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View Full Version : Did God make carnivores? How do we explain how nature is set up for killing?



Petey
Feb 26th 2010, 02:35 PM
I'm currently in a philosophy class in college called "Evolution and Creation". It certainly makes you examine closely everything you believe. One thing that has really perplexed me is this:

In the Genesis, it sounds pretty clear that God was mandating that all of creation was to eat exclusively vegetation (verses given below). How can you explain the fact that nearly all creatures are basically "set up" for preying, avoiding predation, or a combination of both? Certainly, if God desired for them to eat plants and be sustained, then they would, regardless of body structure and mindset. God can do anything he wishes. The question is, though, if He intended them to eat solely plants, why equip them to be killing (or escaping killing) machines?

A simple instinct change of the organisms after the Fall wouldn't explain things adequately by itself. The entire body structure of everything would have to be changed to convert them from suited to eating green things and living peacefully to rending and tearing meat, hunting and killing, and constantly seeking to avoid predation.

From what I can tell, Genesis doesn't give any indication that God physically changed his entire creation. How can all of this stuff we see everyday be explained?

The only thing I can possibly come up with (while accepting Genesis as it is written) is that God went ahead and created everything to eat meat and simply had it "hold off" until some later time after the Garden of Eden. He certainly knew Adam and Eve would sin from the beginning...but still, this idea just seems far-fetched to me.

What does everyone think about this? I would be very interested to hear your opinions or any Bible verse that may shed light on the subject.

Lastly, and very importantly, To what degree should we discount scientific findings to avoid "fudging" verses in the Bible to make them say things that it is obvious they do not say? I know that the Christian population in America is doing this more and more. Genesis is becoming more like a storybook, a rough guideline. Is this right?
Genesis 1 29 Then God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed ; it shall be food for you; 30 and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food "; and it was so.

Genesis 9
1 And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. 2 "The fear of you and the terror of you will be on every beast of the earth and on every bird of the sky ; with everything that creeps on the ground, and all the fish of the sea, into your hand they are given. 3 "Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant.

Ixthus
Feb 26th 2010, 03:52 PM
I always try to think of the Bible as always being literal except in idioms or common sayings of the hebrew culture.

forum lurker
Feb 26th 2010, 04:11 PM
Well there was that forbidden fruit.. did God design man so that he would eat it?

notuptome
Feb 26th 2010, 05:05 PM
Sin is the short answer for why some animals eat meat. The curse of sin passed on all the earth. I do not think that it requires a great deal of physical modification for animals to eat herbs instead of flesh. Humans do it all the time.

Isaiah in 11:7 and 65:25 refer to a time when once again the lion shall eat straw as the ox. In the new earth when sin has been completely done away all the creatures of the earth will eat herbs again.

Always the shedding of blood should bring to mind Gods judgment on sin.

For the cause of Christ
Roger

Crosstalk
Feb 26th 2010, 08:57 PM
I agree with notuptome and was going to site those verses in Isaiah. Also it says in 1 Cor. 15:20-26 that death is the last enemy that God will do away with.
All death was made part of the sin curse since the sin of Adam.

"20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. 24 Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death."

Furthermore Romans 8:19-25 states that the whole creation waits to be redeemed from this curse of physical death.

"19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body."

nzyr
Feb 26th 2010, 11:46 PM
I also believe it's the result of sin. But when Jesus returns and sets up his kingdom the animals will revert back to the way they were in the garden of Eden.

And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:

And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;

And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:

But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.

And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.

The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.

And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.

And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den.

They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.

And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.

And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.

And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. (Isaiah 11:1-12)

daughter
Feb 27th 2010, 12:07 AM
I'm interested in this question too... I believe the Bible literally, but equally am perplexed by the existence of obligate carnivores like cats.

However, we know that many animals have parts of their bodies that serve no real purpose... display plumes and so on. I've wondered whether the fangs etc of the big cats could perhaps have originally been meant to be displays. A lion does look all the more splendid for his fangs and claws, not to mention mane. It could be that genetic information was lost after the flood, and so some animals have been forced to rely on meat as a source of nutrition... the cats may at one time have produced their own taurine, in which case they would have been enabled to eat vegetables.

It's not a perfect explanation, I know, but I'll have to remain ignorant. One day, I'm sure, I'll understand.

daughter
Feb 27th 2010, 12:11 AM
Ooh, a fly in the ointment of my theory though... it may be that God did create the carnivores on the sixth day, because he uses two different words for land animals... he differentiates between cattle and "chaya", a word often used to refer to wild beasts.

crossnote
Feb 27th 2010, 01:35 AM
I see no indication that animals ate other animals before the flood and this seems to be strengthened by no mention of God 'sedating' the animals in the ark.
Rather than original sin of Adam, the carnivore seems to be brought out after the Flood. I don't think it is that far fetched to say that along with the fear of man came the carnivorous nature. And as some poster already mentioned the 'hardware' was already in place. (50 mili bites or so).

holyrokker
Feb 27th 2010, 04:11 AM
In Genesis 1:29-30 and 9:1-3 God is speaking to Adam and to Noah. I don't see any reason why these should apply to animals.

Related to this; when God told Adam "when you eat of it you will surely die" how did Adam know what death was?

Is it possible that he had already witnessed death among animals? Is there any reason to assume that animals didn't die?

Servant89
Feb 27th 2010, 02:06 PM
Man was given a vegetarian diet at the beginning, and the same thing for animals. There was no death in the original plan. But after the flood, God told Noah in Gen 9:3 that it was ok to eat meat.

Gen 9:3 Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.

That started the carnivorous diet. When Jesus comes back, we will go back to the original plan as it is written:

Is 11:7 And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.

The Bible states that the animals were created to be destroyed, to be an example of what will happen to people that (like animals) do not think about God and talk about things they do not understand spiritually, but by instinct and end up in hell.

2 Pet 2:12 But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;

Jud 1:10 But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.

Shalom

HisLeast
Feb 27th 2010, 02:28 PM
Sin is the short answer for why some animals eat meat. The curse of sin passed on all the earth. I do not think that it requires a great deal of physical modification for animals to eat herbs instead of flesh. Humans do it all the time.

Isaiah in 11:7 and 65:25 refer to a time when once again the lion shall eat straw as the ox. In the new earth when sin has been completely done away all the creatures of the earth will eat herbs again.

Always the shedding of blood should bring to mind Gods judgment on sin.

Humans are designed to. They have flat teeth in the back for crushing/grinding along with edged teeth at the front for tearing/cutting. On top of that we have a gut and digestive tract that can tolerate both plants and flesh. From top to bottom we're omnivores and meant to be. Exclusively predatory (carnivorous) animals would have to be transformed into entirely new animals. Their mouths, teeth, and everything else all the way back to their rectum is made for eating meat. Such an amount of modification would be required that the end result wouldn't be anywhere close to what you started with.

Kahtar
Feb 27th 2010, 02:39 PM
It seems to always be the tendancy to place limits upon God and His abilities. This is the God that created all we know, the same God Who was able to confound languages in the blink of an eye, Who was able to take a rib and make a woman from it, Who was able to open the earth and swallow up a whole group of wicked people, without taking any of the others, the same God Who could take a bucket of water and change it instantly into the 'best' (aged) wine, Who could instantly give and remove leprousy and raise up the dead and make the deaf to hear and the lame to walk.
Why does philosophy find it so difficult an obsticle to instantly change animals? Because philosophy doesn't accept God to begin with. Philosophy purports to be the pursuit of truth, all the while avoiding the truth. Philosophy attempts to find answers to all the difficult questions of life, and will look everywhere for that truth EXCEPT toward God Who IS truth.

