Little Ghost Nebulae: Courtesy of NASA
What you see here is the Little Ghost Nebulae, the ring of matter expelled by an exploding star still visible at its center. This nebulae is expanding at c. 15miles per second and will dissipate in 10,000 years.
Man's body is composed mostly of elements created by stars which they ejected into space and were caught up in our solar system. These elements now make up our bodies. Central to our body molecular structures is the carbon atom because it has four bonds or is able to attract and hold four other atoms thus creating larger molecules. The human body is mostly water (H2O). Hydrogen was formed in the hot and dense conditions present at the birth of the universe and when you drink a glass of water you are drinking the hydrogen formed at the beginning of the universe. Sixty five per cent (65%) of our body weight is Oxygen made by stars and is about 15 times heavier than Hydrogen. Recent discoveries point to water being found in some interstellar clouds. Somehow, some of this water was caught up during the the formation of the solar system. Smaller amounts of other elements are also essential for the functioning of our bodies, for example, iron in our blood is necessary for carrying oxygen, phosphorous and calcium are present to strengthens our bones, sodium and potassium serve to drive signals along our nerves. In conclusion, the human body is made up of cosmic elements.
Now to the question: How did God create man?
LORD God formed man out of the clay of the ground
and blew into his nostrils the breath of life,
and so man became a living being."
(Gn 2:7 )
The Genesis author says that God formed man from the ground. At that time the author knew nothing of evolution so how did he know that God formed man from the ground? He was aware that when man dies his body returned to the ground so it was reasonable to presume that God formed man from the ground. Obviously, this is a descriptive way of expressing the truth but we must now look to science to tell us how.
As we saw before, life emerged from the material of the planet and in the course of millions of years became more and more complex and conscious. About 65 Millions years ago in the tropical forests of the world arose a class of mammals called the primates. They had flexible hands and feet with five fingers as you can see (Squirrel monkey). In time some evolved into monkeys and other into apes. These animals began to develop a larger brain, stereoscopic vision and the ability to see color. One line of the apes evolved more and more human characteristics such as the ability to walk upright, the use of tools, etc. till the day came when they became fully human.
LORD God ... blew into his nostrils the breath of life,
and so man became a living being." (Gn 2:7)
Based on artifacts, the estimate is that man appeared on earth about two and one half million years ago. C. S. Lewis sees this as an insufficient proof of humanity because all its physical and psychological processes were directed to purely material and natural ends. He describes the emergence of man thus, "Then, in the fullness of time, God caused to descend upon this organism, both on its psychology and physiology, a new kind of consciousness which would say, 'I' and 'me', which could look upon itself as an object, which knew God, which could make judgments of truth, beauty, and goodness, and which was so far above time that it could perceive time flowing past." (C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain, HarperSanFrancisco, 1940, p.72)
Teilhard de Chardin makes this observation, "We are separated [from the animal] by a chasm - or threshold - which it cannot cross. Because we are reflective, we are not only different but quite other. It is not a matter of change of degrees, but of a change of nature, resulting from a change in state. ... Life, being an ascent of consciousness, could not continue to advance indefinitely along its line without transferring itself in depth." (Teilhard de Chardin, The Phenomenon of Man, Harper & Row, Pub., 1959, p. 166)
The Bible indicates and the Church rightly insists that the life principle of man is the direct and immediate creation of God. How are we to explain this within the context of evolution? Karl Rahner, if I understand him correctly,explains that what we call matter, especially if already animated, has an intrinsic affinity toward consciousness, immanence and spirit because it is the creation by God who is the absolute personal spirit. Now this movement toward ever higher consciousness in creation has as its final term the creation of Man intended by God. Therefore, the creation of man's soul is "direct and immediate" not only because man was the goal of complexity-consciousness of the animal kingdom but also because the actual event is immediate or unique, it was not there before. (Encyclopedia of Theology (The Concise Sacramentum Mundi), Seabury Press, NY, 1975, p. 487)
At the moment of humanization, all the previous stages of consciousness are assumed and transformed by human consciousness and the biological sphere is transfigured so that now it is a human body and not just man with an animal body.