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This article is from
Creation 24(4):24–27, September 2002

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Animals with TEETH!

by , Steve Cardno and Dan Lietha

Published in Creation 24(4):24–27, 2002

lion

Consider the lion … . Its powerful jaws are well equipped for biting into its prey, and its stomach readily welcomes the fresh meat. But wait … the Bible says that God gave all plants to all the animals to eat in the very beginning (Genesis 1:29, 30) and that He declared His finished creation ‘very good’ (Genesis 1:31). So, why does the lion appear to be so well designed to catch and digest a diet of meat? Why are snakes programmed to attack and kill animals? Why do some frogs have bright colours to warn attackers to stay away from their poison glands?

If God created everything ‘very good’ originally, then why do so many animals appear designed to attack other animals, or to defend themselves from attacks?

God’s perfect, complete universe changed when Adam disobeyed God by choosing to eat the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. This sin affected the entire creation (Romans 8:22)—including the animal kingdom.

giant-panda

Some Christians believe that the harmful structures (such as sharp teeth or claws) had a different function before Adam disobeyed. For example, giant pandas use their sharp teeth and claws to eat mainly bamboo, so maybe the lion originally used his teeth to chomp on vegetables. Even in modern times, one lioness was totally vegetarian throughout her lifetime (Creation 22(2):22–23, 2000). Or, perhaps, the original ‘very good’ structures have been changed by mutations over time.

Others believe that many of the animals were ‘redesigned’ after the Fall. For example, the serpent changed with the Curse God placed on it (Genesis 3:14), and plants began to grow thorns (3:18), so perhaps God also changed some of the features in other animals. Perhaps, because He foreknew the Fall, God programmed the genes with information for these structures. This information was ‘switched on’ at the Fall.

So, how did the animals change? The Bible simply doesn’t give us enough information to say for sure—it may be that some of the above ideas apply for some animals, not for others in some way. Scripture is clear, however, that the ‘bad things’ we see in today’s world didn’t have a place in God’s original, perfect creation, and won’t have a place in the future, restored world (Acts 3:21, Isaiah 11:6–9; 65:25).

God didn’t make things ‘bad’

It’s important to remember that the ‘bad things’ are not something we should blame God for. They are the result of sin—Adam’s and ours (because we are descendants of Adam, and each of us chooses to sin as well). In fact, God provided a way for us to be free from the penalty of sin (eternal separation from Him) by sending Jesus Christ to die in the place of all those who receive His free gift of eternal life.

The Bible tells us that God will create a new Heaven and a new Earth, where there will be no more death, pain or other ‘bad things’.

Did you know?

Even though we are living in a world that is groaning under the weight of the Curse of sin, we are still able to catch glimpses of what life may have been like before Adam disobeyed—when everything was perfect and God completely upheld His creation. For example:

  1. When the Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years, their feet did not swell, and their shoes and clothes did not wear out (Deuteronomy 29:5, Nehemiah 9:21).
  2. When Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the furnace (Daniel 3), they didn’t even have the smell of smoke on their clothes— they hadn’t been hurt at all!
  3. Some types of orbweaving spiders are able to survive for short periods of time on pollen caught in their webs, instead of eating other insects.
  4. One lion refused to eat meat throughout its lifetime. Another lioness adopted and cared for a baby oryx (antelope), instead of eating it.

Darwin, death and God

Charles-Darwin
Charles Darwin

On 2 March 1841, a baby girl was born to Charles Darwin and his wife, Emma. They called her Annie. Annie was their first daughter and she grew to be especially close to her father. They loved each other very much.

Tragically, little Annie became very sick and died when she was only 10 years old. Her parents were very sad to lose their daughter. Charles became very angry and chose to blame God for her death.

Annie-Darwin
Annie Darwin

Another conflict for Charles was how could a loving, all-powerful God create animals designed to kill and eat each other? This difficulty, along with his daughter’s death, caused him to reject the existence of the God of the Bible. Charles Darwin didn’t have a correct view of the origin of death. It’s very important to understand that death isn’t God’s fault in that sense. Man’s sin brought the Curse of death. Our loving, Almighty God sent His Son to pay the price for that sin so believers could have an eternity with Him without death.

In 1859, just eight years after his daughter’s death, a book by Charles Darwin was published that has caused millions of people to also reject their belief in God. This book is called The Origin of Species.

Charles Darwin didn’t have a correct view of the origin of death. It’s very important to understand that death isn’t God’s fault in that sense. Man’s sin brought the Curse of death. Our loving, Almighty God sent His Son to pay the price for that sin so believers could have an eternity with Him without death