Human and Chimp DNA: Is It Really 98% Similar?[i]
One of the great trophies that evolutionists parade to prove human evolution from some common ape ancestor is the assertion that human and chimp DNA are 98 to 99% similar.[ii] People quote this statistic in hundreds of textbooks, blogs, videos, and even scientific journals. Yet any high school student can debunk the “Human and Chimp DNA is 98% similar” mantra that this chapter covers.
Why does this matter? We know that genes determine body features from gender to hair color. If we are genetically related to chimps, some may conclude that humans should behave like animals, with no fear of divine justice. But if we all descended from Adam, not from animals, then common animal behavior such as sexual promiscuity cannot be justified on these grounds.[iii] This has been a primary foundation for the mistreatment of humans worldwide by genocidal political leaders and governments over the past 150 or so years. One highly reputable study showed that the leading cause of death in the 20th century was “Democide”—or “murder by government,” which has claimed well over 260 million lives.[iv] All of the totalitarian murderous tyrannies the world over, despite their different political variations, maintained the same Darwinian evolutionary philosophy that humans are higher animals to be herded and culled in wars, death-camps, abortions, mass starvations, and outright slaughter.[v] Does this issue matter? Well, it’s a matter of life and death. It needs to be refuted if it’s not true.
We should evaluate the major evidences that exposes the 98% myth and supports the current conclusion that the actual similarity is 84.4%, or a difference of 15%, which translates to over 360 million base pairs’ difference.[vi] That is an enormous difference that produces an unbridgeable chasm between humans and chimpanzees. The chimp genome is much longer than the human genome. Humans have forty-six chromosomes, while chimps have forty-eight. According to the latest data, there are 3,096,649,726 base pairs in the human genome and 3,309,577,922 base pairs in the chimpanzee genome. This amounts to a 6.4% difference.[vii] The 98% similarity claim fails on this basis alone.
If human and chimp DNA is nearly identical, why can’t humans interbreed with chimps?[viii] Furthermore, such an apparently minor difference in DNA (only 1%) does not account for the many obvious major differences between humans and chimps.
If humans and chimps are so similar, then why can’t we interchange body parts with chimps? Over 30,000 organ transplants are made every year in the U.S. alone, and currently there are over 120,000 candidates on organ transplant lists—but zero of those transplants will be made using chimp organs.
Table 1. Organ Transplants[ix]
|Organ Transplants (2016)|
|Organs||# Currently Waiting||% of Transplants Made Using|
|Human Organs||Chimp Organs|
A Basic Overview
The living populations of the chimp kind include four species that can interbreed. From the beginning, they were spirit-less animals created on Day 6 of creation. Later that Day, God made a single man in His own image, and He gave him an everlasting spirit or soul (Genesis 2:7). Then God commanded man to “rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the animals,” including chimps (Genesis 1:26).
If the creation narrative from the Bible is true, we would expect exactly what we see in today’s ape-kinds. First, all varieties of chimps have no concept of eternity. For example, they do not bury their dead nor do they conduct funeral rituals. Secondly, apes use very limited verbal communication—they cannot write articles or even sentences. Thirdly, they do not display spiritual or religious practices as humans do. In other words, they show no capacity for knowing their creator through worship or prayer. This fits the Biblical creation account that God created humans as spiritual beings with an everlasting spirit or soul (Genesis 2:7).
It stands to reason that God, in His desire to create diverse life forms on Earth, would begin with the same building materials, such as DNA, carbohydrates, fats, and protein, when making various animal kinds. Research has revealed that He used similar building blocks for all the various physical life forms that He created. Genetic information in all living creatures is encoded as a sequence of principally 4 nucleotides (guanine, adenine, thymine, and cytosine, shown by the letters G, A, T, and C). We also see this principle in nature—such as many plants and animals sharing Fibonacci or similar spirals with clear algorithms and sequences as building patterns.
Figure 1. Fibonacci Number Sequence. A Fibonacci spiral approximates the golden spiral using quarter-circle arcs inscribed in squares of integer Fibonacci-number side, shown for square sizes 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34 etc.
Figure 2. Examples of the Fibonacci Sequence in Nature.[x]
Chimp and human DNA use the same chemicals and share many sequence similarities. However, these likenesses do not prove that those similarities came from shared ancestors, since similar design can also explain them. After all, design constraints require an engineer to use many of the same raw materials and building plans to produce different types of biological machines—especially if those machines need to interact with the same building blocks for growth and life. For example, an automotive engineer could make a Volkswagen bug and a Porsche Carrera framework out of steel, glass, and plastic but not oxygen, carbon dioxide, and sulfuric acid. When experts talk about DNA similarity, they refer to a variety of different features. Sometimes they talk about humans and chimpanzees having the same genes. At other times, they talk about certain DNA sequences being 98 to 99% similar. First, let’s consider why human and chimpanzee DNA sequences are actually closer to 84.4% than 98% similar.[xi] Then, describing the concepts of genes and gene similarity will reveal much insight into human and chimp DNA dissimilarity.
Comparisons of Chimps and Humans
Once you understand that the new DNA evidence debunks the alleged human evolution paradigm, you will appreciate that you are a unique creation whom the Creator made in His own image. You are special and unique compared to all of creation.
