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Life expectancy before the flood and after, creation and evolution.

  

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Rabbi Latowicz: Welcome. I'll be with you in a moment...

Melinda: Are ages in the Bible to be taken literally?

Melinda: People don't live as long today as they reportedly did in biblical times, and no methods exist to slow the aging process

Rabbi Latowicz: Until the Great Flood, there were no seasons; the weather was always temperate. After the Flood, G-d tells Noah that there will be constant seasonal changes (Genesis 8:22).

Melinda: ok

Rabbi Latowicz: Rabbi Meir Leibush (Malbim) explains this as follows: Until the Flood, the earth's axis had no tilt relative to the sun. As a result of the flood, the earth's axis tilted in relation to the sun. Thus, the earth's climate changed drastically, resulting in a weakening of the human constitution and ability to withstand these constant changes in weather.

Rabbi Latowicz: Thus, as a prelude to the Flood, G-d says "I won't constantly contend concerning Man ... his life-span shall be 120 years" (Genesis 6:3). The Ibn Ezra explain this to mean that lifetimes would gradually decrease, until the maximum will be around 120.

Rabbi Latowicz: I hope that answers your question about why people don't live as long today as they once did.

Rabbi Latowicz: As for technology's inability to slow the aging process, that's more a problem with technology than with the Bible. "The scientific study of aging is a young discipline" (National Geographic Nov. '97). Compared to many areas of science, relatively little is known about aging. Richard A. Knox refers to the "black box of aging," and calls it a "mystery" (The Boston Globe 1997).

Melinda: so everybody back then lived over 100 years? how old could people be?

Rabbi Latowicz: at one pijnt several hundred years

Rabbi Latowicz: then by Moses day not more than 120

Melinda: ok, what about those that say the Bible ages are patirarchal life spans?

Melinda: not to be taken literally

Rabbi Latowicz: Judaism does not accpept that position

Rabbi Latowicz: that is not the tradition we recived at Sinai

Melinda: ok i see

Melinda: i read that some Babylonia kings were said to reign over 30,00 years

Rabbi Latowicz: no such record in the Bible

Melinda: ok thank you

Rabbi Latowicz: very welcome:)

Melinda: sorry i have tons of questions, just a couple more if i could

Rabbi Latowicz: k

Melinda: what about the evidence for evolution? are your views that it is not convincing and/or fake?

Melinda: ok

Rabbi Latowicz: REAL science that is sscientific FACT that has been demonstrated empirically in teh lab,,does not contradict Bible ..only scientific THEORY,,,which is a HYPOTHESIS

Melinda: ok

Melinda: and about the evidence that the Earth is much older than indicated by the Bible?

Rabbi Latowicz: very simple solution to that

Rabbi Latowicz: when G-d created Adam how old was he?

Melinda: hmmm..maybe 20?

Rabbi Latowicz: actually correct:)

Melinda: lucky guess

Rabbi Latowicz: in other words a fully grown male

Rabbi Latowicz: fully developed mature human organism

Melinda: ok

Rabbi Latowicz: the creation of the world was teh same

Rabbi Latowicz: G-d created an OLD world

Rabbi Latowicz: one fully EVOLVED

Rabbi Latowicz: that may meausure millions of years old

Rabbi Latowicz: ( presuming that its accurate):)

Melinda: ah i see

Melinda: that makes sense

Melinda: ok, well thanks for answering all my questions, thank you for your time

Rabbi Latowicz: shalom

Melinda: shalom

Rabbi Latowicz: very welcome

All names, places, and identifying information have been changed or deleted in order to protect the privacy of the questioners. In order to preserve authenticity, the chat sessions have been posted with a minimum of editing. Please excuse typographical errors, missing punctuation, and/or grammatical mistakes which naturally occur in the course of informal chat sessions.
TAGS: evolution

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I have a small problem question on the evolution part...

Posted by: Bet Chesed on Jul 12, 2005

I was having this same discussion last weekend and I told someone who was arguing in favor of evolution that G-d had created an "old world". He refuted this comment by asking "why would G-d want to deceive humanity?" I thought that this was a good point, and I didn't really have a response. Is there an answer to this question?

Editor's Comment

As much as we would like to know exactly why G-d does everything He does, we simply cannot. Yet the absence of knowledge itself is not knowledge, and surely the lack of understanding per se can't be used as a rebuttal. Just because people didn't know Jupiter existed it doesn't mean it didn't. And if we don't understand the role Mars plays in the universe, that doesn't render Mars useless. Nonetheless, I will offer some personal speculations for why I think G-d created a mature looking world. 1. G-d wanted Adam and Eve to have food and clothing on the day they were created. 2. G-d wanted a world wherein it would be possible to deny His existence. 3. If you had the choice to a) either sit down with architects, engineers, contractors, loan officers, city planners, interior designers, then wait 5 years for your house to be built, and another 2 years for it to be fully furnished, or b) you could just say "poof" and just like that your mansion, with all its furnishings and decorations would exist right before your eyes; wouldn't you choose b? We don't have that ability so that option never even enters our mind (not for our house, and not for our world). But G-d had that ability, so He used it. read more

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