According to Graham Hancock in his book Fingerprints of the Gods, the Mayans’ advanced learning came from “the First Men, the creatures of Quetzalcoatl”, namely “Balam-Quitze (Jaguar with the Sweet Smile), Balam-Acab (Jaguar of the Night), Mahucutah (The Distinguished Name), and Iqui-Balam (Jaguar of the Moon).” According to the Popol Vuh, the ancient Quiche Mayans’ sacred text:
[The First Men] were good people, handsome, with looks of the male kind. Thoughts came into existence and they gazed, their vision came all at once. Perfectly they saw, perfectly they knew every thing under the sky, whenever they looked. The moment they turned around and looked around in the sky, on the earth everything was seen without obstruction. They did not have to walk before they could see what was under the sky, they just stayed where they were. As they looked, their knowledge became intense. Their sight passed though trees, through rocks, through lakes, through seas, through mountains, through plants. Jaguar Quitze, Jaguar Night, Mahucutah, and True Jaguar were truly gifted people…. They understood everything perfectly, they sighted the four sides, the four corners in the sky, on the earth….
According to the Popol Vuh, some of the gods did not like that The First Men were so powerful.
…[T]his did not sound good to the builder and sculptor:
“What our works and designs have said is no good: they understood too much
“We have understood everything great and small they said, they say,”
And so the Bearer, Begetter took back their knowledge….
[W]e will take them apart just a little. What we have
found is not good. Their deeds would become equal to ours, just their
knowledge reaches so far. They see everything,” so said
the Heart of Sky, Hurricane,
Newborn Thunderbolt, Raw Thunderbolt,
Sovereign Plumed Serpent,
And when they changed the nature of the works, the designs it was enough that
they eyes be marred by the Heart of Sky. They were blinded as the face of a
mirror is breathed upon. Their eyes were weakened. Now it was only when they
looked nearby that things were clear.
And such was the loss of the means of understanding, along with the means of
knowing everything such was making, modeling of our first grandfather, our
father, by the Heart of Sky, Heart of Earth.
Hancock finds parallels between the story of The First Men and the Fall of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden:
Both the Popol Vuh and Genesis … tell the story of mankind’s fall from grace. In both cases, this state of grace was closely associated with knowledge, and the reader is left in no doubt that the knowledge in question was so remarkable that it conferred godlike powers on those who possessed it. The Bible … calls it “the knowledge of good and evil” and has nothing further to add. The Popol Vuh is much more informative. It tells us that the knowledge of the First Men consisted of the ability to see “things hidden in the distance”, that they were astronomers who “examined the four corners, the four points of the arch of the sky”, and that they were geographers who succeeded in measuring “the round face of the earth.”