There is definitely a problem with the natural world. Lyall Watson put his finger on it in Dark Nature: there are things in nature that can only be qualified as evil. Animals behaving in destructive ways that benefit neither their own nor any other species - cannibalism for example has been documented for every kind of animal that is not strictly herbivore. Carnivores that keep their prey in a constant state of fear, and when they catch them sometimes taking a long and agonizing time to end their lives. Parasites - 10% of all known species are parasites, weakening and even destroying their hosts. Disease, imperfect genetics that creates harmful mutations. The list goes on and on. If one accepts that God is the author of all this, how does one square it with his goodness? In the Christian optic God is pure goodness. Goodness in its essence gives of its bountifulness. The Father gives all of his divine nature to the Son. Father and Son in their love for each other engender the Holy Spirit. It's all perfect with no trace of evil. So why is there so much dysfunctionality and outright harm in nature? IMO St Paul hints at the answer in Romans: 18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. 22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. The present condition of creation is linked to the present condition of mankind, one of a fallen nature caused by Original sin. Let me sidestep a discussion on Original sin and cut straight to its consequences. When Adam sinned he set up a disorder in his nature. His intelligence became clouded, easily able to get the wrong end of the stick, his will became wayward, readily inclined to choosing wrong, his passions became difficult to control, and his physical body lost immortality and became subject to illness, injury and death. This dysfunctionality in man is perfectly mirrored in nature. Man's moral evil finds a 'fearful symmetry' in the material evil in nature. Men prey on men, animals prey on animals. Men leech off men, parasites leach off their hosts. Animals are not morally culpable - they are just a biological mirror for the wickedness of men. But the goodness of men is also reflected: animals can protect and save those not even of their own kind just as a good man can help a perfect stranger. God, knowing what men would become, created nature this way from day one. Briefly, he made the natural world a place where fallen humanity can work out its salvation. It's not hell, but it's not heaven either. There is goodness in this world but it's not a paradise. In mirroring fallen human nature it does its job of providing the ideal conditions for humans to finally reach the "freedom and glory of the children of God." In this sense it is perfect. That's it in a nutshell. Over to the floor.