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As Grant said earlier, there is a rich mine of potential posts in this particular website... This time, let’s review its author’s take on the phylogenetic relationship between Homo sapiens and Pan troglodytes.

We are indeed linked to chimpanzees — by a common Designer.

Evidence, please! One detects a rather sweeping a priori assumption here.

Even bananas have 90% the same DNA as chimps.

Er, no – the DNA correspondence is closer to 50%. Would be nice to see them get the occasional fact right. Even if the 90% figure were correct, the nature of the 10% difference would be more interesting.

Most of DNA code controls processes within the cell and are common to all living things.

Ah, those pesky facts! (Not to mention the grammar…) A considerable portion of the human genome is neither coding nor regulatory. Although one would have to concede that DNA does control/influence ‘processes within the cell’…

As all DNA is designed by the same Designer

There’s that little a priori thing again…

for the same purpose, we expect it to be similar. We agree with the evolutionist that chimps are closer to use than any other animal, but some animal has to be,

Why? If we’re assuming a series of special creation events, then why would there be degrees of relatedness at all??

and it is not surprising that over 98% of chimp DNA is the same as ours.

But take care with similarities in the design of animals. All DNA is designed by the same designer.

Can we say a priori? Yes, we can…

If the common ancestor theory was true then we would expect the same characteristics to be found coded on the same place on the same chromosome of the different animals.

Unfortunately a fair bit of our DNA can’t have been put there by that supposed designer – just look at endogenous retroviruses (ERVs), scattered throughout our genome. Not to mention the fact that both ERVs and pseudogenes common to several branches of a lineage have accumulated variation that differs from branch to branch. In other words, neither ERVs nor pseudogenes could have been part of that claimed ‘design’.

Even though our knowledge of gene mapping is in its infancy, it is already clear that this expected pattern is regularly not the case. A particular gene on one of our chromosomes may be at an entirely different place on the chimp’s chromosomes. By the way, we have 46 chromosomes and the chimps have 48. Perhaps we are more closely related to the tea tree which also has 46 chromosomes.

Yes, & we can be fairly sure what underlies the difference in chromosome number between chimp & human. Apart from Homo sapiens, all the great apes have 24 pairs of chromosomes. We have 23. The simplest explanation for the available evidence is that the human chromosome 2 originated through the fusion of two of the ape chromosomes: banding sequences match, & the remains of chimp telomere sequences are found in the middle of human chromosome 2 – right where the fusion hypothesis would predict them to be. (We can safely ignore the silly tea tree suggestion. Quite a few animal species have 2N = 46; it doesn’t tell us anything about relatedness.)

The relatively new technique of using genetic similarities to determine how long ago two species or sub-species had a common ancestor is horribly flawed. The time scale assumes a constant rate of genetic variation. But genetic variation has slowed down dramatically over the ages as natural selection processes reduce genetic potential.

Citations please. This statement suggests a woeful lack of understanding of how genetic variation is generated. Mind you, it fits with the statement elsewhere on the school’s website that organisms were created with the maximum amount of genetic variation & it’s all been downhill ever since.

Some animals, eg: the Cheetah, now have almost no genetic variation and therefore no potential to vary any more . The genetic variation which now takes place in genetically separated populations of the same species is very slow compared to what takes place, and has taken place, when genetically rich individuals adapt into new environmental niches. Therefore the time scale of technique is horribly exaggerated.

Again, citations, please! Cheetahs are known to have gone through a genetic bottleneck (maybe two) – with only a few individuals surviving that, it’s no surprise that the genetic variation remaining in the population is severely restricted. As for the next sentence – how do they know, or is this simply an example of making stuff up to suit prior conceptions of reality? They seem to have a really weird concept of what ‘genetic variation actually means…) The time scale of a ticking genetic clock based on the rate of accumulation of mutations is certainly based on some assumptions about the rate – but it’s also capable of being checked against evidence from other sources. For example, the genetic clock suggests that humans & chimps last shared a common ancestor somewhere around 5-7 million years ago – something that’s supported by the available (& increasing) fossil evidence from early hominin remains.

That reminds me, I should have a look at what they say about our own evolutionary history…