Created: September 9, 2015
Revised:Synopsis Sept 2017  

The Creation Narrative of Science and the Bible

Dr. David C. Bossard

Dr. David C. Bossard
Biographical Information

XII. Creation of Man
Creation Day Six

1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

2:7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

2:22 And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

There are several notable things about the creation of humans. First, this is the second place that barà = to create (by God) is used, and it is a threefold repetition, a common narrative device used in the Bible, to emphasize the point that God performed this act and that the creation was in His image. This is a way to stress the unique importance of this particular act of creation: God gifted his human creation with part of Himself—His image. It is reasonable to conclude that this image is not material—not part of the DNA or of the regulatory apparatus that makes up the human species' unique signature. From a natural point of view, this is a separate aspect of the creation of man that is not made from some material thing.

Second, the creation of man is a two-step process (asah...barà in Genesis 1, and yatsar ...naphach in Genesis 2) that is unique for humans alone, from which one can reasonably conclude that forming the human body—the physical aspect—is specifically distinguished from forming the whole human with the additional investment of God's image (= the breath of life).

Third, the body begins with pre-existing matter: dust, in 2:7, and Adam's rib in 2:22. What was the "dust?" I take it that the "dust" was not just inorganic matter, but included organic matter from which God formed humans.  Perhaps this may provide some insight into how God created all plants and animals, using pre-existing matter—"dust"—to form novel kinds of plants and animals. That is certainly what the geological record would imply, including the record of hominids. The Bible doesn't assert or deny this, of course, but one might use the description of the creation of man to imply that He formed new species by a combination of harvesting previously existing genetic material (or its blueprints) with genetic innovations and natural evolutionary processes to adapt species to various environments . For this reason, the use of a similar gene package in widely separated species does not—for a creationist—necessarily imply a common ancestor, which is a common assumption of secular scientists.

The geological record gives a lot of additional information, and a lot of claims and counterclaims regarding how humans descended from other similar hominids. This is a complex subject, and is an area in which one must carefully avoid firm conclusions (while accepting the factual data) that take for granted that humans evolved from other animals by purely natural processes.

XII.02 [*fn]XII.02 Note for XII.02

XII.03 [*fn]XII.03 Note for XII.03

XII.04 [*fn]XII.04 Note for XII.04

XII.05 [*fn]XII.05 Note for XII.05

XII.06 [*fn]XII.06 Note for XII.06

XII.07 [*fn]XII.07 Note for XII.07

XII.08 [*fn]XII.08 Note for XII.08

XII.09 [*fn]XII.09 Note for XII.09

This Website is developed and maintained by Dr. David C. Bossard, who is solely responsible for its contents.

mailbox Any comments or suggestions are welcome. Please email:
Dr. David C. Bossard.