4.4 Differences Between Human Life and Animal Life (OB16)
by Dr. Werner Gitt
September 27, 2012
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Evolution: Man is supposed to have descended directly from the animal kingdom by means of the same processes involving the same evolutionary factors which caused animals to evolve. For this reason, the differences between man and beast are not regarded as fundamental, but as a difference in degree only. Man has only developed to a higher level. Carsten Bresch describes this view in his definition of evolution [B7, p. 10]: “Evolution is defined as the development of all things in all spheres of our world—including the descent of man from apelike ancestors.” The so-called proofs for evolution based on homologies emphasize the idea of descent from common ancestors.
Scientific Objections: Even on the purely biological plane there is a wide, unbridgeable chasm between man and beast, as illustrated by the following four considerations:
- The human brain possesses qualities [G2, p. 115–130] that have no parallel in the animal world. One consequence is man’s explicit mental capabilities.
- Man possesses the faculty of speech (see OB2), and his creative communication by means of his vocal system is completely different from those of animals [G7, p. 112–130]. He has the unique ability to pay attention to various matters at will; he has an inconceivably wide range of interests and observation, because it is possible to consider spatially and temporally remote objects; he is able to make abstractions and to use his system of signs for meta-lingual purposes.
- Only man is fully bipedal; he can walk upright because of the special structure of the spine. Thus, our hands are not required for locomotion and are available for other purposes.
- Only man is able to express emotions (e.g., joy, sadness, hope, laughter, shyness). Some animals seem to have similar abilities, but they cannot be compared with human emotions.
The Bible: The Bible clearly distinguishes between man and beast:
- On the sixth day, Adam was created “in the image of God” and quite apart from the land animals through a clearly distinguished separate act of creation. The Hebrew word bara (create) is used three times in Genesis 1:27 to emphasize this act of creation.
- Only man received the breath of God. In this way, he was given a spirit (Eccles. 12:7; 1 Thess. 5:23) so that he transcends the world of the animals.
- Only when Adam was created, did God “use his hands”: “
The Lord God formed [Hebrew yatsar]
the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life” (Gen. 2:7). In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word yatsar is used to describe the actions of a potter who skillfully and imaginatively forms his vessels. In the same way, God used earthly matter for Adam’s physical parts.
- Only man can actually communicate with God. Only he possesses the gift of speech and of prayer by means of which he can express all his thoughts before his Creator. Man was created to be near and close to God. He is dependent on communion with God.
- Only man has a free will and possesses the faculty of creative thought. According to Psalm 8:5, man was made “
a little lower than the heavenly beings.” Human beings possess gifts such as freely developing personalities, inventiveness, and the capacity for cultural development (writing, music, historical awareness).
- Even the difference in flesh is mentioned in the Bible: “
All flesh is not the same: Men have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another” (1 Cor. 15:39). This finding has consequences for molecular biology: Proteins comprise the major part of the body. The human body contains approximately fifty thousand different kinds of proteins, each fulfilling its own specific functions. They have different amino acid sequences. All organisms have certain amino acids in the same positions in the polypeptide chain, and they serve to establish and preserve the characteristic functions of the specific protein. In contrast to this precise positioning, there are other positions where the amino acids clearly differ from one kind to the other.
- It is said only about man that he was not only created “by God,” but also “for Him” (Col. 1:16). This high purpose is only ascribed to man. Animals are also creatures of God, but they did not receive the calling to become children of God (John 1:12).
- In contrast to the animals, man is an eternal being; this means that his existence never ends, even after the death of the body (Luke 16:19–31). An imperishable body will be raised from the perishable one (1 Cor. 15:42).
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