five years to develop a "theory of mind" and become the deliberate and systematic liar that most adults remain to be. In other words, from about five years of age we understand the difference between deception and truthfulness and employ both with equal appreciation and in order to get what we want.
Beyond that initial understanding, it takes profound social sophistication to shift the attention away from the objective (what do I want?) and towards the means to achieve it (shall I deceive or not?). It requires an enormous leap to develop a preference that is so strong that a person will either lie or tell the truth when the opposite course of action would clearly lead to a more agreeable result. Systematic truthfulness, irrespective of the short-term result, requires a thorough understanding of and deep dedication to long-term social cohesion.
Natural Yahwism (not to be confused with any formal religion) describes a social movement devoted entirely to being truthful. It's not organized, it has no leader and it is not confined to any particular culture or people. It's dedicated to creation and the Creator, and results not in religious mumbo-jumbo but in a set of practical and demonstrable skills (technological, social, psychological, medical, etcetera; Deuteronomy 13:1-5). The Bible mostly focuses on both Yahwism's development and its relation to political government. Usually Yahwism was enslaved by military or commercial powers (as science is today), but sometimes it enjoyed periods of "Yahwism for YHWH"; the pursuit of truth for the sake of Truth.
The authors of the Bible made no effort whatsoever to hide the fact that they were composing a refined hotchpotch of earlier ideas, and that those earlier ideas also existed in the refined hotchpotches of other cultures. The story of the tower of Babel in Shinar obviously tells of the transition between the First-Time and the present state of affairs, and Abraham's camel journey doubtlessly reflects the rise of exchange in its broadest sense between the great powerhouses of yesteryears.
At this point in the story the name Canaan may not even denote a particular location, but rather the beginning of international trade. The ethnonym Canaanite became synonymous with merchant and the signature symbol of full-fledged international trade in the Levant was the camel: גמל (gamal), from the verb גמל (gamal), meaning to deal or exchange. In our language the word "camel" only denotes a big, humped beast of burden, but in Hebrew it literally means "unit of trade."
The author of the Abraham cycle left no two ways about it: YHWH's command to Abraham to leave Ur and go to the Promised Land was the same as YHWH commanding the Chaldeans to begin to engage other cultural centers in international trade.
The priestly subsidiaries to the Greatest Story
A much neglected detail of the Abraham cycle is that when Abraham arrived in Canaan, Yahwism was already formalized. In Canaan Abraham met Melchizedek, king of Salem (later Jerusalem), who was a priest of El Elyon (Genesis 14:18), and whose "order of Melchizedek" became the base of Israel's Levitical priestly tradition (the Levites were literally "the joiners"; they had no land and were probably peripatetic, much like the druids in north-west Europe). The "order of Melchizedek" became later applied to the Messiah (Psalm 110:4) and subsequently to Jesus Christ, also known as the Nazarene (Hebrews 5:6).
That the origin of formal Yahwism can not be tied to one distinct location but rather to trade between locations is also demonstrated by the tradition that Melchizedek was "without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, abiding a priest perpetually" (Hebrews 7:3). Likewise of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Jesus said that they were not dead, as God is not a God of the dead but of the living (Matthew 22:32), and living in this regard means to be engaged in exchange in the broadest sense of the word.
The sign of the covenant of YHWH with Abraham, of which Jesus Christ would be the final manifestation, was circumcision (Genesis 17), but Abraham had at least nine sons (Ishmael with Hagar, Isaac with Sarah, six sons with Keturah — among whom Midian, a dominant tribe in Arabia — and an untold number of sons with concubines; Genesis 25:6), and they were all circumcised, as well as hundreds of not-related men, both born and bought into Abraham's household (Genesis 17:12).
Isaac's "wife" Rebekah originated in Mesopotamia and was imported to Canaan, and so were Jacob's wives Leah and Rachel and concubines Bilhah and Zilpah; the four "mothers" of Israel, while through the much later prophet Ezekiel, YHWH stated that Israel was born in Canaan and that her father was an Amorite and her mother a Hittite (Ezekiel 16:3).
Jacob's son Joseph was sold to camel-riding traders from Midian (Jacob's half-uncle), who were en route through Canaan and who delivered him to Egypt, where his oneirocritical skills were duly recognized. He subsequently achieved great political power and was also rewarded with a wife named Asenath, a daughter of Potiphera, who was a priest at On, or Heliopolis. All this obviously demonstrates a politically potent alliance between the established heliolithic priesthood and a newly introduced skill to interpret dreams. That skill remained very important throughout the Biblical narrative (Numbers 12:6, 1 Kings 3:5, Daniel 2:28). The legal father of Jesus was also named Joseph, who also interpreted a dream, also in Egypt, where he had ended up also as the violent result of an encounter with travelers from the east (Matthew 2:19).
Joseph's priestly wife Asenath gave birth to Manasseh and Ephraim, and the descendants of the latter would occupy territory directly north of Judah. A famine in Canaan drove Israel to Egypt, where Joseph was second only to the king (much later the same honor befell Mordecai, the guardian of Esther, representative of the primary Semitic deities Marduk and Ashtoreth), but over time Israel was enslaved and it took the intersession of Moses to get them out.
Moses too was highly educated in the arts of Egypt, but when he killed someone he fled to the land of uncle Midian in Arabia, and there he too met a priest. Priest Jethro of Midian of Arabia gave him not only Zipporah, one of his seven "daughters", but also some crucial advice on how to run a nation (Exodus 18), while a properly organized people appears to have been a requisite for the reception of the Law of YHWH (Exodus 20).
The Law was written by YHWH Himself on two portable stone tablets, which doesn't sound like much today but back then, the wisest men of the wisest land, namely Egypt, needed all the walls of hugely complicated temples to perform something similar. Egypt had VHS, Moses had MP4.
The slip of the mini-camels
Israel's "departure" from Egypt marked a sharp decline in Egypt's economic and military prominence (Exodus 12:36, 14:28). The Israelites would have accounted for up to half of Egypt's population at the time, which was about two million people, but archeology shows no such rapid collapse in Egypt, nor a rapid change in Canaan's culture that would account for Israel's physical invasion. This means that we can be confident that the transition described in the Book of Exodus does not describe a physical movement of people but a shift in the development of Yahwism
The advantage that crippled Egypt probably had to do with the invention of the Semitic alphabet; something that ancient Egypt never adopted and which may have helped its real-time gradual decline. Note that the Hebrews are credited with the invention of vowel-notation, which lifted the wisdom tradition out of the realm of the esoteric and made it available to everyone. The Hebrews used the symbols ה (he), ו (waw) and י (yod) to mark vowels (while these symbols could also be used as consonants, much alike our letters I, U and Y). The holy Name יהוה (YHWH) consists of only these vowels, and denotes the "God of the Vowel People" as Joel M. Hoffman puts it in his lovely book In The Beginning.
When the Israelites reached the land of Moab (who was a son of Lot, Abraham's nephew, also circumcised), they were initially met by political hostility, but Moab's religious tradition, personified in Balaam, was already wholly devoted to YHWH and was duly enthused by Israel's arrival (Numbers 22:18, 23:12, 24:11). Much later, a Moabite woman named Ruth would become the great-grandmother of Israel's hallowed king David, whose son Solomon famously built the Temple of YHWH and gave one of its two pillars the name of Ruth's husband Boaz.
The stone the builders rejected
The Temple of YHWH was an idea of Israel's monarchy but the materials and practical skills required to build it came from the Yahwists of Phoenicia (more specifically, from king Hiram and master craftsman Hiram of Tyre; 1 Kings 5:7). The first Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians and the second one was built when Zerubbabel led the Jews home from exile. The second Temple, however, was decreed, designed and wholly paid for by king Cyrus of Persia (Ezra 6). By the time Jesus walked the earth, the second Temple had been leveled and replaced by a huge tourist complex, which was designed and built by the Idumean Herod the Great, the Roman client-king of Judea.
In other words: there was very little pure Jewish about the early theology of Israel, and very little pure Jewish about any of the Temples of YHWH in Jerusalem. In fact, it's more than obvious that the signature names Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were the names of global social movements, and that the names Israel and even Jerusalem were only later applied to physical locations. The country called Israel today relates to the Biblical Israel the way a hypothetical village named Internet, Montana, would relate to Google and Wikipedia.
Around the time that Herod's temple was completed, Jesus (a.k.a. The Truth) was born in Bethlehem. According to Luke, while the rest of Israel was firmly clueless, some shepherds were told of this pinnacle event by angels. The Matthean gospel tells of an untold number of astronomers from the east who had realized what was going on, not by divine intervention or worming through dusty texts, but by observing the night sky. Besides a very small group of initiates (the family of Jesus and John, and Anna and Simon), these astronomers and the heathen king Herod remained the only ones to know about and believe Jesus' royalty until Jesus went public thirty years later.
Yahwism reached Rome, and gruesomely clashed with Rome's demand that all should bow to the imperial cult, basically demanding that Truth should bow down to whatever the emperor said it was (the Nazis would later do the exact same thing with their absurd Ahnenerbe). The signature phrases of Rome's national cult were merged with the signature principles of the movement and spawned a political monstrosity that had very little to do with the service of Truth or the Creator. Yahwism, the pursuit of truth for the sake or Truth, did not resurface until the scientific revolution of the Renaissance.
Presently, Yahwism in all sorts of guises is rising with a pace that the world hasn't seen for millennia. Books that have been closed for eons are opened again and read by thousands of enthusiasts. Nations that have been buried for centuries are getting dug up and revived. Yahwism is rising over borders, breaking with traditions, and escaping commerce on a massive scale. Most people don't even know what's going on, but not even that will stop it.
The gift of gab
In the last few decades there has been a revolution in the field of inquiry that investigates the evolution of language. It was always assumed that different languages arose independently, and that a desire to share knowledge turned grunts into nouns and finally Shakespeare. That theory of linear evolution is now completely abandoned, and has been replaced by one that shows remarkable similarities with the evolution of empires discussed above, via a magical First-Time that makes it seem as if there once was a global civilization that left its marks all over the world.
In his delightful book The Mother Tongue, Bill Bryson states, "One of the greatest mysteries of prehistory is how people in widely separated places suddenly and spontaneously developed the capacity for language at roughly the same time. It was as if people carried around in their heads a genetic alarm clock that suddenly went off all around the world...[...] No one has come up with a remotely plausible explanation of how a language spoken only in a remote corner of the Pyrenees could have come to influence Indian languages of the New World, but the links between many cognates are too numerous to explain in terms of simple coincidence."
Bill is a bit dramatic, and that's why we love him, because particularly the field of linguistics has come up with a decisively plausible theory of what happened. A modern, spoken language is precisely like the fruit of a tree that had to grow first as a tree before it could bear fruit. This tree from which all our world's languages dangle is called syntax. Syntax is the operating system of language and it came first; it's the First-Time empire of language. Actual language began with signs, which were probably pretty much universal, and which were slowly replaced with sounds, which slowly evolved into the various languages of the world.
Research shows that human language is mostly used for social bonding (in stead of the exchange of information, as one would intuitively guess) and the wisdom tradition, the preservation of useful information, appears to have been a side effect of the advantage of strong social bonds. Art was probably a side effect of the wisdom tradition, because a wisdom tradition includes skills and thus must precede art, and hieroglyphic text logically came from art.
The "breach from Egypt" occurred when the existing wisdom tradition met the Semitic alphabet. What once required colossal temple complexes, 4000 different hieroglyphs and a thorough esoteric training for a minority of initiates could now be presented in strings comprised of a small set of letters that everybody could read, and every town could own. The result was public access to everything there was, disguised as a linear story but in fact a multi-dimensional fractal matrix, of which Jewish sages said that it contained the whole world. If speech was the camel of social relationships, the alphabet became the camel of wisdom.
Researchers like Dr. Peter Gariaev and Dr. Jeff Delrow have shown that DNA is organized according to rules that also underlie human language. Droves of enthusiasts cheered that we're basically walking mailmen, and carry with us a secret message that some greater force programmed there but, again, the simpler truth is the reverse: our languages reflect our DNA. Script was an incredible invention which we take now for granted but which must have seemed magic to the ancients. But we didn't invent it ex-nihilo, we learned it from our hearts.
The universe in your pocket
The ancients didn't have space telescopes and electron microscopes but they had something better. After eons of careful observation they had been able to deduce that the whole of creation is a giant fractal, and could derive the whole of it from the small parts that could be seen with the naked eye. We moderns may be able to see further and peer deeper but up until now the bigger picture has eluded us. We have archeology and literary criticism, and even though many of us believe that the Bible came to us via divine revelation, rarely do we entertain the notion that we might actually be substantially less advanced than the Bible writers were. No more so.
The Bible is mankind's greatest collective creation; it's the universe in pocket format. It works the same as does creation and tells the whole of it in the form of a multi-dimensional fractal matrix, which progresses along a complexity axis (and not a chronological or temporal one, so clocks and calendars don't work in the Bible).
All the narratives of the Bible tell multiple stories, and tie into the others via multiple points of conjunction. It can be used to unravel history, to explain the cosmos and explore the human mind, and it even details a certain kind of technology that we don't possess yet. Everything that evolves must evolve according to that basic pattern, and all structures that don't adhere to this basic pattern will be eradicated by all other things. All the books of the world couldn't contain the Bible when it's unfolded, but we'll demonstrate one particularly striking iteration (omitting most of the details for the sake of brevity):
Weaving the Greatest Story
Let the culture of ancient Egypt relate to human culture at large the way an aggregate prokaryotic community (a colony of, say, bacteria or fungi) relates to the biosphere. The Exodus of Israel out of Egypt is then self-similar to the initial specialization of pre-eukaryotic life and the deposition of the two stone tablets of the Law of YHWH into the collective heart of Israel is self-similar to the biological nucleosynthesis.
Jacob famously saw a ladder reach into heaven and called that place Bethel, meaning House of God. Israel was organized around the two stone tablets of the Law in the Ark in the Temple, the House of God, just like a living cell is organized around a nucleus that contains DNA.
The Ten Commandments (or in Hebrew: the Ten Words) are organized in two sets; one pertaining to the divinity (paternal) and one to man (maternal). The double helix wasn't discovered until 1953 but the Hebrews, as only culture in the world, used scrolls for their Torah.
The Golden Age of Solomon marks the completion of a single eukaryotic cell. The transition into multi-cellular life is illustrated by the breach of the kingdom into Judah and Israel, and is expressed in the still extant Ark tradition of Ethiopia.
The exile into Babylon marks the absorption of a cell's individual genome into the overbearing constitution of a multi-cellular organism. The return and Temple of Zerubbabel coincides with the rise of mind, or rudimentary self-consciousness of a larger creature.
Jesus only had one set of human genes, namely His mother's. In this particular iteration, He was a maternal gamete; an ovum. After a period of national upheaval, His crucifixion and death coincided with a woman's ovulation. An ovum in the Fallopian tube is as dead as Jesus was in His grave because as soon as the ovum emerges from the corpus luteum, it is severed from the woman's bodily economy and is outside her body (just like an item held in one's hand or mouth is outside one's body; just like any other body part is dead upon amputation).
The resurrection of Jesus coincides with conception. The now zygote remains separated from the mother until it nests in the womb wall and it is reinstated in the mother's bodily economy. The mother's body doesn't notice the child itself, it only sees the placenta. The world in turn sees church buildings and organizational structures, and thinks that's it. What the world doesn't know is that there is a whole new life form growing behind that visible facade.
If the mother has any sense at all she will realize that there is something going on inside of her, and brace for impact at due time. The birth of the Child will nevertheless coincide with the collapse of global economy and the complete removal of formal religion (the placenta; Revelation 21:22). Whether the mother will survive depends largely on her preparation for the Birth.
Or in evolutionary terms: homo sapiens will prove to be the common ancestor of two new species, one of which will be quite similar to homo sapiens, and the other will be substantially different. The required ecological barrier that makes this happens, is a barrier in the "sapiens-"part of homo sapiens; it has to do with an understanding that surpasses all understanding of homo sapiens. This new understanding is not a matter of knowledge or intelligence, but rather the ability to see the whole picture. This new species, let's call it homo fili hominis, has been with us for a long time already, but it will reach critical mass in the very near future and branch off all together.
Balancing the tightrope
The evolving biosphere is governed by two distinct processes and science has only figured one out, namely mutation and natural selection. Natural selection obviously occurs but it fails to explain two things:
- Where did RNA and DNA come from in the first place?
- If competition is really the driving force behind evolution, how come no organism has ever won?
Exactly the same questions plague cosmology. Where did the ur-singularity come from, and why is it that the universe has been expanding for 15 billion years without settling into Heat Death or crunching back into a singularity? Why is it that the universe expands at precisely the right rate, not too fast and not too slow?
The usual cop-out answer is that it only had to happen once, but it didn't only happen once; evolution too has a very precise balance. If random mutations make all the difference, why has there never been a mutation that made one species so much better than all the others that it ate all the others and now is the only one? Why is there still such a wide diversity of life after such a long period of brutal struggle for dominance? Why has no single language taken over the world? Why has no empire every conquered all?
All around us rhinos dance on tightropes and no one ever falls off. Why is there so much balance in the universe and what preserves it?
How life began
From what we know now we can postulate the following (and we're not prophets; the following is wide open for correction):
When the universe was still in its First Time, pretty much all energy was locked in huge primordial black holes, and if we define a living thing as a material creature that is able to absorb light without turning it into heat (John 1:5), black holes are to be considered alive. These black holes began to evaporate in two ways: (1) via a process called Hawking Radiation, and (2) via emitting gravitational waves. Hawking Radiation produced the particles we are now familiar with. Clouds of particles combined into stars, and during their life stars produced elements up to iron and elements heavier than iron when they went super nova and their cores formed either black holes or brown dwarfs, while their coronas combined into next generation stars and planets.
When two black holes rotate around a central point they approach each other and release energy by rippling the very fabric of spacetime with gravity waves. We postulate that these waves form a Chladni pattern that permeates the whole universe and slightly influences the behavior of quantum particles. We're guessing that during a relatively short window of time, the conditions in the universe were such that a cluster of atoms would exists in its most stable condition when it formed prime-ordeal DNA, and that DNA in effect mimics the Chladni pattern at large (for the same reason that a cup of tea will cool off until it reaches room temperature; it has to do with decreasing entropy. In other words: it would require energy to not fall into synch with this pattern).
This Chladni pattern, let's call it the Univoice, still exists but because the black holes are smaller and more numerous, it "sounds" different than it did back then, and won't create DNA anymore. But we're guessing that biospheres all over the universe work like giant large array antennas and their most stable conditions are when they are as a whole aligned in resonance with the Univoice. The formation of the modern human genome occurred pretty much in the same way that the Bible was formed: the most rudimentary genome needed to drive the first living thing, evolved by competing incompatibles, assimilating chunks of code from other useful critters and by homing in on the true north of the Univoice (by pursuing maximum entropy, like anything else in the universe does).
The amplitude of this Chladni pattern is too small to detect with the instruments we have today, but it's not too small to affect the currency of a human brain. Certain very specific human brains appear to be sensitive to the Univoice and can perceive it, but most of us have brains that only hear it when we are part of a living large array antenna. Some little ones are already in place but we need a critical mass of joined minds that are aligned with the Univoice (and not with some creed that someone's made up). In the very near future, the Bible will be studied by scholars from all disciplines, and scientific understanding of creation will become less diverse and more encompassing, which should facilitate the natural formation of these living large arrays (Zechariah 8:23).
All things considered, it looks like we're in for a bumpy ride, but it doesn't have to be all that bad. Remember that all this is natural evolution and there's nothing we can do about it, one way or the other. Should these things worry you then please remember that the single most repeated command in the Bible is: Don't be afraid.
Just keep living the way you were, but try to settle any outstanding debts you may have or reconcile with people that you may have an argument with. If you're doing something that you shouldn't be doing, now is a very good time to stop. It's always smart to join a church of some sort but it might take you a while to find one that suits you. There are all kinds, from chandelier swinging to academic gatherings, but it's important that you are not alone.
We need to transcend money, but the monetary economy needs to naturally evolve towards its Heat Death. Please don't dump any large fortunes on the market. Slowly invest in fields that are now sorely underfunded because they won't make anybody any money. Try to refrain from purchases that serve very little purpose (like superyachts and Lamborghinis). Build schools and hospitals in stead.
Slowly wean people off central rule. Listen to the guys on the work floor; they know best. The crowd is wise, the swarm is smart.
Stop standardizing food production. Pull the plug out of the military industrial complex, clean up the atmosphere and begin to irrigate the world's large deserts.
The universe is about to come to life the same way in which life began on planet earth, with a whole lot of little single-cellular life forms that all pretty much look the same. It would be very nice if the Kids from Planet Earth could try to look somewhat presentable.