From Dr. Tom Woodward:
Did you know… DNA is now shredding the classroom dogma that chimps are our closest evolutionary cousins? In 1975, Berkeley biochemist Allan Wilson announced a “99% chimp-human DNA match,” but that was 45 years ago, and scientists who compare human and chimp DNA see holes in the story.
Consider 3 facts:
- Fact One: Our 1% DNA difference from chimps has been vigorously questioned for decades, as geneticists found different ways (seven now!) to compare DNA in two species. Many scientists say Wilson’s 1% original claim was way off. A report written by Jon Cohen in the prestigious journal “Science” referred to “the Myth of the 1%” and he urged scientists to drop the claim.
- Fact Two: Zooming in on those human genes involved in brain function, we find that they vary by 17% with the same group of genes in chimps’brains.
- Fact Three: The male-only “Y chromosome” in chimps was found to differ drastically from the human Y chromosome in structure and gene content. One scientist called it “horrendously different,” and said the “relationship between the human and chimp Y chromosomes has been blown to pieces.”
As we continue our DNA Day celebration, let’s give thanks for what the double helix of DNA is teaching us all!
For more information, see this fascinating 2018 report comparing chimp/human DNA: