Biology  and the Watchtower Society

by Alan Feuerbacher

   The Design of Life 
    Existing Features 
    Fossil Evidence 
    Adaption and Evolution 
    Animals at Peace 

The Design of Life 
The argument is often made that “the design of life requires a Designer.” The Society’s articles on this subject in the October 8, 1982 Awake! do a nice job of explaining the idea. One point of the article is that Genesis 1:29, 30 shows vegetation was the only food of man and animals at the time of man’s creation. The scripture says: 

And God went on to say: “Here I have given to you all vegetation bearing seed which is on the surface of the whole earth and every tree on which there is the fruit of a tree bearing seed. To you let it serve as food. And to every wild beast of the earth and to every flying creature of the heavens and to everything moving upon the earth in which there is life as a soul I have given all green vegetation for food.” And it came to be so.

When the design argument is considered, we are compelled to conclude that some animals have always eaten meat. (Does a tiger seem designed to graze on grass?) This in turn means either the Awake! article’s interpretation of Genesis is wrong or the scripture itself is wrong. 

Awake! answered this point in a reply to a letter from a reader in the January 8, 1983 issue, which reply said with reference to Genesis 1:29, 30: 

This does not mean that vegetation was merely the ultimate basis for food supply through a chain of animal life. Obviously it was not the case with humans because later when they were to begin to get some nourishment from animal flesh they had to be given a special concession. Further, during the Flood of Noah’s day, eight humans and ‘flying creatures and all moving animals of the ground’ were obliged to live on vegetable matter exclusively for more than a year. And the fact that Isaiah 11:6-9 and 65:25 specifically state that former predators will be at peace with other animals, and the lion will eat straw like the bull, would seem to confirm that animals and humans were meant to be vegetation eaters.

Let us now assume that “the design-equals-a-Designer argument stands unrefuted” 18 and examine some of its consequences. 

Existing Features 
One of Awake!’s readers pointed out some of the consequences 19 in his reference to the poison of snakes and spiders, and to other “ingenious instruments of various kinds of predators.” The Society’s reply said that “existing features were put to a different use from what was originally purposed. We do not believe it is possible to establish for a certainty how things were in the distant past by observing the present.... As for the many predators being suited for the chase and kill, what about humans? They have shown an extremely efficient talent for attacking and killing their fellowman. Does that argue for humans’ being designed that way from the beginning? Admittedly, we cannot answer all questions that arise in this matter from what we observe today, and the account in the Bible is quite brief. Yet, we believe that humankind and animal kind were originally designed to live at peace with one another and to get their nourishment from vegetation. That original purpose will be restored during the Messianic Kingdom. We will have to wait and see how those prophecies are fulfilled.” 

But this reply skirts the reader’s question. It says “existing features were put to a different use....” but neither the reply nor the October 8th articles mention how that could possibly be done with “poison” or any “other ingenious instruments.” Twice the reply mentions “we believe....” That belief is, of course, based on the Bible, but as no proof is offered, or even evidence, it must remain merely a belief. Finally the reply says “we will have to wait and see....” But the October 8th articles were written mainly to convince non-believers of the Bible’s truth, whereas the reply relies on the Bible itself and the Society’s belief in it as the ultimate authorities. This is like saying “the Bible is true because it says it is true and we believe it” — hardly an argument to convince a non-believer. The articles could not have been written to convince believers, as they are already convinced. 

Let’s pursue further the idea that “existing features were put to a different use.” The articles point out several examples of things designed for good that could be used for bad: a kitchen knife that can be used for cutting vegetables or killing people, a jet aircraft that transports people or bombs, the human hand that can hold a baby or strangle one. But the articles avoid mentioning anything that was specifically designed for killing, such as a sword, or a jet fighter complete with machine guns, guided missiles and bombs. There are things that have been designed for killing and only for killing; they have not been adapted from some other use. By not mentioning them, the articles give the impression no such things originally existed in the animal kingdom, and they also imply this by stating animals were not designed to hurt, maim, or kill each other. Finally the articles give up trying to explain these points by saying that in some vague, unspecified manner, 20 as man turned toward lawlessness, the earthly creation, too, became chaotic. Man lost his loving dominion over the animals. Since humans could not control themselves peacefully, it is no surprise that the animals are in the same condition.... The animals.... began to live off one another. 

How did all these things happen? What connection is there between man’s turning to lawlessness and a lion’s turning to eating gazelle? Or to a snake’s eating rodents instead of fruit? Or to a spider’s eating insects? What could possibly cause a sperm whale, which has no obvious connection with the goings on of the land, to begin eating giant squid instead of giant kelp? What specifically caused the animals to begin to live off one another? What specifically is the connection between men not being able to control themselves peacefully and the same condition in animals? How could animals have “adapted themselves to eating flesh?” Let the Society answer these questions, and not try to hide behind broad generalities. 

There are countless cases where animals were designed to kill, or just as important, to defend themselves from being killed. Consider poisonous snakes. Their poisons are either highly effective nerve toxins or muscle relaxants. They have complete physical systems to deliver the poison, including specialized poison glands, fangs, body muscles and nervous systems. Vipers have heat sensitive organs to detect their warm-blooded prey. Snakes have the temperament — stealth and patience — to use their weapons effectively to capture prey. Of what use are nerve toxins or stealth or heat detection in capturing a banana? Threaten a poisonous snake, and with what will he threaten you back? His fangs. He instinctively knows how to use them. Snakes have been genetically programmed and designed to capture prey. They have not turned their eating equipment from vegetation to animals — the equipment was superbly configured to eat animals to begin with. There is no conceivable use to which nerve toxins, muscle relaxants, fangs, the instinctive ability of constrictor snakes to suffocate prey, or any of the above mechanisms, could be put in consuming vegetation. 

How about spiders? There are probably no more efficient predators in existence. Many are poisonous and many build webs. All eat other animals; none eat vegetation. An article in Technology Review, in discussing the application of natural toxins to medical treatment, mentioned how spider poison works: 

In the early 1980s, a team of researchers in Japan discovered the mechanism by which a joro spider paralyzes its prey. Experimenting with the nerve cells of squid, the scientists showed that spider venom acted very precisely to block the effects of glutamate, an amino acid that is an important neurotransmitter.

The discovery drew special interest since the same neurotransmitter is critical to the functioning of the human brain. Cells throughout the human nervous system use glutamate as one of several chemicals that allow electrical signals to pass from one cell to another. Recognized by receptors in the cells, glutamate can act like a key in a lock, causing the cell wall to open a channel to the flow of ions.21

How did these toxins come to be except by God’s creating them? Why do spiders, and snakes, possess such efficient nerve toxins? Do they need them to paralyze seeds or fruit? Do they build webs to catch seeds blowing in the wind? Throw a seed into a spider’s web and you’ll see. He’ll ignore it. But throw in an ant, and see how quickly he dispatches it. Web building spiders respond only to disturbances of their web that appear to be from a struggling creature. And spiders don’t eat just insects — some tropical varieties are big enough to regularly prey on small birds and bats. From what uses could spiders have turned webs and poison to catching other animals? Could spiders have genetically reprogrammed themselves to eat other animals? Why are all spiders predators? The exquisite design of spiders as predators could no more have come about by their changing themselves than it could have come about by evolution. 

The nudibranch, or sea-slug, is an amazing example of the design of predators. Certain kinds of nudibranchs eat sea anemones, which are covered with stinging cells. Normally whenever an animal touches the stinging cell’s trigger mechanism, the cell shoots out a barb and injects poison that paralyzes the animal. But when the nudibranch eats the anemone, for some reason the stinging cells are not triggered. Furthermore, the cells are not even digested along with the rest of the anemone, but are transported through the digestive system to the skin, where they are emplaced and perform a protective function for the nudibranch. There is no way this mechanism could have come about by evolution. No more so could it have come about by adapting some sort of apparatus originally used for eating vegetation. 

