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Life Expectancy Throughout the Centuries February 7, 2010

Posted by rationalskeptic in The Bible.
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 Below is a list of the life expectancies of Humans throughtout the centuries.

As we all know, the Bible claims that many people in the ancient world lived well into their hundreds. Here is a classic passage regarding “the oldest man who has ever lived” from Genesis 5:27: And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty and nine years: and he died.

There are tons of verses in the Jewish scriptures that refer to people living well into numerous centuries, but as the chart shows, this is complete and utter bullshit.

Humans by Era        Average Lifespan at Birth
                                                        (years)

Upper Paleolithic                       33

Neolithic                                        20

Bronze Age                                   18

Classical Greece                         28

Classical Rome                           28

Pre-Columbian North America 25-30

Medieval Islamic Caliphate        35

Medieval Britain                        20-30

Early 20th Century                  30-45

Current world average            66.58

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Comments»

1. Ian Blood - February 10, 2010

But maybe in the Bible a year stands for a day!! Then Methuseleh was…. was…. oh crap. 🙂

I love your blog–keep up the good work.

rationalskeptic - February 10, 2010

Thank you very much for the compliment! Your observation was a good one, but Methusela would have been something like 3 years old, funny shit.

2. Ian Blood - February 10, 2010

yeah.. that’s what i was trying to suggest with the joke. guess it didn’t quite translate through text… i’m not a Bible apologist!

3. Pierre - September 3, 2016

The Bible account is not too hard to imagine since by your stats someone living in the Bronze Age with a life expectancy of 18 years would be in utter denial that cigarette-smoking comedian George Burns lived to 100 years of age and many people still reach in their 90s even today even while eating junk food. And don’t even tell them about how a plane weighing much more than an elephant could fly and not just once but multiple times a day everyday for years. Imagine the shock or disbelief when you also tell them about recording events with a camera, video camera etc and putting it on a television (a tele what?) so that people could access it a hundred years later. What? Play back the past? Rubbish! No, you’re kidding me!


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