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With no dictionary tricks, humans only 70% similar to chimps

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Former professor of genetics at Clemson, Jeffrey Tomkins points out humans and chimps potentially have only 70% similarity. But this bold claim is at variance with the popularly reported similarity of 98%? How can this be?

Recall the “dictionary trick” whereby Tom Wolfe’s famous novel The Right Stuff can be shown to be almost 100% identical to a dictionary merely by aligning the words in Wolfe’s novel against identical words in the dictionary. The illusion of similarity is brought about by a total disregard for sentence structure and context of the words within sentences, paragraphs, and chapters. When those considerations are taken into account, it becomes preposterous to assert The Right Stuff is almost 100% identical to a dictionary. But such illegitimate lines of comparison are the staple of evolutionism.

Creationists prior to Darwin saw that Chimps are among the most similar creatures to humans relative other creatures like trees or fish. No need for ID proponents or creationists to run away from the similarity. But let’s make accurate similarity arguments, not one’s based on the dictionary trick that results in horribly distorted comparisons. If humans are only 70% similar to chimps, that poses difficulty for evolutionism in that vast amounts of change are needed to evolve a human from a supposed primate ancestor, not the trivial amounts Darwinists claim.

In a draft coverage, very small fragments of the genome are sequenced in millions of individual reactions using high-throughput robotics equipment. This produces individual sequence fragments of about 500 to 1,200 bases in length. Based on overlapping reads, these individual sequences are assembled into contiguous clusters of sequence called sequencing contigs. In the case of a chimpanzee, an organism with a genome size of about 3 billion bases, a 3.6-fold coverage means that approximately 10.8 billion bases of DNA were sequenced (3.6 x 3.0). The result is a data set consisting of thousands of random sequencing contigs, or islands of contiguous sequence that need to be oriented and placed in position on their respective chromosomes.

In the 2005 chimpanzee genome project and resulting Nature journal publication, the sequence contigs4 were not assembled and oriented based on a map of the chimpanzee genome, but rather on a map of the human genome. Given the fact that the chimpanzee genome is at least 10 percent larger5 overall than the human genome, this method of assembly was not only biased toward an evolutionary presupposition of human-chimp similarity, but was also inherently flawed.

The title of the recent journal article accurately sums up the research findings: “Chimpanzee and Human Y Chromosomes are Remarkably Divergent in Structure and Gene Content.” Before getting into the details of their results, it is important to understand that for the first time, the chimpanzee DNA sequence for a chromosome was assembled and oriented based on a Y chromosome map/framework built for chimpanzee and not human. As a result, the chimpanzee DNA sequence could then be more accurately compared to the human Y chromosome because it was standing on its own merit.

The Y chromosome is found only in males and contains many genes that specify male features, as well as genetic and regulatory information that is expressed throughout the whole body. Because of the recent outcome comparing the chimp and human Y chromosomes in a more objective assessment, it is possible that major discrepancies will be revealed among the other chromosomes that are claimed to be so similar.

From a large-scale perspective, the human and chimp Y chromosomes were constructed entirely differently. On the human Y chromosome, there were found four major categories of DNA sequence that occupy specific regions. One can think of this in terms of geography. Just as a continent like Europe is divided into countries because of different people groups, so are chromosomes with different categories of DNA sequence.

Not only were the locations of DNA categories completely different between human and chimp, but so were their proportions. One sequence class, or category containing DNA with a characteristic sequence, within the chimpanzee Y chromosome had less than 10 percent similarity with the same class in the human Y chromosome, and vice versa. Another large class shared only half the similarities of the other species, and vice versa. One differed by as much as 3.3-fold (330 percent), and a class specific to human “has no counterpart in the chimpanzee MSY [male-specific Y chromosome].”1

As far as looking at specific genes, the chimp and human Y chromosomes had a dramatic difference in gene content of 53 percent. In other words, the chimp was lacking approximately half of the genes found on a human Y chromosome. Because genes occur in families or similarity categories, the researchers also sought to determine if there was any difference in actual gene categories. They found a shocking 33 percent difference. The human Y chromosome contains a third more gene categories–entirely different classes of genes–compared to chimps.

