A Couple of Curses

5 01 2010

“Getting old is the pits.  Don’t ever do it if you can help it,” my dad always used to say.  The irony, of course, is that I can’t help it.  It’s one thing that science still hasn’t cured, and I’m not so sure they ever will.  It comes in two parts, really.  The first is the curse of Genesis 3:19, and the second is the curse of Genesis 6:3.  It’s a pity that we failed to get past the sixth chapter without incurring not one, but two curses.

There exists one overriding principle that acts upon all things, living and non-living, that causes all things to tend toward disorder.  This is the force of entropy, and it acts upon our bodies every day, in ways that cannot be completely remedied.  Our teeth wear out.  Our synapses accumulate junk.  Most cells cannot be replaced, if destroyed.  Still, our bodies are astoundingly resilient.  If this were the only problem, then current theory holds that people would live in the range of a thousand years.  Despite that fact that our environment works tirelessly to tear us down, we could hold up for many more years than we do.  This curse of entropy was the only one that the antediluvian people knew, and they lived for hundreds of years.  Something happened to change human lifespan to what we know today, and that change began to take place around the time of the flood.

The first curse is well-known.  Adam and Eve took the forbidden fruit, and death entered the world.  Thorns and thistles grew where they did not belong, and food came by much work.  Not only were the people affected, but the whole world was affected.  Everything was cursed.  Yet, they lived over nine hundred years.  In Genesis, chapter six, humanity’s hope for longevity was sharply curtailed.  God said that he would only tolerate people for 120 years, and many take that to mean that the Great Flood was to take place after that term.  That may be true, however, the human lifespan also began to diminish at that time.  Today, the hard limit to the human lifespan is about 120 years, and it isn’t because the environment is acting more strongly upon us.

For those of you who think that God would never do harm to anyone, let’s just make one thing clear.  Within each of us is a ticking clock with a time limit, counting down our self-destruction.  This is a scientific fact.  The reason that we outlive our dogs is not because we have better genes than they do.  We are not more robust.  In fact, we are utter weaklings relative to most species of our category and size.  The reason we live so much longer than dogs is simply that we were made to do so.  People have mapped out the human genome, and they seem to know all of the information stored there, but they have yet to understand why some genes are used and some are not  within any given cell.  Generally, this is a beneficial trait.  If every cell used every gene that it had at its disposal, then we would all die.  Cells need to specialize, and that means that not every cell can do everything.  Unfortunately, with old age, cells begin to do less and less.  They disable even the genes that they need to use.  All of that information is still present and intact, but the body ignores it.  Nobody really knows why.

Within each of us is a biological clock set for destruction.  It just happens that we were given more time than our dogs.  Make no mistake about it, though, that there is a definite intent in this.  Entropy may destroy us slowly through random external effects upon us, but this timer is a deliberate function meant to kill us.  There is nothing random or incidental about it.  Evolutionists cannot explain it, because there is no reason why a body should choose to end itself rather than live to make more offspring.  Yet, as the curse of entropy was placed not only on people, but also on everything else, so, too, was this biological timer.  Your dog has you to thank.

At about the age of sixty, things begin to happen.  The weakest among us begin to kick the bucket.  This is only the beginnings of the event, though.  Between the age of seventy and eighty, humanity takes a nose dive.  By seventy-five, half of your peers will be dead.  By age eighty, only the strongest survive.  The mortality curve looks something like a waterfall, starting gradually at first, then dropping suddenly.  Between the age of 80 and 120, the attrition rate becomes linear, rather than hyperbolic.  This means that no matter how many people there are on earth, or how long we wait, we’re not likely to see anyone reach 130.  Though it may have been beaten a few times, just barely, the hard limit still looks very much to be 120.

I hear so often about how modern medicine has enabled people to live longer lives.  This notion is used often in the political arena, especially around the subject of health care.  I have personally studied graveyard statistics and followed obituaries, and I can honestly say that the death curve of the 1800s looks very much like the one of today.  Modern medicine has eliminated a large number of childhood, infant and other early deaths, but death by old age has remained constant.  People simply aren’t hanging on longer at the end of life now than they did two-hundred years ago.  That clock still ticks the way it always did.

So, why did God do it?  Cursing humanity with eventual death through entropy wasn’t enough, apparently.  Nine-hundred years must have been long enough to make people feel like they were going to live forever.  “My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal….”  The end was not in sight.  People were not conscious of their own mortality.  Consequently, they fell to the basest of depravity.  The age of the antediluvian race ended with the age of the Nephilim, a time of giants and sorcery.  It’s like telling a child that he’s going to get spanked when he gets home, and then he disobeys again before he even gets home.  The punishment had to come earlier than originally planned.  With mortality comes the anticipation of the afterlife.  Your dog dies younger, so that you might be made more conscious of your own mortality.

Your dog would hate you if she only knew.

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