Vegetarians and Waterbears

[Podcast Episode 33] Would you have needed to worry about a T-Rex in the Garden of Eden? What did God have his creatures eat before Adam’s sin messed things up? We explore this and then hear a delightful report on a super (tiny) creature, the Waterbear aka Tardigrade!

Lon and Lamb Statue: photo, Timothy Shields

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The Universal Diet

And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. Genesis 1:29-30

As I point out, there is no way to prove whether there was ever a time like this from science. There aren’t any fossils from before the Curse!

But there are hints left in this fallen world we can use to see how reasonable God’s claim is and be able to picture a little what it was like:

Restoration

The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.
And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den.
They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. Isaiah 11:6-9

See also Ezekiel 34:25, Hosea 2:18, Isaiah 35:9, Micah 4:3-4

Bonus: What about the oceans?

Whale Shark, WikiCommons

There wasn’t opportunity to cover this on the podcast, but I’ve long wondered about the all-animal food chains in the water. Here are a couple thoughts:

“There seems to have been plenty of plant life in the oceans before the Flood, as evidenced by the fact that most oil apparently comes from marine algae, zooplankton and phytoplankton. Seaweed would also be plenteous … Based on how the Bible defines “living creatures” (Hebrew: nephesh chayyah), we would conclude that neither algae nor phytoplankton nor zooplankton are living creatures and therefore eating them would not constitute carnivorous behavior or death.” Dr. Terry Mortenson, The Fall and the Problem of Millions of Years of Natural Evil, Answers Research Journal

And there’s a fascinating verse about the future restored state of the waters in Ezekiel 47:10: “And it shall come to pass, that the fishers shall stand upon it from Engedi even unto Eneglaim; they shall be a place to spread forth nets; their fish shall be according to their kinds, as the fish of the great sea, exceeding many.”

This is during the time when the lions and wolves are vegetarians- but the fish don’t count. I’ve heard various reasoning for this, but have the feeling it won’t all make sense to me until God tells me in person!

Waterbears

We were inspired to search for our own waterbear by this video:

scary but cool video of the waterbear that gets picked to become an astronaut

and a talk with a waterbear science lady who bought a stuffie version to show off:

Want your own waterbear to cuddle? The fuzzy version isn’t too expensive.

Or, you can search for your own real one to keep as a pet.

For more information about Tardigrades aka Waterbears check out:

Microbial Life Educational Resources: Tardigrades (Water Bears)

BBC: Tardigrades return from the dead

Bonus Thought

Did you know there is a creationist who predicts we will find signs of life on comets and other places in our space neighborhood? Dr. Walt Brown believes the comets and asteroids were thrown out by the exploding water during the Flood.

We have already run into sea plankton on the outside of the International Space Station window and diatoms in the upper atmosphere.

Of course, those who want to believe life formed without God think this gives them an escape from the problem of Spontaneous Generation. But we can recognize this as a sign of the once-in-all-of-history Flood. I doubt they will find waterbears up there, but if they do, we’ll know they were leaving earth, not coming!