The Differences between Humans and Animals
We stand apart from all of God’s creation, for we have been uniquely created in the very image of God Himself (Genesis 1:26). We are the highest of all earthly creations. Just contrast the human race to the animal kingdom, and you will see the difference.
Regarding the soul
Humans have a moral conscience.
The apostle Paul tells us that even nonbelievers have a sense of right and wrong. “[They] show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them” (Romans 2:15).
Animals do not have a sense of right and wrong.
Though they are capable of incredible feats and seem to have an impressive range of emotion, they do not have an innate desire to be good or moral. When we train them, they simply respond to the fear of punishment or the hope of reward.
Regarding the mind
Humans have the ability to reason and think logically.
It is certainly true that we are not as intelligent as God is. “‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts'” (Isaiah 55:8–9).
But even with our less-than-divine mental state, we humans are far beyond the animal world in intelligence. Humans continue to develop greater skills and complexity in technology, agriculture, science, and in nearly every other field of endeavor.
Animals do not have advanced reasoning skills.
Although they can sometimes exhibit remarkable behavior (such as in solving mazes), they do not engage in abstract reasoning. They also do not exhibit any mental advances. Their abilities have remained unchanged for thousands of years. Beavers still build the same kind of dams they have built for generations. Birds make the same kind of nests. Bees still build the same type of hives.
Regarding creative ability
Humans have the God-given ability to create works of music and art, and to invent scientific wonders.
This is perhaps our most significant ability as beings made in the image of God. Our Creator gave us a portion of His ability to create.
Animals do not possess the same creative capacity.
While animals can make nests and other forms of lodging, or make various sounds to communicate with one another, these are primarily instinctive capabilities. They cannot enjoy the same creative capabilities as man because they are not made in the image of their Creator.