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About the Book

Table of Contents

Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV

Part V

Part VI

Part VII



Part III:  The Problem of Evil

Chapter 1

The Evils Resulting from the Curse:
B:  On Animals and Mankind

     Indeed the dominion which man was to have over the beasts and cattle and creeping things and the fowls of the air -- over the whole animal kingdom, in fact (Genesis 1:28) -- was not properly exercised and nature having no proper governor became wild, and the struggle for food has resulted in much of the apparent cruelty among animals. But it was not the original arrangement, nor will it be the final one.
    This incidentally throws some light on the reason why certain animals were "brought" to Noah to preserve seed, while other animals were left to be destroyed along with man at the time of the Flood. The sudden unnatural reduction in animal population in one area would bring an imbalance over a much wider area. This, when at the same moment the human population was reduced to a mere handful of people, might have put the entire natural system in grave danger. It must surely be supposed therefore that God brought to Noah just such creatures to be preserved which, in multiplying would restore the balance and control it until the initial family had multiplied sufficiently to be out of danger. The same principle forms the basis of God's delayed action on behalf of Israel as revealed in Exodus 23:29 where the enemy forces occupying the land were not immediately reduced lest predatory animals should multiply and endanger the scattered settlements of the Israelites. Man is required in sufficient numbers to keep in check those aspects of nature which can be dangerous to him. Dr. Laura Thompson says wisely, "Man is not only a major factor in the web of life; he is the only agent whereby a conservation program for a local area may be actively implemented."
It is a matter of common observation that animal nature may be modified by diet. Cats fed on meat are often more savage than cats fed on milk. On the other hand, domestic animals are tame because suitably fed and properly governed, so that we may see in the barnyard flesh-eating and herb-eating creatures living harmoniously together. Adam was to dress and to keep the Garden and all in it. That is to say, he was to attend to a regulation of the soil and all that this involves, but he was also to govern the animal world and guard its sensitive balance.

15. Thompson, L., "The Basic Conservation Problem" in Scientific Monthly, February, 1949, p.130.

     pg 14 of  30    

     In 1956, Georges H. Westbeau published his record of the life of Little Tyke, (16) a lioness who was saved from death as a tiny cub and taken into the Westbeau household to be treated as a pet. The story is a fascinating one. What is particularly surprising is the demonstration of the fact that the young cub showed no desire whatever for meat when she reached an age at which in the wild she would have accepted it as her normal diet. For days the Westbeaus tried to train her to accept meat, since they had every intention of fitting her for a return to nature in due time. Little Tyke resolutely refused.
     Subsequent conversations with authorities revealed the fact that, in the wild, young lion cubs have to be taught to eat meat by virtually starving them. It is evidently not something they adopt by instinct. The
Westbeaus had tried all kinds of ruses and even offered $1,000 to anyone who could show them how to
succeed. By the time Little Tyke was four years old she had become a permanent vegetarian and -- more important to the Westbeaus -- the gentlest creature they had ever known. Little Tyke befriended kittens, chickens, lambs, dogs, donkeys, indeed every kind and species of waif or stray animal, healthy or sick, that she came across. On one occasion, when the Westbeaus managed to introduce a mouthful of solid food by guile, Little Tyke at once regurgitated it. They never attempted it again.
     The experts assured them that carnivorous animals, such as lions, cannot live without meat. Little Tyke could not live with it. Her extraordinary gentleness, even to the extent of keeping her claws retracted, and her tidiness and cleanliness made her a perfect companion and playmate for all kinds of animals and all kinds of people, including infants barely able to climb on her back. The front cover of Westbeau's book shows a lamb lying between her paws, the former obviously almost asleep. Isaiah 11:6 foresees just such a world when the Lord returns to establish His rule over a creation that man has failed to govern as he was commissioned to do:

     The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.

     The animals were to live on herbs (Genesis 1:30), not on flesh. So they will again in the Millennium, for as Isaiah 65:25 points out, "The lion [the king of beasts] shall eat straw like the bull [the king of cattle]." There
is a remarkable and perhaps unsuspected evidence today that man also changed his diet.  Claude A. Villee remarked:

16. Westbeau, Georges H., Little Tyke, Pacific Press, Mountain View, California, 1956.
17. Villee, Claude A., Biology, Saunders, Philadelphia, 2nd edition, 1954, p.580.

     pg.15  of  30    

     The human appendix is the remnant of the blind pouch, the cecum, which is a large functional structure in the digestive tract of herbivorous animals such as the rabbit. Foods rich in cellulose require a long time for digestion, and the cecum provides a place where the food may be stored while the gradual process of digestion, mostly by intestinal bacteria, takes place. A long time ago . . . our ancestors changed to a diet containing more meat and less cellulose, and the cecum has gradually diminished to the present useless vestige, the appendix.