Under evolutionary assumptions of long and gradual genetic changes, the Y chromosome structures, layouts, genes, and other sequences should be much the same in both species, given the relatively short–according to the evolutionary timeline–six-million-year time span since chimpanzees and humans supposedly diverged from a common ancestor. Instead, the differences between the Y chromosomes are marked. R. Scott Hawley, a genetics researcher at the Stowers Institute in Kansas City who wasn’t involved in the research, told the Associated Press, “That result is astounding.”6

Because virtually every structural aspect of the human and chimp Y chromosomes was different, it was hard to arrive at an overall similarity estimate between the two. The researchers did postulate an overall 70 percent similarity, which did not take into account size differences or structural arrangement differences. This was done by concluding that only 70 percent of the chimp sequence could be aligned with the human sequence–not taking into account differences within the alignments.

In other words, 70 percent was a conservative estimate, especially when considering that 50 percent of the human genes were missing from the chimp, and that the regions that did have some similarity were located in completely different patterns. When all aspects of non-similarity–sequence categories, genes, gene families, and gene position–are taken into account, it is safe to say that the overall similarity was lower than 70 percent. The Nature article expressed the discrepancy between this data and standard evolutionary interpretations in a rather intriguing way: “Indeed, at 6 million years of separation, the difference in MSY gene content in chimpanzee and human is more comparable to the difference in autosomal gene content in chicken and human, at 310 million years of separation.”

27 Replies to “With no dictionary tricks, humans only 70% similar to chimps

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    Sal you are pretty good with some of the technical details in a lot of this similarity/dissimilarity stuff and because of that talent I was wondering if you could help me more firmly nail down a technical detail in this matter? You see Sal, I strongly suspect that the alternative splicing code between Chimps and Humans is vastly different but I have not yet been able to nail this strong suspicion down to a sufficient degree. The following evidence is what makes me strongly suspect that the alternative splicing codes are vastly different:

    This following study, which discovered that there actually is a “splicing code” on top of the genetic code, should have, by all reasonable accounts just because of the sheer complexity of finding one code on top of another code, stopped neo-Darwinian evolution dead in its tracks:

    Nature Reports Discovery of “Second Genetic Code” But Misses Intelligent Design Implications – May 2010
    Excerpt: Rebutting those who claim that much of our genome is useless, the article reports that “95% of the human genome is alternatively spliced, and that changes in this process accompany many diseases.” ,,,, the complexity of this “splicing code” is mind-boggling:,,, A summary of this article also titled “Breaking the Second Genetic Code” in the print edition of Nature summarized this research thusly: “At face value, it all sounds simple: DNA makes RNA, which then makes protein. But the reality is much more complex.,,, So what we’re finding in biology are:

    # “beautiful” genetic codes that use a biochemical language;
    # Deeper layers of codes within codes showing an “expanding realm of complexity”;
    # Information processing systems that are far more complex than previously thought (and we already knew they were complex), including “the appearance of features deeper into introns than previously appreciated”

    Researchers Crack ‘Splicing Code,’ Solve a Mystery Underlying Biological Complexity – May 2010
    Excerpt: “Understanding a complex biological system is like understanding a complex electronic circuit. Our team ‘reverse-engineered’ the splicing code using large-scale experimental data generated by the group,”

    Breakthrough: Second Genetic Code Revealed – May 2010
    Excerpt: The paper is a triumph of information science that sounds reminiscent of the days of the World War II codebreakers. Their methods included algebra, geometry, probability theory, vector calculus, information theory, code optimization, and other advanced methods. One thing they had no need of was evolutionary theory,,,

    Deciphering the splicing code – May 2010
    Excerpt: Here we describe the assembly of a ‘splicing code’, which uses combinations of hundreds of RNA features to predict tissue-dependent changes in alternative splicing for thousands of exons. The code determines new classes of splicing patterns, identifies distinct regulatory programs in different tissues, and identifies mutation-verified regulatory sequences.,,,

    Deriving the code for alternative splicing – Dr Yoseph Barash – video

    This following paper highlights the regulatory role that the ‘second code’ has over the primary protein coding DNA code:

    Researchers Crack ‘Splicing Code,’ Solve a Mystery Underlying Biological Complexity
    Excerpt: “For example, three neurexin genes can generate over 3,000 genetic messages that help control the wiring of the brain,” says Frey. “Previously, researchers couldn’t predict how the genetic messages would be rearranged, or spliced, within a living cell,” Frey said. “The splicing code that we discovered has been successfully used to predict how thousands of genetic messages are rearranged differently in many different tissues.

