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Michael Egnor: Why human-ape similarity argues for human exceptionality

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If man is an animal biologically, but so unlike an animal cognitively, the obvious implication is that some aspect of the human mind is not biological:

Only man has the capacity for abstract thought, and this is what essentially distinguishes us from non-human animals. The fact that we share so much biologically with animals means that the enormous differences between the human mind and the animal mind do not have a material origin. That is, the profound differences between humans and animals is not in the substance of our bodies.

Ironically, if humans and animals were biologically more different, materialists could claim that the material biological differences rather than immaterial spiritual differences account for our powers of abstract thought. It is precisely the biological similarity between humans and animals that precludes such an argument.Michael Egnor, “Human-ape similarity shows humans are exceptional” at Mind Matters News

When everything is the same except the one thing that matters most, we can be sure we are onto a real difference.

Also by Michael Egnor on human exceptionalism

Can animals “reason”? My challenge to Jeffrey Shallit: He believes that animals can engage in abstract thinking. What abstractions do they reason about?

University fires philosophy prof, hires chimpanzee to teach, research A light-hearted look at what would happen if we really thought that unreason is better than reason

Why apes are not spiritual beings: Apes do not have language, which enables humans to think about abstract ideas

How is human language different from animal signals? What do we need from language that we cannot get from signals alone?

and

Apes can be generous. Are they just like humans then?

17 Replies to “Michael Egnor: Why human-ape similarity argues for human exceptionality

  1. 1
    Brother Brian says:

    Only man has the capacity for abstract thought,…

    Except there is plenty of evidence that some animals are capable of abstract thought. Maybe not at the level of most humans, but certainly at the level of ET. 🙂

  2. 2
    ET says:

    LoL! Every animal and most plants and fungi, are smarter than Brother Brian.

    Brother Brian cannot reason and to him “abstract” is just another word

  3. 3
    doubter says:

    Only man has the capacity for abstract thought, and this is what essentially distinguishes us from non-human animals.

    Far be it from me to actually agree with Brother Brian on anything, but there is at least some experimental evidence that some animals exhibit what appears to be an aspect of abstract thought and reasoning, albeit where the object of the thought is still always physically concrete. I don’t see how the Scholastic position (Dr. Egnor’s), that humans alone possess abstract thought and apprehension of logical/mathematical universals, can withstand the ongoing research into animal cognition.

    I still agree with Dr. Egnor that human abstract thought seems definitely to be immaterial and ultimately not brain based. Evidence is evidence, whatever the implications may be for consciousness science.

    This short video (at https://youtu.be/meiU6TxysCg ) shows two Capuchin monkeys being given different rewards for the same action. One monkey is given a grape as reward for accomplishing a task. The other monkey sees that, but he is given just a cucumber as reward in return for the same task. He angrily protests this as unfair by throwing the cucumber back. This could be interpreted as the monkey given just the cucumber having the grasp of an immaterial ethical abstract principle: that of fairness. Near to the beginning of this video clip, there is the comment that the experiment had also been done with dogs, birds and chimpanzees (it was implied but not explicitly stated that the results were similar).

    I think Egnor is right about the object of thought with animals being almost invariably something physically concrete rather than abstract and immaterial. With the Capuchins the left-hand monkey’s behavior (the one that was given the cucumber not the grape) can still be argued to be mostly based on a concrete physical object not an abstract concept. Specific physical objects (grapes and cucumbers) and their physical nature are the primary subjects of the thoughts, not abstract immaterial concepts. But still, as I pointed out, there are exceptions: in the video clip example an abstract immaterial concept (fairness) seems to also be involved.

    Also, there is now research that shows that ravens can apparently plan for the future (see https://www.earthtouchnews.com/natural-world/animal-behaviour/clever-crows-can-plan-for-the-future-like-humans-do/ ). In other words to anticipate the “what, where and when” of a future event on the basis of previous experiences. The future seems to be an abstract and immaterial not concrete thought and concept.

    Chimps and orangutans apparently also plan for the future, as shown by new research (https://www.livescience.com/2620-humans-apes-plan.html ).

  4. 4
    News says:

    ET and Brother Brian, take it somewhere else, okay?

    Doubter, the animal abilities researchers have described do not amount to abstract thought.

    Chimps and orangutans plan for the future? So do squirrels. Chimps can communicate? So can bees.

    Elsewhere, we hear, apes are compassionate. Remarkably, even cats can be compassionate. It depends on how the cat is feeling. One thing he isn’t doing is pondering the nature of virtue. Neither is the chimp.

    Some spiders have brains so big that they grow down into their legs. Cosmic puzzles remain unsolved. They’re no help.

    Expect many more studies in the future, using casuistical methods, to try to show that chimpanzees think abstractly when the simplest observation is the most correct: If they did, they would not still be swinging in the trees.

  5. 5
    Brother Brian says:

    Doubter

    Far be it from me to actually agree with Brother Brian on anything,…

    Resistance is futile. 🙂
    News

    Doubter, the animal abilities researchers have described do not amount to abstract thought.

    This is my prediction. No matter how much evidence is presented of some animals using abstract thought, there will always be some that will argue that it is not really abstract thought.

