Today's Über-Catholic Open Question?

I have unilaterally decided (meaning I didn't ask Matthew and there is nothing he can do to stop me) to add a new feature to the blog. The feature is "Today's Über-Catholic Open Question?" This feature may or may not be repeated. It entirely depends on you and whether your answers are interesting, funny, or foul. Don't let reason or proportion get in your way. Feel free to be more Catholic than the Pope. So, all you Über-Catholics who find fault with 87% percent of everything we write, what is your take on this question.

What is the best Über-Catholic explanation for the longevity of the antediluvian patriarchs? I am talking about all the guys from Adam to Noah who routinely lived 800-900 years talked about in that book that the Protestants are always going on about.
A) The Literal and Historical Interpretation. Yup that is how long they lived. Possible explanations:
  • Adam had a much better gene pool than us and so they lived longer,
  • The world was different before the flood so people lived longer,
  • Evolution misinterprets the fossil record (my personal favorite) and thus neanderthals are really very old patriarchs whose foreheads and facial features continued to grow during their very long life spans,
  • Dannon Yogurt.
B) The Metaphorical Interpretation. The life spans described in the Bible are misinterpreted by modern man.
  • Ancient people were very stupid and thus could not tell the difference between months and years (even though this would mean that some of the patriarchs were getting busy in kindergarten),
  • Modern people are stupid and this obviously refers to to patriarchal dynasties,
  • Some other interpretation that explains away the obvious.
C) The Mythical Interpretation - There were no patriarchs since there was no Adam and this was all ripped off from some ancient Chinese bathroom wall and regurgitated by the Hebrews in order to keep their women folk in line or some such thing.

D) Brand New Interpretation of Your Creation (preferably involving aliens)
Have at it!


  1. You're starting from a flawed premise. According to the CCC #116-17, there are four senses of Scripture: (1) literal sense, (2) allegorical sense, (3) moral sense, and (4) anagogical sense.

    As a result of your self-refuting apostate sola-Patrick-ola interpretation of scripture using (A) literal, (B) metaphorical and (C) mythical senses, in contradistinction to the senses of Scripture outlined by the Early Church Fathers and passed on to us through Sacred Tradition by Holy Mother Church, I propose we wipe the dust off our sandals and ignore your question!


  2. I think it's a combination of all four, plus they te lot of acai berries.

  3. oops. That should read "ate a lot of acai berries"

  4. Ryan
    Huzzah! An excellent Uber-Catholic start!

  5. LarryD
    I should have known it had something to do with toxins and free radicals. Maybe the acai berries get rid of that 45 lbs of red meat that are in our intestines....

  6. The sun, being newly created, had grown to only about a tenth of its current size, so the earth's orbit took 1/10th as long. Thus Methusaleh would have been 96.9 years when he died, measured in current years.

  7. Ooooh - I like that one - Young earth rationalism - very nice.

  8. Anon is another heretic -- who says the earth orbits the sun?!? Apostate!

  9. The Church has never formally defined the proper interpretation of this question so Catholics in good standing are free to believe what they want.

    I therefore choose to believe that lifespans declined from the fall until the world was renewed at Vatican II and have been rising ever since. I fully anticipate to be participating at progressive liturgies well into my 400's.

  10. Steven P. CornettJuly 8, 2009 at 5:56 PM

    I have to suspect this was the result of the increasing effect of original sin. The implication of Genesis seems to suggest that the shortened life span itself was a form of chastisement for the sins of the time prior to the deluge.

    If that was the initial punishment for the things going on then, perhaps it's just as well that Genesis doesn't tell us much about the world back then.

    Steven P. Cornett

  11. The Patriarchs never fell into the heresy of Americanism, which is the root of all the ills of our time, and is manifest routinely at this blog.

    Please read Testem Benevolentiae Nostrae and return to true obedience to the Holy Father, "that thy days may be long on the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee."

  12. Are Uber-catholics some form of Bavarian heretic? Anyway the answer is beyond you lot (it was only a few years ago you were living in log cabins and calling one another 'pardner'). I shall not tell you the answer because that would sully the TRUTH. You're all excommunicated for blasphemy against Holy Writ and damned to Hell for not agreeing with me!

