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Humans and chimpanzees share 96% of the same DNA. In other words, from a scientific perspective, humans and chimpanzees are genetically very similar.

As the battle between evolution and intelligent design continues, the National Human Genome Research Institute summarizes, "The DNA sequence that can be directly compared between the two genomes is almost 99 percent identical. When DNA insertions and deletions are taken into account, humans and chimps still share 96 percent of their sequence... To put this into perspective, the number of genetic differences between humans and chimps is approximately 60 times less than that seen between human and mouse and about 10 times less than between the mouse and rat. On the other hand, the number of genetic differences between a human and a chimp is about 10 times more than between any two humans."

Although many have known of the relationship between apes and humans for some time (e.g., philosophers Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Lord Monboddo viewed apes as progenitors of mankind), we've only been doing DNA sequencing for about 40 years. Clearly, the anatomical and biochemical similarity between chimpanzees and humans are "striking." As scientists continue on their quest to engineer the perfect human, it's going to be evermore difficult to ignore the scientific proof of the link.

Even if there are differences "that are difficult to quantify," why does evolution need to continue to be defended? Do such significant similarities in DNA prove evolution? Does a 4% difference leave enough room for the possibility that God exists (e.g., common design, common designer)? Why would God create humans and chimps so similarly? All kidding and blasphemy aside, and knowing that there are differences between monkeys and apes, if, as Genesis states, God created man in his image, does God look like a monkey? Are you satisfied enough with the answer "God works in strange and mysterious ways?"

"Darwin wasn't just provocative in saying that we descend from the apes-he didn't go far enough," said Frans de Waal, a primate scientist at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. "We are apes in every way, from our long arms and tailless bodies to our habits and temperament."

Because chimpanzees are our closest living relatives, the chimp genome is the most useful key to understanding human biology and evolution, next to the human genome itself. The breakthrough will aid scientists in their mission to learn what sets us apart from other animals...

To map the chimp genome, researchers used DNA from the blood of a male common chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) named Clint, who lived at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center in Atlanta. Clint died last year from heart failure at the relatively young age of 24.

A comparison of Clint's genetic blueprints with that of the human genome shows that our closest living relatives share 96 percent of our DNA...

Scientists also discovered that some classes of genes are changing unusually quickly in both humans and chimpanzees, as compared with other mammals. These classes include genes involved in the perception of sound, transmission of nerve signals, and the production of sperm.

Despite the similarities in human and chimp genomes, the scientists identified some 40 million differences among the three billion DNA molecules, or nucleotides, in each genome.

The vast majority of those differences are not biologically significant, but researchers were able to identify a couple thousand differences that are potentially important to the evolution of the human lineage...

Humans and chimps originate from a common ancestor, and scientists believe they diverged some six million years ago.

Chimps, Humans 96 Percent the Same, Gene Study Finds

(You will find the scientific study at Nature: Initial sequence of the chimpanzee genome and comparison with the human genome)


Original posting by Braincrave Second Life staff on Jul 1, 2011 at http://www.braincrave.com/viewblog.php?id=591

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