The Difference Between Man and Animals;
Were animals created in God’s image — or was each created after its own kind? Genesis 1:21, 24-25. Who was created in the “image” and “likeness” of God? Verses 26-27.In God’s pattern for physical life, like reproduces like. And just as each plant or animal reproduces after its own kind, so humans reproduce humans. But unlike any of the animals, man was created in God’s likeness.
Each animal was created with a brain suited for its particular animal kind. But animals do not have the potential of mind that God gave only to man. No animal was ever given the gift of mind power—the ability to think, to reason, to make choices and decisions—as was man! God’s purpose in making mortal man after His own image demanded mind power in man patterned after God’s own mind.
It is this very special attribute of mind and character that separates men from animals.
Animals do not have reasoning, self-conscious minds. They possess instinct: God has “programmed” their brains with particular instinctive aptitudes to live and perform in a certain way. They follow instinctive habit patterns in their feeding, nesting, migration and reproduction. Thus, beavers build dams, birds build nests, and so on. These aptitudes are inherited—they are not the result of logical, cognitive or thinking processes.
Genesis 1 states that God specially created the first male and female in His own image. Jesus Christ restated that the first couple were created “at the beginning,” not from apes. Despite some anatomical similarities among all mammals, it is easy to distinguish humans.
Perhaps the most offensive feature of evolutionism to Bible-believing Christians is the belief that humans have evolved by natural processes from apes. In the evolutionary view, moreover, man was not the goal of evolution but a mere happenstance. This stands in startling contrast to the biblical declaration that humans were specially created in the image of God.
“GOD CREATED MAN IN HIS OWN IMAGE.” GENESIS 1:27
In the first chapter of Genesis, the triune God declared, “‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:26–27). Far from being an evolutionary descendant of the beasts, man has been given dominion over them.
Jesus directed our attention to the second chapter of Genesis when He said, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?” (Matthew 19:4–5).