According to the Old Testament of the Bible, at the center of the Garden of Eden stood a tree that knew good and evil, the Tree of Knowledge, which stood alongside the Tree of Life. Adam and Eve were temped by the Devil in the form of a snake to eat the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge, and as a result were driven out from paradise.
Science, which NERV Commander Gendo Ikari proudly proclaims as man's strength and Vice Commander Kouzou Fuyutsuki ridicules as having caused the Second Impact, is surely the Fruit of Knowledge that man had obtained. It is mankind's fortune and also the original sin of having revolted against God.
The Fruit of Life, which exists alongside the Fruit of Knowledge, is said to bestow eternal life to those who eat it. There are some texts implying that God had banished humans, who have obtained knowledge, in order to protect the Tree of Life. In Neon Genesis Evangelion, the Angels, who posses the Sē Engine which grants them an infinite supply of energy (eternal life), are believed to posses the Fruit of Life.
It is said that any who eat both the Fruit of Knowledge and the Fruit of Life will become a being equal to God. This is in fact the purpose of SEELE's version of the Human Instrumentality Project.
Based on Neon Genesis Evangelion Platinum: 05 DVD Booklet