[b-hebrew] Genesis 41: 1: "Two Years of Days"
J.Read-2 at sms.ed.ac.uk
Sun Jul 19 16:59:59 EDT 2009
Thanks Karl. Yes. I didn't mean that people who believe otherwise are
like children. I meant to illustrate the likeness of how we (in
general and not just children) find it difficult to believe something
which seems to be contrary to present observations.
However, there are two ways we can interpret the fact that many
nations have a flood story of some kind:
a) the story was popular and from one national origin spread across
the globe in its different versions and was adopted by many different
nations as part of their history
b) there really was a flood that our common ancestors survived and
this story was passed down through the generations and each nation
received its evolved version
In the same way there are two ways we can interpret the fact that
ancient history of many nations makes claims of long life spans of
their most ancient ancestors.
1) They were all involved in some international competition of who can
exaggerate their history the most
2) Our common ancestors really did live longer and that is why this is
attested in so many ancient histories
While I do not believe we can take every age in every ancient source
literally (there are too many factors like exaggeration, copying error
etc) I believe that the international proliferation of such claims is,
at least, indicative that our most ancient common ancestors lived
longer than our present day life expectancy.
Quoting K Randolph <kwrandolph at gmail.com
> The problem we have with Jim’s theories is that he starts with certain
> beliefs that are outside the realm of science (they can be neither verified
> nor falsified by science), in other words, faith, then tries to use it as
> proof that his theories are correct.
> For example, long lives, based on our present conditions. But has the human
> body been so weakened by diseases and other environmental factors that
> didn’t exist in the past, as well as DNA degradation, so that ancient people
> could have lived longer? That’s speculation based on the historical record,
> one that science cannot touch because it is dealing with what cannot
> presently be observed. The surviving records don’t give an answer to the
> why, just lists that the shortening lives was a gradual process.
> I don’t think James was likening Jim to a child, rather that his claims are
> based on beliefs that are false in the same manner as those of children who
> do not know about past conditions, therefore wonder why grandparents did the
> things they did. James referenced the claims, not the person.
> Karl W. Randolph.
> On Sun, Jul 19, 2009 at 2:07 AM, Yigal Levin <leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il> wrote:
>> Dear James,
>> While I personally think that Jim's theory is dead wrong, there is a huge
>> difference between the long life-spans of biblical characters (and those in
>> other works of literature as well) and the examples that you listed bellow.
>> Humans living hundreds of years is not only not a part of our present-day
>> experience. It is also totally impossible within our understanding of the
>> laws of nature as they stand at present. Theorizing that "nature was
>> different in the distant past" or the "God intervened in the cases of
>> certain chosen people" is a statement of faith, by its nature unprovable by
>> any scientific method known to us. As long as you admit that your position
>> depends on an acceptance of the biblical text as factually accurate out of
>> faith, that's fine. Comparing anyone who does not accept your faith with
>> children is derogatory, and has no place on this list.
>> Yigal Levin
>> Co-moderator, B-Hebrew
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