Monday, May 17, 2010

It's about time

The chart above depicts the lifelines of notable Old Testament personalities, assuming that Adam and Eve were created in year zero. Years run vertically in the chart. Personalities are horizontal in the chart. The bottom of each line marks the birth and the top the death (except for Enoch who simply walked with God). The horizontal line marks the year of the flood.

Three things interest me about the chart. Note that Methuselah died the year of the flood. Note also that Methuselah could have spoken with Adam and gotten a first-hand account of the events immediately following the creation. Noah, in turn, could have spoken directly with Methuselah and received the information second hand, not multiple versions later, but only two. And last, note that the lifespans are dramatically shorter for all those born after the flood, although 175 years is still impressive (Abraham). Names are from the King James version.

Some people think that the long spans prior to the flood are because the people couldn't tell the difference between years and months. That would mean that Adam would have died at 77 instead of 930. While that would make the age at death more in line with what we are accustomed to, it is strange that Cainan would have been just under six when he begat Mahalaleel and Mahalaleel would have been about five and a half when he gave birth to Jared. Which is the more astounding do you think?

Assume for the moment that the Biblical account of Creation is accurate and that everything was created in the adult form. What if you could be there the second week and look around? How old would Adam appear to be? How about a fully grown elephant? A horse? A dog? We would estimate different ages based on our experience of how long it takes for a creature to reach the adult stage. Yet, they would all be one week old (give or take a few days). Each would have the appearance of distinctly different ages, much like the different ages of the earth given by different processes.

As Einstein would say, "It's all relative". Kind of makes you go "Hmmmm". References for the chart available on request.