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People with Amazing Lifespans

In his book, “Genetic Entropy,” Sanford uses the research of respected evolutionist, Dr. James F. Crow, among others, and demonstrates how it supports portions of the Book of Genesis.

Because of the growing skepticism of the historicity of the Bible, I am compelled to address some of the criticisms of skeptics, in order that they may move beyond unbelief and hear and apply the very words of God, so that they might be saved from their sins.

Clearly, one of the most difficult-to-believe aspects of the Bible is the incredibly long lifespans of people recorded in the book of Genesis. If a reasonable scientific explanation could be made, it would address the concerns of many people.

Dr. John Sanford is a retired Cornell University professor, who conducted genetic research for over 30 years. He has written more than 100 scientific publications and has several dozen patents. In Christian circles, John is known for taking what is considered respected mainstream science and showing how it demonstrates the reliability of the Bible.

In his book, “Genetic Entropy,” Sanford uses the research of respected evolutionist, Dr. James F. Crow, among others, and demonstrates how it supports portions of the Book of Genesis. Specifically, Dr. Crow concluded that the fitness of the human race is degenerating at 1-2% per generation due to the accumulation of mutations, a view generally accepted in academic circles. In short, present experience indicates that mutations are causing the human race to become less “fit,” and could ultimately lead to our extinction, in contrast to the predominant view that evolution is responsible for creating more complex forms of life. Crow charted this development on his famous fitness graph.

Sanford applies Crow’s research and takes it a step further: He places the individuals with seemingly ridiculous lifespans onto Crow’s fitness graph. Such figures include:

  • Methuselah – 969 Years
  • Jared – 962 Years
  • Noah – 950 Years
  • Adam – 930 Years

For some, these numbers suddenly seem plausible.

The arguments that John Sanford makes in his book, “Genetic Entropy,” are much more detailed and complex than what is addressed in this brief blog. For example, he demonstrates that aging is simply the process of mutating to death. Almost all mutations are neutral or only slightly bad, yet they accumulate over a lifetime. Some mutations, such as cancer, are much more deadly.

The Apostle Paul writes in Romans 8:20-21: 

For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

“Bondage to decay” is just another term for the law of entropy: that everything tends to disorder. The good news for Christians is that one day the Lord will return and restore creation to perfection, where there will be no death or dying.

But I would encourage you to read the book and consider its implications regarding the Bible. For me, it is one additional piece of evidence that causes me to conclude that, yes, the Bible is believable. And if the Bible is true, what we’re doing to reach out to youth for Christ becomes of great importance.

In service to Christ,

Mark Eastway

Pastor, Burket Bible Church

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