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Monday, July 16, 2007                                                                                       View Comments

Methuselah and tooth decay

Sent in by The Atheist Tooth Fairy

Before I state my question, first some basic history about myself.

My wife is a very devout Christian woman, while I'm now a complete atheist, one who not only doesn't believe in God and the bible, but also sees zero evidence for anything supernatural on this earth as well.

You can surely imagine how the debates must go between my wife and I. My ongoing efforts to show her with extensive proof that the bible is nothing supernatural to 'worship' and her telling me that she'll be praying for God to give me my faith back, for to my wife my problem is surely just a matter of 'fixing' my faith to get me back on track etc.

In all my research of the supposed supernatural things of the bible that Christians and atheist debate about, there is one interesting item I never see anyone talk about. This subject came up during one of our many little debates with my wife, about the extraordinary claims of the bible.

If one assumes that folks of the old testament, like Noah, lived to be a few hundred years old, then such a life span raises some obvious practical questions.

Even if we suppose our DNA was different back in those ancient days and that our bodies didn't degenerate as quickly as they do in modern times, then we might make the assumption that such things as our internal organs and even our skin, just repaired themselves much more efficiently than we see today. Perhaps there were no "free-radicals" in those days that caused cell damage.

Such natural degradation of our physical organs obviously still happened, just more slowly, as humans of that long ago era still eventually died from getting old.
However, the rate at which we degraded in those times, wouldn't seem to have external causes, but it was more like our life spans were pre-programmed pretty much as they are today....just for a longer period of life.
Let's call this slower body degradation of those times, "Internal Influences", which would allow such organs as our hearts, kidneys, brains, eye's, ears etc. to maintain a better health state than we see in modern times.

This leads to the question of "External Influences" that might make it very difficult to survive for something like 600 years. No, I'm not talking about being killed in battle or even succumbing to some dreaded disease of the times but something far more simpler and all too common.

That simple external problem would be Tooth Decay.

I won't even go into the problem that half of us have, about impacted wisdom teeth that require surgery to rectify, but one could surely ask if we were made perfect (as my wife insist if the case) then why did God give us such problematic unneeded extra teeth? Shouldn't ALL of us have larger jaws to accommodate such extra teeth?

I won't ask God why we don't grow an extra set of adult teeth when our primary set of adult teeth decay or even fall out, but it sure would have been nice if he had done so for most of us.

Now unless you can tell me that God only invented a substance called SUGAR once he shortened our lifetimes to what they are now, then I have to assume they had sugar in those ancient times and if they did, it surely turned to acid in our mouths as it does today, and thus it surely broke down the enamel that protects our teeth from decay, just as it does today. Oh, but as I recall there was fruit in the Garden of Eden. Was it sugarless fruit perhaps? Perhaps God changed the formula for fruit later on.

So then that leads to the obvious question of how one could survive for say 600 years and still have teeth to eat with all that time.
Perhaps the answer is that they did lose their teeth in the first hundred years and for the next several hundred years they just gummed their food to survive? Perhaps God supplied them with a blender to liquefy their food for 500 years.
Hey, I'm trying hard here to find the answers to an obvious problem.

Now I'm sure as often happens when talking to Christian apologist, they will do their normal thing of the "Insert Miracle Here" in the equation.
Surely in their minds, God came along and either gave them a new set of choppers every so often, or perhaps he put super fluoride in their water.

From a practical mind however, we know eating sugar causes tooth decay and short of one of those miracles, it surely would have left these long-lived ancients with no teeth to chew with for the majority of their super long lives, yes/no?

Unlike the assumption I've made where some super DNA keeps our organs healthy for a longer period of time in those old days, the problem with tooth decay is that our teeth aren't naturally degrading of their own accord, but instead are being 'attacked' by the very external foods we must eat to live.

So is there anyone out there who can explain to me how the God of the bible solved this very basic human problem of tooth decay?

Just another practical question that the bible doesn't seem to answer for some strange reason.

Signed,
The Atheist Tooth Fairy

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