The ridiculous ages the first men ostensibly achieved never ceases to perplex me (eg, Noah lives to be 950, Adam 930, Abraham 175). Moses had a barely conceivable age of 120.
Forget about the age of the Earth, 10,000 vs. 1,000,000,000 (orders of magnitude). People cant even deal with decades and centuries, how can they possibly conceive of billions?
But human lifespans. That should be comprehensible. We know how fragile life gets for 80- and 90-year-olds in this day and age. Let alone in ye olde times, when famine, disease, and ignorance make a 35 year-old old. A 100 year-old would be nearly impossible, let alone a 950 year old. The writers of the Old Testament insult their adherents when they expect them to swallow that. But when you see adherents like Ken Ham… you realize just how easy it is to create a religion.
Look what a biblical apologist says, when confronted by these lifespans:
In light of all this, I don’t feel that our lack of conclusiveness of the exact meaning of the text should cause anyone to despair about the truthfulness of Scripture. I think it’s fair to state that what the Lord intended to mean by these numbers and this genealogy is still what he intends, whether or not we understand it fully. I hold that the text, even apart from full human understanding, remains completely reliable to give its intended meaning.
Translation: It’s true, whatever it is. I just don’t know what it is. But I believe it!