     John E. Pfeiffer reinforces this conclusion by saying: (18)

      Man bears the marks of vegetarian origins in teeth not specialized for ripping and tearing like those of true carnivores, and in the sort of long gut generally associated with a diet of plant food. Furthermore, man still seems to digest vegetable fats better than animal fats. Medical research indicates that an important factor in hardening of the arteries may be the formation of deposits of poorly digested fatty products on inner blood vessel walls.

    Reverting once more to Isaiah 65:25, we see that the passage continues by saying "at that time, they shall not harm nor destroy in all My holy mountain, saith the Lord." So the true government then to be established will obviate all the present "evils" of the world which spring from disharmony in the natural order.
      It is a challenge to us, even as it stands, to do our part in governing the animal world by wise use of the means which have been developed for the maintenance of the requisite food supplies. In some way the whole animal creation suffered, as the words "above the rest" (Genesis 3:14) imply. Human government is not always bad.
     Where we have, as it were, "vital statistics" for animals which are known both in a wild and in a tame state, it is revealed that they may live longer when tame. Thus, as Raymond Pearl points out, "All the available evidence agrees that elephants under domestication, about which India furnishes long and extensive experience, live on the average longer than in the wild state."
(19) And this in spite of the fact that they are made to work hard! 
     Yet, in itself domestication may not be an unmixed blessing for animals. It is sometimes pointed out that predatory creatures are given instincts of "limitation" which operate so long as other animals respond according to their true nature. When the preyed-upon do not act according to nature, the predatory instincts of the attacker are upset entirely. Thus wolves in the presence of the "stupidity" of sheep, and foxes in the presence of the "stupidity" of fowl, will kill indiscriminately. William J. Long, a naturalist, made this observation: "I must

18. Pfefffer, John E., The Emergence of Man, Harper and Row, New York, 1969, p.108.
19. Pearl, Raymond, Man the Animal, Principia Press, Bloomington, Indiana, 1946, p.47.

     pg.16 of  30    

give the wolves this credit, too, that though they crossed the well-worn paths of a deer yard, they made no attempt to harry the game. They rarely do so unless they are hungry, or unless (near settlements) they run into a herd of foolish domestic animals that do not know enough to scatter or be quiet when wolves appear." (20) If man had completed his duty of domestication, this would not have come about, because wolves and foxes would also have been tamed.
     There appears on the other hand to be sufficient evidence to show that the cruelty of nature is apparent rather than real in many cases. The majority of animals do not actually hurt their victims in spite of appearances to the contrary. J. Crowther Hirst tells us that he wrote to big game hunters and missionary doctors, securing the record of some sixty men who had been pounced upon by bears, lions, tigers, leopards, and panthers. Fifty-eight of them felt no pain or terror. (21) If this be true of man with his intense sensitivity, it should be more true of animals.
     There are numberless examples of creatures which do not lose their appetite even after the most extraordinary mutilations. Alexander Skutch relates how he watched a mica serpent, mortally wounded by bullets, continue to gorge upon the contents of some nests in a colony of Lawrence's caciques. He concludes that a hungry snake is insensitive to pain and almost insensible to danger. (22) On the other hand, human beings lose their appetite almost immediately under very slight provocation -- though this is not quite universally true. Some primitive people do not seem to feel pain as we do and occasionally, for them, loss of appetite occurs only as a sign of approaching death. (23)
      But the assumption may be reasonably made that loss of appetite is some measure of sensitivity to pain -- and that therefore many animals do not have this sensitivity, since they do not lose their appetite. Some domestic animals appear to be more sensitive. But on the whole, the apparent "wildness" and ruthlessness of animals in the wild is partially due to the fact that we project ourselves into it and attribute to animals "human" reactions, interpreting their reactive behaviour accordingly.
     Animals do not anticipate pain as we do, though they may anticipate danger. We often confuse these two animal responses. There is a case of a codfish which was apparently hooked in the eye, but succeeded in tearing itself loose, leaving its eye on the hook. Subsequently it was attracted to the hook once again by its own eye, which it took for food! When it was taken out of the water, its own eye was still on the hook in its own mouth.

20. Long, William J., Wood-Folk Comedies, Harper, New York, 1920, p.247.
21. Hirst, J. Crowther, Is Nature Cruel? reviewed under the heading "In the Jaws of the Lion" in The Spectator, 82, London, 3 June, 1899, p.782-83.
22. Skutch, Alexander, "The Parental Devotion of Birds" in Scientific Monthly, April,1946, p.364.
23. See C. S. Coon, speaking of the Lower California Indians, now extinct, in General Reader in Anthropology, Holt, New York, 1948, p.76.

     pg.17 of  30     

     A moth cut in half continued to eat ravenously to assuage an endless appetite, unaware that the food passed right out of its open stomach onto a table, where it was removed by the experimenter. Finally it died of starvation! Yet, if such creatures are caught, the restriction of their movement starts up a keen reflex that makes them struggle to be free -- and this struggle gives us the impression that they are in intense pain. It is not at all certain that the animal world suffers pain in the ordinarily appointed experiences of their existence, except insofar as it serves to teach them where danger lies. It may only be evidence of a powerful instinct to resist all unnatural restriction of free movement.
     As Munro Fox has put it:

     One might think that pain could be deduced from an animal's actions. If it struggles when wounded, or if it attempts to get rid of the object which wounds it, then one might conclude that the animal is in pain. But is this so?
If an earth-worm is cut in two, the back part wriggles most. Does it therefore suffer most? The worm's "brain" is scattered: there is a portion in each of the numerous segments of the body. But the more complex part of the nervous system is at the front end of the worm. Here, if anywhere, one would expect pain to be felt, yet the hind end wriggles most. Rather than a sign of pain, this struggling seems to be due to a release from a normal inhibition to excessive movement. In the intact worm the front "brain" imposes a restraint or inhibition on excessive movements of the body. Released from inhibition by the cut, the worm's hind end wriggles freely.
     A frog can be anaesthetized and its brain then destroyed. It soon recovers from the anesthetic and lives on without the brain. If, now, a tiny piece of blotting paper dipped in acid is put on the frog's back, the animal raises its hind foot and wipes off the paper. Everything looks as if the frog had been stung or hurt by the acid, as if it had felt a painful sensation and had sought to free itself from pain. But surely we cannot suppose that without a brain the frog could feel pain. Rather we have here an automatic reflex action to the acid stimulus, a reflex through the spinal cord, which can involve no pain. Thus appearances of pain are deceptive.

     In light of such observations, Ronald Good points out the need for a change of attitude toward nature on the part of the naturalists. He says: (25)

     The deepest reason for dissatisfaction is our failure to abandon outmoded biological conceptions, and this has two main aspects. More important because of its profound significance to the world in general, is what may be called the "Nature red in tooth and claw" fallacy. One would imagine that the influence which such a belief has had on human affairs in the past half-century would at least raise doubts about its validity; but even more odd is the apparent continuing failure to admit that the very existence of a science of "natural communities" belies it, for if Nature was indeed as the poet described it, its condition would be chaotic and in a perpetual state of disequilibrium. If there were nothing else to thank Dr. Dice for, there is the support his book gives to the view that Nature is essentially a state of beautiful and delicate balance to which each and every member makes its due, but only due, contribution.

24. Fox, Munro, The Personality of Animals, Pelican, Gretna, Louisiana, 1952, pp.17-18.
25. Good, Ronald, reviewing Natural Communities by Lee R. Dice (University of Michigan, 1952), in Nature, 11 July, 1953, p.46.

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     If this is true, then we are presented with an interesting fact. The apparent suffering of these creatures in their normal living conditions attracts our sympathetic attention, in spite of ourselves, to the fact that nature is a system which can be thrown out of adjustment and needs our oversight. Yet this lesson is not taught us at the expense of the innocent creatures who appear to need our care. Thus has God wisely appointed an effective method whereby a constant challenge should be presented to us without making the animals pay the cost of our education. We are challenged to keep harmony, or to restore where necessary what has been lost. We ideally support our societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals, and the skeptics say it is a waste of money because the animals do not really suffer anyway. They may be quite right. But so is our idealism.
      Animal lovers will still maintain -- probably with justification -- that animals do feel pain, especially domesticated ones. But this does not affect the argument too seriously. Manifestly, pain is essential for the protection of the organism. There are children born now and then who feel no pain whatever. This is usually only discovered when the child takes delight in cutting itself just to see the blood bubbling out! This may sound absurd, but it is a fact. Such children feel no pain whatever and will without hesitation plunge their hands into water that will scald them, or drink things far too hot for their throat and stomach to stand. They have to be protected continually against themselves and their own curiosity.
     This is well illustrated from a news item appearing in The Fundamentals:

     A little girl, Beverly Smith, born in Akron, Ohio, about six years ago, almost never cried. She never cried when she fell down, she never cried when she bumped her head. She didn't even cry when she burned her hand on a hot stove. She cried only when angry or hungry.
     The doctors who examined her soon discovered that she had a rare condition, probably due to a defect in the central nervous system, and for which no cure is known. She cannot feel pain. The mother took the baby home with a great deal of accompanying advice. . . .   She must watch Beverly constantly; the baby might break a bone and continue using it until it could not be set properly; she might develop appendicitis without nature's warning of pain. Spanking her to make her more careful about hot stoves and knives would do no good. A life without pain will be a perpetually dangerous life for Beverly.

26. July-August, 1954, p.96. Wycliffe Press, London. 

     pg.19 of  30   

    A similar instance was reported in the Montreal Gazette: (27)

     Richard Mains, age 8, goes to the hospital regularly to have his hair pulled. Each time doctors watch for some indication that the boy feels the pulling. But so far it has failed to give him any sense of pain.
     Richard is the only little boy in the country who never cries, because he has no sense of feeling or touch. Officially, Richard's condition is diagnosed as a gangli-neuropathy, a rare disorder that has baffled medical scientists for years. A leading nerve specialist described Richard's case as "among the most baffling in the world.". . .  The boy takes knocks, cuts and bruises without knowing they have happened.
     His condition can be dangerous, like the time when he rubbed his eye so hard he scratched the retina. It took a leading surgeon to save the eye.
     Recently, the door of a hot oven was opened against Richard's knee. His leg was badly burned. He knew nothing about it until someone noticed his reddening leg. Now he wears special protective clothing. Each night and morning he is carefully examined to see if he has been injured.

      For any creature which has a highly organized nervous system -- that is to say, which is a highly developed animal -- a sense of pain is absolutely essential. It is a protective device. Presumably some domesticated animals have become more sensitive to pain because they are not so hardy as the wild variety of the species.

     Now sweat also, in the case of man, appears to be as much a consequence as a punishment, though it is often assumed that, being part of the curse, it is a penalty. In a sense it is a penalty, but it is a merciful one. Although from an engineering point of view the figure seems quite high, by actual measurement under a wide range of work load and environmental temperature conditions, we established in our own laboratories (using fit young men as subjects) that the efficiency of the body as a thermodynamic machine is anywhere from 15 percent to 35 percent. Some young men were much less efficient, some were highly so: in part it depends upon the type of work being done. On a bicycle we found the highest levels of efficiency for all forms of exercise.
     Now, the potential energy of the oxidation of the food eaten in excess of these figures, the mean of which is 25 percent, must be eliminated in the form of heat if the temperature of the body is to be held at a safe level. Whenever the temperature of the environment will not allow this excess heat energy to be dissipated quickly by radiation, sweating breaks out to provide a means of evaporative cooling, and it is highly effective in man.
(28) If for some reason sweating is suppressed -- as by the administration of drugs, for example --

27. 4 May, 1955.
28. Custance, Arthur C., "Stress-Strain Relations of Man in the Heat" in Medical Services Journal of Canada, vol. XXIII, no.5, 1967, p.721-26. See also "The Meaning of Sweat as Part of the Curse," Part V in The Flood: Local or Global?, vol. 9 of The Doorway papers Series, Zondervan Publishing Company.

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deep body temperature begins to rise at once in quite precise proportion to drug dosage. (29) Sweating is now therefore essential for man's survival under the normal working conditions of his existence as a creature whose disobedience in Eden ruined his body as it ruined his spirit.
     It is a curious thing that as machines have taken more and more labour off our hands, holidays have steadily decreased. Centuries ago, a few days labour per week was all that a man ever did. And this involved in many instances only a few hours each day. . . except on special occasions and during certain seasons. Most non-Western peoples, especially primitive people, have much more free time; even in Europe, holidays and feast days were so numerous that the idea of holidays would have seemed absurd.
     Unfortunately, someone has to make and run the machines which are to reduce our hours of labor. Certainly we can do more in less time. But these machines of ours merely enlarge our appetite for gadgets and comforts for which we must work longer and harder! Alfred Pearce Dennis remarked:

     It is doubtful whether all the labour saving machinery ever invented has lightened the toil of a single human being. Modern inventions increase the capacity for production and enable more people to live, but just as many people as before live laboriously and painfully. The women who work in the clothing sweat shops of New York or London, with their improved sewing machines, have a production capacity tenfold that of the old needle workers, yet I doubt if they labour one whit less than the nameless needle woman in Thomas Hood's "Song of the Shirt"!

Strangely enough, despite our dreams, hard work is not only better for us at times, but is even more desirable! There are areas of the world where hard work simply is not necessary: nature is so bountiful. But the result is curiously far from what we might suppose.
     The Daily Commercial News of Toronto carried the following editorial:

29. Custance, Arthur C., "A Method of Measuring the Effect of Drugs on Sweating as a Function of Time" in Canadian Medical Association Journal, vol.95, 1966, p.871-74.
30. Dennis, Alfred Pearce, "The Land of Egypt," National Geographic Magazine, March, 1926, p.291.
31. July, 1950. 

     pg.21  of  30    

     People are funny. Mention of a tropical South Sea island brings visions of an idyllic life of happiness and ease, with complete freedom from everyday cares and worries. But it doesn't work out that way.
Take the case in New Zealand for instance. The Socialist government administers numerous islands and island groups in tropical waters, and it has been found that the more pleasant the surroundings appear to be, the unhappier are the residents. There are lots of volunteers for service in these Edens, but it has been noted that even with cooks and a surplus of native servants to wait upon them, the men quarrel, develop nervous troubles and are only too glad to leave when the opportunity arises. Most of them never volunteer again.

     This is not an exceptional situation by any means. The Prairie Overcomer had this little item on Sweden: (32)

     With her "well-stocked cellar" Sweden is described as the "Welfarest State" according to Time (Dec. 31, 1952). "Sweden has not been in a war since 1814, has spent most of her effort since then on staying out." She has managed to escape war and feather her nest to such an extent that she enjoys a heavenly Utopia in the midst of chaotic Europe. After a few days in Stockholm Time's editor found himself asking people "Isn't there anything wrong with Sweden? There must be." Then the government official replied: "In a country that has established an orderly society, there comes a time when one begins to ask oneself 'What next?'"
     Here is a summary of that editor's findings in the country which has had no war tragedies for about 140 years: "In Stockholm gangs of prostitutes, homosexuals and assorted hoodlums make a practice of mixing it every Saturday night, to the delight of onlookers. The divorce rate has almost doubled in ten years. Sweden has one of the world's highest illegitimacy rates and one of the highest alcohol rates. High juvenile delinquency is blamed on easy jobs and easy money. The State Church admits defeat: 'We do not seem to be able to interest the young, but nobody else seems to be able to interest them either.' A deep undercurrent of emotional unrest exists in Sweden in spite of their paradise of plenty. 'Nothing will get the Swedes out of their well-stocked cellar except a war on Sweden.'"

    A. L. Kroeber pointed out how the Yurok and Karok of California lived (33)

     In a climate of no rigors, on a river that gave them abundance of salmon, in a land full of acorns that were their staple food, and for centuries no foreign foes nor even pestilences invaded them. Yet all the members of the society, whatever their congenital individual dispositions, had fear and pessimism pounded into them from childhood on. They were taught by all their elders that the world simply reeked with evils and dangers, against which one sought to protect oneself by an endless series of preventive taboos and magical practices. 

32. March 1952. Organ of Prairie Bible Institute, Three Hills, Alberta, Canada.
33. Kroeber, A. L., Anthropology, Harcourt Brace, New York, 1948, p.309.

     pg.22  of  30    

    Here then is an environment that seems almost paradisaical and yet, as Kroeber observed, "the culture had gone hypochondriac."
     Another such district is Kashmir in India. Here too, as Said K. Hak reported in The Rotarian (April 1951), the inhabitants are unbelievably wretched, poverty-stricken, and filthy.  Roland Dixon rightly concluded: (34)

The great cultures of the world's history, in the majority of cases, attained their commanding station largely because a gifted people had the chance to become numerous in a location favorably placed to receive the benefits of diffusion. But something more was needed, as a rule--a habitat where nature was not too kind. For where environment supplies the ordinary human wants with little labour, the urge of need does not seem enough to lead to great achievement. A "Happy Valley" has rarely bred an outstanding culture: in the Gardens of the Hesperides, man drowsed away the centuries. Most of the great cultures of the past had their rise in regions where, on the borders of a harsh environment, keen and persistent effort insured a rich reward.

    So it seems that "sweat" both physiologically and psychologically may in reality be a great blessing. This is remarkably borne out in a book by George P. Murdock in which a description will be found of a number of primitive cultures. Those who live, like the Samoans, in an environment which is bountiful indeed (35) in a chronic state of war. Rarely is there a time when neighboring villages somewhere in the islands are not in arms, and great wars involving two or more districts are not infrequent.

    By extreme contrast there are the Aranda--an Australian aboriginal people who live in desert conditions where the possessions of any individual can easily be carried in one hand, and where there are no houses and no fixed or settled abode of any kind since the people must be constantly on the move, either to keep warm or to obtain food to live by. They are completely peaceful. As Murdock said: (36)

Relations between groups, even of different tribes, are almost equally amicable. No such thing as a chronic state of hostility exists. Couriers with messages or invitations travel with impunity from group to group. Visiting between groups, even aside from special ceremonial occasions, is common. Men may go alone, in parties, or with their families. The presence of women and children gives evidence of friendly intentions.

34. Dixon, Roland, The Building of Cultures, Scribner, New York, 1928, p.278.
35. Murdock, George P., Our Primitive Contemporaries, Macmillan, New York, 1951, p.45.
36. Ibid., p.63.

     pg.23  of  30    

     And among the Semang of the Malay Peninsula, living in a dense, hot, humid tropical climate, surrounded everywhere by thick forest, driven back by the advancing waves of more highly civilized people on all sides (37)

     . . . war, or any other form of hostility, is absolutely unknown, not only between different bands and tribes of the Semang themselves, but also with the Sakai, and even with the Malays, by whom they were not infrequently harassed. They never react to ill-treatment with treachery, much less with open violence. They merely withdraw and avoid their oppressors.