Then there is the desert scorpion of the American Southwest. It senses the location of its favorite prey, the desert roach, buried under the sand, by two sets of vibration sensors in its feet. What sort of vegetation scrabbles about under the sand, so that a scorpion would need such sensors? And like the spider and snake, is its behavior not instinctive? 

A Scientific American article on a predatory fish, the frogfish, made some interesting observations.22 

Commerson’s frogfish.... which is widespread in the Indian and Pacific oceans, is representative of the group in many ways.... In shallow water, where streaks of sunlight mottle the ocean floor, the fish bears a remarkable — almost uncanny — resemblance to an algae-encrusted rock. And there it sits, the classic example of a lie-in-wait predator, ready to strike at any fish or crustacean that passes by. Should a suitable animal swim too close, the large, cavernous mouth of the frogfish opens, engulfing its hapless victim in a matter of milliseconds.

Mastering the art of mimicry has thus imbued frogfishes with an important evolutionary advantage. By appearing to be inanimate, frogfishes are not only overlooked by those that prey on them, but they are also overlooked by their own prey. In addition, they are surprisingly effective at enticing prey within striking distance — in large part because they possess a small appendage called a lure that projects forward from just above the animal’s lip and can be wiggled when prey come into view.

In some species the [lure] mimics a small fish; in others it seems to mimic a crustacean or a worm.... The effectiveness of the lure is based on more than just appearance, however. A frogfish must wiggle and manipulate the lure in ways that simulate the natural swimming movements of the animal being mimicked. The fishlike lure of the warty frogfish, for example, ripples as it is pulled through the water and so mimics the lateral undulations of a swimming fish. [See the photograph on page 100 of this article.]

To our knowledge, a frogfish can extend its mouth and engulf its victim at a speed greater than that of any other vertebrate predator. In fact, such rapid prey capture is perhaps the most remarkable of all the frogfish’s attributes.... With the aid of such modern techniques as high-speed cinematography, we have spent a considerable amount of time analyzing the biomechanics of feeding.... By integrating frame-by-frame analyses of high-speed film.... with anatomical analyses of the bones, muscles and ligaments in the fish’s head, we have come to realize that prey capture in the frogfish involves a highly choreographed sequence of behaviors.

The frogfish is an efficient predator. It blends in with its background; it uses a lure that resembles other animals; it has feeding structures that let it suck in prey faster than any other fish; and it has other exclusively predatory features. There is no way all these complex and interrelated mechanisms can be due to some sort of subverting of apparatus originally designed for eating vegetation any more than they could have evolved. 

There are many other examples of animals that are designed for predation: frogs and toads have tongues designed to catch insects; the oceanic food chain is generally such that larger animals eat smaller ones, and only the smallest eat plants; whales have balleen designed as strainers to filter out plankton, which includes animals up to medium sized fish, and often includes larger fish. When you see an eagle gracefully swoop down and scoop a fish out of the water, who do you conclude taught it to do so? When you read that an owl’s wings have special feathers on the trailing edge to enable it to silently swoop down on its prey in the dark, who do you conclude created this ability? 

What about parasites? One marvelously designed parasite is the virus. It comes in a bewildering variety of forms, all parasitic, that show strong evidence of design. Viruses take over the genetic machinery of cells and reprogram it for their own use. How could such things have come about on their own? How can their design be reconciled with a loving creator? 

There do exist animals which, it can be plausibly argued, were originally vegetarians rather than meat eaters. The bear and gorilla are cases in point. But there is strong evidence against this argument in the fundamental genetic programming — instinct — that causes most predators to seek prey. The ratio of the number of different animals that are predators and have big teeth, claws, etc., to the number that are not predators but have big teeth, claws, etc., is large. This large ratio is evidence against a switch in eating habits. How many animals do you know of that have the equipment of a predator, but don’t act like one? How many animals do you know of that don’t have typical predator equipment, but eat other animals anyway? Bears, gorillas, monkeys and man are the exception, not the rule. Most people assume that, because of their teeth, gorillas are fierce predators. They are surprised to learn that gorillas are vegetarians, and are rather peaceful creatures. Why are they surprised? Because most animals fit the usual pattern and gorillas do not. Some bears are nearly exclusively vegetarians, while others such as the polar bear are exclusively predators. Many bears seem to learn their feeding behavior from their parents, so arguing that at least some animals learn their predatory behavior is correct. But the polar bear is superbly designed to live on the Arctic ice cap, where there are no plants at all. The polar bear has special physical structures allowing it to survive in extreme cold. Is it reasonable to believe that the creator designed the polar bear to live in a place where there was no food? Who taught the first polar bears how to find seals under the ice? 

