From Our Readers
Design in Nature
Your articles on design (October 8, 1982) are absolute rubbish. If nature was designed by a designer, who designed the designer? If God was self-created, what prevents nature from being self-created? If God is eternal, why can’t nature be equally eternal?
N. B., Scotland
There is overwhelming evidence of design in nature. In human experience design does not exist without purposeful intelligence. The designing Creator of all things has existed throughout all eternity, and creation demonstrates his qualities. (Psalm 90:2; Romans 1:20) The fact of radioactive decay proves that existing matter had a beginning.—ED.
I am profoundly disturbed by your article “The Design in Nature.” Surely, when Almighty God announced that ‘to every wild beast of the earth I have given all green vegetation for food’ he meant that he had provided green vegetation as the basis of the food chain.
R. B., England
I found your article convincing as concerns the principle that design requires a designer. But on page 11 you make the statement that features of animals that are used for maiming and killing have evolved by adaptation to the new situation in Eden. Can this be said of the poison that some snakes and spiders use to kill their prey? What of other ingenious instruments of various kinds of predators. How can they exist if not by creation?
D. K., Germany
We did not claim that certain features evolved by adaptation, but that existing features were put to a different use from what was originally purposed. We do not believe it is possible to establish for a certainty how things were in the distant past by observing the present. Conditions have changed. But we do have a clear statement from the past, namely Genesis 1:29, 30: “And God went on to say: ‘Here I have given to you all vegetation bearing seed which is on the surface of the whole earth and every tree on which there is the fruit of a tree bearing seed. To you let it serve as food. And to every wild beast of the earth and to every flying creature of the heavens and to everything moving upon the earth and in which there is life as a soul I have given all green vegetation for food.’” This does not mean that vegetation was merely the ultimate basis for food supply through a chain of animal life. Obviously it was not the case with humans because later when they were to begin to get some nourishment from animal flesh they had to be given a special concession. (Genesis 9:3) Further, during the Flood of Noah’s day, eight humans and ‘flying creatures and all moving animals of the ground’ were obliged to live on vegetable matter exclusively for more than a year. (Genesis 6:17-21) And the fact that Isaiah 11:6-9 and Isa 65:25 specifically state that former predators will be at peace with other animals, and the lion will eat straw like the bull, would seem to confirm that animals and humans were meant to be vegetation eaters.
As for the many predators being suited for the chase and the kill, what about humans? They have shown an extremely efficient talent for attacking and killing their fellowman. Does that argue for humans’ being designed that way from the beginning? Admittedly, we cannot answer all questions that arise in this matter from what we can observe today, and the account in the Bible is quite brief. Yet, we believe that humankind and animal kind were originally designed to live at peace with one another and to get their nourishment from vegetation. That original purpose will be restored during the Messianic Kingdom. We will have to wait and see how those prophecies are fulfilled.—ED.