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Natural Disasters Are Not the Fundamental Evils We Think They Are
Instead, they are evidence establishing that a caring, loving, and powerful Creator has designed Earth and all its living creatures to maximally benefit humans and to equip them to fulfill their God-mandated purposes.
Natural (or Man-Made) Disasters?
“Why do bad things happen to good people?” is not the right question. The right question is, “Why do good things happen to bad people?“
Jesus’s warning in Luke 13:1-7 may come off as terse, even slightly harsh, but it is a word of grace: Turn to the Lord while there is still time. T he point is simple, but we miss it to our peril.
Cholera: Natural Evil or Moral Evil?
The suffering caused by cholera — and other water-borne diseases — is rooted in humanity’s sinful failure to act caringly towards and intelligently on behalf of our fellow humans, not in God’s design.
Tsunamis: Natural Evil or Moral Evil?
Neither. Tsunamis are natural consequences of essential-for-life plate tectonics.
The unnatural consequences of tsunamis (e.g. loss of life) are the ongoing consequences of humanity’s ongoing sin against fellow humans.
Why Do People Die in Earthquakes?
Blame Corrupt Governments [and sinful, foolish citizens], Not God
The Terrible Toll of Typhoon Haiyan Doesn’t Excuse Bad [i.e. sinful] Policy
Where is God When Bad Things Happen?
Why Natural Evil Must Exist
Why Would God Allow Natural Disasters?
Are Earthquakes God’s Fault?
In a word, yes. And we should be eternally grateful for them.
Plate Tectonics Design
Hurricanes and the Climate
Why Would God Create a World Where Cancer Is Possible?
If a Creator is responsible for the designs found in biochemistry, then why are so many biochemical systems seemingly flawed, inelegant, and poorly designed?
“[I]t is important to recognize that many so-called biochemical flaws are not genuine flaws at all. Instead, they arise as the [unavoidable] consequences of [optimization] trade-offs [common to all engineering problems]. In their cellular roles, many biochemical systems face two (or more) competing objectives. Effectively managing these opposing objectives means that it is impossible for every aspect of the system to perform at an optimal level. Some features must be carefully rendered suboptimal to ensure that the overall system performs robustly under a wide range of conditions. Cancer falls into this category. It is not a consequence of flawed biochemical designs. Instead, cancer reflects a trade-off between DNA repair and cell survival… Though cancer ravages the lives of so many people, it is not because of poorly designed, substandard biochemical systems. Given that we live in a universe that conforms to the laws of thermodynamics, cancer is inevitable. Despite this inevitability, organisms are designed to effectively ward off cancer. Ironically, as we gain a better understanding of the process of oncogenesis (the development of tumors), we are uncovering more — not less — evidence for the remarkably elegant and ingenious designs of biochemical systems.”
“Viruses are the most abundant biological entities in the world’s oceans, and they play a crucial role in global biogeochemical cycles.”
“Viruses are a key component of marine ecosystems… The active viral processes reported here demonstrate the importance of viruses in the production of dissolved organic carbon in the dark ocean, a major pathway in carbon cycling.“
Viruses and God’s Providence
Viruses, Disease, and a Loving God
“[T]he overwhelming majority of… viruses do not cause disease in humans, animals, or plants… Several viruses are also being harnessed as tools to combat diseases such as cancer, virus infections, antibiotic-resistant bacterial diseases, and, possibly in the not too distant future, even genetic or congenital diseases through gene-editing. Viruses are also useful in helping to protect food and crops from bacterial infections and loss. With this new and expanding understanding of viruses, it is easy to see how a good God providentially balances creation, sustains life, and provides us with tools to combat human disease and suffering, expand crop production, and steward creation in other beneficial ways.”
[See, also… here .]
Viruses Play Critical Role in Oceanic Nutrient Cycling
More Reasons to Thank God for Viruses
Their contributions to the Hydrologic, Geophysical & Geochemical Cycles
God’s Goodness and the Ebola Virus
Celebrating 3.8 Billion Years of Bacteriophage
Did God Create Flesh-Eating Bacteria?
Absolutely. And thank God He did, too!
Why Skiers Can Be Thankful for Bacteria
A Common-Design View of Endogenous Retroviral Elements (ERVs) Encourages Scientific Investigation
“Viruses and cells [like bacteria]… are not volitional… [They] do not seek their own survival. Yet such language is widespread and difficult to avoid in currently published scientific works. And now, some scientists are not only confusing the narrative of life on Earth by anthropomorphizing cells and microbes, but others are also trying to redefine life more broadly.“
Why Would God Create Mosquitoes?
According to some ecologists, the loss of mosquitoes would harm most ecosystems.
As well, while the human population might become healthier, its numbers would eventually swell and overpopulation would lead to the loss of health because of limited resources and, thus, produce even more suffering than the mosquitoes caused.
Mosquitoes are the deadliest creatures on Earth, killing over half-a-million people annually and sickening hundreds of millions more.
So why celebrate World Mosquito Day?
Because the vast majority of mosquitoes are beneficial participants in complex [i.e. finely-tuned] ecosystems and play no role in human disease.
Because God made them for reasons that benefit us if we respect and guard against their potential dangers.
Is it God’s fault that humans become infected with the Thai liver fluke?
Hardly — at least since the early 20th century.
The people of Thailand suffer from a lack of sanitation — ultimately, conditions caused by human moral failing, not God’s carelessness.