    Nobody is arguing that other animals are as adept at abstract thought as humans are, but to argue that they can’t do it is simply human hubris.

    This reminds me of the argument that animals were incapable of communicating through the use of language. Then someone went and taught an ape sign language. This was followed by arguing that they don’t use grammar correctly so it is not really the use of language. My recommendation is to put those goalposts on wheels. It will make them easier to shift.

  6. 6
    ET says:

    Planning requires abstract thought. And you cannot plan without being able to reason.

    If they did, they would not still be swinging in the trees.

    That doesn’t follow.

  7. 7
    doubter says:

    News@4

    Doubter, the animal abilities researchers have described do not amount to abstract thought.

    This seems to be an (invalid) argument by simple assertion of your position. How about an actual argument showing that the behavior exhibited by the Capuchin monkey did not show at least a rudimentary sort of abstract thinking. Please explain how consciously apprehending something as unfair does not inherently involve the principle of fairness as an immaterial, ethical abstraction.

    Chimps and orangutans plan for the future? So do squirrels.

    So what if squirrels can do it too. Please explain how planning for the future is not a rudimentary act of abstract reasoning. You would need to show how the concept of the future is not an abstract immaterial thought in mind.

    Does this boil down to your contending that animals are behavioristic bundles of instincts and stimulus-response complexes with no entity with feelings and (simple) thoughts inside? Just behaviors with nothing going on inside?

  8. 8
    bornagain77 says:

    In his first sentence Dr. Egnor states,

    Although there are real differences, the biology of man and animals is remarkably similar. That is, in fact, why we have been so successful using animals for comparative biology and medical research.

    As a reference to supposedly show how remarkably similar we are, Dr Egnor references this article which makes this oft repeated fallacious claim that we are 99% similar to chimps:

    Tiny Genetic Differences between Humans and Other Primates Pervade the Genome
    Genome comparisons reveal the DNA that distinguishes Homo sapiens from its kin
    By Kate Wong on September 1, 2014
    Excerpt: chimps and bonobos in particular take pride of place as our nearest living relatives, sharing approximately 99 percent of our DNA, with gorillas trailing at 98 percent.
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/tiny-genetic-differences-between-humans-and-other-primates-pervade-the-genome/

    That oft repeated claim is simply false. The DNA similarity (between chimps and humans) is not nearly as close to 99% as Darwinists have falsely portrayed it to be. A more reliable number is turning out to be around 85% similar.

    DNA Science Disproves Human Evolution by Jeffrey P. Tomkins, Ph.D. – 2017
    Excerpt: 1970s, very crude and indirect techniques were utilized to unzip mixtures of human and chimpanzee DNA, which were then monitored to see how fast they would zip back up compared to unmixed samples.5 Based on these studies, it was declared that human and chimpanzee DNA was 98.5% similar. But only the most similar protein-coding regions of the genome (called single-copy DNA) were compared, which is an extremely small portion—less than 3%—of the total genome. Also, it was later discovered by an evolutionary colleague that the authors of these studies had manipulated the data to make the chimpanzee DNA appear more similar to human than it really was.6,,,
    So, how similar is chimpanzee DNA to human? My research indicates that raw chimpanzee DNA sequences from data sets with significantly lower levels of human DNA contamination are on average about 85% identical in their DNA sequence when aligned onto the human genome. Therefore, based on the most recent, unbiased, and comprehensive research, chimpanzee DNA is no more than 85% similar to human.
    6. Marks, J. 2011. The Rise and Fall of DNA Hybridization, ca. 1980-1995, or How I Got Interested in Science Studies. In Workshop on “Mechanisms of Fraud in Biomedical Research,” organized by Christine Hauskeller and Helga Satzinger. The Wellcome Trust, London, October 17-18, 2008.
    7. Tomkins, J. P. 2011. How Genomes are Sequenced and Why it Matters: Implications for Studies in Comparative Genomics of Humans and Chimpanzees. Answers Research Journal. 4: 81-88.
    8. Tomkins, J. 2016. Analysis of 101 Chimpanzee Trace Read Data Sets: Assessment of Their Overall Similarity to Human and Possible Contamination with Human DNA. Answers Research Journal. 9: 294-298.
    http://www.icr.org/article/10016

    According to a Darwinist who studied the methodology behind how the 98.5% figure was derived stated that the 98.5% Chimp Human DNA similarity comparisons,, “needs to be treated like nuclear waste: bury it safely and forget about it for a million years”,,,

    The Rise and Fall of DNA Hybridization – Jonathan Marks – 2011
    Excerpt: the technique of DNA hybridization had devolved into being doubly “tricky” – but more significantly, the outstanding charge of data falsification was there in black-and-white in the leading science journal in America. It seemed as though nothing more needed to be said for the “wheels of justice” to begin turning. Yet they didn’t.
    In 1993, I was asked by The Journal of Human Evolution to review Jared Diamond’s book, The Third Chimpanzee. Noting that the book’s “hook” was based on the Sibley-Ahlquist work, which Diamond was still touting uncritically, I said:
    Perhaps you recall Sibley and Ahlquist. In a nutshell, their results were: (1) chimp-gorilla DNA hybrids were more thermally stable than chimp-human hybrids; (2) the differences were insignificant; and (3) reciprocity was very poor when human DNA was used as a tracer. Unfortunately, the conclusions they reported were: (1) chimp-human was more thermally stable than chimp-gorilla; (2) differences were significant; and (3) reciprocity was near-perfect. And they got from point A to point B by (1) switching experimental controls; (2) making inconsistent adjustments for variation in DNA length, which was apparently not even measured; (3) moving correlated points into a regression line; and (4) not letting anyone know. The rationale for (4) should be obvious; and if (1), (2) and (3) are science, I’m the Princess of Wales. This work needs to be treated like nuclear waste: bury it safely and forget about it for a million years.31
    31Marks, J. (1993) Review of The Third Chimpanzee by Jared Diamond. Journal of Human Evolution,
    24:69-73.
    http://www.icr.org/article/new.....t-research

