What makes someone truly human? How are humans and animals similar and different?

Humans and animals are similar in many ways. They both are born; they grow; they get hungry; they get thirsty; they rest and sleep; they get tired; they reproduce their own kind; and they both die. However, despite the similarities, there are vast differences; primarily, that man is created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27; 2:7).

Unlike animals, human beings exhibit the following as God’s image bearers: (1) as moral beings, we have been given the ability to choose and determine what is morally right or wrong; (2) as emotional beings, we manifest a variety of emotions such as love, anger, sadness, hatred; (3) as relational beings, we desire and long for relationships and to belong to a community (Genesis 2:18); (4) as intelligent beings, we invent, engage in debate and increase in knowledge (from building cities and cultures [Genesis 4:17, 20-22] to inventing the internet, smart phones, tablets and sending astronauts and spacecrafts to space); and finally (5) as spiritual beings, we humans are religious by nature (the person who lives in the metropolis and the one who lives in the remotest jungle have one thing in common—they worship something or someone. All these aspects of humanity make animals clearly different.


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