    The preceding study put a ‘unique signature of individuality’ upon the human genome that is set completely apart from the chimpanzee genome since functional ‘junk intron sequences’ were used in deciphering the ‘second genetic code’ (the splicing code),,,,

    Canadian Team Develops Alternative Splicing Code from Mouse Tissue Data
    Excerpt: “Our method takes as an input a collection of exons and surrounding intron sequences and data profiling how those exons are spliced in different tissues,” Frey and his co-authors wrote. “The method assembles a code that can predict how a transcript will be spliced in different tissues.”

    ,,, And yet these ‘junk intron sequences’, that were used to decipher the splicing code of different tissue types in an organism, are found to be ‘exceptionally different’ between chimpanzees and Humans:

    Modern origin of numerous alternatively spliced human introns from tandem arrays – 2006
    Excerpt: A comparison with orthologous regions in mouse and chimpanzee suggests a young age for the human introns with the most-similar boundaries. Finally, we show that these human introns are alternatively spliced with exceptionally high frequency.

    Characterization and potential functional significance of human-chimpanzee large INDEL variation – October 2011
    Excerpt:,,, we categorized human-chimpanzee INDEL (Insertion, Deletion) variation mapping in or around genes and determined whether this variation is significantly correlated with previously determined differences in gene expression.
    Results: Extensive, large INDEL (Insertion, Deletion) variation exists between the human and chimpanzee genomes. This variation is primarily attributable to retrotransposon insertions within the human lineage. There is a significant correlation between differences in gene expression and large human-chimpanzee INDEL variation mapping in genes or in proximity to them.

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    Jonathan Wells comments on the ‘Darwinian’ Logic, within the preceding paper, that attributed the large scale variation that was found to Darwinian processes:

    Darwinian Logic: The Latest on Chimp and Human DNA – Jonathan Wells – October 2011
    Excerpt: Protein-coding regions of DNA in chimps and humans are remarkably similar — 98%, by many estimates — and this similarity has been used as evidence that the two species are descended from a common ancestor. Yet chimps and humans are very different anatomically and behaviorally, and even thirty years ago some biologists were speculating that those differences might be due to non-protein-coding regions, which make up about 98% of chimp and human DNA. (In other words, the 98% similarity refers to only 2% of the genome.) Now a research team headed by John F. McDonald at Georgia Tech has published evidence that large segments of non-protein-coding DNA differ significantly between chimps and humans,,,, If the striking similarities in protein-coding DNA point to the common ancestry of chimps and humans, why don’t dissimilarities in the much more abundant non-protein-coding DNA point to their separate origins?

    This following, more recent, paper found that Alternative Splicing patterns appear to be ‘species specific’:

    ,,,Alternative splicing,,, may contribute to species differences – December 21, 2012
    Excerpt: After analyzing vast amounts of genetic data, the researchers found that the same genes are expressed in the same tissue types, such as liver or heart, across mammalian species. However, alternative splicing patterns—which determine the segments of those genes included or excluded—vary from species to species.,,,
    The results from the alternative splicing pattern comparison were very different. Instead of clustering by tissue, the patterns clustered mostly by species. “Different tissues from the cow look more like the other cow tissues, in terms of splicing, than they do like the corresponding tissue in mouse or rat or rhesus,” Burge says. Because splicing patterns are more specific to each species, it appears that splicing may contribute preferentially to differences between those species, Burge says,,,
    Excerpt of Abstract: To assess tissue-specific transcriptome variation across mammals, we sequenced complementary DNA from nine tissues from four mammals and one bird in biological triplicate, at unprecedented depth. We find that while tissue-specific gene expression programs are largely conserved, alternative splicing is well conserved in only a subset of tissues and is frequently lineage-specific. Thousands of previously unknown, lineage-specific, and conserved alternative exons were identified;

    Evolution by Splicing – Comparing gene transcripts from different species reveals surprising splicing diversity. – Ruth Williams – December 20, 2012
    Excerpt: A major question in vertebrate evolutionary biology is “how do physical and behavioral differences arise if we have a very similar set of genes to that of the mouse, chicken, or frog?”,,,
    A commonly discussed mechanism was variable levels of gene expression, but both Blencowe and Chris Burge,,, found that gene expression is relatively conserved among species.
    On the other hand, the papers show that most alternative splicing events differ widely between even closely related species. “The alternative splicing patterns are very different even between humans and chimpanzees,” said Blencowe.,,,

