New study shows that human and chimpanzee DNA are very different

And this new study is from Nature, the prestigious peer-reviewed journal. (H/T Evolution News via Neil Simpson’s latest round-up)


A Nature paper from January, 2010 titled, “Chimpanzee and human Y chromosomes are remarkably divergent in structure and gene content,” found that Y chromosomes in humans and chimps “differ radically in sequence structure and gene content,” showing “extraordinary divergence” where “wholesale renovation is the paramount theme.” Of course, the paper attributes these dramatic genetic changes to “rapid evolution during the past 6 million years.”

One of the scientists behind the study was quoted in a Nature news article stating, “It looks like there’s been a dramatic renovation or reinvention of the Y chromosome in the chimpanzee and human lineages.” The news article states that “many of the stark changes between the chimp and human Y chromosomes are due to gene loss in the chimp and gene gain in the human” since “the chimp Y chromosome has only two-thirds as many distinct genes or gene families as the human Y chromosome and only 47% as many protein-coding elements as humans.” According to the news piece, “Even more striking than the gene loss is the rearrangement of large portions of the chromosome. More than 30% of the chimp Y chromosome lacks an alignable counterpart on the human Y chromosome, and vice versa, whereas this is true for less than 2% of the remainder of the genome.”

I’m sure this will make it into the public school textbooks and PBS/Discovery Channel documentaries right away. Right! Away!

6 thoughts on “New study shows that human and chimpanzee DNA are very different”

  1. The whole chimp DNA thing is an example of reporting bias. They like to use the “98% similar” argument. But there are 3 billion letters in the human DNA genome, and they are 98.5% similar with chimps. DNA is fantastically complex, and the math yields 45 million differences.

    Most of the “science” in the article was based on the unproven assumption that chimps and humans have a common ancestor.

    The “rapid evolution” argument is a just-so story about how the DNA could have tens of millions of changes in only a few million years (according to their theory), as well as how it kept changing at the same pace throughout the human population without us veering off into multiple species. Or if it changed at a rapid pace, why did it do so for some and not others? And how did the males and females just happen to evolve similarly and simultaneously?

    And where are those missing fossils? Shouldn’t the archeological finds be teeming with transitional fossils? Instead, we find explosions of fossils.

    All life on earth, from bacteria to human beings, have at last 25% of DNA in common. The DNA of a nematode worm is 75% similar to that of humans. They could have mentioned that our DNA is 30% similar to bananas. But it is the differences that matter.


  2. I liked how one darwinist put it recently — we are far more like earthworms than we realize! Earthworms were unavailable for comment. As far as I know, they neither commit murder nor abort their young — so there are at least a few differences.

    IDers make the following observations:

    1. Common origin does not prove darwinism.

    2. Natural selection is a duh! observation — the stronger, more fit, survive. What is the definition of the stronger, more fit? Those who survive.

    3. The issue (if one assumes common origin) is the mechanism for explaining life as it has evolved on earth — designed, purposeful parts, and the whole human condition of consciousness, morality, purpose- and meaning- driven, etc. The darwinian mechanism fails the sufficiency test. That is why reasonable persons continue to reject darwinism while materialists, atheists, and materialist-atheist biologists circle the wagons in its defense.

    Seeking to be wise, they became fools, and their foolish hearts were darkened.

    Far better to be created in the image of God than a near-cousin to an earthworm.


  3. I’ve always been amazed that the assumption is common ancestor rather than the logic that similarities would naturally exist between the many creatures created by a single Creator. Take any artist. There are characteristics amongst all his work that suggests one artist, composer, author. (Differences alleged between certain stories suggest Shakespeare didn’t write all that was attributed to him.) Somehow we’re to expect and take as fact that God should have made everything totally unique? That’s why creationism is inferior to evolution? The Darwinists/evolutionists look to similarities as suggesting common ancestor. I see it as suggesting one Creator.


    1. In my line of work, we re-use standard Java libraries all the time for basic functionality, like logging and string manipulation. I think that people don’t realize that the genome is nothing but software – there is going to be re-use of standard functionality.


    2. “The Darwinists/evolutionists look to similarities as suggesting common ancestor.” They also look to the evidence of progression from less complex to more complex as evidence of a natural continuum rather than distinct, abrupt creations (Cambrian explosion excepted!).


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