Q: Do plants die—and why does it matter?
A: Christians who believe in millions of years of earth’s history have no option but to believe that animals—and humans—died before sin. This is because the fossil record, which is supposed to be the record of millions of years of history, is made up of bones, and this record is full of disease, violence, and bloodshed. It’s a horrible record.
The Bible makes it clear that everything was very good at the end of the creation: there couldn’t have been death or bloodshed in the world. In fact, Genesis 1 tells us that the animals and man were vegetarian.
Some Christians still try to cling to an earth that’s millions of years old claiming, “Plants died before sin, so there was death before man fell.” But plants aren’t alive like animals. The Hebrew word nephesh refers to the “life spirit” that man and animals have—but plants don’t. In fact, the word is never used of plants. They were given for food, and they’re not alive in the sense animals are. Plants, for example, don’t have a brain to sense pain—as humans and animals do.
No, there was no death, disease, or bloodshed in the world before sin. The fossil record cannot be millions of years old. On this the Bible is clear: our loving God created the earth in six days about 6,000 years ago.
For more information, see Do Leaves Die?