According to a recent article in the New York Times, the bones of a new species in the human lineage were found in the Rising Star Cave in South Africa. Scientists have named the bones as Homo Naledi, referring to the cave they were found in, and they are considered an important part of the ‘pre-human’ species. However, the discovery seems to suggest that the ‘pre-human’ species deposited their bodies in this deep cave, something that was believed by scientists to have only been a modern human characteristic. Many believe that finding these fossils are in a way disproving Christianity and strengthening the case of creation from the evolution theory. As much as many people seem to think, this is not quite the case.
Christians believe that humans are and were originally created in the image of God. The word image is important here because it is also a widely spread belief that Christians and Jews use a passage from Genesis in the bible as an excuse to exploit and trash the earth when in fact the use of passage can be interpreted as instruction to be good stewards of the beautiful creation God has made. What it means to be created in the image of God is that humans were given the capacity and ability to care for the earth, live in loving communion with each other, and conform to Christ in suffering and death. These are all qualities that are distinct to humans, both male and female, and have been since the creation. God made each species unique, and the idea that the human race once stemmed from apes whom did not possess the mental capacity that makes human’s unique is only an idea or a theory. A theory that cannot be proved. Christianity rejects the idea that humans are simply a product of evolution and blind unguided evolutionary development. After all, doesn’t the fact that this supposedly ‘pre-human’ species performed acts similar to modern humans indicate that we are and have been a distinct and unique species? Our ability to love, to hate, and to hope comes from more than an explanation of survival, but from a gracious God, whom has created everything simply for the glory of being.