I believe this distinction is explained by our Creator God who imagined and spoke us into being. We, not other animals, are made in God's image and likeness and therefore, we have this ability to imagine and, as such, are often capable of reflecting God's creative enterprise. Thus, an Alistair Cooke corgi nearly out of nothing.
I love Christopher Hitchens and I'm not just saying that to establish my Christian bona fides. I really do. What I see in him is a righteous indignation about the suffering of innocents. I deeply admire his commitment and passion to his cause. He's willing to get his nose bloodied over it and even put his own life in danger. I find this very attractive and heroic. It doesn't hurt that Hitchens has one of the sharpest minds of our era and is a master of the English language too.
Where Hitchens fails, however, is pride (it's always the pride, isn't it?) in his ability to reason. He cannot imagine how a good God could allow such abject misery and suffering in the world. And therefore, he rejects the very notion of God.
The Christian response to the paradox of a God who desires mercy and yet allows evil into the world is often answered by “evil is allowed to enter to reveal the glory of God.” This isn't the most intellectually satisfying response, is it? The best I can do is the old Jewish saying, “if I understood God, I would be him.” Both are inadequate to a man who rests all his understanding of the world on evolution and reason.
I like to imagine an omnipotent corporeal God with a restraining hand on Christopher Hitchens' forehead while the lesser, still beloved and magnificent creation, Hitchens, flails away with all the indignation he feels at injustice in the world, trying to land one good blow to make his point. If I can feel this way about a man I've never met and with whom I have profound philosophical disagreements, imagine how much more the Father, who sent his only Son to die for us all, must love and cherish such a man.