St. Paul tells us:
“For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Cor. 15:21-22).
Does this mean that there was no death–of any kind–before the Fall of Man?
Would that mean that no animals, plants, or microbes died?
What about animals that are carnivores?
Were lions vegetarians? How about alligators? Or sharks?
How about carnivores like Tyrannosaurus Rex?
Let’s take a look at the subject . . .
A Key Concept
To set the stage, I need to introduce a key concept: entropy.
Entropy is a very important concept in the sciences. Put simply, entropy is the tendency of things to run down or break down over time.
Systems that are subject to entropy tend to dissipate energy and lose organization over time.
Entropy is the reason why the stars shine, and it’s the reason that you get hungry.
As stars burn their fuel, the heat and light they produce spreads out into the universe. It dissipates.
If stars weren’t subject to entropy then all the energy they generate wouldn’t dissipate. It would stay bundled up in the star.
As your body burns fuel (food), you dissipate energy, too–partly in the form of body heat. That’s why you need to eat, to replenish your body’s fuel.
If you weren’t subject to entropy, your energy would never flag, and you wouldn’t need to eat.
Now here’s the thing . . .
The Whole Material Universe Is Entropic
The entire physical universe, so far as we can tell, is entropic, or subject to entropy.
All material systems run down or break down over time.
A seeming, partial exception is life. Living things, in some respects, seem to gather energy and create organization.
Thus some have tried to define life in terms of a kind of weird anti-entropy.
But the exception is, at best, partial, because all living things die. Ultimately, entropy overcomes every living organism.
So what about death before the Fall?
And what about our prospects for immortality after the General Resurrection?