HisLeast
Feb 27th 2010, 02:43 PM
It seems to always be the tendancy to place limits upon God and His abilities. This is the God that created all we know, the same God Who was able to confound languages in the blink of an eye, Who was able to take a rib and make a woman from it, Who was able to open the earth and swallow up a whole group of wicked people, without taking any of the others, the same God Who could take a bucket of water and change it instantly into the 'best' (aged) wine, Who could instantly give and remove leprousy and raise up the dead and make the deaf to hear and the lame to walk.
Why does philosophy find it so difficult an obsticle to instantly change animals? Because philosophy doesn't accept God to begin with. Philosophy purports to be the pursuit of truth, all the while avoiding the truth. Philosophy attempts to find answers to all the difficult questions of life, and will look everywhere for that truth EXCEPT toward God Who IS truth.

Same tendency found in those stating that because man may have started out vegetarian, all other creatures did too.

crossnote
Feb 27th 2010, 02:45 PM
In Genesis 1:29-30 and 9:1-3 God is speaking to Adam and to Noah. I don't see any reason why these should apply to animals.

Related to this; when God told Adam "when you eat of it you will surely die" how did Adam know what death was?

Is it possible that he had already witnessed death among animals? Is there any reason to assume that animals didn't die?

Well sort of...

For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
(Rom 8:20-23)

Death amongst the creation is part of the Fall that Adam had plunged the creation into. Kind of like when a king falls, his whole country falls with him.

HisLeast
Feb 27th 2010, 02:47 PM
Well sort of...

For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
(Rom 8:20-23)

Death amongst the creation is part of the Fall that Adam had plunged the creation into. Kind of like when a king falls, his whole country falls with him.

Does anyone else find it interesting that the word Death is not used in this passage at all?

notuptome
Feb 27th 2010, 02:55 PM
Humans are designed to. They have flat teeth in the back for crushing/grinding along with edged teeth at the front for tearing/cutting. On top of that we have a gut and digestive tract that can tolerate both plants and flesh. From top to bottom we're omnivores and meant to be. Exclusively predatory (carnivorous) animals would have to be transformed into entirely new animals. Their mouths, teeth, and everything else all the way back to their rectum is made for eating meat. Such an amount of modification would be required that the end result wouldn't be anywhere close to what you started with.
Well we are certainly in an area of speculation and not fact. Can God make a lion to eat grass? Can God change a loin's digestive tract to assimilate grass? I see no reason to say God cannot do what He desires to do. To assume that we could not recognise the modified product from the original is go way out on the limb.

God transformed me from a sinner to a child of God by grace through faith. I still appear from the physical sense to be unchanged but inwardly I am a new creation. I no longer seek the husks of this world that cannot satisfy but rather desire the sincere milk of the word that I might grow thereby.

I cannot be dogmatic about carnivores but Christians is another matter.

For the cause of Christ
Roger

Kahtar
Feb 27th 2010, 02:56 PM
Same tendency found in those stating that because man may have started out vegetarian, all other creatures did too.I think the reason many believe the creatures were vegetation at the start is because of this verse:

And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.
Genesis 1:30 KJV

Cliff H
Feb 27th 2010, 04:46 PM
Articles and dvd's by Dr. Brad Harrub have helped me understand evolution vs creation, dinosaurs, ect.

http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/15

Petey
Feb 27th 2010, 05:11 PM
Humans are designed to. They have flat teeth in the back for crushing/grinding along with edged teeth at the front for tearing/cutting. On top of that we have a gut and digestive tract that can tolerate both plants and flesh. From top to bottom we're omnivores and meant to be. Exclusively predatory (carnivorous) animals would have to be transformed into entirely new animals. Their mouths, teeth, and everything else all the way back to their rectum is made for eating meat. Such an amount of modification would be required that the end result wouldn't be anywhere close to what you started with.

