Long Life Spans: “Adam Lived 930 Years and Then He Died”
New Discoveries in the Biochemistry of Aging Support the Biblical Record
By Fazale R. Rana, Ph.D.Hugh Ross, Ph.D.Richard Deem, M. S.
Introduction: “Adam lived 930 years and then he died.” The mere assertion that humans could live more than 900 years-as Genesis 5:5 states-seems, for many people, nothing short of absurdity. The mention of long life spans in Genesis 5 hinders these people from openly exploring the Christian faith. Unable to accept 900-year human life spans, skeptics and others view the Bible as unreliable, a book of human myth rather than divine revelation.
This skepticism towards the long life spans of Genesis 5 is understandable. Tremendous advances have been made and will continue to be made in medical science and technology to conquer many dreaded diseases. The Western world has widespread access to health services, and for most Americans, nutrition is not a vital concern. And yet, the average life span in the U.S. is less than 80 years. Over the last century, human life expectancy has increased, but only by a handful of years. In light of these facts, how can the long life spans described in Genesis 5 conceivably be true? Yet another stumbling block crops up in Genesis 6:3, which declares that God intervened to shorten man’s life span from about 900 to 120 years. (For a discussion on why God would have allowed man’s long life span only to shorten it later, see The Genesis Question by Hugh Ross.) Even though a maximum life
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expectancy of about 120 years accords with current data, the abrupt shortening of human life spans creates another hurdle for skeptics. How can this dramatic change in human life spans be scientifically rational?
Recent advances in the biochemistry of aging provide answers to these seemingly intractable problems. Scientists have uncovered several distinct biochemical mechanisms that either cause, or are associated with, senescence (aging). Even subtle changes in cellular chemistry can be responsible for aging, and in some cases, can increase life expectancy by nearly 50%.1, 2 These discoveries point to a number of possible ways that God could have allowed long life spans and then altered human life expectancy- simply by “tweaking” human biochemistry. The recent progress of research in the biochemistry of aging, along with the cosmic radiation caused by the Vela supernova eruption, makes the long life spans of Genesis 5 and the decrease of human life spans at the time of the Flood scientifically plausible…