The general public has heard repeatedly that human and chimpanzee DNA is 98-99% similar. It is implied that the charts of human DNA were held up next to chimp DNA and they were virtually identical. But ICR contributor Dr. Jeffrey Tompkins notes that, “The supposed fact that human DNA is 98 to 99 percent similar to chimpanzee DNA is actually misleading.” First of all, “The human genome was used as a guide or framework to anchor and orient the chimp sequence. Thus, the evolutionary assumption of a supposed ape to human transition was used to assemble the otherwise random chimp genome.” Dr. Tompkins further explains, “One of the main problems with a comparative evolutionary analysis between human and chimp DNA is that some of the most critical DNA sequence is often omitted from the scope of the analysis.” Non-coding parts of the human genome are often referred to as “junk DNA.” The purpose of such a label is to imply that this area of the human genome is unimportant. But, Dr. Tompkins clarifies, “The genetic information that is functional and regulatory is stored in “non-coding regions,” which are essential for the proper functioning of all cells.” And not only are these areas critically important, but they are a big part of what makes humans human. “The largest differences [between chimp and human DNA] are observed in regard to brain function, dexterity, speech, and other traits with strong cognitive components….a number of recent studies are also confirming that close to 93 percent of the genome is transcriptionally active (functional).6 Not so long ago, scientists thought that only 3 to 5 percent of the genome that contained the protein coding regions was functional; the rest was considered “junk DNA.” In fact, many scientists are back-pedaling in response to this new data. “Evolutionists are now reversing themselves and claiming that the non-coding DNA is where important features related to human evolution are located .”
A new research study (http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/arj/v4/n1/blastin) by Dr. Tompkins published in Answers Research Journal this month did a comprehensive comparison of human and chimp DNA without any pre-sorting and using all of the available genome sequence. Here are the results of the study: “Average sequence identity between human and chimp for both phases of the study varied between 86 and 89 percent.” So, the oft-repeated mantra of 98-99% similarity is wrong. Previous estimates were pre-screened and sorted for similarity which generated an artificially-high similarity. Much of the unmatched human genome was discarded as “junk DNA” but geneticists are now finding that these areas of the human genome (which have no similarity to the chimp genome) are in critical areas which make humans humans. Without agenda-driven cherry-picking, a broad-based straight-up comparison results in genetic differences 10 times what was previously reported by evolutionists to the public.