    Here we find the strange fact that utopias are not good for us at all, and that the sweetest temperaments may be nurtured in the midst of hardship. What a contrast this is to the accepted philosophy of our own culture!
     No matter how we may strive to eliminate "sweat," God will work to prevent our purposes; for He knows better. This taxing of our strength, this challenge to the will and the mind, is a necessary good if we are to maintain any kind of energetic dominion over this world of ours. And even from a purely physiological point of view, sweat is a blessing in our fallen state. There are people born now and then who cannot sweat. They have to be protected continually against being burnt up due to the excess heat energy created by the food they eat to satisfy their hunger. All kinds of precautions are necessary for such folk who are constantly in danger of their lives.
     One might suppose that by eating less, the excess of available energy from the food eaten would be reduced sufficiently to make sweating no longer important. But this solution has the serious defect of leaving one everlastingly hungry! The fact is, therefore, that somehow appetite for, and the effective use of, the foods available have gotten out of register. If our bodies had not been involved in the disastrous consequences of
man's first disobedience, it is to be supposed that our appetite would be satisfied the moment we had eaten sufficient to provide just enough fuel for energy to carry on. As soon as exercise used up this energy, hunger would automatically induce its replacement -- and no more. We ought therefore to have about four times as much energy as we actually do have, if appetite for food is any guide. Perhaps Adam did have.
     Undoubtedly the far greater efficiency of animal bodies (apart from man) is due to the perfect arrangement whereby all the food eaten to satisfy the appetite is turned into energy . . . or at least a very high percentage of it. The feats of animals, from the point of view of muscular energy, is truly amazing. One only has to realize what it means for a bird to fly several thousand miles without food to appreciate its body efficiency.  Studies

37. Ibid.. p.95.

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made of other animals, particularly fish, show that they achieve prodigious energy out of the small quantities of food they consume. The potential of this food is made much more evident now that we can extract some of the energy from a few ounces of matter in the creation of an atom bomb.
     It has been shown that fish may have efficiencies as high as 80 percent.
(38) In fact, some of the "wasted"
heat that is not obviously turned into useful work may not actually be wasted at all, since heat is required simply to provide the energy for normal metabolic activities. The fish's efficiency may well be in excess of 80 percent! Comparatively speaking, the best man-made machines seldom achieve an efficiency as high as 50 percent. A good diesel engine may achieve 35 percent under normal working conditions, a steam engine with a condenser 19 percent and without a condenser a lowly 7 percent.
(39) So even in his fallen estate, the athlete who achieves 35 percent is not doing too badly perhaps -- though far from what the human body might have achieved but for the Fall. It is apparent from some recent experiments that animals have appetites adjusted quite precisely to their specific energy requirements. (40)
     So one wonders whether it is really good for us that we strive for shorter and shorter working periods, particularly if we have not found how to spend the free time thus provided. Sometimes we are reminded that we ought to do no work whatever on the Sabbath, but those who insist on the letter here often overlook the fact that the same commandment tells us we ought to work six days -- not five!
     Although most of us feel that the long weekend is a great boon, there is some evidence that it does not contribute to the amount of work accomplished during the other five days. DuPont de Nemours published a report showing how production started very low on Monday and rose over Tuesday till it reached capacity on Wednesday; Thursday maintained this high level, but by Friday there was a slight falling off again, as workers became both tired from a week's work and restless as plans were made for the weekend. The slump on Monday is attributed directly to the fact that two-days' holiday is too long, and workers, instead of resting, tire themselves out with activity, coming in on Monday not refreshed, but exhausted. 

38. New Scientist, 25 June, 1970, p.629.
39. Brody, Samuel, Bioenergetics and Growth, Hafner, New York, 1964, p.903.
40. Mayer and co-workers found, for example, that in man an increase in the amount of physical activity beyond a normal level results in no parallel increase in food intake. Man is therefore eating more than he needs for his energy expenditure, but not necessarily more than he needs to satisfy his appetite. The two are no longer in balance (American Journal of Physiology, vol.177, 1960, p.544).

     pg.25  of  30  

     And apparently even sweat itself once had a value of its own! Thus H. E. Jacob observed: (41)

      According to the Bible, the sweat of the brow is not only an unavoidable consequence of all human labour, but even a blessing. For ages, the sweat of the baker mixed with the dough in the bakeries of men, and apparently it did not harm the taste of the bread. Could it have been that sodium chloride and uric acid, as well as lactic, formic, entyric and caprylic acids, of which sweat is chemically composed, have even helped the baking process?

     Jacob points out that the best bread in Roman times, the tastiest loaves, were those in which sweat had intentionally been added to the dough!

     Now, this discourse is no facile justification for permitting the continuance of poverty where we have it in our power to alleviate the burden it brings. But it is some help perhaps toward establishing the principle that every evil will ultimately be justified in the light of the good which an overruling God of love will bring out of it. For most of us, as a matter of fact, wealth is as dangerous as can be. We feel that we could do "so much more" with wealth. But undoubtedly, if God gives us always what is best for us, He would give us wealth if that were best. He can, and does, trust a few of His saints with wealth -- but very few. It too easily becomes a means of "security," and He desires Himself to be our only security. Besides, poverty is not always identical with misery. Emil Durkheim, the great French social scientist, in his classic volume on the subject of suicide, found that suicides occurred least among poor people and most frequently among the upper classes. Many of the poorest people are the happiest.
      There was a time when the church gave more honour to lack of wealth than to the possession of it -- particularly for the Christian who was forthrightly so. The change came about, strangely enough, when Protestantism began to lay more emphasis on the value of time and thrift, so that possession of some wealth became the hallmark of a proper sense of stewardship.
      Missionaries and colonial administrators brought up in this Christian tradition often make the mistake of supposing that this aspect of our culture -- its emphasis upon thrift and the value of time -- is essentially Christian also. Our accepted ideas of what is desirable for most people is under severe criticism in some quarters

