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.


camojack said...

"Assume for the moment that the Biblical account of Creation is accurate and that everything was created in the adult form."

I think that much of the Creation account is more of a synopsis than something to be taken literally...but that's me.

Hawkeye® said...

Radar (over at the Radaractive blog) is a creationist who believes in a literal 6-day, 24-hour Genesis account. As you might imagine, he puts up with a lot of grief from the atheists. He often posts a lot of interesting stuff that contradicts the Darwinists and uniformitarians. I think the Earth might be a lot younger than it is often portrayed, but I'm still not convinced it's only about 6,000 years old.

Pat's Rick© said...

One of the things that always interested me is that the order given in Genesis is pretty much the order given in the evolutionary texts. Jesus, on the other hand, seemed to take it literally (Matthew 19:3-5 and 24:37-39, for example). So did Paul (1 Corinthians 15:44-46 and 1 Timothy 2:13-14)

I'm not sure it is that young either. But it could easily be 10,000 or so. The parentless Plutonium halos seem to indicate that crystallization was instantaneous and who knows how much the clock has been reset?

Pat's Rick© said...

Thanks for the heads up about Radar. I'll check out his site.

radar said...

Thanks for your service!

You got to watch that radar guy, he is a radical.

I was also struck by the idea that Methuselah and Adam were as far apart on that scale as me and my great grandfather, with whom I had a couple of conversations I barely remember but certainly my grandfather and father passed things down right to me. Noah was not far from the first man in one sense.

Bill Cooper has some ridiculously good table of nations information if you search for his material online. I put a bunch of it on my blog, too.

Pat's Rick© said...

Thanks for the heads up on Bill Cooper. I worked out a spreadsheet with the ages of birth, child birth, and death with the corresponding Bible verse as reference. It was an interesting task, and gratifying when I found that Methuselah actually died the year of the flood. Then I noticed that the information was a lot closer to first hand than is generally mentioned in the commentaries.

There was great cartoon I saw once. I don't remember the author, but these two seminary students are walking down the hall and one says to the other "The Bible sure sheds a lot of light on these commentaries."