Plastic-chomping caterpillars can help fight pollution: Surprising reasons for God's creation

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Plastic-chomping caterpillars can help fight pollution: Surprising reasons for God’s creation

March 5, 2020 - Jim Denison, PhD

Category Science

An amateur beekeeper in Spain plucked some greater wax moth larvae from her beehives and put them in a plastic bag. The worms eventually ate little holes in the bag, chewing through the plastic at a surprising rate.

Scientists then put together a study which found that wax worms break down polyethylene plastic bags faster than other methods. These findings were published this week and could guide efforts to find an effective biodegradation system to handle plastic waste.

According to one expert, however, there is more work to do: “While there has been some good progress in figuring out some of the key components, there are still a few more puzzles to solve before this can be effectively used to solve our plastic problem, so it’s probably best to keep reducing plastic waste while this gets all figured out.”

Do you ever wonder why God invented mosquitoes?

It turns out, their larvae eat organic material in water, thus filtering and cleaning it. Mosquitoes are also eaten by insects, fish, and animals.

Why are there spiders?

They eat pests (such as mosquitoes) and bugs that eat our crops. In fact, experts say we would have food famines without them. They prevent the spread of disease from fleas and other insects. And their venom can be used in medicine.

Why did God make snakes?

They eat rats and mice. And they are a food source for birds, mammals, and even other snakes. (Kingsnakes eat rattlesnakes because they are immune to their venom.)

And why did God make greater wax moths?

In part, it seems, to help with plastic waste.

Surprising reasons for God’s creation

It’s natural to wonder why the Lord allows things that we would not. If you were God for a day, I would guess that you would eradicate all floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, and diseases. So would I.

But God didn’t create these things—they are the result of the Fall and its devastation to his creation (cf. Romans 8:22). But, like greater wax moths, he uses them for good we might not imagine.

And one day he will remake this world: “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. . . . And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:1, 3–4).

Until that day, let’s remember that God redeems all he allows—even greater wax moths. And let’s join him in using our influence for his glory and the good of those we serve.

Whose life can you improve in Jesus’ name today?

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are from the ESV®️ Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®️), copyright ©️ 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The ESV text may not be quoted in any publication made available to the public by a Creative Commons license. The ESV may not be translated in whole or in part into any other language.

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