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It’s a record of death, of disease, of violence—the most horrific graveyard in the world. But when did these terrible things occur—before Adam sinned? Let us consider what the Bible teaches concerning life before Adam ate the forbidden fruit and sin entered the world, and compare it to the fossil record.
In Genesis 1:29–30, God instructed Adam and Eve to eat fruit and herbs, and He instructed the animals to eat plants. After the Flood God told Noah he could now eat “everything,” as he once ate plants (Genesis 9:3). In other words, Adam and Eve were originally vegetarian.
Since God’s instructions to animals were written in the same way as His instructions to Adam, it is obvious that the animals were originally vegetarian, too. Look at these verses again:
The Bible makes no specific statement about when animals started eating each other. However, it had to be after sin—not before.
It is important to remember that the Bible is primarily a book about man and his relationship with God, not a book about animals. So we wouldn’t expect to find detailed teaching concerning animals as we do man. Nevertheless, we can certainly apply what we do know from Scripture to an understanding of the animal kingdom.
At the end of Creation Week, when God had “finished” His work of creating, He described everything He had made, including all animals, plants, and Adam and Eve, as “very good” (Genesis 1:31).
When God uses the phrase “very good,” what would that mean? Consider what happened when Jesus, the Creator, walked on the earth as the God-man. He had compassion on people who were sick, and He healed them. Would this same God call disease “very good”? In Luke 18:19, Jesus makes it clear there is only one who is “good,” and that is God! When God described the creation as “very good,” there would be no disease, suffering, or deterioration from old age.
So, at the end of the Creation Week, animals would not have been eating each other, they would not have suffered from any diseases, and they would not be dying from old age. It was a “very good,” or perfect, creation.
Because of sin and as a part of the Curse, God stated that “both thorns and thistles shall [the ground] bring forth for you” (Genesis 3:18). So there would have been no thorns in the creation before the Curse.
What do we observe in the world today? We see animals eating each other, animals dying from diseases and old age, and thorns growing everywhere. Writing in the context of the effects of sin, the Apostle Paul says that the “whole creation groans” (Romans 8:22).
Now, understanding all this, let us look at the most horrific graveyard in the world—the fossil record. Is it like the world today or the world before Adam sinned:
Secularists believe that most of the fossil record, which spreads over the majority of the earth’s surface, was laid down over hundreds of millions of years—long before man appeared on the earth. (And, sadly, many Christians have adopted their ideas.)
The Bible clearly shows that thorns, disease, and carnivory originated after Adam’s sin. So the view that creatures lived and died millions of years before Adam’s sin totally contradicts the Bible.
This horrific fossil graveyard had to be formed after Adam sinned—after the Curse.
The global Flood of Noah’s day helps make sense of the formation of such a fossil record.
The Garden of Eden could not have existed on top of this graveyard. Instead, most of this graveyard was formed by the burial of creatures during the Flood (as we have detailed in past Answers magazine articles and at www.answersingenesis.org).
This horrific graveyard serves as a reminder that God’s Word is true (He really did flood the whole earth, as recorded in Genesis 6–9). It is also a reminder that God will judge the world again, but next time by fire. This will be the final judgment.
Just as God provided an Ark of salvation for Noah and his family (and anyone else, if they wanted to go through the door to be saved), so He has provided an Ark of salvation for us—the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus said, “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved” (John 10:9). My plea for you is that you would know for sure you are in the Ark of salvation! And let the horrific fossil graveyard always remind you of past judgment, future judgment, and the Ark of salvation.
Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus on providing answers to questions about the Bible—particularly the book of Genesis—regarding key issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth.