Esther does a great job each year of putting together our family Christmas letter with snippets of news on each family member. For quite a few years the snippets about me were along the lines of “Matt is in year X of his program at University Y and stays very busy working towards graduation”. This year for the first time since we have been married, that standard snippet no longer fits. Instead, 2019 was a year of transition for us with the end of my graduate school “career”, the sale of our tiny-but-much-loved house in Indiana, and the start of my first “real” job. The transitions and my new career path have left me with much to think about. I wanted to take a few minutes to share some thoughts and talk about my new job.
My major career goal throughout graduate school was to work in an area that allowed me to have a lasting impact for good in the world rather than “just bringing home a paycheck every two weeks”. A singular opportunity to do just that presented itself through the company my dad (Dr. Gerald Aardsma) founded in the mid-1990s, Aardsma Research & Publishing (ARP). I have been working as a research scientist at ARP since February to further the company goal of eradicating “old age” as a cause of death in the world. When I came on board with ARP the understanding of the company was that “old age” was a disease (an abnormal state of physiological disfunction), not a natural progression that our bodies are programmed to follow. This implies that there is a cause of this aging disease, and if the cause can be understood, the cure can be found. After working full time to understand the cause of this aging disease since 2000, my dad published Aging: Cause & Cure in 2017, and Addendum to Aging: Cause & Cure in 2019 detailing his discoveries.
Understandably, claims to understand the cause and the cure of human “old age” sound like they belong in a dusty volume of fairy tales. But if these claims are true, every human on the earth stands to benefit, and given the universally stagnant status of research efforts to solve the mystery of human aging, a fresh theory deserves full evaluation. Even before I started at ARP, I began to evaluate the data behind these claims, but my evaluation grew much more intense after I began working for ARP in February. I ended up following the path my dad has blazed for so many years, attempting to find the sometimes hazy line between truth and error at each fork in the path, to see if I would choose the same direction he did, in light of the available evidence. It has been an exciting journey, and I wanted to share some of it with you this Christmas season. I trust you will find it as intriguing as I have.
What is truth and why is truth important? In my mind truth is consistency with reality (that oncoming semi-truck truck is going slow enough that I can drive across the street safely), and error is inconsistency with reality (well Officer you see what happened was I thought this oncoming semi-truck was going slow enough for me to cross but it was actually going …). Truth is the only safe place to be; error is very dangerous. Myths can be thought of as traditional errors of varying magnitude and importance that get passed down from generation to generation, often involving ancient history or supernatural occurrences. Believing either a myth to be true, or truth to be a myth, can be dangerous.
The biblical book of Genesis records many generations of people living nearly a millennium (e.g., Noah lived 950 years, Genesis 9:29). Is this myth or truth? If it is myth, then it may be safely discarded, as most scientists studying human aging today have done. But if it is true, then the Genesis record is essential data showing that extended human lifespans are possible, and raises questions as to what caused these people like Noah to live so long, and why don’t people live for hundreds of years today? Fortunately, my dad has been working on these questions full time since 2000.
Now this is a Christmas letter, and so it needs to have some Christmas in it. I also need to introduce my dad since he is the main character of my story. Fortunately for my theme, when you stop to think about it, Christmas has a very mythy feel to it with traditional stories told and songs sung about supernatural events (dancing snowmen, the announcement of the birth of baby Jesus by angelic supernatural beings, flying reindeer, Santa Claus bringing presents down the chimney). My dad never pretended that Santa Claus filled our stockings with candy or put our presents under the Christmas tree. As a professional research scientist with a hefty intellect (PhD in nuclear physics specializing in methods such as radiocarbon for determining the age of ancient archaeological artifacts, University of Toronto), his life placed a high value on data, and apparently Santa Claus coming down our chimney didn’t hold up to scientific scrutiny. He said Santa Claus was a myth, and he didn’t want us to think he had tricked us when we got older. But on Christmas Eve each year he read us a story from an old-looking Book about a baby conceived by supernatural power and whose birth was announced by angelic beings. And he read it as historical fact, not as a myth. The rest of the year he read us lots of other stories from that old-looking Book, and he read them as historical accounts that meshed with the history of the world. It turns out that the man reading us those stories from that easy chair was not just a good dad reading to his kids, but was also a talented data-driven scientist with hard-as-nails honesty and rationality who had devoted his life to evaluating the historical validity of the Bible through biblical chronology (the science of determining when biblical events happened in history). You could say he is an expert at separating truth from myth. And yes, he read us those stories as things that really happened in real time (often given as his own calculated values with a plus or minus uncertainty of so many years) and physical space (illustrated on a globe or maps along with corresponding archaeological evidence).
