4.3 Animal Nourishment (OB15)

On the sixth creation day God determined what man and beast should eat.

Evolution: The battle for nourishment is seen as one of the most important driving forces in the evolution of organisms. In the Darwinian view, “the survival of the fittest” means that those individuals have a selective advantage and best survive the struggle of “eat or be eaten” in raw nature.

The Bible: On the sixth creation day God determined what man and beast should eat:

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. (Gen. 1:29–30)

Originally, man and beast thus were vegetarian. No living being needed to be afraid of being eaten by another. Before sin entered the universe, there was complete harmony in all spheres of creation. Man’s sin resulted in a catastrophe of such inconceivable magnitude that nobody today can form a picture of the previous “very good” creation. Can anyone imagine an earth with no death, pain, or disease, no predators or pests, no parasites, no robbery, and no rivalry?

In addition to the formation of very different ecosystems and relations, the changes in the animal world also involved drastic physiological modifications. Originally, no animals were unclean or possessed murderous talons, claws, or fangs; snakes did not have poison sacs; and all bacteria and viruses were benign. Whole families of animals became exclusively carnivorous. And only after the flood of Noah was man given permission to eat the meat of animals (Gen. 9:3). This fatal transformation of creation is also described in the New Testament: “For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice. . . . We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time” (Rom. 8: 20–22). However, the time will come when God will make a covenant (Hos. 2:20) with the animals and again let them live safely. Only after the results of sin have been removed from the earth will the original state be seen again: “The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat . . . the lion will eat straw like the ox. The infant will play near the hole of the cobra” (Isa. 11:6–8). Then, as in the beginning, all animals will again be vegetarian.

The digestion of vegetable matter is an appreciably more complex process than the catabolism (breaking down) of meat proteins. According to evolution, more complex processes and structures evolved from simpler ones, but also, in this case, the Bible bears quite a different witness.

Did God Use Evolution?

Per theistic evolution, God started the process of evolution and guided it over millions of years. This content analyzes and rejects the assumptions and results of the doctrine of theistic evolution.

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