Mr. Pan might be losing his home. Who is Mr. Pan? Matthew Hiasl Pan is a chimp living in Austria. The animal shelter that has been caring for him can no longer take care of him. So, some Austrians have asked the court to rule that Matthew is a human, believing that this will help them help Matthew. However, the Austrian Supreme Court has ruled that Matthew is a chimp, not a human, just as we would expect.
From the Bible, we know that humans are different from other animals. Although we share a lot of features with animals, we are not just another animal. We do not share an ancestor with chimps. Instead, God created us in His own image (Genesis 1:27). He did not create the animals in His image. God created man from the dust of the ground—not from an apelike creature (Genesis 2:7). God gave us the responsibility to care for the earth and the animals—He didn’t give chimps the responsibility to care for humans (Genesis 1:28, 2:15). Jesus came to die for the sin of man, not for the sin of animals.
Although it’s important to care for animals like Matthew the chimp, we need to realize that animals are not human.
What are some other ways that chimps and humans are different? Can animals use tools to make tools?
What are some ways that animals and humans are similar? Can animals communicate with others of their own kind?