Why Did God Create Bacteria?

So my nephew asked me this and said “wouldn’t we be all happy if there were no Bacteria or diseases?” :confused:

Well, I wasn’t prepared for that. I have no idea why! :shrug:

I’d really appreciate an answer for this one, if there was one :slight_smile:

Aside from helpful bacteria I’m anticipating answers of it being a part of God’s mysterious plan.

My guess is that bacteria might constitute the very bottom rung of the food chain. Also, bacteria perform invaluable functions in terms of decomposing dead things. Bacteria create the soil we rely on for growing food, etc. The “bad” bacteria are only bad when they get in the wrong places. Otherwise, they’re here doing the yeoman’s work of maintaining the cycle of life.

Right. It’s not like the only function of bacteria is to make people sick and die.

The other side of things, though, is that – after the Fall – creation is also affected by Original Sin. That extends to things like bacteria. and mosquitoes, too. :slight_smile:

The primary function of bacteria is to assist in decomposition. Without bacteria to break down flesh and plant matter, our world would become overcrowded with the corpses of the dead. We would be forced to burn everything that died, which would really be a major waste of resources. As on_the_hill said, without this breakdown, we also wouldn’t see nutrients return to the soil, meaning that we couldn’t grow food or raise animals to eat. Bacteria are one of the most basic foundations of our ecosystem, and are important for our survival.

While it’s true that certain bacteria can cause problems, that’s generally when they’ve wound up a in a place they weren’t intended to be. You should remind / tell your nephew that we have dozens of types of bacteria living inside of us that are responsible for keeping us healthy; for example, without the bacteria in our stomachs and intestines, we wouldn’t be able to break down tour food for nutrients and waste disposal.

Would be happy without diseases?

No, I don’t think so. Not on this Earth. Disease is one of many things which reminds us 1) we were made to suffer, just as God Himself did, and there’s no shame in that; and 2) we’re not supposed to expect perfect happiness, or anything close to that, down here on Earth. We weren’t made for Earth. We were made for God.

Even if all diseases and discomforts were gone, what would we do? We’d get bored. That’s a disease all its own.

I agree with this to an extent, but I don’t think that disease itself is a good thing. If there was a world without disease, that would mean that we had never fallen, in which case we would probably be pretty happy ^^

However, given that we are a fallen race, I have to agree with most of what you said. Disease is a strong reminder that we are not in control, and there are things that are beyond us. They are not fun, they are not pleasant, but I’d argue that they are important if not necessary.

I said something like that to him. That there is not everlasting happiness here even without diseases, but thanks for your input, I can explain it to him better now.

I’m afraid I can’t tell him how bacteria are good for decomposing corpses. My nephew will have endless nightmares on that! But you gave me a perfect start.

Thank you guys for your help. :slight_smile:

You could frame it in terms of animals–dogs, lions, zebras, sharks, great blue herons…

I don’t think I can tell him there are living creatures inside him. It wouldn’t sound like that to most kids but my nephew is super sensitive, he wouldn’t sleep anymore or worse… We have to think very carefully when we teach him things of how to deliver it to him.

Even bacteria serves a purpose, no? God bless you.

If you don’t mind my asking, how old is he?

Sure things were effected by the fall (such as man and his relationship with God and even with the rest of creation) but I do not think mosquitoes (as much as I dislike the critters) came from the fall…nor bacteria…

Creation was created in a state of being on the way…


310 But why did God not create a world so perfect that no evil could exist in it? With infinite power God could always create something better. But with infinite wisdom and goodness God freely willed to create a world “in a state of journeying” towards its ultimate perfection. In God’s plan this process of becoming involves the appearance of certain beings and the disappearance of others, the existence of the more perfect alongside the less perfect, both constructive and destructive forces of nature. With physical good there exists also physical evil as long as creation has not reached perfection.



He is 9

Instead of decomposing corpses, you could talk of decomposing plant matter instead. :o

I did not mean to imply that mosquitoes and bacteria did not exist before the Fall. I only meant to speculate that their more annoying and health-detracting proclivities came about after the Fall.

CCC 310 states that “With physical good there exists also physical evil as long as creation has not reached perfection.” To me, that implies it is talking of a post-fallen world (thereby leaving open the possibility that in a pre-fallen world there would not be the same types of physical evils). But I could be wrong.

Some microorganisms do nothing other than cause people and animals to become sick. Nobody has given a reason they’re here. They look like something one would see in a universe indifferent to human suffering.

It is talking about “creation” which was from the beginning not only post fallen world. But yes I would say in terms of the relationship of man with creation pre-fall was different than post fall.

One may inquire with the various sciences as to the various workings of such over the centuries in the order of creation. One would mis-look to conclude such. But this is off topic and is not to be continued according to forum rules.

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