A child that sees a chimpanzee can immediately tell that it is radically different from a human. Compared to chimps, humans are about 38% taller, are 80% heavier, live 50% longer, and have brains that are about 400% larger (1330 ccs compared to 330 ccs).[xii] Look at someone next to you and roll your eyes at them. Chimps can’t do that because their sclera, like most other animals, is hidden behind their eyelids. Now tap your fingertips with your thumb. Chimps can’t do that either—their fingers are curved, their thumbs are both tiny and set further back on their wrists than humans, and they are missing the flexor pollicis longus—the major muscle that controls thumb dexterity in humans. Additionally, their knees point out, whereas ours point forward. Humans can build space shuttles and write songs. Chimps don’t do anything close.
Scientists now know that chimpanzees are radically different than humans in many different ways besides their outward appearance. Humans and chimpanzees have differences in bone structures, in brain types, and in other major parts of their physiology. Humans also have the ability to express their thoughts abstractly in speech, writing, and music, as well as develop other complicated systems of expression and communication. This is why humans stand above all other types of creatures.
The claimed small genetic differences between human and chimp DNA (1 to 2%) must account for these and many other major differences! The difference between humans and chimpanzees is major and includes about 350 million different DNA bases. In fact, it is hard to compare the two genomes because of radical differences in arrangement.
Telomeres in Chimps and other apes are about 23 kilobases (a kilobase is 1,000 base pairs of DNA) long. Humans stand out from primates with much shorter telomeres only 10 kilobases long.[xiii] The human Y chromosome almost completely misaligns with chimpanzees.[xiv] Even if human and chimpanzee DNA sequences are as similar as some evolutionists claim, the DNA coding makes two entirely different creatures!
The chromosome fusion theory claims that two smaller chimpanzee chromosomes fused to form human chromosome 2. Geneticists have refuted the claim. Sadly, this false claim has been used as proof of human evolution, even in textbooks.
Research by Dr. David A. DeWitt has revealed new stunning insights regarding the major differences between human and chimp DNA: There exist 40–45 million bases [DNA “letters”] in humans missing from chimps and about the same number present in chimps that are absent from man. These extra DNA nucleotides are termed “insertions” and “deletions” because they are assumed to have been added or lost from the original common ancestor sequence. These differences alone put the total number of DNA differences at about 125 million. However, since the insertions can be more than one nucleotide long, about 40 million total separate mutation events would be required to separate the two species. To put this number into perspective, a typical 8½ x 11-inch page of text has about 4,000 letters and spaces. It would require 10,000 such pages of text equaling 40 million letters or 20 full-sized novels.
The difference between humans and chimpanzees includes about 45 million human base pairs that chimps don’t have and about 45 million base pairs in the chimp absent from the human.[xv] More research has left no doubt that a specific set of genetic programming exists for humans and another specific set exists for chimps. If chimps run on Microsoft, then humans run on Apple software. Both use binary code, and they have overlapping functions, but each has unique features.
Biology textbooks typically explain that humans descended from some common ancestor related to the great apes. This animal group consists of orangutans, gorillas, and chimpanzees. Of these apes, evolutionists claim that humans are most closely related to chimpanzees based on comparisons of human DNA to chimp DNA. The real-world consequences of this ideology involve concluding that humans are not special creations, but that they are evolved animals.
Reality of DNA and Genome Similarity
Let’s review some basics to get a more accurate picture of genomes. Human, plant, and animal DNA is packaged into separate packages called chromosomes. Each one contains millions of the four different DNA bases (T, A, C, G), stacked like rungs on a ladder. Their specific order forms a complex set of instructions called the “genetic code.” Humans have two copies of each chromosome: one set of 23 from the mother and one set of 23 from the father. Each chromosome set contains over 3 billion base pairs. The information they encode builds whole organisms from single egg cells and maintains each creature throughout its life. Our 46 chromosomes have a total of 6 billion DNA bases. Nearly every cell in our body has all of them. When scientists talk about a creature’s genome, they refer to one set of chromosomes. Thus, the reference genome in humans is the sum total of one complete set of 23 chromosomes.
The “initial draft” of DNA sequences in the human genome was published in 2001. In 2004, scientists published a more complete version, but there were still small parts that remained to be sequenced, so researchers kept updating the human genome as DNA sequencing technologies improved and more data were acquired. The human genome is now one of the most complete of all known genome sequences–mostly because considerably more research money has been spent on it compared to other life forms.
To organize 3 billion bases, researchers use unique DNA sequences as reference markers. Then they determine where these short sequences are located on each chromosome. They assumed that comparing sequences between related creatures would help locate them. Scientists initially chose chimpanzees as the closest creature to humans because they knew that their proteins and DNA fragments had similar biochemical properties.[xvi] However, some curious researchers chose gorillas and orangutans for comparison. A recent research paper made the claim that orangutans’ DNAs were more similar to humans’ DNA in structure and appearance than chimpanzee, and thus orangutans should be considered our closest ancestor. Evolutionary scientists disregard this to maintain a consensus that chimpanzees are closest to humans on the hypothetical evolutionary tree. For this reason, most genetics studies assume this relationship before they even begin analyzing DNA.
In the early days of DNA sequencing, in the 1970s, scientists could sequence only very short segments of DNA. For this reason, they focused on DNA segments that they knew would be highly similar between animals, such as blood globin proteins and mitochondrial DNA (DNA which is inherited from the mother). They selected similar regions for comparison, because you cannot glean any meaningful comparisons between two DNA sequences that exist only in one and not the other. Researchers discovered that many of the short stretches of DNA genetic sequences that code for common proteins were not only highly similar in many types of animals, but that they were nearly identical between certain creatures including humans and apes.[xvii]
A basic understanding of what DNA sequencing actually entails helps us understand human and chimp genome accuracy. While the basic DNA sequencing techniques have not changed much since they were developed, the use of small-scale robotics and automation now enable researchers to sequence massive amounts of small DNA fragments. The DNA of an entire organism is too long to sequence all at once, thus they sequence millions of pieces, each hundreds of bases long. Workers then use computers to digitally assemble the small individual pieces into larger fragments based on overlapping sections.[xviii] DNA regions that have hundreds of repeating sequences are, for this reason, very difficult to reconstruct, yet we now know that they are important for cell function.
Enter New Technology
Despite the early, crude indications of apparently high DNA similarity between humans and chimps, precise DNA sequences began to present a very different picture. In 2002, a DNA sequencing lab produced over 3 million bases of chimp DNA sequence in small 50 to 900 base fragments that it obtained randomly across the entire chimp genome.[xix] They then assembled the short sequences—get this—onto the human genomic framework.[xx] Talk about circular reasoning. This turned out to be only one of many problems. When the chimp DNA sequences were matched with the human genome by computers, only two-thirds of the DNA sequences could be lined up with human DNA. While many short stretches of DNA existed that were very similar to human DNA, more than 30% of the chimp DNA sequence was not even close enough to attempt an alignment.
In 2005, a collaboration of different labs completed the first rough draft of the chimpanzee genome.[xxi] As a rough draft, even after the computational assembly based on the human genome, it still consisted of thousands of small chunks of DNA sequences. The researchers then assembled all the small sequences of chimp DNA together to estimate the complete genome. By assuming that humans evolved from a chimp-like ancestor, they used the human genome as the framework to assemble the chimp DNA sequences.[xxii] At least one lab that helped to assemble the chimp sequence admitted that they inserted chimp DNA sequences into the human genome layout based on evolution. They assumed that many human-like sequences were missing from the chimp DNA, so they added them electronically. That published chimp genome is thus partly based on the human genome. Because it contains human sequences, it appears more human than the chimp genome in fact is. The newest chimp genome, published in 2018, did not use human digital scaffolds and confirms a 15% dissimilarity between humans and chimps. How long will it take this correction to reach museums and textbooks that need bad science to prop up human evolution?
A large 2013 research project sequenced the genomes of chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans to determine their genetic variation. They again assembled all these genomes using the human genome as a framework![xxiii]
Unfortunately, the research paper describing the 2005 chimp draft genome avoided the problem of overall average genome similarity with humans by analyzing the regions of the genomes that were already known to be highly similar. This cherry-picking deceptively reinforced the mythical 98% similarity notion. However, enough data were in the 2005 report to allow several independent researchers to calculate overall human-chimp genome similarities. They came up with estimates of 70 to 80% DNA sequence similarity.[xxiv]
This result is important because evolutionary theory has a difficult enough time explaining how only 2% of 3 billion bases could have evolved in the 3–6 million years since they believe chimps and humans shared a common ancestor. They want to avoid the task of explaining how 15 or 20% of three billion bases evolved in such a short time! Natural processes cannot create 369 million letters of precisely coded information in a billion years, let alone a few million years.[xxv] Instead, as shown in the above section on genetics, more time produces more mutations, which lead to more extinctions.
Thus, the ever so popular high levels of human-chimp DNA similarity rely on highly similar, selected regions and exclude vastly different regions of these separately created genomes. Cherry-picking of data is bad science. Other published research studies completed between 2002 and 2006 compared certain isolated regions of the chimp genome to human DNA. These also seemed to add support to the evolutionary paradigm, but reinserted dissimilar DNA sequence data where it could be determined that evolutionists had omitted it from their analyses. This significantly changed the results, which showed that the actual DNA similarities for the analyzed regions varied between about 66% to 86%.[xxvi] Again, this showed at least a 14% difference—not the fake 1%.
One of the main problems with comparing DNA segments between different organisms that contain regions of strong dissimilarity is that the computer program commonly used (called BLASTN) stops matching DNA when it hits regions that are markedly different. These unmatched sections consequently are not included in the final results, raising significantly the overall similarity between human and chimp DNA. In other words, the human-coded software automatically cherry picks the data. The computer settings can be changed to reject DNA sequences that are not similar enough for the research needs. The common default setting used by most evolutionary researchers kicks out anything less than 95% to 98% in similarity. In 2011, Dr. Tompkins compared 40,000 chimp DNA sequences (after removing them from the human-genome scaffold bias) that were about 740 bases long and already known to be highly similar to human.[xxvii] The longest matches showed a DNA similarity of only 86%. A secular report independently found the same level of dissimilarity, again nailing the coffin on top of the false 98% claims.[xxviii]
If chimp DNA is so dissimilar to human, and the computer software stops matching after only a few hundred bases, how can we find the actual similarity of the human and chimp genomes? A 2013 study resolved this problem by digitally slicing up chimp DNA into the small fragments that the software’s algorithm could optimally match.[xxix] Using a powerful computer dedicated to this massive computation, all 24 chimp chromosomes were compared to humans’ 23 chromosomes. The results showed that, depending on the chromosome, the chimp chromosomes were between 43% and 78% similar to humans. Overall, the chimp genome was only about 70%[xxx] similar to human. These data confirmed results published in secular evolutionary journals, but not popularized by the media or evolutionists.
