Now we have to look at why is man so much more intelligent, creative and insightful than other animals. Why do we seek to reason? Why do we have a moral compass? Why is it we want to understand why we are here? Why do we seek God? Do the other animals do this? Is this because we have been created in God’s image? Does evolution allow for this possibility, that by natural selection we will reason and seek to know all that is around us?
We see in Genesis that God created man in His image:
So what does this mean? He did not say He created the animals or any other creature in His image, just man; “homo sapiens” as science defines man. Man is much like the animals in bodily form and function so being created in God’s image has to mean more than just our physical attributes.
We call this the Psychological Big Bang (self-awareness). This is the transition from the mechanical brain of simple life to the complexities of man’s self-reflective mind. It is the question of morality and meaning, man’s search for significance and purpose. Other animals have no apparent appreciation for what is true, good and beautiful. How do you get to the mind of a human from that of any lower life form? Even the lowest life forms have central nervous systems but none besides the human mind can contemplate, reason or create. How do you account for free will and introspection, humankind’s existential drive to ask why? This is not even considered in evolutionary theory.
At the same time, we have the Cultural Big Bang. Humanoids (pre-human species like neanderthal man) had primitive tools and sometimes burials in shallow graves were found at their fossil digs. In contrast, human fossil digs have elaborate cave paintings, ornate jewelry, musical instruments, and ritual burial grounds. A dramatic advancement of cultural behavior occurred when humans appeared on the scene.
The creation of Man on the sixth day and God resting on the seventh day aligns here:
God created man in His image and that is why man has free will and introspection, and wants to understand the world around him. God rested on the seventh day and made it holy to show us that we need to take time from our everyday lives to understand our purpose and to worship Him.
This is what makes man different from the other animals – reason, dexterity, ability to make complex tools, his emotions and cognitive abilities, compassion, intuition, a heart for God. This is the unique soul of man compared to that of the animals. This shows that man was not a product of random evolutionary chance but God personally created man in His image. Again, this is not referring to physical appearance and attributes but in psychological terms – spiritual, rational, relational and moral.
The letter to the Gallatians reflects the fruit of the Spirit (God’s Image) as the qualities we should reflect in our lives.
But we, as humans, do not reflect all that is God, however. God has qualities higher than those we can attain – self-existance (independence), immutability (changelessness), Infinite (limitless) and Eternal (timelessness). Also Holiness (perfection) because we have fallen short of the glory of God due to our sinful nature.
God desires that we strive to be like Him, all the while knowing we cannot achieve the goal in this life. He showers us with grace and mercy, bringing us closer to Him. He wants us to love Him, and show this to the world by how we love each other.
Mark 12:30-31 (NIV) – “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. 31The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”