I recently read a short article called, “Why don’t we live as long as Methuselah?” by Jonathan Sarfati. He started out by discussing the erroneous theories of increased oxygen in the pre-flood era. While the evidence suggests that it is possible that the oxygen level was greater, it is an insufficient reason for the drastic decline in longevity after the flood. I agree with his assessment wholeheartedly. The only thing that is sufficient to account for the drastic decrease in longevity is Genetic Degradation. In this devotional, I’ll share why I agree with this model.
Methuselah lived about 10 times longer than people do today and according to the Bible, he died at age 969. Since we can trust that the Bible is accurate because it is the inspired, inerrant, infallible Holy Word of God. Furthermore, to question it would be to dismiss its incredible accuracy in every subject that it addresses. It has to this date, never been proven wrong. It is the Holy Bible.
Genetic Degradation After the Fall of Man
Prior to Adam’s sin, Adam was a perfect man, designed and built to last forever. Adam was warned; “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Genesis 2:17. The original Hebrew proposes that he would begin dying at that moment. Consequently, he lived for 930 years.
After Adam sinned against God everything was cursed. “And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;” Genesis 3:17. So, life was bad from the moment that the earth was cursed. Humans were no longer perfect and they were able to die.
Why the Rapid Genetic Degradation After the Flood
After the flood, there was a genetic bottleneck. The population of the preflood world was reduced to just 8 people. So each of those people already had genetic errors and they would pass those errors down to their children. So, why did Shem only live 2/3 as long as his father? Genetic Degradation.
I’ll let Johnathan Sarfati explain it.
“There is, of course, the ever-present possibility in any individual of a non-aging-related cause of death such as disease or accident. But there is also a plausible genetic explanation: he was born when his father was 502, i.e. over half-way through his lifespan. His ancestors were much younger when they fathered their named sons. It has long been known that children born to aged mothers have a higher risk of developing non-hereditary genetic disorders such as Down’s Syndrome, and it is plausible that Mrs. Noah was about the same age as Noah. But even if she were much younger, more recent research points to aged fathers as a major source of genetic disorders. This should not be surprising since men keep producing sperm throughout their lives from the division of stem cells (some 840 divisions by age 50). In theory, the risks of spontaneous mutation increase with each round of sperm cell division, so the sperm of older men are more likely to carry mutations.”
Genetic Degradation After the Flood
This explanation not only explains the decrease in longevity in Shem but in all the proceeding generations. That is, until the advent of modern medicine. Modern medicine is artificially extending our lives through chemical and biological manipulation. So, at some point, the Genetic Degradation will catch up with our medical progress and our lifespans will again start declining – if the Lord doesn’t return soon.
Genetic Degradation is the Only Plausible Reason
Genetic Degradation is the only thing that can explain the rapid post-Flood decline of longevity. While other factors can contribute, like pollution, lack of safety equipment, wild animal predation, and disease. Without Genetic Degradation, the rapid decrease in longevity would have been much slower. Specifically, because humans would have been stronger, healthier, and would have had a more robust immune system without rapid Genetic Degradation. The article “Mutations: evolution’s engine becomes evolution’s end!” further explains this Genetic Degradation.
Don’t blame God
Blame Adam and Eve, not God for this. Because they were warned and God and true to His character, He was compelled to punish their sins. Because, He is a perfect God that requires perfection, He had to punish them. Consequently, their sin caused our physical and spiritual downfall. We’re not evolving, we’re genetically falling all to pieces.