Apes and Humans Not So Close After All
“The conclusion is the old saw that we share 98.5% of our DNA sequence with chimpanzee is probably in error. For this sample, a better estimate would be that 95% of the base pairs are exactly shared between chimpanzee and human DNA.”
Roy J. Britten, California Institute of Technology, “Divergence between samples of chimpanzee and human DNA sequences is 5%, counting indels,” PNAS | October 15, 2002 | vol. 99 | no. 21 | 13633-13635
For quite some time now, Darwinists have been quoting this “old saw” … “See how close chimps and humans are? Of course we share a common ancestor! Quit thumping your Bibles and start paying attention to Science!”
To which I reply, “Creationists are not thumping their Bibles. It seems that it is rather some Darwinian activists who are doing the ‘bible thumping’ and their ‘bibles’ include Darwin’s Origin of Species., atheist activist Richard Dawkins’ The Selfish Gene, The Blind Watchmaker and The God Delusion among others.”
This preliminary study by Britten was confirmed by his later study with 3 colleagues and with a much larger sample 6 months later (Britten, et al. 2003) and by a Nature article in 2005. Interestingly, Britten wrote in his 2003 study that
Thus the 5% human-chimp difference already published (1) is likely to be an underestimate, possibly by more than a factor of 2.
Hmmm … so it’s possible that our differences are as high as 10%!!
WHY THIS IS A BIG DEAL?
To creationists, this is big news because creationists have been saying for a long time that the differences between humans and the great apes are so large that the Darwinian story of human-ape common ancestry is highly implausible. Much more plausible from the scientific evidence is the Biblical account of Special Creation of humans and apes as separate kinds contained in the Book of Genesis.
For the Darwinist story to be plausible, evolutionists would need to be able to point to some “in-between” societies somewhere on earth. Surely if “hominds” such as those listed here truly existed on earth, some of them would have survived to modern times. But none of them did. All of the supposed “hominid” fossils, which are very scanty indeed, can be classified as either extinct apes or as true humans. The much celebrated “Lucy” skeleton has recently been shown to NOT be a human ancestor (See 2007 PNAS article and Jerusalem Post story). Also, as more research is done on Neandertal fossils, it is becoming clear that they too were fully human. (See former creationist Glenn Morton’s piece). Also, research on recently deceased humans is sorely lacking. This is discussed in a recent Creation Research Society article. And this failure to find living “hominid” societies has not been because they aren’t looking. Early Darwinists thought they had found such “hominids” in the existing tribes of “Polynesians, Bushmen and Hottentots” (Haeckel, E., The History of Creation, 1876, p. 363, for example, cited in The New Answers Book, by Ken Ham, 2006, p. 221). You should also read about Ota Benga, the African pygmy who was put on display at the Bronx Zoo in a cage with a parrot and an orangutan!! Unbelievable!! But one of the tragic fruits of Darwinism.
THE PUBLIC IS INCREASINGLY SKEPTICAL ABOUT THE DARWINIST HUMAN EVOLUTION STORY
Apparently, creationist efforts to “de-propagandize” the public are paying off. A May 2007 Nature book review entitled “Selling Evolution” reports that “54% of adults in the United States prefer to believe that humans did not evolve from some earlier species” up from 46% in 1994. “Where have the evolutionists gone wrong?” the author asks. My answer would be, “They believed Charles Darwin instead of reliable historical record contained in the Book of Genesis.” This book reviewer writes
The other answer is the one that evolutionary biologists, including Sloan Wilson, prefer and it provides him with the impetus for this agreeable little book: that if the evidence for darwinian evolution is presented clearly enough and often enough, any reasonable person will come around to the darwinian view. What is there to say? The usual answer, that we share more than 98% of our genes with chimpanzees, is becoming hackneyed. It is the strangeness of human behaviour that really puts the darwinian view to the test. And here there is much to discuss. We have enormous brains that make us shrewd beyond belief in comparison to other animals, we have the only fully developed symbolic language on the planet, we cooperate with and engage in elaborate task-sharing and reciprocal relations with people we don’t know, we help the elderly, give money to charities, put on matching silly shirts to attend football matches, obediently wait in queues, die for our countries or even sometimes for an idea, and we positively ripple and snort with righteousness and indignation when we think others don’t do some of these things. We even have a word for this sense of how others ought to behave — morality. Chimpanzees, and for that matter other animals, aren’t like this. No wonder the creationists don’t believe the darwinian account.
Recently, when I presented the Britten papers to some anti-creationist scientists at the Richard Dawkins Forum, a mathematician (“Calilasseia”) kept accusing me of quote mining Britten and misrepresenting him. He would follow me around to various threads and remind me with quite lengthy dissertations how “dishonest” I was. Another poster, “CK1”, posted a Nature article which supposedly contradicted Britten’s work. I read the article and found that, contrary to Calilasseia and CK1, the Nature article actually CONFIRMED Britten’s work. See my response post and the discussion following to get a good sampling of rowdy Darwinist cheerleading, distortion, name-calling and outright lying. To her credit, CK1 does not engage in this type of childish behavior and we have had some good exchanges.
NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN APE AND HUMAN GENOME RESEARCH
The most exciting developments to me are coming from the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) www.icr.org, from the Center for Origins Research www.bryancore.org, and from Walter ReMine and his Biotic Message Theory . Click here to read the latest on ICR’s research projects which include new software to track mutations within populations, making it now possible to empirically demonstrate ToE’s fatal flaws. The ICR Genetic History Team has begun discovering evidence for genomic “words” which largely saturate the genome. This is particularly interesting in light of Dr. Todd Charles Wood’s recent paper, The Chimpanzee Genome and the Problem of Biological Similarity (2006) in which he floats a couple of interesting ideas …
1) A Modified ReMine Message Theory. Wood proposes that genomes may be somewhat like written languages in the sense that “a very limited number of letters can be rearranged to form a great number of words, which in turn can be rearranged (following rules of grammar and syntax) to express a virtually unlimited number of ideas.” (p. 12) The ICR GENE project results will be interesting to watch in light of this.2) Genomes as Repositories. Wood floats the idea that “perhaps it is not impossible to believe that God created humans and chimpanzees with identical genomes” (p. 12) and that the explanation for the striking physiological and behavioral differences are possibly not found in the exact nucleotide sequences, but lie elsewhere.
Wood is a balanced creationist author giving no preferential treatment to fellow creationists (he voices some criticism for some of Criswell’s and ReMine’s work). NOTE: If Wood’s theory is correct, then this discussion about DNA differences and similarities becomes much less important (maybe irrelevant?)
Not since the 19th century has creationist research been so robust and it’s gaining steam every year. While evolutionists bemoan the arrival of a “scientific dark age” in which they fancy creationists shutting down research institutions and taking us back to horse and buggy days, the truth is that it was creationists who founded modern science and helped bring us the wonderful technology we now enjoy, and it will be creationists who take science to new heights as the myths of the recent “Darwinian Dark Age” are shattered.