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Not Cousins: The Genetic Dissimilarity between Chimps and Men

An advertisement from the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada appeared in today’s Globe and Mail (January 1, 2015, p. A9), entitled "Cousin, we need to talk." It featured the face of a chimpanzee and the text began,

We share almost 99% of our DNA. We still have so much to learn from each other.

Here we again see an evolutionist trope that is simply not true; we do not "share almost 99% of our DNA" with chimpanzees.

This is not a new claim; evolutionists have been making it since 1964 – which was long before the chimpanzee genome was sequenced! When this was finally done, in 2005, it was found that only 76% (2.4 billion) of the 3.165 billion DNA "letters" of the human genome align with those of the chimpanzee genome. Furthermore, to get an exact alignment even in this 76%, artificial gaps need to be introduced, single letters changed, and "copy number variations" ignored. When these are taken into account, humans and chimps may share less than 70% of their DNA. We are indeed very different. (See the article by University of Florida research geneticist Dr. Richard Buggs, entitled "Chimpanzee?" for details.)

Furthermore, a careful reading of Genesis 1 shows that humans are fundamentally different from animals. Inanimate objects are unipartite, consisting of only physical matter/energy (Genesis 1:1); animals are bipartite, made up of the physical matter/energy and the life force or "soul" (Genesis 1:20-21), and humans are tripartite, made up physical matter/energy, the life force or "soul," and the spirit (Genesis 1:26-27; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 4:12). This fundamental difference means that we are not cousins to chimpanzees or to any other animal. We should rejoice instead that we are creatures made in the image of God, not sophisticated descendants of simple cells that happened to climb out of primordial soup eons ago.

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