    I suspect this finding is far more devastating than the authors let on in the preceding paper. Finding very different regulatory ‘alternative splicing codes/schemes’ to be regulating ‘alternative splicing events’ of different species is very devastating because of neo-Darwinism’s inability to account for any changes of any particular part of a code once it is in place. This applies to either drastic of minor changes of any particular code. This constraint applies to Alternative Splicing codes, Genetic codes, Histone codes, Acetylation codes, or any other code found, or that may be found, in life,,, Of note:

    “In the last ten years, at least 20 different natural information codes were discovered in life, each operating to arbitrary conventions (not determined by law or physicality). Examples include protein address codes [Ber08B], acetylation codes [Kni06], RNA codes [Fai07], metabolic codes [Bru07], cytoskeleton codes [Gim08], histone codes [Jen01], and alternative splicing codes [Bar10]. Donald E. Johnson – Programming of Life – pg.51 – 2010

    ,,,The reason why finding drastically different alternative splicing codes/schemes between closely related species is devastating to neo-Darwinian (bottom up) evolution is partly seen by understanding ‘Shannon Channel Capacity’:

    “Because of Shannon channel capacity that previous (first) codon alphabet had to be at least as complex as the current codon alphabet (DNA code), otherwise transferring the information from the simpler alphabet into the current alphabet would have been mathematically impossible”
    Donald E. Johnson – Bioinformatics: The Information in Life

    Shannon Information – Channel Capacity – Perry Marshall – video

    But the primary reason why this is so devastating to neo-Darwinian (bottom up) evolution is best understood by taking a look at what Richard Dawkins has said about what would happen if one were to ‘randomly’ change part of the genetic code once it is in place:

    Venter vs. Dawkins on the Tree of Life – and Another Dawkins Whopper – March 2011
    Excerpt:,,, But first, let’s look at the reason Dawkins gives for why the code must be universal:
    “The reason is interesting. Any mutation in the genetic code itself (as opposed to mutations in the genes that it encodes) would have an instantly catastrophic effect, not just in one place but throughout the whole organism. If any word in the 64-word dictionary changed its meaning, so that it came to specify a different amino acid, just about every protein in the body would instantaneously change, probably in many places along its length. Unlike an ordinary mutation…this would spell disaster.” (2009, p. 409-10)
    OK. Keep Dawkins’ claim of universality in mind, along with his argument for why the code must be universal, and then go here (linked site listing 23 variants of the genetic code).
    Simple counting question: does “one or two” equal 23? That’s the number of known variant genetic codes compiled by the National Center for Biotechnology Information. By any measure, Dawkins is off by an order of magnitude, times a factor of two.

    The bottom line is that if any regulatory code, such as the alternative splicing code, is ‘randomly changed’ in part, it throws the entire code out of whack and will be ‘instantly catastrophic’, to use Richard Dawkins most appropriate words, thus rendering gradual change to the code impossible. The entire code must be implemented ‘top down’ when the species is created.!

    Related note:

    Matheson’s Intron Fairy Tale – Richard Sternberg – June 2010
    Excerpt: The failure to recognize the importance of introns “may well go down as one of the biggest mistakes in the history of molecular biology.” –John Mattick, Molecular biologist, University of Queensland, quoted in Scientific American,,, So let’s do the math. At least ninety percent of gene transcripts undergo alternative splicing, and there are at least 190,000 introns in the human genome. That means we have at least 0.90 x 190,000 = 171,000 introns that participate in the alternative-splicing pathway(s) available to a cell.

    As, hopefully, you can clearly see Sal, there is good reason for us IDiots to ‘strongly suspect’ that the alternative splicing codes are vastly different between humans and chimps. As well, as I’m sure is much more obvious to you with your experience dealing with Shannon channel capacity, a different alternative splicing code would be devastating to the Darwinian notion of gradualism. But, as I’m sure you also picked up on, I’m no where near the technical detail that would be required to ‘scientifically’ say with 100% confidence that the alternative splicing codes are in fact vastly different between chimps and Humans. I know this has been a long post and apologize for that, but hopefully you can now see the problem and can help flesh it out more clearly so as to make it a more solid proof (or perhaps you can tell me why this would not be completely devastating to Darwinism as I strongly suspect it to be)


    “Our experience-based knowledge of information-flow confirms that systems with large amounts of specified complexity (especially codes and languages) invariably originate from an intelligent source — from a mind or personal agent.”
    (Stephen C. Meyer, “The origin of biological information and the higher taxonomic categories,” Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 117(2):213-239 (2004).)

