Q. I was watching a debate between a believer and an unbeliever about the young earth and old earth scenarios. At one stage they were debating whether plants died before Adam sinned. The unbeliever argued that the Bible is wrong in saying that death only came into the world after Adam sinned. His argument was that when Adam and Eve ate the plants, it killed them. Can you define a plant as being alive in the first place and would the dying of a plant (if it happened before Adam sinned) be seen as death?
A. This is one of the many reasons I don’t like debates. The question of plants dying is irrelevant from the standpoint of Paul’s statement in Romans 5:12 that after Adam sinned death came to all men because all men sin.
But as a matter of fact, the unbeliever’s statement is not correct. Genesis 2:29 tells us God gave Adam and Eve seed bearing plants and trees from which to take their food. As a general rule we don’t eat the plants and trees themselves, only the seeds, vegetables, and fruit that grow on them.
By eating the fruits and vegetables from seed bearing plants and trees, as God commanded, they weren’t killing anything. In fact they could have been contributing to the growth of the species by distributing uneaten seeds over a wider area than would otherwise have been possible.