A Question I Was Asked:

Doesn't 'Nature Red in Tooth and Claw' Support Darwinism Rather Than Divine Creationism?

The Question:

Doesn't the principle of 'nature red in tooth and claw' support Darwinism rather than divine creationism? Where are the signs of a caring, loving and merciful God in the cruelty often seen within nature?

UK Apologetics Reply:

Okay, I get your drift, the 'dog eats dog' rivalry we often see at work within insect/animal life could be said to be more supportive of natural selection rather than of creationism. What, after all, is loving and benign about certain creatures opportunistically preying on each other for food?

But, with respect, its a false comparison based upon false assumptions. Firstly, not all creatures are carnivores, many are vegetation-eating. Secondly, all Bible students should understand (although, admittedly, atheists will not understand nor appreciate the point), that prior to the Flood, it seems that all creatures were vegetarian:

Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground - everything that has the breath of life in it - I give every green plant for food." And it was so. (Genesis 1: 29-30).

It was not until post-Flood that this changed:

Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth. The fear and dread of you will fall upon all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air, upon every creature that moves along the ground, and upon all the fish of the sea; they are given into your hands. Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything. (Genesis 9: 1-3).

Here the Lord allows man to eat animals, and although the Lord certainly isn't directing His instructions here to the animals, the implication is probably that animals can now also eat meat. This change may have been due to the extinction - caused by the flood - of many plant species that formerly were able to provide all the protein and vitamin requirements for humans. To be well nourished by a totally vegetarian diet today is difficult, though not entirely impossible. Of course, it is not entirely impossible that some people may have already eaten animals even before God gave permission for this to happen, although Scripture implies that the animals had little or no fear of man before the flood (Genesis 9:2).

Of course, the question could be asked: 'But were not certain animals already designed to be meat-eaters?' That is an almost impossible question to answer since not a single one of us has ever seen any pre-flood animals! Having said that, it is obvious that some vegetarian animals do have ferocious-looking teeth, so it is a mistake to look at the construct of an animal's teeth to see whether or not they are vegetarian! Some animal species spend a lot of time foraging and pulling plants apart in order to get at the parts which they like to eat so very strong teeth are necessary! Natural selection (which is not an unbiblical principle), would dictate that those with better teeth would tend to be more successful and to survive and those with weaker teeth would tend to die out. That is known as micro-evolution, the only part of evolutionary teaching which is correct, but nothing in any of that can produce a new creature, since new genetic information would be needed. Animals now have a closed genetic system (nothing new can be added, although certain things can be lost; mutations are around 96% deleterious). Science, by the way, is perfectly aware that all animals have a 'closed' genetic system which can only suffer loss and deterioration yet they still insist that macro-evolution is a fact and point to mutations as the facilitator (even when they are also aware that mutations are either neutral or positively damaging). Amazing!

I don't entirely exclude the possibility that God did indeed originally design certain animals (but not all, of course) to be meat-eaters in preparation for a 'fallen' world which He knew was in the future (past, present and future are all present within God's knowledge). Then He might have pulled a genetic 'trigger' to facilitate this when the time was right.

So nature being 'red in tooth and claw' supports the arrival of sin in a previously perfect creation. Sin affected everything, not only men and women. It greatly affected the safety and stability of the physical world which now became a potentially more dangerous place.
Robin A. Brace. November 1st, 2011.