In an experiment with two species of bean weevils, the researchers found that the weevils would out-compete each other into extinction without the presence of a predator. However, when the researchers added a parasitic wasp to the mix, they found that the experimental ecosystem’s biodiversity balanced out and both weevil populations stayed at healthy levels. The bottom line: without predators, ecosystems fall apart.
Animal death is a sticky issue for skeptics and young-earth creationists. Both groups wonder how a good God could allow such cruelty in His creation. But in a recent episode of Science News Flash RTB biochemist Fuz Rana argues that studies like the one on weevils and wasps imply that the loving God of the Bible may have very good reasons for purposefully including animal death in His creation before and after the Fall.
Fuz goes on to point out that, far from damaging the Atonement doctrine (as some young-earth creationists say it does), animal death powerfully reflects the biblical theme of life coming through death. In nature, plants die so herbivores can live; herbivores die to feed carnivores, and so on. In Scripture, Jesus Christ died to give eternal life to humanity, and Christians, in turn, die to themselves to follow Christ—a good reminder in the weeks leading up to Easter.
For more on animal death and the good things that come of it, check out these resources from RTB:
• “Thank God for Carnivores” by Hugh Ross
• “Animal Death Prevents Ecological Meltdown” by Fuz Rana
• “Why Would a Good God Create Parasites” by Hugh Ross
• “Predators Essential for Life’s Diversity” from Science News Flash (March 14, 2012)
• “Global Eco-Crisis: Loss of Big Predators Disrupts Earth’s Ecosystem” from Science News Flash (July 18, 2011)
• “Carnivores before the Fall” from I Didn’t Know That! (May 27, 2010)