What do the creation stories mean for humans?

In Christianity human beings are said to be “created in the image of God.” This does not mean humans look like God.

Christians believe that being made in the image of God means that they are uniquely created and separated from the animal world.

Examples of how humans are different from animals can be seen in the more developed human intellect, human reasoning, human personalities and human emotions etc.

Being made in the image of God gives humans a special ability to relate to God in a way that animals cannot.

Christians also look to the rest of the Genesis story, which sees human beings put in charge of animals. This means that Christians believe they have a responsibility to look after animals, rather than to mistreat them.

Christians sometimes refer to humans as the pinnacle of creation (the top of the created world), which means that humans can use animals for food.

Christians also point to the story of creation as evidence that human beings were created fully as humans and were present on Earth from the start, ie they have not evolved over many millions of years.

Hindus view the place of humans differently to Christians

The Hindu belief in reincarnation (that a person will come back as someone or something else) means that every living thing has a soul, or atman.

The belief in reincarnation means that each soul will be reincarnated based on the person’s actions in their previous life.

This means that all living things are equally important to Brahman (the creator), and humans are not more important than any other living thing.