Sunday, May 27, 2012

Biological immortality

Sal Macaluso on May 27, 2012 at 2:54 pm said:

God did not create things with “the appearance of age” he created things. Scientists use empirical data to come to conclusions about things based on observation. What they conclude when they determine the age of the universe does not actually determine age it simply determines what the evidence reveals. In other words, God did not create Adam to appear to be old (for argument sake, let’s God created Adam as a 25 year old man). He did not create Adam to appear to have the age of a 25-year-old man, He actually created a 25-year-old man. If a scientist went back in time to the 8th day and examined Adam he would have correctly determined that Adam was 25 years old. It’s not as if God created things to simply appear to be old, he created things with the predetermined age that He wanted them to have from the moment of their creation. Ironically, if you really think about it, scientist would not be able to determine that age of things had God not introduced the concept of age when He created.

i) That’s an interesting way of putting it, although we still need to distinguish between chronological age and biological age. Adam would be chronologically a day old, but biologically 25 years old.

So, to make the statement a bit more precise, God didn’t create Adam with the appearance of biological age; rather, Adam really was that age–biologically speaking.

ii) We could also extend this principle. At the resurrection of the just, Christians will receive glorified bodies. Not only will these bodies be recreated at an optimal biological age, but they will remain at the same biological age even though they continue to age chronologically.


  1. > God didn’t create Adam with the appearance of
    > biological age; rather, Adam really was that
    > age–biologically speaking.

    .. at the time he was created, I suppose is implied.

    So what's the difference between "appearance of biological age" (of, say, 25 years) and actual biological age (of, say, 25 years) that was created just an instant ago?

    Seems like the same thing to me.

    1. If I'm not mistaken, I think the point is Adam wasn't a 1 or 2 day old person who appeared to be 25 years old. Rather he was literally a 25 year (and 2 day) old person on the 8th chronological day.

    2. No, Adam would literally be two days old. Literal means actual, and two days old is his actual age.

      An onlooker might mistake Adam to be 25 years old, based on past experience. A scientist might even analyze Adam's telomeres and state that he is 25.55 years old, again based on past experience. However, all these estimations of Adam's "biological age" would have no real value.

      Adam might even tell you that he is only two days old. But if you were disinclined to believe him, all you could say is, "Well, you look 25 to me."

      You could disbelieve Adam for better or worse, more or less scientific reasons -- and you would still be wrong.

      Adam would still be -- literally -- two days old.

    3. In my job, I sometimes meet people who look younger than their stated age. I always ask them what their secret is. I usually hear that they are vegetarian, or that they drink eight glasses of water a day. (Take that for what it's worth). This is a mundane example of literal/biological age discrepancy.

      I also see people who look much older than they are. Here is a relevant quote from a recent article on the great cartooning pioneer, Winsor McCay:

      "At the time of McCay’s fatal stroke in 1934, he looked roughly a decade older than his actual age, which was somewhere in his mid-sixties."

      He "looked 75" because we expect people at a certain age to have certain physical characteristics. He had abnormal characteristics because he had experienced abnormal stresses in his life. His literal age did not correlate with our expectations. However, his appearance does not belie his age, precisely. It tells the deeper truth of a man who lived a hard life.

      Similarly, Adam "looked 25" because of our expectations. His apparent age says more about us than it does about him. If people still lived to be 1,000 years old, we might think he looked 250. But I digress.

      The point is that Adam was no more created as a 25-year-old man than Winsor McCay was transformed into a 74-year-old man. Adam's appearance does not belie his age. It tells the deeper truth of a man created to walk with God, tend a garden, take a wife and populate the earth.