This thing is written by Jay Richards, a name we haven’t paid attention to before. His Wikipedia entry describes him as a Discoveroid program director (whatever that is). Here are some excerpts from his blog article, with bold added by us:
A popular Darwinian meme is that humans and chimp genomes are ninety-something percent identical. It varies a bit, but usually hovers close to 99%. The meme hides all sorts of assumptions, of course, but the take home lesson for the headline reader is plain enough: we’re almost exactly the same as chimps.
“Darwinian meme.” Okay. Let’s read on:
But evidence seems to be piling up that the similarities are not nearly what has been advertised. Geneticist Richard Buggs has reflected on this, and has even predicted “that when we have a reliable, complete chimpanzee genome, the overall similarity of the human genome will prove to be close to 70% (and very far from 99%).”
What’s that prediction based on — the unspecified evidence that “seems to be piling up”? And who is Richard Buggs? Let’s find out.
Richard Buggs appears to be an evolutionary biologist. But a bit of searching reveals that he may have a wild side. The Wikipedia article on a UK group named Truth in Science describes it as a group that wants intelligent design taught alongside evolution in school science lessons. That article mentions that Richard Buggs is connected to the group, and he’s a fan of the bacterial flagellum “mystery” so beloved by Discoveroids like Michael Behe. This bears further investigation.
We visited the website of Truth in Science. A search there for the name “Richard Buggs” produces 3 hits, including this: ID Debate in Liverpool, which mentions that “Richard Buggs of Truth in Science” gave the pro-ID side of the of the debate about whether ID should be taught in the schools. Ah, here’s his presentation, and he’s described as being “on the Scientific Panel of Truth in Science.” So that’s Richard Buggs.
Sorry about the diversion, but we like to know who these people are. Hey, things aren’t necessarily hopeless in the UK. We recently learned of a pro-science organization that seems to be on the right track. Check out Just Science. Their Mission Statement starts out by saying: “We are a UK based group that believes that science alone should be taught in science class.”
Okay, enough diversions. We continue with the Discoveroid article:
It will be interesting to see how Buggs’ prediction holds up over time. If he’s right, this will be one more switch from “meme” to “myth” in the Darwinian ledger.
That’s Buggs’ prediction that compared to the chimp’s genome, “the overall similarity of the human genome will prove to be close to 70% (and very far from 99%).” We’ll see if Buggs comes up with any data. While we’re waiting for that (and it may be a long wait) here’s more from the Discoveroid blog article:
I should confess that I haven’t followed this [chimp-human DNA] debate closely, simply because I don’t think that the meme, even if true, really shows much. Here’s what I mean.
We know what he means. What the Discoveroid is telling us is that he doesn’t really care what the evidence shows. His mind is made up that regardless of the striking similarity in the genome of chimps and humans, there’s no evolutionary relationship between them. But let’s read what the Discoveroid means in his own words:
If somebody told me we were 100% chemically identical with chimps, I would conclude that we must be a lot more than mere chemicals, since chimps and humans are quite different.
We plucked that out of a large paragraph, so you may want to read all of it to be certain that we’ve presented the Discoveroid’s position correctly.
What do we make of it? It’s this: To a Discoveroid, or to any other creationist, objectively verifiable facts don’t really matter. Evolution is false, period. We’re not related to chimps, period.
But, but … if all the data show that we are biologically related to chimps (as distant cousins), then why aren’t we? The Discoveroid doesn’t say, but we know their answer, don’t we? It’s the magical mystery designer — Oogity Boogity! That’s the “science” of the Discoveroids. That’s the “theory” they want jammed into the science classes of public schools.
What if they win and we all start thinking like Discoveroids? Then we’ll be even closer to our chimp cousins than we are now. Until that day comes, some of us will continue to think like humans. And that means opposing the creationists at every opportunity.
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