The Atlantis Gene March of the Atlanteans
Fact vs. Fiction
There will be facts. Explore the science and history behind The Atlantis Gene.
NOTE: This page is a constant work in progress. If you have questions, feel free to contact me.

To the best of my knowledge, all the facts about evolution in the book are true. Specifically:
  • the human race (homo sapiens sapiens -- our subspecies) evolved around 200,000 years ago (YA) in Africa
  • 12% of all humans that have ever lived are alive right now.
  • every human on the planet is directly descended from one man who lived in Africa around 60,000 YA. Geneticists call this person Y-Chromosomal Adam (UPDATE: A new study just came out in March 2013 that pushes the date to between 237,000 and 581,000 YA with a 95% accuracy prediction; jury is still out on this one).
  • everyone outside of Africa is descended from a small tribe of humans that ventured out around 50,000 YA
  • human evolution isn't a straight line -- it advances in branches, some of which die out (see below).
  • 50,000 YA, there were at least 4 human subspecies:
    • Us (Africa; small populations in Europe and Asia)
    • Neanderthals (Europe, Middle East)
    • Denisovans (Asia)
    • Homo floresiensis (Southern Asia)
    And... here's where they are today:
    • Us - alive, kicking, ruling the planet, and taking names (and pen names)
    • Neanderthals - deceased.
      Last known area of habitation: Gorham's Cave (at the base of the Rock of Gibraltar), circa 23-33,000 YA
    • Denisovans - deceased.
      Last known area of habitation: cave in the Altai Mountains in Siberia, circa 41,000 YA
    • Homo floresiensis - deceased.
      Last known area of habitation: Flores island (near Java) in Indonesia, circa 13,000 YA
  • These subspecies of humans could interbreed with our subspecies (we believe), and there's evidence that they did:
    • Europeans and Asians have up to 4% Neanderthal DNA
    • Melanesians and Australian Aborigines have up to 6% Denisovan DNA
The Atlantis Gene

Is there an "Atlantis Gene"?

Scientists know that human brain wiring changed around 50,000 YA and that that change lead to... well, everything after.

Finding and understanding this "Atlantis Gene" would have huge implications.
The Toba Catastrophe

All factual.

There's still some debate about the subsequent population bottleneck, but the geological record verifies the eruption and volcanic winter that followed.
The Great Leap Forward

Subject of debate among scientists.

We know that homo sapiens sapiens (our direct ancestors) experienced a change in brain wiring around 50,000 YA that lead to our modern behavior (language, advanced tool making, reality tv). We're not exactly sure how it happened. There's a lot of debate right now about whether it was a sudden change or a gradual change.

The sudden change scenario, or Great Leap Forward, makes for a more interesting story, so...
The Dutch East India Company

I definitely took some liberties with the history of The Dutch East India Company in Indonesia. I promise I did this for the sake of the story, in particular to heighten the mystery surrounding Immari Jakarta in Part I and to increase the dramatic tension of Kate's situation at the West Jakarta Police Department.
The Great Flood

Strangely true, as it turns out.

About 12,500 years ago, the last glacial period ended (a glacial period is a span of thousand of years during an ice age that is marked by colder temperatures and glacier advances). At that time, parts of Europe and North America were buried under as much as a mile of ice.

As that ice melted, sea levels rose — drastically.

From about 19,000 to 6,000 years ago, scientists believe that global sea levels rose nearly 120 meters — almost 400 feet. The melting happened gradually (about a meter every century), but there's evidence that there were at least two periods of more rapid sea level rise: one around 15-13,000 years ago and then again between 11-9,000 years ago. During these periods, the rate of sea level rise could have been 2-3 times the normal rate of increase, causing widespread flooding and prehistoric chaos.

Hey, it turns out these Neanderthals dudes weren't so bad. Or dumb... for the times.

Most of the details in the book are accurate.

Neanderthals had probably died out by 13,000 YA, but hey, the Atlanteans had to save some early human from a ritual sacrifice in Gibraltar, so the Neandies got the nod, mostly because of their earlier habitation of the region. And bonus points for outstanding stone hearths.

We know (or believe we know) that Neanderthals:
  • existed in Europe as early as 600,000-350,000 YA (up to 400,000 years before we evolved); still a subject of debate.
  • had voice boxes that were shaped differently than ours, which could have limited their communication
  • had large brains, as big or bigger than ours. One study showed Neanderthal and modern human brains were the same size at birth, but by adulthood, the Neanderthal brain was larger than the modern human brain.
  • were strong, especially in their upper bodies.
  • buried their dead
  • could have had some sort of primitive religion

All factual (to my knowledge).

I tried to present an accurate portrayal of autism in the novel, and to the best of my knowledge, all the facts are accurate. Specifically:
  • autism has a strong genetic component
  • autism is a spectrum of disorders
  • autism diagnosis rates are soaring, especially in developed nations (because of better diagnosis and other unknown factors)
  • scientists believe autism is caused by differences in brain wiring, especially in the areas that control communication
Immari & Clocktower


Note to that guy with the ski mask and machete that came to my house: Does this text look good? I can change it pretty easily. Also, I received the lock of hair you sent. Please stop doing that. And, email is the best way to reach me; those voice mails with the scrambled voice are incredibly hard to hear. Thanks.
The Bell
(Die Glocke)

Old WWII Legend.

The Bell is a rumored Nazi special weapons/technology project. It's unknown whether the Bell (Die Glocke) existed, but it has been the subject of a great deal of speculation.
Nazis in Antarctica

The Nazis:
  • sent expeditions to Antarctica (and Tibet) in 1938
  • claimed part of the continent as a German province (New Swabia)
That's about where the facts end.
Miners/Tunnel Warfare

Factual, although I altered the dates a bit. America didn't enter WWI until a bit later. Also, Gibraltar was a significant military hospital during WWII but not WWI.
Spanish Flu


And it could be about to happen again... see immediately below.
What's next?
The Atlantis Plague is coming and only the fittest smartest will survive.
Prepare yourself, you don't want to end up on a plague barge.

The Atlantis Plague