As I reported in my previous article, I am going for stem cell therapy on my knees. I have found the numerous news reports on stem cells very interesting but an article in early January from the British newspaper, The Telegraph, provided an insight into stem cells from a Biblical perspective.
Now let’s be clear, no where does the Bible directly discuss stem cells other than references to how God formed us in the womb (Psalm 139:13) in which stem cells play a critical role.
But the story about work being done by researchers at London’s King College provided another clue for me. They were testing the Alzheimer drug — Tideglusib — and discovered that the drug can cause teeth with cavities to repair themselves.
It does this by stimulating the ‘stem cells’ in the pulp of the tooth.
Teeth already have a limited ability to repair the dentine and enamel but the layer is so thin that it is not heavy enough to repair larger cavities.
Researchers found that by inserting a small sponge soaked with Tideglusib into the cavity of teeth in mice caused the stem cells to completely repair teeth within six weeks.
Since Tideglusib has already been approved for humans, they expect it could be ready for human use very quickly. It could radically transform the dental industry.
I found this very interesting, because it solved a problem that has puzzled me.
When my mom and dad hit their 90’s my mom had lost all her teeth and my dad had about half of his, and that despite modern dental care
Most of the patriarchs that lived between man’s fall into sin and the flood were hundreds of years old before they died. If most a person’s teeth are gone by age 90, how could you properly eat and what would you eat for the next 800 years?
But this research out of England shows that teeth have the amazing ability to heal themselves of all major cavities with the proper stimulation of stem cells.
I suspect during that period stem cells played a much more active role in maintaining the human body than what we see today. Cavities were healed.
But that all changed in Genesis 6 after the sons of God married the daughters of men (Genesis 6:1-3). God was so disgusted by what happened, this resulted in a second judgment limiting human life span to 120 years:
3 Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” (Genesis 6:3 NASV)
This is the maximum age people could live too, and of course other factors would come into play reducing that potential.
After the flood, lifespans began to drop.
The decline wasn’t immediate, and there were bumps, but overall after this judgment, there was a steady downward trend. Abraham lived to 175 years of age (Genesis 25:7) and his son Isaac to 180 years of age (Genesis 35:27-29).
By the time Joseph showed up — he lived to 110 (Genesis 50:26) — lifespans were permanently below the 120 year mark.
When God judged man to a lifespan of a 120 years, it not only limited the ability of cells to replicate themselves, but also limited the ability of stem cells to heal the body.
But when we look at the human body, we see God’s amazing plan that essentially enabled people to live healthy, active lives forever.
Then we ruined it.