Who am I or what are we?

Who or what are we? We may quickly declare that we are humans. But what does that really mean? What is a man? We have all heard something about evolution and Darwin: In one way or another the first single-celled organism came alive. An astonishing and many would say improbable coincidence of ideal conditions for life, transformed the lifeless planet into a Place soon flourishing with life. One cell began to divide into two, and after many splits we got some cell divisions that had some differences, what we today call mutations, from the mother cell. Eventually we got multicellular organisms and as time passed it becames many different species. From simple microorganisms to different plant and animal species, first at sea and then an animal being the first to make the big step onto dry land. We can now share the animals into several main groups, one of which is Mammals. Here we find such diversity as whales, rats, goats and monkeys.

So began one breed of monkeys, honestly a quite infirm and funny looking monkey without fur, to walk around on two legs while using their hands holding logs or rocks. They learned to make fire and became good at gathering plants and hunting other animals in packs. After thousands of years, a modest scale compared to the dinosaurs era, these monkeys have taken control of large parts of the globe. They split up different tribes and kill each other as well as other animals.

But this apes has also made fascinating artwork, built up its own culture and been very adaptable during changing environment. They reflect on their own existence and Calls themself homo sapiens. Man. Humankind. So far from the story evolution can tell us. Well, are we animals? The answer might depend on what we put into it? You may choose multiple answers: A philosophical naturalist would say that we are only a monkey, but with slightly larger brain than the other apes. Their answer is thatthere are no essential difference between us and other animals. But is this the Whole answer? Or are we also something more? What does it mean for us and our dignity if we are an animal and only that? Whats our worth then? Are we special and uniqe, and if so why? Is it the fact that we look similar to each other in appearance or is it that we have higher IQ than other species?

evolution2

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
–  
Genesis 1, 27
One who believes that there is a God, will to the question above have multiple layers of answers. The theist might think that the whole universe with all things including us are intentionally created by a being who wanted it so. Though it can have been done bya a big bang and pherpahps also evolutionary mechanisms they would say that there is a deliberate or planned development / creation where we are a desired goal of the creator.

If that is so, then it is conceivable that God has given us a property that is different than the animals – making sure we still distinguish ourselves, although we have many physical and biological similarities with them? Maybe we are in a unique position with special freedom and responsibility in relation to the rest of creation and its Creator? Then we can say that yes we are animals, and certainly behaves like savage beasts sometimes! But because we are created in God’s image we are so much more than that.

 

Some trivia:

 * It’s a well-stated fact that we have 97.5% identical genetic material with monkeys… But at the same time two almost identical types of fly (Drosophila) has only 25% similar DNA sequence… And we have 88% likeness of hemoglobin with a horse…
* It’s normal to say that a human life starts after the fusion of sperm and egg cell onto a single cell. This cell divides after 90 minutes. And as it grows it end up being over 100 trillion cells …