In recent years scientists have come up with remarkable discoveries concerning the human body; for example, that over 99% of human DNA is identical to that in chimpanzees. Though this should be put into perspective by the fact that, apparently, some 50% of human DNA is identical to that in bananas! All this merely confirms that all Creation does indeed have the same Creator. In any case, from the first verses of Genesis it is clear that it is not human and animal bodies that are particularly different, for animal bodies and human bodies are all made of the same chemical elements that can be found in ‘the dust of the earth’. The only vital difference between the animal world and the human world is simply that human-beings have an immortal soul, the breath of God (Genesis 2, 7).
This is why the concept of the descendance of the human-being (body and soul) from the monkey (‘animal primates’) is absurd. If it were so, then monkeys would also have immortal souls, which they do not. For the sign of the soul is the presence of the Word, intelligent and sophisticated human speech, far above the instinctive or imitative grunts of the animal world. Of course, there is also another argument against the above absurd argument. If human-beings were descended from monkeys, why do monkeys still exist? Surely they should all have become human-beings by now!
However, there is another and far more interesting question. Why do human-beings (and most jawed vertebrate animals) have five digits? Scientists suggest that the more primitive animals had six to eight digits, so that five digits would be a sign of advance and intelligence. However, this would not explain why many primitive animal species have two, three or four digits. So why do human-beings specifically have five digits? We would suggest that human-beings, who alone among created beings are endowed with souls, have five digits so that they can make the sign of the Cross, thus recognising the Trinitarian God-Creator (‘Let us make man in Our image and after Our likeness’ – Genesis 1, 26) and the two natures of the God-Man Christ. It is as simple as that.