Viva la Difference! Explore More Content
Darwinists will sometimes point to the high percentage of genes that humans and chimpanzees share as evidence of common descent. But it's not simply the similarities that matter, it's the qualitative differences in what the genes do that offers contrary evidence. Dr. Fazale Rana reports on a recent study from the Salk Institute that indicates that the similarities in genes humans and chimpanzees share is very significant because of other differences in how genes are expressed.
In spite of all the hoopla surrounding human-chimpanzee genetic similarities, many biologists don’t think that a simple comparison of DNA sequences is all that meaningful. The emerging consensus views gene regulation (or gene expression) as the basis for the biological differences and cognitive gap between humans and chimpanzees.
In other words, there are meaningful genetic differences between humans and chimpanzees. These differences have little to do with the set of genes found in the genomes (which for all intents and purposes is the same for humans and chimpanzees) or the close correspondence of the DNA sequences. Instead, the most biologically meaningful comparisons focus on how the genes are used—in other words, the patterns of gene expression.