Why couldn't God have used evolution to create man? (Part 2)
(This is a continuation from two weeks ago.)
I began answering your question two weeks ago by pointing out the serious scientific problems with this kind of thinking. It is important to first understand how science has failed to provide any answer to man's evolution. In fact, as I showed supposed ape-men have been an embarrassment to science with such problems as the lie of Piltdown Man, the mistakes of Nebraska man and Ramapithecus and the deceptive and grossly overstated explanations for Neandertal, Cro-Magnon, Homo habilis, Lucy, etc. This is important because many people and many Christians start by assuming science has shown some kind of link between man and ape and this just is not so. Thus, Christians should not be intimidated by every new claim that comes out but should be prepared to expose them as poor science.
In addition to poor science involved with ape-men the best place to turn to answer this question is in the Bible. We must consider the Bible's claim that man was created in the image and likeness of God. "Then God said, 'Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness;…'" Genesis 1:26. This phrase "created in His own image" is repeated four times. Mankind was therefore made on a divine pattern, which is not true of other animals. Theologian Douglas Kelly wrote, "The astonishing teaching of this verse is that for man to be in the image of God is to be like Him in certain definite respects." This specialness, transcendence and uniqueness of man is something that could not have evolved. This is the part of man that cannot be reduced to a chemical formula and does not appear in the DNA. Kelly explains, "The Hebrew word for 'image' (tselem) appears to have meant 'to carve' or 'to cut off'… In other words, man was shaped or formed to fit into the image of God." Thus, this "image of God" in which we were created gives us significance and the ability for relationship. Interestingly, for the first time God describes Himself with the plural pronoun "Us." God, who has always existed as a trinity, has never existed outside a relationship. His creation of man was the pinnacle of His creation. All prior creative acts prior to man's creation was to "set the stage" for the creation of mankind. "For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it; he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord; there is none else." Isaiah 45:18.
Before man's creation the language used to describe creation was impersonal, "let it happen," "let there be." God had no personal involvement with the creation of the sun, the stars, the plants, the animals, dogs, cats or apes. Christianity, by the way, is the only religion that gives such value to human life. God has chosen your body as a living temple in which to dwell. This is where God wants to make his home, in your physical body! Hence, the part of man capable of relationship with God--his intrinsic attributes are nothing that could have evolved.
This fact becomes clear when we consider the ability of mankind to speak. Work by the great Jewish linguist Noam Chomsky has been definitive in identifying man's unique ability to speak. He explains that the ability to obtain language is a given with human beings. All the hard-wiring is there; the brain is programmed to understand language. The gulf between the language abilities of man and apes or any kind of supposed common ancestor is so great that it could never be explained by evolution.
It is true that man resembles the creation in biological features. By sharing a common, biological environment it is necessary to also share biological features. Thus, we are made of the same raw atomic material. However, by describing man as "made in the image of God" this means there is something more to man; something transcendent about man's being that sets him apart from the rest of creation.
It is a natural reaction to reason that God could have used evolution to create man in a society that accepts evolution unconditionally. However, there is no evidence for this in the fossils and the Bible clearly describes the creation of man in a way that could not involve evolution--created in the very "image of God."
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Originally published in the Rockdale/Newton Citizen