Do You Really Want the Longevity of Methuselah and Beyond?
Let's continue to contemplate longevity and immortality. Longevity is hallmarked by the 969 years of life of the biblical character Methuselah (Book of Genesis 5:27: And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty and nine years: and he died.) Methuselah was said to have died in the year of the Great Flood.
Know'st Thou What Gray Methuselah
by Konstantin Nikolaevich Batiushkov (1787-1855)
Know'st thou what gray Methuselah
Pronounced when parting with this life?
Man's born a slave,
He dies a slave,
And death will never tell him why
He walked this lovely vale of tears,
Suffered, wept, endured, and disappeared.
And on a more cheerful note:
- Unknown Author
Methuselah ate what he found on his plate,
And never as people do now;
Did he note the account of the calorie count.
He ate it because it was chow.
He wasn't disturbed as at dinner he sat,
Devouring a stew or a pie
To think it was lacking in granular fat,
Or a couple of vitamins shy;
He cheerfully chewed every species of food,
Unmindful of troubles or fears
Lest his health might be hurt
By some fancy dessert,
And he lived over nine hundred years.
More on longevity including some interesting speculation on biblical longevity from Wikipedia
Our current knowledge on cellular lifespan hypothesizes that the natural limit on modern human longevity is well below 150 years. Guinness Records for the oldest living person have long remained within the range from age 112 to the all-time record of 122 years held by Jeanne Calment, but the process of sorting genuine supercentenarians from longevity myths is hampered by the often questionable birth certification records from the late 19th century. Guinness Record statistics are soon likely to reveal the approximate true longest natural human lifespan yet achieved in modern times.
Today some maintain that the unusually high longevity of Biblical patriarchs is the result of an error in translation: lunar cycles were mistaken for the solar ones, and the actual ages are 12.37 times less. This gives 78 years for Methuselah, which is still an impressive number, bearing in mind the life expectancy of Biblical times. Methuselah's fathering of Lamech would correspondingly have occurred at solar age 15 (187÷12.37). (This theory however, seems doubtful to others since patriarchs such as Mahalalel (Book of Genesis 5:15) and Enoch (Book of Genesis 5:21) were said to have become fathers after 65 "years." If the lunar cycle theory were accepted this would translate to an age of about 5 years and 2 months. Creationists have proposed a number of ideas for the dramatic decrease in lifespans following the flood of Noah's time. One was that conditions before the flood caused much less ultraviolet light from the sun to impact the earth, and that this allowed for longer life spans. The latest proposal is that it is due to the genetic bottleneck that would have been caused by the flood, causing loss of longevity genes.
What would we worry about if we all had the potential to live nine hundred years or forever. I guess it would be not to get killed in an accident, a homicide, a war or a natural disaster (a flood as perhaps Methuselah?). Would we worry that we might get bored with life?: “Not new. Already seen this, done this.” Is this, the longevity of Methuselah or beyond,that which people alive in this world of ours really want? ..Maurice.