    “A code system is always the result of a mental process (it requires an intelligent origin or inventor). It should be emphasized that matter as such is unable to generate any code. All experiences indicate that a thinking being voluntarily exercising his own free will, cognition, and creativity, is required. ,,,there is no known law of nature and no known sequence of events which can cause information to originate by itself in matter. Werner Gitt 1997 In The Beginning Was Information pp. 64-67, 79, 107.”
    (The retired Dr Gitt was a director and professor at the German Federal Institute of Physics and Technology (Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt, Braunschweig), the Head of the Department of Information Technology.)

    Verse and music:

    John 1:3
    Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

    Jars Of Clay – Flood

  3. 3
    Breckmin says:

    “Indeed, at 6 million years of separation, the difference in MSY gene content in chimpanzee and human is more comparable to the difference in autosomal gene content in chicken and human, at 310 million years of separation.”

    Is this a J.F. Hughes quote…and what do we know about him? (her?) ID? TE?

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    OT: Absolutely mindblowing video shot from the Space Shuttle during launch –

    Hype: Drop whatever you’re doing and watch this. NASA has released videos shot from onboard the Space Shuttle’s Solid Rocket Boosters in the past, but you’ve never seen one prepared as masterfully as this.

  5. 5
    Mung says:

    I’m pretty sure I’m closer to a monkey than just 70%.

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    as to: ‘I’m pretty sure I’m closer to a monkey than just 70%.’

    Actually mung, as I’m sure you are probably well aware, depending on what metric you choose to use you could be ‘percentage wise’ more similar to other creatures. For instance if you use comparisons of anatomical traits there is a strong case that you are more closely related to a pig than a chimp. In fact Physorg had a recent article up showing that the ‘ahem’ pig-chimp hybrid theory for human origins is much harder to shoot down than Darwinists had first supposed it would be to shoot down and a strong reason for that is because of anatomical traits:

    Human hybrids: a closer look at the theory and evidence – July 25, 2013
    Excerpt: There was considerable fallout, both positive and negative, from our first story covering the radical pig-chimp hybrid theory put forth by Dr. Eugene McCarthy,,,By and large, those coming out against the theory had surprisingly little science to offer in their sometimes personal attacks against McCarthy.
    ,,,Under the alternative hypothesis (humans are not pig-chimp hybrids), the assumption is that humans and chimpanzees are equally distant from pigs. You would therefore expect chimp traits not seen in humans to be present in pigs at about the same rate as are human traits not found in chimps. However, when he searched the literature for traits that distinguish humans and chimps, and compiled a lengthy list of such traits, he found that it was always humans who were similar to pigs with respect to these traits. This finding is inconsistent with the possibility that humans are not pig-chimp hybrids, that is, it rejects that hypothesis.,,,

    Or if one wants to use intelligence to make comparisons then the percentages would fall along this line,,

    Humans Evolved from Dogs (Dogs shown to be smarter than chimps) – February 2012
    Excerpt: Birds are actually smarter than dogs, and dolphins than birds. So we have to update our earlier report that humans evolved from pigeons. The new evolutionary tree is: chimps begat dogs, who begat birds, who begat dolphins, who begat people. Hydrogen begat everything; or was it nothing that begat everything?

  7. 7
    Joe says:


    I’m pretty sure I’m closer to a monkey than just 70%.

    Right now I am 75% closer to my dog (under my chair) than I am to my daughter’s kitten #1 (on shelf just above the monitor). And I am closer to both of them than I am to my daughter- she’s down the hall, in the bathroom.

  8. 8
    Querius says:

    Very funny, Joe.

    I wonder what epigenetic differences were taken into consideration when comparing DNA between species. Also, the article points out problems with the comparison process. I understand that there’s controversy among Darwinists as to whether humans are “closest” to gorillas, chimpanzees, or orangutans:

    A paper by Grehan and Schwartz claims that DNA comparisons consider only a small percentage of the human and chimpanzee genomes. They claim that humans share at least 28 unique physical characteristics with orangutans, seven with gorillas, but only two with chimpanzees.

    “There are many paleontologists and molecular biologists who are hooting, jumping, and throwing feces at this paper,” noted Peter Andrews of the Natural History Museum in London. Oops, I miscopied the quote! 😉

    Now, before denying Mung’s claim, you should take into consideration morphological and behavioral comparisons. For example, can Mung hold an apple with his foot? Can he eat the apple while holding it with his foot? And finally, does he often do so?

    These and other important questions need to be answered before jumping to any conclusions. 😉

  9. 9
    Breckmin says:

    speaking of genome similarities, what about the compartmentalization and 3 dimensional structure in interphase nucleus? How dissimilar is just the positioning of chromosomes between chimps and humans?

    Also, on a different note, regarding Human Chromosome 2…
    I’m often hit will claims of telomere to telomere fusion but when I research it I always find comparative inductions of different species that are “believed to be related” but never a find involving an OBSERVED mutation that resulted in telomere to telomere fusion. Is there such a find?
    I’m always told I am ignorant on this (telomere fusion).

  10. 10
    lifepsy says:

    The thing about this Human-Chimp genetic similarity thing is how much of a strategic hot spot it is for Evolutionists. There seems to be way too much at stake with it. Can any scientist expect to publish results contrary to the 98-99% claim without being condemned as a traitor and subsequent career execution?

    Interesting video rebutting the Chimp-Human Chromosome 2 fusion claim using telomeric sequences. Starts around 6:20, in response to a used-car salesman named Ken Miller.

    I would be interested to read any comments on this.

  11. 11
    ericB says:

    lifepsy @10, I expect evolutionists will treat this harsh reality like so many others.

    There will be the public story, the simplified, convincing story that is told to the masses (but which leaves out or at least minimizes all the damaging evidence). Meanwhile, within scholarly scientific contexts they will air the dirty laundry and argue about how to find a new coherent and convincing story before the public catches wind of the full details.

    A key point to this strategy is fighting strongly against any attempts to teach the public both the evidence for and the evidence against Darwinism. Darwinism is dogma that must not be questioned (i.e. by the masses, at least until the faithful clerics of evolution have succeeded in finding the replacement). Evolution is certainly true. (We just don’t know how to make consistent sense of it yet, given the evidence.)

    The scientists are already realizing they need to start backing away from the 98% figure. Consider the article:
    Jon Cohen, “Relative Differences: The Myth of 1%,” Science, Vol. 316:1836 (June 29, 2007).

    That article is discussed here: Darwin’s Failed Predictions, Slide 10: “The myth of 1% human-chimp genetic differences” (from

  12. 12
    ericB says:

    I have a question about the 70% figure. I knew that the older 98% was faulty because

    – It only considered the protein coding portions (completely disregarding the supposed “junk” DNA, which actually has function).

    – It disregarded genes that were present in humans but not chimps or vice versa. Thus it only considered variations in genes that were common to both.

    – It gives no indication of how humans and chimps differ in how they use the genes they have (e.g. gene expression, alternative splicing).

    My question is about exactly how much the 70% figure takes into consideration. The above description initially suggests that the sequencing considered the whole genome, not simply coding DNA. Then it says:

    The researchers did postulate an overall 70 percent similarity, which did not take into account size differences or structural arrangement differences. This was done by concluding that only 70 percent of the chimp sequence could be aligned with the human sequence–not taking into account differences within the alignments.

    So, allowing that they did not consider differences within aligned sequences, would it be correct to say that they were working across the whole genome and not limited to only protein-coding portions with regard to this 70% alignment?

  13. 13
    bornagain77 says:

    Well ericB, I don’t know the exact details save that it was a conservative estimate. Here is the article

    Comprehensive Analysis of Chimpanzee and Human Chromosomes Reveals Average DNA Similarity of 70% – by Jeffrey P. Tomkins – February 20, 2013
    Excerpt: For the chimp autosomes, the amount of optimally aligned DNA sequence provided similarities between 66 and 76%, depending on the chromosome. In general, the smaller and more gene-dense the chromosomes, the higher the DNA similarity—although there were several notable exceptions defying this trend. Only 69% of the chimpanzee X chromosome was similar to human and only 43% of the Y chromosome. Genome-wide, only 70% of the chimpanzee DNA was similar to human under the most optimal sequence-slice conditions. While, chimpanzees and humans share many localized protein-coding regions of high similarity, the overall extreme discontinuity between the two genomes defies evolutionary timescales and dogmatic presuppositions about a common ancestor.

