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Evolution teaches that we are animals and to behave as such (Talk.Origins)

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Response Article
This article (Evolution teaches that we are animals and to behave as such (Talk.Origins)) is a response to a rebuttal of a creationist claim published by Talk.Origins Archive under the title Index to Creationist Claims.

Claim CA009:

Evolution teaches that people are animals. We should not be surprised when people who are taught evolution start behaving like animals.

Source: What should a Christian think about evolution? by Rendle-Short, J., 1980. Creation 3(1): 15-17.

CreationWiki responds:

We recommend that a person read the original article in Creation magazine. The actual quote is as follows:

Evolution lowers man from the ‘image of God’ to the level of an animal. Why then should he not behave as one, in his own life and towards others?

According to the scriptures, there is a clear distinction between animals and man where one is made in a divine image, that being the man, whereas the animals do not have this image.

Let's now look at how Talk.Origins attempts to counter this.

(Talk.Origins quotes in blue)

1. Evolution does not teach that humans are animals; biology in general does (and so does the Bible, in Ecclesiastes 3:18-21). More specifically, humans are a species of primate, which is a category of mammal, which is a category of vertebrate, which is a category of animal. This was known more than 2000 years ago.

The Creation article sums up the issue more accurately than the straw man that the evolutionist sets up. The subject here is morality and who we are. The difference between the Bible and evolution is that in the Bible, man is made distinct from animals in the image of God, but in evolution man is nothing more than a more-evolved animal. Being in the image of God implies moral responsibility to an objective source. Being nothing more than a more-evolved animal implies none.

The author tries to put on his bible-interpreter's hat with Eccl 3:18-21 but must have stopped only at the first verse. An important thing about reading anything is context. Verse 18 says "I said in my heart, "I said to myself concerning the sons of men, "God has surely tested them in order for them to see that they are but beasts." If we stopped there, then it could be that the bible-scoffer has a point. But it is important to read on since it answers the question "why?" or "in what way?"

Ecc 3:19-21 For the fate of the sons of men and the fate of beasts is the same. As one dies so dies the other; indeed, they all have the same breath and there is no advantage for man over beast, for all is vanity. All go to the same place. All came from the dust and all return to the dust. Who knows that the breath of man ascends upward and the breath of the beast descends downward to the earth?

The point of this text is that everything dies, whether man or beast. Even the last verse makes it seem that there is still a distinction. But there is still that similarity. DEATH!

Of course both animals and humans are living organisms. They are bound to share similarities. But a simple look at the way humans live in contrast to all the animals shows there is a distinction, even if it is metaphysical, spiritual, whatever you want to call it. It is because of the biological similarities that we are nowadays classified as animals, disregarding the difference apparent in culture and technology.

2. "Behaving like animals" does not mean anything, because different animals behave in different ways. A part of human behavior is the ability of people to learn and to modify their behavior according to cultural norms. Evolution teaches that people behave like humans.

This shows that the author is on a totally different page to those who make the statement "behaving like animals". It does mean something to everyday folk. It means something to parents who see their children frantically and mindlessly fighting over something as small as who had the last biscuit and then say "they're behaving like animals". It means something to the "civilised" people who see heartless murderers or rapists or pedophiles and say "they're nothing but animals". To a person who's trying desperately to avoid the moral connotations and intentions in these attitudes and opinions, "behaving like animals" may mean nothing.

Animals appear to act mostly on instinct and to lack a lot of the moral and cognitive abilities that humans have. Animals can brutally murder, rob and steal from each other with little guilt and repentance, the only important thing being survival and territory and who is strongest or who has the killer instinct. People know humans shouldn't be like this and know there is a difference between animals and us. We know of terms like "unfair", "unjust", and justice.

If humans are simply biologically evolved animals, not paying attention to the immaterial part of humans that cannot be scientifically pinned down, then there is nothing wrong with a dog-eat-dog world. There is nothing wrong with someone getting away with murder. There is nothing wrong with acting on the primal instincts and urges we get. A natural implication of evolution is that we don't need to behave morally any differently than the animals we descended from.

3. Creationism teaches that similarities are designed, that God designed our bodies to be like animals. If God designed us to be like animals, then (creationism teaches) we should behave like animals.

The bible scoffer, turned bible interpreter, again tries to show how God does things. I would recommend that you simply look at the first three chapters of Genesis, especially chapter 1:20-28. A materialist or atheist may only look at the liver, the lungs and the other physical parts of humanity and say "because our bodies are built with similarities, then our actions should also be similar." But that is simply due to their ignorance about matters that aren't necessarily physical, like an incorporeal Deity. To not one of the other creations did the Creator say "Let us make him in our own image and likeness" and give rulership and dominion over everything else. The very communications and conversations that the Creator has with man in Eden and throughout the rest of scripture shows a very different relationship between man and Deity, and animals and Deity. The responsibility and stewardship given to man shows a different make-up for his character. To be blunt, the scriptures do not say that God designed our bodies to be like animals. And it definitely does not say that he designed us to be like animals. Although we see similarities in a number of things, we also see differences as well.

It is easy for a person who appears to ignore Deity to screw up in trying to do consistent and proper exegesis of the bible and they smear that misconception on all those who accept it. But to say that creationism teaches that we should behave like animals is a gross misrepresentation of Bible-believers everywhere and akin to slander.

The scriptures properly say "He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does [YHWH] require of you, but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" Micah 6:8.

So evolutionism does have strong implications that we are nothing but evolved animals, degrading morality by destroying its objective basis, Deity, and making it more subjective. And creation science has strong implications that we are to be different from animals since we alone are made in the image of Deity and are commanded to be responsible stewards of his creation.