by David Catchpoole

A well-known hymn says that the Lord God made ‘All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small …’ but could this possibly include the fearsome piranha? Dwelling in South American river systems,1 this fish is renowned for its razor-sharp teeth and its capacity to skeletonize within minutes any hapless animal that might fall into the water.

One species of piranha, Pygocentrus cariba,2 is notorious for being in schools of 30 or more, waiting for baby birds to fall out of nests overhanging the water. Evolutionists would assert that the ‘terrible piranhas’ bear witness to a world of ‘nature red in tooth and claw’, the result of long periods of evolution, with death and struggle acting to remove the weak and preserve the strong. How can the piranha’s gruesome behaviour be consistent with the Bible’s claim of a ‘very good’ world (Genesis 1:21,31), created by a God of love?

The answer is that today’s feared piranha and its behaviour was not a part of the ‘very good’ world that God originally made. It is living in a world that God made but has changed because of man’s Fall into sin. Through Adam’s sin, death, the ‘last enemy’ (1 Cor. 15:26)3 entered the world (Romans 5:12), and carnivory (meat-eating) by animals, fish and birds did not come about until after the Fall (Genesis 1:30).

For any particular carnivore, it is difficult to be certain whether its post-Fall features were (re)designed to cope in this fallen environment, or whether it just happened to adopt a different way of life—for example, in vampire bats, sharp teeth possibly once used for puncturing fruit could later be used to draw blood.4,5

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