    Richard Buggs also did a genetic comparison with the latest, more reliable, genetic data, and also came up with a 83% similar number, which is in the same ballpark as Dr. Tomkins study,

    Geneticist: On (Supposed 99%) Human-Chimp Genome Similarity, There Are “Predictions” Not “Established Fact” – July 31, 2018
    Excerpt: To come up with the most accurate current assessment that I could of the similarity of the human and chimpanzee genome, I downloaded from the UCSC genomics website the latest alignments (made using the LASTZ software) between the human and chimpanzee genome assemblies, hg38 and pantro6.,,,
    The percentage of nucleotides in the human genome that had one-to-one exact matches in the chimpanzee genome was 84.38%
    In order to assess how improvements in genome assemblies can change these figures, I did the same analyses on the alignment of the older PanTro4 assembly against Hg38 (see discussion post #40).,,,
    The percentage of nucleotides in the human genome that had one-to-one exact matches in the chimpanzee genome was 82.34%.
    – Richard Buggs
    https://evolutionnews.org/2018/07/geneticist-on-human-chimp-genome-similarity-there-are-predictions-not-established-fact/

    To further drive this point home, Dolphins and Kangaroos, although being very different morphologically from humans, are found to have very similar DNA sequences.

    Dolphin DNA very close to human, – 2010
    Excerpt: They’re closer to us than cows, horses, or pigs, despite the fact that they live in the water.,,,
    “The extent of the genetic similarity came as a real surprise to us,” ,,,
    “Dolphins are marine mammals that swim in the ocean and it was astonishing to learn that we had more in common with the dolphin than with land mammals,” says geneticist Horst Hameister.,,,
    “We started looking at these and it became very obvious to us that every human chromosome had a corollary chromosome in the dolphin,” Busbee said. “We’ve found that the dolphin genome and the human genome basically are the same. It’s just that there’s a few chromosomal rearrangements that have changed the way the genetic material is put together.”
    http://www.reefrelieffounders......-to-human/

    On Human Origins: Is Our Genome Full of Junk DNA? Pt 2. – Richard Sternberg PhD. Evolutionary Biology – podcast
    Excerpt: here is another example. They are now sequencing the nuclear DNA of the Atlantic bottle-nose dolphin. And when they started initially sequencing the DNA, the first thing they realized is that basically the Dolphin genome is almost wholly identical to the human genome. That is, there are a few chromosome rearrangements here and there, you line the sequences up and they fit very well. Yet no one would argue, based on a statement like that, that bottle-nose dolphins are closely related to us. Our sister species if you will. No one would presume to do that. So you would have to layer in some other presumption. But here is the point. You will see these statements throughout the literature of how common things are.,,, (Parts lists are very similar, but how the parts are used is where you will find tremendous differences)
    http://www.discovery.org/multi.....-dna-pt-2/

    Kangaroo genes close to humans – 2008
    Excerpt: Australia’s kangaroos are genetically similar to humans,,, “There are a few differences, we have a few more of this, a few less of that, but they are the same genes and a lot of them are in the same order,” ,,,”We thought they’d be completely scrambled, but they’re not. There is great chunks of the human genome which is sitting right there in the kangaroo genome,”
    http://www.reuters.com/article.....P020081118

    First Decoded Marsupial Genome Reveals “Junk DNA” Surprise – 2007
    Excerpt: In particular, the study highlights the genetic differences between marsupials such as opossums and kangaroos and placental mammals like humans, mice, and dogs. ,,,
    The researchers were surprised to find that placental and marsupial mammals have largely the same set of genes for making proteins. Instead, much of the difference lies in the controls that turn genes on and off.
    http://news.nationalgeographic.....m-dna.html

  9. 9
    bornagain77 says:

    Where the differences between species are found to be greatest is in genetic regulatory networks. In fact, the alternative splicing patterns are found to be very different between different kinds of species. As the following article states, “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?”,,, ” “the papers show that most alternative splicing events differ widely between even closely related species. The alternative splicing patterns are very different even between closely related species, i.e. humans and chimpanzees,”

    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.,,,
    http://www.the-scientist.com/?.....plicing%2F
    Gene Regulation Differences Between Humans, Chimpanzees Very Complex – Oct. 17, 2013
    Excerpt: Although humans and chimpanzees share,, similar genomes, previous studies have shown that the species evolved major differences in mRNA expression levels.,,,
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....144632.htm

    In fact, Alternative Splicing patterns are found to be ‘species specific’, i.e. to be “patterns clustered mostly by species”:

    ,,,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;
    http://phys.org/news/2012-12-e.....wires.html

    In fact ., due to alternative slicing, “Alternatively spliced isoforms,,, appear to behave as if encoded by distinct genes rather than as minor variants of each other.,,,” and “As many as 100,000 distinct isoform transcripts could be produced from the 20,000 human protein-coding genes (Pan et al., 2008), collectively leading to perhaps over a million distinct polypeptides obtained by post-translational modification of products of all possible transcript isoforms,,”

    Frequent Alternative Splicing of Human Genes – 1999
    Excerpt: Alternative splicing can produce variant proteins and expression patterns as different as the products of different genes.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm.....PMC310997/

    Widespread Expansion of Protein Interaction Capabilities by Alternative Splicing – 2016
    In Brief
    Alternatively spliced isoforms of proteins exhibit strikingly different interaction profiles and thus, in the context of global interactome networks, appear to behave as if encoded by distinct genes rather than as minor variants of each other.,,,
    Page 806 excerpt: As many as 100,000 distinct isoform transcripts could be produced from the 20,000 human protein-coding genes (Pan et al., 2008), collectively leading to perhaps over a million distinct polypeptides obtained by post-translational modification of products of all possible transcript isoforms (Smith and Kelleher, 2013).
    http://iakouchevalab.ucsd.edu/.....M_2016.pdf

    Moreover, alternative splicing patterns are part of the Gene Regulatory Network:

    Rethinking gene regulatory networks in light of alternative splicing, intrinsically disordered protein domains, and post-translational modifications – 2016
    Abstract
    Models for genetic regulation and cell fate specification characteristically assume that gene regulatory networks (GRNs) are essentially deterministic and exhibit multiple stable states specifying alternative, but pre-figured cell fates. Mounting evidence shows, however, that most eukaryotic precursor RNAs undergo alternative splicing (AS) and that the majority of transcription factors contain intrinsically disordered protein (IDP) domains whose functionalities are context dependent as well as subject to post-translational modification (PTM). Consequently, many transcription factors do not have fixed cis-acting regulatory targets, and developmental determination by GRNs alone is untenable.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4341551/

    And early acting mutations to Gene Regulatory Networks, (early acting mutations which are necessary to explain the supposed Darwinian origin of new body plans), are now shown to always be ”catastrophically bad”

    A Listener’s Guide to the Meyer-Marshall Debate: Focus on the Origin of Information Question – Casey Luskin – December 4, 2013
    Excerpt: “There is always an observable consequence if a dGRN (developmental gene regulatory network) subcircuit is interrupted. Since these consequences are always catastrophically bad, flexibility is minimal, and since the subcircuits are all interconnected, the whole network partakes of the quality that there is only one way for things to work. And indeed the embryos of each species develop in only one way.” –
    Eric Davidson – developmental biologist
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....79811.html

    Still Awaiting Engagement: A Reply to Robert Bishop on Darwin’s Doubt – Paul Nelson – September 8, 2014
    Excerpt: “Neo-Darwinian evolution is uniformitarian in that it assumes that all process works the same way, so that evolution of enzymes or flower colors can be used as current proxies for study of evolution of the body plan. It erroneously assumes that change in protein coding sequence is the basic cause of change in developmental program; and it erroneously assumes that evolutionary change in body plan morphology occurs by a continuous process. All of these assumptions are basically counterfactual. This cannot be surprising, since the neo-Darwinian synthesis from which these ideas stem was a pre-molecular biology concoction focused on population genetics and adaptation natural history, neither of which have any direct mechanistic import for the genomic regulatory systems that drive embryonic development of the body plan.”
    Eric Davidson – 2011
    ,, it is difficult to miss Davidson’s thrust. As far as the origin of animal body plans is concerned, neo-Darwinism isn’t incomplete or insufficient. It is dead wrong.,,,
    per Evolution News

    Stephen Meyer – Responding to Critics: Marshall, Part 2 (developmental Gene Regulatory Networks) – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cg8Mhn2EKvQ

    Darwin or Design? – Paul Nelson at Saddleback Church – Nov. 2012 – ontogenetic depth – video
    Text from one of the Saddleback slides:
    1. Animal body plans are built in each generation by a stepwise process, from the fertilized egg to the many cells of the adult. The earliest stages in this process determine what follows.
    2. Thus, to change — that is, to evolve — any body plan, mutations expressed early in development must occur, be viable, and be stably transmitted to offspring.
    3. But such early-acting mutations of global effect are those least likely to be tolerated by the embryo.
    Losses of structures are the only exception to this otherwise universal generalization about animal development and evolution. Many species will tolerate phenotypic losses if their local (environmental) circumstances are favorable. Hence island or cave fauna often lose (for instance) wings or eyes.
    http://www.saddleback.com/mc/m/7ece8/

  10. 10
    bornagain77 says:

    Thus, where Darwinists most need plasticity in the genome to be viable as a theory, (i.e. developmental Gene Regulatory Networks), is the place where mutations are found to be almost ‘always catastrophically bad’. Yet, it is exactly in this area of the genome (i.e. regulatory networks) where substantial, ‘orders of magnitude’, differences are found between even the supposedly closely related species of chimps and humans.

