Pondering the South African Memesphere – Looking for the Good in Everything header image 2

Creationists Believe Lions Originally Ate Plants

March 10th, 2008 · Posted by Hugo · 7 Comments

Creationists believe that, prior to Adam taking a bite out of the forbidden fruit, Lions, and all other predators including Tyrannosaurus Rex, ate plants. They believe this because they believe “there was no death before the fall”. When Adam took a bite of the forbidden fruit, the digestive systems of all predators spontaneously (or gradually?) changed to digest meat instead of plants. I doubt God punished creation by wilfully performing this feat, I suspect they’d rather argue for a supernatural chain reaction caused by a collapsing house of cards built on man’s obedience to God. Or something like that.

At the recent creationism seminar, I was curious about this “no death” thing. I’m still not sure what life is without death, or more specifically, how you can have birth and procreation without death… But yes, “go forth and multiply” never did include any advice on what to do about overpopulation. Anyway, I usually try to ask a question at the end of such seminars. The challenge is usually finding an interesting question, and then trying remain completely calm while asking it. That last bit is the hardest, I usually start to shake, hopefully not visibly. After asking, it generally takes a few minutes before my hand stops shaking. Why? Because I could disagree with just about every part of the seminar, and you know how hopeless a situation it is to ask a single measly question at the end. These guys are professionals… they make a living touting creationist warez.

I asked about death… What death was present prior to the original sin, and what wasn’t? Obviously the animals eat the plants, what about the plants then? Yea, silly question really. Their answers are quite predictable, I cannot think of one question that I could not also think of an answer they may give. In this case, they do not believe in common descent, so there’s no line-drawing problem. With any categorisation that separates plants and animals, the problem vanishes.

Found on, What do creationists mean by โ€˜no death before the Fallโ€™? — it turns out when the Bible refers to death, it doesn’t refer to death as we know and define it. There is a Biblical definition of death. In the tradition of placing ourselves on a pedestal in all creation (with only the trinity above us, of course), death of anything other than vertebrates is perfectly fine. Before the original sin, plants existed to serve us and our fellow vertebrates. Pain and suffering isn’t pain and suffering if it isn’t the kind of pain and suffering that we know.

Did you know some tree species warn one another when giraffes et al are there to graze? I don’t have a link for this, I’m going by the authority of a game ranger from a private game reserve. Apparently they release pheromones that are carried downwind to warn other trees to prepare. These trees then secrete some substance that discourage animals from eating their leaves. (Whether it just tastes bad, or is poisonous, I don’t know.) But that isn’t pain, because plants don’t have brains like we do. In a perfect world, in a paradise as God created it, according to creationists, plants still die. (Sorry, I’m talking about the biological sense here, not in the Biblical sense. In the Biblical sense, according to creationists, plants can’t die because apparently they are not alive in the first place…) You must have a brain and a backbone, and experience emotion, for your life to be valuable in the “Bible-believers” (meaning Biblical literalists’) universe. I suppose birds and bats (which classifies as birds according to Biblical literalism, even though they are actually mammals) could eat insects prior to the original sin? Could mosquito’s drink human blood? (I hope not, I hate mosquito’s, they keep me awake at night.)

I think Pienk Zuit might have the potentially most interesting question, but even that has a relatively predictable answer:

Do you honestly believe there is a massive, worldwide conspiracy that runs across many unrelated branches of science, to interpret a huge volume of knowledge incorrectly just to be contrary to the literal interpretation of the first few chapters of the Bible?

On the day of the triffids, may the triffids eat creationists first, even before they eat the vegetarians. ๐Ÿ˜‰ (Also, I now wonder if it might be ethically justifiable to eat people without backbones…?)

Categories: Religion and Science
Tags: · ·

7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Pienk Zuit // Mar 11, 2008 at 12:39 pm

    I think the first argument with a creationist should be about the age of the earth. Evolution is emotional to some people for some reason. If you argue about the age of the Earth, there’s really not much they can say, other than trying to discredit dating techniques (or the completely rediculous notion that God created everything to look like it is millions of years old. Like He’s some kind of con artist). That should be easy enough to shoot down. If the Earth is not 6000 years old, the completely literal reading of the Bible doesn’t make sense any more. Never mind having apes as forefathers. Second is the whole conspiracy theory that you have to believe to be a creationist. Just doesn’t make sense. Too many independant branches of science involved, too many inependant scientists, it’s just too big to be a conspiracy against the Bible.

