The creation scientists at Answers in Genesis (AIG) — the creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia — are once again battling something that bothers all creationists. It’s the genetic similarity between humans and apes — chimpanzees, specifically.
They’ve written about it before — see AIG Ain’t No Kin To No Monkey. Now they’re at it again. Their new article is The Untold Story Behind DNA Similarity, written by Jeffrey P. Tomkins , a new name to us. At the end it says he “earned a PhD in genetics from Clemson University and served on the genetics and biochemistry faculty there. He is now director of life sciences at the Institute for Creation Research.” Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
“The DNA of humans is 98% similar to chimpanzees.” Who hasn’t heard that claim before? It’s usually stated as a settled fact and quoted to prove indisputably that we share a common ancestor. But what does this kind of statement really entail, and how do we really know how similar one creature’s DNA is to another? The answers from my field of research — genetics — might surprise you.
Jeffrey is going to surprise us! He devotes the next several paragraphs to telling us how difficult it is to sequence a genome. Then he says:
[I]n the case of the chimpanzee sequence, they lacked good genetic resources and funding. So they used the human genome as a framework. They also based this choice on the evolutionary presupposition that humans and chimps evolved from a common ancestor. This is a belief, not a fact of science. The obvious outcome of this approach is that the chimp genome they constructed would be very human-like even if the actual genome is not.
Aha! The research was flawed from the beginning! But wait — it gets worse:
Moreover, newly published research indicates that the chimp genome is not only misassembled but likely contains significant contamination from human DNA. It is now well documented in the scientific literature that many DNA sequence databases contain significant levels of human DNA from lab workers. … Of course, having human DNA mixed in would make the final product more human-like as well.
After those startling revelations, Jeffrey tells us:
As you can see from the way genomes are sequenced, any claims of similarities demand major caveats. When the genome of one creature is used to construct the genome of another, then we have a serious problem that philosophers call “begging the question.” In other words, evolutionists have produced a chimp genome based on humans and then say it looks similar to the human genome.
Yet another example of why those godless evolutionists can’t be trusted. Jeffrey continues:
While we won’t know what the chimp genome really looks like until more accurate research is done, I recently did a study of the chimp reads that have lower levels of human DNA contamination, and in this newer study the chimp DNA is only 85% similar to human at best, not 98%.
Wow — that’s amazing! Unfortunately, Jeffery doesn’t provide any references or footnotes. He doesn’t need them. We’ll take his word for it. Then he asks:
Yet they’re still “85% similar.” What does that mean?
Good question! We were specially created in God’s image, so why should our genome be even remotely like that of anything else? Jeffery explains:
[A] good example is the similarity among computer programs that come from the same programmer. The programmer doesn’t start from scratch each time he develops a new program. Instead, he uses the same general commands that he used for other projects. It shows the creator’s efficiency and ingenuity. We see the same pattern of both similarity and differences in organisms’ genomes.
Yes — that explains it! Let’s read on:
Biblical creationists say the similarities in DNA arose because the same Creator adapted the same basic code for separate created kinds. If a gene in different creatures encodes a similar protein for a similar biochemical pathway, it’s not because of evolution, but because of a single programmer. This similarity is a hallmark of all human-engineered systems, so why would we not expect to see it in God’s creation?
Makes perfect sense! One last excerpt:
Any time we hear claims that conflict with God’s Word, we need to stop and carefully unpack the facts. Then we need to identify the evolutionary presuppositions that drive many scientists to interpret the facts in a way that is contrary to Scripture.
So there you are, dear reader. You ain’t no kin to no monkey! Isn’t that wonderful?
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