Although textbooks still contain the 98% DNA similarity claim, many scientists in the human-chimp research community now recognize the 96% to 98% similarity was derived from isolated areas and biased assemblies. However, while the 98% similarity is crumbling, geneticists rarely make public statements about overall estimates because they know it would debunk human evolution. Although the human and chimpanzee genomes overall are only about 84.4% similar, some regions have high similarity, mostly due to protein-coding genes. Even these high similarity areas actually have only about 86% of matching sequences overall when the algorithm used to analyze them is set to produce a very long sequence match.[xxxi]
The regions of high similarity can be explained by the fact that common genetic code elements are often found between different organisms because they code for genes that produce proteins with similar functions. For the same reason that different kinds of craftworkers all use hammers to drive or pry nails, different kinds of creatures use many of the same biochemical tools to perform common cellular functions. The genome is a very complex system of genetic codes, many of which are repeated in organisms with similar functions. This concept is easier to explain to computer programmers and engineers than biologists who are steeped in the evolutionary worldview.
Gene Similarities—the Big Picture
If two different kinds of creatures have the same basic gene sequence, they usually share only a certain part of that sequence. The entire gene could be only 88% similar, while a small part of it may be 98% similar. Protein-coding gene regions called “exons” in humans are on average only about 86% to 87% similar to chimps. Often, a matching chimp gene completely misses the exon sequences inside the human version of that gene.
The original definition of a gene describes it as a DNA section that produces a messenger RNA which in turn codes for a protein. Early estimates projected that humans contained about 22,000 of these protein-coding genes, and the most recent estimates suggest 28,000 to 30,000.[xxxii] We now know that each of these protein-coding genes can produce many different individual messenger RNA variants due to gene regulation strategies. Cellular machinery cuts and splices gene sections to generate sometimes dozens of useful products from just one of those 28,000 or so traditional genes. Consequently, over a million RNA varieties can be made from 30,000 or fewer genes! Nevertheless, less than 5% of the human genome contains actual “exon” protein-coding sequences.
Humans have a high level of DNA/gene similarity with creatures other than chimps
The human body has many molecular similarities with other living things. After all, they all use the same basic molecules. They share the same water, oxygen, and food sources. Their metabolism and therefore their genetic makeup resemble one another in order to occupy the same world. However, these similarities do not mean they evolved from a common ancestor any more than all buildings constructed using brick, iron, cement, glass, etc. means that they share origins.
DNA contains much of the information necessary for an organism to develop. If two organisms look similar, we would expect DNA similarity between them. The DNA of a cow and a whale should be more alike than the DNA of a cow and a bacterium. Likewise, humans and apes have many body similarities like bones, hair, and the ability to produce milk, so we would expect DNA sequences to match that. Of all known animals, the great apes are most like humans, so we would expect that their DNA would be most like human DNA.[xxxiii]
This is not always the case, though. Some comparisons between human DNA/genes and other animals in the literature including cats have 90% of homologous genes with humans, dogs 82%, cows 80%,[xxxiv] chimpanzees 79%, rats 69%, and mice 67%.[xxxv] Other comparisons found include fruit fly (Drosophila) with about 60%[xxxvi] and chickens with about 60% of genes corresponding to a similar human gene.[xxxvii] These estimates suffer from the same problems that humans-chimp comparisons do, but they illustrate the patterns of similarity that one would expect from a single divine designer.
The Myth of “Junk” DNA
The 30,000 or so genes of the human genome occupy less than 5% of the 3 billion total base pairs in the human genome. When researchers first made this estimate in the early 1990’s, nobody knew what the other 95% of the genome did. Because evolution theorists needed raw genetic material for nature to tinker with over millions of years, they decided that it had no function. They labeled it “junk DNA.” Oh, how wrong they were. After junk DNA became entrenched in textbooks, scientists began testing the 95% to see if cells use it for something other than protein codes. Beginning at around 2005, research from different labs all over the world has documented that cells transcribe and use over 90% of the entire human genome. The DNA codes for a dizzying array of RNA molecules. It performs many important jobs in the cell.[xxxviii] This phenomenon, called “pervasive transcription,” was discovered in an offshoot of the human genome project called ENCODE, which stands for ENCyclopedia of DNA Elements.[xxxix]
They discovered that most DNAs regulate the timing and amount of proteins produced. Imagine that the smart phone industry has no clue how many consumers want to buy smart phones. It could turn the world’s petroleum into phones, leaving none to make dash board, refrigerators, or medicines. Chaos would reign. Or it could make only 10 phones a year. That would derail commerce worldwide. Chaos either way. Regulating the number, rate, and placement of bricks is even more important than just having bricks. In a similar way, every cell must regulate its proteins to avoid chaos. No wonder junk DNA advocates grow quiet.
While refuting “junk” DNA, the ENCODE project has also redefined our concept of a gene. At the time of this writing, experts estimate that non-protein-coding RNA genes called long noncoding RNAs or “lncRNAs” outnumber protein coding genes at least 2 to 1.[xl] They have similar DNA structures and control features as protein-coding genes, but instead they produce useful RNA molecules.
Some RNAs remain in the cell nucleus with the DNA to regulate newborn RNA sequences. Other RNAs exit the nucleus to help regulate with the quality and speed of production, or the final shape and placement of other RNAs or proteins. The cell exports special RNAs called lncRNAs outside of the cell. It stands for “Long, Non-Coding RNA’s.” Whoever named them didn’t bother to actually check whether or not they coded for any useful product. Later research found that lncRNAs communicate with other cells. But now we are stuck with the evolution-friendly name. Many of these lncRNA genes play important roles in a process called epigenetics. This records information on top of DNA, telling up to around six generations to keep certain gene regions closed.
