What if humans lived as long as they did in the Bible?
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11-02-2013, 08:17 PM
What if humans lived as long as they did in the Bible?
The average lifespan for the characters in the fictitious, yet feel-good comedy known as the Bible is about 800 years. Yet the only thing we are told about the life of an 800 year old human is that 1. He can single-handedly construct a boat the size of a football field with tar and gopher wood, and 2. He can still impregnate several concubines simultaneously. So clearly 800 year old men are virile and filled with testosterone.

But I was wondering what would happen to the constructs of morality, ethics, and social behavior if human beings suddenly started living several centuries. "Life" is a relatively short term nowadays. You can imprison someone for life or do something to someone that will stay with them for the rest of their lives, but that's only because "life" is just a few decades. Imprisoning someone for 40 years isn't really a big deal, because we can conceive of an amount of time like 40 years. But would a murderer deserve 800 years in captivity? That would almost be cruel and unusual punishment and certainly drive someone insane. Living in the same place with the same routine for 800 years.

People also tend to hold grudges and remember things that you did to them. You may still not be talking to someone for accidentally killing your cat with the lawnmower 10 years ago. But would we be quicker to forgive and forget if we knew just how much more life we had to live? Would you hold 400 year old grudges against someone? Is any action deserving of such a punishment? I hate you, you cheated on me with another guy. That was 578 years ago, move on!

The most obvious to me would be that the world would become overpopulated at an incredible rate. We would have to establish population laws and control reproduction rates. Maybe certain centuries will be designated breeding centuries and the rest will be illegal.

Everything would slow down and be enjoyed more thoroughly. People wouldn't be so hasty to get things done in the race against death.

I guess besides the Bible, this thread is also stemming from the Dark Elf series of R.A. Salvatore. Elves live for centuries and humans only live for a few decades. So humans are generally seen as insane. Mage skills that might require hundreds of years to master are rushed through by humans in a frantic attempt to learn everything way too quickly. School in the elf society also lasts for around 50 years. A 50 year old is a child to them.

What else would change in that scenario?

"Ain't got no last words to say, yellow streak right up my spine. The gun in my mouth was real and the taste blew my mind."

"We see you cry. We turn your head. Then we slap your face. We see you try. We see you fail. Some things never change."
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11-02-2013, 09:11 PM
RE: What if humans lived as long as they did in the Bible?
800 years in prison = Mind blown.

Jesus loves you, but the Devil gives you cool shit.
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11-02-2013, 09:45 PM
RE: What if humans lived as long as they did in the Bible?
800 years is not long enough... I need more time to explore the universe.

Oh, and if anyone is interested in gerontology, check out the book "Long for this World".

Also, the movie "The Man from Earth" is pretty interesting, even though it takes place almost entirely in one room.
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11-02-2013, 10:42 PM
RE: What if humans lived as long as they did in the Bible?
Social security wouldn't stand a chance.

'Murican Canadian
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11-02-2013, 10:43 PM
RE: What if humans lived as long as they did in the Bible?
(11-02-2013 10:42 PM)yakherder Wrote:  Social security wouldn't stand a chance.
Sure, we make retirement age 666. Yes

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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12-02-2013, 05:30 AM (This post was last modified: 12-02-2013 06:22 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: What if humans lived as long as they did in the Bible?
We'd have to learn a new way to calculate dog years. Weeping

BTW, there is another way of dating how long an organism lived, somewhat like tree rings. The percentage of osteocytes, (bone cells) in bone tissue, and how many were still living bone cells when the organism died, put into a formula, gives an estimate of the age of the organism, as the ones which die during the life of the organism remain in place and look different, (for example to an animal or human pathologist/phisiologist/anatomist/biologist, under a microscope). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osteocyte
There are no, (ie not one ever ... NONE, ZERO, ZIP), examples or fossils, or finds ever, on this planet, where any organism, human or animal, falls outside the generally accepted range of what science thinks was a normal life span, as seen today. That means there were never any "Biblical" races, either of animals "before the fall" or humans ever from any period on the planet which woud lead any rational person to think the "Biblical ages" ever existed. Of course the bones can be carbon dated, and also subjected to all the other radiometric dating methods, and they all agree, generally. It's another reason to know that Creationism is crap.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein
Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
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12-02-2013, 06:14 AM
RE: What if humans lived as long as they did in the Bible?
8 years.
80 years.
800 years.
8,000 years.
80,000 years.
800,000 years.
8,000,000 years.

The number is irrelevant, it is still your "lifespan" and you would know nothing else. Having a lifespan of only 100 years would be completely alien to you if your lifespan was 800 years.

You would know no different.

For no matter how much I use these symbols, to describe symptoms of my existence.
You are your own emphasis.
So I say nothing.

-Bemore.
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12-02-2013, 03:06 PM
RE: What if humans lived as long as they did in the Bible?
(12-02-2013 06:14 AM)bemore Wrote:  8 years.
80 years.
800 years.
8,000 years.
80,000 years.
800,000 years.
8,000,000 years.

The number is irrelevant, it is still your "lifespan" and you would know nothing else. Having a lifespan of only 100 years would be completely alien to you if your lifespan was 800 years.

You would know no different.


I'm pretty sure he said "humans suddenly began living 800 years"... So if your whole life people were only living to an average of 80 years, and suddenly that became 800, you MIGHT see it a little differently. Sure, it still ends, and that kind-of sucks, but way more could be learned and done in 800 years at the usual human pace.
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12-02-2013, 03:12 PM
RE: What if humans lived as long as they did in the Bible?
(12-02-2013 03:06 PM)WeAreTheCosmos Wrote:  
(12-02-2013 06:14 AM)bemore Wrote:  8 years.
80 years.
800 years.
8,000 years.
80,000 years.
800,000 years.
8,000,000 years.

The number is irrelevant, it is still your "lifespan" and you would know nothing else. Having a lifespan of only 100 years would be completely alien to you if your lifespan was 800 years.

You would know no different.


I'm pretty sure he said "humans suddenly began living 800 years"... So if your whole life people were only living to an average of 80 years, and suddenly that became 800, you MIGHT see it a little differently. Sure, it still ends, and that kind-of sucks, but way more could be learned and done in 800 years at the usual human pace.
Might have enough time to do all the things ive wanted to if it went up to 800
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12-02-2013, 03:39 PM
RE: What if humans lived as long as they did in the Bible?
If it suddenly started happening, I obviously wouldn't be included in it, not being born with this inherent longevity. So, uh... I'd be kind of envious and might even be pretty pissed about it.
Consider ... unless...
... Hmm.... I'd be able to date a guy to the end of my life who would comparatively seem to not age. I might finally be able to find someone who could keep up with me and I wouldn't have to feel like I'm living in a relationship à la Harold and Maude. Shy

Fuck it - I'm in. Thumbsup

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