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Thursday, November 20, 2008

On the similarity between humans and chimpanzees

I have recently come across a paper by a committed young-earth creationist, who deals honestly and forthrightly with one of the biggest problems with young-earth creationism, namely the similarities between organisms. His article gets right to the heart of the problem -- how to explain the similarities between humans and chimpanzees.

I am having difficulties in including the URL of the article, but here's an abstract, and the abstract includes a link to a .PDF file of the entire article. The article, by Todd Charles Wood of Bryan College, is 18 pages of scientific discussion, graphs, etc., hence, although written well, not for the casual reader. But it's an important topic, and Wood is not remiss in pointing out difficulties, and in pointing out some of the unfortunate attempts to dismiss such similarity as unimportant by other young-earth creationists. Wood writes: "If the fixed nucleotide mismatches between the chimpanzee and human genomes are 1.06%, then the original nucleotide identity could be as high as 99%. At that high level of similarity, perhaps it is not impossible to believe that God created humans and chimpanzees with identical genomes." A remarkable statement. He goes on to say that the main difference between the two is not the 1.06% of DNA, but the fact that humans are created in the image of God.

Similarity between humans and chimpanzees does not prove, beyond all possible doubt, that the two share a common ancestor -- we can postulate that God simply created two species that are very much alike -- but it is very good evidence that they do. I commend Wood for tackling this issue, for his thoughts on the matter, and his presentation.

Here's a post on what Billy Graham had to say about a closely related matter.

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