    But then again, there really are people that honestly believe the moon landings did not take place.

  • 2 Hugo // Mar 11, 2008 at 5:24 pm

    I agree on teaching age-related science, and touching on as many fields of science as possible. Creationists keep the debate focused on bleeding edge evolution research, rather than the stuff that’s easier to understand and comprehend…

    Advice on talkorigins suggest focusing on flood geology. That’s tackling the mythos more directly. Too directly, maybe, it does also cause more of an emotional response. I’m wondering if anyone in the area would be interested in joining me when I watch Carl Sagan’s Cosmos? Um, that’d probably be in May, I unfortunately have a holiday that will be taking much of my time in the near future. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • 3 Auke // Mar 11, 2008 at 5:32 pm

    Cretionists generally have very few, and particularly lame, arguments when it comes to the age, not of the Earth, but of the Sun, star clusters, the Milky Way, other galaxies, and the whole Universe.
    Spank them with a globular cluster and nucular physics, rather than emolution.

  • 4 Do Any Shofarians Care About Science? // Apr 30, 2008 at 4:01 pm

    […] Creationists Believe Lions Originally Ate Plants – bleh, I don’t think much of this post. Just me ranting about “no death before the fall”. Mostly written due to my frustration at fumbling questions at such seminars. […]

  • 5 Wendy // Feb 24, 2010 at 10:44 am

    If you take what the bible says into account, then we have to believe that whether Adam ate of the tree or not, he would have dies. I say this because if you look at why he was kicked out, it was so he couln’t eat of the tree of life….which would make him live forever in his state, which really was about his spiritual part rather than the physical. If we were meant to live forever at creation, then we would not be born as babies, I may be dence here but i think the laws of the universe dictate that if something is mortal – as we were at creation, then we are subjct to death. I am a Bible believing Christian but I cannot separate science and my faith because there are two many parallels if one reads the Bilble objectively. As for the lions eating plants, hogwash because if I am to believe that God created them, is omnscient, the I have to believe he is clued up on what was to happen in the garden and would not have felt the need to make a “new and improved” lion because he does not make mistakes. And the bible does clearly speak of a pre – Adamite world and that confirms the fact that the world as we know it, it actually a couple of billions of years. And who know’s I am vert inclined to believe that even after this one, there is another on the way. Science speaks of the end this age and the bible speaks of a new earth in revelations.
    I confess that I am not a student of anything but just an average person with a healthy dose of curiosity..

  • 6 Michael // Feb 28, 2010 at 9:09 pm


    Just thought I’d re-emphasize the obvious: “Bible-believing” is not the same as “literal interpretation of all the Bible”. I’m a bible believer, but I think that there are many good reasons (even if you ignore science completely) for interpreting at least the first two chapters of Genesis allegorically. Apparently many of the Church fathers (long before Darwin) favoured an allegorical approach. Many of the early interpreters did the same. Have a look at the way that the Genesis account is physically rendered in most Bibles – the same as in the Psalms and other ‘poetic’ works. We cannot learn about the dietary habits of lions from the Genesis account any more than I can learn about the physiology of the human circulatory system from the lyrics of that really annoying Afrikaans pop song ‘Baby Choklets’ (something like, ‘when you’re near, my heart pumps chocolates’). The artist doesn’t mean NOTHING. He just doesn’t mean anything about science. Perhaps, when faced with images of a paradise in which ‘the lion lies down with the lamb’ we should be thinking less in terms of food-chains and more in terms of peace.

  • 7 Michael // Feb 28, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    oops: please render the comment above: “We cannot learn about the dietary habits of lions from the Genesis account ANY more than I can learn about the physiology…”

    [Ed: done. (The typo was “and more”)]

Leave a Comment

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>