Re: Werner's syndrome may have nothing to do with normal aging

From: Robert J. Bradbury (
Date: Mon Jul 24 2000 - 10:41:21 MDT

On Sun, 23 Jul 2000, Spike Jones wrote:

> phil osborn wrote:
> > You know, there is a wealth of literature - the Bible, the tale of
> > Gilgamesh, the Shah Nama, etc., which describes individuals living for
> > centuries,
> I can imagine a mechanism whereby such accounts would have gotten
> recorded: as the stories and legends were passed down verbally thru the ages
> each generation perceived the fathers and grandfathers as much older
> than the teller perceived himself, even when the teller reached the same
> age the ancestor was at his passing. For that reason, since the teller
> knows his own age but is unsure of the age of the ancestor, he would
> simply add ten or twenty years, or perhaps fifty. The process is repeated
> until the advent of writing, and you end up with 900+ year lifespans.

With regard to the Bible, it was suggested to me by a Russian scientist
at one point, that the biblical longevities could be due to a translation
error. If ages were kept in "months" rather than "years", then the
numbers work out about right. Given that it was the mideast and seasonal
variations might be much less and in ancient agricultural communities
it might be more natural to count changes of the moon rather than
changes of the seasons, I could see this as being a plausible explanation.


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