The chimpanzee joins the group of animals whose genomes have been deciphered by scientists. The data from the chimp genome was compared to its human counterpart by an international research consortium, whose studies have been published in Nature. (1) According to the findings of the consortium, humans shared many genes with chimpanzees, but there were very important differences as well. In fact, this first comprehensive genetic comparison triples the percentage of differences suggested by previous studies that relied on partial genome analysis. The latest percentage of genetic similarity is 96% in comparison to previous ones reported about 98.5%.
Chimps have been the fourth mammal to be genetically sequenced after human, mouse and rat - enriching the genomic treasure of scientists. 67 scientists have contributed to the consortium from countries such as United States, Germany, Israel, Italy and Spain. "As we build upon the foundation laid by the Human Genome Project, it"s become clear that comparing the human genome with the genomes of other organisms is an enormously powerful tool for understanding our own biology" says National Human Genome Research Institute Director Francis S. Collins. (2)
An important reason of the decrease in genetic similarity figure is that scientists have taken into account various types of genetic difference. In previous studies scientists picked only single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) as variations which gave figures such as 1.2% difference. An SNP represents a single base pair difference between two matched DNA sequences. In this latest study scientists considered also other genetic differentiation types, such as indels (insertions and deletions) that represent gaps corresponding to unmatched nucleotide sequences between the human and chimp sequences, which may be one to thousands nucleotide long. The one shown below is a 3-nucleotide indel.
The %4 difference represents 35 million SNPs and 5 million indels.
Obligatory reduction in propaganda figures
Inclusion of indels in analysis has revealed how simplistic and misleading previous analysis were. This is admitted in a report by Nature News Service with comments from Evan Eichler of the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, a member of the consortium:
…humans and chimps are not quite the close cousins we thought. Crude past comparisons of our DNA showed that our sequences were between 98.5% and 99% identical. That is indeed the case when considering single-letter differences in the DNA code, of which there are 35 million, adding up to about 1.2% of the total sequence. But there are other differences, Eichler says. The two sequences are littered with duplicated segments that are scattered in different ways in the two species, he reports in a separate analysis. These regions add another 2.7% of difference to the tally. "So the 1.2% figure is woefully inaccurate," says Eichler. (3)
This is a very striking admission because for decades evolutionists have mislead the public with 99% figure in their human-chimp genetic similarity propaganda. Now that turns out to be founded on simplistic and inaccurate interpretation.
Genetic similarity is not a proof of common ancestry
Actually, whatever the genetic similarity, it constitutes absolutely no contribution to the claim that humans and chimps evolved from a common ancestor. Clearly, similarity between genetic sequences does not prove common ancestry. Since chimps and humans breathe the same atmosphere, have similar organs and diets, it is of course natural for them to have similar genetic sequences - that, for example, provide them with the similar biochemistry. The existence of similar instructions in the manuals of two similar devices is no proof that these devices came into existence as a result of coincidences, neither do the genetic similarities between organisms provide any evidence for the claim that they evolved from a common ancestor by chance. Genetic information contained in the DNAs of living beings is staggeringly complex. A mathematical analysis of this complexity demolishes the materialist/evolutionist claims. The existence of genetic information and its revealing similarities between organisms constitutes a concrete evidence for the fact that living beings are created by God.
Behind the statistics
When we read headlines such as "scientists find man and chimp are genetically 99.44% similar" we are led to believe that these are fully objective and precise estimates. It is hard to think of something else, when the number even includes four tenth and four hundredth digits and "scientists" are doing the estimates! However, this impression is deceptive and merely supports the evolutionist bias of evolutionist scientists.
To uncover the bias, let us consider the two sequences comprising 20 DNA bases of below (bases, or nucleotides, are like the steps of the DNA ladder). They are from the same region of DNA, first being from the baboon and the second from orangutan. (4) If they are aligned in parallel rows, they reveal obvious differences. (Colored bases in italics indicate where sequences are different. A, T, G, C represent bases Adenine, Thymine, Guanine and Cytosine respectively.)
If you are biased to express similarities, on taking a closer look, you can see that although the sequences are different, they include identical pieces. To make them look more similar, you may invoke a hypothetical gap and align them like this:
Now the sequences are almost identical. You have made them look as though the second sequence has lost (or the first one has gained) one nucleotide at the site where C and the gap reside. And if you make a calculation, you will find that percentage of similarity has significantly increased.
But there"s a serious problem. You have added an element of subjective interpretation to the data.
And that is only a small amount compared to what you can do with larger sequences. Long sequences from two organisms almost never can be perfectly aligned in parallel rows, without any breaks in the continuity of nucleotides. This opens the door to interpreter to selectively align nucleotides, as he would like to see them.
To put this into perspective let us see how 40 nucleotides of human DNA and 54 nucleotides of orangutan DNA can selectively be aligned. In the two alignments below, the first row represents the human sequence while the second one represents the orangutan sequence (5):
Note that the order of nucleotides are exactly the same in the two alignments. But the number of indels and SNPs change significantly between the two interpretations. And while this example compares 40 and 54 nucleotide long chains, the number of probabilities that may be interpreted other than what they really are significantly increases in a comparison between the complete human and chimp genomes, which comprise billions of nucleotides.
