If the physical universe is an unsolvable mystery, life itself is even more mysterious. We don’t know what life is—only that it comes from God and is not physical. Life animates physical bodies, yet is not part of the body. Physical life has something to do with a soul: God “breathed into man’s nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul” (Genesis:2:7). The Bible doesn’t define soul, but it seems to be present within creatures that breathe.
Whereas lower creatures are said to have a soul, never is spirit associated with animal life. Man is created “in the image of God” (Genesis:1:26,27; 9:6; etc.), who is a spirit. Not so with animals. Without defining either, the Bible distinguishes between soul and spirit: “your whole spirit and soul and body” (1 Thessalonians:5:23); “the dividing asunder of soul and spirit” (Hebrews:4:12; see also 1 Corinthians:15:45).