Students ask: “Is human and chimpanzee DNA really 98-99% the same?”

One of the “holy grails” of evolution is the claim that humans share 98-99% of their DNA with chimpanzees. Based on this evidence, the 10th grade California textbook Miller & Levine Biology confidently states that, “Recent DNA analyses confirm that, among the great apes, chimpanzees are human’s closest relatives.”1


Humans and chimps are actually only 70% similar genetically, not the often-claimed “98-99%.” Image credit:

However, what is not commonly told is the fact that such numbers were gained using very unscientific means; “cherry picking” the data. Only segments of the DNA shared by chimps and humans were compared, so naturally, they would be very similar.2

It actually makes good sense from a creation-design standpoint for humans to share similar DNA with other creatures, for the obvious reason that man does many of the same things that animals do. For example, our bodies digest food, breath air, fight disease, and so on.

However, when the full genomes are taken into account and compared, the similarity number falls dramatically. As more recent research by both creationists and evolutionists has revealed, humans and chimps are only about 70% similar genetically; a far cry from the common 98-99% statistic promoted by secularists.This poses a huge dilemma for evolution, since this means that around 1 billion letters of DNA out of the total 3-billion in the human genome would have to be accounted for by random mutations and blind natural selection in only around 7 million years since humans and chimps last shared a common ancestor!5

The biblical account of the creation of man in the image of God, separate from the animals (including chimps) is a much better explanation for the complex genetic codes of humans and chimpanzees than evolution.

Free Resources for Further Learning:

Chimp DNA Video

Human and Chimp DNA—Nearly Identical?

The Myth of 1%

Chimp-human DNA Similarity: What Does It Really Mean?


1Miller, Kenneth R., and Joseph S. Levine. Miller & Levine Biology. Boston, MA: Pearson, 2006. 767. Print.

2Tomkins, J. 2012. Journal Reports Bias in Human-Chimp Studies. Acts & Facts. 41 (6): 6.

3Jeanson, N. 2013. Does “Homology” Prove Evolution? Acts & Facts. 42 (9): 20.

4Tomkins, J. 2011. Evaluating the Human-Chimp DNA Myth—New Research Data. Acts & Facts. 40 (10): 6.

5Tomkins, Jeffery P., Ph.D. “Chimp DNA Mutation Study-Selective Yet Surprising.” Chimp DNA Mutation Study-Selective Yet Surprising. Institute for Creation Research, 25 June 2014. Web. 10 July 2015. <>.