Many evolutionary studies compared only highly similar protein-coding regions, the lncRNA regions are only about 67 to 76% similar—about 10 to 20% less identical than the protein-coding regions. Chimp and human lncRNAs are very different from each other, but they are critical to each life form.
Possibly the entire genome is a storehouse of important information. Using the construction project analogy, the protein-coding genes are like building blocks, and the noncoding regions regulate and determine how and where the building blocks get used. This is why the protein-coding regions tend to show more similarities between organisms and the noncoding regions show fewer similarities. Protein-coding regions specify skin, hair, hearts, and brains, but “noncoding” regions actually do code information that helps organize these components into useful arrangements. Given their millions of DNA differences, no wonder humans and chimps look and act so different!
Chromosome Fusion Debunked
One key argument that evolutionists use to support the human-chimp story is the supposed fusion of two ape-like chromosomes to form human chromosome number two. The great apes actually contain two more (diploid) chromosomes than humans. Humans have 46 and apes have 48. Portions of two small ape chromosomes look somewhat similar to human chromosome 2 when observed under a microscope after special staining. Evolutionists argue that they look so similar because they descended from one ancestral population with 2 chromosomes. At some point, those two supposedly joined into one chromosome and evolved into humans while another segment kept the 2 chromosome and evolved into chimps.[xli] How do they know this happened? Does evidence inside human chromosomes fail to fit this story?
Taking their cues from evolutionary assumptions, secular researchers called these two chimp chromosomes 2A and 2B. Gorillas and orangutans also have chromosomes numbered 2A and 2B.
In 1991, scientists found a short segment of DNA on human chromosome 2 that they claimed was evidence for fusion. It looked to them like a genetic scar left over from two chromosome ends that were supposedly stitched together, even though it was not what they should have expected based on the analysis of known fusions in living mammals.[xlii] The alleged fusion sequence consisted of what looked like a degraded head-to-head fusion of chromosome ends called “telomeres.” Could the similarities between these two ape chromosomes and human chromosome 2 come from some cause other than common ancestry? What detailed features would we expect to see if these chromosomes fused to become one in humans?
Telomeres contain repeats of the DNA sequence TTAGGG over and over. Geneticists first found them on the ends of each chromosome, like protective caps. T represents the chemical Tyrosine; A, Adenine; and G, Guanine. The organization of these chemicals encodes information, just like letters of the alphabet. Telomeres on human chromosomes are typically 5,000 to 15,000 bases long. If these fused, then they should have 10,000 to 30,000 TTAGGG repeats at the fusion site, plus or minus some from many generations of mutations.[xliii] The alleged fusion site, however, has only about 800 bases. Plus, these bases look only 70% similar to the expected. Plus, telomeres are specifically designed to prevent chromosomal fusion, and this is why a telomere-telomere fusion never has been observed in nature!
This fusion idea has for many years been masquerading as proof of human evolution, but genetic research has completely refuted the story. Not only is the site some orders of magnitude smaller than expected, but it has functional DNA. Cells access the “site” daily for its important RNA gene.[xliv] In 2002, researchers sequenced over 614,000 DNA bases surrounding the supposed fusion site and found that it was in a gene-rich region. The fusion site lies inside what they originally labeled a pseudogene. These describe supposedly damaged remnants of formerly useful protein-coding genes.[xlv] They supposedly represent more genetic junk from a messy evolutionary past. However, continual discoveries of important cellular roles for “pseudogenes” keep surprising evolutionists, who expect junk but keep finding functional genetic design. Why do college biochemistry and high school biology textbooks fail to explain these new results or to admit that science has refuted the chromosome fusion model?
Even more clear evidence for creation is the finding that not one of the other genes within 614,000 bases surrounding the alleged fusion site exists in chimpanzees. Although many evolutionists, perhaps unaware of the recent research, still promote it, the facts fail to fit fusion. They instead reveal how sensible is the idea that God created human chromosome 2.
Beta-globin Pseudogene Debunked
Another story that evolutionists use to promote human-ape ancestry holds that humans and chimps shared the same genetic mistakes. This supposedly explains why both of them have the same supposedly broken genes, called pseudogenes. Their story sounds sensible at first. Our common ancestor had a gene that mutated. After its descendants diverged, the chimp and human family trees both retained those old mutations. After all, they argue, how else could two different but similar species have the same mutations in the same genes unless they evolved from the same ancestor?
If this story was true, then we were obviously not created in God’s image. Fortunately, exciting new research shows why science supports Scripture’s documentation of creation. As noted, cells actually use many so-called “pseudogenes.” They produce important noncoding RNAs discussed previously.[xlvi] This means that the shared DNA sequence “mistakes” were purposefully created DNA sequences all along. They simply perform the same task in the two different organisms. Thus, common function, not common ancestry, gives the reason for their similar (and quite useful) sequence.
The beta-globin pseudogene exemplifies this. It turns out, of course, that this gene serves a helpful function in cells. Too bad evolutionists failed to look for function before they declared it had no function. The beta-globin sequence fits right in the middle of a cluster of five other genes. The other five genes help produce useful proteins. Evolutionists originally claimed that the beta-globin gene was broken because it did not produce a protein. Now multiple studies have shown that it produces lncRNAs (see above) and is the most genetically networked gene in the entire beta-globin gene cluster. This means the cell accesses it more often than the others.[xlvii] The supposed pseudo (or “false”) gene regulates the production rates of the other genes. Over 250 different types of human cells actively use the gene! Why do chimps and humans share this very similar sequence? Not because they both inherited it from a common ancestor, but because they both use it for very similar purposes, like lungs for breathing.
