According to the early chapters of Genesis, people who lived prior to the great Flood enjoyed very long life spans compared to today. Ideas regarding the mechanisms of that long life have focused on possible atmospheric effects on longevity, such as increases in post-Flood UV radiation. But features of both the Genesis account and of the biology behind aging point to other causes.

For example, when plotted on a graph, the decline in recorded life spans from Noah to Moses forms a curve that is very similar to the decline in life spans resulting from inbreeding. This connection points to an internal cause, perhaps genetic, that would occur after the human population was “bottlenecked” down to just the eight people who survived the Flood. In 1980, anthropologist Arthur Custance wrote:

We thus seem to have in this tabulation clear evidence of a historic process of degeneration, most of which had occurred by the tenth generation of those who were born after the Flood.1

New research has uncovered another possible internal aspect regulating life spans. Researchers from Stanford School of Medicine painstakingly inactivated one gene at a time to see the effects on a roundworm. When certain genes in the roundworm were artificially closed down, the worms lived 30 percent longer….

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