I sympathize completely- this is something that confuses me

Petey
Feb 27th 2010, 05:29 PM
It seems to always be the tendancy to place limits upon God and His abilities. This is the God that created all we know, the same God Who was able to confound languages in the blink of an eye, Who was able to take a rib and make a woman from it, Who was able to open the earth and swallow up a whole group of wicked people, without taking any of the others, the same God Who could take a bucket of water and change it instantly into the 'best' (aged) wine, Who could instantly give and remove leprousy and raise up the dead and make the deaf to hear and the lame to walk.
Why does philosophy find it so difficult an obsticle to instantly change animals? Because philosophy doesn't accept God to begin with. Philosophy purports to be the pursuit of truth, all the while avoiding the truth. Philosophy attempts to find answers to all the difficult questions of life, and will look everywhere for that truth EXCEPT toward God Who IS truth.

Right on! You've definitely got to accept God's intervention to expalin things unless you want to allow billions and billions of years, random chance, and a very loose (or nonexistent) adherence to the account in Genesis. Naturalistic processes left working how they work now just can't explain stuff unless you fudge on the Bible and allow myriads of time. In my opinion, Young Earth Creationism is not scientifically feasible- you can't logically explain stuff from this viewpoint (not well, at least) with solely science. God has to be part of the picture and the explanation for everything to work out. Strict evolutionists dismiss our views as bogus because science doesn't explain them. If you accept God, then the problems start dissappearing. God necessarily had to intervene to make changes and create the way Genesis says to account for the world we see around us today.

There are some things that still confuse me though.

All these other miracles that you mentioned were recorded. As far as I can tell, there's nothing in Genesis that indicates God did a large-scale physical alteration of everything He had made. It's definitely possible that He did and it's just not recorded, but that just seems unlikely to me. That would be a pretty major event- you would think such an alteration would merit at least one sentence of mention in Genesis...

Kahtar
Feb 27th 2010, 05:40 PM
That would be a pretty major event- you would think such an alteration would merit at least one sentence of mention in Genesis...Well, the purpose of scripture is for our spiritual development. Including an explanation of His altering genetics probably does little for spiritual development.
Our supposed need to understand such things stems more from the tree of K&E I think.

crossnote
Feb 28th 2010, 01:52 AM
Does anyone else find it interesting that the word Death is not used in this passage at all?

Not really, it is quite evident in the phrase 'bondage of corruption' (referring to futility unto death) as well as speaking of 'glorious liberty' as a contrast, referring to resurrection.

Love Fountain
Feb 28th 2010, 07:38 PM
I'm currently in a philosophy class in college called "Evolution and Creation". It certainly makes you examine closely everything you believe. One thing that has really perplexed me is this:

In the Genesis, it sounds pretty clear that God was mandating that all of creation was to eat exclusively vegetation (verses given below). How can you explain the fact that nearly all creatures are basically "set up" for preying, avoiding predation, or a combination of both? Certainly, if God desired for them to eat plants and be sustained, then they would, regardless of body structure and mindset. God can do anything he wishes. The question is, though, if He intended them to eat solely plants, why equip them to be killing (or escaping killing) machines?

A simple instinct change of the organisms after the Fall wouldn't explain things adequately by itself. The entire body structure of everything would have to be changed to convert them from suited to eating green things and living peacefully to rending and tearing meat, hunting and killing, and constantly seeking to avoid predation.


Hello Petey,

In order to sustain the bodies we are in, it appears to me that we must consume life to exist. Whether we consume meat or vegetation, we still must consume life. For example, when we look at vegetation, animals or humans under an infrared light, all have the same energy of life within. Sorry to those herbivores that don't eat meat because of somehow thinking they don't consume life if they are not meat eaters. Anyway, it is what it is and we have to eat. I don't subscribe to evolution at all, in a nut shell, the snails are still snails and in order for evolution to have been true, we would still have to see it happening in all it's phases. The missing link is still missing and always will be in my opinion.

Have you ever read the following verses in the book of Hebrews, I believe it helps with your question to understand some of why we are here in the flesh dealing with death.

Heb 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;

2:15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

2:16 For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.

2:17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.

2:18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.






From what I can tell, Genesis doesn't give any indication that God physically changed his entire creation. How can all of this stuff we see everyday be explained?

