What Purposes Do Viruses Have in God's Overall Design?

@Anjeanette_AJ_Robert Thank you for taking the time to do this. I would like to get your perspective on what viruses can teach us about Creation. In particular, what useful purpose(s) do they serve in God’s overall design? I believe that everything in Creation serves a useful purpose; we just do not necessarily know what it is. Have you found any instances where the viruses that you have studied have promoted the “good” of Creation?

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Hi, Brendan.

You bet! Life on earth isn’t possible without viruses! The most amazing thing about viruses is that they outnumber all other living things on planet earth! Estimates are 1 x 10^31. That’s 10,000,000 times more viruses than stars in the universe (1 x 10^24)!

The vast majority are not associated with any kind of disease. In fact they keep the bacteria on earth in check and open ecological space for the rest of life to thrive! That includes us. Bacteria are masters of reproduction and adaptation. Without viruses, Earth would be one giant ball of bacteria floating through space.

I have quite a bit more to say about the goodnesses of viruses. You can check out the God’s Purposes video and the Truth Revolution interview (mentioned in my other post) for more commentary. Or here’s a blog I wrote a few years ago. Or check out my answer to @Brian_Upsher below.

They also serve as great tools for discovery and applications in gene editing, medicine, and creation care.

I have a couple of chapters in a book that might be of interest to you and @brianlalor. One chapter is “Why Would a Good God Create Viruses?” and the other is “Unequivocating Evolution” which talks about the different ways evolution is used and the different mechanisms involved in those uses of the word. The book is called Building Bridges and it has some great chapters by biochemist Fuz Rana and astrophysicist Jeff Zweerink (my RTB colleagues) too.