Then too, look at the design of the digestive systems of certain predators, such as the cat family. Animals such as cats have a difficult time even chewing vegetation, even though they do occasionally eat it. Their intestines are short, compared to those of grazing animals, indicating they were designed to extract nutrition from meat rather than bulk vegetation. Cat digestive systems don’t even extract all the food value from meat, because their intestines are so short. Some predators, such as hyenas, will eat the feces of lions because there is a lot of food value left in it, while they will not eat the feces of other predators such as jackals or other hyenas because these animals extract most of the nutritive value from what they eat. Again, is it reasonable to argue that the creator changed the design of many creatures after the Flood? 

Most predators, like spiders, scorpions, snakes, and fish, instinctively prey on other animals. They do not learn their behavior from their parents. Some animals do learn part of their predatory behavior from their parents, but these are in the minority. The instinct is present from birth, as can be attested by anyone who has raised a dog as a house pet, and seen it instinctively shake a rag in a violent manner, just as it would if it were killing another animal. The instinct had to have been put there by a designer. 

I don’t think anyone would want to argue that God changed animal instincts after mankind’s fall, since God would still be the designer of the new instincts. Even less would anyone argue that God changed the physical structure of predators so as to enable them to capture and eat prey. Spiders preserved in amber millions of years ago show they have the same basic structure today. The remains of lions, wolves, and many other predators preserved for tens of thousands of years in the La Brea tar pits in Los Angeles show that those ancient animals were virtually the same as ones living today. 

Fossil Evidence 

There is also fossil evidence that animals ate one another in the long-distant past. A photograph of a “middle Eocene perch (Mioplosus) swallowing the herring Knightia, from Wyoming’s Green River Formation” 23 shows that ancient fish ate one another, just as they do today. Two more similar photographs appear on pages 190-191 of National Geographic magazine, August, 1985. One shows the fossil of an adult fish in the act of swallowing a juvenile of the same species. The other photograph shows the 25-million-year-old remains of two saber-toothed cats locked in combat. One had bitten deep into the leg bone of the other, a thrust that trapped both in a common fate. The cause of the death of the two cats is as clear as the causes of the extinction of their species are obscure. 

There is evidence that predators have existed since the earliest animals came into existence. Much fossil evidence recording the explosion of life at the beginning of the Cambrian era has been found. There are many fossils of types of animals that do not exist in later periods of the fossil record. Concerning this life, a Scientific American article said 24 

The Cambrian diversification, while rapidly establishing new phyla and classes, also initiated the first complex communities of animals linked by food chains. The existence of new types of communities in turn created niches for new types of animals. A key element in the establishment of animal communities is predation, which establishes a hierarchic chain of food-transfer connections among animals. Previous assumptions that predators were not important in Cambrian communities have been overturned by new indications that the impact of predation was great. There are essentially three kinds of evidence: actual fossils of predators, specimens of damaged (and sometimes partially healed) prey and antipredatory adaptations in some animals.... [One] predator is Anomalocaris, which.... is gigantic by Cambrian standards and resembles no living animal.... and Whittington suggest that Anomalocaris is largely responsible for one of the other major signs of predation in the Cambrian: wounded trilobites.

There are numerous fossilized trilobite specimens that have had bites taken out of the carapace. In most cases the wounds are partially healed, indicating that the carapace was still attached to the trilobite when it was damaged, rather than having been damaged by a scavenger after being shed by the trilobite. There are other examples of predatory damage, such as small shelly fossils with boreholes in them. The holes resemble those made by certain modern predators that drill through shells to eat the soft meat inside.

