We get some interesting questions in this age of skepticism and rejection of God. One that came up recently is why women have to experience menopause. Like many questions raised by those who wish to deny God’s existence, this question is rooted in ignorance and a failure to think carefully.
Most members of the animal kingdom die when they can no longer reproduce. Mammals such as elephants and orangutans remain fertile throughout their lives. The number of animals that live beyond their reproductive years is very small. It has only been documented in a few species, including humans, orcas, and short-finned pilot whales.
There is no scientific explanation for the uniqueness of the human reproductive cycle. Dr. Shankar Singh of McMaster University in Canada maintains that this is because men favor younger mates, but this evolutionary explanation ignores the genetic implications that come with it. The more logical explanation of this fact is the different roles women have at various stages of life. In Titus 2:1-5, Paul talks about older women teaching younger women.
As we get older, our roles change. There is a reason for humans to live beyond the time when they can produce offspring. Teaching, leading, and serving can be more effective when done by older humans. That is not true of fish, birds, rodents, insects, or most mammals.
It is a good design that older women can no longer reproduce. My 70+-year-old wife says the thought of having a baby at her age is appalling. For orangutans and elephants, a female having offspring late in life helps maintain the species, and the whole group raises offspring, not just the mother.
Instead of asking why women have to experience menopause, we should note that God’s remarkable design of reproduction uniquely shows His handiwork.
— John N. Clayton © 2024
Reference: National Wildlife, winter 2024, page 17.