The Beauty of a Horse
A fully grown horse is not only beautiful but horses have been very beneficial to mankind over thousands of years, yet horses have never changed nor grown in intelligence. A horse owner who emails me regularly has described his animal's intelligence/abilities to me as being on a 'flat line.' He told me, "they can learn little tricks, if you give them a treat, but 'learn' is probably the wrong word; they cannot learn as people can learn. There is no thirst for knowledge."
I was recently listening to a beautiful piece of music by Bach, it was stirring, inspiring and deeply moving. Suddenly I had a thought...
If evolution is really correct, why is there not the slightest indication that larger animals can enjoy and appreciate music? Oh, I know there are all those stories about animals being more content when they can hear a bit of Mozart in the distance and maybe that is right but it does not take us very far. What about large animals? Some of these have brain sizes similar to, or even larger, than the human brain; any signs of appreciation of music or the arts there?
The point here is that evolutionary teaching has always said that brain size alone, plus some effects from evolutionary development, can account for the different intelligence levels of human beings and animals; Christians, on the other hand, would say that human beings are bound to be more intelligent because of being made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27). In short, people are assisted by a spiritual component within the mind, or brain; scientists will immediately scoff at any such idea, since they are committed to Naturalism, ruling out any world of the supernatural.
How about conscience? Do animals have a conscience? Or are they simply programmed by instinct to behave in a certain way? Most animal lovers would surely say that it is the latter; yes, your dog may look very guilty when he or she has just chewed up your favourite slippers, knowing he will be reprimanded, but is that really conscience as a human being experiences it? It is surely simply an expectation of your anger, since animals do have memories, though probably quite short ones. Many years ago an evolutionist admitted to me that the 'brain size alone' argument was a weak spot of evolution teaching; he frankly told me, "the 'brain size alone' argument is a bit weak, there must be some other difference as well, it's just that we don't yet know what it is."
Back in 2009 well-known British atheist, scientist, practicer of Zen and arch-evolutionist Susan Blackmore had a go at tackling this problem. In responding to the question: 'Why aren’t animals with larger brains more intelligent than us?' Her explanation was the following:
There are two reasons. First, brain structure is more important than brain size, and human brains with their highly folded and complicated cortex can do things no other brains can. Second, relative size is more important than absolute size. The ratio of brain weight to body weight is about 1:5000 for fish, 1:220 for birds and 1:180 for mammals, with the most intelligent species generally having the highest ratio. For example magpies and crows have a higher ratio than most birds, and social mammals such as chimpanzees and dolphins have a higher ratio than other mammals. The human ratio is highest at about 1:50. The largest brain of all belongs to the sperm whale, but dolphins have a higher ratio and are capable of imitation and can recognise themselves in a mirror. What they think of human intelligence we do not know. (source: http://www.sciencefocus.com/qa/why-aren%E2%80%99t-animals-larger-brains-more-intelligent-us).
Surely many people with just a little basic training in science will look at that "explanation" and be distinctly unimpressed. It does not really explain anything. Also, was this eminent scientist seriously suggesting that a dolphin's ability to "recognise themselves in a mirror" and their ability to imitate (on a very limited scale, that is), really places them on a similar, or higher intellectual level than us? It is also very doubtful that they can imitate better than a parrot (an animal which fails her brain size ratio test). She concluded those remarks with questioning what dolphins think of human intelligence, yet she should know that a dolphin is not even capable of reasoning or pontificating over any such challenging question. The somewhat silly remarks (yes, I'm sorry but they really are a little silly), are obviously fashioned to attack the belief that human beings are vastly more intelligent than higher animals, something - as an atheist - Blackmore could not possibly go along with.
I'm afraid that the above "explanation" is the typical stuff which atheistic evolutionists will throw at Christian believers with honest questions on the teaching of macro-evolution. It is actually no explanation at all but does show a certain desperation not to admit that human beings are just very, very different to animals.
Another very weak question thrown at me recently went like this:
Surely the validity of the fact that the genetic coding within DNA is universal to all living things is good proof of the theory of evolution.
