Geneticist Fired for Affirming Humans Once Lived 900 Years? | The Institute for Creation Research


Geneticist Fired for Affirming Humans Once Lived 900 Years?

Geneticist Alexander Kudryavtsev, the head of the Russian Academy of Science’s Vavilov Institute of General Genetics, has been fired, reportedly because he publicly affirmed that humans once lived 900 years.1 The Russian news agency RIA-Novosti did not give a reason for his firing, but the Russian Orthodox Church is claiming the firing of Kudryavtsev is a case of religious discrimination: that he was dismissed because he affirmed at a 2023 conference that humans lived up to 900 years old before the Genesis Flood, as described in Genesis 5, and that sin shortened human lifespans.

Those who fired Kudryavtsev may have felt justified in doing so because they had a difficult time believing that humans could have once lived so long. Hence, they likely reasoned that belief in such longevity must surely be evidence of mental instability or incompetence. Yet creationists have already documented that many cultures and people groups have memories that humans once experienced much greater longevity.2,3 Moreover, this news comes at the same time the Institute for Creation Research is gathering scientific evidence corroborating the Bible’s claim in this regard.4 Longevity research in living animals has shown that greater longevity is often associated with larger adult body sizes and delayed maturation. For this reason, evidences of delayed maturation and larger body sizes in animal fossils found in Flood rocks are indirect evidences for greater past longevity.

In a paper I presented at the 2024 International Conference on Creationism, I presented five lines of preliminary fossil evidence for greater past animal longevity.5 These are (1) the much larger body sizes of many fossil animals compared to their modern-day descendants, (2) the slow growth of at least some fossil clams and oysters, (3) the slow growth of fossil birds, (4) the slow growth of large fossil crocodylians, and (5) the slow growth of at least some fossil sharks, including the well-known megalodon.

This information was well-received at the ICC, and I am now in the process of examining each argument in more detail to determine whether they hold up to further scrutiny. A recent open-access technical paper discusses more thoroughly the evidence that ancestors of the modern-day Eastern Oyster (Crassostrea virginica) were more than twice as large and lived at least three to four times longer than their present-day counterparts.6 Given that these Flood oysters probably did not die natural deaths, their true lifespan potentials could easily have been much greater than this. A second paper dealing with another one of these five lines of evidence has been accepted for publication, and a third paper has been submitted for peer review.

Since the ICC, another possible line of evidence has become evident. Even mainstream paleontologists have long noticed that there is an apparent worldwide decrease in mammal body sizes at the end of the Ice Age7 and that humans also underwent at least a modest size reduction at this time.8 Additionally, there is limited evidence that other animals became smaller at this time. Why are these observations potentially significant? According to Genesis 11, human longevity was decreasing in the centuries after the Flood. And creationists think the Flood triggered an Ice Age that lasted hundreds of years.9 If larger body sizes are indeed associated with greater longevity, and both animal and human longevity were decreasing during the post-Flood Ice Age, then should we expect to see a decrease in human and animal body sizes at this time, too? Another technical paper discussing evidence for a decrease in animal body size during the post-Flood Ice Age is scheduled for publication in early March.10

We are still a long way from explaining the extreme longevity that characterized the pre-Flood world, but we are finding evidence within the fossils that it did occur. We do know that persecution against Christians is increasing, as evidenced by the firing of Dr. Kudryavtsev. This is even happening in nations with long Christian histories. Nevertheless, scientific evidence continues to affirm Scripture.

References

  1. Russia fires genetics institute head who claimed humans once lived for 900 years. CTVNews. Posted on ctvnews.ca January 25, 2024, accessed February 23, 2024.
  2. Patten, D. W. 1982. The longevity accounts in ancient history. Creation Research Society Quarterly. 19 (1): 40–52.
  3. López, R. E. 1998. The antediluvian patriarchs and the Sumerian King List. Journal of Creation. 12 (3): 347–357.
  4. Hebert, J. ICR Research is revealing evidence for pre-Flood longevity. Creation Science Update. Posted on ICR.org October 30, 2023, accessed January 18, 2024.
  5. Hebert, J. 2023. Allometric and metabolic scaling: Arguments for design...and clues to explaining pre-Flood longevity? Proceedings of the International Conference on Creationism. 9: 206–227, article 18.
  6. Hebert, J. et al. 2024. Crassostrea oyster fossils show evidence of extreme longevity. Creation Research Society Quarterly. 60 (3): 171–190.
  7. Davis, S. J. M. 1981. The effects of temperature change and domestication on the body size of Late Pleistocene to Holocene mammals of Israel. Paleobiology. 7 (1): 101–114, especially p. 101.
  8. Ruff, C. B. E. et al. 1997. Body mass and encephalization in Pleistocene Homo. Nature. 387 (6629): 173–176.
  9. Hebert, J. 2018. The Bible best explains the Ice Age. Acts & Facts. 47 (11): 10–15.
  10. Hebert, J. 2024. Late Pleistocene body size reduction: evidence of a post-Flood decline in longevity? Journal of Creation. 38(1): 1–7. In press.

* Dr. Hebert is Research Scientist at the Institute for Creation Research and earned his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Texas at Dallas.

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