Are people different to animals, really ?

Why I think this subject is important ….

Scientists have pretty much demonstrated that human beings are the product of evolution. One consequence of that conclusion is that many scientists now think that humans are no more than intelligent and better adapted animals. This belief can lead to thinking we have no free will and there is no objective right or wrong.

As christians, we think humans are more than just smart animals. If we want our conclusions to stand up and be believable in this modern scientific world, we need to have some understanding of the findings of neuroscience and evolutionary biology. The differences between animals and humans is part of this.

This post follows on from If evolution is true, how can free will and consciousness be explained? and How God changes your brain.

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DNA – a challenge to believers and unbelievers

Difficult Issues series

DNA

I have been researching family history for several years now, and have recently had my DNA tested to identify possible genetic matches – people who are related to me, perhaps as distant as 5th cousins – to try to make some breakthroughs in a difficult search.

This has opened up an interesting new world for me, with some interesting implications for christians.

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Christians and abortion

Difficult issues series

Pregnant woman

In the previous two posts I have considered when in human evolution human life began, and when in pregnancy human life begins. In both cases, there were considerable uncertainties.

This naturally brings us to the polarising topic of abortion, and christian attitudes to termination of pregnancy.

This is a “hot button” issue, but if it is more personal than “an issue” to you, I apologise if any of my words are insensitive. I hope to offend no-one, but rather to offer thoughtful comment. If you have strong opinions either way, please try to avoid being upset at anything I say, and if you wish to express an opinion, please do it graciously.

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Who were the first human beings?

Difficult issues series

Cave painting

Last post (Why the fuss about evolution?) we looked at how the science of biological evolution impacts on christianity. We saw that the DNA evidence indicates that there was never a single Adam and Eve style couple as the ancestors of the human race.

This then raises the interesting question – who were the first human beings?

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Why the fuss about evolution?

Difficult issues series

Evolution

When Darwin published his On the Origin of Species in 1859 it provoked a range of reactions from christians and from scientists too. Many christians were quite comfortable with the idea of evolution (though many others were not), and it wasn’t until about 60 years later that the more ‘hardline’ christian opposition to evolution began.

That opposition remains, mostly in the US, where it is reported that evolution is rejected by more than 40% of the population.

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