Now that I have satisfied the obligation to have some Christmas in my Christmas letter and have painted a bit of a picture of who my dad is, let’s get back to Noah, and the question of did he really live 950 years, and could we possibly live 950 years or longer today? Key to answering these questions is the fact that the Bible records a gradual decrease in human lifespans following Noah’s Flood, leveling out at about the 75-year lifespan experienced by humans today. Taking the data points at face value and assuming a cause and effect relationship, it appears that Something changed after Noah’s Flood that dramatically shortened human lifespans. To have a chance at making an educated guess as to the Something that changed would require a detailed understanding of Noah’s Flood.
The problem is that Noah’s Flood is commonly believed to be myth because evidence can’t be found to support that it ever happened, and a flood that covered high mountains should leave evidence. It is hard to make educated guesses about cause and effect relationships when myths are involved. The breakthrough came when my dad discovered that a key biblical number used in calculating the date of early biblical events was missing a digit resulting in calculated dates for events such as Noah’s Flood being inaccurate by 1000 years (A New Approach to the Chronology of Biblical History from Abraham to Samuel. G.E. Aardsma, 1995). This means that archaeologists were looking for evidence of Noah’s Flood in data 1000 years too young. Once the calculated timing of early biblical events such as the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and Noah’s Flood were corrected by adding 1000 years, both the Exodus (The Exodus Happened 2450 B.C., G.E. Aardsma, 2008) and Noah’s Flood (Noah’s Flood Happened 3520 B.C., G.E. Aardsma, 2015) were located in the archaeological record, meaning that these events were clearly identifiable in real space and real time for the first time ever. The weight of the evidence is truly overwhelming.
Finding Noah’s Flood in history has allowed for a complete understanding of the geophysical nature of Noah’s Flood from archaeological data and computer modeling of the Flood from start to finish (Noah’s Flood Happened 3520 B.C., G.E. Aardsma, 2015). This understanding placed my dad in a unique position to understand how Noah’s Flood could have impacted human longevity, as most scientists studying human aging discard these recorded lifespan data points as mythical rather than historical. It turns out that these lifespan data points and a correct understanding of Noah’s Flood are THE keys to the human aging puzzle.
My dad used the human lifespans recorded in Genesis before and after Noah’s Flood as data points in a computer model incorporating a correct understanding of what really happened to the world during Noah’s Flood. This led to the discovery that the dramatically extended human lifespans recorded in the early pages of the Bible, as well as the gradual decline in human lifespans after Noah’s Flood, may be mathematically modeled and understood: Noah’s Flood interrupted the natural environmental production of a nutrient needed by the human body. As this nutrient was gradually depleted in the environment in the years following Noah’s Flood, human lifespans gradually shortened. What is this nutrient? Additional research has shown that it is a pair of closely related molecules, methylphosphonic acid (MePA), and methylphosphinic acid (MePiA). The evidence is rapidly growing that these two molecules are essential vitamins needed in the diets of humans in order to experience the health and longevity of individuals living before Noah’s Flood (Aging: Cause & Cure, G.E. Aardsma, 2017; Addendum to Aging: Cause & Cure, G.E. Aardsma, 2019). The implication of this discovery is that the 7.7 billion people living on the planet are unknowingly suffering from a vitamin deficiency disease, the clinical symptoms of which are manifest in what we call “old age”.
Like all major discoveries this probably sounds radical and impossible. It is my hope that you will evaluate the evidence for yourself at www.BiblicalChronologist.org. Your life and the lives of your loved ones may depend on it.
I also invite you to start to untangle myth from reality this Christmas season.
Is “And all the days of Noah were 950 years, and he died” historically accurate, or does Noah belong floating in a boat guided by Rudolph in a land far far away?
The same Book that claims Noah and many others lived hundreds of years claims that Jesus Christ came to earth as a baby to live a sinless life and willingly die a death He didn’t deserve to make a way for us to be free from the sin that separates us from God. Does Jesus in a manger belong away in the sleigh behind a bob-tail in a time long long ago, or are the biblical claims about Him true? The answers to these questions have a profound impact on how we celebrate Christmas, how we live our lives, and our destiny after our life on earth is over.
Not sure where to start? You could use some of your time off this Christmas to investigate the evidence that my dad has spent his life accumulating, through the books and resources at www.BiblicalChronologist.org. To specifically evaluate the evidence for the historical Jesus, I have found the book The Case For Christ by Lee Strobel to be a good start. At the same time, I recommend cross-examining the evidence presented in those books and resources by your own investigation of the old-looking Book you probably have somewhere.