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Skippy surprises scientists

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Skippy

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Published: 20 January 2009(GMT+10)

Feeling jumpy? It may not be from what you think. Researchers at Australia’s government-backed Centre of Excellence for Kangaroo Genomics have mapped the genetic code of these marsupials, and were surprised at the amazing similarity to that of humans.

Looking at the huge outward differences between us and roos, it is obvious that the same gene must be able to make quite different proteins.

The Centre’s Director, Jenny Graves, said, ‘There is great chunks of the human genome which is sitting right there in the kangaroo genome.’ In fact, according to a report in Australia’s national newspaper, the 20,000–25,000 genes in the kangaroo (roughly the same number as in humans) are ‘largely the same’ as in people.1 Graves said elsewhere that ‘a lot of them are in the same order’.2

The reports made no mention of the percentage similarity. It sounds like it would be extremely high—perhaps embarrassingly so, given that unlike chimps, kangaroos are not supposed to be our ‘close relatives’.

Photo Wikipedia

Kangaroo with joey

Looking at the huge outward differences between us and roos, it is obvious that the same gene must be able to make quite different proteins. But then, that should already have been obvious from the fact that despite people having only about 20,000–25,000 genes,3 our bodies can make about 100,000 different proteins.

Evolutionists have long proclaimed that apes and people share a high percentage of DNA. Hence their surprise at these findings that ‘Skippy’ has a genetic makeup similar to ours. But even granted that chimps and humans have a high degree of shared DNA (progressively being revised downward as genomic knowledge increases), even if it were 90%, would that make them 90% human, as most interpret this? It is worth repeating what prominent evolutionist/geneticist Steve Jones has said in the context of man/chimp DNA-sharing: ‘We also share about 50% of our DNA with bananas and that doesn’t make us half bananas, either from the waist up or the waist down.’4

This discovery, as with so many awkward discoveries (i.e. awkward for evolution) previously, will no doubt end up displaying the ingenuity of evolutionists in making any fact, predicted or not, fit their materialistic worldview. Meanwhile, it showcases a much more incredible ingenuity for those with eyes to see—that of the Creator in coding a vast variety of creatures with such amazing economy of information. (See also Homologous structures and the presumption of originality.)

References

  1. Trounson, A., Micro view of macropods as kangaroo genome mapped, The Australian, <www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24671699-27703,00.html>, 19 November 2008. Return to text.
  2. Kangaroo genes close to humans, Reuters, <www.reuters.com/article/scienceNews/idUSTRE4AH1P020081118>, 18 November 2008. Return to text.
  3. Although it could be many years before we know for sure just how many protein-coding genes we have. See How Many Genes Are in the Human Genome? <http://www.ornl.gov/sci/techresources/Human_Genome/faq/genenumber.shtml>; and increasingly it seems that the non-protein-coding DNA is more important. See Astonishing DNA complexity update Return to text.
  4. Jones, S., interviewed at the Australian Museum on The Science Show, broadcast on ABC radio, 12 January 2002, <www.abc.net.au/rn/science/ss/stories/s456478.htm>, 25 January 2002. Return to text.

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