Is there any harm, or any other effect from dying in Spore, in cell or creature phase?
It seems to me that the only consequence is that you get a death mark to your evolution history. However you still get to keep the collected evolution discoveries (new parts), all the collected DNA points.
I mean sure, the game is partly based on the story you are creating for your species, and it's sad to see your little critter bite the dust. However, it doesn't seem like there's much point in trying to avoid risk. One could even go as far as to consider using death as a teleport back to home nest in creature phase (the poor little creature just wandered too far, oh the tragedy...) Is there something I'm missing here?