The pinnacle of Creation
Published: 7 February 2013 (GMT+10)
subsequently revised to appear in Creation 40(1):52–54
“When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honour. You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen—even the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea that pass through the paths of the seas. O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth!” (Psalm 8:3–9)
The Bible and secular science give us two very different versions of man’s place in creation. Secular scientists believe that man (by which I mean mankind) is nothing more than an intelligent animal who came into existence purely by unthinking natural processes, by means of evolution. Furthermore, there may be many other intelligent beings—some of which may be much more intelligent than we are—that have evolved by similar processes on other worlds.
The Bible, on the other hand, tells us that God created man “in his own image” and gave him authority over the whole world (Genesis 1:26–28). We are spiritual beings who were created to know God, to communicate with Him and to have a relationship with Him forever. We are told also that our planet, the earth, was created before the sun, moon and stars (Genesis 1:1–19). In fact, the latter were created for our benefit! (Genesis 1:14–19; Psalm 19:1–6). The earth was created “to be inhabited” (Isaiah 45:18), and the implication seems to be that it is the only such world in the universe.
When man disobeyed God and suffered the penalty of death, the divine image was broken—but not lost.1 And the whole creation was affected by the Curse (Romans 8:18–25; Colossians 1:19–20).2 But the supreme indication of man’s primacy in creation is the amazing fact that God the Son Himself became man.3 He came into this world as a human being, and shares our humanity for ever (John 1:1–3, 14; Philippians 2:5–11; Colossians 1:15–20; Hebrews 1:1–3). Furthermore, we are told that those who put their faith in Christ are “sons4 of God” (Romans 8:14–17, Galatians 3:26), part of “the bride of Christ” (Hosea 2:19, 20; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:25–27), and will be “seated with Him on his throne” (Revelation 3:21). In Ephesians 1:3–14, Paul describes in cosmic terms the amazing status and destiny of God’s people—and he indicates that God planned these privileges “before the foundation of the world”.
The Bible indicates, therefore, that man is a unique, spiritual being, the pinnacle of creation. It implies very strongly that there is no intelligent life (or indeed any life at all) elsewhere in the universe.5 In fact, it seems that God’s desire to create man was the very reason why He created the universe.
Note also that Jesus said that God made man from “the beginning of the creation” (Mark 10:6, my emphasis)—not at the end of billions of years—and he implied that man has been around “from the foundation of the world” (Luke 11:50–51).6 The creation week, a few thousand years ago, was indeed at the beginning of the creation, and was also the time when God “founded the world”. This is entirely appropriate if God’s reason for creating the universe was his desire to create man. Atheist Richard Dawkins was being perfectly reasonable when he said, concerning theistic evolution, “ … If God wanted to create life and create humans, it would be slightly odd that he should choose the extraordinarily roundabout way of waiting for 10 billion years before life got started and then waiting for another 4 billion years until you got human beings capable of worshipping and sinning … ”7
There is much evidence to support this biblical teaching, such as the historical evidence concerning the resurrection of Jesus;8 but is there any scientific evidence? There is indeed.
- The massive evidence that life cannot arise by chance9 and that microbes-to-man evolution is impossible10 clearly favours the biblical picture. It means that life cannot arise elsewhere in the universe unless God—or a God-like being of vast intelligence and power—chooses to create it. It supports the biblical implication that life in our own world is the only life there is in the universe, and that man’s intelligence and spirituality are unique.
- There are features of man’s body and mind which are clearly designed for a spiritual purpose, and are far in excess of what is required for mere survival and reproduction.11 They could not have been produced by a process of evolution, and they are clear evidence of man’s unique spiritual status. They include, amongst other things, the unique qualities of the human hand, human language and the human brain. They include also man’s capacity for rational thought—far above that of other animals—together with complex emotions and moral will.
- All the relevant evidence indicates that man has always been a spiritual being. The Neandertals, for example, practiced ritual burial—so they appear to have believed in an afterlife. An example from our own day is the fact that there is a “preponderance of scientific evidence” affirming that “children believe in God even when religious teachings are withheld from them.”12 Secular scientists naturally try to give this evidence an evolutionary explanation, but these findings are hardly what one would expect if man were simply a product of blind evolution.
- Millions of dollars have been spent on futile SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) projects. Electromagnetic waves from outer space have been monitored for many years in a vain attempt to detect evidence of intelligent life.13 Spacecraft sent to Mars and elsewhere have consistently failed to find any signs of life. These facts do not prove that such life does not exist, but they are entirely consistent with what the Bible tells us.
- The universe is unimaginably vast, with hundreds of billions, perhaps trillions, of galaxies. If the earth were at or near the centre of this universe, it would suggest that man’s home is very special, and that man himself is special too. But that is unacceptable to secular scientists, and is one reason why their big-bang hypothesis proposes that the universe has no boundary and no centre. However, there is increasing evidence that the universe does indeed have a boundary and a centre, and that our own Milky Way galaxy is at or near the centre.14,15 (The Bible does not say that the earth is at the centre of the universe, but such a finding would affirm the special place that man holds in God’s plan.)
