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Discovery Magazine 2/1/1997


Are You an Animal?

The Bible tells us that God made man (Adam) and woman (Eve) on the sixth day of creation, at the very beginning of time (Genesis 1,2). God carefully designed (planned) everything He created, but men and women were the most specially-designed creatures of all. Many people believe that we are not special, and that we are just higher forms of animal life that have developed by accident on Earth over millions of years. Since they think humans are only animals, they believe that many things we do really are not "wrong," but are just natural ways for us, as animals, to behave. Are you just another animal, or are you someone special? Let us look at the evidence.

There are four basic characteristics of animals: (1) they are living things; (2) they need food; (3) they can move around on their own; and (4) they can reproduce (have offspring like themselves). As humans, all of these things are true of us. So how are we different from the animals?

Genesis 1:27 says that God made Adam and Eve in His image. Have you ever heard someone say that you are the "spittin' image" of your dad or mom? That means that you look just like him or her. It would be impossible for us to look just like God physically, because God does not have a physical body. God is spirit (John 4:24). If we are made in His image, then there must be a part of us that is spirit. That part is called a soul. From the time of Adam, each human being who has ever been born has been given a soul from God (read Hebrews 12:9 and Ecclesiastes 12:7).

When animals die, their bodies decay, and there is no part of them that lives on. Animals do not have souls. You know that people die, sometimes when they are young and sometimes when they are old. When we die, our bodies decay, but our souls live forever.

Since we are made in the image of God, and have souls, it is important that we do not act like animals. Unlike animals, we can learn how to act by reading and understanding the Bible. God wants us to treat all people with kindness and respect, to make good choices between right and wrong, and to always remember that individually we are very special and very precious to Him.



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