GULO Pseudogene Debunked
Another case of textbook evidence for human evolution is the GULO pseudogene. This actually looks like a broken gene. It looks like the real GULO gene, which codes for an enzyme to help make vitamin C, but it has differences. It seems like mutations have garbled its once-useful code. Evolutionists claim that humans, chimps, and other apes share GULO genes that mutated in the same places because the mutations occurred in an ancestor that all three supposedly share. However, broken GULO pseudogenes are also found in mice, rats, bats, birds, pigs, and famously, guinea pigs. Did we evolve from guinea pigs?
When researchers recently analyzed the GULO gene in its entirety, they found no pattern of common ancestry.[xlviii] Instead, it looks like this gene is predisposed to being mutated no matter what creature has it. Since humans and other animals can get vitamin C from their diet, they can survive without the gene. Also, the other genes in the GULO biochemical pathway produce proteins that aid other important cellular processes. Losing those could spell disaster for the organism. So, many creatures and humans can tolerate a damaged GULO gene by consuming plenty of vegetables with vitamin C.
The GULO gene region and the mutations that likely damaged it link to a system that use transposable elements. These are commonly called “jumping genes,” and they can cut themselves out of one location in the genome and splice themselves into another location. The many different types of transposable elements in the human genome serve very important tasks. Sometimes, though, they splice themselves into the wrong location and disrupt genes.
In the case of GULO, the transposable element patterns between humans and each of the ape kinds that were evaluated show differences. Therefore, GULO shows no pattern of common ancestry for humans and apes—negating this evolutionary argument. Like the claims of 99% similarity, chromosome fusion, and Beta-globin, evolutionists built the GULO argument based on belief in evolution plus an ignorance of biology.
In reality, the GULO pseudogene data defy evolution and vindicate creation. According to the Genesis account of the fall that caused the curse on creation, we would expect genes to mutate. This one did. No known creature avoids this process of genetic decay, called genetic entropy (see above section on genetics). Cornell University Geneticist John Sanford has shown in several studies that the human genome shows no signs of evolving or getting better. Instead it irreversibly crumbles.[xlix] Perhaps our early ancestors had a working GULO gene that could manufacture vitamin C. Today, low vitamin C in our diets causes an illness called scurvy.
The Human-Chimp Evolution Magic Act
Stage magicians, otherwise known as illusionists, practice their trade by getting you to focus on some aspect of the magician’s act to divert your focus from what the other hand is doing. This way, they get you to believe something that isn’t true—a fake reality. The human-chimp DNA similarity “research” works almost the same way.
The evolutionist who promotes the human-chimp fake paradigm of DNA similarity accomplishes the magic act by getting you to focus on a small set of data representing bits and pieces of hand-picked evidence. In this way, you don’t see the mountains of hard data that utterly defy evolution. While some parts of the human and chimpanzee genomes are very similar—those that the evolutionists focus on—the genomes overall are vastly different, and the hard scientific evidence now proves it. The magic act isn’t working any longer, and more and more open-minded scientists are beginning to realize it.
Confronting Human-Chimp Propaganda
To close this section, let’s discuss a hypothetical exchange. How can you use the information in this section in conversation? First, the person makes the claim that “human and chimp DNA are genetically 98–99% identical or similar.” When such a person does not wish to listen, starting with a question, not a counter, almost always helps. If you have memorized the genome lengths, you can ask, “Do you know roughly how many bases are in the chimp and human genomes?” If they do, great. If not, then offer the fact that the chimp genome has 3.3 billion, and the human genome 3.1 billion bases. Then ask, “Do you think the percent difference between these numbers is 1, 2, or more?” You can then calculate it together. Use ((3.1/3.3) – 1) X 100. Ignore the negative sign (take the absolute value). When you both see that it equals about a 6% difference, then just ask, “How can the two be only 1% different if their total lengths are already 6% different?”
At this point in the conversation, you will rapidly find out if the person is really interested in learning more about the issue of human origins, or if they are so zealous about evolutionary beliefs that they refuse to listen to challenging evidence. If at that point they begin making up an answer, rest assured that they have no desire to learn anything from you. If, on the other hand, their confidence in the 1% assertion fades, then you may have just earned the right to offer more information.
When the other person shows interest in what you might have to say, you could mention, “The 99% similarity only applies to the highly similar regions. It ignores the many differences in the already dissimilar regions.” You can then clarify this response by noting that “2018 research has shown that, overall, the entire genome is no more than 85% similar on average when you include all the DNA that researchers decoupled from the human genome in 2018. This equal to 15 percent difference demands hundreds of millions of precise base pair changes in just 3–6 million years. Can you help me explain how mutations could accomplish that?”
You can also add, “Several thousand genes unique to humans are completely missing in chimps, and scientists have found many genes that are unique to chimps are missing in humans.” Then ask, “How can evolutionary processes explain these massive differences?” Take care to ask open-ended and genuine questions. Avoid using “you.” We don’t want to accuse anybody, just lead them to convince themselves that their own ideas have problems. Another useful question asks, “How could only 1–2% DNA difference account for such major body differences between humans and chimps, like thousands of new genes, different hand, muscle and brain architecture, and the 40 facial muscles that humans use to communicate, compared with the dozen or so in chimp faces?”
