Origins of the World
Christians believe that, according to Genesis, the whole universe is created out of nothing and God speaks it into being; He says, and it is.
Genesis 1:1-3 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light.
Scientists believe that the world was created in the 'Big bang' between 15 and 18 billion years ago. The universe comes from nothing, but began as an infinite point, exploding outwards. They believe that is is continuously expanding, creating gasses that produce stars, inside which all other materials are formed. When stars become old, some explode and send out material that ultimately forms all planets.
Origins of Humanity
Christians believe that nothing happens by chance or accident- God intended everything. Therefore, God made the first man and woman for a reason, and gave them pride of place in creation.
Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
However, scientists believe in the 'Theory of Evolution', originally formed by Charles Darwin. It is the popular theory, supported by a wide range of fossils. The idea is that all life began in a simpler form, and has gradually changed to produce what we know today. These changes can be causes by environment change, and those who are best suited and those who aren't die out. Small changes each generation eventually produced every different species of creature.
Human Difference From Animals and Stewardship
Christians believe that the essential difference between us and animals is that we are made 'in the image of God' and we have an immortal soul that enables us to live after death in a physical form.
We also share something of God's nature; we are able to know right and wrong and are able to choose between the two.
Genesis 1:26 And let them (humans) have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle (all domesticated animals) and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.
It is implied that although God is the owner of creation, he has given us the duty to look after the world for Him and we are responsible for how we act as one day He will want an account of how we care for His world. Having 'dominion' over animals does not give us the right to abuse them, but to consider their needs.
Some people consider it Christians fault for giving the impression that we have the right to do whatever we want to with the world.
Recently, Christians along with many others, have become more aware of problems faced by the global environment. The idea of 'Stewardship' is seen by many Christians as giving them a duty to take better care of earth and all life on it.
Many Christians have organised their own charties to help this cause, or have become part of more well-known ones such as Greenpeace or the Worldwide Fund for Nature.