Ramblinman wrote:Take a closer look at the Years of the Patriarchs Chart:

First a steep decline in lifespan:

Shem was 350 years younger than his father Noah was at the time of his death.

Then a plateau:

Arphaxad, his son Salah and grandson Eber all died at roughly the same age approx. 433-464 years with no discernable decline.

Then another steep decline:

Peleg lived half the lifespan of those preceding three generations.

Then another plateau:

But Peleg's son and grandson also lived about the same lifespan as Peleg.

The pattern, (if there is one), gets harder to decipher after Peleg's grandson Serug........

Your point about the Noah to Shem abrupt decline is a good call. I was fighting with an uncooperative computer and was actually focusing on the decline after the flood. So I could have made my point perhaps a bit better. So I will offer the following graph which I have just made from the same data I had previously used.

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- Curve fits to the data

What I have done is to first plot the whole set of data which is represented by the centeral little blue dots in the points.

Eyeballing that result it really looks like two different curves so I then performed a least squares regression first to the data for the life spans prior to the prior to the flood and then to the Data that was post flood. I left out the data point for Enoch because the scripture indicates that God intervened in his recorded life.

As is the usual case to do a regression fit one must know something about the process driving the data or at least try to make a shrew guess.

Two things influence the quality of the fit achieved.

A. Just plain old randomness in the data

B. How appropriate the selection of the mathematical model was that was chosen for the type of regression. The goodness of the fit of the regression is represented by the R^2 term. I.E. does the mathematics fit the underlying process driving the array of the data. An R^2 value of 1 means the data all fall exactly on the line and is a perfect fit without random error, and hence is almost if not always bogus.

I think that the red diamonds do look very much linear and they only got an R^2 term of about 0.3

What is almost freakish is the the post flood data earned an R^2 of 0.78.

A value that high only comes about if the originator of the data fudged it

OR

There really is a physical phenomenon driving the process.

This really puts a crimp in the idea that that sequence of ages was the random musings of a bunch of writers picking numbers at random. As no known writers of that time had a grasp of exponential functions . It does not at all look like that, and very much looks like there was indeed a physical phenomenon driving the data, and the scatter in the post flood degradation of life span is just person to person differences overwhelmed by a much stronger physical phenomenon.

I never met anyone that I could not learn something from.