How did Plants Survive
the Biblical Flood
If all animals were created herbivores, why
do many now eat meat?
Genesis 1:29, it is clear that
plants were the given food for all animals at the beginning of
the creation, and it is only following the flood that we were
instructed to eat animals. God originally designed us to eat
plants, however because of Adam's sin, God cursed the creation,
and this principally affected plants as a ready food source.
The Bible states
that the curse caused the plants to change and bare thorns, and
there began an immediate requirement for humans to farm crops
to obtain enough food to survive.
The world was designed with producers (plants)
and consumers (animals). We were designed to eat plants, and
the world is completely covered with such organisms, but people
will starve without farmed crops. The nature of the curse upon
Adam lies within the explanation of this dilemma. We use sugar
as the fuel source that is used to make energy, and plants were
designed to make this sugar in massive quantities. However, we
can digest none of this energy, but instead it passes through
us as dietary fiber. Given the description of the curse, it is
theoretically possible all organisms were originally able to
digest plant fiber, and we cursed to be unable.
God Giving Plants for Food - Genesis 1:29-30 And God said, "Behold,
I have given you every plant yielding seed which is upon the
face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit;
you shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth,
and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on
the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given
every green plant for food." And it was so.
The Creation Cursed - Adam Must Farm
Plants - Genesis 3:17-19 And
to Adam he said, "Because you have listened to the voice
of your wife, and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded
you, 'You shall not eat of it,' cursed is the ground because
of you; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
thorns and thistles it shall bring forth to you; and you shall
eat the plants of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall
eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were
taken; you are dust, and to dust you shall return."
Genesis 3:23 - therefore the LORD God
sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from
which he was taken.
Evolution of the Carnivore
It is now well recognized that all carnivores
are actually omnivores by nature. Bears for example eat everything,
but it was probably their sharp teeth more than anything that
caused them to be originally labeled as a carnivore. Evolution
is the process of specializing to a particular habitat or niche
through a history of genetic recombination and natural selection.
This process modifies the characteristics common to the organism
in a manner which supplies regional specificities. The panda
bear is an obligate herbivore. On the other hand, the polar bears
are exclusively carnivore, but the bear was created as a vegetarian.
All modern carnivores were originally herbivores that have adapted
to predatory behaviors in some instances.
Plants use carbon dioxide and energy from
the sun to make carbohydrates or sugar. Virtually all of the
sugar made by the plant is polymerized into a long chain called
cellulose or what we call "fiber". The plant uses cellulose
primarily to make the cell wall which provides the plant's structural
support. We alternatively metabolize carbohydrates to release
the energy stored in the chemical bonds, and use it for moving
muscle, or enzymatic reactions like making protein. There are
many forms of sugar (glucose, sucrose, fructose, etc.,
but all of them are converted into glucose before they are used
to make most of our ATP energy. Cellulose is simply a long chain
of pure glucose, and yet we can not metabolize this most abundant
form of energy.
We can not digest cellulose because we
lack the necessary genes, and can not make the enzymes; cellulase,
lignase, etc. Only the microbial decomposers (bacteria, fungi) possess these genes . From an evolution standpoint the absence
of these genes in higher organisms is a mystery if animals truly
evolved from microbes since they all have the ability to digest
cellulose. The survival advantage of these genes is so great
that natural out-selection is inconceivable. If we evolved from microbes,
we should also have these same genes.
Cellulose is without a doubt the single
most abundant energy source on earth, but no consumer can not
digest it. Instead the energy we get from plants comes almost
exclusively from reproductive growths where starch and simple
sugars are stored. Roots are also frequently rich in starch.
However, it is because of our inability to digest cellulose that
we must farm and produce massive quantities of plants, and then
only harvest a very minor portion for consumption. Cellulose
is virtually everywhere we look. It surrounds every plant cell,
and yet we can make no use of it.
It is inexplicable that we and the animals
are unable to utilize the massive quantity of energy which is
trapped in cellulose being that we were created to eat plants
and many still diet exclusively on vegetation. Ruminants (cow,
sheep, etc.) possess a cooperative system which utilizes the
enzymatic capability of bacteria to aid in the digestion of cellulose,
otherwise no herbivore is able to digest this most abundant polysaccharide
on earth. If we could digest cellulose, it would release more
energy-producing metabolites than any other source available
to us, and yet it is biochemically locked. From an intelligent
design perspective, we should have the ability to digest cellulose.
If we did, not one organism on earth would ever have starved,
instead mass amounts of biochemical energy rot on the ground
Although fruit is obviously a perfectly
designed food, it is also seasonal, and was probably created
with simple sugars only to be a candy that would promote seed
transport. It is however logical to assume we would have been
created with the ability to digest cellulose as our primary staple
in the beginning. Theoretically, the curse might have involved
the removal of these necessary genes from humans and all animal
forcing us to labor endlessly to obtain enough usable carbohydrate,
and causing many to evolve to carnivorous diets to survive.
If we could digest cellulose we would not
need to farm to survive. We would be able to live for many days
off the energy stored in a small bowl of any part of a plant
(grasses, trees, etc.) Instead almost none of the glucose in
basic roughage is metabolized, but instead it passes through
as undigested fiber. This is a true waste of the stored energy
in these foods, and a puzzle from the ID perspective unless this
inability is related to a curse subsequent to our creation.
More Related Passages
Given Animals as Food After the Flood - Genesis 9:2-3 The fear of you and the dread
of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every
bird of the air, upon everything that creeps on the ground and
all the fish of the sea; into your hand they are delivered. Every
moving thing that lives shall be food for you; and as I gave
you the green plants, I give you everything.
by Chris W. Ashcraft
Creation Plant Biology
Do plants act
like computers Leaves appear to regulate their 'breathing' by
conducting simple calculations. by Philip Ball. Nature. Jan 21 2004