    “Where (chimps and humans) really differ, and they differ by orders of magnitude, is in the genomic architecture outside the protein coding regions. They are vastly, vastly, different.,, The structural, the organization, the regulatory sequences, the hierarchy for how things are organized and used are vastly different between a chimpanzee and a human being in their genomes.”
    Natural Limits to Biological Change 2/2 – Dr. Raymond G. Bohlin – video – 27:29 minute mark
    https://youtu.be/vo3OKSGeFRQ?t=1649

    Besides falsely claiming that we are 99% genetically similar to chimpanzees, Dr. Egnor also falsely claimed that animals are very useful for medical research. And yet, “ The chimpanzee has also long been seen as a model for human diseases because of its close evolutionary relationship. This is indeed the case for a few disorders. Nevertheless, it is a striking paradox that chimpanzees are in fact not good models for many major human diseases/conditions”

    Comparing the human and chimpanzee genomes: Searching for needles in a haystack – Ajit Varki1 and Tasha K. Altheide – 2005
    Excerpt: we have many characteristics that are uniquely human. Table 1 lists some of the definite and possible phenotypic traits that appear to differentiate us from chimpanzees and other “great apes”2. For the most part, we do not know which genetic features interact with the environment to generate these differences between the “phenomes”3 of our two species. The chimpanzee has also long been seen as a model for human diseases because of its close evolutionary relationship. This is indeed the case for a few disorders. Nevertheless, it is a striking paradox that chimpanzees are in fact not good models for many major human diseases/conditions (see Table 2) (Varki 2000; Olson and Varki 2003).
    http://genome.cshlp.org/content/15/12/1746.full

    This is not a minor mistake of Dr. Egnor’s part. The false belief that animals are good for medical research has cost billions of dollars

    What scientific idea is ready for retirement? – Mouse Models
    Excerpt: A recent scientific paper showed that all 150 drugs tested at the cost of billions of dollars in human trials of sepsis failed because the drugs had been developed using mice. Unfortunately, what looks like sepsis in mice turned out to be very different than what sepsis is in humans. Coverage of this study by Gina Kolata in the New York Times incited a heated response from within the biomedical research community.
    AZRA RAZA – Professor of medicine and director of the MDS Centre, Columbia University, New York
    http://www.theguardian.com/sci.....t-edge-org

    And the reason why animals are not good to use as proxies for human diseases is because the gene expression and/or alternative splicing of animals is vastly different from the gene expression of humans.

    Mouse gene expression reveals “widespread differences” from humans – Nov. 22, 2014
    Excerpt: an international group of researchers has found powerful clues to why certain processes and systems in the mouse — such as the immune system, metabolism and stress response — are so different from those in people.,,,
    Mice are widely used to model human metabolism, disease, and drug response. But results published today (November 17) in PNAS reveal widespread differences between human and mouse gene expression, both in protein-coding and noncoding genes, suggesting that understanding these disparities could help explain fundamental differences in the two species’ physiology.
    Michael Snyder of Stanford University and his colleagues compared how genes are expressed in 15 different human and mouse tissues, including brain, heart, liver, and kidney. They found that gene expression patterns clustered by species rather than tissues. For example, gene expression in a mouse liver more closely resembled the patterns observed in a mouse heart than those observed in a human liver.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....om-humans/

    To top all that off, phenotypic traits are know known to not even be reducible to genes in the first place (as was presupposed in Darwinian thought).

    What If (Almost) Every Gene Affects (Almost) Everything? – JUN 16, 2017
    Excerpt: If you told a modern geneticist that a complex trait—whether a physical characteristic like height or weight, or the risk of a disease like cancer or schizophrenia—was the work of just 15 genes, they’d probably laugh. It’s now thought that such traits are the work of thousands of genetic variants, working in concert. The vast majority of them have only tiny effects, but together, they can dramatically shape our bodies and our health. They’re weak individually, but powerful en masse.
    https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/06/its-like-all-connected-man/530532/

    Theory Suggests That All Genes Affect Every Complex Trait – June 20, 2018
    Excerpt: Mutations of a single gene are behind sickle cell anemia, for instance, and mutations in another are behind cystic fibrosis.
    But unfortunately for those who like things simple, these conditions are the exceptions. The roots of many traits, from how tall you are to your susceptibility to schizophrenia, are far more tangled. In fact, they may be so complex that almost the entire genome may be involved in some way,,,
    One very early genetic mapping study in 1999 suggested that “a large number of loci (perhaps > than 15)” might contribute to autism risk, recalled Jonathan Pritchard, now a geneticist at Stanford University. “That’s a lot!” he remembered thinking when the paper came out.
    Over the years, however, what scientists might consider “a lot” in this context has quietly inflated. Last June, Pritchard and his Stanford colleagues Evan Boyle and Yang Li (now at the University of Chicago) published a paper about this in Cell that immediately sparked controversy, although it also had many people nodding in cautious agreement. The authors described what they called the “omnigenic” model of complex traits. Drawing on GWAS analyses of three diseases, they concluded that in the cell types that are relevant to a disease, it appears that not 15, not 100, but essentially all genes contribute to the condition. The authors suggested that for some traits, “multiple” loci could mean more than 100,000.
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/omnigenic-model-suggests-that-all-genes-affect-every-complex-trait-20180620/

    Moreover, besides being far more different on the genetic level that Dr. Egnor apparently believes, anatomy itself is not nearly as conducive to Darwinian thinking as many people are prone to believe.