In reality, the whole modern research field of genetics and genomics is the worst enemy of evolution. As new genomes of different kinds of organisms are being sequenced, they consistently show unique sets of DNA containing many genes and other sequences that specify that type of creature. Evolutionists call these new creature-specific genes “orphan genes” because they are not found in any other type of known creature.[l] Orphan genes appear suddenly in the pattern of life as unique sections of genetic code with no hint of evolutionary history. Of course, believers in an omnipotent Creator know that each different genome, such as that for humans and that of chimpanzees, was separately, uniquely, and masterfully engineered at the beginning of creation. God created and embedded each creature’s orphan genes to network with all the rest of that creature’s genetic coding instructions. The scientific data overwhelmingly show that God deserves the credit and evolution deserves none.
With so much at stake, like the answer to life’s largest question, “Where did I come from?” do we want to trust in extremely biased answers? Every high school student can refute 98% similarity dogma by tracking the main points above as outlined below.
Point 1 – Overall, the entire genome is only about 84.4% similar on average when you include all the DNA. This is equal to a 15% difference, or 360 million+ base pair differences. (Slight differences exist between using the 2004 assembly, which made the data look more human than the unbiased 2018 assembly). Either assembly reveals a genetic chasm between our supposed closest evolutionary relative.
Point 2 – The “Junk” DNA claim has long been refuted and most of it has been found to have clear functions which are regulatory in nature.
Point 3 – The Chromosome Fusion claim is false for four reasons. First, telomeres are designed not to fuse. Telomere to telomere fusion is unknown in the natural world. This makes the evolutionary assertion hard for them to defend. Second, telomeres contain repeats of the DNA sequence TTAGGG over and over for thousands of bases. Human telomeres are from 5,000 to 15,000 bases long. If these actually fused, then they should have over ten thousand TTAGGG bases, but the alleged fusion site actually has about 800 bases. Third, the “fusion site” sequence shares only 70% similarity to what expectations would dictate. Last, the claimed fusion site contains a gene, proof that it is not a genetic scar at all.
Point 4 – The Beta-globin Pseudogene is not a pseudogene! Without this status, its use to argue for human-chimp common ancestry crumbles. It is actually a functional gene in the middle of a cluster of five other genes.
Point 5 – The GULO Pseudogene does not show common decent, but simply shows an area of both genomes that is prone to mutate.
[i] Thanks to Jeffrey Tomkins, Ph.D., Jerry Bergman Ph.D., and Brian Thomas, M.S. for this section.
[ii] Jonathan Silvertown (ed), 99% Ape: How Evolution Adds Up (University of Chicago Press, 2009): 4.
[iii] Bruce Bagemihl, Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity (1999). St. Martins Press. New York.
[iv] R.J. Rummel, “Statistics of Democide: Genocide and Mass Murder Since 1900,” School of Law, University of Virginia (1997).
[v] Jerry Bergman, Hitler and the Nazis Darwinian Worldview: How the Nazis Eugenic Crusade for a Superior Race Caused the Greatest Holocaust in World History, (Kitchener, Ontario, Canada: Joshua Press, 2012).
[vi] J. Tomkins, “Separate Studies Converge on Human-Chimp DNA Dissimilarity.” Acts & Facts 47 (11) (2018): 9.
[viii] Many attempts have been made and all have failed. See Kirill Rossiianov, “Beyond Species: Ii’ya Ivanov and His Experiments on Cross-Breeding Humans with Anthropoid Apes.” Science in Context. 15 (2) (2002): 277–316.
[x] Credit: Wikipedia
[xi] Tomkins, 2018.
[xii] Various sources will show minor differences in these comparisons. These are for example only.
[xiii] S. Kakuo, K. Asaoka, and T. Ide, “Human is a unique species among primates in terms of telomere length.” Biochemistry Biophysics Research Communication, 263 (1999): 308–314
[xiv] N. Archidiacono, C.T. Storlazzi, C. Spalluto, A.S. Ricco, R. Marzella, M. Rocchi, “Evolution of chromosome Y in primates.” Chromosoma 107 (1998): 241–246.
[xv] Answers in Genesis: “What about the Similarity Between Human and Chimp DNA?” www.answersingenesis.org/articles/nab3/human-and-chimp-dna (January 14, 2014).
[xvi] J. Bergman & J. Tomkins, “Is the Human Genome Nearly Identical to Chimpanzee? A Reassessment of the Literature” Journal of Creation 26 (2012): 54–60.
[xviii] J. Tomkins, “How Genomes are Sequenced and why it Matters: Implications for Studies in Comparative Genomics of Humans and Chimpanzees,” Answers Research Journal 4 (2011): 81–88.
[xix] I. Ebersberger, D. Metzler, C. Schwarz, & S. Pääbo, “Genomewide Comparison of DNA Sequences between Humans and Chimpanzees,” American Journal of Human Genetics 70 (2002): 1490–1497.
[xxi] Chimpanzee Sequencing and Analysis Consortium, “Initial Sequence of the Chimpanzee Genome and Comparison with the Human Genome,” Nature 437 (2005): 69–87.
[xxii] J. Tomkins, “Genome-Wide DNA Alignment Similarity (Identity) for 40,000 Chimpanzee DNA Sequences Queried against the Human Genome is 86–89%,” Answers Research Journal 4 (2011): 233–241.