41. Jacob, H. E., "Bread in the 20th Century" in Ciba Symposia, December, 1946, p.492. 

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today, and there are many who feel that it is a mistake, even in our own culture, to educate a man to the "enjoyment" of things which his natural level of intelligence would never allow him to be able to afford. Archbishop Temple went even further and considered it morally wrong to educate a man too far when it was evident that that man was not going to be a law-abiding citizen. "If a man is a fool, by all means let us refrain from making him a clever one," he suggested. Whether this is justifiable discrimination or not is a matter of dispute, but we have a tendency to suppose that certain values are unquestionable (acquisitiveness, wealth, energetic use of every minute of the day, saving for security, competition, higher education, and so forth). It may be that part of the "problem" of evil is that we have assumed such things ought to be the right of everyone . . . and correspondingly desirable. Since not everyone can have them, this appears as one of the "evils" contributing to the "problem." But in reality it is an appearance only. People are by no means automatically happy with them nor automatically unhappy without them. We are realizing that toil can be a blessing and leisure a terrible curse when we do not know how to use it. Dr. R. E. D. Clark remarked: (42)

     On this question Haldane has some interesting points to make. Down's syndrome victims and other persons with very low intelligence are ideally suited for many necessary jobs --   e.g., looking after cows, sheep, etc. They prove reliable and their lives are exceedingly happy. Often they dislike holidays. On the other hand, intelligent persons employed in work of drudgery are unhappy, accident prone, and do not work efficiently for any length of time. It is nearly impossible to imagine a society in which all work of drudgery has been eliminated.

      Moreover, many many physical things which we have longed for and which are procurable with one kind of wealth or another give us practically no satisfaction when we do finally obtain them. This alone proves that the maldistribution of wealth which limits our acquisitions may not be as serious as it seems. It may even be far better that God made most of us poor rather than rich. Certainly neither a man's poverty nor his wealth ever made it impossible for God to accomplish His purposes through men for the good of the world. But undoubtedly wealth makes it more difficult for God to move in a man's heart to do His will, and to this extent it may be a handicap.    

42. C1ark, R. E. D., Scientific Rationalism and Christian Faith, InterVarsity, London, 1945, p.70.

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  It has been estimated by Adam Smith, I believe, that if all the wealth of the rich were distributed evenly among all the rest of mankind, the total wealth of the average individual would be raised by only 2 percent. (43) And the "cost" would be just that kind of complete leveling off which has already robbed certain countries of their means to promote the highest arts in the most effective atmosphere.
     Quite possibly, the society that encourages personal initiative -- even though it means that some men labour harder and sweat more than others -- is probably the best society for promoting general psychological well-being. Hard work is good for man, and God will perhaps in His own way always bring to naught every attempt to eliminate it. "By the sweat of thy brow" was both a curse and a blessing: and both literally and allegorically, "thorns and thistles" arose to bear united testimony against every effort to take the easy way.
     So much for the price man had to pay. What about woman? 

     For woman, multiplied conception and the pain of childbirth are appointed as immediate consequences of disobedience. God's original purpose was to fill the earth so that it might be governed and "dressed". This means a certain steady increase in population until enough hands exist to complete the task. It was not His intention merely to crowd the earth with people; and childbearing for its own sake does not appear to fulfill the purppose set forth in Genesis 1:28 if the children thus raised are to capable of doing their part in achieving "dominion".
     Nevertheless, God foresaw that the life span of the individual would be reduced drastically with the passing of the centuries. The consequence was that the number of children possible in any one family was correspondingly reduced. Indeed, only about nine more people per one thousand are born each year than die in the same period. The "edge" which life thus has over death is small, and so it has come about that if it were not for multiplied conception, it is doubtful if the population of the world would grow at all. As Dr. George A. Dorsey has pointed out, one in every one hundred births is a twin birth. (
44). This is equal to ten in one thousand. Thus, for every one thousand births, ten extra children are likely to be born because of multiplied conception. This is just enough to maintain the edge of life over death and to guarantee that the earth will be filled. (45)

43. Smith, Adam, Wealth of Nations, Ward, Lock & Co., London, 1812.
44. Dorsey, George A., Why We Behave Like Human Beings, Blue Ribbon Books, New York, 1925. p.22.
45. Actual figures as of 1970 are as follows: 1 in every 88 births is a twin, and 1 in every 300 an identical twin (C. R. Austin, "The Egg and Fertilization" in Science Journal, June, 1970, p.41). This amounts to an actual mean figure for twin births of 14.7 (say 15) per 1,000 births. Raymond Pearl gives the proportional rate of deaths as 9 per 1,000 births. The edge is therefore 6 extra lives in every 1,000, a very small margin of life over death. Triplets add another 1 in 8,000, or 2 per 1,000, and quadruplets, quintuplets, etc., raise this by 1 in 8 billion! So essentially the figure is 6 more births over deaths in every 1,000 people born into the world.

