Re: Ape talk

Russell Maatman (
Thu, 26 Feb 1998 16:59:44 -0600

New evidence that animals communicate with each other in heretofore
unsuspected ways is extremely interesting. As a matter of fact--and this
has been documented many times in this listserv--we now know much more
about the behavior of animals than we did only a few decades ago. This new
knowledge is about both living and ancient animals.

Sometimes it is stated outright that this kind of evidence shows that human
beings are related to some animals; at other times, while it is not stated
outright, one has the feeling that the reporter implies such a

But human-like behavior of animals does not demonstrate relationship
between animals and human beings. I won't re-state the details of the
argument I presented in "Social Problems--Part E," recently posted. But--I
believe the Bible teaches (1) human beings are those beings descended from
Adam and Eve, all bearing God's image; and (2) human beings are the only
beings that bear God's image. That image, defaced by sin, is redeemed by
Christ when his people once again bear his likeness, his image.

Very likely God in his marvelous providence created many beings whose
behavior resembled human behavior--buried their dead, carried out crude
surgergies, and all the rest. Let's not limit God by insisting that they
were therefore human. To be human is to bear the likeness that is
redeemable. As I see it, _that_ is the biblical message. I do not doubt
that--should the Lord tarry--scientists will make many more stupendous
discoveries. But they are not going to disocver that God's plan of
redemption isn't that which the Bible describes.

Please notice that I've not denied the possibility that Adam and Eve lived
a very, very long time ago.


Russell Maatman
Home: 401 5th Avenue
Sioux Center, IA 51250