“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” Genesis 1:27
“Inaccuracies in a science textbook come from two primary sources. The first is human error. Authors, editors, and illustrators occasionally make mistakes. Fortunately, such mistakes are rare.” (1)
I stared at irony in the face.
I was dumbfounded as I thumbed through my daughter’s Biology textbook, particularly when I recognized the book’s foundation from which the study of life on this planet is based upon: a random force of evolution that somehow brings about the order and the wondrous intricacies of all forms of life.
The theory professes that man emerged as a result of primate evolution based on the concept of a molecular clock of time and DNA sequences in a mitochondrial gene. Along this timeline emerged the species of siamang gibbons, orangutans, gorillas, and chimpanzees, whereupon man came into existence as a result of random changes that emerged in the genome. (2)
Random changes that emerged in the genome. How is it, then, that out of all the gazillion random changes among all forms of life, only the homo sapiens species is controlling the planet’s resources and transforming the world through its intelligence?
Contrary to the man-made theory that molecules are the origin of life, the Bible states that God created man in His own image. Everything starts with God, the first cause, the Creator of the universe. Let us consider this concept of God’s image in the human species.
Jonathan Edwards describes two main elements of this divine image concept. “The natural image consists very much in that by which God in His creation distinguished man from the beasts, namely, in those faculties and principles of nature whereby he is capable of moral agency.” The “spiritual and moral image, consisted in that moral excellence with which man at the beginning was endowed” by God. (3)
What are the capacities that make us like God and unlike ordinary beasts?
John Stott distills these faculties into five distinct characteristics: “Firstly, we human beings are rational and self-conscious. Secondly, we are moral, having a conscience that urges us to do what we perceive to be right. Thirdly, we are creative, like our Creator, able to appreciate what is beautiful to the ear and the eye. Fourthly, we are social, able to establish with one another authentic relationships of love. For God is love, and by making us in His own image, He has given us the capacity to love Him and others. Fifthly, we have a spiritual faculty that makes us hunger after God. Thus we are uniquely able to think and to choose, to create, to love, and to worship.” (4)
Being made in God’s image breaks the shackles, the chain of evolution theory, that pigeonholes human beings into the taxonomies of the animal kingdom. And as God’s image-bearers, we recognize that the sanctity of human life is irrefutable, its value, beyond measure.
by D. G. V.
(1) Brooker, Widmaier, Graham and Stiling, “Biology”, McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2008, p. vii
(2) Ibid. p. 548
(3) Jonathan Edwards, (1703-1758), Works of Jonathan Edwards, Volume 1, Hendrickson Publishers, 1998
(4) John Stott, Through the Bible Through the Year”, Baker Books, 2006, p. 18.
*** Photography: Fisherman by Jose Miguel Rodriguez