- That the earth was indeed created before the sun, moon and stars also indicates that man’s home, and man himself, are very special. The Bible says that the heavenly bodies were created after the earth, on the fourth day of creation (earth time). This raises a number of interesting questions, such as how light from distant stars reached the earth within the biblical time. New theories, involving ‘gravitational time dilation’, have developed a number of insightful possibilities as to how this could have occurred. Furthermore, as well as agreeing with the biblical account, the new theories explain certain phenomena in a much better way than the big bang hypothesis.16,17,18 In fact, the big bang has its own ‘distant starlight’ problem as well as so many other flaws that even many secular scientists reject it.19
- Another reason why our planet, the earth, is a special place is that many crucial factors have to be ‘just right’ for a world to support life—and in the case of the earth, all those factors are exactly right. In fact, it is very likely (from a scientific point of view) that the earth is the only planet in the universe which is able to support life as we know it.20 Even some secular scientists admit this.21
- There is powerful evidence that the universe, the solar system and the earth are only a few thousand years old,22 and the same is true of all life, including man. For example, the ‘load’ of harmful mutations which all genomes carry is increasing so rapidly that all life would be extinct by now if it began millions of years ago.23 This supports the biblical teaching that man was created perfect only a few thousand years ago, at the beginning of the creation.
Thus the facts of true science support the Bible’s teaching that mankind is the pinnacle of creation.
- Cosner, L., Broken images, Creation 34(4): 46–48, 2012. Return to text.
- Smith, H.B., Cosmic and universal death from Adam’s Fall: an exegesis of Romans 8:19–23a, Journal of Creation 21(1):75–85, 2007; creation.com/romans8. Return to text.
- Sarfati, J., The Incarnation: Why did God become Man?, Creation 35(1):34–37, creation.com/incarnation. Return to text.
- Some translations have “children of God”, concerned that women were excluded. In reality, “sons” is pro-women, because in the first century, only sons had inheritance rights, yet Paul writes that both male and female believers are counted as “sons”—full heirs to God’s promises without distinction. See Cosner, L, The ‘gender neutral’ Bible: Emasculating Scripture for political correctness, creation.com/gender, 10 September 2009. Return to text.
- Bates, G., Did God create life on other planets? Creation 29(2):12–15, 2007; creation.com/lifefromplanets. Return to text.
- Wieland, C., Jesus on the age of the earth, Creation 34(2):51–54, 2012; creation.com/jesus-age-earth. Return to text.
- van Biema, D., God vs Science: We revere faith and scientific progress, hunger for miracles and for MRIs. But are the worldviews compatible? Time convenes a Debate, time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1555132,00.html, 5 November 2006. Return to text.
- Briese, C., Can we believe the Gospels? A former chief magistrate examines the witnesses to the resurrection, creation.com/gospeltrue, 28 March 2007. Return to text.
- Sarfati, J., 15 loopholes in the evolutionary theory of the origin of life, creation.com/loopholes. Return to text.
- See, for example, Sanford, J.C., Genetic Entropy & The Mystery of the Genome, FMS Publications, New York, 2008. John Sanford was a Professor of Genetics at Cornell University, and in this devastating book he reveals the absolute impossibility of microbes-to-man evolution. The human genome is steadily deteriorating, not improving. Return to text.
- Gurney, R.J.M., Is Man a Spiritualized Hominid? Creation 32(1):53–55, 2010. Return to text.
- Catchpoole, D., Children see the world as ‘designed’! creation.com/kids-designed, 16 July 2009. Return to text.
- Bates, G., SETI—coming in from the cold of space, Creation 26(3):48–50, 2004; creation.com/seti. Return to text.
- Hartnett, J., New evidence: we really are at the centre of the universe, Journal of Creation 18(1):1–9; creation.com/redshifts. Return to text.
- Humphreys, D.R., Our galaxy is the centre of the universe, ‘quantized’ redshifts show, Journal of Creation 16(2):95–104, 2002; creation.com/center Return to text.
- Williams, A. and Hartnett, J., Dismantling the Big Bang, Master Books, 2005. Return to text.
- Hartnett, J., Starlight, Time and the New Physics, Creation Book Publishers, 2010. Return to text.
- Humphreys, R., New time dilation helps creation cosmology, Journal of Creation 22(3):84–92, 2008; creation.com/dilation. Return to text.
- See cosmologystatement.org. In this statement the signatories (secular scientists) point out that there are huge problems with big-bang theory, and they complain that the scientific establishment tries to suppress all criticism of the theory. See also Wieland, C., Secular scientists blast the big bang: What now for naïve apologetics? Creation 27(2):23–25, 2005; creation.com/bigbangblast. Return to text.
- See, for example, Grigg, R., Did life come to Earth from outer space? Creation 22(4):40–43, 2000; creation.com/lifefromspace. Return to text.
- See, for example, ReMine, W., Evidence for Message Theory: A review of Life’s Solution: Inevitable Humans in a Lonely Universe by Simon Conway Morris, Cambridge University Press, 2003; in: Journal of Creation 20(2):29–35, 2006; creation.com/message-theory. Return to text.
- Batten, D., 101 evidences for a young age of the earth and the universe, creation.com/age, 4 June 2009. Return to text.
- Sanford, ref. 8. Return to text.