The self-existent, maker of heaven and earth, has divided light from darkness and dividing surface water from water vapor in the clouds. He caused the dry land to appear and on the same day created life. The 4th creation day brought forth the sun moon and stars giving us regular seasons, tides, and the ability to track them by watching the heavens, while the 5th creation day gave us every living thing that primarily moves by flying through the sky or swimming in the seas.
24 Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind"; and it was so. 25 And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
Here because the birds were made in day 5 and plant-life in day 3, there was already abundant life on the land, but the 6th creation day gives us all the animals that move primarily on land. Wild animals as well as herd animals that are more easily domesticated; even "creeping" things like bugs, and lizards that move along the ground. Each category of animal was portioned out according to its kind and like other life before it only has the genetic material for one specific kind, rather than a universal common ancestor that could evolve into every kind. What is remarkable is that in this age of genetic science many are abandoning the evolutionary belief in a universal common ancestor, and instead proposing a common ancestor for each major group of animals more like the "kind" asserted by scripture. We see God again assessing creation and finding that it meets His specifications just like the 5 prior times in Genesis (verses 4, 10, 12, 18, 21), and declares it as good.
26 Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth."
In verse 26 we again have the plural word for God "elohiym" speaking for the second time in one creation day just as we saw in the 3rd day when life began. This time God makes man or "adam" but this creature is distinctive from all life in that he is made in the image of God. The "Imago Dei" as the Latin phrase is said is one of the richest theological topics in the history of man. It is an interesting paradox that a physical being is said to be made in the image of a spirit, an unseen God. The Hebrew word "tselem" means shadow which makes us think of the outline we see of our body when we stand in the sun. But given that God is a spirit we are led to think of something deeper than a physical outline. Moreover the word for likeness can also be used as an adverb meaning "like as". So we understand mankind to stand in the shadow of God, and to have dominion over the living creatures "like as" God.
In ancient times rulers would make statues of themselves and set up those statues at the boundaries of their territories declaring dominion over all the land were his shadow falls. It is no accident that when modern man appears on earth he appears complete with art, language, music and religion. So the imago dei refers to certain moral, ethical, and intellectual qualities that were not found elsewhere among any of God's creation. What the Bible asserts here is largely confirmed by artifacts of earth's history, that these attributes that are uniquely human do not appear to have evolved among the other animals of earth but appear suddenly only in Adam, or man.
Evolutionist tend to be reductionist thus they try to reduce humanity to simply large brained primates, who walked upright and used sticks and stones as tools, but none of this really reflects the qualities unique to humanity.
Kingdom – Anamalia
Phylum – Chordata
Class – Mammalia
Order – Primates
Family – Hominidae
Genus – Homo
Species – H. Sapiens
The Taxonomy classification is a model which assumes the evolutionary story is true. Under this structure the Hominids or great apes have 4 extant genera: Homo – man, Pan – chimps and bonobos, Gorilla, Pongo – Orangutan. Using a common mutation rate and comparing chimps to humans evolutionist say that pan and homo diverged from a common ancestor 6 million years ago. Some say the human and chimp DNA is 90 something percent the same, considering only the protein coding DNA. All this means is that humans and chimps are made of 90+ percent of the same proteins. Evolutionists now admit that almost none of our human qualities are reflected in those gene differences. For instance the remarkable difference in brain size is controlled by gene expression reflected in the non-coding portions of our DNA, originally thought to be evolutionary leftovers or junk DNA. In reality your DNA is not just the 30,000 genes that make proteins but 3 billion base pairs containing 40 million genetic differences between humans and chimps.
So we don't look for the image of God in those 40 million genetic differences, but rather understand humanity to be more than reductionist biology. But to those who try and explain humanity from fossils there are many challenges. First of all this pan-homo common ancestor from 6 million years ago has never been found but is presumed to have existed because he must, for us to be here now. Next of all in the hominid fossils that have been found there is no clear evolutionary path. Homo Neanderthalensis was thought to be the most direct human ancestor until they found some bones frozen long enough to preserve some DNA, then genetic testing showed homo-sapiens did not evolve from them.
If you look at the pictures provided you can see Neanderthals had the same football shaped heads still common among several species of monkeys. But if you have seen some artistic models of Neanderthals they look like Eskimos using the long straight hair to cover the football head, and they give them human faces and clothing to support the evolutionary story. The drawing at the bottom of the page shows how they drew Neanderthals to look like Bigfoot, before it was common practice to humanize these extinct hominids.
How they name these hominids is also subjective usually based on the age of the rocks rather than some clear evolutionary line of physiological features. The skull of Red Deer Cave people from 15 thousand years ago have some more arcane features than the Homo Rudolfensis from 2 million years ago, and they look remarkably like the picture on the last page I gave you showing Australopithicus Sediba from 2 million years ago. So where is this clear evolutionary pathway from species to species in the fossil record? In reality it does not exist. If you looked at all the hominid fossils you would have no chance of making them into a coherent tree, and in reality you would see them as nothing more than extinct primates.
It is only the evolutionary assumptions that make these into a story of the descent of man. If you went only by the evidence of paleoanthropology you would agree with the Bible that mankind is a distinctive creation of God not an evolutionary byproduct of other primates. But as we have discussed before for a scientist to find an extinct primate gets no attention, but to find a supposed human ancestor gets you research money, a book deal, a History Channel special, and a worldwide museum tour. So what we see is every few years someone finds a fossil and we are told this rewrites the evolutionary history of humanity, which should not surprise us considering the last evolutionary history was also a work of fiction.
What humanity is supposed to be is the shadow of God, covering the entire world asserting His dominion over all creation. But as the rest of Genesis teaches us mankind is long ago fallen from our first estate but this was not a surprise to God. One of the unique qualities of humanity is the ability of abstract thought, which means we can comprehend an unseen God. It also means we are capable of delaying reward for some unforeseen time even to a life after death. This makes man the only creature capable of understanding God's plan of redemption. That the world is the temporary domain of God's image bearers, and faith can lead us to a permanent dwelling in the presence of the God who made us.
29 And God said, "See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. 30 Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food"; and it was so. 31 Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
Now the 6th creation day stands alone as God speaks for a 3rd time to instruct man on the food that God has provided. As we learn in Genesis 2 God had made a special garden home for man far more inviting than the wilderness covering most of the earth. yo·vm ha·shi·shi represented the final chapter of the creation epic summary of Genesis 1, and God looks on that day and calls it very good.
Red Deer Cave People (15 TYA)
Homo Rudolfensis (2 MYA)
Australopithicus Sediba (2 MYA)
More reading on hominid fossils and evolution: