Daily Archives: 07/07/2015

Parasites and morality

An anonymous Christian academic commenting on an earlier piece of mine, about the overwhelming witness in pre-modern theology to the ongoing goodness of creation (notwithstanding the Fall), criticized my passing reference to parasitism, because it was passing. Though the old writers were well acquainted with predation, they were simply unaware, he said, of the grave new challenge to God’s goodness posed by parasites: Without microscopy, most parasites couldn’t even be seen; and without molecular biology, their exquisitely designed mechanisms for producing slow, prolonged suffering leading to death—not quick, relatively painless death, such as at the hands of a lion or a shark—were not fully “appreciated.” This is the type of … Continue reading

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