    In fact, so great are the anatomical differences between humans and chimps that a Darwinist, (since, surprisingly, pigs are anatomically closer to humans than chimps are), actually proposed that a chimp and pig mated with each other and that is what ultimately gave rise to humans:

    A chimp-pig hybrid origin for humans? – July 3, 2013
    Excerpt: Dr. Eugene McCarthy,, has amassed an impressive body of evidence suggesting that human origins can be best explained by hybridization between pigs and chimpanzees. Extraordinary theories require extraordinary evidence and McCarthy does not disappoint. Rather than relying on genetic sequence comparisons, he instead offers extensive anatomical comparisons, each of which may be individually assailable, but startling when taken together.,,,
    The list of anatomical specializations we may have gained from porcine philandering is too long to detail here. Suffice it to say, similarities in the face, skin and organ microstructure alone is hard to explain away. A short list of differential features, for example, would include, multipyramidal kidney structure, presence of dermal melanocytes, melanoma, absence of a primate baculum (penis bone), surface lipid and carbohydrate composition of cell membranes, vocal cord structure, laryngeal sacs, diverticuli of the fetal stomach, intestinal “valves of Kerkring,” heart chamber symmetry, skin and cranial vasculature and method of cooling, and tooth structure. Other features occasionally seen in humans, like bicornuate uteruses and supernumerary nipples, would also be difficult to incorporate into a purely primate tree.
    http://phys.org/news/2013-07-c.....umans.html

    Moreover, Physorg published a subsequent article, (since the preceding article badly upset many Darwinists), showing that the pig-chimp hybrid theory for human origins was much harder to shoot down than many Darwinists had first supposed it would be since “he found that it was always humans who were similar to pigs with respect to these 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.,,,
    http://phys.org/news/2013-07-h.....dence.html

  11. 11
    bornagain77 says:

    Here is a partial list of traits that he provides that distinguish humans from apes:

    A list of traits distinguishing humans from other primates DERMAL FEATURES
    Naked skin (sparse pelage)
    Panniculus adiposus (layer of subcutaneous fat)
    Panniculus carnosus only in face and neck
    In “hairy skin” region:
    – Thick epidermis
    – Crisscrossing congenital lines on epidermis
    – Patterned epidermal-dermal junction
    Large content of elastic fiber in skin
    Thermoregulatory sweating
    Richly vascularized dermis
    Normal host for the human flea (Pulex irritans)
    Dermal melanocytes absent
    Melanocytes present in matrix of hair follicle
    Epidermal lipids contain triglycerides and free fatty acids
    FACIAL FEATURES
    Lightly pigmented eyes common
    Protruding, cartilaginous mucous nose
    Narrow eye opening
    Short, thick upper lip
    Philtrum/cleft lip
    Glabrous mucous membrane bordering lips
    Eyebrows
    Heavy eyelashes
    Earlobes
    FEATURES RELATING TO BIPEDALITY
    Short, dorsal spines on first six cervical vertebrae
    Seventh cervical vertebrae:
    – long dorsal spine
    – transverse foramens
    Fewer floating and more non-floating ribs
    More lumbar vertebrae
    Fewer sacral vertebrae
    More coccygeal vertebrae (long “tail bone”)
    Centralized spine
    Short pelvis relative to body length
    Sides of pelvis turn forward
    Sharp lumbo-sacral promontory
    Massive gluteal muscles
    Curved sacrum with short dorsal spines
    Hind limbs longer than forelimbs
    Femur:
    – Condyles equal in size
    – Knock-kneed
    – Elliptical condyles
    – Deep intercondylar notch at lower end of femur
    – Deep patellar groove with high lateral lip
    – Crescent-shaped lateral meniscus with two tibial insertions
    Short malleolus medialis
    Talus suited strictly for extension and flexion of the foot
    Long calcaneus relative to foot (metatarsal) length
    Short digits (relative to chimpanzee)
    Terminal phalanges blunt (ungual tuberosities)
    Narrow pelvic outlet
    ORGANS
    Diverticulum at cardiac end of stomach
    Valves of Kerkring present in small intestines
    Mesenteric arterial arcades
    Multipyramidal kidneys
    Heart auricles level
    Tricuspid valve of heart
    Laryngeal sacs absent
    Vocal ligaments
    Prostate encircles urethra
    Bulbo-urethral glands present
    Os penis (baculum) absent.
    Hymen
    Absence of periodic sexual swellings in female
    Ischial callosities absent
    Nipples low on chest
    Bicornuate uterus (occasionally present in humans)
    Labia majora
    CRANIAL FEATURES
    Brain lobes: frontal and temporal prominent
    Thermoregulatory venous plexuses
    Well-developed system of emissary veins
    Enlarged nasal bones
    Divergent eyes (interior of orbit visible from side)
    Styloid process
    Large occipital condyles
    Primitive premolar
    Large, blunt-cusped (bunodont) molars
    Thick tooth enamel
    Helical chewing
    BEHAVIORAL/PHYSIOLOGICAL
    Nocturnal activity
    Particular about place of defecation
    Good swimmer, no fear of water
    Extended male copulation time
    Female orgasm
    Short menstrual cycle
    Snuggling
    Tears
    Alcoholism
    Terrestrialism (Non-arboreal)
    Able to exploit a wide range of environments and foods
    RARE OR ABSENT IN NONHUMAN PRIMATES:
    Heart attack
    Atherosclerosis
    Cancer (melanoma)
    http://www.macroevolution.net/human-origins-2.html