  13. As is well known, the solar year (the time it takes the sun to make one revolution around the earth) did not come into wide use until infallibly proclaimed by Pope Gregory XIII, of blessed memory. This was to amend the heretical calendar, falsely appended to Caesar (but that tale is irrelevant to the case at hand).

    The early Jews instead followed a lunar calendar, where the year is measured as the amount of time it takes the moon to revolve around the earth. Some may make 'mathematical' calculations and 'find' that this reckoning would create ages even more ridiculous than those measured by the solar year. However, it should be noted that, due to the cyles of the moon, years have varying degrees of length by the lunar calendar.

    It's all quite simple.

  14. I think it has to do with the great abundance of wild game in the Patriarchal diets (witness Isaac asking Esau to obtain some "wild game prepared in the manner I prefer" before receiving his, Isaac's, blessing) and little if anything to do with acai berries which has been discounted empirically by recent Biblical research.

    It also invariably is NOT a result of the abundance of "star stuff" as predicted by Sagan who erred (but said this phrase in a decidedly humorous manner).

  15. It's because the early patriarchs were still nomadic--they hadn't yet settled in farms and cities.

    The old testament makes it clear that there are two roots of evil in the world-- older siblings and city dwellers....

    If you want to mimic the patriarchs' lifespan, retire to the mountains and become a dirty, smelly goatherd!

    (Rogers and Hammerstein make a reference to this fact in their song "The Lonely Goatherd." The goatherd trades his promise of long life for the decadent joys of castle living and gloating mothers-in-law.....)

  16. I say this is a stupid question. I refuse to answer because I had to google "antediluvian." And if anyone here doesn't think I'm a good Catholic I'm going to shove my pocket rosary down his throat!

  17. I don't know the answer and I'm not going to research it, nor am I going to take a guess . . . I'm going to sit out in the sun and eat a ton of macadamia nuts and praise God for the lovely islands of Hawaii. Aloha! ;)

  18. I suggest a cagematch between Amy Giglio and Patrick Archbold. Two individuals, two Rosaries, no prayers barred!

    (In case you're wondering, I represent the cradle-Catholic who doesn't let an archaic morality system get in the way of a good time.)

  19. They were trying to live long enough for God's promises (not including the Hairclub for men)...Absolutely it had something to do with an organic diet (I hear locusts and honey were delectable).

    But you know really it's not open to debate. I have my beliefs, and those beliefs are what I feel to be true. So who do you think you are trying to thwart my relationship to the god who is at the center of my core? I mean, come on!!!

  20. What?

    Further inquiry will reveal that it is all Bush's fault.

  21. I once heard a theory that a comet came mighty close to the Earth and stripped away a protective layer of the atmosphere, thus causing more free radicals and UV radiation to penetrate through and shortening our telomeres thereafter.

    That's my theory to throw in the mix. Not quite aliens...

  22. Keep in mind that the zero wasn't invented when the Hebrew scriptures were written, and that numbers had multiple significances, since they were also letters.
    The meaning of the numbers wasn't primarily mathematical.
    Take them with a grain of NaCl.

  23. Ditto on the undiminished atmospheric canopy making for longer lifespans.

    Those same cell-friendly conditions also allowed for the uber-growth of giants as mentioned in the OT (Goliath and friends probably hailing from similar environments as today's mega-sized, tropical plant/insect life).

    Oh, and that also explains overgrown lizards (dinosaurs).

    And that's how this Catholic makes sense his Faith!

  24. The patriarchs all had Al Gore as Press Agents.

  25. Okay, since you wanted one involving aliens, I propose that they brought some sort of contaminant their space ship.

    Or maybe all that fruitful multiplication kept the old guys spry.