Of course the answer is that the similarity of genetic coding (it is not all the same, there are variations), is "proof" of nothing at all, but probably does point to the same Creator using similar tools, but it certainly does not prove evolution in any way at all. In fact, on the contrary, the very presence of DNA backs up information and intelligence which are in the universe. Why is it there? Because all living things are the creation of God. Evolution does not allow for either intelligence nor information but insists that everything is random. The presence and reality of DNA backs up divine creation!
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
The outstanding German composer and organist of the baroque period has made a huge contribution to music, composing several hundred pieces of music, much of it written in praise of God. The quality and depth of his output, plus innovation of new forms is exceptional. Bach is but one of many clever individuals who have lived on this planet. Can this really all be simply the results of the random, physical, unintelligent and 'lucky' processes of evolution on an animal-type brain? Or was this all ordained by a God who granted His human creation some of His abilities? Genesis 1:26-28. Take your pick! Listen to Bach's Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring HERE
The Immortal Soul Explains a Lot!
The truth is: God breathed a little of His Eternity into Adam, that has now passed on to all of us. There is a 'spirit essence' in us, whether you want to call it an 'immortal soul,' or 'vital spirit essence' does not bother me too much. This is why we can design, travel in our dreams, reason over things, this is why we have consciences, why we can compose great music and design great cathedrals, why we can 'do' philosophy and theology, why we can research and devise complex charts and master plans. All of this is facilitated by the soul within us, the soul which returns to God when we die (Ecclesiastes 12:7). This is the soul which - upon becoming believers - the Holy Spirit joins Himself to. There is a huge qualitative difference between our thoughts and reasoning powers and those of even the higher animals. It is not just a quantitative difference based on brain size; not to recognise this is folly in the extreme. Atheists are in trouble before they even start when considering this area since they are bound to reject the concept that human beings are fashioned in the image of God, so they are left to fall back on their default position, that is, that we are just animals, but bigger, more intelligent ones, because of the effects of evolution. It doesn't wash of course, too much is left unexplained and unexplainable within their narrow worldview.
Was Nebuchadnezzar's Soul Withdrawn From Him For Seven Years?
In the days of Daniel the prophet the king of Babylon Nebuchadnezzar had a disturbing dream. Please follow the next section carefully; This assists us to understand what men and women would be like without an immortal soul! You will find the full account in Daniel 5, but let's just cover the main points here:
13. "In the visions I saw while lying in bed, I looked, and there before me was a holy one, a messenger, coming down from heaven. 14. He called in a loud voice: 'Cut down the tree and trim off its branches; strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit. Let the animals flee from under it and the birds from its branches. 15. But let the stump and its roots, bound with iron and bronze, remain in the ground, in the grass of the field. "'Let him be drenched with the dew of heaven, and let him live with the animals among the plants of the earth. 16. Let his mind be changed from that of a man and let him be given the mind of an animal, till seven times pass by for him." (Daniel 5:13-16).
Because of his arrogance Nebuchadnezzar was sentenced to living like an animal for seven years. He was given the mind of an animal, yes, maybe even a higher animal, but still an animal. As many have speculated (I don't claim that this idea is original to me), all God really needed to do was to withdraw the king's soul, or spirit essence, for seven years; that is what makes the difference between human beings and animals! At the end of this period of time, Nebuchadnezzar repented:
20. But when his heart became arrogant and hardened with pride, he was deposed from his royal throne and stripped of his glory. 21. He was driven away from people and given the mind of an animal; he lived with the wild donkeys and ate grass like the ox; and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven, until he acknowledged that the Most High God is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and sets over them anyone he wishes. (Verses 20-21;same chapter).
We plainly don't know how the Eternal God carried out this punishment upon the Babylonian king (and I don't claim that we do), but as several have speculated, all God needed to do was to withdraw his soul for seven years; the immediate effect would have been that the king would still have looked like a man but would have fallen back on animal instincts alone. He was given "the mind of an animal" (verses 20-21 above). At the end of this period God allowed the king's soul to return to him, leading to Nebuchadnezzar's repentance.
Robin A. Brace. February, 2017.