I was reading about radiosotopes this morning in the kindle book "Thousands not Billions" by Donald DeYoung, and it suddenly occurred to me...Why would God create such elements? Did He create them or are they corrupted as a result of sin?

perhaps i may have to separate the questions below into separate topics, however, they seem related to me (I am happy to edit if it is felt they should be separated)

In a perfect creation as narrated by Moses in Genesis Chapter 1:

4And God saw that the light was good

10God called the dry land “earth,” and the gathering of waters He called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.

12The earth produced vegetation: seed-bearing plants according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

18to preside over the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good.

21So God created the great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters teemed according to their kinds, and every bird of flight after its kind. And God saw that it was good.

25God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that crawls upon the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

31And God looked upon all that He had made, and indeed, it was very good.

If the world that God created was sinless and it seems to me that many of the Christians i have associated with over the years generally say that in a sinless world there is no death and destruction:

  1. would God have created elements that decay and why or why not would He have done this? Was it a defense mechanism just in case the world sinned, did he need these destructive elements to help facilitate the flood catastrophe nd its aftermath (eg limiting the age of humanity)?
  2. Are the existence of these elements in such a manner that they decay a consequence of sin?
  3. From a perspective outside of the philosophical, what is the purpose (scientifically) of radioactive decay, what function does it perform in the natural world that is useful to the environment given that alpha, beta and gamma particles are usually harmful when humans(as one example) are exposed to them?
  • 1
    I suspect that, just as entropy (the laws of thermodynamics, particularly) is a critical part of the natural world, without which all manner of things wouldn't work, there may be excellent reasons why radioactive decay is a useful process. However, that is a question that would be better asked somewhere like physics.SE. In particular, I suspect asking your #3 in a more suitable venue will provide insight.
    – Matthew
    Mar 2, 2023 at 21:41
  • The question assumes that radioactive decay is not 'very good', does it not? Mar 2, 2023 at 23:56
  • @ Mike Borden....I have no idea Mike, that's what prompted my question
    – Adam
    Mar 3, 2023 at 4:58
  • 2
    It seems to me that the word "decay" is more of a linguistic accident than a moral judgement. What is fundamentally different about the following two scenarios: 1. uranium turning into lead (labeled "bad") 2. digesting food to a usable chemical (ATP) (labeled "good")? Or do YECs generally suspect that digestion worked differently pre-fall? Mar 3, 2023 at 22:01
  • @JasonDeVito Radioactivity is 'bad' because it kills you.
    – Nigel J
    Mar 5, 2023 at 18:19

2 Answers 2


There are several indications that radioactivity (which is basically an instability in matter itself) was not inherent in creation but was a judgment upon humanity after the rebellion of creation (serpentine spirit, woman and man) against the creator and then after the relinquishing of their proper estate by angelic powers who manifested themselves (catastrophically, since it was unauthorised and mismanaged) on earth as we read in Genesis.

The result was that flesh was to be wiped off the earth altogether (save Noah and his household) and the means of doing this was the relinquishing of the water canopy which, until then, had provided protection from radiation (cosmic, that is).

We can see the collapse of the water protection falling upon earth until the very mountains were covered. Then we can see the longevity of humanity drastically shortened thereafter, since humanity was now bombarded by cosmic radiation.

Not only so, but those angelic powers who had transgressed were held 'in everlasting chains' and thus there was a relinquishing of certain aspects of the material creation as these particular powers were stripped of their authority and imprisoned.

Thus a certain instability of matter resulted since those particular errant powers no longer held control.

The loss of the water canopy, the flood of earth, the eruption of the 'fountains of the deep' the exposure of earth to cosmic radiation and the exposure of humanity to radiation from earth itself, all resulted in longevities of almost a thousand years collapsing to less than one hundred years within but a few generations.

Climate change, tectonic changes, earthquakes, volcanoes, radiation : all combined as an intense judgment upon fallen humanity that shortened life, brought ill health and death itself and made ever more piercing the necessity of being saved from the wrath that was yet to come.

Much of what I have written above can be found within the pages of Morris and Whitcomb's 'The Genesis Flood'.

Edit upon comment.

I have referred to cosmic radiation which comes from stars. I have then referred to a judgment which resulted in an instability of matter. Thus I have referred to two sources of radiation (ionising radiation, that is) one which was inherent in nature, an inherent property of stars, the second which was not, an introduced instability in elemental matter.

  • So, God changes the laws of nature along the way? How does that fit into creation, if it's an ongoing process?
    – Zac67
    Mar 3, 2023 at 7:33
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    @Zac67 At not time have I suggested 'changing' the 'laws' of nature. The physics of the atom does not change. The loss of certain binding powers (due to the removal of certain angelic powers) results in an instability which is due to the laws of nature.
    – Nigel J
    Mar 3, 2023 at 10:48
  • Sorry, but radioactivity was not inherent in creation but was a judgment upon humanity after the rebellion of creation seems to indicate otherwise. But I seem to misunderstand.
    – Zac67
    Mar 3, 2023 at 11:08
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    This answer (and likely much of the speculation from The Genesis Flood) is out of date. More recent Creationist thinking postulates most of the water coming from underground, and the shortening of lifespans is likely due to the genetic bottleneck from male lineage being effectively reduced to one person.
    – Matthew
    Mar 3, 2023 at 19:20
  • 2
    @Matthew 1) Male lineage from a single person, Adam, showed no such 'bottleneck' : Adam and his immediate descendants lived ten times as long as those who suffered the judgments of Flood and the disruption in the heavens. 2) To call the efforts of those experts (Morris and Whitcomb) 'speculation' is thoroughly unsuitable, in my view. And you admit that 'modern creationist thinking' (of a different kind) only 'postulates'.
    – Nigel J
    Mar 3, 2023 at 22:34

The Bible Doesn't Say

So nor do we.

But why wouldn't He? They're a great coherent way for a nice world like ours to get heated by.

Better still, you can purify certain types and get clean, reliable energy out.

Our planet is unusually well shielded from most radiation, and alpha and beta decay are more or less only a hazard as a result of artifice.

All in all, radioactive elements make our lives better.

  • 1
    Humans on earth are bombarded by cosmic radiation. And subjected to breathing in radon gas. And affected by radiation from metals present in concrete and cement. Cabin staff and airline pilots receive about five times more radiation (approximately 10 mSv annually) than the general population and this is relevant to tumours in maturity. Radioactive elements in no way make our lives better.
    – Nigel J
    Mar 3, 2023 at 10:52
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    @NigelJ Here's me liking the sun. In no way. Also, I thought planes were a result of artifice. Silly me. BTW: You need a nice clean dataset, a large number sample, and statistics to detect the difference between pilots and the average person. Mar 3, 2023 at 18:08
  • What about the sun is radioactive? Hydrogen and Helium aren't. But I do generally agree that humanity's harnessing of radioactivity has been a net gain (nuclear power plants, xrays and ct scans, radiatiom therapy etc.) Mar 3, 2023 at 21:57
  • @JasonDeVito There's plenty of radioactive decay from shortlived transition states, for one. And in a very real sense, fusion is a decay from a higher energy isotope to a lower energy one. Mar 4, 2023 at 0:33

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