Natural Evil (was: The Curse - Upon All Creation...?)

From: Loren Haarsma <>
Date: Thu Sep 30 2004 - 13:54:23 EDT

  "Natural evil" is a category name given for things like earthquakes and
parasites and disease which hurt, destroy, and kill, but which are not
caused by anyone's specific immoral decision. Is all "natural evil" a
result of the Fall and the Curse?

 Bivalve wrote:

> Paleontological evidence clearly indicates the death of animals
> (including predation) long before the existence of humans.
> At least four explanations exist:
> Paleontological evidence is incorrect.
> Death of animals is not inherently a moral evil.
> Satan's fall was allowed to affect animals.
> The state of the world reflected humanity's future fall (cf. salvation
> of OT believers before Jesus' earthly life).

Sheila Wilson wrote:

> Formation and creation are not the same thing. Stars are a
> "re-formation" event, formed from existing material. Is it possible
> that thorny plants existed before but they were more controllable or the
> thorns were blunted so they didn't stick?

Mike Tharp wrote:

> Your comment regarding "very good, not perfect" got me to thinking. (I
> know; scary concept!) Wouldn't God, in His perfection, have created
> perfection originally? In other words, wouldn't the original creation
> have been perfect until God cursed it because of man's disobedience?

  The laws of nature which allow stars and planets to form also allow for
asteroid impacts.  The laws of nature which make plate tectonics happen,
which keep the continents from eroding into the sea and bring new mineral
nutrents to the surface and make life on land possible, also make
earthquakes and volcanoes.  The laws of nature which make it possible for
DNA to exist also make occasional mutations inevitable.  The laws of
nature which allow amazing lichen to grow tenaciously on bare rock also
allow tenacious weeds to spring up everywhere.  The laws of nature which
allow beautiful symbiosis to develop also allow predation and parasitism.
The laws of nature which allow cells to repair themselves also allow for
cell malignancy and disease.
  You can't tweak the fundamental laws of nature a little bit and get a
universe without natural evil.  Moreover, astronomy tells us that the
fundamental laws of nature haven't changed all the way back to the Big
  We live in an amazing creation, but natural evil seems to be part of a
package deal.  If we hypothesize that natural evil is due to the fall of
humanity or the fall of Satan -- if we hypothesize a creation like ours
but without natural evil -- then either we are talking about a radical
re-write of all the laws of nature going all the way back to the begining,
or we are talking about a creation in which God is _continually_
intervening in natural processes to stop natural evil.  In either case, it
calls into question what is meant by a "good" creation.
  As has been pointed out, Genesis 1 also talks about "subduing." Creation
was declared good, but also in need of subduing.  I wonder if this is the
theological category where we should place natural evil.
Loren Haarsma
Received on Thu Sep 30 15:48:42 2004

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