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Friday, February 24, 2006

Why animal predators, parasites, and death?

The question of animal suffering and death may not seem important, but it is. If God's creation was good, then how do we explain predatory animals, or animal suffering? If God designed the world, how do we explain malaria (which lives in human blood cells) and the mosquitoes that transmit it? Did He design them to make people sick?

The only serious article on these topics that I am aware of was published in the June, 2004 issue of Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith. The article is "Why Were Dangerous Animals Created?" by David Snoke, who has scientific credentials (although he is not a zoologist) and is also licensed to preach. The article has numerous references to scripture, and any educated person (such as you) should be able to understand it. In .PDF form, it is 9 pages long.

The answers to the questions posed by the title of this post have implications for one's view of origins (or the reverse), for God's goodness and sovereignty, and one's view of existence in general. I don't expect all who may read Snoke's article to agree with him, but he concludes with a high view of God, and His creative ability.

If you want to read more on parasites, here's Carl Zimmer's discussion of a wasp that turns its cockroach host into a zombie. Really!

Thanks for reading this post.

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