Thursday, December 13, 2007

What did sharks eat before original sin?

Most christians that believe in the Genesis account of a six-day creation believe that there was no death before original sin. Of course, we are left with the ridiculous picture of lions munching on apples, velociraptors enjoying a nice salad and sharks eating seaweed. While we can all agree that this is a pretty silly mental image, there are people who actually believe this. I don't see anywhere in the first three chapters of Genesis that explicitly says there was no death before original sin, but I can see how you would get the picture:

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. 30 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

Whether the Bible necessitates that there was no death of any kind before original sin is beside the point for now, though, because the fact is that most christians believe that this is the case.

The problem is that if all animals were originally vegetarians, then the "amazing design" that people claim to see in animals is quite pointless. Sharks are amazingly "designed" to hunt and kill. Christians claim this amazing ability as proof that the universe is designed. And sharks certainly aren't the only creatures that have an amazing ability to kill. Cheetahs are perfectly built to catch gazelles, although gazelles are equally built to escape cheetahs. Alligators, tigers, hawks and snakes are all built to hunt their prey. Mice, monkeys, clown fish and deer are all built to avoid becoming another creature's next meal.

If the original creation was one without death, then why did god design creatures to compete with each other? Perhaps he saw what was coming, and wanted to make sure the animals were prepared. You could make this argument, if you were willing to admit that god is unjust and humans have no free will. Because if this were the case, then god created humans to disobey him. He didn't create them with free will, and they happened to fuck things up. Before he created man, he created animals that were good and ready for a world of limited resources. So in order for his amazing design to work, he needed a world filled with death and competition. He brought man into this supposively perfect world in order to be his patsy. He said "don't eat this fruit, or else..." knowing damn well that we would eat the fruit. Once we fucked things up, he could blame all the evil in the world on our sin. We never had a chance.

But let's say you want to take another route. Go back to the beginning of the argument and concede that animals killed each other before original sin. After all, the Bible doesn't explicitly say that there was no death (at least not that I can find. If anyone knows of a verse that directly makes that statement, please share).

Well if every event must have a cause (the backbone of the ID argument), and we can witness that organisms are in direct conflict with each other, then wouldn't that suggest multiple, battling creators? One creator created cheetahs, and made them fast enough to hunt gazelle. But the creator that made gazelles also made gazelles very fast so that they could escape from cheetahs. Both creators did a very good job, but the two creations are in constant battle with each other; sometimes the gazelle gets away and sometimes it doesn't. There would need to be a seperate creator for every organism that is battling for the prescious resources.

If everything was created by a single god, then he designed his creation to destroy itself. Which means he created a world that had conflict from the beginning. This is probably why christians are insistent that the pre-sin world was one without death or conflict. Because from conflict comes death, sickness and poverty. So quite blaming butt sex for all the misery in the world. If god created the world, he created a world where all of these evils were unavoidable.

Its rare to have a discussion with a christian without them saying that the design in the world is obvious, or that the misery in the world are the result of sin, or that god created a perfect world in six days, or some other related nonsense. Well from now on, I'm countering these claims with a seemingly innocent question.

What did sharks eat before original sin?


vjack said...

Welcome to the atheist blogosphere. I like what you are doing here so far and encourage you to join the Atheist Blogroll (see It is a great way to boost readership.

Provident 360 said...

I don't know what sharks ate, and as far as death goes, I can't speak on behalf of the animals. But for humans, Genesis 2:17 says that man would surely die if he ate from the tree of knowledge.

Genesis 3:22-24 also states:

"And the LORD God said, 'The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.' So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life"

Keep seeking and one day you shall find what you're looking for.

Ryan Huys said...

All Good questions. I am a devout Christian, but I have always questioned every thing and encourage y fellow Christians to do the same. Know what you believe, why and where it comes from. With this attitude, I have found that Gods word does have all the answers. Some times it requires a better understanding, and some deeper searching but He's word is always true.

Here is a link that might help to this question and many others.

As for your verse on death before sin here they are:Romans 5:12-21
Amplified Bible (AMP)
12 Therefore, as sin came into the world through one man, and death as the result of sin, so death spread to all men, [[a]no one being able to stop it or to escape its power] because all men sinned.

we must ask why Paul is saying that "creation waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who His children really are. Against its will, all creation was subjected to God's curse. ... For we know, that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth, right up to the present time" (Romans 8:19-20a, 22). Paul is blatantly stating that even creation , itself, was affected by man's sins. That is why it is waiting for God's full redemption of His children, for creation, too will be renewed.

Anonymous said...

The answer is clear and obvious. There are two possibilities:

1 God modified the creation after the Fall and added on the new Attack/Defense structures such as systems able to kill and digest and eat meat, and there is an indictation in this from Romans 8, in which it says God subjected the creation to the universal curse as a result of Adam's sin, knowing that He will remove it when the Lord Jesus Christ returns and regenerates the creation.

2 God ofcourse is outside of time and knew Adam and Eve would sin and knew the Fall would happen so when He originally created everything He put the default mode in there: Tigers and Lions and Sharks and Bears were all herbivores but God gave them the structures they would need to eat meat and such, knowing what would happen. As far as the atheist response that this somehow takes away free will, that is false. That is what Calvinists think, infact. What God knows does not determine my choice. God knows all things we will do, but we still make our free will choices. God knows what color socks I will wear tomorrow; from HIS perspective, it is set, but, from MY perspective, it is my own free will choice that I use. Adam and Eve could have chosen to not sin, from their perspective, no matter what God knew they would do. So free will remains.

Anonymous said...

Free Will or Will to Be Free, the choice is yours. I choose Freedom over Slavery to an Ideal or is that Idol?

Anonymous said...

I have asked similar questions (hence stumbling across this) but I think the question "what did sharks eat prior to the fall" doesn't stump the Christian faith. It doesn't make sense to look at God in such a linear fashion. There are a lot of things that don't make sense by human standards but then again maybe human logic isn't the best source seeing as we still bully and kill each other. Chief of examples of things that don't make sense is the fact Jesus died on the cross for a bunch of people that spat in his faith and questioned the legitimacy of his power.

God created the world for his enjoyment because God is creative by nature. There are many verses that speak to this in both the old and New Testament (see example below). I don't know what sharks ate before the fall and there are probably options that haven't even been considered because our mindsets are so biased and limited to the here and now. However, at the end of the day it doesn't matter because God wanted to create the world and that was his prerogative, after all He IS GOD!

Colossians ch.1

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.

Pablo "the king" Wenceslao said...

That's easy. Sharks ate seaweed.

Gurjeet Deol said...

sharks ate kelp (sea weed). they still do sometimes..... I pray the Lord Jesus takes away your stone heart and gives u a heart of flesh so u are not blinded anymore, and are able to get saved . hope to see you in heaven Nathan.