With the advent of comparative genomic analysis, it has been a cliché for evolutionists to say that the genetic analyses will be able to provide the final answer to the question "What makes us human?", or in other words, that all features of a human being could be accounted for at the DNA level. The first comprehensive comparison of the human and chimp genomes is in hand but it does not seem to be of a clue, let alone provide an answer. This can be observed in news accounts reporting the study. Robert Waterston, director of genome sciences at the University of Washington and a member of the consortium says:
[Genetically] We"re not that different. But we have language, cars, espresso machines and psychotherapy. How could all that result from just a comparatively small number of genetic changes in the overall blueprint? (6)
True. How can a small number of genetic differences place the chimpanzees in a forest while putting scientists, on the other hand, in a research consortium to study the chimpanzee genome? Obviously, human beings, who possess reason and feelings, cannot be reduced to genes. This leaves evolutionists unanswered. Svante Pääbo of the Max Planck Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, a co-author on one Nature paper is reported as saying:
We cannot see in this why we are phenotypically so different from the chimps. Part of the secret is hidden in there, but we don"t understand it yet. (7)
Collins, of the National Human Genome Research Institute, points out that it is erroneous to seek the answer to the question "What makes us human?" merely at the molecular level:
"The real question about what it takes to be human is more than a biological question, it"s also a theological question," Collins said. DNA "may not tell us "How do we know what"s right and wrong?" and "What"s the human spirit, anyway?"" (8)
What to understand from the Chimpanzee Genome Project?
There is long way to go for a comprehensive understanding of the human and chimpanzee genetics. This latest comparison study has merely provided the scientists with raw data. As Ajit Varki of the University of California, San Diego, puts it:
[A] genome is like the periodic table of the elements… By itself it doesn"t tell you how things work--it"s the first step along a long road. (9)
First of all, as a general principle, data does not speak for itself; it is interpreted. Suppose that you are asked whether a given blue cube looks more like a blue pyramid or a bigger red cube. Your answer will differ based on which criterion you will choose; color or shape.The point that should be remembered about this study is that genetic differences are much more complex than what the evolution propagandists would have us believe by such descriptions as "99% similarity." Once other types of genetic variations are taken into account, this percentage significantly decreases. Yet, still, this last interpretation too seems to be overshadowed by evolutionist bias. An internationally respected biochemist Fazale Rana, PhD, denies even the 96% similarity as follows:
[W]hat we are seeing here is a scientific shell game… Researchers are manipulating the outcomes to try and show more similarities between chimps and humans than are actually there by focusing on a single type of genetic difference. When scientists take into account all the types of genetic differences and do a more global comparison, the similarities drop from 96% to about 85%. (10)
Secondly, we see once again that as there is gain in scientific knowledge, evolutionists experience loss. This is how the claims of vestigial organs and junk DNA were abandoned. These claims were based on an erroneous reasoning: "We don"t know their functions, so they must be functionless." With the advance in scientific understanding of them, however, it was understood that the evolutionist claims were severe errors based on ignorance. The genetic similarity propaganda is going through the same process today. Scientists now see that the previous interpretations on genetic similarity were based on a superficial, hasty, clumsy and deceptive approach.
Thirdly, and most importantly, a difference of 40 million bases would fill 10,000 pages, if each base represented a letter. (11) Believing that such genetic difference accumulated as a result of nature"s unconscious forces and coincidences is like believing that tens of thousands of random changes on the electronic edition of a medical encyclopedia would add new information, transforming it into an encyclopedia of physics rather than turning it into a meaningless mass of letters.
The myth of evolution
The tale of the ape-like creature which descended from the trees, adapted to a new habitat, gradually acquired new biological features and eventually turned into a perfect human being is the greatest nonsense of the modern culture. Interestingly, however, genetic researchers seek for the traces of this myth in the human and chimpanzee genomes, believing that their own scientific minds are a product of coincidences and purposeless natural phenomena. What logical reason could there be to believe in this false faith coming from a mind which tries to account for itself as a product of chemical processes?
None, of course.
The theory of evolution is a deception concocted to uncover the fact of creation. Humans and chimpanzees did not evolve; they are perfect beings created by God, the Creator of all.
1 The Chimpanzee Sequencing and Analysis Consortium 2005. "Initial sequence of the chimpanzee genome and comparison with the human genome," Nature 437:69-87.
2 New Genome Comparison Finds Chimps, Humans Very Similar at the DNA Level, NIH News, 31 August 2005, http://www.genome.gov/15515096
3 Michael Hopkin, "Chimpanzee joins the genome club", firstname.lastname@example.org, 31 August 2005, http://npg.nature.com/news/2005/050829/full/050829-9.html
4 Jonathan Marks, "What It Means to be 98% Chimpanzee", University of California Press, 2002, p. 25
5 Marks, ibid, p. 26
6 Tom Paulson, "Chimp, human DNA comparison finds vast similarities, key differences", Seattle-Post Intelligencer, 1 September 2005, http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/238852_chimp01.html
7 Elizabeth Culotta, "GENOMICS: Chimp Genome Catalogs Differences With Humans", Science, Vol 309, Issue 5740, 1468-1469, 2 September 2005
8 Karen Kaplan, "Man, Chimp Separated by Dab of DNA", The LA Times, 1 September 2005,
9 Culotta, "GENOMICS: Chimp Genome Catalogs Differences With Humans," Science
10 Kathleen Campbell, "Leading Biochemist Says Chimp Genome Project is Seriously Flawed," 2 September 2005, http://www.earnedmedia.org/cpr0902.htm
11 David A. DeWitt, Chimp genome sequence very different from man, 5 September 2005,