    Likewise, the following site also finds the claim that humans and apes a very similar to be a false claim:

    Table 1. Some phenotypic traits of humans for comparison with those of great apes

    LIFE HISTORY
    Secondary Altriciality
    Helplessness of the Newborn
    Prolonged Helplessness of Young
    Extended Care of Young
    Childhood
    Adolescence
    Age at First Reproduction
    Longevity
    REPRODUCTIVITY BIOLOGY
    Concealed Ovulation
    Virgin Breast Development
    Female Pituitary Menopause
    Placentophagy
    Female Labia Majora
    Vaginal Hymen
    Baculum (Penis Bone)
    Sperm Count
    Copulatory Plug
    EMBRYOLOGY
    Early Fetal Wastage/Aneuploidy
    Hydatiform Molar Pregnancy
    Umbilical Cord Length
    PREGNANCY/PARTURITION
    Cephalo-pelvic Disproportion
    Duration of Labor
    Maternal Mortality in Childbirth
    Pain During Childbirth
    Need for Assistance with
    Childbirth
    Neonatal Cephalhematoma
    POSTNATAL DEVELOPMENT
    Late Closure of Cranial Sutures
    Duration of Infant Arousal
    Inconsolable Infant Crying
    Infant-Caregiver Attunement
    Maternal-Infant Eye-To-Eye Gaze
    ANATOMY
    Sagittal Crest of Skull
    Brow Ridge
    Protuberantia Menti (Chin)
    Length of Sphenoid Sinus
    Choroid Plexus Biondi Bodies
    Inner Ear Canal Orientation
    Apical Phalangeal Tufts
    Age of Pelvic Bone Fusion
    Bone Cortex Thickness
    Laryngeal Position
    Pharyngeal Air Sacs
    Ear Lobes
    Sexual Body Size Dimorphism
    Lacrimal Gland Structure
    Visible Whites of the Eyes
    Small/Large Intestine Length Ratio
    Meningeal Artery Source
    BIOMECHANICS
    Bipedal Gait
    Adductive Thumb
    Skeletal Muscle Strength
    Hand-Eye Coordination
    Fine Motor Coordination
    ORGAN PHYSIOLOGY
    Aldosterone Response to Posture
    Salt-Wasting Kidneys
    Ability For Sustained Running
    Voluntary Control of Breathing
    Ability to Dive Underwater
    Diving Reflex
    Ability to Float/Swim
    Emotion Lacrimation
    Salt Content of Tears
    Olfactory Sense
    CELL BIOLOGY
    Mitochrondria
    BIOCHEMISTRY
    Placental Alkaline Phosphatase
    N-Glycolylneuraminic Acid Expression
    Alpha 2-6-Linked Sialic Acid Expression
    ENDOCRINOLOGY
    Thyroid Hormone Metabolism
    PHARMACOLOGY
    Methylation of Inorganic Arsenic
    ANATOMIC PATHOLOGY
    Cortical Neurofibrillary Tangles
    CLINICAL PATHOLOGY
    Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate
    Serum Alkaline Phosphatase Level
    RBC and Serum Folate
    Serum Vitamin B12/B12 Binding
    Total Leukocyte Count
    Absolute Neutrophil Count
    Absolute Lymphocyte Count
    DENTAL BIOLOGY/DISEASE
    Canine Tooth Diastema
    Canine Tooth Dysmorphism
    Tooth Enamel Thickness
    Retromolar Gap
    Third Molar Impaction
    Dental Eruption Sequence/Timing
    MEDICAL/SURGICAL DISEASES
    HIV Progression to AIDS
    P. falciparum malaria
    Viral Hepatitis B/C Complications
    Influenza A Infection Severity
    Incidence of Carcinomas
    Hemorrhoids
    Varicose Veins
    Pelvic Phleboliths
    Foamy Virus (Spumavirus) Infections
    Sexually Transmitted Diseases
    IMMUNOLOGY
    Sialoadhesin on Macrophages
    SKIN BIOLOGY AND DISEASE
    Eyebrows
    Eccrine Sweat Glands
    Acne Vulgaris
    Subcutaneous Fat
    Body Lice
    NUTRITION
    Frugivory
    Carnivory
    Aquatic Foods
    Underground Foods
    Cooking
    NEUROANATOMY
    Relative Brain Size
    Direct Cortical Projections
    Relative Volume of Frontal Cortex
    Relative Volume of Corpus Callosum
    Relative Volume of Cerebellum
    % of Brain Growth Complete at Birth
    Rate of Postnatal Brain Growth
    NEUROBIOLOGY
    Population Distribution of
    Handedness
    Postnatal Dendritic Growth
    Postnatal Synapse Formation
    Cortical Synapse Density
    Cortical Neuron Density
    Dendrites Per Neuron
    Synapses Per Neuron
    Adult Neurogenesis
    Cingulate Cortical Spindle Neurons
    Finger Tip Sensory Nerve Endings
    NEUROCHEMISTRY
    Brain Aromatisation of Testosterone
    Tyrosine Hydroxylase Heterogeneity
    MENTAL DISEASE
    Schizophrenia
    Bipolar Psychosis
    Autism
    Suicide
    BEHAVIOR
    Control of Facial Expressions
    Planning Ahead
    Intentional Deception
    Deliberately Delaying Gratification
    Long-Range Transport of Materials
    Secondary Tool-Making
    Mechanical Multi-Tasking
    Physical Abuse of the Young
    Torture
    Organized Warfare
    Adult Play
    Symbolic Play
    Abuse of Other Animals
    Inter-Group Coalition Formation
    Use of Containers
    Care of Infirm and Elderly
    Grandparenting
    Home Base
    Control of Fire
    Food Preparation
    Organized Gathering of Food
    Domestication of Animals
    Domestication of Plants
    Altruistic Punishment
    Peace-Making
    Somnambulism
    Mind-Altering Drug Use
    COGNITIVE CAPACITY
    Declarative Memory
    Imitative Learning
    Teaching
    Symbolic Representation
    Awareness of Death
    Awareness of the Past
    Awareness of the Future
    Theory of Mind
    Theory of Other Minds
    Empathy
    Numeracy
    COMMUNICATION
    “Parentese” Sounds
    Infant “Protoconversations”
    Gestural Communication
    Symbolic Communication
    Semantics
    Grammar and Syntax
    Recursion
    Writing
    SOCIAL ORGANIZATION
    Institutions
    Social Conventions
    Governments
    Enforcement Through
    Sanctions
    CULTURE
    Composition of Art
    Composition of Music
    Composition of Rhythms
    Death Rituals
    Clothing (Covering of
    Body Parts)
    Rites of Passage
    Genocide
    Competitive Sports
    Practicing of Skills
    Physical Modifications of
    the Body
    Inheritance of Resources
    and Status
    Rythmic Dance
    Sculpture
    Belief in Supernatural/
    Religion
    Body Adornment
    Childbirth Customs
    Sexual Intercourse in Private
    Gift-Giving
    Hospitality
    Intertwining (e.g., weaving)
    Meal Times
    Poetry
    Property
    Construction of Shelters
    Taboos
    Taxonomy of Species
    Trade
    Measurement of Time
    Weapons
    Toys
    A major limitation in translating genomic comparative information into an understanding of “humanness” is that we know relatively little about the basic phenotypic features of the great apes, relative to humans. This table lists topic areas in which there are real or claimed “differences” between humans and the great apes (as a group). A given “difference” listed here could be a suggested gain or loss in humans, with respect to the great apes.
    This is a partial listing of topics that will appear later at a Web-based “Museum of Comparative Anthropogeny”
    http://genome.cshlp.org/conten.....ion.html 
    http://genome.cshlp.org/conten.....pdf+html 

  12. 12
    bornagain77 says:

    Thus, while I agree with Dr. Egnor that it is impossible for abstract immaterial thought to be reduced to materialistic explanation, and that abstract thought is a profound difference between man and apes that radically demarcates from apes, none-the-less, I find Dr. Egnor’s claim that we are very similar to animals on the physical level to be a false claim. We are NOT nearly as similar with chimps as Darwinists constantly try to falsely portray us as being

    Genesis 2:7
    Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

  13. 13
    Seversky says:

    Human beings are exceptional in some ways but not in others. But Egnor and his supporters here are not concerned with genetic or phenotypical similarities and differences or with placement withing taxonomic groups. All they are concerned with is preserving their status as the chosen species of their God, the pinnacle of His Creation.

  14. 14
    Brother Brian says:

    Doubter@6, good points.

    And what about dogs that go crazy when you mention the word “walk”? Or animals that can recognize themselves in a mirror?

    My wife hates in when our cat sits on the counter. Any time she catches him doing it, she gives him a little swat to get him off. When we come home we can see him through the window sitting on the counter. As soon as he hears the garage door open we can see him jump off the counter. Does that not require abstract thought?

  15. 15
    ET says:

    And what about dogs that go crazy when you mention the word “walk”?

    Concrete thoughts.

    http://www.differencebetween.n.....-thinking/

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abstract_and_concrete

  16. 16
    ET says:

    But Egnor and his supporters here are not concerned with genetic or phenotypical similarities and differences or with placement withing taxonomic groups.

    Not so. Any objective person can see the plethora of DIFFERENCES between humans and other primates. You have to be on some desperate agenda to group humans in with other apes.

    All they are concerned with is preserving their status as the chosen species of their God, the pinnacle of His Creation.

    And all atheists are concerned with is lying about Christians. Sad, really.

  17. 17
    ET says:

    As for the pinnacle of God’s Creation, well, according to the Bible God gave us, humans, dominion over the rest on Earth. But that in no way means that God didn’t give the others the ability to reason. To me it seems like a slight on God’s Creation to think that the others are nothing more than mere automatons.

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