The only thing I can possibly come up with (while accepting Genesis as it is written) is that God went ahead and created everything to eat meat and simply had it "hold off" until some later time after the Garden of Eden. He certainly knew Adam and Eve would sin from the beginning...but still, this idea just seems far-fetched to me.

What does everyone think about this? I would be very interested to hear your opinions or any Bible verse that may shed light on the subject.



God will reveal all things according to His time and will, just because something doesn't appear to be there, doesn't mean it's not. We also must be willing to accept the simplicity of Gods word. In order to get to where God changed the entire creation in Genesis, perhaps it would help you see if we start in other places of the Bible and work our way to Genesis.

Let's start in 2Pet 3:7 and see how you understand the following.

2Pet 3:7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

In the above verse, doesn't common sense tell us that the verse is talking about "the heavens and the earth, which are now" meaning the one we're living in right now? What do you think?

Stay with me, don't let men distract you, we're talking common sense and not what men teach.

Now let's go to the verses just before the one we just read.

2Pet 3:5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:

3:6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:

Now men will distract the truth of God's word as it is written and tell you this is about Noah's flood but common sense tells us the "the heavens were of old, and the earth" if we read the verse in 2Pet 3:5 this is not just about a flood on the earth but the heavens were of old.

Let us come to God's word and not be willingly ignorant, please read 2Pet 3:5 and 2Pet 3:6 above together understanding the heavens were of old and the earth, "whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished"

In other words, there was a "world that then was" that perished before the "heavens and earth, which are now".

This is a great mystery in the word of God, that there was a "world that then was" before the heavens and earth which are now, whereby we also now look for a new heavens and new earth in the age to come.

2Pet 3:13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

The destruction of the "world that then was" is written in Genesis too.

Don't let anyone confuse this for you, I'm not speaking of doctrines of men who have given names such as a "gap theory" or "young earth creationist". There is no gap in Gods word and to say the earth is young simply flys in the face of science and makes a mockery of Gods word. The earth has been for eons. We're talking about earth ages, 3 earth ages. The age that was, the age to come, and the age that is now.


Before going towards Genesis, are you able to see the "world that then was" in 2Pet 3?


Bless you,
Love Fountain

HisLeast
Feb 28th 2010, 08:53 PM
Not really, it is quite evident in the phrase 'bondage of corruption' (referring to futility unto death) as well as speaking of 'glorious liberty' as a contrast, referring to resurrection.

I don't find that evident at all.

Radagast
Feb 28th 2010, 10:01 PM
Humans are designed to. They have flat teeth in the back for crushing/grinding along with edged teeth at the front for tearing/cutting. On top of that we have a gut and digestive tract that can tolerate both plants and flesh. From top to bottom we're omnivores and meant to be.

We're designed to eat meat and some plants. We don't have the equipment that cows have, for example, so we can't eat grass.

HisLeast
Feb 28th 2010, 10:42 PM
We're designed to eat meat and some plants. We don't have the equipment that cows have, for example, so we can't eat grass.

You trying to tell me you don't have 4 stomachs? :)

holyrokker
Mar 1st 2010, 12:01 AM
You trying to tell me you don't have 4 stomachs? :)

I've seen some people who eat like they do!

Kahtar
Mar 1st 2010, 12:03 AM
The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles' feathers, and his nails like birds' claws. Daniel 4:33 KJV
So now tell me, is God able?

Radagast
Mar 1st 2010, 09:45 AM
The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles' feathers, and his nails like birds' claws. Daniel 4:33 KJV

It's a brave man who will say exactly what plants Nebuchadnezzar was eating, especially since עָשׁ seems to be a confusing word. Outside of Daniel, it is translated "moth." In Daniel it is translated "grass."

But yes, by a miracle God could have made Nebuchadnezzar digest grass. I'm not sure what point you're trying to make, though.

The Mighty Sword
Mar 1st 2010, 07:25 PM
Did God make carnivores? How do we explain how nature is set up for killing?


John 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.