If All Animals Were Created As Plant Eaters, Why Do Some Have Sharp Teeth? | The Institute for Creation Research

If All Animals Were Created As Plant Eaters, Why Do Some Have Sharp Teeth?

The Bible specifically teaches that in the original "very good" (Genesis 1:31) Earth, all of the animals were to be plant eaters (v.30). It wasn't until after Adam sinned and the curse of death was pronounced on all creation (Genesis 3:14-19) that things began to die. How is it then, that so many animals seem fully designed to be meat-eaters? Some produce deadly poisons, others have armored plates as elaborate defense mechanisms. If animals were created to live in harmony, what was the purpose?

Unfortunately, God doesn't give us all the details. All we can do is begin with what we do know and make reasonable inferences. I can think of several possibilities which are Biblically acceptable, but it may be that a combination of these or some other best reflects the truth.

The first is that God, in His foreknowledge, knew that soon things would change, and so He created animals with features they would need in the new economy. Or it may be that these features had some other more benign function originally.

The second option is that a great deal more potential for variation was placed in the original genome. At first the animals were designed to live a herbivores lifestyle, but adopted new habits in the more harsh world following the curse. Today, following many generations of variation, adaptation, and selection, animal groups have speciated so much that extensive variation is impossible.

Or it may be that something more sinister was involved. Remember the overall scenario. Lucifer, the highest in God's angelic hierarchy, had been defeated and cast out of heaven. His arrogant pride had been wounded. In his rage he may have set out to ruin God's beautiful creation, first recruiting Adam and Eve to follow him, and then after the curse proceeded to so distort "the image of God" in man that the perfect "seed of the woman" could not follow. Is it possible that this highly intelligent being performed breeding experiments, or genetic engineering on both mankind (Genesis 6:2-4 perhaps) and the animals, in his attempt to mock the true Creator/God and usurp His authority? Perhaps even the ancient legends of composite mixtures of beasts and half men/half beast have some basis in fact.

My preferred speculation follows. The Genesis 3 account of the curse speaks of the great changes which would follow, and each one requires a genetic change. Plants would grow "thorns and thistles" (v.18). The serpent would slither on his "belly" (v.14), cursed along with the rest of the animals. Eve's body style would be changed, making childbirth a laborious experience (v.16). Each of these changes requires a DNA alteration, and now instead of being "very good," "the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain" (Romans 8:22) due to the presence of sin and its penalty - death.

I suspect that in His infinite wisdom, God completely changed creation, with all things dying and some animals quite vicious, from then on giving eloquent testimony to the awful consequences of sin. From then on, whenever Adam saw one of the animals kill another, he would have experienced remorse for what he had brought on creation.

And today, as we see the same thing, it should drive us back to our Creator's gracious provision for sin, and to expectantly look forward to the time when there "shall be no more death" (Revelation 21:4).

* Dr. John Morris is President of ICR.

Cite this article: John D. Morris, Ph.D. 1997. If All Animals Were Created As Plant Eaters, Why Do Some Have Sharp Teeth?. Acts & Facts. 26 (4).

The Latest
NEWS
Latest DNA Tech Still Light Years Behind
Let’s say you recorded a library of books onto DNA. Hundreds of books could fit on your fingertip, but how would you find the one book you wanted? As...

NEWS
Giant Rhinos Are Still Rhinos
Fossils from two giant rhinos dated by evolutionists to be “22 million years old” in the evolutionary timetable have been discovered in China.1...

NEWS
Diverse Devonian Plant Assemblage from Early Flood
Scientists recently discovered a diverse assemblage of fossils in South Africa claimed to be some of the earliest land plants.1 Known as seedless...

NEWS
ICR Hosts Christian Educators Conference
As creation scientists continue to demonstrate that biblical creation makes far better sense of scientific data than evolutionary theory does, there is...

NEWS
Inside July 2021 Acts & Facts
Were dragons real creatures? How balanced was our universe 6,000 years ago? Why is Acadia National Park significant for biblical creation? Can scientists...

ACTS & FACTS
Creation Kids: Moon
Christy Hardy and Susan Windsor* You’re never too young to be a creation scientist! Kids, discover fun facts about God’s creation with...

ACTS & FACTS
A Prayer for ICR
This month we invite you to join us in a prayer for the Institute for Creation Research’s ministry. Dear Jesus, Creator of all, we seek to...

APOLOGETICS
Grasshopper Apologetics: No Need to Get Jumpy
After spying in Canaan, 10 Hebrew scouts fearfully reported, “We saw the giants…and we were [by comparison] like grasshoppers”...

ACTS & FACTS
Can Scientists Replace God with Nothing?
Hebrews 11:3 says, “By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God.” Do you find it a little odd that we must have...

ACTS & FACTS
The Plate Twirler and Our Solar System
Imagine opening a door to a room and seeing a plate spinning on a stick with a spin rate that makes it wobble. Then imagine you shut the door and go...