[quote="Blacksword, post:6, topic:279830"]
No they did not. Viruses, predatory behavior, and parasites were here long before man existed, hundreds of millions of years in fact. The answer is that God does not view animal death in such ways as evil, any more than do I think of myself as a brute for enjoying the salmon I've just finished grilling. Much has been made of this issue, but it simply can be said in response that God allowed life to evolve as it has because it WORKS. The funny thing is that people have an apparent idea that they could do it better if they were God, to which I would say "Sure you could.":rolleyes: The system works wonderfully as it is, and worked to get us here, God's pinnacle of creation. But as with physics, you can't just change one small thing without throwing the whe system into chaos. Butterfly effect: change one thing about the works and a million unintended changes occur, maybe making biological life itself impossible.
You say that God does not view animal death and suffering in the same way as human suffering. Whether this is true or not, he certainly must view it negatively, no matter how much "less bad" it is. So why would an omnipotent being create a system that has any bad in it? Obviously I couldn't design a system that is better than the one we live in, but God (omniscient and omnipotent) certainly could.
Basically, my problem is that God could have created a world that would not require any animals or people to suffer, but instead he chose to create one that requires violent death, pain, and disease.