... and how old do you expect to be - ever? Scientists are hard at work on the aging problem and some of their discoveries are showing promise but ... do you think they will be able to help us live for hundreds of years? Most would doubt it.
The book of GENESIS records just such ages though: 700, 800, 900 years and more! Do you believe that people could ever live that long? Just a couple of generations ago, the most enlightened opinion would have been: "impossible". Accordingly, many people distrusted the biblical record or tried to interpret it in a context that allowed for its accuracy by assuming that instead of solar years, perhaps some other measurement of time was really used.
Today, however, the question has become "why do we age?" or "why do we not live much longer?". The mechanisms at work in our bodies seem to be designed to heal and reconstruct and preserve them. Aging is now looked upon not as 'natural' but as a disease. The fight is on. Opinions vary and opinions change but it has even been said by some that we may be the last generation to die!
The Bible also has something to say about that but understanding the bio-mechanics of aging does seem to be within our grasp.
The biblical explanation - part of the biblical creationists' model - is that we were not created to die but to live ... forever. The science of genetics seems to demonstrate that the gene is a mechanism for the preservation and conservation of information, not one of innovation and experimentation. Innovations tend to be erroneous (copying errors, they are called) and disadvantageous to an organism in overwhelming significance.
The evolutionary model postulates death as the mechanism for progress: eliminate the weak, the less well-adapted; remove the older genetic material from the mix and let the newly copied (and potentially mutated) genes have their day.
The biblical model accepts the introduction of death into a perfect creation as the punishment for evil. Man had the choice to do good or evil and was warned of the consequences; still, the choice was evil. Man chose death. Now, you may have noticed here that this discussion has left the realm of science; this is purely a spiritual thesis, totally undemonstrable and thus very unscientific (which, by the way, says nothing about its veracity).
There are several avenues of investigation open to the scientific method in examining the physical aspects of the biblical model, however. The initial creation (and here we will, like the evolutionists, assume the primary thesis) was a perfect creation and had a lot going for it. The air and water were pure, the soils complete, the genetic load non-existent. Even without any surviving physical evidence, the model would begin with a logical advantage for longevity and health. But there is abundant evidence to examine: creation has survived.
The LAWS OF THERMODYNAMICS which are foundational to science and which point to a time of beginning, also support a 'perfectionist' interpretation for the initial period of universal history. The entropy status of all things created perfect would have begun at zero and it has been all downhill ever since ... a very scientific observation and conclusion from what we know to be true about our universe today.
Additionally, the initial creation, as described, was a very protected system, a primary component of which seems to have been what has been termed a "vapour barrier" in the outer atmosphere. The simple, matter-of-fact and un-detailed mention of this in GENESIS 1:2 opens the window on scientific hypothesizing. Would this barrier not have protected the Earth from harmful radiations from space and from U-V radiation from our own sun - both known to age skin and cause disease? Would such a barrier not have affected profoundly the Earth's climate, promoting terrarium-like conditions from pole to pole, ensuring moderation of climatic extremes and a universally bio-friendly habitat around the globe?
Would the atmosphere of such a system not only have been less subject to violent and destructive phenomena but more conducive to health and healing with greatly increased barometric pressures (hyper-baric conditions) and all that would imply for ease of breathing, for cardiac function and perfusion of our tissues, for the carbon cycle, for plant and animal life and the quality of all life in general?
And lastly, and sadly, would not the loss of such a protective system and its cumulative attributes go a long way in accounting for a steady decline in life-spans, not coincidentally, we believe, as described following the Noahic flood of GENESIS 6-9? There might be some valid, scientific hypothesizing available to this model after all.