    Of note, I don’t even think they considered the large percentage of ORFan genes now being found in that conservative 70% figure. Perhaps Sal or someone else more versed in genetics can clarify as to how conservative the 70% figure actually is and give a educated guess as to which direction the percentage may head in the future:

  14. 14
    Querius says:

    I seem to remember reading that there’s a big difference when comparing the Y chromosome of humans and chimpanzees. I wonder how the Y chromosomes of the gorilla and orangutan compare.

  15. 15
    MrMosis says:

    I may be just a beginning student on some of these matters, but it seems to me that an ingredients list similarity of either 70% or even 98% are both rather whoopti do. Cooks and recipes are where it’s at, is it not so?

    Expression regulatory networks, non-coding regions, splicing codes, and so on might represent some differences in the ingredients list (including the language the lists are written in)…. basically the recipes for the real recipes. Recipe recipes.

    But then come to find out, the master chef (the organism as a whole) has extraordinary discretion, in the context of his master kitchen (the environment), when it comes to how to direct his regional chefs (the epigenome) to assemble their own works of art, in accordance with their own tastes, experiences, and culinary persuasions, into the various instances of the myriad cell types needed in each “location” in which they are….. needed.

    But yeah, I guess human and chimp are more or less the same dish.

  16. 16
    Robert Byers says:

    YEC have, or should, a greater acceptance of looking like apes then iD people might.
    This because the bible teaches we are made in Gods image. Yet to be on earth we can’t have a body with this image. We must be in the equation of biology.
    WE must have the same parts. Therefore we simply were given the best body within nature for a higher being. We were given apes bodies. tHey are the model.
    Adam was created separately but is a exact copy of the apes of Eden.
    A YEC creationist should not seek to find much difference between us and apes. Its the same body. It could only be that way.
    Man is within the very common blueprint of nature.
    So man looks like nature but is not of nature. Hes uniquely of God
    ID people and YEC seek to find percetages of difference between us and apes to prove we are not related. Wrong agenda.
    We are not related because we were created differently. Yet our bodies are the same model.
    I want us to be 98% the same. it makes a YEC point.

  17. 17
    ericB says:

    Robert Byers @16, I’d suggest the best approach is not to seek to find only the evidence that arrives at some predetermined conclusion, but rather to seek the truth and listen to what the evidence is saying about what is true.

    If humans and chimps (or apes or whatever) had turned out to be very nearly identical in all respects, then that would be what it is. However, as it turns out, they are quite dissimilar.

    That dissimilarity can only increase as we learn about more and more differences. The dissimilarity we have already found cannot be made to disappear.

  18. 18
    ericB says:

    bornagain77 @13 wrote:

    Well ericB, I don’t know the exact details save that it was a conservative estimate.

    Of note, I don’t even think they considered the large percentage of ORFan genes now being found in that conservative 70% figure. Perhaps Sal or someone else more versed in genetics can clarify as to how conservative the 70% figure actually is and give a educated guess as to which direction the percentage may head in the future:

    Thanks for the info, including your previous posts above.

    I know that scordova’s original article quotation indicated that “70 percent was a conservative estimate”. However, using “conservative” in that context is really bugging me as an awkward way of putting matters.

    By one meaning, a “conservative estimate” would imply a number that is “Moderate; cautious” and/or “Traditional or restrained in style”. Or “marked by moderation or caution” and/or having shades of “tending or disposed to maintain existing views, conditions, or institutions”.

    So by one sense, from a traditional, Darwinian biological perspective, a “conservative” number would be one that does not radically depart from previous expectations, meaning a number that is likely on the high side and could go even lower. That would also fit with the reality that we can only find more difference than we’ve always found. We cannot unfind the differences we already observe.

    On the other hand, there is a strong sense that most people have that a “conservative estimate” means “cautiously moderate or purposefully low, which strongly implies exactly the opposite.

    So, calling it “conservative” seems to be an ambiguous and therefore confusing and potentially misleading way to characterize the situation.

