ICR: Crocodiles and Watermelons

This is a follow-up to something we wrote about here: ICR: Adventures in Creation Science. In that post we told you about some evidence presented by the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) which supports the scriptural creation tale. They were discussing the possibility of lions in the Garden of Eden, and why — in that peaceful, vegetarian, and deathless paradise — lions were are equipped with what we see as predatory teeth and claws.

It seems that one good paper on creation science leads to another, and so today we find a new post at the ICR website on that same topic: Why Did God Create Such Terrible Teeth? Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

With the crocodile’s snarly look and nasty reputation, many people have no qualms in categorizing these reptiles as carnivores, even as obligate carnivores.

ICR has impressed us by using a technical term. The Wikipedia article on carnivores says:

Animals that depend solely on animal flesh for their nutrient requirements are considered obligate carnivores, while those that also consume non-animal food are considered facultative carnivores. Omnivores also consume both animal and non-animal food, and apart from the more general definition, there is no clearly defined ratio of plant to animal material that would distinguish a facultative carnivore from an omnivore.

Then ICR asks the big question:

Must God have outfitted these [crocodiles], and similar creatures, with teeth specifically purposed to eat other animals? If so, this would suggest that God is a bit mean, and not the generous Creator Scripture reveals.

This is a big mystery, one which we have all pondered. But only the creation scientists at ICR have the courage to take on these challenging scientific topics. They say:

Now, researchers confirmed what few had even suspected — crocodiles regularly eat vegetation.

Wow — this is big news indeed! Who were those researchers? Were they creation scientists, seeking data to confirm six-day creation? Let’s read on:

Reporting in the Journal of Zoology, a group of U.S. scientists studied alligator diets from Florida’s Everglades National Park. Their review of published studies added to new observations finding that 13 of 18 crocodylian species eat fruit from 34 different plant families.

No, they don’t seem to be creation scientists. Here’s a link to the paper: Frugivory and seed dispersal by crocodilians: an overlooked form of saurochory? The abstract says:

We found evidence of frugivory [seed dispersal by reptiles] in 13 of 18 (72.2%) species for which dietary information was available, indicating this behavior is widespread among the Crocodylia. Thirty-four families and 46 genera of plants were consumed by crocodilians. Fruit types consumed by crocodilians varied widely; over half (52.1%) were fleshy fruits. Some fruits are consumed as gastroliths or ingested incidental to prey capture; however, there is little doubt that on occasion, fruit is deliberately consumed, often in large quantities.

Stunning news indeed! Okay, back to ICR. Not satisfied with that information, they offer even more (which we haven’t verified):

Last year a researcher working in south-east Asia reported seeing a wild Siamese crocodile tucking into a watermelon,” according to New Scientist.

Wow — a crocodile eating a watermelon! How peaceful and cuddly — just as in the Garden of Eden. Here’s ICR’s interpretation of this data:

Teeth weren’t put there for eating meat, but for eating vegetation. But in this temporarily terrible Earth, those animals with originally good behaviors suffer from a curse that permits them to use their God-given teeth for terrible and bloody encounters. Does crocodilian preference for fruit reflect their original, Edenic state?

Surely it does. If ever we were given proof of Genesis, this is it. We have seen The Truth!

And now you know that the original (pre Fall) tale of Little Red Riding Hood was very different from the sinful story we tell our children today. In the Edenic version, the little girl says: “Grandmother, what big teeth you have!” And the wolf (not yet the “wicked wolf”) doesn’t reply: “All the better to eat you with!” Instead he said “Join me in eating a piece of fruit, my dear.”

And so we end today’s visit with ICR, spiritually enriched.

Copyright © 2013. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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16 responses to “ICR: Crocodiles and Watermelons

  1. I’m trying to figure out where scripture reveals a “generous Creator.” I can think of many passages that clearly show a sadistic one, but the closest he seems to get to being generous is when he restores Job’s prosperity (after, of course being responsible for the destruction of Job’s home and health and the murder of all his children).

  2. The ICR Screed states

    But in this temporarily terrible Earth, those animals with originally good behaviors suffer from a curse that permits them to use their God-given teeth for terrible and bloody encounters.

    What did those peace-loving benevolent crocodiles ever do that they had that dreadful curse of carnivorism heaped upon them? Seems a tad unfair to me…

  3. Megalonyx inquires: “What did those peace-loving benevolent crocodiles ever do that they had that dreadful curse of carnivorism heaped upon them?”

    You are not thinking deeply enough. The more profound question is: What did the watermelon ever do that it should be savagely crunched by those dreadful teeth?

  4. You are right Curmudgeon!! My ancestors in the Garden were in constant terror as those toothy animals ripped us from the ground, tree, or bush. And we couldn’t even run away!!! But luckily one of us, I believe it was a turnip, found a way to mutate our genetic code to reduce the high protein content so that those toothy monsters started eating the humans and other animals.
    We are now trying to get our case to the world court for equal rights as vegetables but we have not had anyone hear our complaints.

  5. I recall a Gary Larson “Farside” cartoon where “God” (looking like a rather stern Santa in white clothes) inspects a bunch of newly-created, peaceful-looking animals and says something to this effect: “Hm … not so bad … Then I guess I’ll have to make some critters to eat you.”

  6. This explains why watermelon patches are so often infested with alligators. It explains why alligators jaws can snap shut with hyper-speed– to prevent watermelons from fleeing to safety– and why gators instinctively seize their prey, drag it under water, and go into a violent death roll, so the unfortunate melon will cease struggling from its inability to breathe.

  7. Look at how much they twist the meaning of their sources! Progressively, step by step, they get more and more ridiculous, screwing themselves up to new depths of ludicrousness:

    Step 1. Now, researchers confirmed what few had even suspected—crocodiles regularly eat vegetation.

    Bull. None of your sources show crocodiles regularly eat vegetation. It shows that eating vegetation is rare, but as they say with creationists, give ’em an inch…

    Step 2.. Gators often eat fleshy fruit.

    No, none of your sources show gators often eat fruit of any kind. One the contrary, your sources show that gators rarely eat fruit. You quote your source saying: “on occasion, fruit is deliberately consumed.” “On occasion” is not “often”.

    “Some fruit falls into their mouths while they are pursuing animal prey”, you say, in other words, they eat fruit in the same way I eat bugs.

    We have been softened up, now they can bury us under bull:

    Step 3. Does crocodilian preference for fruit reflect…?

    Stop right there. You’ve now convinced yourself that crocodiles PREFER fruit. They PREFER it. So you’re saying that if a crocodile has a choice between a wildebeest and a watermelon, the wildebeest is safe.

    Now if this were true, NONE of us would ever be in danger around crocodiles. You just bring a melon with you and since they prefer that, you’d be safe.

  8. I can’t help but wonder what Venus fly traps ate before the fall? Pies perhaps?

  9. Dean asks: “I can’t help but wonder what Venus fly traps ate before the fall?”

    They used to graze on grass.

  10. The ever worldly Curmudgeon responds: “They used to graze on grass.”

    Good point! That explains their multiple stoma and incredibly slow movement. A Venus Pie Trap would have been more entertaining though.

  11. Come to think of it……the Gator Boys have been really busy too. I bet if I pick up a box set,and rewatch some episodes,I’ll find the evidence all those gators were really just caught raiding peoples gardens. Yes some pets went missing too,but we would expect some collateral damage getting between a dinosaur,possibly fire breathing from what I’ve heard somewhere,and his daily intake of fruits and vegetables.

  12. You can have so much fun with this not only you have Venus pie eaters, but very fussy spiders that would spin very elaborate webs in the Garden of Eden because they would only eat free blowing grass and not just walk to the nearest blade to munch on.

  13. Some researchers now believe that the cheetah and Thomson’s gazelle weren’t prey and predator in the Garden of Eden, but fierce competitors, racing each other to munch on only the ripest blueberries.

  14. Diogenes says: “Now if this were true, NONE of us would ever be in danger around crocodiles. You just bring a melon with you and since they prefer that, you’d be safe.”

    It works for me. Whenever I go into the Everglades, I always have a watermelon in my pocket.

  15. I suppose T-Rex grazed on watermelons too.

    Wasn’t it ICR that proclaimed that plants were not technically alive? So eating plants wasn’t bringing death into the world.

  16. How, you might ask, do crocodiles and alligators feed on watermelons, when watermelons grow on land and the crocs & ‘gators live in water?

    Well, it’s a little-known fact that the wild watermelons — the ones from which today’s commercially-grown ones were bred — used to grow as an aquatic plant. That’s why they’re called watermelons.

    The reason we don’t see any wild watermelons growing today? The ‘gators ate ’em all. Forgot to mention they were the seedless variety.