Human Chimp Genome Similarity

Bill, sometimes it is very hard to figure out. I am from Europe, and I debate evolution vs. creation in a big local paper. I have my experience… i can assure you, it is very difficult to figure out.

Moreover, i have noticed a very interesting thing - atheists often pretend that they are agnostics… it looks like being an agnostic is trendy these days… agnostics everywhere… Bill, i met various range of people… very stupid uneducated people, very stupid educated people, perhaps the worst experience is to debate an uneducated atheist … this is a special category…

So Bill, when we talk, who are you? Do you believe in God… you are an engineer, so you should believe in God… ( i apologize when i have not figure out yet from your replies…)

Bill, you misunderstood something…

9% is the amount of unsequenced data…

and, those 25% is from the sequenced part, but ignored.

Let me refer to the video lecture again - this is the sequenced part:

"“yes, we share 99% of our DNA with chimps, if we ignore 18% of their genome and 25% of ours”

those unsequenced 9% is a different story, has nothing to do with what was already done … you are an engineer, so i hope you see now…

What about this:

Scientists should sequence 100% of the genome, and then give us some numbers on similarity … how does it sound?

i just noticed this … Bill, i apologize, ignore my question about God.

So you do believe in God and you are an evolutionary creationist.

Can you confirm that? I would like to put you a few questions…

I’m sorry, it was actually difficult for me. That’s why I asked.

Nope, not at all. It’s not about rules. I was just confused. :slight_smile:

I’m not a moderator, I just play one on TV.

(If the word “moderator” doesn’t appear next to my name, then no. :slight_smile: )

I actually apologize for that. We all do want to be friendly to newcomers, particularly (believe it or not) to contrarian voices.

A nondenominational, Anabaptist-leaning Christian (I don’t particularly like the term “Protestant” but I suppose it fits, since I’m not part of Catholic or Orthodox communions) who happens to believe that the current scientific consensus and Biblically orthodox faith are not in conflict. I suppose that makes me EC. I don’t talk about my family or work here (or give my first name) because my presence on these forums could get sticky for me in my personal life.

Yes. And not only that, I would say that I appreciate your asking a specific question, “What do YOU believe?” because this makes sense to me. Asking each Forum participant, “What do all these other Forum participants believe?” (after already getting two responses) makes less sense to me, which is why I asked what I asked.

Good to interact, good to have you here. Have a blessed day, brother.


Martin, it can be confusing when you first enter a forum like this. Sort of like going to the cafeteria after moving to a new school. What table do you sit at? Who are these people? Sometimes it just takes a bit of time to get to know them and for them to know you. It is a varied lot around here, and while there are a few grouches, everyone is pretty congenial overall. One thing most agree on is that science is neutral in regard to religion, and the opinion of atheist, agnostic, or Christian on science is equally valid so long as truthful and accurate.
I am interested in your statement that you debate evolution vs. creation in a local paper. What does that look like and how does that work?

1 Like

Personally I don’t place a lot of importance on a percent similarity. What exactly would 94.5% (if that was the actual correct value) mean? What is important is the parts that are identical and the parts that are not. Such as the identical mutation the prevents humans and chimps from synthesizing vitamin C.

Yes. Fairly conservative Protestant and EC.

While % genomic similarity is important, it isn’t the only observation from which one would infer common ancestry from comparative genomics. If two species have common ancestry, we should see that the pattern of genetic differences between them resulted from mutations. This is exactly what we see with the chimp and human genomes.


The problem is that those numbers just aren’t right. There’s something like 9% of the human genome that hasn’t been sequenced; all we can say about that in comparison with the chimpanzee genome is that the latter has similar stretches of similar, highly repetitive DNA. For the part that has been sequenced and has also been sequenced and assembled in the chimpanzee genome, the best current estimates are that ~1.5% of the human genome consists of short stretches of DNA that isn’t present in the chimpanzee genome, ~3% (with a large uncertainty) represents large stretches of DNA that has been duplicated in one genome but not the other. In the remaining DNA, which the part that’s similar and lines up nicely, 1.2% of individual bases are different.


It sounds quite unrealistic, and like something scientists aren’t doing. Both the human and the chimpanzee genomes were sequenced to answer scientific questions, not to tell us whether we were related to chimpanzees, and they were sequenced as completely as possible given the resourced available. In the case of the human genome, that meant 15+ years of effort by large teams of scientists at a cost of almost $3,000,000,000. When the chimpanzee genome was sequenced and compared to the human genome, detailed descriptions of how the two compared were published, including descriptions of the kinds of differences identified, along with an accounting of how much had been successfully compared.

It would be nice to have complete, error-free genomes of both species to compare. Lots of impossible things would be nice to have. What we actually do have, though, is immensely useful.


Which of those people are secular scientists with training and expertise in genomics?

Honestly, Youtube videos are not a good place to get the truth about science.

Lying requires intent, and I have no idea if they intentionally misled their audience.

What I do know is that their video is inaccurate. As others have noted a genome is not sequenced in the same way that you read a book. They shred the genome up into small sections that are hundreds of base pairs long and then they use overlapping sequence between the small chunks to reconstruct the whole genome. Sometimes there isn’t enough overlap or not enough information in the overlap to determine where a chunk of DNA fits so it is kept out of the final sequence. The chunks that do align are included in the sequence. This is before any comparisons are made between the genomes. These chunks aren’t excluded because they don’t match the genome from a different species. They are kept out because they don’t know where in the genome they fit.

So both the human and chimp genomes are incomplete. Both aligned genomes have gaps where they aren’t completely sure what the sequence is. When they compare genomes and want to know what the differences are between the species it only makes sense if you are comparing regions that are sequenced in both genomes. If aligned sequence in the human genome lines up with a gap in the aligned chimp genome you can’t say anything about what the similarity is in that region because there is no DNA to compare. It is COMPLETELY wrong to say that there is 0% similarity, and that is where the video misleads their audience.

To use analogy, genome sequencing is like putting a jigsaw puzzle together. They have 80-90% of the puzzle put together, but there are still pieces that they haven’t fit in yet. When you compare the jigsaw puzzles of the human and chimp genomes there are going to be filled in spots in the human genome that are blank in the chimp genome because it doesn’t have a piece. The same applies in the other direction. What we can compare is the places in the jigsaw puzzles that both have pieces, and in those places there is 95% of 98% similarity, depending on how you count differences (indels vs. substitutions, respectively).


It works very bad… 99% atheists … these guys are very aggressive, very rough personal attacks… fortunately, i don’t mind… i am thick-skinned.

It is very common, that i am attacked by 10 guys at once… 50% of them are the same guys again and again … but there are always some “fresh faces”.

Most of them are very uneducated, and, have no idea that there are theistic evolutionists (however, i consider myself OEC)

Moreover, basically all of my posts get deleted by paper’s administrators.

Last article i commented on stated: “There’s a psychological link between conspiracy theories and creationism” i believe this article was translated and shared across the globe.

My first reaction was like follows:

“After 150 years of extensive research, scientists were unable to show how life arose spontaneously … so, please STOP spreading conspiracy theory that life arose spontaneously…”

Thanks for the info. Europe seems a more hostile environment than we have here, so you have my prayers.
People are not a lot different anywhere you go however, as when some personality types buy into a position, they tend to to overboard in its defense. Sadly, that hostility is not only sometimes placed on the Christian community, but also hostility is expressed towards those outside the Christian community by some within, and to the detriment of the gospel.


Sounds unnecessary. Do we have to wait until we have pictures of every single body orbiting the Sun before we can post pictures of Jupiter? We can learn a lot from the sequences we do have which was the purpose of the comparisons to begin with. There is no reason to hold back on learning what we can until we can learn everything.


i agree… but this is not what i said…

So, again, finish the both genomes and then tell the public how similar both are…

So lets say you are a scientist … you publish a youtube video on your research … what is wrong with that? What difference does it make? Moreover, you can use moving pictures / 3D animations / videos … and so on… i can’t imagine a better place … There are a lot of biology online lectures (e.g. iBiology) … i don’t entirely get you what is wrong with youtube…

see my previous reply on this, but i would like to add

so tell me, what is wrong with that?

Friend, do you remember above what has already been said about this? The immense cost and labor in doing this would be of no practical value. Comparative genomics involves much more than looking at % genomic similarity.

you are wrong… have you read the article?

“A lot of people in the 1980s and 1990s [when the Human Genome Project was getting started] thought of these regions as nonfunctional,” said Karen Miga, a molecular biologist at the University of California, Santa Cruz. “But that’s no longer the case.” Some of them, called satellite regions, misbehave in some forms of cancer, she said, “so something is going on in these regions that’s important.”


i assume you know who Craig Venter is, so here you go:

Venter said: “I’d be the last one to give you a quote saying that we don’t need to bother with these [unsequenced] regions.”


“Psst, the human genome was never completely sequenced. Some scientists say it should be”

Why can’t we give the numbers for the sections we do have sequence for? What is the harm in that?

1 Like

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

This is a place for gracious dialogue about science and faith. Please read our FAQ/Guidelines before posting.