Robert C. Newman of the Interdisciplinary Biblical Research Institute argues that incidence of evil in nature is evidence of intelligent design—malevolent intelligent design:
[O]ne candidate for malevolent intelligent design would be the ichneumon wasp. This insect, of the order Hymenoptera (which includes wasps, bees, and ants) is actually a family of some 40,000 species. It typically lays its eggs on the larva or pupa (chrysalis) of a moth, butterfly, other insect or spider. After the ichneumon egg hatches, its larva will nourish itself by devouring the fats and body fluids of its host, but in such a clever way so that the host does not die until the ichneumon larva is ready to make its own cocoon. Whether this is certainly to be identified as malevolent may be disputed. After all, many of the insects that are killed by the Ichneumonidae are pests to human farmers. But it is certainly malevolent from the perspective of the host caterpillar!Link (via Pharyngula). Demons, maybe, but no other alternatives consistent with biblical theism? Maybe Newman is reading the wrong Bible.
The point to be made here is this: organisms which possess incredible complexity beyond what natural selection could "design" from the available offerings of chance, and which also seem to be clearly malevolent, might well be the work of malevolent spirit beings. There are, of course, other possibilities. They may be the direct or indirect work of God and we are mistaken in viewing them as malevolent. They might be the work of non-spiritual intelligences (extra-terrestrials). I cannot see any other alternatives that are consistent with a biblical theism.
Indexed by tags religion, evolution, intelligent design, Robert C. Newman, demons, malevolent, Flying Spaghetti Monster.
Image credits: St. Michael Fighting the Demons, anonymous master, ca. 1480—1500 Bruges.