  26. Firstly, I disdain your use of German in setting forth "uber-Catholic" as it were. The Church from time to time may stray far afield in search of a worthy successor to Peter, but a True Catholic like me does not have to like it, or participate in grovelling, gratuitous shout-outs to His Germanic Holiness for that matter.
    Secondly, allow me to scorn the seriousness with which the bulk of my fellow "Catholic" respondants appear to take themselves on the matter of your needless question. True Catholics like me know that your question concerns itself with an issue best left to "Our Older Brothers in the Faith" as the late JPII called them (He wasn't so hot either - alas, another Pontiff from colder climes)
    Thirdly, If this blog intends to embrace our lesser Protestant brothers in the Faith in an Ecumenical charade by adressing questions about the Old Testament, please do True Catholic readers the minimum service of saying so. This way I and my fellow Superiors could be on our merry way seeking other places to strut our stuff.
    Thank you.

  27. Maybe it was something in the water, or maybe the writers of the Bible, not being skilled at Math, simply got the number wrong... or ... oh, heck, who knows?? Just God, and He ain't talkin'!

    Or maybe it was all Bill Clinton's fault ...


  28. Well, I always look at the Scripture having at least three layers, a historical, metaphorical, and a theological. If we believe that the Hebrews are just an offshoot of Mesopotamians, then indeed that is where the concept of long lives before the flood comes from. If you look at King's List of Mesopotamian cities, before Gilgamesh's flood, you had kings who reign was as long as 45,000 years. Then after the flood (and the development of writing) you see it drop to 50 years or less. The long life of Adam and Methuselah could be twofold, one it can be a symbol of what is to come to us (that is eternal life) and also could denote the closeness of God during those days (think of the anthropomorphisms in much of Genesis). Yet, it can also represent our untimely end and fulfillment of God's decree that we should experience death for our disobedience. Theologically speaking, it shows that God can take, what he gives (Paradise, the Flood).

    That said, isn't obvious that the ancient gods were parasitic snakes that took human hosts and were able to live extraordinary long lives by the use of a sacrophagus-like tomb, until the ancient peoples of Egypt revolted and they left the earth but without populating thousands of planets with human slaves. Also, it was Bush's fault.

  29. This is actually a science question, so you should be calling this section Uber-Scientist.

    Look up "telomeres" for an overview. In days of yore, telomere degeneration was less severe.

  30. The correct answer is obviously C. S. Lewis' in Perelandra: after Adam's fall, "the men of your race did not learn to die quickly".

  31. The effects of original sin bringing death being multiplied over the generations since Adam? Proximity to Adam implying greater longitivity.

  32. Uhh... This question is above my paygrade.

  33. The Bible clearly says we were visited by aliens who were also giants. This race of Giants is referenced in the book of Genesis. Now these giants had very large spaceships circling the planet. The combined gravometric effect of these giant spaceships actually slowed time down here on earth and thus we have 900 year life spans.

  34. Another explanation is this: A guy goes to the dcotor and says, "Doc, I've gven up smoking, drinking, fattening foods and all sodium in my diet. Will I live longer?" And the Doctor says, "No, it will only seem that way." Thus what he have in the Bible is the cummulative experience of a very long life, but it only seemed long to them because they did not have liquor, fattening foods, cigarettes, and high sodium diets. Hence the 900 year life span only seemed like 900 years, it was actually nine months.

  35. Occam's razor
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    (Redirected from Occam's Razor)
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    Occam's razor, also Ockham's razor,[1] is the principle that "entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily." It is apocryphally attributed to 14th-century English logician and Franciscan friar, William of Ockham. The principle states that the explanation of any phenomenon should make as few assumptions as possible, eliminating those that make no difference in the observable predictions of the explanatory hypothesis or theory. The principle is often expressed in Latin as the lex parsimoniae ("law of parsimony", "law of economy", or "law of succinctness"): entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem, roughly translated as "entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity." An alternative version Pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate translates "plurality should not be posited without necessity."[2]

    When competing hypotheses are equal in other respects, the principle recommends selection of the hypothesis that introduces the fewest assumptions and postulates the fewest entities while still sufficiently answering the question. It is in this sense that Occam's razor is usually understood. To quote Isaac Newton: "We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances. Therefore, to the same natural effects we must, so far as possible, assign the same causes."[3]

    So simple. The correct answer is," they didn't die."

  36. I actually got this question answered on Catholic Answers LIVE about a week ago by Jimmy Akin.

    Here's the link to the audio:


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