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     Multiplied conception is apparently essential to keep the race alive. When, at the beginning, man's expected life span began to drop steadily, conception was multiplied more and more. At one time twins were the exception, then triplets, and now we are finding that even quadruplets are not too exceptional. Since children are the gift of the Lord, His provision must be as He has seen the world's need. It is not merely a punishment; it is a necessary consequence of the reduction of a life span from 900 or more years to an average somewhere in the neighbourhood of 37 years! Moreover, it has sometimes been observed that more male children are born in wartime than in peacetime. If this is ever shown to be true, it would be as though God were balancing the loss
of life in war, which presumably has tended to take a greater toll of males than females.
      And what of the pain of childbirth? It was once widely thought that here was one experience that should be circumvented at all costs by medical science. There are still many people well qualified to speak who are persuaded that this should be done. Nevertheless, there is some evidence to the contrary. An article appeared once in a magazine, entitled "The Benefit of Birth Pains," and it had this to say

      At a recent congress of gynecologists in Kansas City, the subject under discussion was, "Is it necessary to have recourse to anaesthetics during childbirth?" Certain gynecologists were violently opposed to its use in obstetrics. Thus Dr. Gertrude Nielson, a physician from Oklahoma, maintained in an interesting report that childbirth is the normal function in the life of every woman and that any intervention can only be harmful. Moreover, certain psychic disturbances manifest themselves in the woman who is thus deprived of the sensation of giving birth to her child.

     Dr. Grantly Dick Read, speaking of a certain woman who during labour for her first child received anaesthetic with chloroform and recovered consciousness about three hours later, remarked that she did not know how her baby had arrived. When she visited him before the birth of her second child, her final request to Dr. Read was, "I want a baby that I know to be my own. My child is very sweet, but I have never felt that he is mine. Can you make this baby part of me after it is born?" (47)
     Moreover, there is not always great pain without any compensation. What suffering there is may sometimes be enervating. Dr. H. M. Denholm-Young has pointed out that although we know that delivery often means the utmost agony and an anaesthetic must surely be kept at hand, yet young mothers had more than once told him that at the moment of delivery they felt no pain or discomfort, but "a physical sensation of ecstatic pleasure."

46. Magazine Digest, September, 1936.
47. Read, Grantly Dick, Childbirth Without Fear, Harper, New York, 1944, p.62-63.
48. Denholm-Young, H. M., British Medical Journal, 17 July, 1948, p.177.

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     Thus, while no one has the right to inflict upon anyone severe suffering merely to justify a principle, there is some evidence that where the alleviation of pain is too quickly demanded or too readily proffered, there may be an adverse effect upon the subsequent development of mother love. Part of the problem here is of our own making, because our culture weakens us constitutionally and introduces psychological factors which often do not arise in other cultures.
    And what are we to say of the second part of this judgment: "And thy desire shall be toward thy husband, and he shall rule over thee"? There is but little light to be obtained from the rest of Scripture on the phrase "thy desire". The root Hebrew word has the meaning of "running after". It is as though the woman, having herself been pursued and won, should in turn thereafter find it necessary to pursue in order to hold the affection of her husband. Is it altogether fanciful to see in this a certain poetic justice? In a sense Eve had forced Adam to make a choice, to forsake his first loyalty which was to God, and by disobedience to God to remain true to herself. Henceforth he would continue to be drawn away by other loyalties (in business, in research, in sport) and she would have to pursue him to keep the ties secure. And in the meantime, this very sense of dependence would make him to some extent her ruler. But we cannot be sure, and there is room for a wide measure of disagreement.

     To sum up, we may say that the judgments pronounced upon Adam and upon Eve were prophetic. They were not the literary inventions of some myth-maker. They were not such as are likely to have occurred to a creative mind at work seeking to reconstruct out of the imagination the kinds of things an indignant deity of like passions with ourselves would pronounce on two erring creatures.
     These judgments have all the earmarks of the mind of God as we have come to know it in Jesus Christ. They were judgments indeed -- but merciful ones whose very quality was to warn or to protect rather than to humiliate or to destroy the accused. Adam was to labour for the preservation of his own generation, Eve for the preservation of the generation to come. With beautiful concordance, Scripture says of the Lord that He would see the labour of His soul, but it would apply not only for His own generation, nor for those who are to come, but for all generations (Isaiah 53:8 and 11). 

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 Copyright © 1988 Evelyn White. All rights reserved

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