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Makous, W (2011)

Biblical Longevities: Empirical Data or Fabricated Numbers?

Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, Vol. 63, No. 2, pp. 117-130.

ISSN/ISBN: Not available at this time. DOI: Not available at this time.

Abstract: Whether the biblical longevities have biological or cultural significance depends on whether they represent actual longevities or are fabricated. As the properties of fabricated numbers differ from those of natural phenomena, this paper examines these properties, particularly in light of those differences. The results show (1) an exponential decline toward contemporary longevities, following approximate constancy at nearly 1,000 years; (2) a Gaussian distribution of deviations from this relationship; (3) no reliable deviations from statistical independence; (4) reliable differences from the properties of fabricated numbers, and instead adherence to Benford’s law; and (5) rounding. Results 1 and 4 are difficult to reconcile with fabrication. Result 5 accounts for the inability to reconcile biblical chronologies exactly. Historical records and archeological data appear to conflict with such longevities, but their quality and quantity are insufficient to completely exclude them, perhaps during a brief period in a small subpopulation.

@Article {, AUTHOR = {Walter Makous}, TITLE = {Biblical Longevities: Empirical Data or Fabricated Numbers?}, JOURNAL = {Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith}, YEAR = {2011}, VOLUME = {63}, NUMBER = {2}, PAGES = {117--130}, URL = {}, }

Reference Type: Journal Article

Subject Area(s): General Interest, Social Sciences