    Now, if we said that there was a conservative estimate of a 30% difference (rather than a 70% similarity), then both connotations would point in the same direction. Or perhaps there is another way to say it more clearly.

  19. 19
    ericB says:

    bornagain77 @13 wrote:

    Of note, I don’t even think they considered the large percentage of ORFan genes now being found in that conservative 70% figure. Perhaps Sal or someone else more versed in genetics can clarify as to how conservative the 70% figure actually is and give a educated guess as to which direction the percentage may head in the future:

    About your question, if I understand their process correctly, the 70% figure is based on how well aligned the sequence for each chromosome was. As your excerpt said

    For the chimp autosomes, the amount of optimally aligned DNA sequence provided similarities between 66 and 76%, depending on the chromosome.

    So I would think that would have to mean that ORFans are implicitly taken into account, since they would not be aligned with anything in the corresponding sequence of the other organism.

    On the other hand, it does not sound like the figure includes any attempt to quantify the differences in the aligned sequences.

    The whole task of trying to reduce similarity or differences to a single number is a stretch no matter what.

    Think of it this way. If you looked at different revisions of a typed manuscript that was being revised and prepared for publication, or different revisions of the code for some software, you might find parts that disappear, new parts that appear, parts that move from one place to another, and (whether moved or not) differences within parts that were present in both versions. What is “the number” that captures the similarity or difference?

    Even if we only considered the single type of change that parts are moved around, what number would clearly communicate the amount of similarity or difference involved in rearranging the text?

    What I would maintain is that extent of the differences can only increase the more we look.

  20. 20
    bornagain77 says:


    “What I would maintain is that extent of the differences can only increase the more we look.”

    I agree.

  21. 21
    englishmaninistanbul says:

    “I’m pretty sure my Galaxy Note N7000 is closer than 70% to my G-5510 slider.”

    Based on what exactly?

    As upgrades go I’d say we’re a pretty big one on a chimp. I mean we have wifi and satnav and everything!

  22. 22
    englishmaninistanbul says:

    Sorry that should have been C5510. Silly me.

  23. 23
    Breckmin says:

    any responses to @ 9?

    I know the HC2/telomere fusion is a little off topic…but are there any observed mutations which corroborate it being possible? Or is it just based on comparative inductions of believed to be related species?

  24. 24
    Breckmin says:

    Robert Byers @ 16

    Fully agreed. UCD theorists do not have a monopoly on the similarities between chimps and humans. The behavioral differences and morphological similarities “scream” evidence for being uniquely created with human consciousness. It corroborates the ancient scriptures and Moses’ description of God’s Likeness or God’s Conscious Image in Genesis.

    We expect to see God’s Trademark in the order of creation..and this is why UDC theorist do NOT have a monopoly on similarities like endogenous retroviruses or HC2. These observations are part of creation and fully demonstrate to us (via our interpretations) that we are metaphysically different (created in God’s Image) and the apes are God’s gift to make such truth rather obvious.

  25. 25
    Robert Byers says:

    Finding differences is largely prompted to show we are not related to apes.
    A desire to be different to confront the claim that likeness means we are related.
    I’m saying its not what Genesis creationists need or desire.
    The more like an ape the more it demands our body is made in the ape image as its the best body for souls made in gods image.
    What other body type would anyone pick if they had this God like being(us) but was restrained to be in the equation of a common biological blueprint?
    Lions and ducks forms would fail to allow driving cars!

    there will be differences but observation persuades that we have the ape body and its not a coincidence.
    Its a plan. It could only be that way.
    98% or 72% must still indicate this result for Genesis to be true.
    I think like God but I’m in a ape body. (Speaking for myself).

  26. 26
    Robert Byers says:

    Yes Apes show our body as being just a part of a continuum in biology on earth.
    We are just more finely tuned ape bodies.
    Yet our soul and thinking is of the creator.
    Adam was separately created but his soul was in a image of God and his body in the image of a common blueprint for biology and then the best body for us to be happy in.
    The God of orderly physics is the God of orderly biology.
    Same laws but biology is more complicated then physics and so requires more advanced intellectual thought to figure things out.

  27. 27
    Breckmin says:

    @ 10 lifepsy

    in response to a used-car salesman named Ken Miller.

    I hadn’t heard that one before…

    but I guess only a used car salesman would wear/use a mouse trap for a tie clip.

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