The caption for two photographs in this article made a similar point: 

Wounded animals provide striking evidence of predation during the transition period. The image at the top shows a damaged and healed shell of Hyolithellus.... The photograph at the bottom shows a wounded and healed carapace (exoskeleton) of the trilobite Olenellus robsonensis.... That the wounds have healed is important, because it demonstrates that the damage was done during the life of the animal and was not inflicted later on a corpse or an empty shell.

Virtually any book on fossils shows photographs of or refers to similar events. Direct evidence for predation comes from a description in National Geographic of fossil evidence.25 In 1964, John H. Ostrom of Yale University’s Peabody Museum of Natural History discovered an unusual fossil in Montana badlands, 

.... a small, totally new kind of dinosaur more than a hundred million years old. And the creature’s fossilized remains offered astounding clues to its life and habits. One such clue prompted the scientific name I later gave this peculiar beast: Deinonychus, which means “terrible claw.”.... Deinonychus’s sharp, serrated teeth revealed that it had been a carnivore, and its skeletal structure indicated it belonged to the suborder of dinosaurs known as the Theropoda (meaning “beast foot”). Included among the theropods is perhaps the best known of all dinosaurs — the giant, fearsome Tyrannosaurus (“tyrant lizard”), which also stalked its prey across Montana, but some fifty million years after Deinonychus.... Compared to Tyrannosaurus, Deinonychus was a lightweight: 150 to 175 pounds, eight or nine feet from snout to tail tip, and standing only four to five feet high. Like all other theropods, Deinonychus stood, walked, and ran on its hind legs like a large bird.... [The find] was evidence of a dinosaur very unlike the stereotyped picture of the slow-moving coldblooded reptiles. If anything, it was more like an oversize roadrunner.

But the striking feature of Deinonychus — and the reason for its name — was on its feet. All previously known theropods had birdlike feet, but Deinonychus also had a huge, sicklelike bone more than three inches long on one toe of each foot. In life, sharp, curved, nail-like sheaths covered these claw bones and must have been four or five inches long. Obviously they served as weapons — most probably to kill prey.... The arms and hands of Deinonychus were another surprise. The long hands bore sharp claws designed for grasping. The wrist joints enabled the hands to turn toward each other, permitting precise grasping of prey by both hands working together — something only man and certain other mammals can do. Deinonychus almost certainly was a swift-footed predator that ran down its prey, seized it in its powerful hands, and then slashed at the belly and flanks of its victim with those razor-sharp talons.

.... I was especially gratified to find my hypothesized killing techniques — those slashing kicks of the foot talons at the belly of its victims — team of paleontologists led by Dr. Zofia Kielan-Jaworowska of the Institute of Paleobiology in Warsaw, Poland, made an incredible discovery in Mongolia’s Gobi Desert in 1971. Her expedition, jointly sponsored by the Polish and Mongolian Academies of Sciences, uncovered the skeletons of two dinosaurs tangled together. One was the fairly well-known Protoceratops, a calf-size plant eater with a turtlelike beak. The other was a rare, two-legged, near-man-size carnivore — Velociraptor (“swift robber”).

These two animals had apparently killed each other, and their skeletons had been buried and preserved exactly as they died. Velociraptor, like Deinonychus, had a large sicklelike talon on each hind foot, and it died with one of those foot claws embedded in the belly of Protoceratops — an amazing life-and-death drama from 80 million years ago!

Another article said with regard to the conclusion the above mentioned theropod dinosaurs were predaceous: 26 

That conclusion has been dramatically verified by the discovery in 1971 (Kielan-Jaworowska and Barsbold, 1972) of a specimen of Velociraptor mongoliensis that died in the act of killing a small Protoceratops andrewsi. The specimens are preserved with the hands of Velociraptor clutching the skull of Protoceratops.

