According to Guinness World Records, the ‘oldest person ever’ was 122; however, there are claims of others that are older than that……from Nepal to Brazil there are claims for persons living well past Ms. Calment’s 122 years……..
Jose Aguinelo dos Santos, has been issued a birth certificate giving his date of birth as July 7 1888; this would not only make him 126 years old, but also possibly the first free child born to slaves in Brazil, which had abolished slavery just 2 months before his birth. The senior home where Jose resides hopes to conduct tests which will support his age claim. In addition to Senor Santos, there is Senora Leandra Becerra Lumbreras of Mexico, reported to be 127, whom has out lived all 5 of her children and by her admission fought in the Mexican Revolution of 1910. Even more amazing is the story of Bir Narayan Chaudhuri of Nepal; it is claimed that he was 141 when he died in 1998.
As amazing as these stories are, there are even more amazing ages claimed in numerous ancient texts from various cultures. Once again though, the academics are faced with concepts that they seem unable to wrap their published, tenured brains around. The result is most scholars outright deny any fact in the numbers or if they do they say the numbers are wrong. Once again there is the case of scholars using part of a text for historical fact backing while completely dismissing another part of the same text as mere story telling or bad translation or exaggeration. If you follow the logic of these scholars then it would appear that ancient peoples were at best frequent liars and at worse were delusional misguided propagandists. If either is the case then how can scholars in good conscience use any of the texts as reliable sources?
The question that logic has to ask is… How is it that the authors of texts of Ancient Egypt and the Sumerian King List and the Bible and The Chinese Encyclopedia of Materia Medica all chose to LIE about the dates of the people? While, living a long life or ruling for a long time is an impressive thing….would not doing things in incredibly short time spans be MORE impressive? I do understand the significance of claiming ownership to land or throne based on lineage and possession….ie. this land has been ruled by Sumerians, Persians, Egyptians or this is the land of Noah or Adam or Abraham….but then you have to ask…who were the authors trying to ‘out-live’ or ‘out-rule’? And why for so many years?
There have been lots of theories, as simple as, the numbers have been mistranslated, to their ‘years’ were moon cycles not our solar calendar years, to the numbers were added for their mathematical significance. The problem that arises is thus, if it is bad translating than why was it only in numbers of ages or reigns, and why hasn’t it been properly translated since? If the issue is the defining of ‘years’ then why doesn’t any application of what their ‘year’ could have been hold across all the examples? If the numbers are a code then again for the code to be useful it has to be consistent and verifiable…..again not all the ages in any one text holds up to these tests of wrongness. But most notably, why do the ages/reigns decrease to ‘acceptable’ times within each text?
I read, in an article, of which I do not now recall, a telling question that I think can be answered in the ancient texts….Why are human childhoods so long? If you rationalize that a creature’s childhood is a certain percent of their life, whether it be 10% or 25% then you can determine that different creatures have different life spans relative to their development. You also have to define what childhood is. Is it just the physical growth to full grown; or is it the over all development of a mature speciman? If it is the time of physical growth, then humans have a childhood of about 12 to 15 years for females and 14 to 18 years for males, compared to 9 to 12 months for cats and dogs. The average life span of cats and dogs is about 12 to 14 years, with some living as long as 20. So for simple math lets say that cats/dogs have a childhood of 12 months or 1 year and a life span of 14 years….that means they spend 7.14% of their lives in childhood. So, again just for easy math, lets say ‘all’ creatures spend 7% of their lives in childhood then humans who spend 15 years in childhood should live for about 214 years and if you top out our childhood at 20 years our lifespan jumps to 286! So maybe the answer to why our childhoods last so long is that it is left over from when we lived longer.
Most of the people that live to 100+ years seem to live mostly rural and simple lives. They seem to be throw backs to ‘old ways’ of living. They are rarely rich by material means. They appear happy, content and fulfilled. They speak of their blessings and not their regrets. It seems that the secret to living longer lives is to actually live life and enjoy each day to the best of your ability. Maybe if we all do that we can be our own amazing story in 100 years!