[xxiii] J. Prado-Martinez, et al. “Great Ape Genetic Diversity and Population History,” Nature 499 (2013): 471–475.
[xxiv] J. Tomkins, & J. Bergman. “Genomic Monkey Business—Estimates of Nearly Identical Human-Chimp DNA Similarity Re-evaluated using Omitted Data,” Journal of Creation 26 (2012), 94–100; J. Tomkins, “Comprehensive Analysis of Chimpanzee and Human Chromosomes Reveals Average DNA Similarity of 70%,” Answers Research Journal 6 (2013): 63–69.
[xxv] Nathaniel T. Jeanson, “Purpose, Progress, and Promise, Part 4,” Institute for Creation Research: http://www.icr.org/article/purpose-progress-promise-part-4 (September 2, 2015).
[xxvi] Tomkins & Bergman, 63–69.
[xxvii] Tomkins, 2011.
[xxviii] R. Buggs, “How similar are human and chimpanzee genomes?” Posted on Richardbuggs.com July 14, 2018, accessed August 9, 2018.
[xxix] Tomkins & Bergman, 63–69.
[xxx] Subsequent analyses revealed an anomaly in the BLASTN algorithm used for determining the 70% figure and the revised estimate (88%) has been included in this chapter. See: Jeffrey P. Tomkins, “Documented Anomaly in Recent Versions of the BLASTN Algorithm and a Complete Reanalysis of Chimpanzee and Human Genome-Wide DNA Similarity Using Nucmer and LASTZ,” (October 7, 2015), Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/genetics/dna-similarities/blastn-algorithm-anomaly/
[xxxi] Tomkins, 2011.
[xxxii] E. Wijaya, M.C. Frith, P. Horton & K. Asai, “Finding Protein-coding Genes through Human Polymorphisms,” PloS one 8 (2013).
[xxxiv] Christine Elsik. et al. The Genome Sequence of Taurine Cattle: A Window to Ruminant Biology and Evolution. Science. 324:522-528.
[xxxv] Source is Pontius, Joan. et al., 2007. Initial Sequence and Comparative Analysis of the Cat Genome. Genome Research. 17:1675–1689 (www.eupedia.com/forum/threads/25335-Percentage-of-genetic-similarity-between-humans-and-animals).
[xxxvii] NIH/National Human Genome Research Institute. “Researchers Compare Chicken, Human Genomes: Analysis of First Avian Genome Uncovers Differences Between Birds and Mammals.” ScienceDaily (December 10, 2004).
[xxxviii] M. J. Hangauer, I.W. Vaughn & M. T. McManus, “Pervasive Transcription of the Human Genome Produces Thousands of Previously Unidentified Long Intergenic Noncoding RNAs,” PLoS genetics 9 (2013).
[xxxix] S. Djebali, et al. “Landscape of Transcription in Human Cells,” Nature 489 (2012): 101–108.
[xl] M. D. Paraskevopoulou, et al. “DIANA-LncBase: Experimentally Verified and Computationally Predicted MicroRNA Targets on Long Non-coding RNAs,” Nucleic Acids Research 41 (2013): 239–245.
[xli] J. J Yunis & O. Prakash, “The Origin of Man: A Chromosomal Pictorial Legacy,” Science 215 (1982): 1525–1530.
[xlii] J. W. Ijdo, A. Baldini, D.C. Ward, S. T. Reeders & R. A. Wells, “Origin of Human Chromosome 2: An Ancestral Telomere-telomere Fusion,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 88 (1991): 9051–9055.
[xliii] J. Bergman & J. Tomkins, “The Chromosome 2 Fusion Model of Human Evolution—Part 1: Re-evaluating the Evidence,” Journal of Creation 25 (2011): 110–114.
[xliv] J. Tomkins, “Alleged Human Chromosome 2 ‘Fusion Site’ Encodes an Active DNA Binding Domain Inside a Complex and Highly Expressed Gene—Negating Fusion,” Answers Research Journal 6 (2013): 367–375.
[xlv] Y. Fan, E. Linardopoulou, C. Friedman, E. Williams & B.J. Trask, “Genomic Structure and Evolution of the Ancestral Chromosome Fusion Site in 2q13-2q14.1 and Paralogous Regions on other Human Chromosomes,” Genome Research 12 (2002): 1651–1662; Y. Fan, T. Newman, E. Linardopoulou, & B.J. Trask, “Gene Content and Function of the Ancestral Chromosome Fusion Site in Human Chromosome 2q13-2q14.1 and Paralogous Regions,” Genome Research 12 (2002): 1663–1672.
[xlvi] Y.Z. Wen, L. L. Zheng, L.H. Qu, F. J. Ayala & Z.R. Lun, Z. R, “Pseudogenes are not Pseudo Any More,” RNA Biology 9 (2012): 27–32.
[xlvii] J. Tomkins, “The Human Beta-Globin Pseudogene Is Non-Variable and Functional,” Answers Research Journal 6 (2013): 293–301.
[xlviii] M. Y. Lachapelle, & G. Drouin, “Inactivation Dates of the Human and Guinea Pig Vitamin C Genes,” Genetica 139 (2011): 199–207.
[xlix] J. Sanford, Genetic Entropy and the Mystery of the Genome, 3rd ed (FMS Publications, 2010).
[l] J. Tomkins & J. Bergman, “Incomplete Lineage Sorting and Other ‘Rogue’ Data Fell the Tree of Life,” Journal of Creation 27 (2013): 63–71.