On the sixth day of creation and after making cattle, creeping things and beasts of the field, God said, “Let us make man in our own image, after our likeness.” (Genesis 1:26) Thus man stands apart from the animal creation in that he is made in the image of God. There are a number of unique characteristics of mankind which lifts him high above the beast of the field.
First, man has a moral sense or as it is sometimes expressed, he has a sense of ought. We understand that certain things are right and other things are wrong. People may have some differences as to what is right or wrong but all men have built within them a moral sense. Furthermore, if we violate that moral sense, our conscience hurts. Not so the animal creation. Animals do not cry over their sins.
Second, man has the ability to know things he has not actually seen or experienced. He can know things based on the testimony of others. Furthermore, he has the ability to evaluate evidence and determine what to believe and what not to believe. For example, our knowledge of history, our courts of law, etc. is based on this ability. The animal world does not know in this way. The Bible word for this kind of knowing is faith.
Third, mankind has the ability to pass on knowledge from one generation to another thereby making human progress possible. Much of what we now have and enjoy in the modern world is ours because it has been passed down to us. Every generation does not have to reinvent the wheel. The animal creation does not progress in this way.
God made man high above the animal creation.