marcsurtees wrote:The really interesting thing is that the new evidence is consistent with a greater difference than 1%, at least 6% and possibly more.
First there is the 6% difference reported by Demuth et al, and the posts from sfs not withstanding, the chimp genome sequence work still shows a difference of about 6% to 7% made up of the following:
single nucleotide polymorphisms ~1%
indels ~3 % difference
variation in copy number 2 to 3% difference
I don't know where you got those numbers. According to the chimp sequence paper, the single-nucleotide substitution rate (they're not polymorphisms -- a polymorphism is a variant within a species) is 1.2%, indels represent ~1.5% of sequence present in chimp but not in human and another 1.5% present in human but not in chimp, and that's it. CNVs aren't mentioned, because they are a subset of indels, basically just large duplications or deletions. So no double counting, please.
This is clearly a significant departure from the 1% myth that for so long was promoted by evolutionists to support the claim that we are related to chimps.
But, as has been pointed out, there is no debate about evolution so the dogma that we are apes is never challenged.
[Note: I've tried to be polite and respond to your posts civilly, but that isn't very easy when you make such tendentious and insulting comments as you do here. Given how little you obviously know about the subject, don't you think even a hint of humility or tentativeness might be in order?]
Two points: First, the 1% was not a "myth"; it was an estimate of the divergence, made when it was thought that single-base mutations were the dominant source of genetic variation. We know now that insertions and deletions, while rarer than substitutions, can be large enough that they actually affect more DNA than single-base substitutions. This is true both within and between species. Thus, when the 1% human/chimp divergence estimate was made, it was also estimated that individual human genomes differed by 0.1%; it is now known that both numbers should actually be several times larger, thanks to indels.
Second, the particular value (whether 1% or 5%) has very little to say about whether we're related to chimpanzees. What actually provides evidence for their relatedness is the many detailed patterns we see in the genetic similarities and differences. The reason that common ancestry between humans and chimpanzees is never challenged (well, almost never -- there is that one guy who thinks we're more closely related to orangutans, but he's something of a crackpot) is not because it's dogma, but because it's so well established. Common ancestry explains and predicts the patterns we see very well, and no other explanation (including special creation) does remotely as good a job. So we stick with the model that works. When someone comes along with a model that works better, we'll listen. Until then, expect to be ignored.
What the 1% difference does matter for is determining which other species we are most closely related to. For that purpose, we can ignore indels altogether; as long as we are looking at the same metric throughout, comparing the single-base human/chimp difference to the human/gorilla and chimp/gorilla differences tells us which species pair is most closely related. It turns out that humans and chimpanzees are most similar to one another genetically.
A couple of other points to consider: First, the evolutionary model tells us that humans and chimpanzees, being the most closely related, should each be equally diverged from gorilla (assuming reasonably similar reproduction rates, which is the case). I.e., the genetic difference between human and gorilla should be nearly identical to the genetic difference between chimpanzee and gorilla. Does special creation make any prediction about this relationship? Would you care to guess what the empirically measured value is?
The second point follows from the fact that gorillas are only slightly more diverged from humans than chimps are (i.e. the split between the gorilla lineage and the human/chimp lineage occurred shortly before the human and chimp lineages split, in the evolutionary model). Under these circumstances, according to evolutionary theory, the close relationship between humans and chimps will only be true on average; for some fraction of the genome, humans and gorillas will be more closely related, and for some fraction chimps and gorillas will be most closely related(*). In fact, we are only most closely related to chimpanzees in ~2/3rds of our genome. Does special creation predict this? What does special creation predict about how the different sets of relatedness will be distributed? Evolution says they should occur in chunks, with the entire chunk showing, e.g., humans and gorillas most closely related, and it gives a rough estimate of the size of the chunks. What predictions does special creation make in this area?
(*) This occurs because there was variation in the ancestral human/chimp/gorilla population, which survived through the species splits. Thus, the gorilla, human and chimp ancestors all had two versions, A and B, of some genes. In some cases, A happened to survive in humans and gorillas while B survived in chimps, making humans and gorillas more closely related, and so on. This process is known as lineage sorting.