Question: If the DNA of a chimp and a human are 98 percent similar, doesn’t this support the theory that humans evolved from apes?
A picture of two half-faces, one of a human infant and the other of a baby chimpanzee, adorned the front cover of the October 6, 2006 issue of Time magazine. Written across the magazine in large and distinctive red letters was the provocative title, “How We Became Human.” Directly following, in small print, was, “Chimps and humans share almost 99% of their DNA. New discoveries reveal how we can be so alike…” However, when we understand how these researchers selectively reported their facts while ignoring evidence to the contrary, the question should be, “Is this really science?”
The DNA molecule was discovered in 1953 by James Watson and Francis Crick. It contains all the information required to program all forms of life including microbes, plants and animals. It is considered the most complex molecule in nature and it has the ability to store large amounts of information in a microscopically small space. For example, a postage stamp-sized DNA molecule weighing only 1/15th of a postage stamp has the ability to make 6 billion human beings. The storage capacity of this molecule is so astounding that all the information stored in all of the libraries the world over could be fit into one percent of the volume of a pinhead. Watson and Crick’s discovery gave insight into how this remarkable molecule transfers information. DNA uses its own language in the form of a code. It opens to transfer data and closes when the message is complete. It does all of this at 1,500 mph, which is approximately twice the speed of sound.
The origin of this amazingly complex molecule that is designed to carry information cannot be explained by any of the natural processes that we observe today. Along with the difficulty of explaining DNA’s incredible design, there is the insurmountable problem with regard to the origin of the initial information necessary to create it in the first place. This remains a big evolutionary mystery with no scientific answers forthcoming. Some have resorted to science fiction, with Francis Crick and others looking to the far reaches of the universe and invoking an alien origination for life on planet earth.
It was not until the year 2000 that the program code was isolated in a human DNA molecule. It numbered approximately 3.2 billion different units that are like letters in the alphabet. This is called the human genome. In the case of DNA, there are only 4 letters –A, T, G and C – and not the 26 letters found in our English alphabet. These 4 units are repeated in different sequences 3.2 billion times, making it extremely challenging to determine what this code represents. Geneticists have identified small splices, called genes, within these 3.2 billion units. These genes give us our physical traits such as height, eye color, and even the ability to roll your tongue. Currently, out of the 3.2 billion units, only approximately 30,000 genes have been identified that code for human life. This leaves 98% of the DNA molecule unused.
Evolutionists refer to this unused portion as “junk” DNA. This leftover DNA was once thought to be the past remnants of the genome that caused prior evolutionary changes to take place. It should be noted that when the 99% man-monkey similarity was reported in prestigious scientific journals, it was highly inflated due to evolutionary bias, as data that did not fit their model was excluded. An extensive study of published papers at that time should have been included. If that were done, the accurate estimates were as low as 81 to 87% similarity. With today’s advances, we can now bring the estimate down to approximately 71%. With current data included, the cover of Time magazine should have read, “No wonder we look so different!”
The miraculous nature of DNA is found in its expression. Think of different letters being intelligently put together to make words. These words are like genes. Words come together to make sentences just as genes interact with other genes to construct proteins. The same alphabet can produce millions of words and these words can combine to form many more sentences. This is what is known as “gene expression.” The reason why we do not look like monkeys is because we have different gene expression. When we actually compare human and chimp protein structure, the 71% similarity translates to a 29% difference. These findings do not support an evolutionary relationship between humans and chimps.
Another example of gene expression is seen in the process of metamorphosis. During this remarkable process, an organism goes through drastic physical changes – egg, larva, pupa and adult – as commanded by the program language of DNA. The adult butterfly is great example of gene expression as seen in metamorphosis. The adult butterfly came from a pupa in a liquid state, that was formed by a caterpillar, that initially came from an egg. All of these physical changes are a result of gene expression and they are not based on the percentage of difference or similarity in the genome of the butterfly. Perhaps this is evidence of our Creator expressing himself in the language of DNA. It is in gene expression that we see unbelievable changes controlled by the code of life as God has written it for all of us to witness. 3,000 years ago, King David wrote about God’s preordained plans for his children: “My frame was not hidden from you, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them” (Psalm 139:15-16 KJV).
Tom DeRosa is the Executive Director and Founder of Creation Studies Institute, a national creation ministry whose mission is to reach the church community with the truths of Creation and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He is an author, teacher, and sought out speaker with a passion to equip other believers with the tools needed to refute the lies of evolution. Tom can be reached at [email protected].