Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Beatrice Wood attributed hers to chocolate and young men; Julia Child reckoned that red meat and gin did the trick for her. Both ladies lived long and prospered - long as we know it when applied to human life, anyway. They both survived well past their Uranus returns (around 84 years). It has taken many centuries for humans to experience an extension in expected lifetimes. The "three score years and ten" mentioned in the Bible was, for centuries, optimistic for most people, nigh on impossible for some. It became the norm eventually, via some medical advances and technological developments. 70 years has now been overtaken, though tobacco use and certain pollutions bringing with them the scourge of cancer, may be acting as brakes on what might otherwise have been a more spectacular advance. How many more centuries, or perhaps just decades, must pass before the next measurable advance in the length of our expected lifetimes?

An article by George M. Young at Huffington Post last week:
Do You Want to Be Immortal? Really?
According to Dr. Igor Vishev (b. 1933), a distinguished Russian scientist and philosopher, it is likely that there are people alive today who will never die. Just stop for a moment and think about that. Alive today. Never die.
Vishev is convinced that medical technology is advancing so rapidly that sometime later in this century, Homo sapiens will become Homo immortalis. He believes that our current lifespan of up to 90 or, in extreme instances, slightly over 100 years, is not cast in stone or fixed in nature but an evolutionary stage out of which we are now emerging. Genetic engineering, replacement of natural organs with artificial instruments, nanotechnology, and other developing technologies could now extend our lives well beyond today's assumed limits. He proposes that a 200-year-old person is a present possibility, and a person who could live at least as long as a 2,000-year-old redwood tree is certainly imaginable
This week George M. Young expanded on his topic with What Will the Immortals Eat?

After reading both pieces, with jaw continuing to drop, I recalled something in my archives about unusually long age-spans, though in rather different context:

The Bible's Old Testament contains some ancient history and much mystery. One ever-intriguing mystery is the alleged longevity of early patriarchs. In an article by Philip Coppens titled "Biblical Rationality",the author investigates.
( Photo: The Prophets, Strasbourg Cathedral.)

Article begins:
"One of the more intriguing aspects of the Bible is the list of prediluvian patriarchs and their age. Methuselah was said to have lived to the impressive age of 969 years, though “the First Man”, Adam, lived for a solid 930 years – respectable for any prototype."
And goes on to list:

"Adam 930 years; begetting a son at the age of 130
Seth 912 years; begetting a son at the age of 105
Enos 905 years; begetting a son at the age of 90
Cainan 910 years; begetting a son at the age of 75
Mahalaleel 895 years; begetting a son at the age of 65
Jared 962 years; begetting a son at the age of 162
Enoch 365 years before walking with god; begetting a son at the age of 65
Methuselah 969 years; begetting a son at the age of 187
Lamech 777 years; begetting a son at the age of 182
Noach 950 years; begetting a son at the age of 500 "

Coppens then presents theories which have been put forward in an attempt to rationalise or explain what seem to us to be impossibly long human lifespans. Zecharia Sitchin's ideas that the patriarchs were alien, genetically engineered beings is mentioned, but a tad outlandish for me, and the average reader, possibly for the author of the piece too. He continues with other possible explanations based upon astronomy.

It's fascinating stuff, as we discover the answer here could very well lie in the stars! The conclusion is one that straddles opposing beliefs: i.e. that this part of the Old Testament is true, but that the patriarchs were not mortal men, but gods –in fact stars. Their so-called "ages" were correct, and were even life-spans, but of stars and their visibility in the night’s sky. The mystery in this section of the Old Testament can be explained in a way acceptable to both believers and skeptics.

Philip Coppens' birth date is 25 January 1971. I don't know his place of birth so can't set up a natal chart. Sun was in Aquarius though, and according to my ephemeris Mercury was in Capricorn, with Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Neptune all in Sagittarius; Jupiter and Neptune conjoined and sextile Sun. Absent his Mercury in Capricorn I'd tend to think Mr Coppens might be a tad over-enthusiastic and prone to illusion. However, drawing on my own Aquarius Sun and (I hope) commonsense Capricorn Mercury, I suspect that his quite plausible ideas are reasonable enough and worth considering as an answer to the age-old Biblical conundrum.

And yet...and sci-fi mode I could quite reasonably wonder whether those Biblical patriarchs were in fact a remnant of a previous highly evolved human civilisation which had crumbled. They were said to have enjoyed (?) exactly the kind of long age spans envisioned in the article quoted at the top of this post.


Wisewebwoman said...

Interesting that no women were ever mentioned as living as long as the old patriarchs.

Twilight said...

Wisewebwoman ~~ Yes.....though if Mr. Coppens is correct in his theory that these were not actual flesh and blood beings, but representations of astromnomical positions, it's more understandable, I suppose.