Human Chimp Genome Similarity

Yes, where there is no alignment no comparison is possible that relies upon an alignment. But the fact that an alignment cannot be made indicates that that part of the human assembly is very different to anything in the chimpanzee assembly.

But what other types of sequence did my 84% figure take into account that have not been included in these 98% and 90% figures?

I don’t know. I am not a biologist.

And you seem to always ignore the question that I have asked repeatedly. What does this number, 98%, 90%, 84%, etc. etc., actually mean?


I would appreciate an explanation of that as well. It might help to learn what percent of difference is possible between two human individuals, and, what percent of difference is found between ourselves and mold?

Of course without doing the research I don’t feel entitled to such an explanation, but if anyone capable of providing one would be willing I’d certainly be appreciative.


It’s a dead end topic.
Very difficult to make it convincing.
Way too much bandwidth to sell it. There are better proof points.

I always feel sad whenever I see a rolling discussion on it last for days.

Hi Bill, if you read through this whole thread, I think it should be clear to you. If it isn’t, please ask me which parts you don’t understand and I will try to explain more clearly.

what are you all making of the fact that @DennisVenema and @glipsnort have not replied to the questions I have asked them in this thread? Both were quite active previously. Does it signal tacit agreement with my case?

I would just like the answers for two questions that I have asked you before.

What does this number, 98%, 90%, 84%, etc. etc., actually mean?

If you run this comparison using 2 humans what number do you get?

I would never take silence as a tacit agreement. It usually means the person has just lost interest in the topic or is too busy to take the time to reply. This is a internet forum. It is not a scientific conference.


I’m sure different people will attach different meanings. My concern here is that we get the numbers right (and don’t let our perceived meanings prejudice that).

It’s summertime. That’s what I make of it. As for others …

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@RichardBuggs I meant “actually mean for you”. You don’t go through this much effort to calculate a number and then decide what it is you are going to do with that number. Your intended use will influence how you go about the calculation.

In the original post for this thread Dennis brought up your calculation of 70% identity. Given this was widely quoted by the DI I would assume that the use for the number was to show common descent and/or evolution isn’t real. You now appear to accept (begrudgingly it appears to me as a non-biologist) the 84% number. So where do you go from here? Do you now accept common descent or are you just going to drop this as an argument against common descent?

And for the second question again I will ask if you run this comparison between 2 humans what % identity would you expect and what do you actually get? Or how about a chimp and a gorilla. Does the % identity show the same phylogenetic tree that is currently used?

It’s summer. I know Dennis has things going on. and maybe they are taking breaks from the forums which I do frequently. Trying to argue thst their recent silence may indicate agreement with you is kind of laughable



I have noticed that when I am pressed for time, and someone is particularly zealous for an answer, it helps if the question(s) is(are) re-stated … or at least the post where the question(s) is(are) is re-posted.

In the interest of fair play, I have re-published your Posting #73. Is this where your questions are for
@DennisVenema and/or @glipsnort ?

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Please see my attempt to assist in my post immediately above.

I’ve just joined this forum and read the preceding 93 posts. (Well skimmed over many). I gather by RichardBuggs calculations, the human genome has between 84.4% and 93.4% one-to-one orthology with the chimpanzee genome. I have a couple of questions.

  1. The chimp genome was originally assembled using the human genome as a scaffold. Is this still the case and could it be affecting the results.
  2. How much difference is too much? Within the evolutionary time frame how quickly could changes accumulate and what is the theoretical maximum difference between the genomes? Without knowing this the significance of 98% vs 88% is hard to assess.

Too much for what? To confirm common descent or refute evolution?

Both numbers are valid because they are calculated using different methods. It’s apples and oranges. Your choice in fruit probably depends on what it is you are trying to prove.

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Bill do you happen to know if most posters at this site would lean toward common descent?

If one subscribes to an older earth and accepts that humans have been a part of the evolutionary process like every other animal (albeit with a special outcome), then I don’t see why it should bother anyone to be grouped with the great apes. I think we are pretty obviously more closely related to chimps than to any other living creature. Some have even called us a third chimp species.

I can understand why a YEC would object to this classification but I can’t understand why an OEC would. Is it controversial?

@MarkD My guess would be the vast majority. But the non-common descent posters certainly make more noise than their numbers would indicate.

OEC that hold to a special creation of humans (or a progressive creation of the other species as needed) wouldn’t accept this classification. They tend to have their feet in both worlds, accepting the science on the age of the earth but rejecting the science for common descent.

Just a little. :grinning:


And such chutzpah!


Quite – I have indeed been taking a break, so I’m not even sure what the questions are. But I’m recently back from a conference and it’s Monday evening(*), so I’ll see if I can address things.

(*) In my house, Monday evenings are the time for Moral Support Monday. MSM is the time every week when my wife and I employ moral force to get each other to do things we’ve been avoiding – replying to an email, paying a bill, whatever. Replying to a stale BioLogos thread definitely qualifies.


I’m impressed! In our house “MSM” would look a lot different: my wife would be telling me to get off the Biologos forum and get some needed house chores done.