Human Interbreeding

According to evolution, science tells us that modern humans interbred with neanderthals and denisovans. However, modern humans were created in the image of God. Why would people in the image of God interbreed with hominins which aren’t in the image of God?

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Basically they were just looking for nice partners. They didn’t know about the image of God, or race, or anything like that.

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Hey Rohan_Muni! I hope you’re having a super weekend! The sun is out (and it’s 48 balmy degrees in my part of Michigan right now. It’s a glorious day. Church service this morning was glorious, too. Communion. Simple. Blessed.)
If you have not read the book review linked in this post: Christianity Today Book Review: Four Ways of Harmonizing Genesis and Evolution, I recommend you do. I also bought the book and have started reading it, and I think it’s going to help address the broader concern that your question reflects. However, the book review is a very good intro to the book. Likewise, there is quite a discussion underneath the post.
Honestly, I recommend you go read all of it, before you work more with this one.

Have a super week!

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Greetings, @Rohan . Good question! I think we make too much out of the idea of the image of God…it was much more limited in biblical context. Here is a discussion. I think that Neanderthals or any other group that could make right and wrong decisions were also capable of repentance and forgiveness, and just as much children of God as we are. I look forward to your thoughts. Thanks.

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Evolution has nothing to do with this.

This is just what the genetic evidence tells us.

I don’t recall anything of this sort in the Bible.

Sounds like a short step away from claiming white people were created in the image of God.

Are you from Bob Jones university? Do you have problems with intermarriage between white people and black people?

Why would God make two different peoples capable of interbreeding if He didn’t want them to?

Oh yeah… I remember you… weren’t you the one equating the truth of creationism with the truth of racism.

? Not all modern humans are white, never said that, I’m Indian descent, so if all huans are white, I’m a monkey.

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The meaning of that phrase has been debated for millennia. Thus it is a stretch to assume a clear intent. But at the very least, we would agree that it DID NOT mean that God possesses human-like features. It was likely (but how could I know) figurative for the beautiful notion that He bestowed an honor upon man that He did not give to other animals.
It could also indicate the gift of human rights and dignity, but we must all reconcile these notions with a logic that ties our fundamental beliefs (and prejudices) neatly together. For me, it is easier and more logical to assume my definition of our creation as above. I must add that in the context of coordinating science and evolution, the entire “creation” must have been simply the universe (13.8 Bya) which then was followed by the elements (from supernovae), then C, N, and O, then organic molecules, then cell-structures, followed by DNA, then single cell living organisms, then animals, then millions of mutations and selection, and then us. All of that makes perfect sense to me, is both scientific but demands a God to design it, whether or not He had to intervene and refine later or not. So to me, creating H and He 13.8 Bya is “in His image”.

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I am the one with most Neanderthal DNA, then, not you. You with a bit of Denisovan, perhaps.

Homo sapiens are not monkeys. I don’t even think we fit the classification of primates, very well, even if they are our closest relatives in the animal kingdom. Primates were all about adapting to life in trees. Homo sapiens (perhaps with most of the rest of the homo genus) have rather unusual adaptations to a very different role as the best long distance running hunters – able to outrun all other animals over long distance.

Genetics tells us our common ancestor with chimps was around 6 million years ago. But we don’t really know what those ancestors were like. Were they more like us or more like chimps? We don’t know that they lived in trees. Well… apparently we do have ancestors at some point which were adapted to living in trees. And while I have been noticing some important differences, perhaps I should also pay attention to the commonalities: larger brains and greater dependence on vision.

As for the image of God, I think all life is in the image of God. Infinite potentiality to reflect God’s infinite actuality. But the acquisition of language makes a huge difference. God could communicate with us. And that is what I think the passage in Genesis 2:7 refers to: inspiration (the divine breath). Because there is no life stuff which can be added to non-living materials in order to make them alive. That is just nonsense. But with language God could give so much more of His abundance to us in a relationship like parent and child. That relationship is eternal life.

Yes, humans are primates.

I didn’t ask you any such question. You are imagining things.

More people should try self depreciating humor. You make it look good. I’m not any monkey’s uncle, but I’m the proud adoptive parent of two beautiful dogs … and you know what dog spelled backwards makes. :open_mouth:

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Why did God let pre-modern humans evolve from the first life that arose in alkaline thermal vents four billion years ago, with fire, tools, buildings, language, cooking, clothes and religion and then make modern humans by fiat that were fully genetically compatible with them but in some way accountable? What happens in the resurrection to Neanderthals and Denisovans?

I was just affirming that humans are primates because you were unsure if they are.

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Is “primate” a grade or a clade? Your definition is of a grade. The standard definition of the order Primates would be something like “anything closer related to [humans, gorillas, etc.] than to colugos”.

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Correct. Clearly as a clade, primate is the correct biological classification. We have closer common ancestors with all the primates than any other species. It is just the general description of primates that doesn’t fit us very well. In fact I would argue that human beings are another form of life altogether than just a biological species. But even the biological differences seem pretty significant to me - why we look so different.

My frequent opposition to those claiming other distinctions from animals such as consciousness and morality might give the wrong impression that I think human beings are nothing but animals. Nothing could be further from the truth. At least I don’t think anything of the kind. The difference is language and this difference is huge.

Addition: I have been exploring the hypothesis that language is responsible for our development of such large brains. My conclusion is that it may have been a factor but perhaps it is begging the question a little bit. The evolution of brain and language is certainly interlinked, but what interests biologists is looking for the reasons why we evolved in such a direction as more brain and language.

I wonder if the larger brain and language made us much better predators. A coordinated group of humans could take down even the largest mammals. Add in tools and you have another escalation.

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So He only ever made just one in, after eternity?

I think the advantage of larger brains and language is one with few limits. The advantage of communicating more complex information and what individuals have learned to others is going to help with just about every aspect of life. After all we are omnivores not carnivores, and I think the advantages for gathering is not less than those for predation.

I am a big believer in the hunter/gather phase of human evolution, but hunting, with the addition of fire for cooking meat, probably provided a bigger boast to our energy intake and a bigger impact on our environment.

Interbreeding looks to originate from the [Gods or Fallen Angels] stories, creating descendents from gods & man, including the teaching of animal husbandry.

The answer to your question in this context of why would they interbreed. according to the Sumarian version, because they thought they were gods.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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