Common Descent or Common Design?

by Melissa Travis

apologetics common decent or common designA high degree of genetic similarity has often been touted by evolutionists as incontrovertible proof for the common ancestry of humans and chimps. Research on protein and DNA sequences has shown a 99% overlap between us and our [alleged] nearest evolutionary relative. The remaining 1% difference is said to have resulted from mutations occurring after chimps and humans split from their shared ancestor. In addition, analyses of chromosome banding patterns have shown a remarkable likeness between chimp and human chromosomes. While it is true that chimps have an extra pair of chromosomes compared to humans, evolutionists regard this as reflection of a chromosome fusion event in human history, sometime after the presumed split from a common ancestor.

Before one assumes that the case is closed in favor of common descent, the rest of the story (at least, what science knows of it so far) should be taken into careful consideration. Whenever genome-to-genome comparisons were made in a 2002 study[1], striking differences between humans and chimps were revealed. In the places where human and chimp DNA fragments aligned with each other, there was a 98.77% agreement; but a significant portion of chimp DNA fragments–15,000 out of 65,000– did not align with the human sequence at all.

Dr. John Bloom, head of the Master of Arts in Science and Religion program at Biola University states, “We recently discovered that the male Y chromosome between humans and chimps is only about 50 percent similar, and that overall, human and chimp DNA are only about 75 percent similar, not the 98 percent value which we have heard for decades…


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