Blessings Worthy Family!!!
I read an interesting article on the topic of the longevity in Genesis.......just thought I would share this with all of you & get your comments........I have my own thoughts but I will save them for later.......
God bless you all & Praise & Glory to God
Part 1: Visitor's Comments
Longevity in Genesis
Many Christians have assumed that the reason for the dramatic decrease in human life spans after the flood was due to environmental factors like increased solar radiation, eating meat, weather changes, and even disease. However, the genealogical data given to us in Genesis makes such a conclusion very unlikely for the following reasons:
Noah lived to be 950 years of age and lived nearly 40% of his life AFTER the flood. Noah lived to see the 75th birthday of Abraham! Abraham was his great great great great great great great great grandson. If Noah was exposed to the same environmental factors as the next 9 generations then he would have begun to age more rapidly as soon as the flood was over.
If one looks at the genealogies of Genesis diagrammed as a timeline one discovers that life span decreased by generation, not by date. This distinction is hard to catch, but the implications are dramatic. If an environmental factor were causing the life spans to decrease, then people would have started aging more rapidly altogether regardless of their generation.
Today, avoiding solar radiation, avoiding meat, living indoors, and maintaining a disease-free environment does not increase human life span. In fact, many diseases are associated with vegetarianism and too little exposure to the sun.
But enough of the evidence against environmental factors. Is there an alternative?
Yes, as any student of Population Genetics will tell you, a dramatic decrease in population size is always accompanied by a loss of genetic diversity. This is known as a "population bottleneck". For example, God may have originally given humanity 75 different genes for hair color, but we don't have that many now. This can happen because parents only pass on 50% of their genetic information to each child. Some genes simply die with their possessors.
During the flood, the human population was reduced to only 5 genetically unique individuals!!! (Noah's children don't count because they could not possess any genes their parent's did not.) and with each successive generation some genes simply failed to survive.
As the population grew, however, the amount lost with each generation decreased. Eventually the amount of genetic loss stabilized as the population became very large.
Genetic loss is associated with a loss of fitness. We see it, in the Biblical record, as a loss of life span by generation. This view is supported by two pieces of evidence:
1) Earlier generations were outliving many of their descendants.
2) In modern times, the effects of population bottlenecks on animal species match what happened to humanity after the flood.
Further speculation into the reason for God giving us animals to eat after the flood leads me to conclude that the genetic loss caused by the population bottleneck may have included the ability to manufacture essential nutrients from the foods we were previously given to eat.
For example, if our bodies could manufacture antioxidants, essential fatty acids, all the amino acids, and various other nutrients from vegetable matter, then we wouldn't need to eat animals. But as most vegetarians discover, we cannot limit our diets to vegetables without suffering severe deficiencies. God may have given animals as food in anticipation of this lost capacity.
(The visitor who wrote the above article invites you to "feel free to send comments and questions to email@example.com" )
Part 2: Quote of Biblebell's write-up that is discussed by the above visitor comments
Many people ask, "Why did the people in Genesis live so long?" Perhaps the better question would be, "Why do people die at all?"
God did not create people to die. Had sin not entered the world, people would have lived forever. (Gen 2.17, 3.19; Rom 5.12)
Two reasons why life spans gradually decreased are...
1) Before the flood, the earth was surrounded by a shell of ice. You can read about its origin at <http://www.biblebell...creation.html>.
This shell of ice protected the earth's inhabitants from the harmful radiation that emanates from the sun and other bodies in outer space.
At the time of the flood, "the windows of heaven were opened" whereby God collapsed the ice shell onto the earth as a rainfall lasting 40 days and nights. (Gen 7.10-12)
Following this flood, the earth was no longer protected by the shell of ice, so radiation began to cause genetic damage in the human race. This genetic damage progressed as it passed on from generation to generation, thus causing life spans to decrease.
2) Before the flood, all people and animals were herbivores (they ate only vegetables, NO meat) -- Gen 1.29-30.
After the flood, people and animals became flesh eaters -- Gen 9.3-6. (In the future Millennium, God will reinstate the herbivorous nature of His creatures - Isaiah 11.6-9)
Among the animals that became flesh eaters were those we call bacteria and viruses. These microscopic & sub-microscopic animals also began feeding on flesh. Thus began "illness" & this, too, shortened human life spans.
When ordaining the flood of Noah, God announced that the life expectancy of humans would almost immediately be reduced to 120 years (Gen 6.3). In Psalm 90.10, the life expectancy was further reduced to "threescore and ten years" -- 70 years of age.
This commentary was posted on Biblebell.org
With love,in Christ-Kwik