In India were found “complete skeletons of two ancient crocodilelike reptiles, and curled within their stomach cavities, the remains of their lunch — two smaller fossil reptiles.” 27 A skeleton of the small dinosaur Coelophysis was found containing a devoured baby of its own species, and in 1987 the 15 foot skeleton of a theropod dinosaur was found interlocked with a larger herbivore. Apparently they died in combat, possibly sinking into the sandy bottom of a shallow lake.28 

This evidence dramatically shows animals did not live in peace with one another prior to mankind’s fall. Awake!’s contention that animals ate only vegetation and lived in peace with one another before mankind’s fall is at odds with the evidence. 

Adaption and Evolution 
Take into account what I’ve said so far, and then reconsider Awake!’s vagueness in telling how the animals might have adapted themselves to eating meat, what prompted them to do so, or any other details of their supposed adaptation. They just sort of magically “adapted,” and they did it “themselves.” This sounds just like the explanations evolutionists use when trying to explain how complicated structures like eyes or wings evolved. The structures always sort of “appear,” and there is little attempt to show just how they appeared. 

Refer back to Awake!’s reply to the reader I mentioned earlier, where it says “As for the many predators being suited for the chase and kill, what about humans?” True, man’s efficiency in killing man and animals does not argue for his being designed that way from the beginning, but this has nothing to do with any animal. Man is designed in a general way. Most animals are designed to be efficient in only one area. And the above information shows that predators were specifically designed to be good at catching and killing other animals. To disprove this, the Awake article would have to consider information like the above, detail by detail, and show how each mechanism had been subverted from some other function. The statement in the October 8, 1982 Awake! that animals have “adapted themselves to eating flesh” is presented without any evidence. It is remarkably similar to an early attempt to explain evolution (proposed by Lamarck), which said that, for example, giraffes adapted themselves to eating high vegetation by growing long necks (“acquired characteristics”). 

I do not believe it is possible for the Society to show specifically how any structures were adapted to eating flesh. Predatory animal’s mechanisms for catching and killing prey are too well designed for that purpose. By analogy, an intelligent man can deduce that a jet fighter is designed to kill people, not transport them. If Genesis 1:29, 30 truly means all animals were designed to be vegetarians, then that scripture must be false. Predators can not credibly be said to have been designed as vegetarians. 

The October 8, 1982 Awake! articles raised the significant moral issue wrapped up in the “design-equals-a-Designer” argument. Keep in mind the above discussion when reading the following summation from these articles: 

As to the argument that design proves a Designer, it was then reasoned: ‘If you say that those talons, hooks and teeth, the reign of terror, hunger and sickness were designed by God, then you must accept that this God of yours is responsible for suffering and violence. Yet you say he is love. Which is it?....’

Design is design, no matter what purpose it currently serves. The more complex the design and the more that all its many parts must work simultaneously, the more compelling the proof of an intelligent designer. Nothing in the whole of human experience contradicts this conclusion.

Now, remember what was said about the frogfish: 

we have come to realize that prey capture in the frogfish involves a highly choreographed sequence of behaviors.

The Awake! agrees the frogfish’s equipment was designed: 

There is no reason to shy away from applying this principle to the animals that at present prey upon one another. Their teeth and claws were obviously designed....

The problem Bertrand Russell raised about the Klan, or the Fascists, has nothing to do with the argument as to whether a Designer exists; rather, the problem has to do with the use of what was designed. With humans, free will comes into play, and this free will is itself a marvelous product of design. But why have humans so often used free will to do bad? And the animals, were they designed to kill and maim? Too, why has the Designer permitted all of this?

Humans may have free will but animals do not. Their behavior is governed almost entirely by instinct. 

Really, the problem is not a question of whether a Designer exists; rather, it is a moral question. Man’s implanted sense of right and wrong is strong enough so that at times he is not satisfied by any explanation that does not address the questions of violence and killing and God’s permission of wickedness....

Despite the abundant evidence showing that the design in nature requires an intelligent Designer, many persons do not believe that God exists. They feel that a loving Creator would not have designed the violence, killing and wickedness so prevalent on earth.

However, what if God did NOT design the violence and killing? What if he is NOT responsible for the gross wickedness among humans? Instead, what if he detests these things....

