Re: [asa] New Evidence for Two Human Origins

From: David Campbell <>
Date: Thu Oct 04 2007 - 12:00:57 EDT

If you assume that a particular combination of genes gives an
extremely long lifespan, a gradual influx of mutations and other
alleles from breeding with other populations could produce any number
of patterns of decrease in lifespan. The fact that many genes
influence lifespan (as does diet and other factors) doesn't prove that
a particular combination of genes would allow 969, despite wild claims
of some current workers on aging.

Working out exactly what the ages in the genealogies mean is
problematic, however. Additional items include

Kitchen's suggestion (On the Reliability of the Old Testament) that
genealogical data was multplied by later scribes who knew that
creation must have been a really long time ago and the available
genealogical records sounded too short

Terah seems to be 130 at Abraham's birth (Gen. 11:32, 12:1,
12:4-assumes that Terah died in Haran before Abram left Haran; assumes
that 11:26 gives Terah's age at birth of first son-not Abe), yet
Abraham claims to be too old at 100 (but not at 86).

Not remembering the statistical details of Hill's calculations, I
would note a caveat that a strictly uniform distribution of final
digits in ages is only expected for a very large sample; however, the
deviation in the genealogies from a strictly uniform distribution is
so large as to also be rather unlikely. In other words, the null
model should be checked.

The three copies of the tallies of those returning to Jerusalem in
Ezra, Nehemiah, and I Ezdras suggest that scribes were pretty good at
copying lists of names but had real trouble with numbers.

Dr. David Campbell
425 Scientific Collections
University of Alabama
"I think of my happy condition, surrounded by acres of clams"
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Received on Thu Oct 4 12:01:23 2007

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