I am not a scientist, nor do I play one on TV. I can't pretend to know the ins and outs of any scientific theories. I was also not around when the earth began, so I don't pretend to know exactly how or when that happened.
I am a Christian, so I believe in God who, according to His own account (the Bible), created the Heaven and the Earth. I also believe that He created all of the living things on the face of the earth.
I am aware that there are Christians who believe in the evolutionary theory. I am also aware that there are Christians who believe that the earth and everything in it were created in exactly six twenty-four hour days. There are those who believe in a gap between the creation of the earth and the recreation that we see today. And there are those who believe that each "day" mentioned in Genesis was actually a long age.
As I said, I wasn't there, and I don't know which of these theories is right.
However, I cannot believe in evolution between species.
I believe that species can adapt to changing conditions, such as Darwin's famous Galapagos Island finches. But I cannot believe that reptiles became birds or that monkeys became humans.
Here's my basic problem. If evolution is supposed to be a way for animals to become more advanced, why are the less advanced species still around? If monkeys evolved to be human, why in the world are there still monkeys? Did some decide it was better to stay monkeys and others decide to do something else? This kind of belief, I'm sorry to say, takes more faith than I can muster.
The Bible says that God created man (and woman) in His own image. Man was created separate from the other animals, and was given dominion over them. It says that Adam named the animals himself.
What does it mean, to be made in the image of God? Well, I don't think it has to do with our bodies. I admit that our basic body structure is not all that different from many of the other creatures which share our world. But we are different. And I think that difference was given to us in the beginning, not developed slowly over millions or billions of years.
Our recorded history is short. Some believe it is around 6000 years long. But if you look at that history, I don't see that people have gotten better and better, as if we have been evolving. I see that people through the ages have been inventive and creative and relational, and I think these are some of the ways that we were made like our creator. I think about people like Galileo or Leonardo Da Vinci or Benjamin Franklin. None of them invented the computer or figured out how to fly to the moon. But they could have. And the people who did do those things used the knowledge handed down from them in order to do it. You can't say that Steve Jobs was more intelligent than Benjamin Franklin because he came 200 years later. It isn't true. You can't say that modern art was done by a more evolved person than a cave painting. Think of the knowledge that has passed down through the generations so that artists today can create the things they do, and imagine a cave person having the same resources as a modern photographer, for example. Who is to say they wouldn't have been able to do the same things?
Animals continue to live in the same way they always have. In the wild, they still make the same types of homes. If you move an animal from its regular habitat, you have to take care of it. If you move it to a part of the world that it is not adapted to, it will die. If you move a person, however, they will adjust. People can invent ways to keep themselves warm or cool, and to get appropriate food. And then they go on to create art and music and poetry and literature and ways to communicate and to leave information for those who come after them.
The Bible says that God formed Adam from the dust of the earth, and then breathed the breath of life into him. It doesn't say this about any of the other creatures. Another word for "breath" is "spirit." God gave Adam His own spirit. And Adam and Eve were told to multiply. They should have passed that spirit down to their descendants. But they chose to give it up. When they ate of the forbidden fruit, and realized they were naked, they were missing that spirit. It had left them. God has stayed with men ever since then, any who would accept Him and listen to Him, but His spirit was only external for thousands of years. Then Jesus came. God as man. And when He died on the cross, the spirit of God was again made available to all of us. We can again contain the breath of God. This is a gift not given to the animals. And sadly, it is not given to all people. You have to ask for it.
You are not a more intelligent ape. You are a unique creation, meant to be a son or daughter of the creator. He wants you to be with him, just like you want your children to be with you. You just have to ask. And you have to believe. Yes, this too takes faith. You can choose to believe in a random sequence of events which has somehow led from a "sludge" to the Mona Lisa and Google, or you can believe that you were created as a unique person by an intelligent creator who planned this world and gave you the ability to think and to create in turn. You can believe that you are a cosmic accident, or a beloved child of a God who wants you to be with Him forever. I'm going to quote Joshua, and say "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."