In follow up to my recent article on Functional Good & Evil, I’d like to present a brief explanation on how natural disasters are good for life on earth.
Earthquakes and volcanos have two important roles in making earth fit for life. They are responsible for removing excess carbon in the atmosphere and for combining elements underground that form oxygen and enable us to breathe. Without these processes, there would be no oxygen to support life on earth. Read more about this phenomenon at reasons.org.
Tornados churn up earth and cause it to be replenished for later wildlife growth. Old trees are broken away and room made for new growth. Some bird species are also benefactors, thriving in the environment created by tornados. The Telegram features a story about this. Here’s an Audubon article on tornados impact on birds.
Hurricanes replenish barrier islands and replenish aquifers. Here are a few benefits. Hurricanes also spread seeds. Here are some other positive effects.
Flooding & Tsunamis
Some species of animal and fish thrive on flooding. Flooding churns up earth and replenishes the ground with nutrients. Many ancient societies actually used to depend upon flooding to help them with their crops. See this article in the Rocky Mountain Collegian about the benefits of flooding. Here are a few comments on the benefits of floods from the University of Hawaii.
Even When It’s Bad, It’s Good
When natural disasters happen we always define them as disasters because of the impact they have on human life, property, and prosperity. But when these things happen in unpopulated areas we tend not to concern ourselves with them. Yet the evidence is clear that these disasters, which we consider to be bad (functional evil), are also good for life on this planet. They help to sustain life in the long run, and that’s what we call functionally good.
I see in these things the hand of God using the natural processes on earth to help maintain the earth for our benefit. That man’s communities sometimes suffer from these things is not God’s fault, nor is he obligated by our living arrangements to change anything.
The earth has been fine-tuned for life, even when we don’t like it.