It Was a Cruel, Cruel World: Death and Life Before and After the Fall (Part 1)

Alfred, Lord Tennyson, in his long poem In Memoriam A.H.H. (1850), gave a description of the natural order,

Tho’ Nature, red in tooth and claw

With ravine, shriek’d against his creed

Tennyson used this phrase “red in tooth and claw” to describe the dilemma between the apparent callousness of the natural realm versus the love embodied in the Christian faith.

Professor Richard Dawkins, in an interview with PBS, describes the natural order in the same way,

“…because the Darwinian world in which our ancestors were selected is a very unpleasant world. Nature really is red in tooth and claw.”

Why are they describing nature in this way? The fossil record, which gives us details of the history of the natural world, shows evidence of animals eating other animals, disease, and death before man came on the scene.

So, the prehistoric world seems to be a very cruel, cruel world indeed.

Next Week: How two Christians see this “cruel world.”

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