Q: Why would a loving God allow animals and human beings to prey upon one another?
A: I am not aware of animals and humans preying on each other these days. These days, it is really only humans who are the predators. At the top of the food chain, we humans farm and kill all manner of animals for food and materials, but except for the occasional man-eating tiger or bear, we really don’t hear much about animals preying on man. Unless you want to think of microbes or viruses as animals…:) So, I am going to assume that you might be asking about the days when humans and animals were preying on each other…?
In the end, evolution is trial of prey and predator, as you observe. The universes teem with life, and on evolutionary planets, material, physical life is in competition for survival with limited resources. Does this mean that God is not the loving Father that we think he is? On the contrary…once man has reached the pinnacle of his development—when man as a species has developed the ability for wisdom and worship, he is raised up from the purely animal level of existence to that high estate of a son of God. From this estate, he can grow mentally; he can out-think any animal and dominate his environment; and he can find God and take part in the Father’s ascension plan of perfection. But, before this happens, the long ages of major physical evolution take place, during which primitive man grows in brain power and strives for dominance over his environment—he EARNS the right to be the crown of creation by his persistence over the lower animals.
Evolution is a force of nature. Even today, natural evolution is not finished. In many ways, we see the violence of nature still—in earthquakes, hurricanes and other disasters. But…
4:2.5 God is not personally present in nature or in any of the forces of nature, for the phenomenon of nature is the superimposition of the imperfections of progressive evolution and, sometimes, the consequences of insurrectionary rebellion, upon the Paradise foundations of God’s universal law. As it appears on such a world as Urantia, nature can never be the adequate expression, the true representation, the faithful portrayal, of an all-wise and infinite God.
4:2.7 The apparent defects of the natural world are not indicative of any such corresponding defects in the character of God. Rather are such observed imperfections merely the inevitable stop-moments in the exhibition of the ever-moving reel of infinity picturization. It is these very defect-interruptions of perfection-continuity which make it possible for the finite mind of material man to catch a fleeting glimpse of divine reality in time and space. The material manifestations of divinity appear defective to the evolutionary mind of man only because mortal man persists in viewing the phenomena of nature through natural eyes, human vision unaided by morontia mota or by revelation, its compensatory substitute on the worlds of time.
Nature is pretty ruthless and unfeeling (as well as very beautiful…), but that doesn’t mean that all of the life lost in the evolutionary struggles is wasted. All unspiritualized life is simply reabsorbed and new life begins elsewhere. But once man emerges and develops that capacity for the indwelling of God, life for him takes on a whole new meaning and value. It is only then that he could even begin to know and appreciate the love of God.
All early evolutionary life is marked by violent struggle for survival—even extinctions of whole species. It has to be this way in order for life to progress and improve, and for the dominant species to emerge. In our case, humans evolved physically to dominate the planet, but we humans also evolved into real persons—persons who can also evolve intellectually and spiritually…persons who can know God and receive his affectionate love and guidance.
Hopefully our intellectual and spiritual evolution will help us become the best kind of stewards for the life of the planet from whose primordial lagoons we sons of God were birthed. This is all part of God’s plan for us…
65:2.1 The story of man’s ascent from seaweed to the lordship of earthly creation is indeed a romance of biologic struggle and mind survival. Man’s primordial ancestors were literally the slime and ooze of the ocean bed in the sluggish and warm-water bays and lagoons of the vast shore lines of the ancient inland seas, those very waters in which the Life Carriers established the three independent life implantations on Urantia.
I suggest that you might want to read a bit more from The Urantia Book about evolution—try this: THE EVOLUTIONARY PANORAMA . That whole paper is quite a good read.
Thanks again for your note. I hope that this reply has helped a bit. Please do read from the link above for the bigger picture.