Did the human and animal creations always behave the way they do now? Have they always hurt and maimed and killed? Were they designed to do that?

The answer to these questions is: NO, not at all!....

Well, then, just how was it long ago? Why are things the way they are now?.... 

When God created humans and animals to live on this earth, he did not purpose for them to be killers. They were created to have peaceful relations with one another. Thus conditions were altogether different from what they are today....


Animals at Peace 

The assertion that animals lived in peace with one another is flatly contradicted by the fossil evidence. 

What was the food of the animals? The inspired record states: “To every wild beast of the earth and to every flying creature of the heavens and to everything moving upon the earth in which there is life as a soul I have given all green vegetation as food.”

Since the scripture makes no specific exceptions, it must include insects and fish. 

Mankind’s problems began when our first parents misused their free moral agency. They were seduced by a rebellious spirit creature to believe that they could determine right and wrong without God’s help. They chose independence from God. But that was not the Designer’s fault....

What does all this have to do with why predators exist? 

Since humans wanted independence, God gave it to them. However, no longer would he sustain them in perfection. So imperfection and death came into being....

Now note how incisively Awake! gets to the heart of the matter. 

Thus, independence from God and his laws is what turned man into the way of imperfection, violence and death. Also, as man turned toward lawlessness, the earthly creation, too, became chaotic. Man lost his loving dominion over the animals. Since humans could not control themselves peacefully, it is no surprise that the animals are in the same condition.

Why is it no surprise? What is the connection? Also note, Adam did not expect or choose independence from God when he sinned. He expected to die since that was what God told him would happen. 

Yet, what about the features of animals and humans that are used for maiming and killing? Since God created a vast variety of different features, many of them could be adapted to the new situation to help in survival.

Which ones? Some examples might be helpful. 

For instance, most animals would continue to eat vegetation, as is the case down to this day.

For instance of what? Of adapting to a new situation? Why would some animals continue to eat vegetation and some change their eating habits? 

An example is the powerful gorilla, with its awesome fangs — fangs still used to rip and consume heavy vegetation. But others adapted themselves to eating flesh....

Why? How? Do animals have free will or control over their genetic makeup or heredity? How did bears and lions develop the instinctive habit of killing young of their own kind? 

The Awake! articles on design do not answer the moral question they raise, namely, how a loving Designer could design instruments of cruelty and death. Instead they speak in sweeping generalities and assiduously avoid specifics. 

The September 15, 1990 Watchtower said on page 15: 

We may well laud Jehovah when we see a falcon soaring in the heavens or a gazelle bounding over a verdant hill.

How then, may we view Jehovah when we see a cheetah bounding after the gazelle and ripping open the abdomen of the still living and gasping animal? The evidence seems to leave but one conclusion based on the design-equals-a-Designer theme: life may have a Designer, but not the one described in the Bible. 

18  Awake!, p. 8, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc., Brooklyn, NY, October 8, 1982. [back
19  Ibid, p. 28, January 8, 1983. [back
20  Ibid, p. 11, October 8, 1982. [back
21  Technology Review, p. 15, Cambridge, Massachusetts, January, 1992. [back
22  Theodore W. Pietsch and David B. Grobecker, Scientific American, New York, June, 1990. [back
23  George Gaylord Simpson, Fossils and the History of Life, p. 17, Scientific American Books, 1983. [back
24  Briggs 24 Mark A. S. McMenamin, “The Emergence of Animals,” Scientific American, pp. 100-101, New York, April, 1987. [back
25  John H. Ostrom, “A New Look At Dinosaurs,” National Geographic Magazine, pp. 152-185, Washington, D.C., August, 1978. [back
26  John H. Ostrom, “Archaeopteryx and the Origin of Flight,” The Quarterly Review of Biology, vol. 49, No. 1, p. 39, March 1974. [back
27  Don Lessem, Kings of Creation, p. 90, Simon & Schuster, New York, 1992. [back
28  Rick Gore, “Dinosaurs,” National Geographic Magazine, vol. 183, No.1, p. 14,24, Washington, D.C., January, 1993. [back]

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