My son asked me an interesting question the other day which I struggled to give a satisfactory answer. If God knew that apes and the like would be used so passionately by evolutionists to support their theory, why did he create them? There's probably a number of other things that fall into this same category so I thought it was a fair question.
– Peter Johnston, Australia
How encouraging to hear of father-son apologetic discussions! Your son has likely encountered evolutionary drawings of the supposed evolution of man from an ape-like ancestor. While the artist adds the imaginary “missing links,” similarities between apes and humans are striking. Since God knew these similarities would be misused by evolutionists, why did he create apes?
First, similarities between organisms—like those between humans and apes—cannot be used to prove evolution.
First, similarities between organisms—like those between humans and apes—cannot be used to prove evolution. All living creatures down to bacteria share similarities (for example, see this article for more information on similarities). We can argue that the similarities are actually evidence for a common Designer. Why wouldn’t God create living things using similar principles? After all, an artist or builder will often create different works with a similar design.
Whether one interprets similarities as evidence for evolution from a common ancestor or evidence for the Designer depends on one’s presuppositions. The evolutionary idea of homology—inferring common descent from structure similarity—is an assumption by those who reject the Creator’s account in the Bible.
The biblical account of Genesis is clear. At the end of the Creation Week, God called His creation “very good” and “finished” (Genesis 1:31, 2:1–2). No evolutionary process of death improved His design by leading to humans from an ape-like ancestor. Although created on Day Six with the land animals, Adam and Eve were distinct from apes and other animal kinds because God created humans in His image (Genesis 1:26–27). God gave people unique linguistic, aesthetic, rational, moral, and spiritual capacities that were not given to animals.
Second, God designed apes to show His creative power, but belief in man as a highly evolved ape may become a sign of judgment when man honors the creature rather than the Creator (Romans 1:24–25). Although man was created to know and glorify God, the first man and woman rebelled against Him for a satanic lie. Satan, the “father of lies,” deceived Eve by distorting the truth and leading her to doubt God’s Word (John 8:44). Eve was deceived, and Adam willfully ate the forbidden fruit. Their sin brought death and suffering into the world (Romans 5:12–14).
Ever since the Fall, Satan continues to employ his insidious method: taking God’s truth and twisting it to deceive sinful man. He has continued to spread lies about God’s existence, His nature, and His Word. Fallen man has continued to believe those lies, reject God, and live in his sin while denying the reality of judgment.
One of those lies is evolution. Atheists use evolution to deny the truth of God’s Word, relying instead on man’s fallible reasoning alone to explain the origin and design of the world. They replace God, purpose, and morality with nature, chance, and relativism. Man pretends as if God does not exist.
Yet creation—even the ape—is evidence of God (Romans 1:18–23). God also gave special revelation through His Word, the Bible, and through His own Son who came to earth. Jesus chided those who asked for a sign as proof when they would not believe the Bible (Matthew 12:39; Luke 16:31). If we choose to believe man’s reasoning above God’s revelation, we deserve God’s judgment (Romans 1:24–32).
Third, God focused on the disease (sin) instead of the symptom (evolution). Since the all-knowing God knew evolution would deceive many people, why did He create creatures like apes, which evolutionists would use to support their dogma? If God had not created apes, however, evolutionists would just find another “common ancestor.” The problem is not the evidence, but sinful man’s faulty interpretation of the evidence made in a futile attempt to avoid recognizing the Creator, Law Giver, and Judge. Instead of not creating things Satan would warp for evil, God sent the remedy for the deadly disease of sin: the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ’s perfect life, sacrificial death, and victorious Resurrection conquered sin and death. God graciously saves all who turn to the Lord Jesus in repentance and faith. After judging unbelievers, Jesus will one day reign over believers in a new heaven and earth without evil.
In conclusion, our pastor often gets tough “why” questions from his daughter, but he says the answer is ultimately easy: “Because God wanted to.” Knowing God’s infinite wisdom and holy nature, we should trust His will and ways (Isaiah 55:7–9; Romans 8:28; 11:33–36).
May God continue to use you, Peter, to raise your son in the “training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).
Darius and Karin
Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ.